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The original randomized controlled trials of gluten- and casein-free diets may have been complicated by parental expectation bias. My video Are Autism Diet Benefits Just a Placebo Effect? begins with graphs depicting the findings from the first randomized, controlled trial to put a gluten- and casein-free diet to the test for children with autism. Significant…
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Casomorphins—breakdown products of casein, a milk protein, with opiate-like activity—may help explain why autism symptoms sometimes improve with a dairy-free diet. In my last video series on autism and diet, I talked about the benefits of broccoli sprouts, but the most commonly studied nutritional and dietary interventions for autism and diet involve variations of gluten-free…
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The amount of beta-glucan fiber in just a dusting of nutritional yeast a day is put to the test in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial for the prevention of common childhood illnesses. In 1989, the late Charles Janeway gave a presentation that was to revolutionize our understanding of the immune system. He proposed that we…
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High doses of lycopene—the red pigment in tomatoes—were put to the test to see if it could prevent precancerous prostate lesions from turning into full-blown cancer. Back in 1980s, the Adventist Health Study found “strong protective relationships” against prostate cancer with increasing consumption of legumes, citrus, dried fruit, nuts, and tomatoes. In the 1990s, a…
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Are the apparently amazing benefits of amla—dried Indian gooseberries—too good to be true? In reference to amla, also known as the Indian gooseberry, it’s been said that “medicinal plants are nature’s gift to human beings to promote a disease free healthy life.” The fruit has also been described as “the Ayurvedic wonder.” You hear a…
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Avocado consumption can improve artery function, but what effect might guacamole have on cancer risk? In my last video about avocados, The Effects of Avocados and Red Wine on Meal-Induced Inflammation, I described their anti-inflammatory effects and cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering effects, but what about the Are Avocados Good for You? video I did years ago…
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Natural topical remedies for eczema, including licorice root gel, St. John’s Wort cream, and emollients such as coconut oil, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly, are put to the test. Despite the availability of drugs with proven efficacy for eczema, like topical steroids, many patients seek out natural alternatives. Which plant, then, should be used for…
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What are the risks and benefits of getting an annual check-up from your doctor? Physicians and patients have come to expect the annual check-up as a routine part of care. “However, considerable research has not demonstrated a substantial benefit,” so a “revolt is brewing against the tradition of periodic” check-ups. “Even the Society for General…
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Do mobile phones cause brain tumors? Whenever a trillion-dollar industry is involved—whether it’s Big Food, Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, or Big Telecom—there’s so much money that the science can get manipulated. When it comes to the potential human health effects of cell phone use, certainly, you might end up with a crick in your neck…
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Just because the sodium lauryl sulfate in toothpaste doesn’t cause cancer doesn’t mean it can’t cause problems. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a common detergent used in toothpaste. It was featured in a famous Internet hoax nearly 20 years ago. Colgate toothpaste contains SLS, which was supposedly proven to cause cancer, but at least buying…
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One food may be able to combat all four purported causal factors of autism: synaptic dysfunction, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neuroinflammation. In a keynote address at an autism conference, Harvard neurologist Martha Herbert said, “I think we need to conduct research as if we know this is an emergency.” Already, up to 1.5 percent…
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Might lectins help explain why those who eat more beans and whole grains have less cancer? Lectins are to blame for the great “white kidney bean incident” of 2006 in Japan. One Saturday evening, a TV program introduced a new method to lose weight. The method was simple: toast some dry, raw, white kidney beans…
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A book purported to expose “hidden dangers” in healthy foods doesn’t even pass the whiff test. I started getting emails about The Plant Paradox, a book purporting to expose “the hidden dangers in ‘healthy’ foods that cause disease and weight gain”—foods like beans, whole grains, and tomatoes. Hidden dangers? The author’s talking about lectins in…
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Those with certain autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease should probably not eat nutritional yeast. Thousands of years ago, some yeast floated down into our flour and drinks, pleasing our palates, and we’ve been regularly exposed to it ever since. Yeast isn’t a problem for most people, but even non-disease-causing microbes could potentially trigger autoimmune…
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Is the exaggerated reaction of many Crohn’s disease patients to baker’s, brewer’s, and nutritional yeast just a consequence of their inflamed leaky gut, or might the yeast be a contributing cause? “Baker’s Yeast in Crohn’s Disease—Can It Kill You?” is the inflammatory title (no pun intended) of a 1999 journal article. Crohn’s disease is an…
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Dr. Dean Ornish showed that a plant-based diet and lifestyle program could apparently reverse the progression of prostate cancer for early stage, localized, watch-and-wait cancer. What about for more advanced stage life-threatening disease? Dr. Dean Ornish showed that a plant-based diet and lifestyle program could apparently reverse the progression of prostate cancer by making men’s…
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The effects of coconut oil were compared to butter and tallow. Even if virgin coconut oil and other saturated fats raise LDL “bad” cholesterol, isn’t that countered by the increase in HDL “good” cholesterol? According to “the experience and wisdom of 200 of the country’s leading experts in cardiovascular diseases,” in a report representing 29…
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Arsenic is not just considered to be a carcinogen; it’s also designated as a “nonthreshold carcinogen, meaning that any dose, no matter how small, carries some cancer risk”—so there really isn’t a “safe” level of exposure. Given that, it may be reasonable to “use the conservative ALARA” approach, reducing exposure As Low As Reasonably Achievable.…
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Getting rice down to the so-called safe water limit for arsenic would still allow for roughly 500 times greater cancer risk than is normally considered acceptable. Given the level of arsenic in rice, how could we figure out how much rice is too much? There are no U.S. standards for arsenic in rice, even though…
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I recommend people switch away from using rice milk For kids and teens, the amount of arsenic flowing through their bodies was found to be about 15 percent higher for each quarter cup of rice consumed per day, and a similar link was found in adults. A study of pregnant women found that consuming about…
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When it comes to rice and rice-based products, pediatric nutrition authorities have recommended that arsenic intake should be as low as possible. “The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been monitoring the arsenic content in foods” for decades, yet despite the “well-established science describing the health risks associated with arsenic exposure, no standards have…
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Arsenic levels were tested in 5,800 rice samples from 25 countries.The arsenic found in five servings of rice a week poses a hundred times the acceptable cancer risk. What did the rice industry have to say about that? When the story first broke in the media that U.S. rice had some of the highest arsenic…
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Even at low-level exposure, arsenic is not just a class I carcinogen, but may also impair our immune function and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. When people hear about arsenic, they think of it as an acute poison, and, indeed, a tiny amount—a hundred milligrams, about one-tenth the weight of a paperclip—could…
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What was the National Chicken Council’s response to public health authorities calling for the industry to stop feeding arsenic-based drugs to poultry? “Dietary practices influence our exposure to pesticides, toxic heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, and industrial pollutants….A diet high in fish and other animal products, for example, results in greater exposure to persistent organic compounds…
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As I discuss in my video How to Treat Heart Failure and Kidney Failure with Diet, one way a diet rich in animal-sourced foods like meat, eggs, and cheese may contribute to heart disease, stroke, and death is through the production of an atherosclerosis-inducing substance called TMAO. With the help of certain gut bacteria, the…
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In 2011, Denmark introduced the world’s first tax on saturated fat. “After only 15 months, however, the fat tax was abolished,” due to massive pressure from farming and food company interests. “Public health advocates are weak in tackling the issues of corporate power…A well-used approach for alcohol, tobacco, and, more recently, food-related corporate interests is…
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