Monday, November 9, 2015

The End of Pollution

Imagine putting a little devise on the tail pipe of your car or the smoke stack of coal burning plant  or gas vents used in refineries and all the pollutants are broken down into their atomic elements of Carbon, oxygen etc.  This would be a game changer on the face of planet earth.  

A gentleman named David G Yurth has created such a device and it is in the patenting process currently. His company is in the process of testing this device in its prototype form. The device is called a "Corona Discharge CO2 Gas Plasma Dissociation Module". You can see a photo of it at his webiste. I listened to him speak for a couple hours on this device and other inventions of his. The guy has an amazing mind and it sounds like he really may have come up with an answer to much of our pollutants. 

This proprietary plasma generating device has high speed switching units that create a fracturing field inside a pulsating chamber located within the exhaust system. The fracturing field dissociates carbon dioxide and other pollutants inside the device. The pollution never leaves the automobile or the building.

 He says this device can be fitted to every internal combustion engine and adopted to many other uses. His current testing is on automobiles and equipment with combustion engines.

As he was talking, I realized this was a big game changer and there are many companies and governments making money on the the new carbon credit/tax system implemented on the planet.  I had to wonder if folks making money on pollution will be fighting this guy. Sounds crazy right, but big business does not like you to stop them in their tracks. Any time a radical new invention comes out, it shuts down whole sectors of industry and those sectors do not go down without a fight. Some inventors have even been known to disappear or end up dead even. The interviewer brought up these questions of the David. David said he knows he is upsetting the apple cart.  He said he realized he and his company would be making some powerful enemies and has went about this process slowly and methodically. He thinks he has protected himself and the invention to some degree by his well thought out activities and connections in various industries. He feels this project will go forward. 

There is a good write-up on this subject at NewsWire.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Gut Flora, What Do We Really Need to Know?

By now we all know that the genome studies identified 90% of the DNA that makes up our bodies is not ours and actually belongs to bacteria, viruses, fungus, and unknowns. This has lead to an amazing amount of research on the microbes in and on our body over the last several years. 

When I was a fledgling Naturopathic student learning about gut microbes back in the late 80's no one paid any attention to them but us. We were ridiculed in fact by main-stream medicine. Over the years, many people started using live cultured yogurt and other fermented products. You knew it had went mainstream when a lot of companies jumped on the band-wagon and started selling pretend yogurt with no live cultures. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of those. (If you want to see if you are buying live yogurt, simply try to make your own yogurt with it as a culture starter and see if it grows.) Anyway, yogurt was just a beginning as there has been a whole fermented food movement going on for many years. Finally, research and main-stream medicine has caught up with the rest of us hard-core food fermenters. They are finding out that supporting good digestive flora supports general health and protects you from disease.

The really funny thing is that just a couple of generations ago, everyone fermented food. It was just what you did. My Dad remembers when he was a kid, they fermented both vegetables and meat in his household. He said the meat did not taste so great, but it got them through some hard winters. He remembers loving the home made sauerkraut. We traded fermented food in for canned food and we really made a mistake when we did that. We lost the food nutrients to high temperatures and lost all the good gut flora.

Research is proving that having a large amount of gut flora and a great variety of  "good" gut flora helps not only keep the "bad" gut flora at bay, but it also keeps you healthy in general. Gut flora are being researched for everything from depression to healthy skin. 

Let  me make this whole avalanche of research easy for you. We can skip  reading all of it and simply support our digestion by eating live fermented foods/drinks every day. Eat and drink a variety of them. This could be yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, cheese, kvass, kombucha, kefir, or many other types of fermented foods and drink. You can make them yourselves easily or find them at a health food store. If you buy them, just make sure it has LIVE BUGS in it. Make sure it is not sterilized in any way or the microbes will be dead. If you do this, you will be supporting not just great digestive capacity but also your entire body that depends on your digestion for its nourishment. Additionally, when your gut microbes are happy and healthy, for some reason the microbes in the rest of your body play nicer with everyone and you feel better overall.  

By the way, you can feed them to your animals too. I have fed goats, chickens, dogs and cats live cultured foods. My dog eats live cultured food once or twice each day.

