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Mars & Nestle Spend Millions On Dark-Chocolate Research, Is It A Trick or a Treat?

As it turns out, chocolate companies are funding a lot of the research that suggests cocoa and dark chocolate are healthy.

Michelle Blair

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You may have heard the latest health food craze: Dark chocolate is a “super food.” Allegedly high in flavanols, cocoa is often added to smoothies, protein bars, and most certainly chocolate products for an added nutrient and flavour punch. But, what if this obsession over cocoa and dark chocolate isn’t quite as healthy as we’ve been led to believe?

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As it turns out, big chocolate companies like Nestlé and Mars have spent millions of dollars to fund research and scientific studies that purport the health benefits of cocoa and dark chocolate. That’s a clear conflict of interest, and we’ve seen how large corporations can impact “expert opinions” and “scientific data” before.

--> Read: A rare mineral can remove harmful toxins & heavy metals with just 30 seconds a day. Click here to learn more.

The sad truth is, the results of scientific studies are often less about accuracy and more about reflecting the desired outcome of whoever is funding the research. The question here is: Is chocolate actually healthy for you, or was this data swayed based on corporate interests in order to convince consumers that chocolate was healthy?

Of course, we know that the chemical-ridden, sugar-filled milk chocolate you’d buy at a conventional supermarket is not healthy for your body, but a lot of people have this false idea that dark chocolate, no matter what its ingredients, “isn’t so bad.”

And we’re wondering, just how bad could this be for you?

Big Chocolate Companies Fund “Pro-Cocoa” Research 

Over the last 30 years, chocolate companies including Nestlé, Hershey’s, and Mars have been spending millions of dollars on funding research and scientific studies that support the health claims surrounding cocoa.

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You see cereal with added dark chocolate to it all the time, even if it’s in the organic section of the supermarket. Many would argue that’s because it’s rich in iron and is apparently very nutritious, but is it actually, or is this just what chocolate companies want you to think?

“Mars and [other chocolate companies] made a conscious decision to invest in science to transform the image of their product from a treat to a health food,” explained New York University nutrition researcher Marion Nestle (and no, she has no relation to the corporation Nestle). “You can now sit there with your [chocolate bar] and say I’m getting my flavonoids.”

Much of the research funded by these companies pertains to a group of compounds called flavanols, which are micronutrients found within tons of different fruits and vegetables. Flavanols can also be found in cocoa, and are high in antioxidant properties.

Vox performed a review of 100 different health studies on cocoa that were funded, supported, or influenced by large chocolate companies and found that an astonishing 98% of those studies were positive. The remaining 2% found chocolate or cocoa either had minimal effects on health or posed some risks.

Vox reported:

Among the findings in the Mars-sponsored health studies: Regularly eating cocoa flavanols could boost mood and cognitive performance, dark chocolate improves blood flow, cocoa might be useful for treating immune disorders, and both cocoa powder and dark chocolate can have a “favorable effect” on cardiovascular disease risk. The institutions that received Mars support stretch across the US and all over the world — from UC Davis to Harvard and Georgetown universities, from Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany, to the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The issue at hand is, these companies could be establishing a research bias for cocoa and chocolate. Not only could the results of these studies be influenced by these corporations, which clearly have a vested interested in the outcomes, but, by only focusing on one compound, they’re forcing the science on cocoa and dark chocolate to become fairly linear.

In addition, this research is often used to back the ideology that all chocolate is good for you. In reality, if dark chocolate has lots of refined sugar in it, is highly processed, or isn’t organic, then it’s not good for you. But, when consumers hear that chocolate has these magical compounds in it that are high in antioxidants, many will start to justify eating it, despite the potential health risks of the other ingredients.

These companies then use this research to help advertise the health benefits of dark chocolate. For example, take a look at this Nestlé article, featured on their webiste, which claims dark chocolate is beneficial for human health and can be considered a part of a “healthy, balanced diet.” Can the additional refined sugar, milk fat, and potential pesticide residue found in your dark chocolate also be considered a part of a healthy, balanced diet?

