Friday, September 30, 2005

Troubles Rising For The UK's FSA Profiling

The UK's Food Standards Agency's (FSA) profiling proposal, developed at the end of July, used zero as a benchmark, with positive scores indicating unhealthy products and minus scores pointing to healthier options, according to NutraIngredients/Europe.

Using this benchmark process has lumped some foods/drinks formerly believed to be quite healthy into the unhealthy category...

For example, using the new FSA benchmark, whole, semi-skimmed and flavoured milk have the same health value as diet fizzy drinks -- they would be no better for you than drinking a Diet Coke. All got a score of zero.

In another example, olive oil is portrayed through this new profiling, to be less healthy than a range of potato crisps, chocolate biscuits and cakes. Olive oil received a score of 20, despite a number of studies showing that a so-called Mediterranean diet, with a high ratio of monounsaturated fatty acids (mostly olive oil) to polyunsaturated fatty acids, has a protective effect on the heart.

The current profiling scheme means that even breast milk would fall into the bad-health category of 'high in saturated fat, salt or sugar' and the positioning of cheese on the 'scorecard' would result in being similarly unsuitable.

Dairy UK was reported to have serious concerns about the FSA's profiling. "We question the omission of micronutrients such as protein quality, minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamins A and B," said Ed Komorowski, Dairy UK's technical director, as part of an FSA consultation period that ended this week.

Don't feel too bad. When the USDA came out with it's ORAC testing/rating system to rate the antioxidant power of foods/juices... the test didn't even acknowledge carotenoids.

Methinks both groups should go back to the drawing board ...but that's just my humble opinion.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Top 5 Children's Menu Items As Surveyed By Mintel

In 2002, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) cited that 16 percent of children aged 6-11 were overweight, with the same percentage holding true for 12-19 year olds, according to a recent report by NutraIngredients.

In a recent survey by Mintel, more than 77 percent of adults surveyed cited that parents are to blame for the national crisis -- indicating that most parents/families are time-starved, spending more time commuting from jobs, to schools and activities leaving less and less time for sitting down to well-balanced home-cooked nutritious family meals. Approximately 42 percent of Mintel's respondents surveyed identified someone in their households as being overweight.

However, a whopping 93% of surveyed respondents felt that junk food continues to play a strong role in childhood obesity issues.

"Children's eating habits are suffering due to the lack of structured meal time, and this is as big a challenge as the lack of balanced meals," said Amanda Archibald, analyst and registered dietitian for Mintel. "Compressed schedules and cramped time availability for both children and parents may play a more important role than previously thought in making healthy food choices."

Then, when you add television into the mix -- of the estimated 40,000 television commercials children view a year, 32 percent are for candy, 31 percent for cereal, and 9 percent for fast food.

According to Mintel's Menu Insights, a menu-tracking system, more than 47 percent of children's menu items were fried. Here's a look at the top five menu items (listed in order of most often eaten) for what most children are eating these days:

1. Chicken fingers
2. Grilled cheese sandwiches
3. Burgers
4. Macaroni and cheese, and
5. Hot dogs

Any of those items sound familiar on your child's menu?

I have a confession to make -- they also top the list of our son's favorite foods. Our family doesn't get home-cooked well-balanced meals as often as we should -- even though both my husband and I only work part time, not commuting like many other parents, but from home running our businesses by phone and through the Internet. I can't even imagine how poor our diets would be if we had to commute like so many other parents are forced to do these days.

It's one of the main reasons we go through 3 cases of Goji Juice per month in our home... because I know our 5 year old son is at the very least, getting the benefits of the 4 "master" LPB polysaccharides and the nutritional value from the juice that we can't get through our irregular eating schedule.

Considering the poor condition of "fresh" produce in our area, it's doubtful a well-balanced meal could even give us what we need.

Both my son and I are quite slim ...and my husband's large frame maybe could stand to lose a pound (or three)... but it isn't anywhere near the weight problems that seem to exist in our area.

It's not our diets keeping us slim. Is it the Goji Juice?

