Thursday, August 25, 2005

Secrets of Salmonella Food Poisoning Exposed

Researchers at the UK's Institute of Food Research (IFR) claim to have unlocked the key secrets of success for the salmonella pathogen responsible for a raft of food poisoning outbreaks.

Carried in eggs, poultry, raw milk and chocolate the salmonella bacteria can cause bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and in extreme cases kidney failure. Incidents are a major problem in most countries across the globe, leading to hefty costs for the public and private sector.

One hundred million years ago Salmonella evolved from E. coli bacteria that lived freely in the environment. Salmonella developed the ability to parasitise animals by losing many genes and gaining new ones from other bacteria, explains the IFR.

Learn what secrets the IFR have discovered in our current health and wellness news through this link.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Fun Facts - Science And Foods In Space

At zero gravity (space conditions) the body demineralises, resulting in bone and muscle loss. For astronauts this happens fast, as much as 1 per cent a month, compared to on Earth where bone loss occurs when we grow old. Between 50 and 60 years of age we experience 10 per cent of bone loss.

A few innovative food manufacturers have come up with unique formulations for food products that can stand up to harsh conditions in space, yet still taste at least marginally good. Here are just a few of the latest.

Nissin Food Products announced that its newly developed instant noodle product Space Ram was loaded on the space shuttle Discovery and went into space last month. Space Ram – available in soy sauce, miso, curry and pork bones - was co-developed with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The soup powder has been made with increased viscosity and can be cooked in water at 70 degrees Celsius.

Danish food firm Arla Food Ingredients, working with US food technologists at the Johnson Space Centre, recently developed a new yoghurt for consumption by NASA's astronauts. When the expedition 11 crew took off to the International Space Station in mid-April, Arla's fruit flavoured yoghurts were on board.

Arla Food Ingredients has also come up with ‘milk bites' for astronauts which are essentially a chewy, bite-size protein bar that gives the space travellers a dose of calcium and protein.

A NASA space food competition held in spring of 2004 resulted in a vegetable spread called Veg@eez, a red, white and green mix of tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and radishes, as the winning entry. It was created by U.S. students from Penn State University who won the year's NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center competition.

Astronauts' tastes in food changes when they are in space. In space the zero gravity means that bodily fluids move up towards the head. It's like having a stuffed nose. People's perception of food changes, and most astronauts tend to go for spicy foods in space.

In July 2001 it was reported that the European Space Agency started building a recycling system that will convert astronauts' waste into food, oxygen and water.

The Micro-Ecological Life Support Alternative (MELISSA) system could enable future astronauts to travel to Mars and back, an epic voyage that would take three years to complete. It could also be a vital feature of space bases on other planets.

The miniature ecosystem will be divided into five interconnected compartments. The first three are being constructed at universities across Europe and are designed to break down waste through a number of fermentation processes.

The fourth, being built at the University of Guelph, will contain plants and algae that grow to produce oxygen, water and food, fed by the decomposed waste. The fifth compartment will contain the astronauts themselves and will be constructed at the project headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.

During the development of the system, rats will be used in place of astronauts to test the system. ESA says that the complete facility will be assembled in Barcelona by 2005.

Recycling is already an important part of space travel. Systems used aboard Mir and the International Space Station allow astronauts to breath air converted from carbon dioxide and drink water purified from waste. The new system performs the more complicated task of recycling food.

The next step in food science? It may be "Micro-M.R.E.'s," meal tablets with enough calories to sustain a soldier in the battlefield for 24 hours. According to Air Force 2025, a study of future military concepts conducted by the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, M.R.E.'s are being developed.

Also in the works: transdermal patches that will allow soldiers to feed themselves through their skin. The "transdermal nutrient delivery system" is currently being studied by the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Program.

NewScientist - Space toilet key to conquering final frontier
ABC News/Australia - New food for happy little astronauts
FoodQualityNews - Soup rockets to space on new formulation
RetroFuture - Spacefood

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Quick Test - Do You Trust The Food You Buy?

The test is simple: would you rate a product as healthy if you were given all the facts?

For example, it's ridiculous to claim a cereal is healthy if you later discover it is super high in salt and sugar content. Similarly, I don't want to be misled into believing a yoghurt is made with organic ingredients because it is branded as ‘Bio', or discover that a fruit drink contains very little fruit juice.

Remember the article I wrote about how PepsiCo is changing the labeling on two of its fruit-flavored Tropicana beverages to reflect the fact that they actually contain little or no fruit juice?

