Low dose exposure to organochlorine pesticides linked o cognitive impairment

Simple Changes for Optimal Focus in the brain

Simple Changes for Optimal Focus

By making simple changes to your daily diet and habits, you can become more productive. To help improve your brain power, here are six ways to have better mental focus at work:

  1. Supercharge your diet

Certain foods can enhance your brainpower. For example, pistachios support better blood flow, bringing oxygen into the brain. Shrimp contain choline, for strong memory. In addition, cherry juice has a high content of melatonin for better sleep and cinnamon has been shown to enhance mood!

  1. Eat less sugar

Sugar can cause you to have an energy crash followed by brain fog. For good mental focus all day, have a lean protein-rich breakfast of eggs and vegetables instead of pancakes or french toast. If you are a coffee or tea drinker, add a natural sweetener like stevia instead of sugar.

  1. Use supplements to supercharge your brain

Specific herbs and nutrients promote mental sharpness and improve brain productivity. Helpful adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola and ashwagandha can fight fatigue and help you adapt to stress. Nutrients like choline and tyrosine can assist your brain with memory and endurance.

  1. Go to bed a little bit earlier

Sometimes you just want to stay up late binging on your favorite television show. But if you want to have better concentration, Dr. Daniel Amen says it is important to get more sleep. After a full night of sleep, you’ll enjoy a clear mind and endurance to get you through your day.

  1. Eat organic foods

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says that “most studies of moderate pesticide exposure have found increased prevalence of neurologic symptoms and changes in neurobehavioral performance, reflecting cognitive and psychomotor dysfunction.” In other words, the pesticides on our foods are making our brains malfunction! Always choose certified organic foods to reduce your exposure.

  1. Process your thoughts

Difficulty when focusing can be worsened if you have too many thoughts floating around up there, competing for your attention. Try taking a long walk or keeping a journal to release your thoughts. These actions will allow your mind to process and let go of the chaos up there. Then you’ll be better able to focus on your work, and get more done in less time!

These small tweaks to your lifestyle can make a significant difference in your brain function! You can look forward to enhanced focus and higher productivity when you start implementing these six changes in your life.

6 Ways to Boost Your Mental Focus at Work

Exposure to pesticides/TCEs linked to 61% risk of diabetes and Parkinson

A meta-analysis of 21 studies presented at this year’s annual meeting the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) shows that exposure to pesticides is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes by 61%, with different types of pesticides showing varying levels of risk. The study is by Giorgos Ntritsos, University of Ioannina, Greece, and Dr Ioanna Tzoulaki and Dr Evangelos Evangelou, Imperial College London, UK, and colleagues.

A total of 21 studies were identified assessing the association between pesticides and diabetes, covering 66,714 individuals (5,066 cases/ 61,648 controls). Most studies did not report the specific diabetes type examined. In almost all of the studies analyses, pesticide exposure was determined by blood or urine biomarker analysis, one of the most accurate methods. The researchers found that exposure to any type of pesticide was associated with increased risk of any type of diabetes by 61%. In the 12 studies analysing only type 2 diabetes, the increased risk was 64% for those exposed to pesticides. For individual pesticides, increased risk was identified in association with exposure to chlordane, oxylchlordane, trans-nonachlor, DDT, DDE dieldrin, heptachlor and HCB.

The authors conclude: “This systematic review supports the hypothesis that exposure to various types of pesticides increases the risk of diabetes. Subgroup analyses did not reveal any differences in the risk estimates based on the type of studies or the measurement of the exposure. Analysing each pesticide separately suggests that some pesticides are more likely to contribute to the development of diabetes than others.”

The authors add that results need to interpreted with caution given the observational nature of the data which does not prove the causality of the observed associations. They are now performing additional analyses of the data and doing a further meta-analysis of pesticide exposure in relation to the other outcomes, including neurological outcomes and several cancers.

A large analysis of more than 100 studies from around the world shows that exposure to pesticides, or bug and weed killers, and solvents is likely associated with a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. The research appears in the May 28, 2013, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

For the analysis, researchers reviewed 104 studies that looked at exposure to weed, fungus, rodent or bug killers, and solvents and the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Studies that evaluated the proximity of exposure, such as country living, work occupation and well water drinking were also included.

The research found that exposure to bug or weed killers and solvents increased the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 33 to 80 percent. In controlled studies, exposure to the weed killer paraquat or the fungicides maneb and mancozeb was associated with two times the risk of developing the disease.

“We didn’t study whether the type of exposure, such as whether the compound was inhaled or absorbed through the skin and the method of application, such as spraying or mixing, affected Parkinson’s risk,” said Cereda. “However, our study suggests that the risk increases in a dose response manner as the length of exposure to these chemicals increases.”

The study was supported by the Grigioni Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease and the IRCCS University Hospital San Matteo Foundation.

A University of Kentucky faculty member is a contributing author on a new study demonstrating a connection between a common solvent chemical and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Franca Cambi of the UK Kentucky Neuroscience Institute collaborated with researchers from across the U.S. on a paper recently published in the Annals of Neurology.

