The Actual Truth about Flouride Toxicity

Original Post

It’s a relatively known fact, at least in academic circles, that throughout the last century, IQ scores of western people have steadily raised.

However, in recent years, over the past 4 decades respectively, the trend in IQ scores seems to be downward[1]. How did this happen? Is it because of mass immigration from lower IQ countries? Or, as the study puts it, the causes of IQs dropping like flies (I am just exaggerating for dramatic effect) are purely environmental?

What is Fluoride after all?

Conspiracy theories aside, everyone knows about fluoridated toothpaste, and also about fluoride added to municipal water supplies by our best friend, Big Brother, working in collusion (just kidding) with dentists. One may ask why it is in dentists’ interest to have a population with perfect teeth. I mean, they would go out of business if we all had zero cavities, thanks to fluoride in water, toothpaste and God knows what. But don’t mind me, I am just ranting.

So, fluoride is claimed to have a unique ability, i.e. it is said to prevent teeth from decaying. Looking at the booming dental industry after tens of years of water fluoridation and fluoride-ridden toothpaste (not to mention fluoride supplements), it doesn’t seem to be working so great, but let that go.

Fluoride is basically the negative ion of fluorine, an element which occurs naturally (in trace amounts) in plants, soil, fresh/sea water and some foods, like tea leaves.

Now, not all fluorides are created equal. There are no less than 4 types of fluoride present in our drinking water: calcium fluoride, sodium silico fluoride, sodium fluoride and fluosilicic acid. Calcium fluoride is the only one that occurs naturally in water from floor spar, while the other 3 fluoride compounds are artificially derived from rock phosphate. As an interesting factoid, rock phosphate is used for extracting uranium[3]. Seriously, check out the link.

The problem is that the fluoride added by municipalities in drinking water, as well as the one in toothpaste is not the naturally occurring type, calcium fluoride respectively (the least toxic of the bunch), but, take a load of this: industrial waste product[4] from the mining phosphate fertilizer industry, coming mainly from Mexico and China. Now, why would you want to drink that?

Moreover, the fluoride added by municipalities in water is not pharmaceutical grade, and it’s often contaminated with other substances, like aluminum, arsenic, lead, radionucleotides and other good stuff. On top of that, from a moral standpoint, if you drink fluoridated water, you basically ingest medication without your (informed) consent, and you have absolutely zero control over the dose.

Speaking of Dose…

Besides what you get from water and toothpaste, the US government allows a number of foods to be “enriched” with fluoride. Why? Well, that’s because fluoride is an excellent pesticide, and recent studies describe it as a neurotoxin. Fluoride attaches itself to aluminum, which is also present in tiny amounts in our water supply, hence it can pass through the blood brain barrier. And what happens then, you asked?

To quote from a Harvard University study[5] from 2012:

“The children in high fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ than those who lived in low fluoride areas.”

“Fluoride readily crosses the placenta. Fluoride exposure to the developing brain, which is much more susceptible to injury caused by toxicants than is the mature brain, may possibly lead to damage of a permanent nature.”

It’s interesting to note that Uncle Sam asserted in the past that water fluoridation is perfectly safe for you, yet there are studies going back to 1977, revealing that exposure at even minute amounts of fluoride, as low as one particle per million, which incidentally is the standard for US drinking water, accelerates tumor growth rate by a whopping 25 percent. The respective research was performed by Dr. Dean Burk, who was the head of the Cytochemistry Section at the National Cancer Institute for 3 decades, and it was revealed that fluoride transforms normal cells into cancer cells, thus producing melanotic tumors.

The same study said that animals (rats) drinking fluorinated water showed an increase in cancers/tumors in oral squamous cells, and some developed osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, along with liver cancer, also known as hepatocholangiocarcinoma. On top of that, fluoride ingestion increases the carcinogenesis (the formation of cancer) of other chemicals

Here’s Dr. Dean Burk explaining how fluoride causes cancer. Video link.

Epidemiological studies from the same year revealed that water fluoridation caused at least 10,000 cancer deaths. Also, the research noted that deaths from cancer went up following water fluoridation after comparing the ten largest US cities without/with water fluoridation.

If you are thinking that the amount of fluoride in water, toothpaste and various foods is very low, you should know that fluoride accumulates in the body, and even very low doses are harmful to heavy water drinkers, kidney/thyroid patients, not to mention babies and children.  When mixed with fluoridated water, infant formula delivers 200x-300x more fluoride compared to breast milk.

Even the EPA admitted[6] that fluoride is a chemical “with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.”

And I tend to believe that brain health/overall health is more important than trying to reduce cavities via artificial water fluoridation (or whatever) with industrial waste product from China.

And if that’s not enough for you, take a load of this: fluoride bonds to calcium in the bones, making them brittle, thus causing joint fractures in the elderly, as well as bone cancer. Studies also linked[7] fluoride ingestion to Alzheimer’s disease. And at least 70 percent of America’s largest cities have fluoridated water.

Resources

[1] https://www.pnas.org/content/115/26/6674

[2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/feb/07/diet-children-iq

[3] https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/uranium-resources/uranium-from-phosphates.aspx

[4] https://www.amazon.com/Case-against-Fluoride-Hazardous-Drinking/dp/1603582878

[5] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/fluoride-childrens-health-grandjean-choi/

[6] https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_report.cfm?Lab=NHEERL&dirEntryId=200234

[7] https://www.nap.edu/read/11571/chapter/9#211

How bad teeth and a lack of dental care can lead to discrimination and poverty

Gina Diaz-Nino considers herself an extrovert. But since her mouth began deteriorating after years of methamphetamine use and two fights, she receded into the shadows.

Gina Diaz-Nino, 39, says her teeth, ravaged by years of drug abuse and injury, harms her ability to get a job, interact with people and gives her low self-esteem. 
BY JOHN WALKER | JOHN WALKER

Her teeth are yellow, crooked and browning around the corners. Most of her top teeth are either chipped, missing or decaying. When they fell out, they crumbled like chalk.

