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The Truth About Stress & Its Cure

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Some years ago, I had the opportunity to teach stress management to students in my role as a personal counselor at a New York City public college. While there, I established a stress management program that emphasized relaxation training, diaphragmatic breathing, hypnosis, cognitive restructuring and procrastination training. These techniques were helpful to those who took the time to be trained. But over the years, I came to see that stress management is not only about learning techniques.

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This came home to me while taking a training course in group therapy. I presented one of my stress groups as my course project. I still remember the comments of the instructor: “This is all well and good, but you aren’t really dealing with the people in the group and what’s troubling them.” After a bit of anger on my part, I came to realize that I had missed an essential point in successful stress management.

Managing stress is more than learning a few breathing techniques or yoga poses or even how to think positively. These things can certainly help treat the symptoms of stress, especially in times of need and challenge. But stress management is really about discovering what makes us happy.

Martin Seligman, a positive psychology researcher, in his book Authentic Happiness, laments the scientific neglect of life’s positive dimensions:

“Relieving the states that make life miserable, it seems, has made building the states that make life worth living less of a priority.” (1)

Happiness is a center piece to any life that is meaningful, lived with purpose and fully engaged with the world. In this article, I will explore how happiness is the foundation for living a life that is whole and satisfying.

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What is stress management not about?

The media is filled with information about managing stress, losing weight, getting fit, finding the right career, making money and gaining status.  We hear of techniques to cure every ill. We’re told how to breathe, what to eat, which careers are the best, and what exercises to do for a flat stomach. In spite of this, many of us are still stressed out, overweight, out of shape, in jobs we hate and somehow discontent with our lives.

It’s even worse for the not so fortunate among us who are working two or three jobs just to survive and provide for their families, for the single parent looking for day care and decent employment at decent pay, or the homeless trapped in a vicious downward cycle. Deep breathing may not be up to the task of relieving this kind of stress.

There is a much broader vision involved in managing stress than we might at first imagine, such as knowing ourselves , our values and virtues, having a supporting and loving community of family and friends, and working for the good of others. These are the things that help create well-being and happiness. If it were as easy as trying a stress management technique to cure us, we would all be happily relaxed. Let’s take a closer look at the extraordinary contribution happiness can make in our lives.

What is happiness about?

The answer may be that it was never about abundance or techniques. It may be more about coming to know who we are and recognizing the importance of our relationships with others and our community.

There is a dynamic balance between inner peace and healthy loving relationships that serves us well. One might say it’s a yin and yang of inner happiness and outer happiness. For example, a loving relationship helps us feel secure and accepted. If that relationship should end or be temporarily interrupted our sense of inner worth and peace should still survive. Or if we are feeling inner distress, having a loving relationship to get us through helps immensely.

Being happy is about learning to flourish in the midst of life’s conundrums, of being resilient in the face of uncertainty, and of experiencing the great pleasure of being alive.

Let’s look into how inner peace and loving relationships intertwine to produce personal happiness.   

Inner peace – “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” ― Lao Tzu

greedyA mistake nearly all of us make is to over emphasize the importance of external objects as the source of our happiness. We come to see happiness as something added to us. If I just can just get that job, a spouse, more money, a bigger house, then I will be happy. Our sense of happiness becomes overly acquisitive. Our economic system fosters this attitude. Black Friday is the quintessential symptom of our seduction. If the world gives me what I want, I’m happy.  If not, I’m angry and discontent. The Dali Lama put it this way:

I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy.  From the very core of our being, we desire contentment…it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace. (2)

Perhaps it’s about following the Greek Socratic exhortation to “Know Thyself.”

How do we cultivate inner peace and happiness?

First, we need to recognize that happiness heals. Happiness can influence how long we live, the diseases we contract, and how we recover from illnesses. Lissa Rankin, MD in her book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself says that,

Happiness…effects life expectancy. People with higher levels of “subjective well-being” live up to ten years longer than those who don’t. Happiness also affects some health outcomes, including success rates of stem-cell transplantation, control of diabetes, rates of full-blown AIDS…and recovery from stroke, heart surgery, and hip fracture. (3)

Having a positive psychological stance in life lowers overall mortality, extends longevity, and reduces the severity of most degenerative diseases.

