How you deal with your mistakes may determine the difference between making excuses and learning a lesson

“That was a colossal mistake, but I meant well and tried my best, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.” Sound familiar? We all do it. After all, excusing our mistakes makes us feel better and helps us to cope with the failure. However, an interesting new study conducted by a collaboration of scientists from Kansas, Stanford and Ohio State Universities, has found that while making us feel better temporarily, excusing our mistakes does not have the best long-term outcome. The study was published online in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

The U.K.’s Daily Mail recently reported:

We’re often told [to] avoid dwelling on past mistakes if we want to move forward. But one group of scientists say the opposite may be true. They claim feeling the pain of failure leads to more effort to correct your mistake and perform better in the future. Researchers found that people who just thought about a failure tended to make excuses for why they were unsuccessful. This meant they didn’t try harder when faced with a similar situation.

The research team reached their conclusions after conducting several experiments, one of which involved asking 98 college students to search online for the price of a blender with specific technical specifications. The student who discovered the cheapest blender would win a cash prize.

While they were waiting to find out who had won, the students were divided into two groups. One group was asked to focus on their emotional response to winning or losing, while the other group was told to focus on thinking about how they had done. Each person was told that they would need to write about their responses after the competition.

The experiment was rigged, of course, so that nobody found the lowest priced item – essentially, everybody failed.

The goal of the experiment was to determine how the two groups would handle another task in the future, so the participants were then given an additional task. Some were asked to search for a low-priced book as a gift for a friend (a similar task to the previous one), while the rest were asked to search for a gift book that was simply the best choice for a friend (a non-similar task).

The Times explained the results of the experiments:

Emotionally motivated participants spent nearly 25 percent more time searching for a low-priced book than did participants who had only thought about —rather than dwelled on the pain of — their earlier failure.

There was no significant difference in effort made by participants when the second task wasn’t like the first.

Essentially, the researchers found that people who made mistakes and then allowed themselves to focus on how bad those mistakes made them feel, were more likely to try harder the next time they dealt with a similar situation to avoid experiencing those emotions again. (Related: To learn more about human emotions and how to cope with them visit

“All the advice tells you not to dwell on your mistakes, to not feel bad,” said Selin Malkoc, co-author of the study. “But we found the opposite. When faced with a failure, it is better to focus on one’s emotions — when people concentrate on how bad they feel and how they don’t want to experience these feelings again, they are more likely to try harder the next time.”

Unfortunately, most of us try to protect ourselves from the effects of our mistakes, and protecting our egos often comes first. This emotional distancing makes us less likely to learn from those mistakes and avoid them in the future. (Related: Finnish researchers map how emotions are expressed physically in human bodies.)

So, next time you really mess something up – as all of us do from time to time – try to focus on how bad you feel about it, rather than excusing the error. If the results of the experiment are to be believed, this will set you up for a greater chance of success the next time you deal with a similar situation.

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Immune system intelligence: Your biochemistry “morphs” to defend against new parasites

Researchers discovered how the immune systems of certain species evolve to better adapt to new parasitic threats, all the while maintaining critical immune function that remained virtually unchanged for over millions of years, in a study published in the journal Nature Communications.

Scientists from the University of East Anglia, U.K. and Dalhousie University, Canada looked at the immune genes of the guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata) known as the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC genes), to determine how they adapt to survive.

Lead study author Dr. Jackie Lighten from UEA said: “Guppies are a small, colorful fish native to South America, Trinidad and Tobago. They are a fantastic model for researching the ecology and evolution of vertebrates.”

The researchers studied MHC genetic variation in 59 guppy populations in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Hawaii. They found hundreds of different immune variants called “alleles,” which appear to be clustered in a smaller number of functional groups or “supertypes”.

Professor Cock van Oosterhout, from UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences, said: “Each supertype protects the host against a specific group of parasites, and these supertypes were common across populations, and species, irrespective of the location. However, the alleles that make up a supertype track the rapid evolution of the parasites, and they too are evolving rapidly.”

The researchers found that the guppies make fine adjustments to these genes depending on their location – the perfect adaptation technique that enables these fish to survive in many different habitats. Despite this adaptation, the genes maintained critical function that remained practically the same for tens of millions of years.

The researchers said that the MHC genes are important immune system defenses found in vertebrates, including humans. The immune genes need to be highly diverse to keep up with the rapid evolution of parasites within the host. (Related: Kamikaze immune cells: Bacteria infected cells die off quickly to sound the back-up alarm against stealthy invaders.)

