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Parents Beware: Food Causes Nutrition Deficiency: Soda and Fast Food Cripple Brain Development, According to New Study

A special issue of the journal Birth Defects Research: The Teenage Brain has concluded that the excessive consumption of junk food and energy drinks impairs the mental health of teenagers.

In the study, a team of researchers from the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australiareviewed the effects of caffeine and taurine found in energy drinks on the developing brains of young adults. They found in the review of animal studies that taurine, an additive used in energy drinks, can be harmful to developing brains. Christine Curran, lead author of the study, said that this raises concerns on teenage drinking because they are often combined with alcohol.

The researchers said that these products hamper the development of brains because of the intense rush of dopamine. This in turn causes a unique mental health risk to young people who consume energy drinks excessively. Curran explained that their findings in exposed adolescent and young adult mice to high taurine levels indicate that there can be detrimental effects on learning and memory and increased alcohol consumption in females. These mice were less sociable and exhibited worse performance in tests that measured their recognition of things.

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Their review also suggests that age is an important factor in both caffeine and taurine toxicity. They found that aged or diseased brains may benefit from taurine or caffeine supplementation. On the other hand, young people are unlikely to benefit from these products and may even experience adverse effects from chronic consumption of high amounts.

“Our review indicates we don’t know enough about the effects of high consumption of energy drinks and the ingredients found in them at this critical time in mammalian brain development,” said Curran.

A different study from the same university found that takeout meals could increase the risk of teens of becoming alcoholics or drug addicts and overweight as they age. In addition, the study revealed that junk food adversely affects the brains of teens. This type of food could lead to bad decision making, increase reward-seeking behavior, and influence bad eating habits throughout adulthood. Amy Reichelt, lead author of the study, explained that this is because main neurotransmitter systems in the brain responsible for inhibition and reward-signaling are still underdeveloped.

Reichelt said that there is more evidence that shows that the adolescent stage is a critical stage where alcohol, drugs, and a high-fat or sugar diet exposure has “pronounced and enduring detrimental effects on cognition, behavior, and learning.” This is most evidently seen in memory tasks that are dependent on the hippocampus which is rapidly interrupted by high-fat and high-sugar diets.

Meanwhile, other studies suggest that exercise may prevent the chronic effects of adverse exposures in young adults. However, majority of teenagers are not exercising enough. (Related: Adults and kids buck depression, anxiety and hyperactivity with exercise.)

Anxiety and depression among teens

There is an increased number of young adults who are suffering from anxiety and depression. In fact, at least 25.1 percent of individuals who are between 13 and 18 years old are diagnosed with anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and specific phobias. However, not everyone gets treatment. Research showed that untreated teens with anxiety disorders have a higher risk of performing bad in school, missing out on important social events, and engaging in substance abuse.

Read more stories on the detrimental effects of junk food and sugary drinks at Addiction.news.

Source – Natural News

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Research Reveals How Sugar CAUSES Cancer

  • The Facts:This article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo.com where it first originally appeared. Posted here with permission.
  • Reflect On:The average American consumes their body weight annually in this cancer-causing substance, and yet hospitals freely feed it to their cancer patients, seemingly oblivious to the harm it does.

Hospitals feed cancer patients sugar and high carbohydrate diets for a simple reason: they are abysmally ignorant of the role of nutrition in health and disease — hence their burgeoning growth, packed rooms, and ‘return customers.’

Even though the science itself shows – at least since the mid-20’s with Otto Warburg’s cancer hypothesis — that tumors prefer to utilize sugar fermentation to produce energy rather than the much more efficient oxygen-based phosphorylation* – hospitals have actually invited corporations like McDonald’s to move into their facilities  to ‘enhance’ their patient’s gustatory experience, presumably to provide comfort and take the edge off of the painful surgery, radiation and chemo treatments erroneously proffered to them as the only reasonable ‘standard of care.’

But the times are changing, with new research requiring these medical institutions to reform their dietary strategies, at least if they wish to claim that their interventions are in fact ‘evidence-based,’ as they so often claim.

Study Reveals Sugar Doesn’t Just Feed But Causes Cancer

A groundbreaking study, uncovered by one of our volunteer researchers at Greenmedinfo, is the first of its kind to identify sugar, not only as fuel source for an already existing cancer, but as a primary driver in oncogenesis – i.e. the initiation of cancerous characteristics (phenotype) within previously healthy cells.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and titled, Increased sugar uptake promotes oncogenesis via EPAC/RAP1 and O-GlcNAc pathways, researchers addressed a common perception (or misperception) in the cancer research community regarding sugar’s relationship to cancer: namely, “increased glycolysis [sugar based metabolism] is frequently viewed as a consequence of oncogenic events that drive malignant cell growth and survival.”