“I’ll open my mouth and oh — drug addict,” Diaz-Nino said. “It’s there. It’s like a past that you’re trying to erase and you can’t because you dug yourself that deep and you can’t get yourself out by yourself.”

Missing teeth get in the way of everything for the 39-year-old Fresno resident. She used to work as an office assistant for a gastroenterologist and dreams of opening her own thrift store. But for now, she’s stuck doing odds and ends service jobs through the phone or eBay, and avoids opening her mouth at all costs.

“Even with church, I can have nice clothes and I’m ready to go to church and I’ll stop and look in the mirror and I don’t smile because if I look, I will not go. I will just start crying. Because it doesn’t match. My clothes doesn’t match my face.”

Many things can get in the way of advancing out of poverty: The lack of a car to get to work. Failing to secure a high school diploma or college degree. Even showing up to a job interview without a sharp-looking outfit.

But in the U.S., there is one unspoken barrier that can do lifelong damage: Bad teeth.

It’s almost never talked about, but the tacit discrimination people face because of their crooked or missing teeth can be devastating. Many will never know why they didn’t get a particular job, or were laid off.

Interviews with Medi-Cal patients, advocates and dentists show that some people on Medi-Cal in Fresno have had to pull their own teeth. Others had their dentures stolen. They have tried to access dental services over the years, but were unable to navigate the complicated system, and lost faith when their only option was teeth removal. Others found coverage for more complicated services, but struggled to gain quality care.

Diaz-Nino tried going to multiple dentists with her Medi-Cal card over the years, but what was a covered benefit during one visit was no longer covered the next time around. The only service dentists offered consistently were extractions. She considered having her teeth pulled to get a denture, but her friends told her horror stories of their ill-fitting dentures, and she wanted to keep the teeth she still had. Now, she’s hoping a dentist will step up and help her fix her teeth for the estimated $4,000 through her GoFundMe campaign.

MEDI-CAL COVERAGE IS SPOTTY

Partial dentures are now covered under a recent Medi-Cal expansion, as are some crowns. But due to low reimbursement rates and a cumbersome authorization and reimbursement process, some dentists — out of an already limited pool of dentists who accept Medi-Cal — don’t perform the full range of covered services.

About one-third of California’s licensed dentists take some Medi-Cal patients in their practice, according to statistics from DHCS and Kaiser Health Foundation. But many dentists accepting Medi-Cal are usually only seeing a few patients, according to Paul Glassman, assistant dean for research at California Northstate University‘s College of Dental Medicine.

The Department of Health Care Services reported under a quarter of the 7.6 million adult Medi-Cal patients went to the dentist last year. That’s a mere percentage point higher than it was the previous year, when only basic dental services were covered, and reimbursement rates for dentists were up to 40% lower. (Adult dental services were eliminated in 2009, partially restored in 2014 and fully restored in 2018.)

“I think a one percent increase is disgraceful,” said Pedro Nava, chairman of the Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency that studied the department for a comprehensive report in 2016. “If these folks were in the private sector, they’d be out of a job.”

DHCS attributed the low participation rate to people not prioritizing their dental health. But interviews with over a dozen dentists, advocates and patients suggest low participation rate in the $2 billion program is because of the challenges dentists face in getting paid for their work.

Dentists are wary of a fickle system that might go away as quickly as it came back. They complain that rates remain at around a third of what commercial insurance pays, and it can be nearly impossible to get some covered services authorized and then reimbursed.

More complicated dental treatments require pre-authorization from Medi-Cal, so dentists must send the required paperwork and X-rays before beginning work. If the X-ray is not up to par, or the wrong tooth is labeled, the claim is rejected. The option to submit claims through an online portal has sped up authorization for some providers. But approval of certain covered services continues to vex dentists.

John Blake, executive director of the Children’s Dental Health Clinic in Long Beach, said he struggles to get the green light on deep cleanings, which are a covered benefit.

“It’s very rare that they’ll approve that,” Blake said. “But we have patients that really need it and it still comes back denied. It puts the dentists in a tough position. Unfortunately what I end up doing, is I just do it for free.”

But an approval does not guarantee smooth sailing. Some dentists who accept Medi-Cal Dental are still waiting for reimbursements for services they performed three to four months ago, according to Erwin Garrido, an administrator for Fresno’s Dental Transformation Initiative, a program to increase children’s usage of their Medi-Cal Dental benefits.

Dentists’ complaints echo what the Little Hoover Commission chairman found when they investigated the program in 2016.

“The department was extraordinarily concerned about fraud,” Nava said. “And they were worried that authorization for certain services without what I consider to be very burdensome review would lead to fraud. But the consequence of that was that both patients and dentists would get very frustrated because of the delay in getting an approval and then delay in getting payment.”

SQUANDERED EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Another Fresno resident, Delilah Garcia, 38, works in construction. She struggled for years with a chipped front tooth. She lost it in her twenties, when a bar fight broke out as she sat at dinner with her family, and a bottle of wine smashed her face.

Her temporary jobs never offered insurance, so she relied on Medi-Cal. But whenever she showed her card to dentists, they turned her away — unless she wanted her teeth removed. So she would get temporary fillings out of pocket, which ranged between $75 and $150, and rarely stayed on or matched the color of her teeth. A permanent filling, between $300 and $1,000, was out of reach — she had bills to pay and her children came first.

Fillings are now covered under the Medi-Cal expansion. But Garcia was unable to find a dentist who would take care of her teeth through Medi-Cal.

Dr. Paul Hsiao, a dentist in Fresno who takes Medi-Cal patients, said he has provided large fillings to Medi-Cal patients for free before running an authorization because “payment is usually denied.”

Anthony Cava, spokesman at DHCS, said they only authorize what they consider to be medically necessary treatment.

