Thursday, August 11, 2016

Filter Out the PFAS In Our Water Supply

Water contamination is a major problem, but the United States is just beginning to examine it and  talk about how to deal with it. There are a huge variety of chemicals in our waters from conventional farming as well as from industry. Even the drugs people consume end up excreted into their feces and become a part of our water supply. Most of these chemicals are not looked for on a day to day basis and there are no mechanisms in place to remove it from the water supply.

A new study published Aug. 9 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, alerts people to the issue of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl (Perfluroalkyl substances = PFAS) that exceed the recommended safety levels in public drinking water. These chemicals disrupt the endocrine system and cause changes in our hormone levels. Additionally they have been found to disrupt the immune system.  They are linked with obesity, high cholesterol and cancer.

You can read further details here.

I use a Berkey water filter and it is what I usually suggest to others. If you check on Berkey's website they make the following statement about PFAS.

"PFAS's fall under the category of PFC's - Perfluorinated Chemicals. PFOA, PFOS, etc.  The Black Berkey elements that come standard with our Berkey systems do reduce these contaminates, to an Extreme Degree (in parts per trillion). Testing to back this up does exist and will be released soon."

The one I use is here: 

There are probably other water filters as good. This is just the one I have used and find does a good job.  I would never want to drink water from a municipal water system without filtering it. Even some country water needs to be filtered. Berkey sells filters for other things and if you have special needs I would suggest checking out their other types of filters. They also have some other sizes of Berkeys.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Phone App to Boycott GMOs

I realize many of you reading this do not eat GMOs and probably eat only organic food. However, you have friends, family and neighbors who do eat this stuff. They may not want to eat GMOs, but they are not sure how to know if their food has GMOs or not. Often, they are unable to put the effort into educating themselves as they do not have the time to learn which foods are safe. They may feel going completely organic is not possible for a variety of reasons.  Organic Consumers Association has come to their rescue by creating a phone App that will let them know. Anyone wanting to boycott GMOs or simply wanting to eat better should use this App if they  have a cell phone. It will help them choose safe foods.  Send this link to everyone you know. Friends, family, co-workers and your neighbors.

We may not be able to get our political representatives to supply a good GMO labeling bill, but we can refuse to buy GMOs if we know how to spot them. We can stop then dead in their path if we simply do not buy their toxic food. 

When you go shopping for food, you can use this app to scan food labels and see if you should boycott it or not. This link will take you to the Organic Consumers Association page with the cellphone App. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Herbal Constituent Kills Hospital Acquired Candida and It's Biofilm State

In the last post, I mentioned that western medicine is waking up to the realization that herbs may be the answer to the antibiotic resistant infectious diseases we created. Today, I will share a new research study with you that examines an herbal constituent called berberine. 

Berberine is found in Goldenseal - Hydrastis canadensis, Oregon grape and other species of Berberis  Phellodendron amurense, Gold thread - Coptis chinensis. Many of the antimicrobial, antifungal, antiparasitic actions of these herbs have been attributed to this one constituent. However, as I mentioned in the previous article, the whole herb is still necessary. We discussed how Berberis has a metabolite called 5-methoxyhydnocarpin-D (5'-MHC) that is needed for berberine to be more fully effective . 5'-MHC is a natural plant inhibitor of multidrug resistant pumps.  Although 5'-MHC has no antimicrobial activity of its own, the constituent berberine is much more effective when given in conjunction with the substance. 

So, this new research looks at the antifungal activity of berberine in fluconazole-resistant pathogenic yeasts. They specifically were looking at candida that is acquired in the hospital. This was really nasty hard to treat candida. Fluconazole is a fairly strong antifungal drug that use to work on candida but now there is the fluconazole-resistant candida that hospitals have bred and is living on equipment and various devises used in surgical procedures.

Basically, the study found that berberine not only killed the free floating candida planktonic yeast cells but also the biofilm forming cells. Since many biofilms are resistant to conventional antifungal agents this is exciting news to the researchers.

The Brief Details
This study exposed the candida to berberine and found it  caused loss of cellular membrane integrity resulting in cell membrane permeability and decreased the number of viable cells.
According to the data obtained in this study, berberine causes the death of fluconazole-resistant Candida spp. cells by apoptosis (cell suicide).

The results of this study showed that the berberine concentration necessary to inhibit both planktonic cells and preformed biofilm cells is similar. This indicates that berberine may reduce the growth of planktonic cells and inhibit the viability of cells in preformed biofilms at concentrations of 8 μg/ml and 37.5 μg/ml, respectively. This finding is relevant because biofilms are frequently associated with reduced sensitivity to conventional antifungal agents.

Hopefully, when used internally, they will know enough to use berberine in a whole plant base of Berberis spp.