Wednesday, October 29, 2008

McCain or Obama on vaccine damage?

John McCain did catch my attention when in the primaries he said something about looking into vaccines as a cause of autism.

But then he went all "Walnuts" as Wonkette would say, and I don't know half of what he is saying anymore.

In this Age of Autism piece, it appears McCain IS more responsive to things like parental choice, etc.,

But personally, I've been in the tank for Obama from day 1, and when I look at his picture, I feel happy and calm...when I look at McCain, I feel blech. Well, there is an autistic young man who agrees with me on this, so McCain's admittedly more bold stance on vaccines isn't enough to make me switch:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Many doctors give patients placebo treatment

If a placebo works, I think I'd thank my doc for circumventing the need for pharmaceuticals. Note how different the take is on this US vs UK. From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Many American doctors give their patients a placebo, usually a relatively innocuous drug such as a pain reliever, in the guise of medical treatment and view the practice as ethical, researchers said on Thursday.

Among 679 primary-care doctors and rheumatologists, who treat arthritis patients, about half reported prescribing placebos at least two to three times a month and most said they did not explicitly tell patients they were getting a placebo.

The idea may be to trigger the "placebo effect" -- a genuine improvement in health driven by psychological expectations of a benefit and not due to the physiological effect of a given treatment -- in cases in which normal treatment might not be warranted, the researchers said.

More than 60 percent of the doctors who answered the survey published in the British Medical Journal said that prescribing a placebo is ethically permissible.

But such actions run afoul of standards set by the American Medical Association, which asserts it is unethical to use placebo therapy on patients without clearly telling them.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Depression During Pregnancy Can Double Risk of Preterm Delivery

This suggests getting your neurotransmitters in order before you conceive. Remember, serotonin is just ONE of the dozens of neurotransmitters that affect mood. A healthy and balanced person is not depressed. And you might want to note that many PESTICIDES work on insect's neuroendocrine systems...and it's somehow believed that it won't affect humans who eat, breath, absorb the residues, too. Maybe it's magic!

Lastly, you DO need serotonin to build a sufficient uterine lining--this could possibly one of the pathways that depression affects preterm birth. Low serotonin is often a marker of autoimmune disease. When I had my serotonin tested, the doctor was amazed to find it was near zero. He put me on Lexapro right away...and I stopped after two weeks because it made me feel really, really weird and frankly I will never touch the stuff again.

I DID use some natural herbs and things and was able to boost it up to a low, but normal level by my next blood test. Sounds a lot better than rewiring the brain.

From Newswise, the journalists' only site:

Newswise — Depressed pregnant women have twice the risk of preterm delivery than pregnant women with no symptoms of depression, according to a new study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. The study is published online in the Oxford University Press’s journal Human Reproduction on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

The study found that pregnant women with symptoms of depression have an increased risk of preterm delivery, and that the risk grows with the severity of the depressive symptoms. These findings also provide preliminary evidence that social and reproductive risk factors, obesity, and stressful events may exacerbate the depression-preterm delivery link, according to the researchers.

Because the majority of the women in the study did not use anti-depressants, the study provides a clear look at the link between depression and preterm delivery.

The study -- which is among the first to examine depression and pre-term delivery in a representative and diverse population in the United States -- looked at 791 pregnant Kaiser Permanente members in San Francisco city and county from October 1996 through October 1998.

Researchers interviewed the women around their 10th week of pregnancy and found that 41 percent of the women reported significant or severe depressive symptoms. The women with less severe depressive symptoms had a 60 percent higher risk of preterm delivery -- defined as delivery at less than 37 completed weeks of gestation -- compared with women without significant depressive symptoms, and the women with severe depressive symptoms had more than twice the risk.

“Preterm delivery is the leading cause of infant mortality, and yet we don’t know what causes it. What we do know is that a healthy pregnancy requires a healthy placenta, and that placental function is influenced by hormones, which are in turn influenced by the brain,” said lead author Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Oakland.

“This study adds to emerging evidence that depression during early pregnancy may interfere with the neuroendocrine pathways and subsequently placental function. The placenta and neuroendocrine functions play an important role in maintaining the health of a pregnancy and determining the onset of labor,” Li explained.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

REVIEW: Beckons Men's Yoga pants

It's a's a's MAN FERTILITY doing the archer pose.

He tried out this cute organic cotton Beckons "Strength" pants, which replaced his usual slippy slidey Adidas warmups. Perenially afraid of looking "goofy," he actually ended up really liking them for the fit and look and he was wearing them in the house and out doing errands. Plus, as I pointed out, he wears organic briefs so as to keep pesticides away from the privates, and then why not workout pants, especially because when heated, you absorb more toxins?