When Garcia went in for an interview at a construction firm last year, she did her usual routine. She hovered her right hand over her mouth every time she spoke. And instead of smiling, she tilted her head, glued her lips shut and tilted the corners up into a tight smile. The firm told her they would call her back, but like most of the jobs she interviewed for, they didn’t.

“You’re trying to put your best foot forward but you can’t, because your tooth is not there,” Garcia said.

She got the filling she needed for free at the Holy Cross Clinic, which operates out of the Poverello House, a homeless shelter in Fresno. The eight dentists and one hygienist, all of whom are volunteers, served 302 patients between May of 2018 and 2019.

Last month, after her dental visit, she got a call from the construction firm about an opening. Thanks to her fixed tooth, she felt she could be herself during the interview. At the end, one of the hiring managers who interviewed her last year confirmed what she thought was the reason she hadn’t made it the previous round.

“You finally fixed your tooth!” he congratulated her. She got the job, which pays $70 an hour, as well as extensive dental coverage through her Aetna insurance.

Garcia’s experience rings true to employment professionals in Fresno. Patrick Turner, employment and training assistant director at Fresno’s Economic Opportunities Commission, said that employers have never told him they wouldn’t hire someone because of bad teeth. But the interviewees’ lack of confidence ruined their chances.

“They’re just trying to hide their teeth,” Turner said. “It comes across as they are severe, maybe not so open. As humans we look for smiles, we look for them to be engaging, so if you won’t smile it gives the interviewer an off-putting effect.”

According to the American Dental Association, 31% of low-income Californians said the appearance of mouth and teeth affects their ability to interview for a job.

As with Delilah’s temporary jobs, agricultural jobs paying minimum wage rarely offer dental benefits. Workers then rely on Medi-Cal to take care of their teeth. But the system remains extremely difficult to navigate, even after the expansion of services. So workers end up taking out costly credit, or attending free dental clinics.

Ofelia Morfin, who plants and harvests grapes for a living, doesn’t qualify for Medi-Cal. So when she was having to take excessive pain medications and even skipping work because of pain in her molars, she decided to go into a free clinic a friend had told her about — the same Holy Cross clinic Delilah got her front tooth fixed. There, Dr. Richard Jennings, a volunteer dentist, removed the two back molars causing her pain.

“Thank God this place exists because it’s a great help to those of us that really need it,” Morfin said in Spanish.

FRESNO’S HOMELESS RESIDENTS FEEL THE BRUNT

Full dentures have been a covered benefit for Medi-Cal enrollees since services were expanded in 2014. But poor fittings have made them nearly useless for some of Fresno’s homeless residents.

Mary Caro, a homeless Fresno resident, got her dentures through Medi-Cal in 2001. But another woman stole them. She got a replacement a few years ago, but it causes too much pain, so she leaves it in her trailer. Juanita Romero, another homeless resident, got her dentures through Medi-Cal. But they hurt so much she only wears them to eat.

Katherine Miranda loves her top dentures, which she has had for 15 years. She smiles often. But her bottom set was painful to wear, so she never did. “My (bottom) gums have gotten so tough I can even eat meat and corn,” Miranda said.

People living in poverty often rule themselves out of the dental care system because they perceive it as a luxury reserved for the rich, according to Paul Glassman, assistant dean for research at California Northstate University‘s College of Dental Medicine.

Thomas Fuentes, another homeless Fresno resident, lost most of his teeth due to drug use. But he never went to the dentist, because he didn’t feel pain.

“I haven’t gone to the dentist for years because they haven’t been hurting,” Fuentes said. “When they do, I just pull them out.”

Dwayne Youngblood, a 57-year-old Selma resident, was excited to learn that he would be able to eat steak and tacos again on a visit to the dentist last year. He has been living off soft foods like potatoes and Spam for years because he is missing most of his teeth. The dentist made an appointment for him, six months from then, for his teeth to be extracted so two sets of dentures could be made.

“I was in the hair business. You’re supposed to look beautiful. You can’t get a job when you’re looking ugly. I haven’t even tried because I know they’re not going to give me a job looking like this.”

But between that time, he lost his state photo ID in a fire that ravaged his home. The state requires providers to verify Medi-Cal card holders’ identity. With only $96 a month from General Relief, he has been unable to secure transportation to the DMV or apply for a new ID.

Private arrangements are helping to put band-aids on the problem. But not at a grand scale.

When the Light-House Recovery Program, which helps women in Fresno struggling with substance abuse, treated a woman with severe dental needs, program director Vikki Luna reached out to Fresno dentists asking for help. One dentist volunteered his services for free. When a client at Workforce Connection in Fresno needed new teeth to get a job, the organization found a dentist and paid for the dental treatment she needed.

WHAT IS THE STATE DOING?

Advocates say legislative efforts have moved the needle in the right direction.

Funding from the Proposition 56 tobacco tax allowed for the restoration of adult dental services and increased reimbursement rates for many services by 40%. DHCS simplified the paper application process for providers, created a digital application and released a handbook describing Medi-Cal Dental policies, procedures and billing instructions.

The majority of outreach funds are going towards outreach to children. The federal government mandates Medicaid cover children’s dental health, while adult coverage is optional. The state is trying to increase participation among Medi-Cal children, about half of whom visited the dentist last year, through the Dental Transformation Initiative, which cost $740 million over five years.

In Fresno, which has received about $525,000 since 2017, dozens of outreach coordinators ensure patients keep their appointments, understand what’s covered and know where they can access those services. The no-show rate dropped from around 50% to 25% over the last two years, and the number of dentists in the area taking new Medi-Cal patients doubled.

“California has made a lot of investment in children’s oral health through programs like the Dental Transformation Initiative,” said Carolina Valle, policy manager at the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network. “Those kinds of innovative programs are lacking for adults.”