Second, reducing or removing the obstacles to happiness allows happiness to emerge. Similar to dieting, knowing what not to eat is as important as knowing what you should eat. Knowing what makes you unhappy and working to remove or diminish those things helps immensely. Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, (4) a book and a blog about her adventures learning to be happier. In a Psychology Today article she says:

Although it’s helpful to focus on the positive, to count your blessings, and to remind yourself of what makes you happy, it’s also very important to pay attention to what’s undermining your happiness. (5)

Rubin strongly suggests that you ask yourself what the obstacles are to your happiness. When you identify an obstacle be specific. What exactly is bothering you? Why is this having such an impact? And finally, what do your need to do to change your behavior?

Obstacles could include:

  • Equating success with money and status
  • Blaming others for your unhappiness, it’s always someone else’s fault
  • Being afraid
  • Staying in toxic relationships
  • Not being honest with yourself and others
  • Focusing your life obsessively on making good impressions
  • Neglecting introspection and awareness of yourself, of your values and beliefs
  • Needing to make everyone else happy
  • Thinking life should always be wonderful.

Healthy, Loving Relationships – “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

loving coupleThe quality of our personal relationships can foster deep contentment and happiness.  Paradoxically, the degree to which we accept ourselves, the more rewarding our relationships can become.

One of the elements commonly overlooked in both medicine and stress management is the quality of our loving and supportive relationships. When our relationships are poor or the community in which we live is isolated and unsupportive our own level of happiness suffers. Lissa Rankin notes that:

The reality is that loneliness causes stress, while loving community relaxes you. The effects of stress and relaxation don’t just affect the mind; they affect the body and the mind. (3)

Rankin goes on to underscore how important loving relationships and supportive community are in our lives:

In fact, this factor alone may affect your body more profoundly than what you eat, how much you drink, whether or not you smoke, or how much you exercise. (3)

Research (6) demonstrates clearly that supportive relationships and community, as well as belief in a higher power extends longevity and brings deeper levels of happiness. This extends to helping the sick and the poor and unemployed. Pope Francis puts it succinctly:

When we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them—some food, a place in our homes, our time—not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched. (7)

The modern ideals of total autonomy and radical self-reliance are profoundly misplaced. It is incumbent on us to either change or move away from toxic personal and social relationships. Our happiness and health depend on it.

Remember, happiness comes from the inside and manifests itself in loving personal relationships and our connection with the world.  It is of the utmost importance that we seek out people and communities that offer us love and understanding and to which we can offer the same. It is important that we work to see that all people regardless of ethnicity, race or sexual orientation have the opportunity to live without fear and enjoy the fruits of loving relationships. All of us flourish in love.

References 

1. Seligman, Martin, Authentic Happiness. (2002). Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.

2. Architects of Peace. His Holiness the Dalai Lama Reflects on Working Toward Peace. Retrieved from http://www.scu.edu/ethics/architects-of-peace/Dalai-Lama/essay.html

 3. Lankin, Lissa, Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself. (2013). Hay House, Inc.

4. Rubin, Gretchin, The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. (2009). Harper Collins e-book.

5. Rubin, Gretchin. Happiness Question: What’s an obstacle to your happiness?. Psychology Today Oct. 27, 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-happiness-project/201005/happiness-question-whats-obstacle-your-happiness

6. Pursuit of Happiness. Relationships. Retrieved from http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/science-of-happiness/communicating/

7. Visit to the Community of Varginha, (2013).  Address of Pope Francis, Rio de J2neiro. Retrieved from http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2013/july/documents/papa-francesco_20130725_gmg-comunita-varginha.html

 

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“I Tried Every Diet & Nothing Worked” How Mucus Free Living Saved This Woman’s Life

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    After a year on a high-fat/high-protein lifestyle, Livia Macdonald nearly died. After adopting a 'mucus-free' lifestyle, a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, she cured her depression, anxiety, and health issues.

  • Reflect On:

    True healing takes time and commitment, and a willingness to face the emotions and trauma buried beneath our eating habits.

In 2011, Livia Macdonald was looking for answers to her health. At nearly 300 lbs and stuck in the despairs of chronic illness, she was ready to make a big change. The first step—divorcing allopathic medicine all together. Like many others stepping away from conventional medicine, Livia found herself enveloped by the siren of holistic healthcare, adopting the protocols laid out by natural-health celebrity and functional medicine doctor, Mark Hyman.

Following Hyman’s vitality guidelines, Livia cut out grains, starches, and processed sugars, while incorporating more vegetables, ‘healthy’ fats and animal products into her diet.

I was told that high protein and high fats is the way to go because our brain needs fat. I even made my own ghee and ate loads of coconut oil and eggs every day,” she told Collective Evolution.