Who knows for certain. I'm just happy our son prefers Goji Juice way above any of the sugary soda's and other far inferior juice products flooding the market these days. The convenience of grabbing a delicious glass of goji whenever we feel the need for a boost in our day also makes it so easy to fit into our often hectic unstructured lifestyle. For us, at least, it appears to be working well.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Three Interconnected Crises Facing Our World

It's no secret. In our world today there are 3 interconnected crisis facing us:

  1. the crisis in water security,

  2. the crisis in energy security, and

  3. the crisis in food security.
I ran across some startling statistics today from ISIS regarding the water supply on our tiny planet which might lend a sense of urgency to #1 above.

"In terms of water, within the 20th Century, global water consumption increased six fold -- twice the rate of population growth.

There's a fair majority of people who will expect, within reasonable circumstances, to still be alive in 2025. Many will have children of their own by 2025 that they don't have now.

But the figures for global water crises suggest that by 2025, in twenty years time, the proportion of people on the planet who will be living in areas of 'significant water stress' will rise from 34% to 63%.

In absolute numbers it's a total sum of about six billion people, which is the entirety of today's world population."

When you stand back and look at the BIG picture of where we are now in our history, and where we will be twenty years from now, the above numbers do NOT look promising.

Consider this: water in its pure form is essential to all known forms of life and is known also as the most universal solvent.

The percent water that makes up the human body (by weight) varies with age, sex, and physical conditioning -- but generally speaking, about 72% of the fat free mass of the human body is made of water. To function properly the body requires between one and seven litres of water per day to avoid dehydration, the precise amount depending on the level of activity, temperature, humidity, and other factors.

Wikipedia states: "Water that humans consume is called potable water. This natural resource is becoming more scarce in certain places as human population in those places increases, and its availability is a major social and economic concern."

When you also consider how important water is to plant life -- specifically agriculture and our food supply -- the picture that is forming shape based on ISIS statististics should cause concern for all of us.

If you are on our customer-only newsletter mailing-list, you'll be receiving your copy in the mail (no, not by email -- by snail-mail) early next week with some additional informtion on this thought-provoking subject.

Until then, stay well and be healthy.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Bird Flu Has Scientists On Alert Around The World

Every now and then I like to take a "virtual trip" around the world to find out what health concerns are floating about. The latest threat isn't floating... it's flying... and it's called Influenza A (H5N1) -- better known as avian influenza or bird flu.

On Sept. 21, 2005 environment and health authorities in Abu Dhabi have placed a large order of four million pills for victims of bird flu, according to Gulf News, a news service in the Middle East. "Ali Al Marzouqi, head of preventive medicine at the General Authority for Health Services (GAHS), said that an order of four million pills for bird flu has been placed to cover 400,000 citizens."

And if you think that's a rather high "prevention" measure, the USA Government has ordered 2 million doses of a new vaccine (which has seemed to have positive results fighting this flu strain) from Sanofi-Aventis (from France) for a national stockpile and is negotiating with the company to order more, according to a Reuters, Washington news release reported in USAToday in August. The vaccine is grown in chicken eggs and production can take months.

U.S. scientists say they have successfully tested a human vaccine against H5N1, but it could be several more months before it is approved for manufacture and distribution here.

On August 30, 2005, "Voice Of America" reported that Vietnam, the country hardest hit by bird flu, is starting to target the virus at its source by vaccinating its entire poultry population.

The outbreak of avian flu in Vietnam has forced the country to slaughter some 50 million chickens and ducks.

A few months back, the World Health Organization stated that since 2003, at least 112 people have contracted the bird flu in four Southeast Asian countries, and 90 of them have been Vietnamese. The majority of human deaths have occurred in Vietnam.

Other cases have occurred in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia. Tens of millions of chickens and other birds have died or been culled in Asia because of the virus.

The epidemic devastated Vietnam's chicken farmers last year. The government ordered the culling of chickens in infected areas so they could not pass the virus on to humans, and the economic cost has been estimated at more than 200 million dollars. Vietnam is seeking to control avian flu at the source by injecting chickens and ducks throughout the country with vaccines imported from China.

"The head of the program, Van Dang Ky, chief of epidemiology at the Ministry of Agriculture, says the goal is to have all chickens vaccinated before the winter flu season starts." -- according to the Voice of America article

What health officials around the world fear most is that the H5N1 virus may change to a form that can spread as easily among people as it now does among poultry. If that happens, health experts say, the result could be as deadly as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which killed between 20 and 40 million people. That virus was a highly infectious avian flu much like H5N1.