Bonus points: Beckons is a small, two-person company with good karma!

read all about it here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bonus Post: RNC spends $150K on Palin wardrobe and hair--and for her kids, too

You may be hearing on the AP about how Sarah Palin brought her kids with her for official gov. functions, which is OK, I guess, but she made Alaska pay for it, not OK.

Now the Main Street Wasillian accepted $150K in goodies from the RNC for herself and her kids, including Trig. Eeek.

The caption of his, from the Huffington Post, is

Piper Palin carries a Louis Vuitton bag on September 11th.

I guess Bush did tell us to go out and shop...although this is getting to seem more like the last days of the Marcos regime or something....

Link Between Anesthesia and Behavior and Development DIsorders

This is cautionary news to be heeded when deciding on surgery for your child. Anesthesia can deplete b12, especially you have have a variant of the MTHFR gene (variants A and C are very common). Surprise, our son has a variant, he had to have a ton of surgeries as a baby...and guess what, his B12 levels are very low and he has autism. Google MTHFR--it's an easy test you can have done at any lab and if you are considering conceiving, you may need more folic acid. It's a folate reductase gene, which meanas you may have trouble processing folate.

So, I don't know if we could have done anything differently with our son given the urgency of the situation, and we're glad we said no to adding radiation to the mix (they're finding THAT also causes learning disorders later on). Hello, Hippocrates? FIRST, do no harm. I kind of wish the medical field would focus on that a little more.

From Newswise, the journalists' only site:


Newswise — A new anesthesiology study analysis presented at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, indicates a possible link between childhood exposure to general anesthesia and an increased risk of behavioral and developmental disorders in young children.

Recent animal studies have shown that commonly used anesthetic agents may have serious neurotoxic effects on the developing brain. To assess whether the experimental animal data can be applied to humans, Lena S. Sun, M.D., professor of anesthesiology and pediatrics and colleagues at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health and the Columbia University School of Nursing, performed an analysis of a group of children born into the New York State Medicaid Program between 1999 and 2000.

Over a 4 year period, 625 children under the age of three were exposed to general anesthesia as part of uncomplicated hernia repair. When compared to a random sample of 5,000 children with no history of anesthesia exposure, the children exposed to anesthetic agents were twice as likely to be (subsequently) diagnosed with a developmental or behavior disorder.

“Given that the study subjects were taken from a Medicaid population, one limitation of the data is the demographic factors of this group that may vary from the general population. The excess risk of developmental and behavioral disorders in the children exposed to anesthesia cannot be completely explained by demographic factors or confounding health factors including premature birth or low birth weight.”

Researchers stress the need for more rigorous studies to assess the long-term health effects of exposure to anesthesia in young children. “This current analysis only examined two or three years of post-exposure data. To determine long-term effects of exposure, it is essential to continue and expand the efforts of this study with continued follow-up with the study subjects and design additional studies in which direct neurodevelopmental outcomes could be assessed. It is important to emphasize that given the limitations and preliminary nature of the study, these results should be interpreted with caution; parents should not keep their children from having necessary surgical procedures,” said Dr. Sun.

While a number of animal studies have provided useful direction for further research, it is important to note that animal studies are considered basic science, and their findings do not always translate to the complex physiological system of human beings.

Anesthesiologists: Physicians providing the lifeline of modern medicine. Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists is an educational, research and scientific association with 43,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology and improve the care of the patient.

For more information visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists Web site at

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Low Estrogen Patch is actually HIGH Estrogen--and deadly not just to fertility

I've written before about how you might want to stay away from oral contraceptives, ESPECIALLY if you plan one day to be pregnant--it can really mess up your delicate cycle, possibly permanently. Before you pour chemicals and hormones into your body at someone else's profit, you might want to consider, who's looking out for you? Not the drug companies. From Nerve.Com:


Rough Patch

by Nicole Ankowski

"Those fucking bastards," I whispered to my boyfriend and cat when I read the article. "They're getting away with it!"

In April, The New York Times brought us a nasty update to the 2005 news that pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson had been lying to the public about their Ortho Evra birth-control patch. Marketed as a lower-estrogen birth-control option (meaning fewer and milder side effects than the pill), the patch actually delivered much higher doses of estrogen than the pill; Johnson & Johnson failed to reveal this to the public for six years. At least fifty deaths have been attributed to the patch because of this, with thousands more women reporting alarming symptoms.

And now, Johnson & Johnson is arguing that women hurt by the patch cannot sue, because the FDA approved the patch in the first place.

read more here.