The media hasn’t helped in clarifying any of this, either. Headlines like “Good news for chocolate lovers: The more you eat, the lower your risk of heart disease,” or simply “Chocolate is good for you” by major mainstream news outlets have encouraged consumers to think that chocolate is great for the body, regardless of the type. Many of these claims are exaggerated or unsubstantiated, causing further confusion about what’s healthy and what’s not.

Tons of these companies actually own, run, or influence giant research facilities on cocoa, such as the Mars Center for Cocoa Health Science in Brazil, Mars Symbioscience, and Nestlé’s “Nestle Chairs” sponsorships at various research institutions. Although this could be completely harmless, it could also mean that the research is impacted by their corporate interests.

This has happened countless times in the past. For example, Monsanto has funded pro-GMO studies and has ghostwritten safety reviews on GMOs which are then published under the names of  “trustworthy” scientists (read more in our CE article here), even though its herbicide, used on GMOs, is carcinogenic.

False claims about nutrition happen all the time when it comes to our food system, and our thought processes often perpetuate these claims as well. People think gluten-free products are healthier because our brains immediately assume that just because a product is “free” of an ingredient, then that must be a good thing. Big companies will use marketing techniques and ‘science’ to make us think that something is healthy, when in reality it’s not.

Take the “Got Milk” ads, for example. We’ve been led to believe we’re getting a healthy source of calcium when we drink milk, when in reality we cannot actually intake that calcium without equal parts magnesium. Instead, we’re just getting a healthy dose of fat, high calories, pus, blood, and hormones, all while increasing our risk of some very serious diseases, including cancer.

Most of us don’t question these ads, which is in part because of what doctors and governments tell us. The North American governments advertise that meat and dairy are part of a healthy diet, when research suggests otherwise. The government has a vested interest in meat and dairy sales because they subsidize these industries and have spent significant amounts of money on education that promotes the supposed “health benefits” of these foods.

It’s very clear that many of us really trust corporations and the government when we see certain ads that make health claims. However, given all of this information, it’s equally clear we need to do our own research. So, what’s the official verdict on dark chocolate?

Is Verdict Is in on Dark Chocolate?

New York Times best-selling author Michael Moss put it well when he said in his book Salt Sugar Fat: “Dark chocolate probably has some beneficial properties to it . . . but generally you have to eat so much of it to get any benefit that it’s kind of daunting, or something else in the product counteracts the benefits. In the case of chocolate, it’s probably going to be sugar.”

So, how much chocolate would you need to eat in order to enjoy the health benefits from those super nutritious flavanols chocolate companies advertise as being so good for you?

The following image will give you a pretty good idea:

Although conventional chocolate, including dark chocolate, is not good for you, some high-quality cocoa products and organic chocolate and cacao can be good for the body, but often times only in small quantities. Keep in mind that chocolate, regardless of its maker, is usually still high in sugar (even if it’s organic), fat, and calories.

Final Thoughts 

All of this being said, this is a wonderful reminder of the importance of doing your own research. It’s crucial that we check who is funding certain studies in order to identify any conflicts of interest, and then form our opinions accordingly.

Like many foods, chocolate certainly has some good and bad qualities. What’s important for us to remember is, just because something has some good nutritional properties to it, doesn’t mean these negate the bad. In the case of chocolate, even if you’re eating an organic brand, you could still be getting some sugar, unhealthy fats, and whatever else is in your chocolate bar outside of the cocoa/cacao.

If you’re looking for a good chocolate fix and would prefer to stick to a healthier brand, I’d recommend taking a look at Giddy YoYo or Chocosol products, both of which offer chocolate made with 100% cacao — no dairy, no sugar, no chemicals, just pure chocolate!

Much love, my fellow choco-holics.

An Article Presenting A Different Perspective

The Amazing Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

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Awareness

Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

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Alternative News

Are Lockdowns Affecting Children?

