Health Issues Archives

Sugar: the poison we ignore

Sugar crystals on a ruler.Photo by Lauri Andler, Wikimedia Commons

Sugar crystals on a ruler.
Photo by Lauri Andler, Wikimedia Commons

The other day, I heard on the news of a study from researchers at the University of Adelaide, into the effects of soft drink consumption on the dental health of children. The study (carried out on 16,800 Australian children) found that children who consumed 3 or more sweet drinks a day had 46% more decayed or missing teeth. The study calls for more warnings to be put on beverages and foods of the risk of excess sugar consumption. But I wonder if this really goes far enough. The study also found that the greatest consumption of these sugary drinks was from lowest income families.

The hidden sugar
The other and perhaps greater risk to our health is the sugar in our diets we aren’t aware of. Forget the cakes, biscuits and confectionary, I’m talking about the rest of the foods that we buy from our supermarket and the sugar that’s added to a lot of our junk food and take-away/drive-through conveniences. Now, I don’t know about you but if some barista or coffee shop was to stick one, two or more spoonfuls of sugar into my tea or coffee without asking me, I’d be a VERY upset customer. So why is this stuff being put into our food and beverages without asking us? Simple. It creates a craving in our brains; brings us back for more. So much of food science is now dedicated into how to draw a consumer into buying a food or coming back again and again.

Are taxes the answer?
Predictably there are calls for taxes to be put on these types of food and beverages. In Britain, a paper published by the group Sustain, calls for a levy to be placed on sugary beverages. This is backed by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. In Australia there have been calls for a ‘fat’ tax on high fat foods. I remain skeptical of such taxes. Just looking at the impact of taxes on alcoholic beverages and tobacco, one sees that it doesn’t have much impact on the demand for these items. All they do is increase the government coffers and keeps people complacent, that something has been done about the problem, when in fact little has. You see taxes on things like sugary beverages, fatty foods or tobacco don’t address the addictive nature of these substances.

Ultimately I believe that something like sugar needs to be taken right out of our food supply. But until the thick skulls in our regulatory bodies and governments act, it’s up to us as individuals to learn as much as we can about the dangers and act – for ourselves – and our children; who let’s face it don’t understand that sugar is hurting them.

Read the rest of this entry

Beware of energy drinks

A friend of mine recently brought this story (Anais’s tragedy: calls for restrictions on energy drinks after teenager’s death), from the Sydney Morning Herald, to my attention (thanks Rose), which I felt prompted to share with as many people as possible.

The cause of 14 year old Anais’s death was heart arrhythmia and while she had been previously diagnosed with a heart disorder, this was aggravated from caffeine toxicity. And the source of her caffeine toxicity has been linked to a Monster energy drink.

“Anais Fournier was hanging out with friends at a shopping centre one Friday, sipping on a large Monster energy drink. She followed it with another the next day.” 
Note, Anais did not binge on these drinks. A week later, she was dead. The family are now suing the producer of Monster Energy. And this is not an isolated incident, as the Herald article points out:
“… the US Food and Drug Administration revealed it had received five death reports in the past year that said the victims had consumed Monster drinks, which are billed as a “killer energy brew” on the company’s website…”

“Killer energy brew” indeed. And in the U.S., the number of emergency room incidents that involve energy drinks has risen from 1128 to 13,114 between 2005 and 2009.

In the United States, producers of energy drinks are apparently not required to disclose caffeine quantities in their beverages, as they are categorized as wait for it…Dietary supplements. So in some of these energy drinks, the caffeine content can be seven times the amount found in soft drinks like Coca-Cola. Predictably there are calls to regulate these energy drinks and have better labelling.

What about in Australia? While the Australian beverage industry has been quick to point out that energy drinks are strictly regulated with proper labelling and limits on the amount of caffeine, not all are convinced of their complete safety.

There have been calls from the Australian Medical Association for better regulations on these drinks. A study co-authored by cardiologist, Prof Chris Semsarian of the University of Sydney, has found that caffeine added from substances such as Guarana meant the quantity of caffeine in these energy drinks can be as high as 500 mg. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly 5 times the amount of caffeine found in a standard cup of coffee. Another study from the Australian Medical Journal found that between 2004 and 2010 there were as many as 297 calls to the Poisons hotline, relating to energy drinks.

