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

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

 

PHARMA HIDES DATA ABOUT FARM ANTIBIOTIC USE

ON WEDNESDAY LAST week, the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council revealed that pig herds in the United States receive almost as many antibiotics as people in this country do. That’s bad news, especially since most of the pigs receiving antibiotics aren’t sick, but instead are getting the drugs to prevent infections in intensive farming. Those drugs don’t keep the US pig herd healthy—major diseases have increased year over year since 2000—and all those antibiotics are increasing the amount of drug-resistant bacteria that arise on pig farms and that are routinely found on meat.

None of that is good news. But there’s a second story hidden in the NRDC report that is worse: The advocacy organization had to jump over hurdles to get the data to explain the effects of that drug use. Even in the era of Big Data, the information we‘re allowed to have about how antibiotics are used in US animals is limited, incomplete, and hostage to commercial interests—all of which keeps Americans from fully understanding how bad raising practices put our health at risk.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Other nations track and report agricultural antibiotic use, livestock diseases and human health impacts—not only in granular detail, but in unified data sets that make it easy to see how what’s happening on farms affects the wider world.

In the Netherlands, for instance, paired sets of data—Nethmap for human antibiotic use and resistance, MARAN for livestock (it stands for Monitoring of Antimicrobial Resistance and Antibiotic Usage in Animals in the Netherlands) are released in a single document every year by the Ministries of Health, Welfare and Sport, and Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. (Those are the equivalent, allowing for differences in government structure, of the US Department of Health and Human Services and the USDA.)

The Dutch data sets are assembled with the participation of physicians, pharmacists, and veterinarians, and they are a marvel of completeness. They are remarkably real-time, fine-grained, and coherent across categories—so much that, in the wake of a 2005 European Union ban on one type of farm antibiotic use, the Dutch data could show that drug-resistant infections linked to food didn’t drop as expected. That gave the government the proof it needed to recruit farmers into voluntary cuts in farm drug use. Antibiotic use dropped 60 percent in three years—and that time, they saw a drop in human infections.

Contrast that to the United States, where human prescription statistics are compiled and sold by a private company, Quintiles IMS, formerly IMS Health. (NRDC couldn’t afford to buy this data for its report; the group had to beg help from a deeper-pocketed think tank.) Animal-drug sales, but not usage, are tendered by veterinary-drug manufacturers to the FDA. Documenting where resistance is occurring is even more complicated: That is a joint project of the USDA, FDA, and CDC—but the agencies don’t report all their results in a single document or at the same time.

In the current political moment, perhaps it’s no surprise that the companies that make and sell antibiotics play a much larger role in the US surveillance system than they do in the Netherlands or across the European Union. For a glimpse of how uninformative American antibiotic surveillance is, look at how animal-antibiotic data comes to be.

Compiling and releasing those stats is governed by a law called the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA). The law’s origin was a slightly shady deal done between the FDA and pharma companies back in 2003: The companies were so impatient with the slow pace of new-drug approvals that they volunteered to pay a “user fee” that would allow the agency to hire more staff and process paperwork faster.

In ADUFA’s first years, drug companies paid the FDA $43 million, practically guaranteeing the act’s re-approval when it came up for a 5-year re-authorization. Sensing some leverage, members of Congress who wanted more transparency around farm antibiotic use shoehorned into the law a requirement that any antibiotics manufacturer that wanted new drugs approved would have to give up some agricultural sales data in exchange. That led to the first “ADUFA Report” (technically the “Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals”) in 2009. It has been published every year, more or less, ever since.

But the statistics included in the report have been incomplete at best. The first ADUFA report, which recorded 28.8 million pounds of antibiotics sold for farm use, was only four pages long and contained just a single table. (It’s up to 67 pages and 28 tables and figures now.) The ways that drugs are dispensed on farms only began to be described a few years ago, and the descriptions don’t exactly match scientific understanding of how resistance emerges from farms. David Wallinga, a physician and senior health officer at NRDC, points out, the breakdown of how the drugs are used in different livestock species was only divulged in last year’s report, which covered 2016.

The biggest problem, though, is that ADUFA isn’t considered an obligation owed to public health, as antibiotic data is in Europe. Instead, it’s a political football. The law is up for reauthorization again this year, and since March, versions have been bouncing between the House of Representatives and the Senate. Some have been what legislative wonks call a “clean bill,” a strict reproduction of the text from the last round. But others have been lavishly tinkered with: one provision allowed the use of animal drugs, for up to five years, under “conditional approvals”—that is, without companies having to reveal any data showing their drugs are effective.

The newest version of ADUFA isn’t final yet; versions that separately passed the House and Senate will have to be reconciled and then voted on again. Advocacy organizations who have been monitoring the maneuvers contained in the various amendments are already exhausted—not just by the argumentation, but by the persistent sense that farm antibiotic misuse isn’t anyone’s priority other than theirs.

“The lack of data is a problem because we know that antibiotics are vastly misused in agriculture, but we need more information on exactly how they are used to put in place the best stewardship practices possible,” says Matthew Wellington, antibiotics program director for the organization US PIRG.“The less clear that data is, the harder time public health advocates and elected officials will have in creating best practices.”