H5N1 quickly destroys a patient's lungs. Most flu has a fatality rate of less than five percent, but H5N1 has so far killed half the people who contracted it in Southeast Asia.

Public health experts say the virus is mutating and could develop the ability to spread easily from person to person and kill millions in a flu pandemic. The "Nature Weekly Journal of Science" reported in May of this year that the spread of avian flu to, and probably between, humans, has already started across Asia.

There are conflicting reports as to how many people the H5N1 flu has killed ... some sources state more than 60 people have died from it in Asia since 2003, but the actual numbers could be far higher since exact figures have not been fully reported in China, according to "recombinomics" ...however, they have an unofficial report that estimates over 8,000 birds AND ANIMALS have already died from the virus in China. They indicated in June of this year that the machine translated list of animal deaths linked to H5N1 bird flu in and around the Qinghai Lake Nature Reserve in Gangcha County is more than 10 fold higher than the official report of May 21 by China to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Since the reserve is a breeding ground for bar-headed geese (Anser indicus) that migrate over the Himalayas, scientists warn the birds could carry the virus to India, Australia, New Zealand and eventually Europe.

"The occurrence of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus infection in migrant waterfowl indicates that this virus has the potential to be a global threat," Jinhua Liu of China Agricultural University and colleagues wrote in the journals Science and Nature.

One rumor claims that as many as 120 people have already died of the avian flu in China alone... but this is just a rumor at this time.

About Bird Flu:
(Adapted from The Center For Disease Control Website)

Influenza A (H5N1) -- better known as avian influenza or bird flu -- occurs naturally among wild birds worldwide. The virus is very contagious among birds and can be deadly to them -- especially to domesticated birds like chickens.

15 subtypes of influenza A virus are known to be circulating in bird populations. Many forms of avian flu virus cause only mild symptoms in the birds, or no symptoms at all. However, some of the viruses produce a highly contagious and rapidly fatal disease, leading to severe epidemics, such as the H5N1 strain. These virulent viruses are known as "highly pathogenic avian influenza" and are cause for concern.

About Bird Flu Infection:

The virus doesn't typically infect humans. But in 1997, the first instance of direct bird-to-human infection resulted in six deaths in Hong Kong. Since then, there have been other instances of bird flu infection among humans. Since January 2004 at least 53 people are known to have died of the virus - in Cambodia, Vietnam or Thailand.

Meanwhile, bird flu has claimed the lives of four Indonesians since July of this year, and three children who died this week are suspected of having had the disease. Laboratory test results are expected within days, doctors said, noting that 13 other patients were under observation, according to an Associated Press report earlier today. "With the high human population density, we can expect to see more cases here, more perhaps than even in Vietnam and Thailand," says WHO representative Georg Petersen. Currently Tamiflu tablets are the only treatment so far proven effective against bird flu in humans.

About How Bird Flu Spreads:

Infected birds shed H5N1 in their saliva, nasal excretions and feces. Bird flu viruses spread among birds when the animals come into contact with contaminated excretions. Scientists believe most cases of human (and other animal) infection have resulted from contact with infected poultry or contaminated surfaces.

The virus kills chickens but rarely ducks, according to one source. At the Chinese reserve, it infected wild brown-headed gulls (Larus brunnicephalus) and great black-headed gulls (Larus ichthyaetus), causing symptoms in birds such as tremors, diarrhea, head tilt and paralysis.

Bird flu can cause a range of symptoms in humans. Some patients report fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches. Others suffer from eye infections, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress and other severe and life-threatening complications.

Athough the World Health Organization claims that so far humans have only contracted bird flu after coming into contact with infected animals, many experts agree that it is possible that H5N1 could merge with a human flu virus and create a new virus that could be easily passed between humans with catastrophic consequences.

There are 2 ways the virus could easily mutate, according to BUPA...

In humans - if a person who already has flu is comes into close contact with birds who have highly pathogenic avian flu, there is a tiny chance that the person could become infected with the avian flu virus. If this happens, the person would now be carrying both the human flu virus and the avian flu virus. The two viruses could meet in the person's body and swap genes with each other. If the new virus had the avian flu's genes that made it rapidly fatal and the human flu's genes to allow it to be passed from person to person, a flu pandemic could result.