“MHC genes produce protein structures that are on the external surface of cells. These genes are diverse and so produce an array of proteins, each of which presents a specific part of a parasite or pathogen that has attempted to infect the body. The specific shape of the protein dictates which parasites it can recognize, and signals to the immune system to prevent infection,” said Dr. Lighten.

Guppies are popular tank fish that have been used in many scientific experiments as these tropical fish are widely distributed the world over. One such experiment was done in 2015, when scientists spent a month scaring guppies to determine whether these vertebrates have individual personalities.

The scientists isolated guppies in glass tanks and simulated a predatory environment using a pulley-rigged lawn-ornament heron named “Grim” and found that each fish demonstrated a unique response to stress. The experiments went on every three days for four weeks.

According to the researchers: “Some of them go straight to the shelter. Some just stop moving, maybe hoping they won’t be seen. Some rush to the side and just swim up and down trying to escape.”

The study showed that some guppies were natural cowards while some showed braveness, and they kept proving their inclination to one or the other for the duration of the experiment. The researchers believed that studying individual traits in animals is important to the study of evolution.

Read more news about surprising scientific discoveries at

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Human cells and microorganisms found to be biochemically similar, according to astonishing study

 Archaea are single-celled microorganisms that exist in areas with extreme conditions, such as volcanic vents in the ocean floor. A recent study has proven that these “hardy microbes” and human cells have similar biochemical compositions.

Tom Santangelo, a Colorado State University (CSU) researcher and associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, thinks of archaea as “ancient mariners” because they can survive in the depths of the ocean. Santangelo studies how these “hardy microbes,” which are one of the three surviving domains of life, express genes, produce energy, and flourish even in hot and lightless environments. The researcher has unearthed proof that humans and archaea are biochemically similar. (Related: Human cells are microscopic in size, yet their jobs are larger than life.)

Along with his team, Santangelo discovered significant parallels between how archaeal cells and more complex cells like human and animal cells “package and store their genetic material.” The breakthrough study was published in Science earlier in 2017 and featured proof that both archaea and eukaryotic cells have a common mechanism that compacts, organizes, and structures their genomes.

Karolin Luger led the study, and she is currently a structural biologist at the University of Colorado Boulder. However, most of the reports published in Science were accomplished when Luger was a faculty member from 1999 to 2015.

To refresh your memory, eukaryotes are cells with a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. These cells include fungal, plant, and animal cells. Human cells are included in eukaryote animal cells.

Eukaryotes are different from prokaryotes, their less complex counterparts, because the latter do not have a nucleus. Even though archaea and bacteria are prokaryotes, they are only distantly related. It is believed that archaea are the progenitors of eukaryotes since they share many of the same proteins responsible for controlling gene expression.

Every eukaryote, such as microscopic protists, plants, and even humans, is capable of “life’s most fundamental processes,” which includes the methods wherein “DNA bends, folds, and crams itself into a cell nucleus.”

Inside the nucleus of each eukaryotic cell is several feet of genetic material compacted in a particular way. Small DNA segments are wrapped at least two times around eight histones (small proteins), “like thread around a spool.” The resulting DNA-histone complex is called a nucleosome, while a string of compacted nucleosomes is called chromatin. In 1997, Luger et al. first reported the exact structure of eukaryotic nucleosomes through X-ray crystallography.

In the 1900s, John Reeve, a science paper collaborator, discovered that aside from eukaryotes, histone proteins can also be found in nucleus-free archaea cells. Reeves and Luger then worked together to crystallize histone-based archaeal chromatin, which was compared to eukaryotic chromatin.

Following years of a “gnarly crystallographic problem” where the researchers had difficulty growing reliable archaeal histone crystals, they were finally able to discern the structure of archaeal chromatin, which was similar in structure to eukaryotes.

Based on this data, it was revealed that archaeal DNA formed long and curvy repeating superhelices. Because the researchers weren’t sure if the structure was real, or simply an artifact of the experiment, Santangelo’s CSU team stepped in. He commented that his group took it upon themselves to figure out if “the structure resolved in the crystals represented a biologically meaningful structure” or not.

Santangelo’s team created variants of the archaeal histones, which were then tested to see how the cells fared when they disrupted the DNA superhelix. The team then discovered that when the structure was destabilized, the cells got sicker. Thanks to their efforts, the merits of the structure Luger’s group isolated were made clear.

Santangelo added that his work with his team was one of the highlights of his career and that their work helped provide fundamental insight into the origins of human cells. He said, “The major impact of the paper, I think, is that the idea of compacting DNA into those structures is a very ancient idea — probably more than one billion years old.” The researcher continued, “Histone proteins came on the scene, and once they got into and started packaging genomes, they largely made themselves indispensable to those cells that encoded them.”