Valle added that many community members don’t know the breadth of services they are entitled to because the consumer handbook they receive are not understandable. The Medi-Cal handbook is translated to the top threshold languages. But it is laden with legal jargon that most people can’t grasp. Valle reported non-English speakers feel uncomfortable asking questions or filling out forms when no one at the dental office speaks their language.

Citing high costs, Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would require simpler writing and field testing for reading materials handed out by Medi-Cal.

Newsom’s 2019-20 budget includes $98 million to expand Medi-Cal coverage to income-eligible undocumented adults aged 19 to 26 starting in January 2020. The administration estimates approximately 90,000 undocumented immigrants will benefit from this proposal.

At the federal level, the Medicare Dental Benefit Act of 2019 would add a dental benefit to Medicare and increase reimbursement to states that choose to cover adult dental benefits in their Medicaid program, like California.

But critics say the cost of everyone’s dental care should not fall upon the state.

David Wolfe, legislative director at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, called the expansion of services unsustainable.

“We need to be mindful of the benefits we are providing to be sure they will be there in good times and bad. Nobody wants to see this expansion of services only to see them go away when times are bad. That’s not fair to people. I don’t know that legislators have thought that reality through.”

A MORE TARGETED SOLUTION

The University of Utah’s School of Dentistry identified the link between people suffering from substance use disorder and damaged teeth in 2015. With a federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, the dentistry school began providing comprehensive oral care to a group of around 300 individuals receiving treatment for their substance use disorder.

At discharge, patients who received dental care were about twice as likely to get a job and to abstain from drugs than their counterparts who received treatment but did not get oral care. Homelessness among patients who received treatment decreased by 62%.

Glen Hanson, director of the dentistry school, said the secret was in improving patients’ quality of life. Patients smiled constantly when they got their teeth fixed. Their sense of self worth, confidence and communication skills soared. Nutritious foods, like fruits and vegetables, replaced high-carb liquid foods in their diets.

Unlike California, Utah does not offer all Medicaid recipients dental coverage. But as a result of the program, extended dental coverage that was only available to pregnant, disabled or blind people to Targeted Adult Medicaid patients. These patients are characterized by their history of substance use disorder, homelessness and mental health problems.

Dental professionals, like Dr. Richard Jennings, volunteer dentist and Bertha Gozalez, dental assistant, at Holy Cross Clinic, Poverello House, give people with dental needs a second chance at getting back into the work force. BY JOHN WALKER

Destiny Garcia, a patient of the program, received dental care in conjunction with her substance use disorder treatment. Before completing dental treatment, she skipped several job interviews and quit a job at Build A Bear Workshop because she felt that her outward appearance didn’t match the improvement she felt inside. Garcia is now an office assistant at the Salt Lake County mayor’s office.

“When you walk in, I’m the first face you see,” Garcia said. “I’m also the last face you see. Today I sat in the steering council meeting, taking minutes. That’s an opportunity I would’ve never had if I looked like I was a drug addict.”

Employment isn’t the only thing Garcia gained by fixing her teeth. She finally feels comfortable enough to be herself among her friends and family.

“I can kiss my baby and not feel ashamed. Without teeth, you don’t wanna show your mouth to anybody, including your kids.”

Manuela Tobias is a journalist at The Fresno Bee. This article is part of The California Divide, a collaboration among newsrooms examining income inequity and economic survival in California.

The 8 Foods that make your teeth say ouch.

http://bit.ly/2V6ISe8

They say you are what you eat. And in no better place can that be seen than in your teeth. That’s because many foods and beverages can cause plaque, which does serious damage your teeth. Plaque is a bacteria-filled sticky film that contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. After you eat a sugary snack or meal, the sugars cause the bacteria to release acids that attack tooth’s enamel. When the enamel breaks down, cavities can develop.

Cavities are the most common chronic disease faced by people aged six to 19 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTrusted Source. They cause complications like pain, chewing problems, and tooth abscesses. And if you don’t brush or floss your teeth, your plaque will harden and turn into tartar. Tartar above the gums can lead to gingivitis, an early form of gum disease.

How can you prevent plaque from wreaking havoc on your mouth? Besides brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing and visiting a dentist regularly, try to avoid or limit the foods below.

1. Sour Candies

sour patch kids

It’s not surprising that candy is bad for your mouth. But sour candy contains more and different kinds of acids that are tougher on your teeth. Plus, because they’re chewy, they stick to your teeth for a longer time, so they’re more likely to cause decay. If you’re craving sweets, grab a square of chocolate instead, which you can chew quickly and wash away easily.

2. Bread

white bread

Think twice as you walk down the supermarket bread aisle. When you chew bread, your saliva breaks down the starches into sugar. Now transformed into a gummy paste-like substance, the bread sticks to the crevices between teeth. And that can cause cavities. When you’re craving some carbs, aim for less-refined varieties like whole wheat. These contain less added sugars and aren’t as easily broken down.

3. Alcohol

shot of whiskey

We all know that drinking alcohol isn’t exactly healthy. But did you realize that when you drink, you dry out your mouth? A dry mouth lacks saliva, which we need to keep our teeth healthy. Saliva prevents food from sticking to your teeth and washes away food particles. It even helps repair early signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections. To help keep your mouth hydrated, drink plenty of water and use fluoride rinses and oral hydration solutions.

4. Carbonated Drinks

soda

We all know that little, if any, good comes from soda or pop, even if it’s got the word “diet” on the can. A recent studyTrusted Source even found that drinking large quantities of carbonated soda could be as damaging to your teeth as using methamphetamine and crack cocaine. Carbonated sodas enable plaque to produce more acid to attack tooth enamel. So if you sip soda all day, you’re essentially coating your teeth in acid. Plus it dries out your mouth, meaning you have less saliva. And last but not least, dark-colored sodas can discolor or stain your teeth. A note: don’t brush your teeth immediately after drinking a soda; this could actually hasten decay.