Well, what you might not be aware of is the fact that in July of this year the FDA urged the soft drink industry to review the ingredient statements on their soft drink labels following the withdrawal of a proposed “and/or” ruling on sweeteners. Beverage makers now have to ensure that the sweetening ingredients used in products are listed accurately. Up to that point, there had been continuous demand from the soft drinks industry for “and/or” sweetener labeling for over two decades.

Why not just be honest and label their products with what is REALLY inside?

Go back to an article I wrote in April of this year regarding the new reduced sugar cereals, most of which carry BIG BOLD LABELS about LESS SUGAR blazing across the box, as though to imply they are now so much healthier for you. The Associated Press asked nutrition experts at five universities to review the new reduced-sugar cereals to see how they stacked up with the regular versions. The nutrition scientists found that while the new cereals do have less sugar, the calories, carbohydrates, fat, fiber and other nutrients are almost identical to the full-sugar cereals.

In other news, food makers in the USA are scrambling to meet the January 1 2006 deadline for the new trans fats labeling requirements, and the debate over Country of Origin (COOL) labeling - whether it should be voluntary or mandatory - rumbles on.

Meanwhile, Nestle UK has found a way to refer to the calcium content in its cheesecake without it being considered a health claim, according to Dominique Patton, reporting for FoodQualityNews. The company used a cartoon of a woman to advertise its Little Notions Cheesecake, superimposing on her hair the following text: "Lemon Cheesecake's made with cheese. Cheese is full of calcium. Calcium makes bones strong. If I don't eat cheesecake I'll fall over." Now that's a pretty sad use of subliminal advertising, in my humble opinion.

If a tasty food can't really be healthy, and a healthy food is not tasty, manufacturers would do better to concentrate on being real about which category it honestly falls into rather than disappoint us on both.

I sincerely believe companies that take the high road, with fair labeling, will do better than those who create a wake of suspicion by deliberately writing around products' vices.

Whether its aspartame, soya, GM foods or high fructose corn syrup, in today's information-driven world, pressure groups quickly move to raise public awareness of missing, or conflicting, scientific evidence. Wouldn't it be nice if manufacturers took a more proactive role in replacing foods where the doubts cannot be laid to rest?

Even more important, ingredients should be of the highest possible quality.

Let's face it... health risks are as worrying to producers as consumers, and only where ingredients are the finest available, will food manufacturers be deserving of our trust.

Himalayan Goji Juice Spectral Signature SealSure, our Himalayan Goji Juice is more expensive than some of the kool-aid-type knock-offs appearing lately (ever since this remarkable berry started popping up in the media) --- and for good reason. We ONLY USE goji berries that are GUARANTEED SCREENED using our proprietary spectral signature process to be the most potent containing ALL the health benefits in perfect balance with the most important 4 master molecules not found in any other food on our planet.

The truth is, we reject more goji berries than we accept in order to produce a premium product that will deliver consistent results that compound over time the longer you drink it.

There is no other goji juice on the market --- and there never will be one --- that can deliver the powers of the original bloodline for lycium barbarum quoted in ancient Asian medical texts. Our spectral signature seal is our guarantee that you are getting the highest quality with the best of the best goji berries in every single bottle.

In a perfect world, other manufacturers would bend over backwards to ensure their products also meet such exacting standards in production, formulation and delivery.

Sidenote: And if you knew what we know about drinking Himalayan Goji Juice everyday, you would be crazy not to add it to your daily diet.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Sad Statistics Regarding Hysterectomy In The USA

Did you know that more hysterectomies are performed in the USA than anywhere else in the developed world, and many are totally unnecessary?

Hysterectomy is the second most common major surgery among women in the United States. (The most common major surgery that women have is cesarean section delivery). Each year, more than 600,000 hysterectomies are done. About one-third of women in the United States have had a hysterectomy by age 60. The average age of a women undergoing hysterectomy is 42, according to the American College of Surgeons.

One of the leading reasons for historectomies is uterine fibroids.

Almost all uterine fibroids are benign and their growth is most likely promoted by an imbalance of good and bad estrogens. Since fibroids tend to shrink and disappear after menopause, the idea behind performing hysterectomy is essentially to bring on menopause.

Many doctors prescribe estrogen for their historectomy patients but claim the women "don't need" progesterone. Loss of progesterone is part of the reason tissues breakdown when women stop ovulating, according to Elizabeth Plourde, author of the book, "A comprehensive look at hysterectomy: The Ultimate Rape." It carries out several functions that help maintain our cardiovascular health.

Studies also prove that it helps build new bone. Bones contain receptors for the 3 primary ovarian hormones: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, which reveals that all 3 are involved in maintaining a strong skeletal structure.