Now one more thing you can do besides supplying "good" flora to your gut, is to support the flora already there. This can be done by increasing your intake of prebiotics which are basically different types of fiber. Water soluble fiber is best. You can spend a lot of money at the store on things like inulin and pectin in capsules or simply make sure you are getting pectin in the form of fruit such as an apple with the skin on. (Not all fruit has a lot of pectin in it.) Rather than buying the gut prebiotic inulin that is in most prebiotics, just dig up a dandelion root, jerusalem artichoke root or burdock and eat the root. Some other examples of water soluble fiber are flax seeds, funugreek seeds, marshmallow root, and psyllium seed (use seed, not husk). Don't over do it. A little is enough and make sure you drink plenty of water with that water soluble fiber. They will act to soften your bowel movements if you drink them with water. However, if you don't get enough water with it, you can get the opposite effect and end up with constipation.

A lot less people would be going to see their doctor if they simply ate fermented food with all their meals and tossed out their packaged, prepared foods.

Now I have to admit, I am still going to read the gut flora research as I am fascinated by it, but in reality it is just mental masturbation. I am really not going to learn to do anything differently than our ancestors have done through-out antiquity. I may share some of the really interesting research with you just for fun.

If you have any questions about supporting gut flora or comments, let me know.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Seriously Learning About Herbs

I have so many people ask me where they can get a serious education about herbal medicine. There are many people such as myself who offer classes from time to time, but for a long term commitment at a certified school,  Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism  is the place I send folks to.

A friend my mine, named Paul Bergner established this learning center back in 2003. In 2012, Lisa Ganora took over its leadership. The name has changed over the years which has been confusing for people. When Paul owned it, the name was North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. Now it is called The Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. The one thing that has not changed over the years, is the schools dedication to training new herbalists. The students leave the school with a good basic education in medical herbalism.

The  Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism offers introductory, advanced and clinical training in western herbalism and integrated nutrition in the Vitalist tradition. Their certificate programs include
Fundamentals of Medical Herbalism, Advanced Herbalism, Clinical Herbalism, Nutrition and Flower Essences.

The school's clinic serves the community while training new herbalists to use the knowledge they have learned in a real life situation. Each certified herbalist at Evergreen Center Clinic has had at least 870 classroom hours by the time they reach the clinic.

If you are seeking a serious herbal education, I whole heartedly recommend you visit this school.

Purveyors of fine herbal products

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Why Mosquitoes Like Some People Better Than Others

Do You Smell Good to A Mosquito?
We have known for some time that mosquitoes are attracted to the CO2 we breath out. However, more recently studies have been examining the mosquitoes attraction to how we smelll. It turns out mosquitoes think some folks smell better than others.

None of us like getting bitten by mosquitoes. However, it becomes really important if you live in an area with malaria. So, researchers are trying to figure out how to make people smell bad to a mosquito.

HLA Genes
It turns out that human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes are involved in regulation of human body odor. So, HLA genes were studied and it was discovered that those with HLA gene Cw.07 are more attractive to mosquitoes. The same research looking at the genes also looked at the scents that were associated with these people and found out that limonene, 2-phenylethanol and 2-ethyl-1-hexanol were associated with individuals that were not very attractive to the mosquitoes while  lactic acid, 2-methylbutanoic acid, tetradecanoic acid and octanal was very attractive to the mosquitoes. 

The fact that the people repelling the mosquitoes had a limonene component in their scent is no surprise since limonene containing essential oils are used as mosquito repellants. There are various research experiments showing limonene containing herbs as effective for use as  insect repellents.

The Skin Microflora Changes How Mosquitoes React to You
Now where it became really interesting to me as a person fascinated with all the bugs that live on and in our body, is the research looking at human skin microbiota and how the scent from the microflora on our skin is more or less attractive to the mosquitoes

It turns out that the people most attractive to the mosquitoes are the people with a high number of skin bacteria but lower diversity of bacteria on the skin. Those with more microbial diversity were less attractive. 

They even looked at which bacteria were more or less attractive to the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes seemed to like the smell of Staphylococcus epidermidis. People with a higher amount of Pseudomonas spp. or Variovorax spp. and had greater overall diversity were less attractive to mosquitoes.