The researcher will continue studying the “structure, function, and energy transactions of archaea,” microorganisms that are a precursor to human cellular activity.

Here are additional facts about archaea:

You can read more articles about other scientific breakthroughs at

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What Alcohol Consumption Does to Your Brain

Alcohol is such a ubiquitous part of our culture that it’s easier to brush off any news of its harm than it is to even consider abandoning it in favor of better health, mental clarity, and spiritual awareness. And while there is no doubt that drinking can be fun, and no doubt that it is here to stay, it is still fascinating to see how a substance as harmful as alcohol can be legal and so well-accepted while other mind-altering substances are punished so severely.

We’ve known for sometime that even casual drinkers are susceptible to the downside of alcohol, and some research has even linked it to the development of cancer. The latest research into the harm of alcohol looks at how it affects the brain.

In a study published in July of 2017 in the medical journal The BMJ, researchers presented evidence supporting the enduring hypothesis that alcohol is very bad for the certain areas of the brain.

“The study followed 550 men and women for 30 years, measuring their brain structure and function to determine how alcohol use affects the mind over time. What they found is that the more people drank, the more atrophy occurred in the brain’s hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure in your brain that plays a role in storing memories. The highest risk was for people who drank 17 standard drinks or more of alcohol per week. But even people who drank moderately saw an elevated risk for cognitive changes.” [Source]

The hippocampus plays a major role in regulating the body’s limbic system and memory, which explains why drunk people are well-known to have slurred speech, lethargic movement, poor memory and suffer from blackouts.

This study points out, though, that regular drinkers may be experiencing continued atrophy of the hippocampus, meaning that as the years go by, the effects compound, creating serious health issues as we age.

As research methods improve we are learning more about cognitive changes in the brain in people who drink on a regular basis. The significance of these developments is best understood by looking at the cultural exaltation of alcohol as something that is harmless in moderation, and something that supposedly provides a bevy of positive benefits.

“As methods of investigating the association between alcohol and health are refined, however, the size of the apparent benefits reduces substantially.” 

There are a number of long-ranging, subtle, deteriorative aspects of alcohol consumption which run counter to the wisdom of it be legal and so prevalent in our society, unless you consider that chronically poor health is a business model in today’s world. The medical establishment benefits financially from people whose health is in continuous decline, and natural substances which actually improve health while providing enjoyable recreational experiences continue to be persecuted.


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How this couple earns a six figure annual income with 1.5 acres of land

Can small-scale farming in the modern age really generate enough income for the average family to make an honest living? For Jean-Martin Fortier and his wife, Maude-Hélène Desroches, it does. The Canadian couple grows beets, broccoli, salad greens, carrots, and various other types of produce on their modest 1.5 acres of land, from which they generate an average of at least $140,000 per year in sales – not too shabby!

They tell all in their new book The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming, sharing many of the secrets they’ve uncovered about the local nature of food production. There’s no need for large agricultural organizations to “feed the world,” as goes the mantra, when everyday people are feeding themselves and their communities, they explain. And those who do it right have the potential to reap a financial windfall as well.

While the general perception is that farming, and especially the “backyard” variety, is more of a hobby for most people than it is a source of income, Fortier and his wife believe otherwise. Their own successful farm serves as living proof that it’s more than possible for people to get into the agricultural business and do well if they possess the drive and wherewithal to make it happen.

Born and raised in Quebec, Fortier started farming with his wife when he was still an intern at WWOOFers, a worldwide organic farming movement that promotes cultural and educational experiences to help people form communities around locally-grown food. They started out by renting some land to grow food, and gradually worked their way up to owning their own land and launching a full-scale business out of it.

Today, they grow an extensive mix of produce that requires them to work the land for nine months out of the year. From their bounty, the feed 200 families a week that subscribe to their community-supported agriculture program, also known as a CSA. Members of a CSA typically receive a fresh box of produce weekly or bi-weekly as part of their subscription.

“I felt that there was a need for [a book] like this,” Fortier says, referencing these and other concepts as he covers them in his book. “I have been involved with growing the food movement. My response was to tell people that they can grow and here is how.”

But what about organic growing methods? Foregoing the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides oftentimes comes with added costs and labor, not to mention the possibility of lower yields. Does growing organic food specifically still bode well in the profit department? According to Fortier and his wife, absolutely.

When they first started out, the couple adopted unique methods of growing food that Fortier describes as being “biologically intensive.” Many of these natural methods of permaculture they still use today, including conservation tillage, permanent growing beds, and crop rotation, all of which have proven to be a huge success.