For all women, whether they have their uterus and/or ovaries or not, it is crucial to maintain a balance of these 3 hormones. Ever heard about women having bone density problems after menopause (or historectomy)? My best guess is that you probably have.

Doesn't it make more sense to try to balance estrogen levels first before considering such drastic surgery?

The good news is there are many natural ways to gain estrogen balance.

But the very first step if you are a woman is to have your estrogen and progesterone levels checked and then find a physician to help you who is familiar with nutritional and natural healing. In most cases uterine fibroids are uncomfortable, but not life-threatening. Take some time to try some alternatives before resorting to surgery.

To read all our newest articles, visit our Health And Wellness newsletter online at BestLiquidVitamins.

Friday, August 19, 2005

No, Psoriasis Is Not Contagious, But...

No, psoriasis is NOT contagious. The psoriatic lesions may not look good, but they are not infections or open wounds. People with psoriasis pose no threat to the health or safety of others.

With that said, August is Psoriasis Awareness Month in the USA, and we've written a news article describing the five types of psoriasis, some common triggers for psoriasis outbreaks and have a few helpful tips and resources... all available in our online news today.

Visit through this link and read the August/2005 article "August Is Psoriasis Month In The USA" to get all the details.

Sidenote: Some of our visitors and customers have had great success controlling outbreaks of psoriasis through dietary changes and a few all-natural products we have access too. (Contact us for details if you would like to learn more.)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Shingles - Where Did The Chickenpox Cross The Road?

When my father called me from Canada to tell me he had a painful fight with shingles ...then not long after, an old high school friend (also from Canada) told me she had also gone through a bout with shingles, I wanted to know more and my search began. Here's what I found out.

Shingles generally affects the elderly, but occasionally occurs in children who have had chickenpox within the first year of their lives and in people with an immune deficiency.

What is the relationship to chickenpox?

Shingles is a painful rash caused by the Varicella-zoster virus (Herpes varicellae), which is the virus that causes chickenpox.

"For reasons that are not clear, after a chickenpox infection, the varicella virus remains in our bodies forever." states Dr. Paul on the Children's Health And Wellness website.

After the chickenpox virus has been contracted, it travels from the skin along the nerve paths to the roots of the nerves where it becomes inactive. The chickenpox virus then "hibernates".

Shingles occurs in people who have had chickenpox. It is a reactivation of the dormant virus and often occurs many years after the initial chicken pox infection.

When the virus is reactivated, it travels via the nerve paths to the skin. It is not known what factors trigger a reactivation of the virus. Some health websites indicate the virus can be triggered by immune-suppressing medicines, emotional stress, with another illness (such as cancer), or after major surgery. One site mentions that advancing age and chronic use of cortisone-type drugs may trigger shingles. Also, shingles can be a sign of immunodeficiency, caused by HIV or chemotherapy, for example.

"In most cases, however, a cause for the reactivation of the virus is never found. The herpes virus that causes shingles and chicken pox is not the same as the herpes virus that causes genital herpes (which can be sexually transmitted) and herpes mouth sores. Shingles is medically termed Herpes zoster," according to MedicineNet.

What are the signs for shingles?

The first sign of shingles is often burning, sharp pain, tingling, or numbness in or under your skin on one side of your body or face. The most common site is the back or upper abdomen. You may have severe itching or aching. You also may feel tired and ill with fever, chills, headache, and upset stomach.

Before a rash is visible, you may notice several days to a week of burning pain and sensitive skin. Shingles start as small blisters on a red base, with new blisters continuing to form for 3-5 days. The blisters follow the path of individual nerves that comes out of the spinal cord (called dermatomal pattern). The entire path of the nerve may be involved or there may be areas with blisters and areas without blisters. Generally, only one nerve level is involved. In a rare case, more than one nerve will be involved. Eventually, the blisters pop and the area starts to ooze. The area will then crust over and heal. The whole process may take 3-4 weeks from start to finish. On occasion, the pain will be present but the blisters may never appear.

Shingles is contagious and may itself cause chickenpox in people who have never had it, as long as there are new blisters forming and old blisters healing. However, contact with a person with shingles or chickenpox cannot cause shingles. Shingles is not an airborne virus. It is passed by touch or via contact with fluid from the infected area.

If you think you have shingles, see your health care professional and avoid contact with infants, children, pregnant women, and adults who have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox shot until your blisters are completely dry.

Generally, shingles heal well and problems are few. However, on occasion, the blisters can become infected with a bacteria causing cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin. If this occurs, the area will become reddened, warm, firm, and tender. You might notice red streaks forming around the wound. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your health care professional.