Birth Control Patch Sickens Women

I've written before about how you might want to stay away from oral contraceptives, ESPECIALLY if you plan one day to be pregnant--it can really mess up your delicate cycle. Also, again, who's looking out for you? Not the drug companies. From Nerve.Com:

Rough Patch

by Nicole Ankowski

"Those fucking bastards," I whispered to my boyfriend and cat when I read the article. "They're getting away with it!"

In April, The New York Times brought us a nasty update to the 2005 news that pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson had been lying to the public about their Ortho Evra birth-control patch. Marketed as a lower-estrogen birth-control option (meaning fewer and milder side effects than the pill), the patch actually delivered much higher doses of estrogen than the pill; Johnson & Johnson failed to reveal this to the public for six years. At least fifty deaths have been attributed to the patch because of this, with thousands more women reporting alarming symptoms.

And now, Johnson & Johnson is arguing that women hurt by the patch cannot sue, because the FDA approved the patch in the first place.

read more here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Scientists Warn Congress About Cell Phones and Cancer

There is a lot of weird anecdotal evidence about cell phones, and it's worrisome: a number of fairly young execs dying of brain tumors...on the side of the head where they plaster their phones. Someone I know said he can "feel" a call some in two seconds before it does. I find the energy radiating off a cell phone to be strange. Thus, we don't use 'em.

Here's what the docs have to day, from
Scientists Warn Congress About Cell Phones and Cancer

cell phone, mobile phone, cancer, congress, EMF, RF, radio frequencies, electromagnetic fieldsTwo scientists told the U.S. House Subcommittee on Domestic Policy that use of cell phones may raise the risk of brain cancer. The concern came from Dr. Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany.

The two scientists cited a major study recently presented by Dr. Lennart Hardell of Örebro University in Sweden, which stated that people using cell phones doubled their risk of developing brain cancer and acoustic neuromas, a tumor that damage the hearing nerve.

The study also showed that people who started using cell phone before the age of 20 years were more than five times as likely to develop brain cancer.

The European Parliament recently voted 522 to 16 to urge ministers across Europe to impose stricter limits for exposure to radiation from mobile and cordless phones, wi-fi and other radiation-generating devices -- in part because children are particularly vulnerable to the risk.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Are monthly self breast exams helpful?

No matter how you decide to take charge of your breast, health, it's always good to keep up with the newest findings. The Cochrane studies are the ones the doctors look at.

I personally am into the "first, do no harm." I stay away from plastics, radiation (including mammograms, actually). You can do your own research and or review items on this blog about survival rates of people who have mammograms regularly versus those who do not. I also think it's important to factor in the stress and things of having these procedures done plus the inevitable and common false negatives (my mom just had one--and they took 5 more mammos just to confirm that they screwed up...) that ratchet up the anxiety factors.

This article also puts monthly self exams in another perspective.



breast exam, breast awarenessIs there a right way to check your breasts for early signs of cancer? Many women remain confused as experts now say there is no evidence that rigorous monthly "self-examination" -- widely recommended in the United States -- reduces breast cancer deaths. Plus, it can lead to unnecessary biopsies.

Two large studies looking at a total of more than 388,000 women found that death rates from breast cancer were the same among women who rigorously self-examined as those who did not, while there were almost twice the number of biopsy operations in the self-examination group.

According to some experts, the best way for a woman to check her breasts is not to follow a strict examination routine, but to get to know what is normal, and feel them regularly for signs of any changes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

AFL-CIO takes on racism

From the Daily Dish:

Confronting Racism Against Obama

A pretty amazing speech by the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka. To see a white union man take on racism this way is very moving. Something truly profound could happen in this election, if we want it to:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Multi Vaccine Causes Seizures

With vaccines, more is definitely not better. Remember when Searle covered up data that EQUAL causes seizures in people (p.s. Donald Rumsfeld was CEO of Searle at the time). If you're gonna vaccinate, go low and slow.

From Natural News:

(NaturalNews) Children who take Merck's combination vaccine ProQuad suffer from convulsions twice as frequently as children who are given two separate vaccines, a federally funded study has found.

In response, the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has reversed its prior position of recommending ProQuad, which protects against measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and chicken pox, over two separate vaccines for chicken pox and MMR.

"Safety, shortages, delivery issues - lots of reasons not to state such a strong preference," advisory committee member Patsy Stinchfield said.

Previously, the committee had recommended ProQuad over the separate vaccines in order to reduce the number of shots that children would have to undergo.

ProQuad costs approximately the same as the chicken pox and MMR vaccines combined. Due to manufacturing problems, the vaccine has been in short supply since 2007.