5. Ice

ice cubes

All it contains is water, so it’s fine to chew ice, right? Not so, according to the American Dental Association. Chewing on a hard substance can damage enamel and make you susceptible to dental emergencies such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, or loosened crowns. You can use your ice to chill beverages, but don’t chew on it. To resist the urge, opt for chilled water or drinks without ice.

6. Citrus

orange slices

Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are tasty as both fruits and juices, and are packed with vitamin C. But their acid content can erode enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to decay. Even squeezing a lemon or lime into water adds acid to a drink. Plus, acid from citrus can be bothersome to mouth sores. If you want to get a dose of their antioxidants and vitamins, eat and drink them in moderation at mealtime and rinse with water afterward.

7. Potato Chips

potato chips

The crunch of a potato chip is eternally satisfying to many of us. Unfortunately, they’re loaded with starch, which becomes sugar that can get trapped in and between the teeth and feed the bacteria in the plaque. Since we rarely have just one, the acid production from the chips lingers and lasts awhile. After you’ve gorged on a bag, floss to remove the trapped particles.

8. Dried Fruits

dried apricots

You likely assume that dried fruits are a healthy snack. That may be true, but many dried fruits — apricots, prunes, figs, and raisins, to name a few — are sticky. They get stuck and cling in the teeth and their crevices, leaving behind lots of sugar. If you do like to eat dried fruits, make sure you rinse your mouth with water, and then brush and floss after. And because they’re less concentrated with sugar, it is a better choice to eat the fresh versions inste

5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MEDICARE INSURANCE

https://capital-benefits.com/blog/master-your-medicare-with-these-5-tips/

t’s scary when you hear about a friend or family member who has dealt with identity theft or fraud, but we are here to ease your mind with these 5 steps to master your medicare and prevent medicare fraud.

1. PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION:

Be careful with who you send out your personal information to (like your social security number). Every year, millions of people have to deal with identity theft and you do not want to be one of them! Read up on what tactics the scammers have been using lately, especially since the seniors are one of the most targeted groups for scammers!

2. KNOW YOUR MEDICARE RIGHTS:

Some of your medicare rights include protection from discrimination, your personal and health information kept private, access to doctors and specialists, medicare-covered services when an emergency occurs, and more.

3. STAY UP-TO-DATE WITH THE SENIOR MEDICARE PATROL:

The Senior Medicare Patrol is a group where seniors help each other with finding and stopping health care scamming and errors. The program focuses on medicare fraud education, engaging volunteers, and obtaining beneficiary complaints. Check out https://www.smpresource.org/ for more information.

4. STAY KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT YOUR MEDICARE PLANS:

During the yearly open enrollment period, make sure you know what plan you have and see if you need to move to a different plan. We’d love to help you with analyzing your Medicare plan, so click here to contact us now.

5. PROTECT YOUR MEDICARE CARD:

Before April 2018, your Medicare number was based on a Social Security number, but now, Medicare has replaced the social security- based medicare number with a new Medicare number ( by separating the two, it will make it harder for thieves to obtain both numbers). Remember, protect your Medicare number like you’d protect your Credit Card number and always check your Medicare statement for errors.

Protecting the things you can’t replace 
is your top priority, ours too. 
www.mygenertionbenefits.com

Do you need dental insurance with your medicare plans? www.mygenerationbenefits.com has plans starting for as little as $10 a month and a huge network of providers.

Categories: MedicareTagged With: Common Medicare ScamsmedicareMedicare Scams to Avoidscams

Food GOLD: Turmeric is just as effective as 14 pharma drugs but suffers from NONE of the side effects

Thursday, March 07, 2019 by: Isabelle Z.
Tags: alternative medicineanti-inflammatorycholesterolcurcumindepressiondiabetesfood curesfood is medicinegoodfoodgoodhealthgoodmedicinegrocery cureshealing foodsinflammationnatural remediespre-diabetespreventionSpicessuperfoodsuperfoodsturmeric

What if you could replace all the pills in your medicine cabinet with just one herb? Depending on what you take and why, that may be possible with turmeric. Its main component, curcumin, boasts enough health-enhancing properties to keep pharmaceutical execs up at night.

In fact, this herb is so powerful that it has been at the heart of more than 12,000 peer-reviewed biomedical studies. Researchers have found more than 800 different therapeutic and preventive uses for curcumin. Here is a look at just a few of the drugs to which it compares favorably, as outlined by Green Med Info.

Metformin (for diabetes)

Diabetes numbers continue to climb as Americans grapple with obesity, and that means more and more people are taking Metformin – and taking on its scary risks as well. However, a study in the journal Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Community found that curcumin has value in treating diabetes; it is between 500 and 100,000 times more powerful than Metformin when it comes to activating AMPK, which raises glucose uptake. Studies have also shown that it has a 100 percent efficacy rate in preventing those with pre-diabetes from developing full-fledged diabetes.

Lipitor (for cholesterol)

A 2008 study revealed that curcumin compares favorably to atorvastatin, which you may know as Lipitor, when it comes to dealing with the endothelial dysfunction behind atherosclerosis while reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Other studies have shown that it can impact triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol. While most of the studies so far have been done in animals, it is believed that it could have the same effect in humans, although the right levels have yet to be established.

Prozac (for depression)

A study in 2011 found that curcumin compares favorably to the antidepressants fluoxetine (Prozac) and imipramine when it comes decreasing depressive behavior. Best of all, it doesn’t carry the serious side effects that Prozac does, which include sleep problems, tremors, headaches, nausea, a lower sex drive, and suicidal ideation. In addition, it’s well-tolerated by patients.

Researchers believe it works on depression by inhibiting monoamine oxidase, the enzyme that has been linked to depression when it’s present in high amounts in the brain. It also raises levels of calmness-inducing serotonin and dopamine.

