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What Mental Illness & Creativity Have In Common (Genetically Speaking)

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Last year, a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience identified a genetic link between mental creativity and mental illness . The research was conducted by scientists from deCODE genetics and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College, located in London, UK. (source)

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It’s important to note that this is not the first time a genetic link between creativity and mental illness has been postulated. As history shows us, many of the world’s most brilliant and creative minds have also struggled with what we perceive to be “mental” issues. Some great examples are Vincent van Gogh, Allan Poe, and Frida Kahlo, just to name a few.

In this particular study, genetic risk scores for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia were examined in a sample of approximately 85,000 people. The study defined creative individuals as those belonging to the national artistic societies of actors, dancers, musicians, writers, and visual artists.

“Although creativity is difficult to define for scientific purposes, researchers consider a creative person to be someone who takes novel approaches requiring cognitive processes that are different from prevailing modes of thought or expression. Researchers found that genetic risk scores for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were significantly higher in those defined as creative individuals, approximately halfway between the general population and those with the disorders themselves.” (source)

It’s also important to note here that very little is known about most psychiatric disorders, which makes the use of certain drugs used to treat them questionable in many cases. We know next to nothing about the underlying biological pathways that lead to these issues.

“An idea that has gained credibility is that these disorders reflect extremes of the normal spectrum of human behaviour, rather than a distinct psychiatric illness. Our findings suggest that creative people may have a genetic predisposition towards thinking differently which, when combined with other harmful biological or environmental factors, could lead to mental illness.” – Robert Power, first author from the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre at the I0PPN. (source)

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A lot of questions arise with regards to these connections that again, have been postulated and studied in depth multiple times. A few years ago, a panel of experts discussed the research between the link at the 5th annual World Science Festival, where all three panelists suffer from mental illness themselves.

“The findings of some 20 or 30 scientific studies endorse the notion of the “tortured genius.” Of the many varieties of psychosis, creativity appears to be most strongly linked to mood disorders, and especially bipolar disorder. For example, one study tested the intelligence of 700,000 Swedish 16-year olds and then followed up a decade later to learn which of them had developed mental illnesses. The startling results were published in 2010. They found that people who excelled when they were 16 years old were four times as likely to go on to develop bipolar disorder.” – Key Redfield Jamison, clinical psychologist and professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who also suffers from a mental disorder. (source)

This is a big issue. If we look at ADHD, for example, there is a tremendous amount of evidence to suggest that characteristics associated with that label are actually associated with creativity and “abilities” rather than “disabilities.”

Recent work in cognitive neuroscience shows that both creative thinkers and those with an ADHD diagnosis show difficulty in suppressing brain activity that comes from the “Imagination Network.” There are no school assessments that provide evaluation on creativity and imagination, these are hard to draw up and measure and receive very little attention in our education systems.(source)(source)(source)(source)(source)(source)

Another interesting piece of information to note is that in 2004, an author by the name of Gary Davis reviewed a large portion of literature from 1961 to 2003 and identified 22 recurring personality traits of creative people, most of which were very positive and associated with the same personality traits as people who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Some of these traits included: independence, risk taking, high energy, curiosity, and humour, along with being emotional and artistic. Some of the negative ones included: impulsive, argumentative, and hyper active. He published his findings in his book “Creativity is Forever.”

Important Considerations When It Comes To Mental Illness & The Medical Industry

There is no doubt that there is a lot of scientific fraud and manipulation when it comes to pharmaceutical drugs, and the entire health industry in general. A number of studies have been published alluding to this problem, and it has also received more attention recently. The editor in chief of the Lancet (one of the most reputable peer-reviewed medical journals in the world), Dr Richard Horton said that “half of all the literature published is false” and that “science has taken a turn towards darkness.” (source) You can read more about that story here.