A more worrisome complication occurs when shingles affect the face, specifically the forehead and nose. In these cases, it is possible, although not likely, that shingles can affect the eye leading to loss of vision. If you have shingles on your forehead or nose, your eyes should be evaluated by a health care professional.

The most common complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia. This occurs when the pain associated with shingles persists beyond one month, even after the rash is gone. It is a result of irritation of the nerves of sensation by the virus. The pain can be severe and debilitating and occurs primarily in persons over the age of 50.

I've heard some therapeutic grade essential oils are quite effective for dealing with the pain and discomfort of shingles (contact me for info and a high quality scource) and of course, your health care professional will be able to provide you with medications should you require them.


University of Michigan Health System - Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Children's Health And Wellness - Zoster(Shingles) And Chicken Pox
MedicineNet - Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Yahoo! Health - Varicella virus (Chickenpox) vaccine

Friday, August 12, 2005

UK Catches The Functional Beverages Wave

Fruit juice sales are currently soaring in the UK, and over the past two years alone, sales of chilled, high quality and natural juice have increased by a staggering 60 per cent to some £768 million (€1.1bn), according to Mintel.

We just returned from the FreeLife Convention held last week in Irvine, California with the great news that we will soon be able to bring Himalayan Goji Juice to all our European friends.

This will appeal to the increasingly health-conscious British consumer, who views fruit juice as a healthier alternative to coffee and fizzy drinks.

When you learn about the power of the tiny goji berry (aka lycium barbarum), you will definitely see why this juice is a category creator all its own. Its remarkable "adaptogen" abilities appear to come from the 4 unique polysaccharides not found in any other fruit or vegetable on our planet (LBP1, LBP2, LBP3 and LBP4). The longer you drink Goji Juice, the more positive health changes you will notice... and the compounding effects over time have been absolutely stunning for thousands of people around the world.

In fact, Dr. Mindell, who just returned from the annual Goji Berry Festival held in China, was extremely excited about the latest clinical studies that have been completed. He calls this berry his most powerful discovery in health and nutrition ever, and time is proving him right once again. After 40+ years working in natural health sciences and with more than 50 published books to his credit on the subject of health and wellness, he knows the value this tiny berry brings to us better than anyone else.

We've been drinking Dr. Mindell's Goji Juice everyday for more than 14 months now, and I can tell you we've seen some phenomenal results in our own health. Contact us at Best Liquid Vitamins and as us to "Share The Secret" of what Goji Juice has changed in our health over time. It will surprise you!

The main secret is --- KEEP DRINKING IT --- just 2 to 3 ounces a day, everyday, could DRAMATICALLY change your health, and your future looks, health and mood! I'm speaking from personal experience here!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

When Science and Business Clash, Ethics Must Rule

Former Metabolife chief executive Richard Ellis now awaits sentencing following his conviction for fraud in his safety claims for herbal extract ephedra. Vitamin E producers are reporting sales dives as great as 40 per cent on the back of consumers’ safety concerns about high doses of the supplement. And just last week, lutein makers, too, began grappling with the findings of one unexpectedly unwelcome study, according to a recent article at BeverageDaily.

If people consuming a lot of beta-carotene suffer fewer heart attacks, is it actually the beta-carotene that are delivering the heart bonus? Or something else, that is often present alongside beta-carotene?

Do you really get the same results for a synthetic Vitamin C as you would from say... eating an orange, or from drinking the whole unpasteurized juice from the extremely high Vitamin C goji berry?

In nutrition we rarely yet have insight into the precise mechanism through which a nutrient delivers a health benefit. In some cases, isolating one single nutrient from a whole fruit or vegetable may not be as beneficial as originally thought. So our chief way forwards is by testing over and over for correlations, with different populations, in different circumstances, to build a body of evidence.

Those with strong scientific understanding appreciate that science is not the body of perfect knowledge that it is often viewed as by outsiders. It hypothesizes, tests, and re-hypothesizes, in an endless circling in on the fullest picture.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... one single clinical study doesn't necessarily mean "absolute proof" exists.

In fact, if one were to see the results of many studies completed, one might find the following recommendation popping up quite a bit: "further study recommended."

Even the tiny goji berry is still under very serious study --- an entire research center in China is actively studying every little bit they can learn about this powerful fruit. With 63 astonishing health benefits already confirmed thus far, there are still many many more studies underway.

What's interesting to note is how many studies confirm findings from earlier less intense studies.
This is not always the case in other nutrition scientific studies.

Sadly, consumers often choose the nutrients they purchase basing their decisions on normally grossly simplified science, brought to them as commercial marketing, or by a media with an eye on word-count, accessibility and drama.