If American farm and human antibiotic data were complete, up to date, and open-access, we’d be able to easily draw the kinds of comparisons that the NRDC authors needed and that Europe takes for granted. Robust public health ought to be the entitlement of every American. It’s incongruous that the data that could help achieve it isn’t free to all.

Improve Your Health in One Easy Step

It’s easy to fall into the hype of the latest fad to improve your health. Have you considered reviewing what you are ingesting already and what chemicals may not be as great for you as you think?

 

Here’s how fluoride destroys your health in obvious, and not so obvious, ways.

(Natural News) Few people realize just how far-reaching the effects of long-term exposure to fluoride can be. Dental fluorosis may be the most obvious manifestation of fluoride damage as it discolors and pits people’s teeth, but much of the other harm it causes is not as easy to see and is often blamed on something else. Here’s a look at a few of the ways in which fluoride destroys your health.

Cognitive and IQ problems

Many people feel fluoridated water is a big reason for the general “dumbing down” of society we’ve seen in recent years. It makes sense when you consider that fluoride is a neurotoxin and 50 human studies have linked exposure to it with lower intelligence.

It affects people of all ages, with fetal brain development also suffering from fluoride exposure. One study from Harvard Medical School linked elevated levels of fluoride to lowered IQs in children. Other studies have found that it can cause memory impairments and even brain damage.

Higher risk of heart disease

Because so much fluoride accumulates in the aorta, your heart can be affected by it significantly. Fluoride leads to oxidative stress and an inflammatory response, spurring atherosclerosis and heart damage. In addition, fluoride in ground water has been linked to high blood pressure and a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

Male infertility

One of the less obvious effects of fluoride exposure is male infertility. Lots of people fail to connect their troubles conceiving to the chemical, even though more than 60 studies have shown that it can impact male reproduction by reducing the quantity and motility of sperm as well as testosterone levels.

If you need further proof, consider the fact that American communities where the drinking water contains more than 3 ppm of fluoride had lower fertility rates than those areas with lower levels of fluoride in a study, even though the amount in question was within the limits of what the EPA considers “safe.”

Weaker bones and skeletal fluorosis

Here’s another reason to avoid fluoride: It’s been found in studies to weaken bones. Some studies have found that areas with 4 mg per liter of fluoride in the drinking water have higher rates of fractures and lower cortical bone density. Animal studies have also found bone strength reductions at the hands of exposure to fluoride.

In addition, long-term exposure to fluoride has been found to cause skeletal fluorosis, which can lead to serious bone distortions and a “hunchback.” This is often misdiagnosed because it can look like other joint and bone diseases, like osteoarthritis.

Cell DNA damage and cancer

Fluoride causes genetic damage that can contribute to cancer. It’s been linked to lung and bladder cancers in particular, and some experts believe it can increase the risk of malignancies. In one study, boys who were exposed to fluoridated water as children were found to have a significantly higher chance of developing bone cancer as adolescents.

Endocrine disruption

Fluoride can impact your endocrine function, inhibiting the secretion of insulin, T3, T4 and other hormones. It also impacts melatonin, which is responsible for regulating your sleep and wake cycle.

Gastrointestinal issues

Ingesting even small amounts of fluoride can cause stomach lining damage and vomiting in some people. Poison Control Centers get thousands of calls each year about excessive fluoride ingestion by children in the form of toothpaste, which can cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Fluoride can damage your health in many different ways. If you have fluoride in your water or your toothpaste, it’s time to start making some changes if you want to preserve your health. Read Fluoride.news to stay fully informed.

Sources for this article include:

NaturalHealth365.com

NaturalNews.com

Vitamins and Minerals Not to Miss for Oral Health

Trump administration just carved another chunk out of Obamacare

by Sally Pipes | Jan 18, 2018, 10:47 AM

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor released a proposed rule that would enable as many as 11 million Americans to sidestep some of Obamacare’s premium-inflating coverage regulations. Specifically, the new rule allows small businesses and self-employed Americans within the same state or metropolitan area, including areas that extend across state lines, to band together to purchase large-group insurance policies through so-called association health plans, or AHPs.

The rule basically legalizes affordable health coverage for small businesses.

At present, businesses and individuals have little choice but to buy coverage in the individual or small-group markets. These plans are subject to Obamacare rules that have sent premiums soaring. Obamacare’s essential health benefits mandates, for instance, require all plans sold on the individual and small group market to cover a long list of potentially costly services and procedures, from pediatric dental care to speech therapy.

By effectively banning simple, low-cost coverage, such rules have made insurance more expensive for individuals and small businesses. On Healthcare.gov, the federal exchange that covers 39 states, the average premium for the second-lowest benchmark silver plan rose by 38 percent this year. By contrast, the average premium in the large-group market, where Obamacare’s mandates don’t apply, rose by only 5 percent.

AHPs also give small firms and self-employed individuals more bargaining power to obtain favorable rates from insurers. For instance, dozens of small landscaping companies could form an AHP. That economy of scale enables them to save big bucks and tailor coverage to members’ needs.

For years, Obamacare has forced many small businesses and sole proprietors to purchase prohibitively expensive, excessively comprehensive health insurance. The AHP rule would give these folks a more affordable option.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/the-trump-administration-just-carved-another-chunk-out-of-obamacare/article/2646301