Oxaliplatin (for chemotherapy)

A study published in the International Journal of Cancer looked at curcumin’s effects in stopping colorectal cell lines from proliferating. The researchers discovered the herb compared favorably to the chemotherapy drug oxaliplatin. Other studies are underway exploring the impact curcumin has on various types of cancer after animal studies showed it could help prevent illnesses like skin, stomach and colon cancer in rats.

Anti-inflammatory medications

Curcumin is also great for inflammation, which is at the root of many chronic illnesses today such as cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, degenerative diseases, and heart disease. A study published in Oncogene identified it as an effective alternative to drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen given its strong anti-inflammatory effects, fighting inflammation at the molecular level. Meanwhile, in a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin worked even better than anti-inflammatory drugs.

Curcumin is so effective at addressing such a vast array of conditions that it’s hard to discuss it without sounding like you’re exaggerating. However, turmeric is truly “food gold” and it’s something well worth making a conscious effort to consume more of. You might not be ready to clean out your entire medicine cabinet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start adding this spice to your food. It pairs well with a variety of dishes, soups, salads, stews, and smoothies; consuming turmeric with fats is ideal, and make sure you add a pinch of pepper to boost its bioavailability.

Sources for this article include:

GreenMedInfo.com

NaturalNews.com

VeryWellHealth.com

How do oral bacteria make colorectal cancer more aggressive?

By Catharine Paddock PhD

Fact checked by Carolyn Robertson

Scientists have identified a molecular mechanism through which an oral bacterium accelerates colorectal cancer growth.

Tests have shown that around a third of people who develop colorectal cancer also have the bacterium, which has the name Fusobacterium nucleatum. Their cancer also tends to be more aggressive, but it was not clear why until the recent study.

paper that now features in the journal EMBO Reports reveals how the microorganism promotes the growth of cancer cells but not that of noncancerous cells.

The findings should help to clarify why some colorectal cancers develop much faster than others, say the researchers who hail from Columbia University in the City of New York.

The team also identified a protein that could form the basis of a test for more aggressive cancers and could lead to new treatments for colorectal and other cancers.

Colorectal cancer and its development

According to figures from the American Cancer Society, around 1 in 22 men and 1 in 24 women in the United States will receive a diagnosis of colorectal cancer at some point in their lives.

At the start of 2016, there were approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. with a history of colorectal cancer, some of whom were cancer free.

Colorectal cancer develops from uncontrolled growth and survival of abnormal cells in the colon or rectum, which are the final sections of the digestive, or gastrointestinal, tract.

The colon absorbs water and nutrients from what is left of food after it has traveled through the stomach and small intestine. It then passes the remaining waste to the rectum, which stores it ready for expulsion through the anus.

The most common precancerous stage of colorectal cancer is a polyp, which is a growth that develops in the tissue that lines the colon and rectum. Polyps grow very slowly, sometimes taking 20 years to develop.

Most polyps develop from cells that make up the glands that produce a lubricating mucus in the colon and rectum. For this reason, they have the name adenomatous polyps, or adenomas.

Adenomas are very common, and around 33–50 percent of people will develop at least one. However, while they can all become cancerous, less than 10 percent actually become invasive.

Oral bacterium has role in colorectal cancer

Scientists have known for some time that the abnormal cells that lead to cancerous adenomas in colorectal cancer arise because of genetic mutations that build up over time.

However, more recently, they have increasingly observed that F. nucleatum, which often occurs in tooth decay, also plays a significant role.

“Mutations,” says senior study author Yiping W. Han, who is a professor of microbial sciences in the College of Dental Medicine, “are just part of the story.”

“Other factors, including microbes, can also play a role,” she adds.

In previous work, Prof. Han and her team found that F. nucleatum produces the molecule FadA adhesin, which sets off a series of molecular events in colon cells that scientists have linked to a number of cancers.

That work also revealed that the protein only has this effect in cancerous colon cells — it does not trigger these events in healthy colon cells.

Why the bacterium only acts on cancer cells

Prof. Han says that the goal of the more recent study was to “find out why F. nucleatum only seemed to interact with the cancerous cells.”

The researchers started the new work by studying noncancerous colon cells in culture. They saw that these did not make the protein Annexin A1, which promotes growth in cancer cells.

Further tests in cell cultures and in mice revealed that blocking the protein stopped F. nucleatumfrom being able to attach to cancer cells, which stopped them growing so fast.

Another set of tests also revealed that the microbe stimulates cancer cells to make more Annexin A1, which in turn attracts more F. nucleatum.

“We identified a positive feedback loop that worsens the cancer’s progression,” Prof. Han explains. The cancer cells make Annexin A1 that then attracts F. nucleatum, the effect of which is to spur them to produce more of the protein.

“We propose a two-hit model, where genetic mutations are the first hit. F. nucleatum serves as the second hit, accelerating the cancer signaling pathway and speeding tumor growth.”

Prof. Yiping W. Han

The research team’s search of a national database yielded records on 466 people with molecular details about their primary colon cancer. The researchers found that those with higher levels of Annexin A1 fared worse, no matter what their gender, age, or cancer grade and stage.

The team intends to explore how to use Annexin A1 as a marker for identifying aggressive colorectal cancer. There might also be opportunities for new treatments for colorectal and other cancers that target the protein.

Colorectal cancer: Scientists halt growth with cannabinoid compounds

Scientists have identified several cannabinoid compounds that could potentially treat colorectal cancer .

A team at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey tested hundreds of cannabinoids on various types of human colorectal cancer cells in the laboratory.

Of these, 10 synthetic cannabinoids showed the ability to stop cancer cell growth. The well-known cannabis compounds tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) showed negligible ability to do the same.

The researchers see their findings as a starting point for further studies to better understand the anticancer effects that they observed, and to evaluate the compounds’ potential for drug development.

They report their results in a paper that features in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

“Now that we’ve identified the compounds that we think have this activity,” says senior study author Prof. Kent E. Vrana, who is chair of the Department of Pharmacology, “we can take these compounds and start trying to alter them to make them more potent against cancer cells.”