Fortier and his wife also do much of the work on their farm by hand rather than use expensive equipment – and yet still generate impressive sales numbers. They apply organic fertilizer, save seeds, manage weeds, insects, pests, and disease, and even harvest their crops using simple, traditional methods of old that still allow them to remain competitive in the agricultural marketplace.

“We could have followed a route similar to that taken by all other growers we knew: invest in a tractor and move towards a more mechanized growing system,” Fortier says. “Instead, we opted to stay small-scale and continue relying on our hands and light power tools.”

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Do you trust your brand of supplements? Researchers found a majority of supplements collected at liver treatment centers were mislabeled

A presentation that was delivered at the 2017 Liver Meeting that was conducted by the American Association for the Research of Liver Diseases in Washington, D.C. showed that the mislabeling of ingredients is a common occurrence in herbal and dietary supplements, especially in bodybuilding and weight loss products.

“In looking at those cases, we find that there are a lot of products that are difficult to identify exactly what they are and what they’re used for,” said Dr. Victor J. Navarro, from the department of transplantation at the Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia and the director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases’ Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN).

DILIN collected data from 2,268 patients enrolled in the program between 2003 and March 2016. Of the 341 supplements that the agency collected, researchers have performed chemical analysis of 229 products and found that 26 of them did not have properly labeled ingredients.

The researchers also found out that 90 of 203 supplements had accurately labeled contents. The rate of mislabeling was 80 percent for 10 analyzed steroidal ingredients, 54 percent for 26 vitamin ingredients, and 48 percent for 122 botanical ingredients.

The rate of mislabeling by product was 79 percent for 34 bodybuilding products, 72 percent for 36 weight loss products, 60 percent for five energy drinks, and 51 percent for general health and well-being supplements. (Related: Supplements that will help speed up weight loss.)

“We found that the majority of products that patients give us are mislabeled. That is, what’s in the product, once analyzed chemically, does not match what’s on the label,” Dr. Navarro said.

The National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi then double-checked Navarro and his team’s findings and came up with the same conclusion.

However, some parties expressed their doubts as to the study’s findings. Speaking on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Rick Kingston of the University of Minnesota School of Pharmacy said the risk of being poisoned from mislabeled supplements is actually very low.

“Considering the class of dietary supplements products more commonly associated with reports of liver injury, it will also be more important to determine if other patient behaviors or lifestyles may also be contributing to adverse liver effects. In the end, we need to determine for those few patients that have been put at risk, which products and under what circumstances of use would they predictably produce liver injury,” Kingston said.

For his part, Council for Responsible Nutrition senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs Duffy MacKay, said: “Dietary supplement manufacturers are required to declare all ingredients on their product labels. Products that contain undeclared ingredients are illegal. Before drawing any conclusions, this new research should be peer-reviewed and confirmed, and the companies should be a contacted for a response.”

If you are interested in knowing more about the unpredictable world and all the possible dangers it can give to us, visit

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Proof junk food is like a drug: Researchers found sugary and fatty foods distract people twice as much as healthy snacks

When you’re hard at work and you get into that highly productive “zone,” it might feel like nothing can stop you. However, scientists have shown that junk food can snap you right out of focus – even if you only see it subliminally.

In the study, which was carried out by scientists at Johns Hopkins University, people were asked to work on a complex computer task that had nothing to do with food. They were instructed to find the answers as quickly as they could, classifying symbols into categories.

While they worked on the task, photos were flashed in the screen’s periphery for a mere 125 milliseconds, which is considered too fast for them to fully realize what they saw. They were shown a mix of pictures that included healthy foods; foods high in fat and calories; and non-food items like footballs, lava lamps, thumbtacks and bikes.

While all of these pictures distracted participants from the task, foods like candy, chocolate cake, hot dogs, potato chips, cheese and donuts were twice as distracting as the non-food pictures and those of healthy foods like salad, apples and carrots. Moreover, they discovered it’s not food in general that is distracting as the healthy foods were no more distracting to participants than the non-food items.

Afterward, they recreated the experiment but threw in a twist: A new group of participants ate two fun-sized candy bars before carrying out the same computer task. Interestingly, the participants who ate the candy beforehand did not find the high-calorie, high-fat food pictures to be any more distracting than those of healthy food and non-food pictures.

Now, the scientists would like to find out if eating less chocolate prior to the test or consuming other types of snacks would lead to the same effect. For example, they’d like to see how eating an apple ahead of the task would change distraction levels. They’d also like to investigate whether offering the participants money to perform the task quickly would prevent them from getting distracted to discern just how strong the pull of junk food is.

