Traditional Chinese Medicine May Provide A New Tool To Fight Addiction

Traditional Chinese Medicine may provide a new tool to fight addiction A new natural health resource in the fight against alcoholism has been found in a synthetic derivative of Kudzu vine which may help treat the addiction and prevent a relapse.

Some 14 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and the costs of alcohol dependence and abuse equaled $220 billion in 2005, according to TreatmentCenters.net, an addiction treatment resource organization.

Daidzin is a substance found in Kudzu vine, and scientists from the University of California at San Francisco found that it inhibits human aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH-2), which metabolizes alcohol into acetaldehyde.

The accumulation of acetaldehyde, in turn, produces aversive effects and may turn people away from drinking.

Ting-Kai Li, a professor in the department of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and former director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, says extracts of Kudzu vine have been used in Chinese herbal medicine formulas for thousands of years and are believed to be helpful in treating alcoholism and intoxication.

"Recent research has found that several compounds of the isoflavone family – puerarin, daidzin, daidzein – in the Kudzu extract decrease alcohol intake in experimental animals," he stresses.

The value of the treatment is further enhanced by the fact that it appears to be non-toxic, the scientists say.

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After Court Dismisses GOP Lawsuit, Democrats Regain Senate Supermajority

After court dismisses GOP lawsuit, Democrats regain Senate supermajority Vice President Joe Biden swore in Paul Kirk as the junior senator from Massachusetts on Friday to replace the late Senator Edward Kennedy, giving the Democrats the filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes.

The appointment – which was announced by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick last Thursday – is expected to make it easier for the Democrats to pass comprehensive healthcare and financial regulation reforms.

Governor Patrick explained he moved ahead with the appointment because "the issues before the Congress and the nation are simply too important to Massachusetts for us to be one voice short."

For some time, the confirmation was up in the air as the Massachusetts GOP filed a lawsuit seeking to block the appointment alleging Patrick had no legal authority to do so, but it was dismissed by a Massachusetts court.

Jennifer Nassour, the state GOP chairwoman, commented that "from President Obama to Senate Majority Leader [Harry] Reid to Governor Patrick, Democrats have mounted a campaign to change Massachusetts election law for their own political expediency," quoted by TheHill.com.

She added that the party’s lawsuit managed to expose them as purely partisan.

The Republicans have also pointed out that in 2004 the Democrats spearheaded the effort to remove the power of gubernatorial appointment at the time when the state was run by Republican Mitt Romney.

Kirk will not run in the special elections held on January 19, 2010, to choose someone to serve the remainder of Kennedy’s term.
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How can the Federal Reserve bail out the whole world?

Dear Bob,
How can the Federal Reserve bail out the whole world?

A: All these trillions that make us dizzy is just so much nonsense. Modern money can be created in digital form. They don’t even have to print the paper. It has no normal parameters or limits. Forget about the so-called Federal Debt. They cover us up with myths. Have we lost our minds to the propaganda machine?

Let me make a point here: There is no money of account in the United States. If you ask the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or any money authority, “What is the money of account in the United States?” they cannot and will not answer because there is none. It is all mythical nonsense, it was created to collapse and still will.

Best Wishes,
Bob

Hypothyroidism or Iodine Deficiency?

We really can’t separate hypothyroidism from iodine deficiency. They should be looked at together.

Most of the time hypothyroidism and/or iodine deficiency are unsuspected by doctors and most of them don’t test for it.

If one has fatigue, depression, weight gain, memory loss, hair loss, muscle cramps, dry skin, decreased libido, cold feet, confusion, delirium or even heart failure, he/she should suspect hypothyroidism and iodine deficiency first.

Really nothing could be simpler to diagnose and treat.

Anyone can test themselves for hypothyroidism or iodine deficiency. Low basal (at rest) body temperature is a prominent indicator of low thyroid function.

Take underarm temperature for three days, before you get out of bed, and take the average. If you are running as much as one degree or more below 98.6 you can suspect hypothyroidism.

You can request an iodine-loading test from your doctor. I would start my iodine test by just rubbing food grade iodine (Lugol’s) on a small spot, maybe two inches across on my arm. If the iodine disappears overnight, I would take this to mean an iodine deficiency. Even if too much iodine is taken it will be excreted. Iodine has a detoxifying effect on the body.

Chances are that most of us have an iodine deficiency. I think that we can assume this because iodine is generally low in agriculture soils everywhere.

Iodine is important for the whole body, but it is concentrated in the prostate gland, the thyroid and breast tissue.

