Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah

Category Archives: News

Are You Buying Fake or Altered Food?

Fake ingredients, deceptive labeling, cheaper food substitutes-sounds like something you’d expect from a fast food meal, right? Turns out, you could encounter food fraud with many of the everyday items you toss into your grocery cart. 

That’s because inferior-and sometimes unhealthy-ingredients in our food has reached an all-time high, according to researchers at the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). In the last two years, the USP added nearly 800 items to their food fraud database. Everything from lemon juice to olive oil to seafood could be a big phony, based on their findings.  

fakeJUICEPomegranate Juice
This antioxidant-rich juice has been touted as heart-healthy, but it’s also expensive. To get around that, some manufacturers have been caught diluting it with water, sugar or cheaper grape or pear juice. In fact, there have been instances where pomegranate juice doesn’t even have a lot of real juice in it.

Olive Oil 
Some oils, extra virgin olive oil in particular, have been caught in the food fraud act. They can be diluted or substituted with cheaper oils to mimic the real thing, so you may not be getting what you’re paying for.

Lemon Juice 
Like other fruit juices, lemon juice can be sold as fresh or from concentrate (which can be diluted with water). But even lemon juice labeled as 100 percent pure has been found to contain citric acid. “It’s available as a chemical, and it’s very cheap,” notes Markus Lipp, Ph.D., senior director for Food Standards at the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention. “The lemons are the most expensive ingredient, and sometimes only 10 to 30 percent is real juice, so manufacturers make three times as much money this way.”

This expensive spice is frequently reported to be adulterated with cheaper ingredients that are dyed to look like saffron. Not only are you wasting your money, but some of these fraudulent blends may not be fit for human consumption, according to Lipp.

The issue isn’t with whole bean coffee because it’s easier to recognize and know if the beans have proper form and color. “But with ground coffee, it can easily be adulterated and hard to tell what exactly is in that brown powder,” says Lipp. There have been reports of roasted chicory seeds, for example, being used as a filler. This is something that could cause allergies in unsuspecting java junkies. 

Would you ever sip tea made from your front lawn? You might be and not even know it, especially if you don’t use loose leaf tea that you can see. According to the USP, tea has been found to contain lawn grass and other fern leaves. Not exactly what we’re hoping for when we curl up with a mug in the morning.

Tuna and other white fish, such as butterfish, have been caught in the “real” food lie. Tuna has been found to contain escolar-a cheaper, oily fish that is banned in Italy and Japan. Escolar has a high content of waxy esters that are likely to cause food poisoning called gempylotoxism or gempylid fish poisoning, according to the USP.

To make your jam look more natural, manufacturers have been caught adding clouding agents outside the U.S., such as plasticizer Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and other related phthalates, in place of the more expensive palm oil. These banned toxins have been linked to cancer and developmental problems in children. 

To make a cheaper product, honey is often adulterated with a lesser quality honey. In some cases, honey has contained other sweeteners such as sucrose, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.


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Is This The World’s First 100% Organic Nation?

By Emily Mann – WakeUpWorld

The lush green valleys of Bhutan could all be converted to organic farms, if the Prime Minister gets his way.

The tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan serves as home to just 738,000 people—about the population of Alaska. But this tiny landlocked nation is on track to make one of the biggest pro-organic moves in the world.

At the June 2012 Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, the kingdom’s prime minister, Jigmi Thinley, announced plans to convert all his nation’s agricultural land to organic farms with, he said in his speech, “the ‘raised in Bhutan’ label synonymous with ‘organically grown.’”

The country is already well on its way to organic: Two thirds of Bhutanese citizens are farmers, and many of them are organic by default, unable to afford the synthetic fertilizers and pesticides required in chemical farming. Very few of the farms are actually certified as organic, but the country has sent a number of farmers to India to study at food activist Vanadana Shiva’s organic training farm, and has asked consultants from Shiva’s farm to educate its local extension specialists so they, in turn, are better prepared to help farmers convert to organic.

Greater profits and self-sufficiency are two of the major driving forces behind the move, Thinley added in his address. Bhutan currently imports more food than it can produce, which means farmers are losing out on a valuable revenue stream. And neighboring India is experiencing “exponential growth” in demand for organic food, a demand, he said, that isn’t likely to taper off anytime soon.

Then there’s the issue of clean water. A third of Bhutan’s citizens get their water from rural sources, which can easily become polluted by chemical fertilizers, and 6 in 10 children living in rural areas do suffer from health problems that can be traced back to polluted, unsanitary water.