There are plenty of examples to choose from. American psychologist Lisa Cosgrove and others investigated financial ties between the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM) panel members and the pharmaceutical industry. They found that, of the 170 DSM panel members, 95 (56%) had one or more financial associations with companies in the pharmaceutical industry. One hundred percent of the members of the panels on “mood disorders” and “schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders” had financial ties to drug companies. The connections are especially strong in those diagnostic areas where drugs are the first line of treatment for mental disorders. In the next edition of the manual, it’s the same thing. (source)(source)

“The DSM appears to be more a political document than a scientific one. Each diagnostic criteria in the DSM is not based on medical science. No blood tests exist for the disorders in the DSM. It relies on judgments from practitioners who rely on the manual.” (source) – Lisa Cosgrove, PhD, Professor of Counselling and School Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

“The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry.” (source) – Dr. Irwin Savodnik, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Again, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that pharmaceutical companies have influenced certain psychiatrists to “pathologize” certain behavior as a mental illness so more drugs can be marketed to the masses. In my opinion the evidence is overwhelming, but we’ll save that for another article, as it is a big topic.

I do not mean to imply that certain mental illness don’t exist, but we must look at the full end of the spectrum here. But some of these diagnosis are based purely off of observation without any scientific evidence. I am talking about ADHD, Asperger’s and more. This statement doesn’t apply to some of the more serious cases like schizophrenia and others.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Sources:

All sources are highlight throughout the article.

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Awareness

Why Vegan and not Vegetarian? Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh Answers The Question

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh explains why he chooses not to consume any meat or dairy products, and points towards the overwhelmingly cruel food industry.

  • Reflect On:

    What gives us the right to torture animals, steal their babies, abuse them simply for our consumption? Where is our compassion, morality and empathy? Have we been made and brainwashed to believe that it's ok?

The most heartbreaking thing to see and to witness is an innocent benevolent being getting tortured and suffering. This is the realty of eating animal products today. Billions of animals are raised for slaughter every single year, and the overwhelmingly large majority of them go through horrific and terrifying experiences. It’s hard to imagine how anybody could eat or wear the clothes of diseased animals knowing what they went through. It’s also hard to believe that anybody who does eat or purchase products that have used animals in their manufacturing process would do that kind of “labour” themselves.

The truth is that many people still don’t know what these beings are going through. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, immoral, and unethical. Morality, empathy, and love are all emotions that need to return to planet Earth, and as long as we have multiple industries exploiting animals, that can’t happen.

If you’re unaware of what these animals are going through on a daily basis, a recent PETA investigation on two of the world’s top cashmere exporters revealed extreme cruelty, including the violent killing of cashmere goats. You can read more about it and see some footage of that here, if you’re interested.

You can view more examples of graphic footage in the trailer of “The Buddha Bowl,” a documentary in the making featuring personalities and some of the most influential and renowned spiritual leaders from all over the world sharing their perspectives on veganism. These include viewpoints from Buddha himself and from spiritual leaders from the past and present, totalling about 30 interviews on animal rights, environmental issues and health.

One of the people in that documentary is Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who is recognized as a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist. The video below is not part of the documentary listed above, but from an interview taken a few years ago at a conference.

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Are We Even Designed To Eat Meat?

There is no doubt our world is becoming more awake, aware, and compassionate. Millions of people around the world have transitioned towards a plant-based diet. This represents the kind of compassion and empathy our world needs more of, and this diet can do nothing but benefit human health, the planet, and the animals.

It’s no secret that eating meat and animal products is destroying the Earth, as clearing land for animal grazing and slaughter is one of the leading causes of deforestation, and factory farms are an environmental disaster.

More people are also starting to become aware of plant-based diets and their health benefits.

A recent study conducted by researchers in California and France found that meat protein is associated with a very sharp increased risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is actually beneficial for the human heart. The study is titled “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort,”

It’s one of many studies that’ve emerged over the years showing the benefits of plant-based diets and their ability to reverse diseases. On the other hand, many studies published have shown how the consumption of meat has the exact opposite effect.