Contrary to this conventional view, the new study “provide[s] evidence that increased glycolytic activation itself can be an oncogenic event.”  That is to say, the activation of sugar-based metabolism in a cell – driven by both the presence of increased quantities of glucose and the increase glucose receptors on the cell membrane surface (i.e. “overexpression of a glucose transporter”) – drives cancer initiation.

Moreover, the study found that “Conversely, forced reduction of glucose uptake by breast cancer cells led to phenotypic reversion.” In other words, interfering with sugar availability and uptake to the cell causes the cancer cell to REGRESS towards its pre-cancer structure-function (phenotype).

What Are The Implications of This Research to the Diet?

What this new research indicates is that sugar – of which Americans consume an astounding 160 lbs annually (imagine: 31 five-pound bags for each of us!) – is one of the primary causes of metabolic cell changes in the body consistent with the initiation and promotion of cancer. And, the research indicates that removing it from the diet, and depriving the cells of it, could REVERSE cancer. Why is this so surprising? It’s because Americans have been lead like lambs to the slaughter to think of “prevention” as “early detection,” focusing not on identifying and removing the well known nutritional and environmental causes of cancer, rather, to spend their time, energy, and money on cause-marketing campaigns focused on “finding a cure” — as if one didn’t already exist right in front of our noses, or more aptly, on the end of our forks.

Hidden Sugar, Crouching Cancer

It has been estimated by the USDA that the average American consumes 200 lbs of grain products annually. Why is this relevant to the question of sugar in the diet? Because refined carbohydrate products – e.g. crackers, bread, pasta, cereal – are actually ‘hidden’ forms of sugar. In fact, puffed rice causes your blood to become sweeter (and presumably feeds more cancer cells sugar) than white sugar, as it is higher on the glycemic index. Adding the two figures together – annual per capita consumption of sugar and grain-based products – we get a jaw dropping 360 lbs of sugar (both overt (table sugar/high fructose corn syrup) and covert (grain carbs) annually – all of which may contribute to promoting the ideal metabolic situation of cancer cells: aerobic glycolysis.

This is one reason why the ketogenic diet – that is, a fat- and protein-focused diet devoid of carbohydrate, both in simple (sugar) and complex (grain product) form – has been found so useful in the most aggressive of cancers: including brain cancer. Once you ‘pull the rug out’ from under the sugar/carb-craving cancer cells, they are forced to either undergo programmed cell death (apoptosis) or re-differentiate back into non-cancerous phenotypes.

If It’s So Bad For Us, Why Do We Eat So Much?

One of the primary reasons why we eat sugar and carbohydrate rich diets is because they are addictive. Within minutes of consuming sugar/carbs our body goes through a neuroendocrine roller coaster. Your brain can not survive very long without glucose, the fundamental energy unit of the cell, and will ‘freak out’ if deprived of a steady stream of this ‘nutrient’ within only 2-3 minutes. The endocrine system, on the other hand, perceives the danger of high sugar – namely, glycation associated damage to protein and lipid structures within the cells of our body; think: blood caramelizing, getting sticky, and gumming up the finely tuned works – and will release hormones such as insulin, adrenaline and cortisol, in order to try to get the elevated sugar in the blood and tissues under control. Insulin forces the sugar into storage within the cell, both as glycogen and as fat, but often does its job too well, causing available glucose levels in the brain to be depleted – setting off a vicious cycle of ’emergency signals’ telling the body to release more cortisol and adrenaline to increase the levels of glucose in the blood. This, of course, will result in additional insulin production and release, causing the same cycle to be repeated over and over again.

This seemingly endless vicious cycle is responsible for the insatiable cravings a high carb/sugar diet generates – not to mention the fructose-based hedonic effects generated in the brain that modulate both opioid and dopamine receptors in the nervous system (not unlike alcohol), and the pharmacologically active peptides in many gluten-containing grains, which also drive addictive behaviors and an almost psychotic fixation on getting carbs at each meal.