This means in the not so distant future, you might be spraying bacteria over your skin when in a mosquito infested area. There is already bacteria skin (Nitrosomonas eutropha) spray that is being used to decrease body odor. Soon, there will be one to repel mosquitoes.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Getting A Good Nights Sleep

A good nights sleep sets the tone for the whole day. We all need it, but many do not get it.  It is thought that 70% of people do not get adequate sleep. There are various causative factors that keep people awake at night or cause their sleep to be restless. One of the physiolgical causes is decreased melatonin. 

What is Melatonin
Many people take melatonin to help them get adequate sleep. However, you can naturally raise melatonin levels also. More about that below.

Melatonin is largely made by the pineal gland from serotonin. Smaller amounts are made by many other organs like the retina, gastrointestinal tract, thymus, bone marrow, lymphocytes etc.   To make melatonin, tryptophan is converted into serotonin. Serotonin is converted to melatonin by three steps involving a series of enzymes that add an acetyl, methyl and finally a hydroxyl group to the indole ring. Melatonin levels naturally rise at night. This starts about 1 hour after the lights are turned off.

Melatonin plays an important role in various functions of the body. We are discussing how it helps us go to sleep, but it also has other effects on the body. Some of melatonin's effects are circadian biological rhythm regulation (sleep and body clock regulator), immunoregulatory activity, oncostatic actions (counteracts effects of carcinogens or inhibits cancer), control of reproductive functions and digestive functions, regulation of mood and slowing down the aging process. Melatonin may act as a mediator of inter-organ communication such as found between the gut and the liver. Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant.

Altered melatonin and serotonin levels may be involved in the development of alzheimer's disease, tumor formation, obesity, ischemic heart disease, and other degenerative processes associated with aging. Melatonin has also been found to be effective in combating various bacterial and viral infections and I think we all know it is used to prevent or reduce jet lag.  Oral melatonin given to aging mice will prolong their survival and keep them in a more youthful state. Melatonin may be helpful in Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic lateral Sclerosis, and epilepsy. Melatonin may be associated with multiple sclerosis through its effects on biological cycles and the immune system.

Melatonin influences the activity of many hormones and is, in turn, influenced by them
through feedback mechanisms. 

Melatonin is increased in mania, which is consistent with a condition associated with increased sympathetic activity. There is a possible relationship between pineal hormonal activity and eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa. It is unclear if the abnormalities are the cause or effect of the anorexia nervosa process.

What is the pineal gland (The gland that makes melatonin.)
Melatonin and serotonin are both made by the pineal gland as well as several peptides.

 This gland has been called "the seat of the soul" and "the sphincter of the mind".  The pineal gland is a photoreceptor organ that is closely related to the eye and optic nerve. It responds to light input from the retina.   From the physiologic perspective, the pineal is well situated to serve as a hub for the system of input, feedback and regulation among numerous diverse brain regions.  It synchronizes many of the hormonal and neurobehvioral activities to circadian (light/dark) rhythms. 

Control and feedback mechanisms by which the pineal hormones interact with target cells underlie the pineal's function as a link between an external environmental stimulus and internal end organ (homeostatic) responses.

Light causes configurational and chemical changes in the rods and cones of the retina. These changes are the basis of transduction of light energy into neural signals, which can be passed along neural pathways to the pineal. In addition, pineal cells themselves have photoreceptor properties (like our eyes) demonstrated by recordings of responses to light stimulation of isolated pineal cells, which show electrical reactions to illumination.

Hold on There. Does the Gut Really Have 400 Times More Melatonin than the Pineal Gland?
The short answer is yes. The gut does have 400 time more melatonin than the pineal gland. The gut has multiple types of receptors for melatonin and they are involved in regulating gastrointestinal movement, as well as inflammation and pain. Although you can detect pineal gland derived melatonin in the gut, the gut levels stay stable even when the pineal gland is removed. This means the melatonin is probably being made in the gut and for sure most of it is not coming from the pineal gland. Most of the daytime blood levels of melatonin appear to be coming from the gut and are made from tryptophan. Increased age brings on increased level of melatonin in the gut of the animals. (Most studies on melatonin are on animals.)