“And then, eventually, we can explore the potential for using these compounds to develop drugs for treating cancer,” he adds.

Colorectal cancer and cannabinoids

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, colorectal cancer is the “third most common cancer worldwide.”

This is also the case in the United States, where a national surveillance program has estimated that colorectal cancer accounted for 8.1 percent of all new cancer incidences in 2018.

For several decades, overall rates of colorectal cancer diagnoses and deaths have been falling steadily in the U.S. Experts attribute this largely to changes in risk factors, more widespread screening, and better treatments.

However, this overall decline masks an opposite trend in that rates and deaths to colorectal cancer are rising among those of 50 years of age and under. The reasons for this remain unclear, although some suggest that obesity, changes in diet, and an increase in sedentary lifestyles may be involved.

Cannabinoids is a term that scientists use to refer to a large group of compounds that mostly exert their effect through cannabinoid receptors.

A receptor is a signal-receiving protein that sits on or inside cells and can alter cell behavior when it binds to a molecule that matches its affinity.

There are three main categories of cannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are those that occur naturally in the cannabis, or marijuana, plant; endocannabinoids are those that arise within the body; while synthetic cannabinoids are those that scientists create in the laboratory.

Research on the medical uses of cannabinoids has tended to focus on the treatment of pain and conditions such as anxiety and depression.

However, more recently, scientists have shown growing interest in the potential anticancer effects of cannabinoids.

Study focused on synthetic cannabinoids

For the recent study, the researchers chose to investigate synthetic cannabinoids. From a “library of 370 molecules,” they identified 10 synthetic cannabinoids that “inhibited cell viability” in seven types of colorectal cancer cells that came from human tumors.

Prof. Vrana explains that cancer can arise in cells in several different ways. “Each of the seven cells we tested,” he says, “had a different cause or mutation that led to the cancer, even though they were all colon cells.”

To screen the library of candidates, he and his team first cultured the cancer cells for 8 hours and then treated them with one of the compounds for another 48 hours.

If a compound showed signs of being able to reduce viability in one type of colorectal cancer cell, the researchers then tested it on the six other types.

After further tests and analyses, they whittled the number down to 10 compounds.

“Here, we demonstrated that 10 synthetic compounds are highly efficacious and moderately potent for reducing the viability of seven [colorectal cancer] cell lines,” note the authors.

For the sake of comparison, they also ran tests on the two well-known phytocannabinoids THC and CBD. However, these showed a negligible ability to limit colorectal cancer cell viability.

The 10 compounds belong to three different classes of synthetic cannabinoid. The classes have many similarities, but they also have some small differences.

Prof. Vrana says there is a need for further research to understand better how the compounds work, and how to make them more potent and effective against colorectal cancer.

“We know how one of them works,” Prof. Vrana notes,” “which is by inhibiting the division of cells in general.”

“We also found that the most potent and effective compounds don’t seem to work through traditional marijuana receptors, although we’re not sure of the exact mechanism yet.”

Prof. Kent E. Vrana

see full article: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324399.php?iacp


Tips on how to keep control over your medical costs.

Quick: You have 10 seconds to answer some crucial questions.

You’ve just been in a bad accident. You have a compound fracture to your right leg.

The neighbors called an ambulance. The paramedics’ first priority is to stabilize you, which involves sedation, given how much pain you’re experiencing.

They’re hooking you up to an IV containing that sedative. In a few seconds, you’re going to be semiconscious and unable to communicate.

Which hospital emergency room do you want to go to?

Which one takes your medical insurance? Are the emergency room physicians also in-network?

How about the orthopedic surgeons?

Above all, what price will the emergency room charge you for your care?

How much will be left over for you to pay after your insurance pays their part?

I’m certain that most of us couldn’t answer those questions quickly, with or without sedation.

And yet thousands of Americans are asked to do exactly this every day … with catastrophic consequences.

Take It or Leave It

Longtime readers will know that I have an interest in the U.S. health care system. They also know that I don’t consider it to be a “free market.”

It’s the opposite. It’s a gargantuan rip-off.

Here’s why.

Economists distinguish between two types of prices for goods and services.

One is “market price.” That’s the price set by the free interaction of supply and demand.

Buyers bid up the price of something until no one else is interested in buying it. If sellers can’t produce the item at a profit for less than that price, it becomes the equilibrium, or market price.

But there’s another type of price that applies to a surprisingly large chunk of the things we buy — “administered prices.”

Administered prices are set by sellers without regard to the market. They just decide what the price will be, and the rest of us have to accept it.

Administrative prices are typically used for public utilities. Because it doesn’t make economic sense to have more than one provider of, say, electricity, prices can’t be set by market competition.

Instead, a public commission sets the price of electricity based on the cost of providing it, an amount to fund expansion of the supply system and a reasonable rate of profit for the provider.

The key factor justifying administrative prices is the absence of competition on the supply side. In the case of public utilities, that’s justified by economic rationality.

But in the case of emergency room services, the rationale is different: Accept treatment at their prices, or face the consequences.

Administered Pricing Gone Wild

Of course, there are other differences betweens public utilities and hospital emergency rooms.

One is that utilities are regulated, and prices are set by public commissions. On the other hand, in much of the country, emergency room pricing is unsupervised. They can charge whatever they want.

But just as important is the way buyers “discover” the price of these two types of goods.

Consider a South African friend of mine. He bought a plot of land abutting the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.

The municipal electricity supply grid ends several miles away. The utility was willing to extend electricity to his plot, but at a price that included the cost of installing miles of poles and wire.

He did his sums, and concluded that it made more financial sense to install solar panels and a battery system instead.

Compare that to Nina Dang. The San Franciscan cyclist fell and broke her arm in April last year.

Her pain was so acute that she was unable to communicate with bystanders, or with the ambulance crew who took her to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

There, doctors X-rayed her broken arm and examined the rest of her to make sure she had no other injuries. They put her in a splint, gave her pain medication and sent her home.