Below is a clip from a recent CETV episode where CE founder Joe Martino and I go into the discussion a little deeper, with a specific focus on plant-based protein compared to meat protein. If interested, you can watch the full episode here by signing up for your free trial. CETV is a platform that we created to combat the censorship we’ve experienced over the past couple of years.

I also go into this type of discussion, if you’re interested in reading about it, in an article I recently published: “Another Study Suggests Humans Are Not Designed To Eat Meat.”

The Takeaway

Human beings are born with compassion and empathy. What we are doing to animals on our planet today, and how many continue to ignore it and be unaffected by it, is simply as a result of mass brainwashing and marketing by big food corporations. The truth is that we’ve been taught to ignore it, we’ve been taught to believe that it’s OK and it’s our right to do this to others who share the planet with us. No child would ever stand for such a thing unless they were taught to do so. It’s the same thing as racism, we are not born with it, we are taught it. I urge all those who are reading this to do their research into where the vast majority of our food and clothes are coming from, watch what these animals are going through, look into their eyes and and feel what they are feeling.

The ability to feel and understand the emotions of others, animal or human, is a HUGE and VITAL step towards creating a better world and a better overall human experience.

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Awareness

Food Brands Owned By Monsanto

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Below is a list of food brands currently owned by Monsanto. The list was put out by Vocal Media.

  • Reflect On:

    Are the foods we eat safe? Are the chemicals we eat ingest with them safe? A lot of science has shown otherwise, so what's really going on here.

Monsanto is a biotech corporation that was founded in the early 1900s. They produce genetically modified foods (GMOs) and many chemicals that are sprayed onto our food, including several pesticides. A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research titled, Organic diet intervention significantly reduces urinary pesticide levels in U.S. children and adults” outlined the issue with these chemicals, many of which were actually originally designed by Monsanto as warfare weapons to be used as nerve agents.

The study highlighted that diet is the primary source of pesticide exposure in both children and adults. It found that an organic diet significantly reduced neonicotinoid, OP pyrethroid, 2,4-D exposure, with the greatest reduction observed in malathion, clothianidin, and chlorpyrifos.

The researchers noted that all of us are exposed “to a cocktail of toxic synthetic pesticides linked to a range of health problems from our daily diets.” They explained how “certified organic food is produced without these pesticides,” and attempted to answer the question, “Can eating organic really reduce levels of pesticides in our bodies?”

They tested four American families who typically don’t eat organic food to find out.

First, we tested the levels of pesticides in their bodies on a non-organic diet for six days. We found 14 chemicals representing potential exposure to 40 different pesticides in every study participant. These included organophosphates, pyrethroids, neonicotinoids and the phenoxy herbicide 2,4-D. Some of the pesticides we found are linked to increased risk of cancer, infertility, learning disabilities, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and more. (source)

This is one of multiple studies that’ve shown the benefits of switching to an organic diet.

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When it comes to GMOs, there is a wealth of information that shows corruption with regard to their approval. A great resource to learn more about that is  called Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverte.

The stranglehold that corporations like Monsanto have on governments and government agencies like the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is quite strong. Many senior CDC scientists actually stressed this, but there are several other examples of this type of corruption.

For example, glyphosate, an active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, was recently re-licensed and approved by European Parliament. However, MEPs found the science given to them was plagiarized, full of industry science written by Monsanto. You can read more about that here.

Glyphosate has been implicated in thousands of cancer cases, and Monsanto has already paid out billions of dollars to multiple victims. Dewayne Johnson is one of multiple examples.

Many mainstream foods were also found to be contaminated with glyphosate. Here’s a list of children’s foods that’ve been contaminated.

Monsanto was recently acquired by Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Big food and big pharma are one in the same. They own the press, they own politicians, and they practically dictate government policy. There are a multitude of examples that illustrate the massive amount of corruption that drives these corporations, yet they are still operating despite the fact that the products they offer have been proven to be extremely damaging to human health as well as the environment.