Researchers in the new study looked at 43,000 children between the ages of 12 and 23 months who had been vaccinated with ProQuad and 315,000 who had received two separate MMR and chicken pox vaccines. They found that within seven to 10 days after vaccination, those given ProQuad suffered twice as many cases of fever followed by convulsions as those given the separate shots. This amounted to one extra convulsion per 2,000 children receiving ProQuad.

In absolute terms, nine of every 10,000 children receiving ProQuad suffered fever-related seizures, compared with four in 10,000 children in the dual vaccine group.

Children undergoing seizures did not appear to suffer any lasting effects, and there were no recorded deaths.

A similar study conducted by Merck also found a doubling of seizure risk within five to 12 days of vaccination with ProQuad, but said that the difference in seizure rates vanished in a 30-day time period. The absolute seizure rate from ProQuad was lower in the Merck-funded study, at five convulsions per 10,000 children vaccinated.

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Recession Tips + coupon

Our household uses a fair amount of supplements, and these needs are there no matter what the stock market's doing. I USED to go to because they were cheap, and bought a lot of their house brands. Well, the women's multiple was famously found by to have dangerous amounts of lead.

Now that I'm a sort of health journalist, I have direct access to Consumerlabs and can tell you of weird things going on, or even good things, like a recent test of cod liver oils found even the cheapie brands pretty clear of heavy metals.. (I think I blogged about this before).

Anyway, I use, largely because they have flat 1.99 shipping and free over $60, and they have all the good stuff like the cell salts, homeopathics, green tea, etc., at a fraction of Whole Foods prices. They also claim (I have no idea how to verify this) that they have the best storage and keep things fresh. I *do* know that as a test I ordered some probiotics from VS that I KNOW need to be refrigerated (other places make you buy an ice pack and use priority mail) and they just came in the middle of the summer over 1 week with the free shipping. Blech.

But again, I cannot verify iherb's claims, but their prices are certainly right. And GreenFertiltiy's back in GREEN.

Oh yeah, they also gave me a $5 coupon for first time users, which I hereby pass on to you. Use the code PIX328.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What you didn't see after the debate

Unlike the regular news outlets, our friends C-Span stayed as long as there was a candidate in the room. One person left promptly, the other ("that one") stayed and talked, shook hands, signed autographs...until every last person was happy.

via Wonkette. Click here.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Amazing: Obama Helped Stranded Stranger 20 Years Ago

Hm, this is the first political post here on GreenFertility. On the other hand, maybe it's not really political, more just the GreenFertility bringin' ya the lesser known facts (see, I can talk like Sarah Palin, too!).

This story (I got it from the Daily Kos via my friend Susan) illustrates the ever important what-people-do-when-no-one's-looking principle. Plus, MAN FERTILITY and I have friends who went to school with Obama and said similar things about him and are working for his campaign.

I also found it weird/creepy/scary that at the debate, when Sen. Biden became truly choked up recalling his family tragedy, Gov. Palin merely responded with one of her soundbites about being a maverick...

In these times, who's more likely to feel your pain, who's more likely to genuinely try to help? I couldn't even bear to watch the RNC because of the baaaad energy.

p.s. if after reading this you want to donate to Books4Barack, a joint effort of authors brianchilded by Ayelet Waldman, click here.


Amazing: Obama Helped Stranded Stranger 20 Years Ago

Sun Oct 05, 2008 at 03:47:48 PM PDT

The Norwegian newspaper VG has reported a truly amazing story about a newly-wed trying to get to Norway to be with her husband, and the stranger who helped pay an unexpected luggage surcharge. The blog "Leisha's Random Thoughts" has translated the story.

It was 1988, and Mary Andersen was at the Miami airport checking in for a long flight to Norway to be with her husband when the airline representative informed her that she wouldn't be able to check her luggage without paying a 100 surcharge:

When it was finally Mary’s turn, she got the message that would crush her bubbling feeling of happiness.
-You’ll have to pay a 103 dollar surcharge if you want to bring both those suitcases to Norway, the man behind the counter said.
Mary had no money. Her new husband had travelled ahead of her to Norway, and she had no one else to call.
-I was completely desperate and tried to think which of my things I could manage without. But I had already made such a careful selection of my most prized possessions, says Mary.


As tears streamed down her face, she heard a "gentle and friendly voice" behind her saying, "That's okay, I'll pay for her."

Mary turned around to see a tall man whom she had never seen before.
-He had a gentle and kind voice that was still firm and decisive. The first thing I thought was, Who is this man?
Although this happened 20 years ago, Mary still remembers the authority that radiated from the man.
-He was nicely dressed, fashionably dressed with brown leather shoes, a cotton shirt open at the throat and khaki pants, says Mary.
She was thrilled to be able to bring both her suitcases to Norway and assured the stranger that he would get his money back. The man wrote his name and address on a piece of paper that he gave to Mary. She thanked him repeatedly. When she finally walked off towards the security checkpoint, he waved goodbye to her.