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We spoke to activist and mother Stephanie Sibbio about her co-creation of an organization called 100 Million Moms which seeks to empower women to stand up against injustices.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we choosing virus mitigation methods that are short sighted and harmful over the long term? Are they more harmful than the virus itself?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The potential downsides of lockdowns during pandemics have been explored quite a bit – and the truth is the scientific community is quite divided on whether it’s the right move. On one hand a case can be made for effectiveness of lockdowns, but at quite a cost, while on the other hand many have shown lockdowns to be ineffective in slowing spread. How a study is organized and conducted can also dramatically change results.

Interestingly a study in Nature showed that “less disruptive and costly NPIs can be as effective as more intrusive, drastic, ones (for example, a national lockdown).” This essentially states that governments could choose effective ways to mitigate virus spread effectively without inducing unwanted and long term side effects on society as a whole via lockdowns – regardless, lockdowns are still widely being used.

One question we might have is, what about factors that are not so easy to measure right away? Things like long term psychological damage of being constantly stressed, out of touch with community and friends, and confined to our homes. What affects are children experiencing in their development and learning? We may not know exactly for quite some time.

I felt inspired to speak to a mother who has not only be asking this question with regards to her child, but who has decided to do something to push back against government measures, like lockdowns, that many citizens and scientist don’t agree with.

Along with another activist, Stephanie Sibbio created a movement called 100 Million Moms who, as their Instagram states, are a rights-based movement empowering moms all over the world to stand up against injustice. We advocate for natural health & medical freedom.

I spoke to Stephanie about how she has seen lockdowns affecting children, and her story in co-creating 100 Million Moms. In this discussion you will learn how you can get involved as well.

Further Discussion

A large meta analysis on mask wearing has shown that children are having physiological issues and learning challenges with prolonged mask wearing.

A group of doctors did a panel worth considering that discusses the potential harms of lockdowns and the science that supports the idea.

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Health

Rare Mineral Can Remove Harmful Toxins & Heavy Metals With Just 30 Seconds a Day

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

These days many people are struggling with fatigue, heart and respiratory issues, brain fog and memory challenges, and on top of that, cancer rates are increasing year after year. At times these issues can be a result of cumulative stress and emotional trauma, and other times it can be the result of our overly toxic environments at home, at work and in our cities.

Most disease, cancers and health problems we experience are rooted in toxicity. Mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds just scratch the surface of what our bodies have to fight against daily.

By some estimates, we are exposed to over 80,000 chemicals in our daily lives, just from the food we eat, water we drink, and air we breathe. These toxins build up in our bodies affecting our sleep, memory, concentration, weight, and even inflammation (1, 2, 3, 4).

Toxins can be found everywhere, including:

  • Food (pesticides, herbicides, chemical additives)
  • Pollutants (the air you breathe)
  • Skincare and Personal Care Items
  • Household Items (couches, chairs, beds, Paint, keys)
  • Water (a common source of heavy metals)

Our body’s are natural detoxifiers, kidneys, liver, and lymphatic system is designed to keep our bodies clean. Hence detox is not needed. But as our lives become more toxin filled, our bodies have a difficult time keeping up and this is why over toxicity leading to disease is become a prevalent issue. Thankfully, there are natural solutions that can help. One of those solutions is a powerful mineral, created through a reaction of volcanic ash and seawater, that can eliminate dangerous toxins from the body, down to the cellular level.

Its negative-charge and honeycomb shape acts as a natural chelator, binding to positively-charged toxins and ushering them out of the body, quickly and effectively.

Zeolite Clinoptilolite: A Mineral for Detox

If you’ve heard of the zeolite Clinoptilolite, it’s because this type of zeolite has been widely studied for its ability to:

  • Flush heavy metals from the body, including toxic lead (5)
  • Provide alkalizing minerals to support a healthy pH
  • Protect kidney function by detoxing heavy metals (6)
  • Strengthen the immune system through removing toxins (7)
  • Protect against leaky gut by strengthening the intestinal wall (8)
  • And much more, as extensive clinical research shows (9)

The detoxification and health benefits of the zeolite Clinoptilolite are astounding. It’s hundreds of times more effective than activated charcoal, a commonly known and used detoxifier that can detox the gut but comes with harsh side effects.