Those of you who have been involved in the past in the battle to protect our children from poorly made vaccines or toxic chemicals in our food or in our water know the power of these industries and how they’ve undermined every institution in our democracy that is supposed to protect little children from powerful, greedy corporations. Even the pharmaceutical companies have been able to purchase congress. They’re the largest lobbying entity in Washington D.C.. They have more lobbyists in Washington D.C. than there are congressman and senators combined. They give twice to congress what the next largest lobbying entity is, which is oil and gas… Imagine the power they exercise over both republicans and democrats. They’ve captured them (our regulatory agencies) and turned them into sock puppets. They’ve compromised the press… and they destroy the publications that publish real science. – Robert F. Kennedy (source)

Today, annual protests are held against the agrochemical company to demonstrate the public’s displeasure with Monsanto’s practices. Not only do the protests illustrate how many people are against genetically modified organisms, but they also represent how many people are against the dangerous pesticides Monsanto produces to kill off pests and insects.

Here are some of the brands that Monsanto works with.

The Brands

This list was recently put out by Vocal Media.

  • Aunt Jemima
  • Aurora Foods
  • Banquet
  • Best Foods
  • Betty Crocker
  • Bisquick
  • Cadbury
  • Campbell’s
  • Capri Sun
  • Carnation
  • Chef Boyardee
  • Coca Cola
  • ConAgra
  • Delicious Brand Cookies
  • Duncan Hines
  • Famous Amos
  • Frito Lay
  • General Mills
  • Green Giant
  • Healthy Choice
  • Heinz
  • Hellman’s
  • Hershey’s Nestle
  • Holsum
  • Hormel
  • Hungry Jack
  • Hunts
  • Interstate Bakeries
  • Jiffy
  • KC Masterpiece
  • Keebler/Flowers Industries
  • Kelloggs
  • Kid Cuisine
  • Knorr
  • Kool-Aid
  • Kraft/Phillip Morris
  • Lean Cuisine
  • Lipton
  • Loma Linda
  • Marie Callenders
  • Minute Maid
  • Morningstar
  • Butterworths
  • Nabisco
  • Nature Valley
  • Ocean Spray
  • Ore-Ida
  • Orville Redenbacher
  • Pasta- Roni
  • Pepperidge Farms
  • Pepsi
  • Pillsbury
  • Pop Secret
  • Post Cereals
  • Power Bar Brand
  • Prego Pasta Sauce
  • Pringles
  • Procter and Gamble
  • Quaker
  • Ragu Sauce
  • Rice-A-Roni
  • Smart Ones
  • Stouffers
  • Shweppes
  • Tombstone Pizza
  • Totinos
  • Uncle Ben’s
  • Unilever
  • V8

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, despite the massive amount of corruption and illegal activities these companies have engaged in, we are the ones buying their products and consuming their foods. All we have to do is make better choices–we can switch to organic produce, we can do our research and purchase from ethical companies, and we can refuse to spray our lawns with herbicides. Vote with your dollar.

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Awareness

New Study Finds Strong Link Between Glyphosate & Human Liver Disease

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new study outlines a strong link between Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, and human liver disease.

  • Reflect On:

    Glyphosate has contaminated much of our soil and it's in many of the foods we eat. Decades of research has shown the dangers of this product, so how have our federal health regulatory agencies been able to approve this substance, and others, as safe?

Scientists and health professionals have been raising concerns about pesticides for decades. The idea that these products were ever approved as safe by our federal health regulatory agencies is truly mind blowing, given the fact that their toxicity and danger seem to be unquestionable. In 2012, the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) stated that “Children today are sicker than they were a generation ago. From childhood cancers to autism, birth defects and asthma, a wide range of childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise. Our assessment of the latest science leaves little room for doubt; pesticides are one key driver of this sobering trend.”