No wonder we have an epidemic of cancer in a world where the Westernized diet prevails. Certainly, we do not mean to indicate that a sugar/carb-rich diet is the only cause of cancer. There are many other factors that contribute to cancer initiation and promotion, such as:

  • Chemical exposure
  • Radiation exposure
  • Chronic stress that suppresses the immune system
  • Vaccines containing hidden retroviruses and cancer causing viruses
  • Natural infection with bacteria and viruses that are cancer causing
  • Lack of sleep
  • Insufficient nutrients (lack of methyl donors such as B12, folate, and B6 will prevent the body from ‘turning off’ (methylating) cancer-promoting genes

Even though cancer is a complex, multi-factorial phenomena, with variables we can not always control, one thing we can do is control what goes into our mouth. Sugar, for instance, does not belong there if we truly want to prevent and/or treat cancer.  And don’t forget, carbohydrates that don’t taste sweet on the front end – bread, crackers, cereal – certainly convert to sugar in the body within minutes post-consumption.

In a nutshell, if you are concerned about cancer, have cancer, or would like to prevent recurrence, removing sugar and excess carbohydrates is a must. Not only is it common sense, but it is now validated by experimental research.

Additional Research

Note: another recent study found that Candida albicans (yeast) also contributes to cancer initiation and promotion. C. albicans thrives on sugar, lending additional support to the notion that sugar (consumed excessively) may be a primary driver of the cancer epidemic in those consuming the modern Western diet. For information on sugar alternatives that are not synthetic toxicants like Splenda (sucralose), read my latest article on the topic:  4 Sugar Alternatives That Won’t Poison You.


*Note: Cancer cells prefer to ferment sugar as a form of energy even when there is sufficient oxygen available to the cells to do so; hence Warburg’s description of cancer metabolism as ‘aerobic glycolysis’ or the so-called ‘Warburg effect’

Originally published: 2017-12-04

Article udpated: 2019-07-19

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Everyone is Broke But YOU Don’t Have to Be a Debt Slave Any Longer

Dylan Charles, Editor
Waking Times

Look around in this fancy land called the U.S. and you’ll get the impression that people are just rolling in dough. They got fabulous new cars, expensive houses loaded up with imported goods, the latest smart phones, designer wardrobes, and they’re never about to turn down a good time.

But it’s all an illusion. It’s fake.

In reality, 80% of Americans are in debt and living paycheck to paycheck. Which means most of us are broke, and almost nobody owns anything at all. All that great stuff you see all around isn’t true prosperity, it’s owned by banks and it all serves as chains in a modern form of slavery.

Americans owe over $1 trillion on just their cars, another $1 trillion in household credit card debt$1.5 trillion in federally insured student loan debt, $8.8 trillion in mortgage debt, and all the while 40% of U.S. households are paying down medical debt. To add insult to all this injury, the national debt is now over $22 trillion, and growing 36% faster than the economy.

Debt slavery is the new normal, and it’s no accident.

We’re part of an economic and monetary system built on debt, and our culture has been warped by decades of scientifically minded marketing, advertising and consumer programming, and our cities and communities have been designed and organized for shopping, not for sharing and communing. Strip malls and big box stores have replaced the town square.

It is what it is, and it’s not going away any time soon, but the personal consequences of chronically being in debt are severe.

There’s the stress and worry of it all, and what that does to your health. There are the lost dreams and wishes unfulfilled.  The exorbitant and crushing bank fees, penalties, and high interest rates, backed up by collections agencies and organized harassment. The damage it does to marriages and the broken homes, and perhaps most insidious, there’s the spiritual malaise of being a slave.

But you can escape. Anyone can. I mean, to be honest, you’re not going to escape the disaster of government debt, because as individuals we have no control over what the lunatics and crooks in government do. That’s another conversation, but you don’t have to tolerate a life as a slave to personal debt. You don’t have to live forever with student loans, car payments and mountains of credit card debt.

What’s at stake here is you freedom. That is, the quality of your life in the short time you get to be alive here on earth.

Financial literacy is not something most of us learn in school, and so very few of us have had positive examples of this in our lives, but there is a system to get out of debt that works very well, and there is a network of support that can teach you how, get you inspired, and keep you motivated as you walk your own path to freedom.

Having found myself in deeply debt a couple of times in life, and then working my way to being 100% debt free, I can tell you that there is really no feeling quite as joyful as being free.

The method I have found that works the best to achieve this is referred to as the ‘debt snowball’ and is outlined in the book, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey. I was about to spell it out for you when I found an exceptional breakdown of it by Daisy Luther of the excellent blog, The Organic Prepper. Check it out, as it is the quickest way to get yourself out of debt.