According to lead author Corbin A. Cunningham, this finding supports the old adage about not going grocery shopping when you’re hungry as the highly distracting nature of unhealthy foods could lead you to make unwise decisions. He said that even when food is irrelevant and people are trying to concentrate, junk food has a tremendous ability to sneak in and steal our attention, unless we’ve just eaten some of it!

In explaining the phenomenon, Cunningham said that one of the reasons that junk food appears more tempting than healthier options is the biological desire to eat energy-dense foods because they tend to taste better. He also believes there could be a little bit of “wanting what you can’t have” at play.

“While it is hard to tell, I think some of the rewarding nature of high calorie foods might be that we know we should only occasionally indulge in them. Thus, they become more ‘rewarding’ than foods that we could eat as much as we want,” Cunningham said. Their findings were published in the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.

The more we can learn about what drives people to eat junk food, the better off we’ll be as a recent study published by Lancet found that a fifth of all deaths around the world are caused by junk food, processed food, and otherwise toxic or harmful food, making it just as dangerous as smoking.

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Sleep better tonight AND reduce inflammation with cherry juice

Are you having a hard time getting a good night’s rest or have been wanting to extend your sleeping hours? We have good news for you. A new study reveals that drinking cherry juice, particularly Montmorency tart cherry juice one hour before you sleep will give you 84 minutes of extra sleep, as reported by The Daily Mail.

In the study by researchers from Louisiana State University, eight participants who were 50-years-old and older with chronic insomnia were examined. All of the participants reported sleeping around 9 p.m. to midnight. Each participant was asked to fast for 10 hours, except water, before they had their blood tested. After that, they were asked to answer a survey regarding their insomnia. They were randomly given either 240 ml or eight oz. of cherry juice or a placebo that looked and tasted similarly to the cherry juice. Participants consumed their assigned drink twice a day, one in the morning and another an hour before their bedtime, for 14 days. Two weeks after, they were asked to answer the survey again and the groups switched over.

Results showed that insomniacs who drank Montmorency tart cherry juice had 84 minutes longer sleep time compared to the placebo group. Moreover, cherry juice-drinkers had more efficient sleep. The researchers, after examining the blood samples, found that cherry juice decreased the levels of kynurenine, which is a factor in sleep disturbances and raised the amount of tryptophan in the blood — an amino acid that assists in causing sleepiness. Furthermore, they discovered that cherry juice stopped the production of indoleanmine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), which can delay the release of tryptophan. It can also reduce inflammation as it is known to stop the development of PGE2, a biomarker of inflammation.

Jack Losso, lead author of the study, explained that many people do not want to depend on medications to help them sleep, so natural sleep remedies are “increasingly of interest and in demand.” (Related: Beating insomnia: Eight surprisingly simple tips.)

The study was published in the American Journal of Therapeutics and was partly funded by the Cherry Marketing Institute.

Doctors recommend sleeping for at least seven or more hours a night. However, there are 50 to 70 million people in the United States who suffer from sleep disorders, with insomnia being the most common.

“Insomnia is quite common among older adults and it can lead to a range of health issues if left untreated,” Losso said.

People with insomnia have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. They feel discontented with their rest. Moreover, they typically experience symptoms such as fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and bad performance in work or at school. There are two types of insomnia based on their duration — acute and chronic insomnia. Acute insomnia is disrupted sleep that is short and usually occurs because of life situations such as a breakup. On the other hand, chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that happens at least three nights a week and lasts for at least three months. Insomnia has been linked to varies diseases such as cancer, diabetes, dementia, heart disease, and depression.

Find more natural remedies at

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Dr. Paul Offit’s aluminum deceptions and academic misconduct

“Parents can be reassured that the trace quantities of aluminum in vaccines can’t possibly do harm.”
-Dr Paul Offit: Vaccine promoter, vaccine patent licensor, and autism pundit, 2015

NOTE: Since this article as written (in 2015), CHOP and Offit removed some of their statements quoted here. I suppose they realized their statements were indefensible. This article is not maintained to track the latest nonsense from CHOP/Offit about aluminum adjuvant. 

(Article republished from

Dr Paul Offit is a well-known vaccine advocate and doctor at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where he is director of the Vaccine Information Center. The rotavirus vaccine he developed made Offit very rich. He vigorously defends vaccines in the media, often with half-truths and outright lies.