But the move to convert all Bhutan’s farms to organic is driven as much by those factors as it is by a desire to achieve “Gross National Happiness,” a term Bhutan’s fourth king coined three decades ago as a more important measure of success than gross national product. “The main reason why we would like to motivate rural living is because we are convinced that it is on the farm that people can find happiness amid vital communities boosted by the necessity of interdependence, active spiritual life, and daily communion with nature and other living beings,” he said.

Millions of high blood pressure patients are wrongly diagnosed

By Stephen Adams

Currently, anyone suspected of having high blood pressure is diagnosed by a GP with an inflatable arm cuff. Doctors then call the patient back for additional readings, but these are always taken at their surgery or in hospital.

New draft guidance to be published today by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) says as many as one in four people experiences a surging pulse rate on entering a GP’s surgery.

This nervous response, termed “white coat hypertension”, can significantly raise blood pressure readings and many people are being misdiagnosed as a result.

To counter this, Nice is recommending that doctors do not rely solely on readings taken in their own surgeries. After the initial assessment, a patient should be sent home and asked to wear an ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) device.

This comprises an inflated arm cuff, similar to those used in surgeries, which takes spot readings at intervals over a 24-hour period.

Prof Bryan Williams, from Leicester University, who led the development of the new guidance, said: “This new approach would not only improve diagnosis but would ultimately be cost-saving for the NHS.”

More than 8.5 million people are registered as having high blood pressure. People with the condition are three times more likely to develop heart disease and suffer strokes as people with normal blood pressure and twice as likely to die from these.

Patients are often put on drugs to lower their blood pressure, such as beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. In 2008, the NHS in England spent £83 million on beta-blockers alone.

The drugs can have serious side effects. For example, ACE inhibitors can cause blood pressure to drop to dangerously low levels and result in kidney problems.

Nice’s guidance notes: “White coat hypertension is reported to occur in as many as 25 per cent of the population, especially where their blood pressure is close to the threshold for diagnosis. It is more common in pregnancy and with increasing age.”

This suggests that as many as 2 million people may have been wrongly diagnosed simply because they were nervous when they went into the surgery.

Prof Williams added that the new guidance would allow doctors to get the correct diagnosis more often, but warned that surgeries and clinics would not have sufficient stocks of the equipment at the start.

The Blood Pressure Association, which has been campaigning for the change for years, welcomed the move. Prof Gareth Beevers, a trustee of the charity, said the guidance should be backed up with money “to ensure ambulatory monitors are more widely available”.

But Dr Clare Gerada, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, questioned whether the new approach would be significantly more accurate.

She said: “If we were looking at lifelong treatment or uncertain diagnosis, then this device might be useful, but for the majority of patients we would take three readings anyway before starting treatment.”

Nice officials said the guidelines, which it has put out for consultation, would “significantly change the way high blood pressure is diagnosed and subsequently treated”.

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8 Natural Methods That Can Help Reduce Estrogen And Minimize Fat Storage

by Bruce Krahn

When it comes to losing body fat men and women are not created equal.

Most trainers and nutritionists will tell you that on average, it is easier for a man to lose body fat than a woman.

There are a number of reasons why this may be true including gender disparities in muscle mass, genetic predispositions and hormonal differences.

It has been my experience that three of the most difficult areas to lose fat from are the hips, buttocks and thighs. Stubborn fat deposits in these areas are almost exclusively a female issue and the reason for this may be related to estrogen.

However, guys are not immune to the effects of increased estrogen either. Men who have an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen will often deposit fat under the nipple area-a condition known as gynocomastia.

Causes of Estrogen Imbalance 

There are a number of reasons why an individual may have estrogen imbalance. Over time, poor food choices, alcohol consumption and other lifestyle factors can lead to an increase in estradiol- the fat storing form of estrogen.

Here are 8 natural methods that can help reduce estrogen and minimize fat storage from those areas.

1. Digest your food properly. You are not what you eat- you are what you eat, digest and assimilate. It is important that the nutrients you ingest are being properly absorbed. Foods that are cooked or processed are often lacking in important enzymes that can impact how nutrients are being used by your body.

2. Eat your veggies. Cruciferous vegetables such as Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and spinach can help your body to eliminate bad estrogens. Broccoli is my personal favorite as it contains indoles which are known to help fight cancer and improve your livers ability to rid your body of estrogen. The best way to eat your broccoli is lightly steamed- not boiled to mush. Your broccoli should be crunchy tender. I also recommend you choose organic whenever possible.

3. Eat more Wasabi. Wasabi root contains Diidolymethane or Dim. Dim is the active form of indole 3 carbinol found in cruciferous vegetables. Dim helps to prevent aromatase which is the conversion of testosterone to fat storing estrogens.