To make matters worse, we also have the case where these energy drinks are being mixed with alcohol. Stimulants plus Depressants? Not a good combination.

My personal feeling is that we don’t really need these drinks. The best thing to drink after a night on the town is wait for it….Water!!!!!

I have included some follow up reading on this issue. My advice to you if you have kids who consume these types of drinks (or perhaps you use them yourself) is GET EDUCATED. Read up on it ASAP. Don’t put your faith in the makers of these beverages. Find out what exactly is in their drinks and beverages and how this might affect their health.

Till next time
Further Reading:
Beware of energy drinks, Prof. Chris Semsarian, Australian Genetic Heart Disease Registry

On bottled water

Some of you may have already come across this short video.  My apologies for that. Perhaps you can forward this on to all your friends and family if you haven’t already. For those who haven’t seen it, then it’s important you watch it. It’s a prime example of the sort of cons and imbroglios of the modern world.  Hopefully this video is behaviour changing. If you’re worried about the water that comes out of your tap, get yourself a filter and buy yourself a stainless steel water bottle or glass bottle. I myself use a glass bottle at work – an old NingXia Red bottle I’ve recycled.

Anyway watch this video. It’s well done.

Till Next Time



Big Lies of Science

Just recently came across a brilliant article, posted on the Activist Teacher blog site of Denis G Rancourt, Ph.D.. I think it sums up pretty well, what’s wrong with science and medicine today. The article is simply entitled Some Big Lies of Science.  Denis Rancourt was a tenured professor at the University of Ottawa in Canada. Trained as a physicist and practising environmental science, he has published over 100 articles, ran an internationally recognised laboratory and developed popular activism courses.  He was defender of student and Palestinian rights and a critic of the University administration. In 2009 he was fired for his dissidence.

The following are a number of quotes from his article and will give you a taste of what he’s about:

On the teaching and practice of economics –

…the enterprise of economics became devoted to masking the lie about money. Bad lending practice, price fixing and monopolistic controls were the main threats to the natural justice of a free market, and occurred only as errors in a mostly self-regulating system that could be moderated via adjustments of interest rates and other “safeguards.” Meanwhile no mainstream economic theory makes any mention of the fact that money itself is created wholesale in a fractional reserve banking system owned by secret private interests given a licence to fabricate and deliver debt that must be paid back (with interest) from the real economy, thereby continuously concentrating ownership and power over all local and regional economies.”

On modern medicine –

We’ve all heard some MD (medical doctor) interviewed on the radio gratuitously make the bold proposal that life expectancy has increased thanks to modern medicine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Life expectancy has increased in First World countries thanks to a historical absence of civil and territorial wars, better and more accessible food, less work and non-work accidents, and better overall living and working conditions. The single strongest indicator of personal health within and between countries is economy status, irrespective of access to medical technology and pharmaceuticals.”

These bone heads routinely apply unproven “recommended treatments” and prescribe dangerous drugs for everything from high blood pressure from a sedentary lifestyle and bad nutrition, to apathy at school, to anxiety in public places, to post-adolescence erectile function, to non-conventional sleep patterns, and to all the side effects from the latter drugs. In professional yet nonetheless remarkable reversals of logic, doctors prescribe drugs to remove symptoms that are risk indicators rather than address the causes of the risks, thereby only adding to the assault on the body.