In order to defend vaccines and vaccine safety claims, Dr. Offit must also defend the practice of injecting children with aluminum adjuvant, despite the absence of evidence for safety, and substantial evidence of harm. On the CHOP website here (CHOP – Vaccines and Aluminum), Dr Offit states the following:

Aluminum and pregnancy
Aluminum quantities fluctuate naturally during normal cellular activity. It is found in all tissues and is also believed to play an important role in the development of a healthy fetus. This is supported by several findings:
*During healthy pregnancies the amount of aluminum in a woman’s blood increases.
*The amount of aluminum in the blood of the fetus increases between four and a half and six months gestation and again at eight months gestation.
*At delivery, the blood of full-term infants contains more aluminum than the mother’s, but it decreases shortly after delivery.
*The blood of premature infants has more aluminum than that of full-term infants.
*The concentrations of aluminum in brain tissue are high during gestation and highest immediately after birth.
*The breast milk of moms with premature infants contains more aluminum than that of moms who carried their babies to term.”

The CHOP page on aluminum is here: CHOP/Offit Statement on Aluminum

In these statements Dr Offit is asserting that aluminum is a nutrient, i.e. a mineral with healthful functions in the human body. This is absolutely false. Aluminum has no healthful function in the body or any living thing. It is a toxin and a toxin only, to all life forms.

The fact that aluminum concentrations increase in the blood and change in some tissues does not in any way mean or suggest that aluminum is doing good or necessary functions. Its just moving around the body as all substances are known to do. Blood lead levels can also increase during pregnancy. Of course, this doesn’t mean that lead is a nutrient or has “an important role” in the development of a healthy fetus. The only “role” lead plays in a fetus is damaging the fetus. It is the same with aluminum.

These statements by Dr Offit are deceptive and unscientific. Dr Offit is deceiving those that are not well educated in nutrition or medicine. This behavior by Dr Offit is shameful.

What is actually happening with aluminum blood levels during pregnancy is that aluminum is being mobilized from the bone. The bone is a storage site for aluminum, just as it is for lead. Toxic metals in bone tend to cause less damage than other places, like the brain. So putting toxic metals in bone minimizes the harm they cause. During pregnancy, minerals are drawn out of bones to be used by the developing fetus. This is well known. Consequently, toxic metals stored in the bone are released as well. Both aluminum and lead are released by bone de-mineralization during pregnancy.

Consider this case report of a woman that experienced a 3-fold rise in blood lead levels during pregnancy, caused by lead being mobilized from the bone. The same thing happens with aluminum. Its ridiculous to say that this means aluminum or lead “plays an important role” in the fetus.

“We report the case of an adult female who had last been exposed to lead 7 years earlier but now presented with symptoms and findings of acute lead poisoning which we treated with chelation therapy. In the absence of an acute lead exposure, her increased lead levels were likely due to increased mobilization and redistribution from mineralized tissues during and after a recent pregnancy.”

Full paper: Lead Poisoning in an Adult: Lead Mobilization by Pregnancy

Increase in blood levels during pregnancy does not mean that aluminum is “playing an important role in the development of a healthy fetus”.

Offit the Illogical
Dr Offit seems to think that the following observations are evidence that aluminum is a nutrient with beneficial, healthful functions in a fetus. Offit says the following on the CHOP website:

*The blood of premature infants has more aluminum than that of full-term infants.”
*The breast milk of moms with premature infants contains more aluminum than that of moms who carried their babies to term.“

In view of the well known and proven toxic effects of aluminum, its exactly the opposite. Elevated aluminum in preemies is not a sign the aluminum is doing good, but rather that it’s causing harm. Aluminum is likely a cause of preterm births. A preterm infant is not a healthy infant. Preterm birth is a definite sign of poor health.

Lead and other toxic pollutants are also associated with preterm births, and widely believed to cause them. A recent review states:

“Lead exposure in relation to birth outcomes has been well-reviewed. Andrews and colleagues (1994) summarized early findings, including several occupational studies, reporting that Pb exposure was likely associated with increased risk of preterm birth, and that the effects were dose-dependent. “

Full paper (see pages 15-16): Environmental contaminant exposures and preterm birth: A comprehensive review

Offit’s preposterous illogic implies that lead should be considered a nutrient thats beneficial for babies. Offit is either being deceptive and dishonest, or he does not understand basic scientific reasoning.