The zeolite Clinoptilolite can bind to toxins throughout the whole body and has an affinity for toxins only, so it never removes beneficial minerals, and there are no negative side effects.

The truth of the matter is though, not all zeolite products work, and all are not created equally. In fact, we stayed away from zeolite here at CE for a while due to the fact we could not find a reliable source.

Most zeolite products are not capable of cleansing at the cellular level. To go beyond the gut and reach into cells for a deep detox, the zeolite must be nanosized. When the zeolite is nanosized and suspended in water molecule clusters, this natural detoxifier can travel throughout the body, even past the blood-brain barrier.

What brings on things like clearer thinking, ease in recalling tasks, improved mood and much more is the fact that your brain is now free of neurotoxic heavy metals.

But to take out heavy metals and other toxins, the zeolite must also be cleansed and pre-filled with alkalizing minerals. Why? The fact is, when mined, zeolite comes filled with environmental pollutants because that’s what zeolites are good at in nature – absorbing toxins.

However, if a zeolite is already filled with toxins, it can’t take any more from your body. That’s why most zeolites sold today don’t work, and why we haven’t recommended one before.

The Most Effective Zeolite on the Market Backed by Science

After doing extensive research, we started taking a zeolite product in December of 2020 from Pure Body Extra by a company called Touchstone Essentials. Their cleansing process and nanosizing technology is hands-down the most advanced we’ve seen, yielding the only zeolite on the market that can effectively detoxify the entire body on a cellular level.

This zeolite uses nanosized Clinoptilolite to access toxins everywhere in the body. These particles are so small they are invisible to the naked eye and need to be magnified thousand-fold. And it’s backed up by the gold standard in instrumentation – Malvern particle size testing.

This nanometer size means they can get to a cellular level, and it also means the collective surface area of the zeolite particles creates a vast filter that mops up toxins within hours.

And because these zeolite particles are encapsulated within water molecule clusters, it is delivered in a liquid spray that is easy to use (just a few sprays, morning, noon, and night) with no odor, no taste, and no hassle.

Pure Body Extra has also been cleansed of existing pollutants so that it more effectively removes heavy metals throughout your body. This is all proven with third-party independent clinical testing. Not only that, the zeolite particles are pre-filled with alkalizing minerals. That way, the zeolite “swaps” a beneficial mineral for a toxin every time.

In all our research, this zeolite product has the most rigorous research and testing.

 

Why We’re Recommending it Today

We take Pure Body Extra every single day and have been blown away by the results. We were so impressed that we reached out to the company about making this zeolite available to our readers.

It turns out, Touchstone is as passionate about prevention and natural treatments as we are, so they agreed to reserve 500 bottles of Pure Body Extra at an incredibly low price, exclusively for our readers. Which is why we’re recommending it to you now. It’s truly a miraculous product.

A Special Offer for Our Readers Only

Normally, this remarkable detoxifier sells on their website for $79.95, which is why we were shocked when Touchstone said they’d offer it to our readers for just $5. They’ll even include free shipping. We asked them how they could possibly offer it at such a low price, and this is what the company said.

“We’re on a mission to touch one million families with goodness. We know if we just get the product in people’s hands, the results are so good, people reorder it again and again. We’re happy to make a difference in people’s lives.”

When you subscribe to a monthly shipment today, not only is your first bottle $5, but you’ll lock in a 20% off member discount and free shipping every month after that. Of course, the 100% Risk-Free Guarantee remains.

There’s zero risk. You can cancel your subscription any time (before the next shipment), or return your shipment within 30 days for a full refund. They’ll even refund your $5 if you’re not happy with the product, less return shipping of course.

Imagine being free of disease-causing heavy metals, nitrosamines, volatile organic compounds, and pesticides in just 30 seconds a day, with no harsh side effects.

It’s only available to the first 500 people as that is what has been reserved for our audience, and at only $5, they’re selling quickly.

In today’s toxin-filled world, our body’s detoxification system simply can’t keep up with the daily onslaught. We all need to reduce our toxin load if we want to live happy, healthy lives.

 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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