In pigs - pigs are susceptible to both human and bird flu viruses. If a pig became infected with both viruses at the same time, it could act as a "mixing vessel", allowing the two viruses to swap genes and produce a new virus.

There is no evidence that H5N1 has mutated yet, however every time an avian flu virus jumps from a bird to a person or animal, the risk of a new flu virus being produced increases.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Postmenopausal Women Have One More Reason To Cheer About Soy

Other studies have shown a link between soy products and bone mineral density but a new research study conducted by Dr Xiao-Ou Shu and colleages published Sept. 12, 2005 in the "Archives of Internal Medicine" (vol 165, pp1890-1895) is the first large study to investigate the association between soy consumption and the risk of fracture.

Even after accounting for age, calorie intake, socioeconomic status, other nutrients, and osteoporosis risk factors, higher soy protein consumption was significantly associated with lower risk of fracture in postmenopausal women participating in the Shanghai Women's Health Study.

They added that the inverse association was more pronounced among women in early menopause. For women within ten years of menopause onset the risk of fracture was reduced by 48 per cent among those with the highest intake of soy protein intake compared to those in the lowest consumption. For women who had been menopausal for more than ten years, the risk reduction was 29 per cent.

Ladies ... are you ready to find out how great Ultimate Soy Shakes taste?

Have a healthy and happy day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Resigning From The FDA For Ethical Reasons?

The latest resignation from the FDA comes as quite a surprise when the reasons for resigning were stated. Before I go into the details and an excerpt from the actual resignation letter, I'd like to state for the record:

1. I'm not really a total fan of the OBGYN website (where I found the news article) mainly because they do seem to push a LOT of drugs and don't seem too concerned with "natural" alternatives for women in many cases, or at least that's my perception based on all the links to buy drugs on their site. (Kinda makes me wonder if the drug companies are sending them royalties/kickbacks too, like many doctors across our nation are getting.)

2. Let's face it, the more women that require OBGYN medical help, the more money they make... so I'm not entirely positive that all their research is really in the best interests of women's health since there are other potential motives here. I mean it's not like asian healers who get paid if you stay healthy... here, healers get paid if you get sick. I'm not being skeptical --- just realistic that there may be other motives at play and considering the high incidence of unnecessary historectomies in the USA, it's possible my skepticism is justified. Who knows for sure?

However, they have been strong supporters of moving women's health issues forward through science and research ... so my skepticism might be unjustified.

With that being said, here's the scoop on the latest resignation at the FDA.

Susan Wood, Ph.D., resigned yesterday as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assistant commissioner for women’s health and director of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health. Her resignation was prompted by the FDA’s recent decision to delay action on deciding whether to approve the Plan B emergency contraceptive for over-the-counter use. Below is a copy of Dr. Wood’s resignation letter (as posted on the OBGYN website).

“Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I regret to tell you that I am leaving the FDA, and will no longer be serving as the Assistant Commissioner for Women's Health and Director of the FDA Office of Women's Health. The recent decision announced by the Commissioner about emergency contraception, which continues to limit women's access to a product that would reduce unintended pregnancies and reduce abortions is contrary to my core commitment to improving and advancing women's health. I have spent the last 15 years working to ensure that science informs good health policy decisions. I can no longer serve as staff when scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended for approval by the professional staff here, has been overruled. I therefore have submitted my resignation effective today.”

What is the Plan B emergency contraceptive referred to in her letter and above?

I'll do some serious digging and see what I come up with. Be sure to stay tuned to BLV Health Watch for subscriber-only future editions.

Until then... have a wonderful healthy day!

PS: we've fixed the AOL subscriber problem by changing newsletter services. If you subscribed to the old service, you might not be getting new editions. You might want to hop over to our subscribe page to renew your subscription now.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Shocking Info from the Sustainable World Conference

On July 14-15/2005, a quiet gathering took place in the UK Parliament in Westminster, London. Independent scientists from four continents joined national politicians and many interested individuals and groups to discuss strategies for changing agriculture worldwide to a diversity of locally-based sustainable systems that can provide food sovereignty and security to all and protect the earth from the ravages of global warming.