A Deceptive Citation
To support these wrong and deceptive statements, Dr Offit references a well-known but old (1986) paper on aluminum toxicity, by Ganrot. The Ganrot paper is a lengthly review of the evidence that aluminum is harmful to various tissues and biological processes. Ganrot never suggests that aluminum is benign or beneficial. Ganrot states:

“Aluminum(Al) is present in very small amounts in living organisms but is abundant in the environment. In no case has Al been shown to have a definite biological function. Taken together, this suggests that Aluminum possesses properties incompatible with fundamental life processes. Despite this, Al has generally been regarded as virtually biologically inert and the interest shown for its biochemistry and metabolism has been very limited. However, during recent years, an increasing number of toxic effects have been established.” (emphasis added)

Full Paper (Ganrot): Metabolism and Possible Health Effects of Aluminum

By listing the Ganrot paper as a supporting reference, Dr Offit is mischaracterizing Ganrot. This is academic misconduct. At academic institutions, academic misconduct is considered an offense potentially as egregious as plagiarism, cheating or falsifying data.

As of May 2017, CHOP and Offit are still citing the Ganrot paper.

Offit Lies About Aluminum Exposure
In a video statement (here: Offit claims that aluminum intake from food and water is far higher than aluminum exposure from vaccines. This is absolutely wrong because only a small fraction of ingested aluminum is absorbed into the body. Ingested aluminum absorption is about 0.1-1%, typically about 0.3%. Specifically, Offit states:

“…you are much more likely to have aluminum in your circulation if you inject it than if you ingest it. But the point is that there’s so much more aluminum in the environment, either in the food you eat or the water you drink, than you would ever get as a shot in vaccines. That even though there is that difference between injection and ingestion, there is logarithmically so much more aluminum that you ingest that you actually have far more aluminum in your circulation because of what you eat and drink than you would ever get from vaccines.“

For the vaccines given in the first 6 months of life, this statement is exactly wrong. The truth is the opposite of what Offit says. In infants, vaccines produce far higher exposure to aluminum than food.

Vaccines in the first 6 months of the CDC vaccine schedule contain about 3,675 mcg aluminum:
Birth (Hep B):   74 mcg/kg (250 mcg for 3.4 kg infant)
2 month:           245 mcg/kg (1225 mcg for 5 kg infant)
4 month:           150 mcg/kg (975 mcg for 6.5 kg infant)
6 month:           153 mcg/kg (1225 mcg for 8 kg infant)

Total for 0-6 months: 3675 mcg aluminum

Compare this to aluminum absorption (for infants) over the first 6 months from milk and formula. The total amount ingested must be multiplied by 0.3% to obtain the amount actually absorbed into the body. Aluminum content numbers come from CHOP, and I have confirmed them in the scientific literature:
breastmilk:      7mg x 0.3% = 21 mcg (0.021 mg)
formula:         38mg x 0.3% = 114 mcg (0.114 mg)
soy formula: 117mg x 0.3% = 351 mcg (0.351mg)

The most appropriate comparison is with breastmilk, because infants are adapted to consume milk, not formula. Some scientists (e.g. Dr Chris Exley) are concerned that infant formula contains harmful levels of aluminum.

In the first 6 months of life, aluminum exposure from vaccines is 3,675/21 = 175 times higher than human milk. Infants receive far more aluminum from vaccines than from milk. For soy formula (an unhealthy choice), the ratio is: 3,675/351 = 10.5 times higher than human milk.

Giving a baby 175X more aluminum than normal exposure from milk is alarming to anyone with common sense.

Twisting the Science
In 2003, Dr Offit (with another author) published a paper seeking to dispel concerns about toxic vaccine ingredients.
Full paper:  Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Vaccines Contain Harmful Preservatives, Adjuvants, Additives, or Residuals?

Dr Offit’s paper has a section on aluminum, which states:

“For determining the quantity of aluminum below which safety is likely, data were generated in mice that were inoculated orally with various quantities of aluminum lactate.42 No adverse reactions were observed when mice were fed quantities of aluminum as high as 62 mg/kg/day. By applying uncertainty factors of 3 (for extrapolation to humans) and 10 (for human variability), the ATSDR concluded that the minimum risk level for exposure to aluminum was 2 mg/kg/day.43 The half-life of elimination of aluminum from the body is approximately 24 hours.41 Therefore, the burden of aluminum to which infants are exposed in food36–40 and vaccines (Table 3) is clearly less than the guideline established by the ATSDR and far less than that found to be safe in experimental animals.41,42” (emphasis added)
ATSDR= Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a federal government agency

The citation for the underlined statement is: (Golub): Effects of Aluminum Ingestion on Spontaneous Motor Activity in Mice

The Golub study in fact reported two adverse effects from the 62mg/kg/day dosage.

The Golub paper describes a 6-week feeding study in mice. 3 groups of mice received the following dosages of aluminum salts:
Control (CON) : 3mg/kg/day
Low (LO) : 62mg/kg/day
High (HI) : 130mg/kg/day

Offit’s Lie
In the Golub study, 11 signs of toxicity were monitored: irritability, respiratory discharge, eye discharge, fur loss, abnormal paw placement, abnormal gait, hindlimb splaying, hindlimb dragging, opisthotonos, paralysis and seizures.