At first the high-fat diet did wonders for Livia’s health. She felt more energized, had more mental clarity, and even began to drop weight. “I lost almost 80 lbs the first year on the [high-fat] diet,” she said.

But after twelve months of a high-fat lifestyle, Livia said her body began to shut down.

“I started to feel awful. Like everything turned on me. I got severe depression, anxiety, shaking, internal tremors, my organs started to really hurt, I had them checked and my pancreas had so many fat deposits all over it and my cholesterol was through the roof after being optimal. My entire body started to shut down and I became bed ridden for an entire year.”

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During this difficult time Livia came across the work of Dr. Robert Morse, a regenerative detoxification specialist well known in the natural health world. One of the foundations of Dr. Morse’s teachings is that man is a part of the primate family, and therefore we are primarily a frugivore species whose bodies thrive off of fruit, some vegetables and herbs. Livia says that a lightbulb went off in her head immediately upon reading Dr. Morse’s work.

My intuition was screaming that this was the missing piece of my puzzle, and that he speaks the absolute truth.”

Arnold Ehret wrote “The Mucusless Diet Healing System,” a resource for the chronically ill. Ehret’s protocols implement systematic fasting, as well as a diet of raw fruit and vegetables.

Next, Livia discovered the work of a 19th century natural health educator named Arnold Ehret. Ehret’s rise to fame came through his in depth knowledge about the body, specifically in healing chronic disease through systematic fasting and a diet similar to what Morse prescribes—raw fruit and vegetables.

His magnum opus, The Mucusless Diet Healing System, detailed his many years working in a clinic for the chronically ill while implementing his detox protocols to cure their diseases. Ehret’s work garnered a cult-following throughout the early 20th century and inspired the works of well-known detox specialists like Robert Morse himself, Paul Braggs, and Alfredo Bowman.

Adopting A Mucus-Free Lifestyle

But Livia said her biggest aha moment did not come until she discovered the work of South-African detox specialist  Alexandra Cousins. Inspired by the teachings of Robert Morse and Arnold Ehret, Cousins takes their healing principles and merges them with the shamanic and emotional work which she feels is the missing piece for those seeking full-bodied healing.

What I am witnessing is that trauma, PTSD, OCD, addictions are running everyone’s lives,” she writes in her Facebook group, Living Mucus Free. “The degree will vary but we all have it unless we have specifically addressed it. It is safe to say that all my clients, especially the chronically ill suffer from some form of unresolved trauma. If you have adrenal, hormonal, thyroid, or CFS issues, you are dealing with trauma residue. Living mucus free tends to bring up all our unresolved trauma. As we no longer consume foods that numb us or stimulate us, trauma rises to the surface so that it can be felt and dealt with.”

Having endured years of ill-health herself and having tried almost every diet trend out there, Cousins eventually found solace through a lifestyle termed Living Mucus Free (LMF). Mucus, for those wondering, is the residue which builds in the body from eating non-species-specific food, i.e., animal products, grains, or most cooked food. This mucus putrefies and plaques to the intestinal walls, eventually causing acids to build up in the body and damage our organs and glands.

LMF does away with mucus-causing foods while utilizing fruit, vegetables, herbs, systematic fasting, lymphatic movement, and various trauma-release therapies. Today, Cousins teaches what she’s learned at detox retreats around the globe and inspires thousands through her fierce social media presence.

Alexandra Cousins; founder ‘Living Mucus Free’. Cousins teaches people how to heal their chronic illness through the principles of cellular detoxification.

Sweet potato pizza via Living Mucus Free.

Photo by Livia Macdonald.

Livia says she has dedicated herself to the Living Mucus Free principles with great results, incorporating daily intermittent fasting, herbal tinctures, movement and breathing practices targeted at draining the lymphatic system, as well as raw food diet.

“I have been vegan one year and living mucus free for 10 months now. My anxiety and depression cleared up within two months, never to return. I have so much more clarity and mental focus now and that is getting better with time, not worse. I am slowly healing my endocrine system and gaining more energy back, I am no longer bed ridden since the first couple of months on this lifestyle.. all my spiritual and emotional stuff has surfaced to be healed and it’s truly a fascinating and incredible journey to learn the truth and realize just how wrongly we have been conditioned in such a deep way.”

The emphasis in Living Mucus Free is elimination—getting out of the body’s way and allowing it to do its job of eliminating acids, toxins, undigested food material and mucoid plaque. This is primarily achieved through daily dry fasting and eating watery, astringent fruit, which pulls out toxins as it transits the digestive tract.