The function of melatonin in the gut is less clear than the function of melatonin in the central nervous system. In the gut it seems to regulate intestinal motion, the immune system, gastrointestinal secretion and the release of peptides involved in energy balance. It is involved in antioxidative mechanisms, and regulation of blood vessel tone to modify perfusion. Lastly, but very important, it effects the gut flora. I am also guessing the gut flora effect the melatonin levels too. The reason I say that is that gut bacteria are involved in making tryptophan in the gut via the shikimate pathway.  One thing more I would mention is that glyphosate/RoundUp(that is poured onto GMO crops that are resistant to it) has been shown to deplete tryptophan that melatonin is made from. One method this can happen would be through its inhibition of an enzyme used in the gut bacteria's shikimate pathway that makes tryptophan.

This could be a whole article on itself, so lets leave it for now.

What disturbs melatonin levels
Both light at night and non visible electromagnetic energy decrease the conversion of serotonin to melatonin. Although the mechanisms are incompletely described in research, the alterations in melatonin production due to light appear to be the same as those due to nonvisible electromagnetic field exposure. Although the mechanisms for the influence of nonvisible electromagnetic energy on melatonin formation are not known, the retina is thought to be the magnetoreceptor. Alterations in the retinal magnetoreceptor are transmitted to the suprachiasmatic nucleus. 

Static magnetic fields consistently and reproducibly perturb circadian melatonin rhythm. The effects are reflected in alterations in levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), N-acetyl­transferase (NAT) activity, hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT) activity, and pineal and blood melatonin concentrations, all of which are decreased by magnetic field exposure. 

6-hydroxymelatonin excretion in urine is lower in users of traditional magnetic field-emitting as opposed to low level magnetic field electric blankets. 

Artificial magnetic fields may attenuate seizure activity by altering the functioning of the pineal gland and melatonin levels. 

Ethanol at usually consumed levels was shown to inhibit melatonin production in healthy volunteers. There was an associated increase in noradrenergic activity. The combined effects may be associated with disturbances of sleep and performance observed with this substance.

Beta blockers given for high blood pressure reduce production of melatonin.

The pineal gland and melatonin seem to interact with several psychiatric drugs, especially antidepressant and antipsychotic medications that operate on the beta-adrenergic system. Chlorpromazine and haloperidol inhibit hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase which is  a necessary enzyme for melatonin production. Chronic lithium administration suppresses a shift in the peak night-time melatonin concentration and decreases hormone levels.

Natural methods to enhance melatonin
At night melatonin is stimulated by darkness and suppressed by light. Keep your lights off at night. This includes night lights, clock radios and computer/phone lights. Street lights can effect your melatonin production too. You need total darkness. 

It is probably obvious that darkness makes one sleep and  light wakes one up. However, it may not be as obvious that different parts of the light spectrum will effect you differently.  The blue part of the light spectrum keeps us awake. The red end of the light spectrum is less likely to cause problems.

You can purchase "low blue lights" which give off an amber light rather than the blue light that suppresses melatonin production.

You need light in the daytime to get good melatonin production at night and keep you alert during the day. In the daytime getting exposure to light, especially sunshine is important. Taking a walk every morning or a morning meditation in the sun is a great way to expose yourself to light.  It is the combination of brilliant day light and darkness at night that produces healthy levels of melatonin.

So, get up early and go for a walk in the sun. At night, go to bed early. 

One of the most effective methods of producing melatonin when this all fails is meditation. Meditation will stimulate the pineal gland if you do it often enough for long enough periods of time. I have found this to work wonderfully. The best time to do it is before bed but any time you meditate it will be helpful.

Doing things to bring bliss into your life will help stimulate your pineal gland. Play with your dog, enjoy your family and friends, meditate, work in your garden, walk in the woods. Consider any activity that brings you bliss to be a necessary part of your day. It will also make you a great person for others to be around.

Some foods contain melatonin or increase melatonin
Many foods contain melatonin. It has been found in vegetables, fruits, grains wine, beer and meat.

Melatonin is generated in the brewing of beer and fermenting of wine. Barley, which is malted and ground in the early process, and the yeast, during fermentation, are the largest contributors of melatonin during beer making. 

Chaste tree berry in healthy males ages 20-32  in doses of 120-480 mg per day showed as much as a 60% increase in melatonin, especially at night. I should mention however, that Chaste tree berry has been known to decrease the sex drive.