The latest ORAC scoring system is one example of some pretty lousy science, in my humble opinion. Many manufacturers are racing to get their latest and greatest product the highest ORAC rating they can. The misguided public gets fed the rating, often believing this makes the product/s powerful in the antioxidant realm. Sadly, owing to lack of information and education about this poor measure of antioxidants in a substance, these ratings will most likely cause a great many consumers to be innocently fleeced.

Even worse, the way many manufacturers and distributors report their ORAC rating in many cases without even mentioning the unit of measure their score relates to ...well, that's positively unethical, in my humble opinion.

For manufacturers, here are the advantages of the ORAC assay:

-- the test score will reflect the antioxidant activity of any and all antioxidants in the liquid, whether they are known or unknown, named or unnamed.
-- the ORAC assay does not bother to try to measure presence or absence of individual antioxidants (a task which is difficult and very expensive), but rather, it measures total antioxidant reactivity (against only one type of oxidative radical known as the peroxyl radical) of any and all substances present in the liquid, whether known or unknown, and even those as yet unknown to, and unnamed by, modern science.
-- the ORAC assay is not particularly expensive, and often costs well under $400.
-- the test is quick and simple
-- the assay is offered by a number of commercial independent testing laboratories in the USA and around the world
-- the turnaround time on a test is quick, on the order of a week or less
-- as with any "single-score" "total antioxidant" measure, the score is seductive, because it allows a vendor to offer a single score on their label (or on their website) which purports to state the minimum antioxidant-power value per gram (or per 100 grams or per liter) of a food or nutritonal supplement product. This is obviously simple, clean, clear and neat, or at least it appears so at first glance.....

However, there are some marked drawbacks to the ORAC score.

The disadvantages of using the ORAC score, or at least in relying too much upon it, are several, beginning with the #1 reason, as follows...

The #1 Disadvantage of Using the ORAC Score

Despite the fact that it is sometimes touted as a "Total Antioxidatve Power" score, the ORAC assay can only measure one particular type of antioxidative activity, namely the ability of antioxidants to quench or neutralize only one specific type of oxidizing free radical (aka “reactive oxygen species”, or ROS) known as the peroxy (e.g., as found in peroxide) radical. Thus, the ORAC score offers only a partial picture of the true antioxidant power of an antioxidant or mixture of antioxidants, since some will have little or no activity against peroxides but great quenching activity against other oxidizing free radical species commonly found in the body such as superoxides, triplet oxygen, singlet oxygen, the hydroxyl or nitroxy radicals, and others. Indeed, some highly powerful and effective antioxidants show no activity at all against peroxide radicals (in other words, they are not peroxide-specific), but show great activity against other types of oxidant free radicals, and such antioxidants would score extremely poorly on an ORAC assay.

Two excellent examples of such antioxidants (and in reality there are plenty more) are:

1) The carotenoid family of antioxidants, which includes beta carotene, lycopene, canthaxanthxin and zeaxanthin, among others, and which are found extensively in strongly-colored fruits and vegetables, and in some shellfish. Most carotenoids show little activity against the peroxy radical.

2) The simple hydride family of antioxidants, also known as the negative hydrogen ion, or hydride ion, and also known as active hydrogen, which is a primitive and primeval hydrogen antioxidant which existed on earth even before life evolved, and which may be found in fresh raw fruits and vegetables, raw meats, and in some natural and unprocessed sources of water (such as some deep wells, some high-altitude mountain wells, and glacial runoff water.) The hydride antioxidant may also be found in so-called “alkaline ionized water” (more accurately described as “electrolyzed reduced water” or ERW) produced by commercial countertop devices known as water ionizers, and also in some nutritional supplements, which give only a very modest score on the ORAC assay.

Most of the members of the two antioxidant families cited above show little or no antioxidant activity against peroxide radicals, but show strong antioxidant activity against other oxidizing free radicals, including singlet oxygen and the superoxide radical.

Sidenote: some later off-shoots of the ORAC Assay (such as ORACHO) also look at one additional oxidant radical, the hydroxyl radical, as well, but this hardly solves the deficiency which has been briefly addressed here.

Have you noticed... we're one of the few companies NOT playing the ORAC marketing game? For good reason. When a scientific test that is this high for being potentially misleading, it would not be ethical (in my humble opinion) to wave the ORAC banner... at least, not until a considerable amount of scientific advances are made to render it more useful, make sense?

I hope so. Because there are many many more reasons you should NOT rely on the ORAC score ...and I'll be bringing those reasons to you here at Best Liquid Vitamins in a very special feature article coming at the end of August.

Stay tuned. Stay healthy... and whenever possible, stay informed.