Another principle to the Living Mucus Free lifestyle is eating little to no fat while detoxing, a principle that goes against many of the high-fat diet trends of today. But as Alexandra Cousins explains, in the case of those who are cellularly degenerate, fats only serve to cover up their issues. Fats are anti-inflammatory, buffering the acidity in the body but never pulling the acids out. A temporary bandaid for true healing.

Livia feels this is what happened in her case, and it is why she thinks so many initially feel great adopting a high-fat diet.

“I feel the high fat diet works for some because it suppresses and clogs their lymphatic system so naturally they will feel instant relief. But now that I understand how the body actually works, of course you are going to show improvement at the beginning if you remove junk food, sugars/grains, dairy etc.”

Cousins also speaks much to the notion that fats, salts, animal products, and processed foods are stimulating to our nervous system which cover up our emotional wounds, so when we begin to remove these foods and focus on detoxifying the body, we are suddenly faced with old emotions or traumatic memories, and this, Alex says, is mostly what Living Mucus Free is about.

“When we detox on a cellular level, we are consistently clearing old information, old cellular memory in the form of emotion which is held in physical waste stored in the body, replacing it with new cellular information,” Alex Cousins, Living Mucus Free.

For those looking for a quick fix, Living Mucus Free probably isn’t the right fit. Those living the Mucus Free lifestyle don’t make false promises that you will be healed after a 30 day detox. The journey is slow and steady, one with bumps along the way known as healing crises. During a healing crisis any number of uncomfortable symptoms can arise as the body expels old debris and toxins. But as Livia says, walking through the discomfort is the only way towards true healing.

I believe that our society has everything so backwards,” says Livia. “We are taught to chase feeling good, and run away from feeling bad, and Living Mucus Free isn’t going to feel good in the beginning as it brings up our weaknesses for healing.”

The reward, as promised by Cousins, Morse, Ehret, and thousands of others who have healed through regenerative detox principles, is beyond anything we can imagine:

Unimaginable health and vitality, weight loss and reversed ageing, improved energy levels, mental clarity and confidence, liberation from anxiety, mood swings and self-doubt, resolution of stored trauma and a deeper connection to source, vastly improved sex life and orgasms.”

Is Living Mucus Free really the key to such incredible feats? The answer, it seems, is to be discovered only by those willing to walk through the fire to find out.

For more information about Living Mucus Free, visit Alexandra Cousins’ website, Living Mucus Free.

For amazing mucus free recipes and to continue following Livia’s journey, check her out Instagram or Facebook, or her website, LiveAlittleRaw.

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In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Measles Outbreaks: How a Witch Hunt Against Parents of Unvaccinated Children Was Unleashed

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Artilce written Vera Sharav, Children’s Health Defense Contributing Writer.

  • Reflect On:

    Why does the mainstream media label this as 'anti-vax' when it's just factual information? Why don't they ever address it or try to counter it?

We are witness to an orchestrated frenzy that has been revved-up by vaccine stakeholders – i.e., those who have a direct or indirect financial stake in vaccines– through the corporate / academic institutions that employ them. Their unified objective is to achieve maximum utilization of vaccines, and total compliance with vaccination schedules set by the government in collaboration with vaccine manufacturers.

During the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles virus sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences.

Contrary to the barrage of “fake news” promulgated by government public health officials and the media to influence public opinion, the fact is, most childhood infectious disease “outbreaks” include both vaccinated and unvaccinated children. What’s more, when the infection has been tested, vaccine strain has often been identified as the cause of infection.

In 2015, a “measles outbreak” in California’s Disney Land garnered nationwide front page publicity and dire warnings by public health officials and vaccine “authorities”. They generated high public anxiety. This fear mongering led to the demonization of unvaccinated children, who were perceived as the spreaders of disease.

Never disclosed to the public, but known to CDC officials is the following evidence that has finally been published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology (2017):

“During the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles virus sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences (R. J. McNall, unpublished data).”[1]

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Rebecca J. McNall, a co-author of the published report, is a CDC official in the Division of Viral Diseases, who had the data proving that the measles outbreak was in part caused by the vaccine. It is evidence of the vaccine’s failure to provide immunity.

But this crucial information has been concealed, and continues to be withheld from the public.  After all, how many have read the belated disclosure in the Journal of Microbiology?

So, the mumps outbreak at Texas detention centers occurred following children’s MMR vaccination!  Does anyone fail to see the connection between vaccination and an infectious disease outbreak?