Feverfew contains 1,300 ng/gram melatonin fresh and 7,000 ng/gram dry. This is more than many of the foods usually thought of as containing melatonin such as tart cherries 15-18 ng/gram, almonds 29 ng/gram, sunflower seed 29 ng/gram. It is interesting that fresh feverfew has been used for migraines and cluster headaches and that melatonin has also been used for migraines and cluster headaches. Make sure you do not use fresh feverfew without taking it appropriately or it may cause sores in your mouth.

Foods that are high in tryptophan (Such as meat, cheese, sesame seeds) will also enhance melatonin as long as you are able to aceytylate and methylate appropriately.  (See above how tryptophan is changed into melatonin.)

Walnuts contain 2.5-4.5 ng/gram. When given as a sole food to rats it increased their melatonin 3 times the normal level.

What happens if you don't have enough melatonin? 
Decreased immune function, blood pressure instability, insomnia, diabetic microangiopathy (capillary damage), depression/seasonal effective disorder, increased risk of osteoporosis, decreased free radical scavenging, increased plaques in the brain such as those seen in alzheimer's disease, accelerated cancer cell proliferation/tumor growth, leukemia are some possible outcomes.

When do people take melatonin for sleep and how much?
It is usually taken 90-120 minutes before bed. You should check with your health care practitioner to make sure it is safe for you to take it. The general amount used is 0.3-5 mg. Often a prolonged release form is used.  Your practitioner can help you decide on a dosage. Some people find that melatonin works great to help them sleep but then eventually does not work any more. Most of them find if they stop taking it for  a few days, and then start up again, it will once more assist in a good nights sleep.

Are there side effects to melatonin?
Melatonin in high doses has been used as a contraceptive in Europe. High doses are also used in cancer and AIDS. However, this is under the supervision of a practitioner.  The most common side effects that have been reported are headaches, nausea, next-morning sleepiness, fluctuations of hormones and nightmares.

What about other things to promote Sleep?
All the nervine herbs have been used to promote sleep. Seek guidance from your Naturopath as to which nervines might be best for you.
Additionally a person needs adequate nutrients such as b vitamins, calcium, magnesium and zinc as well as enough tryptophan (amino acid) from their diet or as supplements. 
Keep noises to minimum, avoid large meals before bed, don't drink caffeine after 2PM, get regular exercise, don't nap in the afternoon, don't get into exciting conversations or projects in the last hour before bed, meditate prior to going to sleep. Additionally, you might read the blog on gut bacteria as if they are not happy, it effects your sleep too.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

GMO Death Fields

Forrest Pritchard, a farmer who grew GMO's in the past, recently said, "In order for those crops to grow, it requires death on a massive scale." He was pointing out that many of the GMO crops are genetically modified to resist herbicides that would usually kill the plants. This means these herbicides are now sprayed continuously on the food you eat and the land. They are sprayed over and over and over again. He says, "You can see it from outer space. According to the USDA, this year in America alone, more than 170 million acres of corn and soybeans are in production. At a conservative estimate of 10 gallons of glyphosate (the herbicide most commonly used in conjunction with GMO crops) per acre in dilution, this translates to roughly two billion gallons of herbicide poured onto American soils this year alone. "  Read Forrest's whole article here and see the photos of dead fields awaiting planting of GMOs.

The soil on our planet can be likened to the gut of a human being. Forrest Pritchard mentions that glyphosate ends up killing off all the plants on the property except for the ones resistant to the herbicide, but you should also know it kills off the natural soil bacterial biome. Just like our gut needs bacteria for us to be healthy, the soil also needs bacteria to be healthy. According to Don Huber, a world renowned soil scientist, glyphosate (RoundUp is one of the brand name's for glyphosate and the most commonly used herbicide sprayed on GMOs.) kills off good bacteria but seems to allow some of the pathogenic bacteria to live and thrive. Do we want to destroy the digestive capacity of our planet? This is what we support every time we purchase a GMO vegetable or eat meat raised with GMOs. 