Who was the man?

Barack Obama.

Twenty years later, she is thrilled that the friendly stranger at the airport may be the next President and has voted for him already and donated 100 dollars to his campaign:

-He was my knight in shining armor, says Mary, smiling.
She paid the 103 dollars back to Obama the day after she arrived in Norway. At that time he had just finished his job as a poorly paid community worker* in Chicago, and had started his law studies at prestigious Harvard university.

read more here.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Cell Phone Use and Pregnancy

Cell phones scare me, actually. We have one we use only for emergencies and I used the loudspeaker on it. Apparently, when yo use a cell phone, it uses your HEAD as an antenna. Lovely. Check this out from Natural News:

(NaturalNews) The first large-scale study to look at the connection between mobile phone use in pregnancy and later behavioral problems in children has overwhelmingly come back with a finding that such phone use places undeveloped babies at risk.

Researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Aarhus, Denmark surveyed 13,519 women who had given birth in Denmark in the late 1990s about their mobile phone use habits while pregnant, and their children's use of the phones up until the age of seven. Due to the fact that cell phone use was less widespread a decade ago, about half of the women in the study had not used the phones while pregnant, or used them only infrequently.

Women who used handsets two or three times per day while pregnant were 54 percent more likely to give birth to children who developed behavioral problems by the time they reached school age than women who did not use them. The risk of behavioral problems increased along with the mother's mobile phone use during pregnancy.

If children used the phones themselves while very young, they were 80 percent more likely to suffer behavioral difficulties, 25 percent more likely to suffer from emotional problems, 34 percent more likely to have trouble relating to their peers, 35 percent more likely to be hyperactive and 49 percent more likely to have conduct problems than children who did not use mobile phones.

The findings were published in the journal Epidemiology.

read more here.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Bacteria in Kimchi really, really important for Pregnant Women

Interestingly, concurrent with the rise in obesity of Korean kiddies, they seem to be easting less kimchi! At least, that was the complaint I often heard when I lived there, indeed, my aunt's kids seemed like they couldn't get enough of Choco-pies. Kimchi is very pungent and spicy and also definitely curbs the urge for sweets.

Cabbage, the canny Koreans and Germans must have figured out, contain and extra hardy naturally occuring probiotic, l. plantarum. Apparently there are all sorts of l. plantarum supplements coming out. I still think eating fermented foods is the "express" way to get these little guys in your system, as the lactic acid that is formed in fermentation is a perfect pH for them to survive. Our son drinks kimchi juice when he's feeling off, and has these amazing kimchi burps right after.

The Body Ecology site suggests that l. plantarum is one bacteria you definitely want to have in your system if you are pregnant--the baby gets its first probiotics via its journey through the birth canal--this process is rudely interrupted if you have a c section, btw, so be extra careful to make sure your baby gets probiotics.

From Body

L. plantarum is one of the best probiotics to address digestive distress!
In fact, some people NEED Lactobacillus plantarum to improve their health:

  • Pregnant women can ensure that they have healthy bacteria in their birth canal to inoculate their newborn babies.
  • Newborn babies benefit from tiny spoonfuls of cultured vegetable juice soon after birth to prevent colic and to ensure their inner ecosystem is well established.
  • Autistic children benefit from L. plantarum as it helps clear up common digestive issues.
  • Children with ADD/ADHD often find relief when using probiotics.
  • Anyone Taking Antibiotics
read more here.
I always recommend making your own; if you do buy it, check for MSG.

GreenFertility sh*tkicking kimchi recipe and step-by-step instructions:

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

South Korea plans to help obese children pay for health club membership

In the last month I've read three different articles on three very different countries: Okinawa, Greece, Korea but they all said the same thing: the old people on a tradition diet stayed lean and healthy with very few degenerative diseases, while the 50%+ Korean/Okinawan/Greek kids were obese with unheard of degenerative diseases after only a few years on a western diet--what more proof do we need that the Western diet is poisonous? Just google the work of Dr. Weston Price--they knew this a whole century ago.

Anyway, Last time I was in Korea it was a decade ago, and I can't recall a single instance of seeing a fat child. Well, guess I'll be in for a surprise:


SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea plans to help obese children pay for health club membership and other activities that can help them lose weight, an official said on Wednesday.

Health ministry official Chun Myung-sook said the rate of childhood obesity had tripled over the past three years due to a changing diet higher in fatty foods and a more sedentary lifestyle.

read more here.