It was the Sustainable World Global Initiative's first-ever International Conference, organised by the Institute of Science in Society [ISIS].

The first shocking info was about WATER:

Alan Simpson MP warned that by the year 2025, 6 billion people will suffer water stress, causing ‘water wars' ...and he states decades of overproduction by agribusiness is a major cause of water depletion.

I didn't have to search very far online to uncover some startling evidence that would appear to support his claims. Check out this article regarding nitrate contamination of an Aquifer in Southwestern Spain.

The article starts out with the statement: "Inappropriate farming techniques and 4 years of drought (1992–1995) produced conditions for high nitrate concentration in an aquifer located in the Province of Seville (Southwest Spain)." And it's backed by an 8.9 Mb .pdf clinical study document following a thorough study of the problem.

The second piece of shocking info was about WEATHER:

Sure, many have heard about the value to our ecosystem that the Amazon rainforests present, but here's something I didn't know.

"The Sahara and Amazon Basins are connected by weather systems that are the inverse of each other and the circulation is recharged by the Amazon, which is now failing, turning it into a carbon source instead of a sink. The oceans are losing the ability to regulate terrestrial temperature, and that too, will affect climate irreversibly."

And then I read the shocking info about NUTRITION:

Quoted From Sustainable World Coming:

Hywel Davies MD of Weston A Price Foundation from Switzerland gave an account of the relationship between early coronary artery disease and the lack of nutrient dense food in the western diet.

Autopsies on children who died of accidents showed thickening of tissue inside arterial muscle laminae due to multiplication of cells and large deposits of calcium phosphate. These, he said, derived from an excess of vitamin D and other additives present in large quantities in babies' feeding formula and many common foods. They contain supplements to compensate for nutrition removed by food processing, but cause problems that can only be remedied by understanding the importance of natural nutrients to our health and well being.

For this reason, we must grow the food that meets these requirements.

There's more... much more. Maybe it's time for all of us to take another look at the BIG picture. Go ahead, check out the notes from the Conference here.

Also, our new articles will be up at BLV Health Watch Online by midnight tonight. You can check them out on Friday here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Confusion Surrounding Clinical Studies

Before I dive into this article, keep in mind that I'm not a fan of the flimsy ORAC scale --- a relatively inexpensive test performed by some manufacturers on their own products in order to elevate their products' perceived health benefits (anti-oxidant content).

You see... if the manufacturers have no way of standardizing their product, meaning they can't guarantee the same health values/content in each and every bottle/package (like we do with our Goji Juice), then the results of their testing remains suspect at the very least --- and completely unreliable at worst --- since results will vary depending on the quality/nature of the sample used to perform the test. (Added to the fact, that the ORAC test itself is weak in what it is capable of reporting, but that's another full-length article coming your way soon.)

Scientists only really respect studies published in peer-reviewed journals. There are 65 such peer-reviewed published studies completed thus far on goji (lycium barbarum) following rigorous clinical testing by independent 3rd parties (not our company)... with many more such studies underway.

Essentially, there is nothing wrong with companies carrying out their own research and communicating their findings in their marketing efforts....


Companies should never take advantage of their target audience's respect for science by using poor methodology or over-emphasizing/tweaking unremarkable results. Rather, they need to carry out the research as rigorously as if the consumer had all the know-how of the leading scientist in their field.

For example, Connecticut-based beverage company SoBe - South Beach Beverage Company - paid a $219,000 penalty earlier this year for falsely claiming that its drinks protect against colds and other illnesses and increase energy levels. SoBe, which was bought by PepsiCo in 2001, was pulled up by the Connecticut attorney general's office and department of consumer protection over the claims on advertising and packaging.

In a separate incident, PepsiCo also had to change the labeling on two of its fruit-flavored Tropicana beverages to reflect the fact that they actually contain little or no fruit juice.

In another example, PepsiCo-owned Tropicana Products reached a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission earlier this year over claims that its Healthy Heart orange juice could reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and homocysteine levels. The FTC alleged that there was no clinical data to back up these claims.