The novel study looked at a cohort of human twins wherein one twin had been occupationally exposed to trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chemicals believed to be linked to development of Parkinson’s.

TCE has been previously linked to Parkinson’s disease through prior research by UK authors and others, including the 2008 paper, “Trichloroethylene: Parkinsonism and complex 1 mitochondrial neurotoxicity,” and the 2010 paper, “Trichloroethylene induces dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Fisher 344 rats.” The 2008 paper was based upon a study of factory workers in a facility using chemicals that have been linked to development of Parkinson’s disease.

In the most recent paper, the authors demonstrated that in addition to TCE, increase in Parkinson’s disease risk is also associated with exposure to percholorethylene (PERC) and carbon tetrachloride (CCI4).

Occupational or environmental exposure to TCE, PERC and CCI4 is common due to the extensive use of the chemicals in dry-cleaning solutions, adhesives, paints, and carpet cleaners. Despite the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banning the use of TCE as a general anesthetic, skin disinfectant, and coffee decaffeinating agent in 1977, it is still widely used today as a degreasing agent. In the U.S., millions of pounds of TCE are still released into the environment each year and it is the most common organic contaminant found in ground water, detected in up to 30 percent of drinking water supplies in the country.

The current epidemiological study, led by Drs. Samuel Goldman and Caroline Tanner of The Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale, Ca., investigated exposure to TCE, PERC and CCI4 as they related to risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. The team interviewed 99 twin pairs from the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council World War II Veteran Twins Cohort in which one twin had Parkinson’s and one didn’t, inquiring about lifetime occupations and hobbies. Lifetime exposures to six specific solvents previously linked to Parkinson’s in medical literature — n-hexane, xylene, toluene, CCl4, TCE and PERC — were inferred for each job or hobby typically involving exposure to the chemicals.

While prior research has indicated a link between TCE exposure and Parkinson’s disease, the current findings are the first to report a statistically significant association — a more than six-fold increased risk. Researchers also found that exposure to PERC and CCI4 tended toward significant risk of developing the disease.

This study focused on occupational exposures, but the solvents under investigation are pervasive in the environment. Lead author Goldman concluded: “Our findings, as well as prior case reports, suggest a lag time of up to 40 years between TCE exposure and onset of Parkinson’s, providing a critical window of opportunity to potentially slow the disease process before clinical symptoms appear.”

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) estimates that as many as 500,000 Americans have Parkinson’s disease and more than 50,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. While there is much debate regarding the causes of Parkinson’s disease, studies suggest that genetic and environmental factors likely trigger the disease — which is characterized by symptoms such as limb tremors, slowed movement, muscle stiffness, and speech impairment. Several studies have reported that exposure to solvents may increase risk of Parkinson’s, but research assessing specific agents is limited.

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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Kentucky

“It’s Not The Zika Virus” – Doctors Link Monsanto Pesticides To Birth Defects


Has the world become accustomed to massive, dangerous, and possibly deadly outbreaks of terrible diseases? It certainly seems that way, as every year brings with it it a new pandemic that strikes fear into the hearts of many. The H1N1 virus is one example, Ebola is another, and now we have what’s known as the ‘Zika Virus.’ Not long ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) made the announcement declaring the Zika virus to be a global health emergency, without providing much detail about the disease.

The Zika virus, a sexually-transmitted infection, has been around for approximately 70 years, and is marketed by two companies. We have known about it since at least 1947, when researchers from the Rockefeller Foundation discovered a monkey that became the first known carrier of the virus. You can read more about the two companies that market the virus, and view the Rockefeller patent in an article we published earlier, here.

Are we being told everything about the Zika virus? Are there other factors to consider about the virus that mainstream media has not really touched upon? Is the Zika virus just another outbreak propaganda machine to justify the mass use of vaccines and chemical remediation? It’s possible. The condition which causes babies to be born with unusually small heads is said to have gone from an average of approximately 150 cases annually to more than 5,000 in just four months.

Yet, as Dr. Mercola reports, the Brazilian government actually admitted that their “overly generous parameters resulted in dramatic over-reporting of the rare condition public health officials have associated with the Zika virus, which has been dubbed by the media as the ‘shrunken head’ virus.” Is this association a false positive?

As reported by the New York Times:

Of the cases examined so far, 404 have been confirmed as having microcephaly, Only 17 percent of them tested positive for the Zika virus. . . .
Another 709 babies have been ruled out as having microcephaly, according to the government, underscoring the risks of false positives making the epidemic appear larger than it actually is.
The remaining 3,670 cases are still being investigated.
The article also noted that there is actually very little scientific evidence tying the Zika virus to microcephaly. According to one of the companies that markets the virus, which they sell for about $500, the virus causes paralysis and death in animals. In humans, a Zika infection causes flu-like symptoms. There really doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence tying the Virus to birth defects. While this of course does not rule out the possibility, it does lead one to wonder if perhaps we are missing something important here.

Where Does Monsanto Come In?
The truth of the matter is, scientifically speaking, there could be multiple causes for the rise in microcephaly in these areas of Brazil, besides the Zika-carrying mosquitoes.