4. Take your supplements. Fish oil, B vitamins, magnesium and zinc can help your body to properly metabolize estrogen.

5. Drink filtered water. A good quality water filtration system can help minimize the amount of estrogen you are being exposed to through the water you drink. Consider a filter for your shower as well.

6. Select alternate forms of birth control. Birth control pills will have an effect on female estrogen levels.

7. Drink less booze. Alcohol consumption will reduce testosterone and increase estrogen.

8. Lift more weights. Swap two (or more) days of cardio for resistance training. Lifting weights has a positive impact on your testosterone, growth hormone and estrogen levels while excessive cardio will have the opposite effect.

Small changes, repeated over time can have a big effect. The items on this list are safe and effective ways for you to kick start your fat loss goals for the coming year and finally lose that stubborn body fat.

The Many Names of Monosodium Glutamate

The Many Names of Monosodium Glutamate

Many of us are suffering needlessly because of so-called safe
food additives, namely excitatory neuro-transmitters (nicknamed
excitotoxins). The main ones are monosodium glutamate (MSG),
aspartame, and L-cysteine. You may think that you are actually
avoiding MSG if you avoid Chinese restaurants, but this factory-
created flavor enhancer is in almost every bottled, bagged, frozen,
or canned processed food on supermarket shelves. But since MSG
is often a component of a formulation, it is not labeled as such.
(Editor’s Note: Many people would be shocked to know that almost
all restaurants use large amounts of MSG in their food
preparation. Italian food is sometimes much worse than Chinese food.)

You’ve seen words like autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed protein,
and whey protein. Each of these substances contain a percentage
of glutamate, the harmful component of MSG.

Are you suffering any of these symptoms? Perhaps you need
to take a better look at the food you are eating.

1. Severe headache
2. Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting
3. Irregular heartbeat or blood pressure, racing heart
4. Depression or mood change, bipolar, SAD
5. Abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, colitis, IBS
6. Balance problems, dizziness, or seizures, mini-strokes
7. Tenderness in localized areas, neck, back, etc.
8. Sleep disorders
9. Blurred vision or difficulty breathing
10. Chronic fatigue or sleepiness
11. Excessive perspiring or shuddering and chills
12. Shortness of breath, chest pains, asthma
13. Swelling, pain, or numbness of hands, feet, jaw
14. Pain in joints or bones
15. Flushing or tingling in face, chest, pressure behind eyes
16. Gagging reflex or difficulty swallowing
17. Hyperactivity, behavioral problems
18. Chronic post nasal drip
19. Skin rash, itching, hives
20. Bloated face, dark circles under strained eyes
21. Extreme thirst or dry mouth
22. Difficulty concentrating and poor memory
23. Slowed speech
24. Chronic bronchitis-like symptoms, allergy reactions,
dry cough, hoarseness or sore throat
25. Heavy, weak feeling in arms and legs
2 6. Irritable bowel or colitis
27. Attention deficit disorder, anxiety attacks, rage, panic attacks
28. Neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, MS,
29. Pressure behind eyes or on head, neck, shoulder
30. ADD, ADHD, Rage Disorder
31. Asthma
32. Weight problems, obesity, hypoglycemia

Foods with these words on the label always
contain MSG:

MSG, monosodium glutamate, monopotassium glutamate,
glutamate, glutamic acid, gelatin, calcium caseinate, hydrolyzed
vegetable protein, textured protein, autolyzed plant protein,
hydrolyzed plant protein, yeast extract, glutamate, yeast food
or nutrient, sodium caseinate, autolyzed yeast

Foods made with the following products
often contain MSG:

malted barley (flavor), barley malt, malt extract of flavoring,
maltodextrin, caramel flavoring (coloring), stock, broth, bouillon,
carrageenan, whey protein or whey, whey protein isolate or
concentrate, pectin, protease, protease enzymes, flavors, flavoring,
natural chicken, beef or pork flavoring, seasonings (Most assume
this means salt, pepper or spices and herbs which sometimes it is.),
soy sauces or extract, soy protein, soy protein isolate or concentrate, cornstarch, flowing agents, white rice or oat protein, protein fortified anything, enzyme modified anything, ultra-pasteurized anything, fermented anything,

And yet more that may contain msg . . . modified food
starch, rice syrup or brown rice syrup, lipolyzed butter fat, low or
no-fat items, corn syrup and corn syrup solids (some companies
use another process to make their product, saying it is MSG-free),
citric acid (when processed with corn), milk powder, dry milk solids,
protein fortified milk, annatto, spice, gums, dough conditioners, yeast nutrients


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