On the banning of CFCs and the Ozone layer –

“A Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded in 1995 for a laboratory demonstration that CFCs could deplete ozone in simulated atmospheric conditions. In 2007 it was shown that the latter work may have been seriously flawed by overestimating the depletion rate by an order of magnitude, thereby invalidating the proposed mechanism for CFC-driven ozone depletion. Not to mention that any laboratory experiment is somewhat different from the actual upper atmosphere… Is the Nobel tainted by media and special interest lobbying? It gets better. It turns out that the Dupont replacement refrigerant is, not surprisingly, not as inert as was Freon. As a result it corrodes refrigerator cycle components at a much faster rate. Where home refrigerators and freezers lasted forever, they now burn out in eight years or so. This has caused catastrophic increases in major appliance contributions to land fill sites across North America”

And finally…

It’s not about limited resources. [“The amount of money spent on pet food in the US and Europe each year equals the additional amount needed to provide basic food and health care for all the people in poor countries, with a sizeable amount left over.” (UN Human Development Report, 1999)] It’s about exploitation, oppression, racism, power, and greed. Economic, human, and animal justice brings economic sustainability which in turn is always based on renewable practices. Recognizing the basic rights of native people automatically moderates resource extraction and preserves natural habitats. Not permitting imperialist wars and interventions automatically quenches nation-scale exploitation. True democratic control over monetary policy goes a long way in removing debt-based extortion.”

Check out Denis Rancourt’s blog at:

Till next time



The BP Oil Spill and the root of our problems

I think this is an interesting 10 minute video, that should get you thinking. Some will call it conspiracy theory. A conspiracy is hidden. There is nothing hidden about this disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, nor about the root causes of the problem. The REAL problem is that people don’t want to know about it.

The video talks about our banking system. Personally I think it goes deeper. As long as our ‘culture’, our philosophy is totally dominated by the dollar, we will never have good health, good food, peace and security or a clean and environmentally sustainable world.

Sure, people need to make money to make a living, but do we have to do it at the expense of someone else? Can’t we feed people good nourishing food that sustains the grower and distributor at the same time? I believe we can. The same goes with health. We can cure people of illnesses such as cancer and still sustain our doctors, alternative therapists, healers, shamans or whatever. Our current profit-driven medical paradigm is generally a win-lose scenario. Shareholders and corporations get rich, while the average person continues to suffer or die from diseases when there’s no need. Let’s turn it around folks. Please pass this video file around, which by the way I found on Iggy Makaravich’s blog – What’s all this, then?

Till next time






I think it’s a very good habit these days to really look closely at the small print, and think about what’s in that bottle of shampoo, soap or hair care product you’re buying. And if there is no fine print, ask “Why not?”. In the hustle and bustle of day to day life it’s very easy for us all to grab the first thing we see off the shelf. Sure, we might aim for something that says “contains herbal essences” or “contains natural ingredients”. But how ‘natural’ are these products anyway AND what’s been included with the ‘natural’ ingredients; the ‘gift with purchase’ we don’t really want?

And what are we putting down our sinks? The stuff we put on our skin, in our hair and in our bodies eventually finds itself going back into our drains and sewerage and back into the natural environment. A recent story I read reminded me of this. Proctor and Gamble (yes, the company whose stock was recently involved in the recent share market meltdown) recently put out a statement indicating they were intending to reduce the level of 1,4-Dioxane in their herbal essences products.

Now the problem with 1,4-Dioxane is that not only can it damage your liver and kidneys, it also doesn’t biodegrade and ends up back into our water supplies. Hence what is a health problem is also an environmental problem, and vice-versa. Read the rest of this entry

WHO Appoints H1N1 Cover-up committee

Take a look at this article folks. It should give everyone food for thought; especially when someone suggests (or demands) you should(or must) take a flu shot to save you from this or that epidemic.

WHO Appoints H1N1 Cover-Up Committee

By James Corbett, April 13 2010,  Global

And to make sure we all take our medication… Have a look at this article from Mike Adams in Natural News, April 27th

Big Brother to track your medication compliance with electronic transmitters in pills


Aerotoxic Syndrome

This piece has nothing to do with essential oils, but plenty to do with health and wellbeing.

Especially, if you travel on airlines frequently (or work as air crew).If you do, then I suggest you read this article by former airline captain, John Hoyte. Aerotoxic syndrome is something most of us will probably never have heard of…and when you read the article you’ll understand why

Aerotoxic Syndrome – Aviation’s best kept secret

If after reading that, you think you’d like more information about the subject, an association has been formed – The Aerotoxic Association. It provides more information on the subject as well as support for sufferers of this illness –  Aerotoxic Association