A few months later Dang got a bill for $24,074.50.

That was $20,243.71 more than her insurer considered a fair price.

She was therefore responsible for paying the excess. She tried to negotiate, but the hospital threatened to send her to a collections agency.

The problem is obvious. My friend knew what electricity would cost him before he made a decision. Dang didn’t know what her emergency room treatment cost until after it already happened.

My South African friend had a choice; Dang didn’t.

The question of timing — of when the customer gets information about pricing — is what allows hospital emergency rooms to “administer” whatever prices they want.

And that’s exactly what they do.

A fascinating yearlong study by Vox has revealed scandalous practices in our nation’s emergency rooms. They include a $5,571 bill just to sit in a waiting room, $238 for over-the-counter eyedrops and $60 for one 200 milligram ibuprofen.

The cost of identical treatment can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the hospital.

What You Can Do

Ultimately, this is a political problem.

Market pricing cannot function in an emergency room setting. The solution has to come from our lawmakers.

The U.S. needs to adopt the practice of most of its peers in the developed world — standardized pricing for everyday health care services.

Until then, there are some things you can do to avoid this kind of scandalous rip-off.

  • If there’s more than one in your area, find out which local emergency rooms take your insurance. Ask them for their price list for common services. They are obligated to make this public, thanks to a law that took effect on January 1. Identify your preferred emergency room, and tell your family, friends and neighbors. Write down a directive stipulating that you be taken there in case of emergency, and put it in your wallet or purse next to your driver’s license or ID.
  • For injuries that don’t appear life-threatening, go first to an urgent care clinic. Such clinics are popping up all over the place to fill the niche between waiting for an appointment from your doctor and going to emergency room. They may be able to treat you on the spot at a much lower price. If they can’t, they’ll help you find the most economical emergency room for you.

You work hard for your money. There’s no reason you should have to hand it over to greedy, unscrupulous hospitals.

But unless you prepare yourself ahead of time, there’s a good chance you will.

Kind regards,

Ted Bauman

Editor, The Bauman Letter

Medical definitions and terms to help you navigate through open enrollment

What does that policy mean by annual maximum?
What is a lifetime maximum benefit?
What is a guaranteed issued ACA policy?

 

Medical Terms and Definitions
for health insurance. 

 

Don’t forget to compare your dental plan costs before purchasing:

Dental for Everyone

 

 

Scientists STUNNED as first-of-its-kind study reveals strong link between fluoridated water and ADHD

Sunday, October 21, 2018 by: 

There are many reasons to oppose fluoridated water. Not only is it a form of government-dictated mass medication, research has consistently shown that fluoride consumption has a host of ill effects on human health. Recent research has once again confirmed that fluoride is a neurotoxin — with developing fetuses and young children being the most susceptible to its deleterious effects.

Scientists from the University of Toronto recently confirmed that exposure to high levels of fluoride in the womb increases ADHD-like symptoms in school-aged children. Dr. Morteza Bashash, the study’s lead author and researcher at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, commented on the findings and stated, “Our findings are consistent with a growing body of evidence suggesting that the growing fetal nervous system may be negatively affected by higher levels of fluoride exposure.”

Fluoride and ADHD

Dr. Bahash and his team studied 213 pregnant women and their children to see how fluoride affected the children as they reached school-age. All were part of the Early Life Exposures in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants (ELEMENT) project, which saw recruitment between the years of 1994 and 2005 and featured continued follow-up.

The team of experts analyzed urine samples that were taken from the mothers during pregnancy, as well as samples taken from the children while they were between six and 12 years old. The goal was to “reconstruct personal measures of fluoride exposure for both mother and child.”

Then, the scientists looked at how fluoride levels related to the children’s performance on a battery of tests and surveys which measured inattention, hyperactivity and conducted overall ADHD scoring.

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“Our findings show that children with elevated prenatal exposure to fluoride were more likely to show symptoms of ADHD as reported by parents. Prenatal fluoride exposure was more strongly associated with inattentive behaviours and cognitive problems, but not with hyperactivity,” Dr. Bahash stated.

The team was sure to adjust for other confounding factors, like lead exposure and smoking history. Previous research by Dr. Bahash’s team came to a similar conclusion, with the team finding that high levels of fluoride in the urine during pregnancy was associated with lower IQ and cognition test scores in children. Several other recent studies have also made a connection between fluoride and ADHD.

Water fluoridation may be commonplace, but that doesn’t mean it is actually safe.

The toxicity of fluoride

The truth about fluoride has long been covered up; a former EPA scientist, Dr. William Hirzy, has worked extensively to study (and expose) the real danger of fluoride. Research by Dr. Hirzy has also indicated that fluoride consumption is linked to a reduction in IQ.

Dr. Hirzy reportedly stated of his research,”The significance of this peer reviewed risk analysis is that it indicates there may be no actual safe level of exposure to fluoride.” [Emphasis added]

“Fluoride may be similar to lead and mercury in having no threshold below which exposures may be considered safe,” he added.

And as Natural News writer Tracey Watson reports further, even health experts at Harvard have been forced to admit that fluoride is indeed toxic to the brain. In 2012, researchers from the Ivy League school analyzed IQ scored from 8,000 Chinese school children who’d been exposed to fluoride in the water supply. And what they found was that fluoride, once again, was harming kids.

“High fluoride content in water may negatively affect cognitive development. The average loss in IQ was reported as a standardized weighted mean difference of 0.45, which would be approximately equivalent to seven IQ points for commonly used IQ scores with a standard deviation of 15,” reads the study’s conclusion.

Fluoride’s effect on the brain is only the tip of the iceberg. You can learn more about the dangers of this neurotoxic chemical that’s routinely added to tap water at Fluoride.news.

Sources for this article include:

NaturalHealth365.com

ScienceDaily.com