Again, with all of the science available showing clear cause for concern, how are these products approved as safe? There are many examples one can use to answer this question. For example, a group called the CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER, made up of CDC senior scientists, put a list of complaints in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to the public watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK).

They outline the corporate connection to science in the statement below:

We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency.  It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviours.

This is how substances like Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, continue to gain approval–it’s pure corruption. What’s one of the latest examples of corruption? Look no further than the fact that it was recently re-licensed and approved by European Parliament. In this case, MEPs found out that the science given to them was plagiarized and full of industry science written by Monsanto. You can read more about that here.

In 1996, Monsanto was sued by the New York Attorney General based on its false and misleading advertising of Roundup products. Monsanto lost and agreed to stop, but to date they have not stopped those practices anywhere else other than New York State. You can read more about that here.

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The list of corruption is long, and these are only a few of many examples.

Despite this fact, Germany has said it will phase out the weedkiller because it wipes out insect populations crucial for ecosystems and pollination of food crops and because of the negative impact it has on human health.

Glyphosate & Liver Disease

Glyphosate has been making noise in the courtroom, with thousands of pending cases regarding the correlation between glyphosate and various types of cancer. The link between Roundup and non-Hodgkin lymphoma  has actually led to Monsanto paying victims billions of dollars. You can read about one example here.

A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, suggests an association between glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in human beings.

In a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology , a team led by Paul J. Mills, PhD, professor and chief in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine, examined glyphosate excretion in the urine samples of two patient groups — those with a diagnosis of NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a type of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD), and those without. The results were significant, as glyphosate residue was significantly higher in patients with NASH than it was in patients with a healthier liver.

These results also compliment the findings from multiple animal studies that have already been conducted.

“There have been a handful of studies, all of which we cited in our paper, where animals either were or weren’t fed Roundup or glyphosate directly, and they all point to the same thing: the development of liver pathology,” said Mills. “So I naturally thought: ‘Well, could there be an association with this same herbicide and liver disease in the U.S.?’”

As the university points out:

The study examined urine samples of 93 patients. Forty-one percent were male; 42 percent were white or Caucasian; 35 percent were Hispanic or Latino. Average BMI was 31.8. Patients were originally recruited as part of a larger study at the UC San Diego NAFLD Research Center conducted between 2012 and 2018. Liver biopsies were used to determine the presence or absence of NAFLD while classifying the subjects by cohort.

Mills plans to next put a group of patients on an all-organic diet and track them over the course of several months, examining how a herbicide-free diet might affect biomarkers of liver disease.

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the United States; it was developed and patented by agrochemical giant Monsanto in the 1970s and its sales represent approximately 50 percent of the company’s annual revenue.

Dr. Minkoff, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity, for very high academic achievement, provides an excellent scientific explanation as to why glyphosate represents a big problem for human health. You can read about that here, if you’re interested.

Will An Organic Diet Make A Difference?

Professor Mills mentions his intention to put a group of patients on an all organic diet and track them over the course of several months while examining how an herbicide free diet might affect biomarkers of liver diseases.

This is important, as many of our foods are now contaminated with glyphosate, among other herbicides and pesticides. For example, here’s a list of children’s foods that have been contaminated with glyphosate. The chemical has also been discovered in major orange juice brands.

Science has already shown that an organic diet can make a tremendous difference. A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research examined four families who eat conventional diets. Pesticide levels were measured via urine before switching to an organic diet for 6 days. A dramatic drop in pesticide levels was found. You can access that study and read about more examples here.

The Takeaway

The approval of substances that are harmful to human health started long ago–remember DDT? It’s been decades, but it’s still happening. At the end of the day, you can refuse to buy and use these products, as many people are still purchasing them to use on their lawns and in their communities.

Despite the setbacks, progress is being made as this substance is now banned in multiple communities and countries as awareness continues to grow.

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