Dave recommends something called “the Snowball Method” for repaying debt quickly. Imagine a snowball at the top of a hill.  As you roll the snowball, you pick up more snow, and the snowball gets bigger. By the time it’s at the bottom of the hill, it’s huge. You can do the same thing with debt by paying off the smallest bill first, then applying what you’d normally pay on that lowest bill to the next bill. Continue adding the minimum payment for each paid-off bill to the next largest one until all of your debt is repaid.

This method assumes you have enough money coming in to make your basic payments, plus a little bit extra. If you’re in a situation in which you truly do not have enough money to pay your bills, this article will be more appropriate.

I have personally used this technique to attack debt, with a few tweaks of my own.

Here’s a more detailed explanation of how the Snowball Method works.

1.) Write down every penny you owe.  This is tough love, and it’s painful, but go through all your bills and write down your totals. Most people find that the total is higher than they expected. The good news is, if you are truly committed to paying off your debt, this is the highest that it will be.

2.) Organize the bills from smallest to largest amounts.  This may not seem like it makes much sense, but trust me…there’s a method to the madness here.

3.) Write another list of the minimum payments for each bill. This is your baseline of payments each month. For the sake of ease, let’s say there are ten bills with a total of $750 in monthly minimum payments.

4.) Now, figure out the rest of your budget. Once you pay your rent/mortgage, buy groceries, and pay the utility bills, how much money do you have on top of your $750 a month?  For this exercise, we’ll say you have an extra hundred dollars.

5.) Your worksheet might look something like this:

6.) Now, you’re going to start putting all of your extra money on the lowest bill each month. So, the first month, you make all of your minimum payments, put $80 extra on the Victoria’s Secret bill to pay it off, and then apply your leftover $20 to the JC Penney’s bill.

7.) The following month, take the minimum payment from Victoria’s Secret, the minimum from JC Penney’s, and your extra $100 to pay off your JC Penney’s debt. Keep in mind that due to interest, your other debts will not change much at all if you are only making the minimum payment. For the sake of this exercise, we’re living them as they are to demonstrate that.

8.) The month after that, you’ll combine all of your previous minimum payments with your extra hundred dollars, plus the minimum for Target for a total of $185 against that bill. It will take you two months of snowballing to pay this off.

And that’s how you pay off consumer debt quickly.

Being debt free as an individual is one of the most important things you can do for your happiness, security and for your family. Since pretty much everyone you know is doing the ‘normal’ thing of being a debt slave in an overly consumeristic culture, do yourself a favor and check out The Dave Ramsey Show and take back your freedom from the banks and credit card companies.

About the Author

Dylan Charles is the editor of Waking Times and co-host of Redesigning Reality, both dedicated to ideas of personal transformation, societal awakening, and planetary renewal. His personal journey is deeply inspired by shamanic plant medicines and the arts of Kung Fu, Qi Gong and Yoga. After seven years of living in Costa Rica, he now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and enjoys spending time with family. He has written hundreds of articles, reaching and inspiring millions of people around the world.

This article (Everyone is Broke But YOU Don’t Have to Be a Debt Slave Any Longer) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Dylan Charles and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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FBI to Ramp Up Surveillance of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

The FBI plans to step up its efforts to gather information from social media – issuing a call last week for a new tool to monitor Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms “in a timely fashion.”

Citing the use of social media by terrorist groups, domestic threats, criminal organizations and foreign intelligence services, the FBI “needs near real time access to a full range of social media exchanges in order to obtain the most current information available,” according to the request for proposal

In addition to information such as user IDs, the feds are interested in “emails, IP addresses, telephone numbers, and likely aliases” used over social media. The tool would also allow for location-based trackingpersistent keyword monitoring, and access to one’s personal social media history.

The FBI has justified the tool by claiming it is in response “to an increasing number of threats to U.S. national interests that are identifiable, with ever-greater frequency, through social media platforms.”

It is an acknowledged fact that virtually every incident and subject of FBI investigative interest has a presence online. Consequently, law enforcement gaining lawful access (i.e., access that is authorized, appropriate, and consistent with applicable law and policy) to this data will result in early detection and/or containment of the magnitude of any harm caused by these threats.

To protect US citizens, a method employed by the FBI is the acquisition of subscriptions granting access to tools. These allow for the exploitation of lawfully collected/acquired from social media platforms and stored, vetted and formatted by a vendor. The missioncritical exploitation of social media enables the Bureau to proactively detect, disrupt, and investigate an ever growing diverse range of threats. More specifically, the Bureau provides real-time situational awareness of indicators and warnings of emerging social media incidents. -FBI

Can’t they just ask the NSA?

found on Activist Post

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