What surprises me is that the company could even make those claims in the first place, with the current FDA legislations regarding marketing and advertising. After all, there are 34 known and clinically proven health benefits for the lycium barbarum bloodline we use in Goji Juice, and yet only 4 of them are we legally entitled to use in our advertising with links to their related peer-reviewed clinical studies.

Chances are... based on the historical evidence in our industry... if we were to advertise publicly all 34 health benefits for goji, we'd be shut down in a heart-beat. However, the soft-drink industry giant gets away with a relatively small fine/settlement (in comparison to revenues and percieved "healthy image" publicity this form of advertising was able to generate for them).

It's a juice --- far better than orange juice with a much wider range of nutrition and health benefits and far more delicious, too in my personal humble opinion --- and yet, I can't tell anyone what the full 34 third-party peer-reviewed clinically proven health benefits are for the berry we use to make Goji Juice, unless someone asks me. (Sure, go ahead and ask me through our contact form at I'll be happy to send a list of the 34 benefits to you.)

So, ummmmm... what's up?

Is it because we're a supplement supplier producing products designed to help everyone live longer, healthier, happier lives ... and NOT a multi-billion-dollar general food or soft-drink producer?

If you are a subscriber to our "customer-only private newsletter" you'll be finding out some of the answers soon.

Until then, live long and be healthy!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

What's The Weather Like On The Moon?

On Wednesday, September 7/2005, the sun unleashed one of the largest solar flares on record, according to CNET News.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) said the powerful flare that emerged from region 808 on the sun Wednesday afternoon rated the fourth-largest in the last 15 years. Intense radio emissions were associated with the flare.

Here on earth, our planet's thick atmosphere and magnetic field protects us from protons and other forms of solar radiation coming at us from the sun when larger solar flares occur.

The Moon is a different story.

"The Moon is totally exposed to solar flares," explains solar physicist David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center. "It has no atmosphere or magnetic field to deflect radiation." Protons rushing at the Moon simply hit the ground --- or whoever might be walking around outside.

If an astronaut were to be caught outside on the moon's surface when such a storm hits, at first he'd feel fine, but a few days later symptoms of radiation sickness would appear: vomiting, fatigue, low blood counts. These symptoms might persist for days.

One rem, short for Roentgen Equivalent Man, is the radiation dose that causes the same injury to human tissue as 1 roentgen of x-rays. A typical diagnostic CAT scan, the kind you might get to check for tumors, delivers about 1 rem [ref].

To die, you'd need to absorb, suddenly, 300 rem or more.

The key word is suddenly, according to NASA. You can get 300 rem spread out over a number of days or weeks with little effect. Spreading the dose gives the body time to repair and replace its own damaged cells. But if that 300 rem comes all at once ... "we estimate that 50% of people exposed would die within 60 days without medical care," says Francis Cucinotta, NASA's radiation health officer at the Johnson Space Center.

Such doses from a solar flare are possible. For example, the large solar storm of August 1972. A large sunspot appeared on August 2, 1972, and for the next 10 days it erupted again and again... Researchers have been studying it ever since.

Cucinotta estimates that a moonwalker caught in the August 1972 storm might have absorbed 400 rem.

An Apollo command module with its aluminum hull would have attenuated the 1972 storm from 400 rem to less than 35 rem at the astronaut's blood-forming organs. That's the difference between needing a bone marrow transplant ... or just a headache pill, according to Cucinotta.

Back in January 20th of 2005, a giant sunspot named "NOAA 720" exploded. The blast sparked an X-class solar flare, the most powerful kind, and hurled a billion-ton cloud of electrified gas (a "coronal mass ejection") into space. Solar protons accelerated to nearly light speed by the explosion reached the Earth-Moon system minutes after the flare --- the beginning of a days-long "proton storm."

A powerful solar flare on July 14/2000 triggered an ongoing radiation storm around our planet. The eruption also sent a fast-moving coronal mass ejection toward Earth.

As for last Wednesday's solar flare, what happened here on earth?

"This event created a complete blackout of high-frequency communications on the day-lit side of Earth, which included the entire U.S. and basically anywhere the sun was shining at this time," Larry Combs, solar forecaster at the NOAA Space Environment Center, said referring to Wednesday's solar flare in a prepared statement.