Golub found that the “LO” aluminum group (receiving 62mg/kg/day) suffered fur loss. Golub states:

“After the first week of Al exposure, mice began to show a localized loss of fur on the tip of the snout that was identified by veterinarians as a low level sign of poor condition in the colony. This condition was reported more frequently in the LO and HI Al groups than in the controls.”

Additionally, Golub found that the LO group mice (consuming 62mg/kg/day) had a “cyclic pattern of food intake”, a known sign of toxicity. Golub states:

“LO mice did not show as clear a cycling pattern but did have somewhat higher intake than controls on days 21-24, 33-36 and 36-39 and lower intake on days 24-27 (p=0.04-0.05 at these times).”
“Food intake…followed a cyclic pattern similar to that seen in rodents eating diets deficient in a specific nutrient (2) or adulterated with a poison (17). “

So Golub clearly identifies the cyclic food intake as an adverse, toxic effect, even though it was not among the 11 signs listed.

Dr Offit’s statement about the Golub study is false.

Offit’s Entire Safety Argument Is False
Offit’s safety argument is also used by the Mitkus 2011 study, which is debunked here:

Read more at:


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Health Ranger to announce lab verification and product certification service for CBD oils and non-THC hemp extracts

Coming in early 2018, I will be announcing a commercial lab verification service that will allow CBD oil and dietary supplement companies to place “Lab Verified” labels on their products and websites, backed by ISO-accredited laboratory analysis that relies on high-end mass spec instrumentation.

One of the issues we’re seeing today in the hemp extract industry is very high saturation of pesticides and fungicides in hemp-related products. That problem stems from the almost unbelievable lack of regulation of hemp agricultural methods in states where hemp production has been legalized. Toxic solvents are also frequently used in many hemp extracts — such as hexane, methanol, IPA, etc. — leaving potentially dangerous chemical residues in final products (some of which are vaped by consumers).

As one of the pioneers in cannabis quantitation and validation, I am the co-author of a science paper published in the LC/GC science journal entitled, “Liquid Chromatography–Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry for Cannabinoid Profiling and Quantitation in Hemp Oil Extracts.” Since that science paper was published, my lab has developed even more precise mass spec analysis techniques that allow us to validate the following properties of CBD oil / hemp extracts:

In other words, we are testing CBD products for not just CBDs, but also for pesticides, industrial chemicals and heavy metals as well.

This new service, to be launched by CWC Labs, is designed to help consumers recognize safe, high quality hemp extract products that are independently verified by a third party laboratory to be authentic, clean and green. Product certification involves multiple tests on three different mass spec instruments, including ICP-MS and HPLC-MS-TOF.

How toxic is today’s cannabis farming across America? “Researchers from Ithaca College say that the growing number of small pot farms being planted in remote forest areas are having a major impact on the local environment,” reports CBS News. “The college has previously outlined how commercial marijuana farming was poisoning forest animals with pesticides and dewatering streams by improper irrigation in states like California.”

Continuing our research and development of cannabis analysis methods for cutting edge labs, later in 2018 we hope to be able to offer glyphosate testing certification for hemp products, allowing CBD oil producers to be able to accurately claim their products are “glyphosate tested” by an accredited, industry leading laboratory (and for that claim to be backed by irrefutable science).

This CBD product validation service will be offered on an annual licensing basis, with details to be published in early 2018 as we launch the service. Note that this service does not test raw materials, hemp extract waxes, supercritical extracts or other such items. Rather, this service only tests final products that are packaged, labeled and publicly available to consumers. Manufacturers who are interested in being placed an our email alert list for the launch of this service may contact us at this link on the CWC Labs website.

Our focus is on liquid CBD products intended for oral or topical consumption, not THC, and we do not offer testing of any kind for high-THC products. Furthermore, we do not conduct clinical trials, and we do not validate any health claims. Our entire focus is on composition, not efficacy. Please do not ask us to validate your product health claims, as that is not allowed under current FDA regulations. We are not a biological testing facility; we are a food and supplements science lab.

We are currently seeing a tremendous amount of science fraud across the hemp industry, and our upcoming service is designed to bring a level of trust and serious accreditation to clean, high-quality CBD products that are already helping tens of millions of people live better quality lives.

Keep watching for an announcement, and listen to my recent podcast about widespread science fraud in the hemp industry to learn more about why this service is so desperately needed:








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