Regarding your own digestion, you might find it interesting to know that Don Huber also says glyphosate chelates minerals so they are no longer as biologically available to us when we eat the food. Therefore, when you eat food that is a GMO it will provide less minerals that are actually biologically available as they are tied up and not available for digestion. Our gut bugs also appear to be harmed by glyphosate, so GMOs are bad news for our digestion too. Additionally the GMOs that are modified to produce the insecticide called Bacillus thuringiensis also appear to alter our gut biome and possibly cause intestinal inflammation.

The GMO farmers are now able to spray much more weed killer than before. They are able to spray it to kill the weeds prior to planting and spray the whole time the plant is growing to keep the weeds killed off. Prior to the GMO era they were not able to spray glyphosate when the crop was in the ground. Now they can spray glyphosate all the year around and this is why we now have so much more glyphosate being sprayed in the USA than previously.

Realize that we now  have soy and corn resistant to the agent orange derived 2,4-D herbicide. More fall-out awaits us in the future unless we refuse to purchase these vegetables and meat grown with GMOs. You and I have the ability to stop it in its tracks by deciding what we purchase. Just purchase organic and you are voting with your dollars to end planetary destruction.

I wrote up some pertinent details on a long glyphosate review that covered 286 research articles on the hazards of glyphosate written by Stephanie Seneff and Anthony Samsel in 2013. You can find it here.

I plan to read a more recent review of glyphosate and if it is interesting and you would like to know more (tell me below), I will write up pertinent points about that review in a coming blog for you all to read.

Please forward this to your family and friends. Please share with them why you do not eat GMOs. Purchase the book Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey Smith and give it to them. I am providing both a book or DVD link for the book below. The book is quite a bit less expensive.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Bacteria and Mold in Cigarettes and Other Tobacco

There are more hazards in cigarettes than chemicals.

We know that cigarette smoke is associated with chronic inflammation that leads to malignant transformations of the mouth, and respiratory tract. We have associated these health issues with the more than 5,300 chemicals in the smoke.  However, could it be possible that this chronic inflammation is in part due to the bacteria, fungi and their endotoxins/exotoxins and mycotoxins that are found in tobacco? A research review was undertaken in 2011 by John Pauly and Geraldine Paszkiewicz to answer this question. I read the review and I am sharing some of the tidbits in this article. For the full review of  tobacco research go to Cigarette Smoke, Bacteria, Mold, Microbial Toxins, and Chronic Lung Inflammation. 

There is plenty of evidence that bacteria and fungi as well as their toxic products may contribute to the health risks of smoking and of smokeless tobacco products.

Some of the tobacco-associated microbial/fungal elements include Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria, as well as bacterial spores and bacterial endotoxins and exotoxins such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (an inflammatory factor), yeast and molds as well as fungal spores and mycotoxins such as aflatoxin B1 (associated with liver cancer),  and fungal cell wall components such as glucans and flagellum.

These organisms can colonize the respiratory tract while they and their by-products can cause chronic inflammation in the respiratory tract and may cause inflammation in other parts of the body. Microbial/fungal-toxin-induced pathologies include instigation of malignant transformation leading to tumor growth.

Mold has been identified in the tobacco of popular brand cigarettes and in marijuana. It has been known that cigarettes are contaminated with tobacco since 1971. Some people switch to “natural” tobaccos thinking they are safer as they lack some of the chemicals. However, they too can harbor mold and bacteria.

In 2000, The Journal of the American Medical Association, addressed the heath risks associated with fungal contaminates of tobacco and marijuana and they concluded that all of the 14 brands of cigarette tested had some degree of fungal contamination, although not every cigarette was found to have a positive culture.

Bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS)  have been shown to be a component in cigarette tobacco and cigarette smoke. High levels of LPS are inhaled during active cigarette smoking and second hand smoke appears to involve inhalation of amounts that are dramatically greater than those existing in indoor environments that are free from tobacco smoke.

We can see that both smokers and people around smokers should not only be concerned about the thousands of chemicals in the cigarette smoke. We also need to be concerned about the bacteria, fungi and their endotoxins, exotoxins and mycotoxins.

The reviewers pointed out that the FDA does not apply the same standards to leaf tobacco or any of the smoking products or smokeless tobacco as it does food. I agree with the reviewers and think mycotoxin, endotoxin/exotoxin levels should be established to provide an adequate margin of safety to protect not just human tobacco users, but also those of us who are accosted with their second hand smoke unwillingly.