"Communications used by emergency services along the Gulf Coast may have experienced problems due to this flare. Low-frequency navigation systems may also have experienced a period of significant degradation," he added.

It rated an R-4, or severe, on NOAA's space weather scale for radio blackouts.

Who faces the most health risk when solar flares/storms occur? Both astronauts and high-altitude airline pilots/crew. Airline pilots that fly at great altitude, and especially near the poles, are exposed to more radiation from solar storms reaching our atmosphere. The same goes for astronauts. This results in a higher incidence of cancer among airline pilots and cabin crew. Astronauts have even reported seeing flashes of light because of high energy protons hitting their eyes.

Last Wednesday's solar flare is not the end for this year... more are expected. Click this link to see the current Space Weather Alerts directly from NOAA.

CNET News Trackback

Friday, September 09, 2005

Benefits of Soy Protein in the News Again - New Study!

By now we all know about the benefits of soy protein for the heart and cholesterol... but a new study appears to suggest it may also have benefits for the liver.

In a new study conducted at the Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición in Mexico and published in the Journal of Lipid Research, the researchers set out to investigate whether soy protein may also regulate the transcription factors involved in lipid metabolism, and thus prevent the development of fatty liver.

Although further research is needed on the subject, particularly insofar as it relates to humans since the study was conducted using rats, the researchers believe that their results indicate that consumption of soy protein could reduce insulin resistance, renal damage and fatty liver.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information presented in our news articles and elsewhere on this website are presented for educational purposes.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

He Who Controls The Food Supply, Controls The Earth?

Gravity existed before Newton "discovered" it and the Earth revolved around the sun for hundreds of thousands of years before Galileo.

And plants on our tiny blue planet 3rd from the sun have existed for... well, that would depend on which theory of "existance" you subscribe to... but certainly it's somewhere near the beginning of life on our planet, right?

Then it makes enquiring minds like mine wonder why, in recent years, certain companies have been acting like they invented the process of growing plants.

The investigations I've been doing to uncover who owns what in the food supply chain has all the ingredients of a fiction thriller novel ...filled with conspiracy theories, hype, half-truths, lies, and even bribery.

You don't want to miss this first article in a serious of articles:

Who Controls The Food Supply, Controls The Earth?

Be sure to subscribe to BLV News for more on this subject. You might be as shocked as I was at some of the information I've been uncovering.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Health Risks Lurking After Katrina Disaster

Hurricane Katrina Disaster - New OrleansWhat outbreaks of communicable disease could occur in the wake of hurricane Katrina? A plethora of health concerns have been raised following the hurricane Katrina disaster, including injuries, outbreaks of disease spread through sewage contamination of drinking water, spoiled food, insects, and bites from snakes and other animals.

New Orleans in particular is "a potentially toxic bathtub" as described by one Associated Press article.

If you are wondering about:

- Risks Of Rare and Deadly Exotic Diseases
- Water Health Risks In The Wake Of Katrina
- Food Health Risks Following The Katrina Disaster
- Other Health Risks Attributed To Hurricane Katrina
- What Types Of Communicable Disease Outbreaks Could Occur?

The above issues are covered and more in our latest article: "Health Risks Lurking After Katrina Disaster"

To assist with Katrina Disaster Relief, here is a link to reputable charities in urgent need of support.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Second-Hand Smoke and Benefits of Fruits and Soy Fiber

"A new study finds early life exposure to second-hand smoke can produce life-long respiratory problems. The study of 35,000 adult non-smokers in Singapore found that those who lived with a smoker during childhood had more respiratory problems, including chronic cough.

Study participants who reported eating more fruit and soy fiber as adults seemed to be protected against some of the negative health effects often associated with early tobacco exposure."

Visit through this link to read the entire NIEHS press release.

Here's How You Can Help Hurricane Katrina Victims

Some are calling it the worst natural disaster in our country's history... an entire city flooded, coastlines wiped out... loved ones lost, homes lost and more.

For a number of different charities seeking donations and volunteers to help vicitims of Hurricane Katrina, visit here.

Also note, beginning September 1/2005, we are donating $10 for every case of Himalayan Goji Juice purchased through Best Liquid Vitamins website to charities helping in the long road to recovery in the Gulf states.