Current Mumps Outbreak Following Vaccination

The Texas Tribune headline announced: Nearly 200 People In Texas Detention Facilities Have Contracted Mumps, March 1 2019. Since October, 186 children and adults contracted mumps at migrant detention facilities across Texas, according to a state health agency. These include immigrants and employees.

Lara Anton, a spokeswoman for the Department of State Health Services, said in an email that patients range in age from 13-66 and that “there has been no reported transmission to the community.” She added that the state doesn’t know the vaccination status of detained migrant adults or the children who entered the U.S. with them but that “all unaccompanied minors are vaccinated when they are detained.”

The Texas cases are not unique! Numerous similar outbreaks of mumps in have occurred in vaccinated children in New York, and in the U.S. Territory of Guam in 2009.[2]

So, the mumps outbreak at Texas detention centers occurred following children’s MMR vaccination!  Does anyone fail to see the connection between vaccination and an infectious disease outbreak?

CDC Pink Book acknowledges:

“From 1985 through 1988, 42% of cases occurred in persons who were vaccinated on or after their first birthday. During these years, 68% of cases in school-aged children (5–19 years) occurred among those who had been appropriately vaccinated. The occurrence of measles among previously vaccinated children (i.e., vaccine failure) led to a recommendation for a second dose in this age group.

During the 1989 -1991 measles resurgence, incidence rates for infants were more than twice as high as those in any other age group. The mothers of many infants who developed measles were young, and their measles immunity was most often due to vaccination rather than infection with wild virus. As a result, a smaller amount of antibody was transferred across the placenta to the fetus, compared with antibody transfer from mothers who had higher antibody titers resulting from wild-virus infection. The lower quantity of antibody [in the vaccine] resulted in immunity that waned more rapidly, making infants susceptible at a younger age than in the past.”

…  38% of measles cases in the U.S. were in vaccinated persons.

CDC further acknowledges that: despite relatively high vaccination rates, small measles outbreaks continue to occur. Since 2008, most of these outbreaks were imported or linked to importation from other countries. In 2011, CDC reported 220 measles cases – “62% were in persons not vaccinated.” That means that 38% of measles cases in the U.S. were in vaccinated persons.

The CDC Pink Book further acknowledges that: “Some studies indicate that secondary vaccine failure (waning immunity) may occur after successful vaccination”. Evidence of MMR vaccine-induced infection undermines the protective rationale for its indiscriminate, mass use, much less, mandating its use against parents’ objections.

200 measles cases in the U.S. do not justify the current media frenzy;

The empirical evidence is based on reality; the evidence cannot be wiped out by the faith-based “safe and effective” chant.

Empirical evidence refutes the faked epidemiological vaccine studies that are only draped with the mantle of “science”.

200 measles cases in the U.S. do not justify the current media frenzy; this frenzy is fomented by collaborating vaccine stakeholders with financial conflicts of interest who should be held accountable for subjecting an unknown number of children to defective vaccines – some of which were the cause of infectious disease outbreaks.

Two congressional hearings called for enforcement of mandatory childhood vaccination, citing the current measles outbreaks. The committees invited only vaccine promoters who endorsed mandatory vaccination of children, but not of adults.

February 27th hearing, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce:

Dr. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases declared: “Risks from vaccines are almost non-measurable…” In an earlier interview with Frontline, Dr. Fauci is on record stating:

“We know historically that it’s much more difficult to get adults vaccinated for a variety of sociological and other reasons, whereas when you have the children, you can get it out of the way …”

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC declared:

“I do believe that parents’ concerns about vaccines leads to undervaccination, and most of the cases that we’re seeing are in unvaccinated communities. Outbreaks of measles occur when measles gets into these communities of unvaccinated people. The only way to protect against measles is to get vaccinated.”

March 5th hearing, Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) committee:  John G. Boyle, CEO of the Immune Deficiency Foundation (whose core benefactors are bio-pharma corporations) upped the decibel, declaring:

“The current decline in vaccine usage is literally bringing back plagues of the past.”

Senator Rand Paul, a HELP Committee member, was the only member of the committee who voiced some reservations about the stampede toward depriving U.S. citizens of their human right to choose what’s in the best interest of their children!

Why is the public health armamentarium aimed at eliminating “unvaccinated” children rather than on preventing a true catastrophic epidemic of neurodevelopmental injuries in children?

The focus of concern and public anger should be directed at the failure of the public health establishment to methodically investigate the contributing cause[s] of the genuine, empirically documented childhood epidemic – the relentless, ever-increasing rise in the number of neurologically injured children has climbed to 1 in 36 in the U.S. The numbers of those affected is now in the millions.