On a side note, we also published an article discussing the genetically modified mosquitoes that have been released in these areas; you can read that here.

One of these potential causes could be pesticides, especially given that this ‘outbreak’ is happening in a poverty-stricken area that has been and continues to use large amounts of banned pesticides.

Given this factor alone, along with other widespread nutritional deficiencies, a framework for negative health outcomes among newborn infants in this area has already been established. It’s no secret that environmental pollution and toxic pesticide exposure have been linked to a wide variety of adverse health outcomes, including birth defects. When you think about all of these factors, an increase in microcephaly seems almost inevitable:

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.
– October 2012 report by Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) (source)(source)
Aside from the major health concerns posed by pesticide use, vitamin A and zinc deficiencies are also becoming epidemical in Brazil.

There is also the teratogenic larvicide that has been being added to drinking water in affected areas to consider. According to a report that was done by a number of Argentinian physicians belonging to an organization called “Physicians In The Crop Sprayed Towns,” the Zika virus might not be responsible for all of these microcephaly cases. It’s reported that for approximately two years, pyroproxyfen has been being added into the drinking water in the infected area of Brazil. The chemical is manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical, a Japanese subsidiary of Monsanto, and is used to eradicate mosquitoes, causing malformations amongst these insects.

The PCST reports that malformations detected in thousands of children from pregnant women living in areas where the Brazilian state added Pyroproxyfen to drinking water are not a coincidence, even though the Ministry of Health places a direct blame on the Zika virus for this damage. These physicians are emphasizing that this mosquito-killing chemical which has been added to the drinking water is an endocrine disruptor as well as teratogenic, which means it causes birth defects. The organization has also pointed out that the Zika virus has never been associated with birth defects, even in areas where up to 75 percent of the population has been infected. According to the report:

Malformations detected in thousands of children from pregnant women living in areas where the Brazilian state added pyriproxyfen to drinking water is not a coincidence, even though the Ministry of Health places direct blame on Zika virus for this damage, while trying to ignore its responsibility and ruling out the hypothesis of direct and cumulative chemical damage caused by years of endocrine and immunological disruption of the affected population. (source)
I cannot stress enough that these pesticides have been conclusively linked to birth defects by many. For example, a paper published in the journal Pediatrics found that prenatal exposure to some of the pesticides sprayed on our food could impair the anthropometric development of the fetus, reducing the birth weight, length, and head circumference. (source)

The pesticide Atrazine also appears to be a viable culprit. According to research25 published in 2011, small head circumference was listed as a side effect of prenatal Atrazine exposure. (source)

Canadian research has also identified the presence of pesticides associated with genetically modified foods in maternal, fetal, and non-pregnant women’s blood. They also found the presence of Monsanto’s Bt toxin. The study was published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology in 2011. (source)

The study concluded that, apart from pesticides, Monsanto’s Bt toxins are clearly detectable and appear to cross the placenta to the fetus. The study pointed out that the fetus is highly susceptible to the adverse affects of xenobiotics (foreign chemical substances found within an organism that are not naturally produced). This is why the study emphasized knowing more about GMOs is crucial, because environmental agents could disrupt the biological events that are required to ensure normal growth and development.

Earth Open Source put together a comprehensive review of existing data which shows how European regulators have known that Monsanto’s glyphosate causes a number of birth malformations since at least 2002. Regulators misled the public about glyphosate’s safety, and in Germany the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety even told the European Commission outright that there was no evidence to suggest that glyphosate causes birth defects.

The report was headed by Dr. M. Antoniou of the Head Gene Expression and Therapy Group in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College London School of Medicine, UK. Dr. Antoniou was joined by 6 other doctors who have a similar CV. The report provides a comprehensive review of the peer-reviewed scientific literature documenting the serious health hazards posed by glyphosate and Roundup herbicide formulations. You can read the entire document here.

Our examination of the evidence leads us to the conclusion that the current approval of glyphosate and Roundup is deeply flawed and unreliable. In this report, we examine the industry studies and regulatory documents that led to the approval of glyphosate. We show that industry and regulators knew as long ago as the 1980s and 1990s that glyphosate causes malformation – but that this information was not made public. We demonstrate how EU regulators reasoned their way from clear evidence of glyphosate’s teratogenicity in industry’s own studies to a conclusion that minimized these findings in the EU Commission’s final review report.
What’s even more concerning is the prevalence of industry fraud in relation to pesticides. A study published in the journal Biomedical Research International shows that Roundup herbicide is 125 times more toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate studied in isolation:

Pesticides are used throughout the world as mixtures called formulations. They contain adjuvants, which are often kept confidential and are called inerts by the manufacturing companies. (source)
The list of concerns is long, as is the list of pesticides which have the potential to disrupt fetal development. This is why some experts are questioning the purported link between Zika and microcephaly. They know, for example, that aerial spraying of neonicotnoids causes skeletal malformation as well.

With this emergency declaration comes a host of massive profiteering for the drug and vaccine companies. For example, the Indian company Bharat Biotech began working on two Zika vaccines in November of 2014, prior to the outbreak. This company also received $50 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to do so.

Arjun Walia


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