*Witch Hunt defined: “the searching out for persecution and deliberate harassment of those with unpopular views” Merriam Webster’s; “a rigorous campaign to round up or expose dissenters on the pretext of safeguarding the welfare of the public” Collins English Dictionary.

References:

  1. Journal of Clinical Microbiology (2017)
  2. CDC. Pink Book, Chapter 15 Mumps
  3. CDC Pink Book, Chapter 13 Measles

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

 

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Two Doctors Explain Autophagy, How To Induce It (Fasting) & What It Does To The Human Body (Video)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr. Guido Kroemer and Rhonda Patrick sit down and discuss autophagy, how to induce it and it's health benefits.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we never hear about fasting interventions as an 'official' treatment for certain from our federal health regulatory agencies when there is so much scientific proof?

Fasting and caloric restriction, if done correctly in a healthy and appropriate manner, combined with a healthy diet can have tremendous benefits for the human body. Interventions like fasting are gaining tremendous amounts of popularity, and that is in large part due to the fact that this information is being spread across the world via alternative media outlets and independent websites, youtube channels, etc. It’s not really a health topic that we’re hearing from mainstream media sources or our federal health regulatory agencies. Why? Because you can’t make money off of fasting. Perhaps when drugs are developed that mimic the effects of fasting, that’s when its popularity will skyrocket; but unfortunately, modern day health authorities don’t really seem to be as concerned with our health and wellbeing as they are about profiting and making money, and nobody is going to make any money if people starting eating less. That being said, the information revolution cannot be stopped, and fasting is now on the minds of many, and for good reason.

On October 3rd, 2016, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy, a term that translates to “self-eat.” In short, autophagy is the body’s self-cleaning system, a mechanism in which cells get rid of all the broken down, old cell machinery (organelles, proteins and cell membranes). It is a regulated, orderly process to degrade and recycle cellular components.

The process of autophagy is like replacing parts in a car—sometimes we need a new engine or battery for the car to function better. The same thing happens within each of our cells. During autophagy, old cellular debris is sent to specialized compartments within the cell called “lysosomes.” Lysosomes contain enzymes that degrade the old debris, breaking it down into smaller components to be reused again by the cell.

Scientists have found that fasting for 12 to 24+ hours triggers autophagy, which is thought to be one of the reasons that fasting is associated with longevity. There is a large body of research that connects fasting to improved blood sugar control, reduced inflammationweight loss, and improved brain function, and Oshumi’s findings provide greater insight into this research.

“Sporadic short-term fasting, driven by religious and spiritual beliefs, is common to many cultures and has been practiced for millennia, but scientific analyses of the consequences of caloric restriction are more recent… short-term food restriction induces a dramatic upregulation of autophagy in cortical and Purkinje neurons. As noted above, disruption of autophagy can cause neurodegenerative disease, and the converse also may hold true: upregulation of autophagy may have a neuroprotective effect.

Food restriction is a simple, reliable, inexpensive and harmless alternative to drug ingestion and, therefore, we propose that short-term food restriction may represent an attractive alternative to the prophylaxis and treatment of diseases in which candidate drugs are currently being sought.”

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If you look at the plethora of studies that’ve been published regarding caloric restriction and fasting, the benefits are overwhelming. These benefits are seen across the board, not just in humans, but in animals as well. Some of these benefits are talked about below in a fascinating interview and discussion between Dr. Rhonda Patrick  and Dr. Guido Kroemer. Dr. Patrick, as her website states, “is dedicated to the pursuit of longevity and optimal health and shares the latest research on nutrition, aging, and disease prevention with her audience. She has a gift for translating scientific topics into understandable takeaways for all levels of education and interest.” She has a lot of great content on her Youtube channel with some very interesting people who are leaders in their respective field.

Dr. Guido Kroemer is currently a Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Paris Descartes, Director of the research team “Apoptosis, Cancer and Immunity” of the French Medical Research Council (INSERM), Director of the Metabolomics and Cell Biology platforms of the Gustave Roussy Comprehensive Cancer Center, Deputy Director of the Cordeliers Research Center, and Hospital Practitioner at the Hôpital Européen George Pompidou, Paris, France. He is also a Foreign Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is to recognize the potential of dietary interventions for certain ailments. It’s also to recognize the importance of seeking out knowledge and wisdom, and not just relying on your doctor for advice or prescription medications.

Related CE Articles on Fasting

How To Activate Autophagy: Your Body’s Self-Cleansing System

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