According to David Brownstein, M.D., in his excellent book, Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, "If a person suffers from iodine deficiency, using thyroid hormone supplementation without first correcting (or simultaneously correcting) the iodine deficit will exacerbate the body’s deficit of iodine."

So iodine and thyroid hormone go together. Thyroid hormones raise the body’s need for iodine. Alternative doctors always recommend Armour Thyroid which is natural thyroid hormone (from pigs) and available from compounding pharmacies.

Points from Dr. Brownstein:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized that iodine deficiency is the world’s greatest single cause of preventable mental retardation.
  • Iodine supplementation markedly increases urinary excretion of fluoride and bromide.
  • Dr. Brownstein says that more than 90 percent of his tested patients exhibit laboratory signs of iodine deficiency.
  • In the brain, iodine concentrates in the substantia nigra, an area of the brain that has been associated with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Iodine deficiency is one of the main underlying causes of many varied illnesses including thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, cancer (including cancer of the breast and prostate) and other health issues.
  • The thyroid gland and the breast primarily utilizes iodine. The prostate gland concentrates iodine. Breast cysts have been treated with iodine for more than 50 years. Iodine deficiency is a causative factor in breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease.
  • The relationship between hypothyroidism and breast cancer has been reported for more than 100 years.
  • Thyroid hormone is essential for normal brain development.
  • In children, iodine deficiency can result in mental retardation as well as goiter.
  • Research has found an almost 50 percent increase in perinatal mortality due to iodine deficiency.
  • Many studies have shown that children who live in iodine deficient areas have lower IQs as compared to children living in iodine sufficient areas.

Neurological Birth Defects May Be Reduced With Choline Supplementation, Doctors Say

Neurological birth defects may be reduced with choline supplementation, doctors sayAccording to a recent study, pregnant women with low levels of the nutrient choline are at a greater risk of having babies affected by brain and spinal-cord defects.

Stanford University School of Medicine researchers collected hundreds of thousands of blood samples from pregnant women and measured the levels of 13 nutrients that play a role in proper formation of the neural tube.

They found that a total of 80 pregnancies were affected by neural tube defects, and they were able to determine that levels of choline were the factor that separated mothers whose infants had defects from those whose babies did not.

In fact, the risk for the defects was 2.4 times higher in women who had sufficient levels of the nutrient, according to Dr. Gary Shaw, professor of neonatology and primary author of the study.

"You can’t change an individual’s genetic predisposition to these defects," says Dr. Louanne Hudgins, division chief of medical genetics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, who did not participate in the study.

"But nutrition components to NTD risk are ripe for therapy," she adds.

Choline is usually grouped within the vitamin B complex and as such can be obtained from nutritional supplements.
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Study: Acupuncture May Help Control Pain Naturally

Acupuncture may help control pain naturally, study findsAlthough some people choose pharmacological painkillers, which may have serious side effects, new research is making headway towards understanding the mechanisms behind acupuncture and its impact on the treatment of pain.

The work conducted at the University of Michigan showed that the technique, practiced as part of Chinese traditional medicine for thousands of years, increases the binding availability of mu-opoid receptors in regions of the brain that process pain signals, including thalamus and amygdala.

To arrive at their conclusions, the scientists applied brain imaging to 20 women who had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, and experienced pain at least 50 percent of the time. The participants underwent the scans during the first acupuncture treatment and after the eighth treatment a month later.

Dr. Richard E. Harris, researcher at the U-M Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center and a research assistant professor of anesthesiology at the U-M Medical School, confirms that the increased binding availability of these receptors was associated with a reduction in pain.

Recent studies have extensively documented the benefits of acupuncture in treating or relieving a range of conditions, including pregnancy-related heartburn and chemotherapy-induced dry mouth.
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Uncle Sam Did Something Right

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt summoned his personal friend, famed sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, to the White House. His request: Please design new coinage for the United States. Roosevelt wanted our coins modeled on the coins of ancient Greece, the birthplace of democracy.

Although in failing health, Saint-Gaudens accepted what would become his last challenge. He produced a stunning design that many consider to be the most beautiful coin ever produced… the $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. Sadly, Saint-Gaudens died without ever seeing his magnificent coin enter circulation.

The Saint-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle was minted from 1907 to 1933. The last gold coin struck by the U.S. Mint for regular issue, it remains a proud symbol of the emerging greatness of the United States in the early part of the 20th Century. In 1933, during the height of the Depression, a different Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, outlawed private ownership of gold by Americans. Production of new gold coins was halted and gold coins in circulation were confiscated. Double Eagles were melted down and added to the Treasury’s horde of gold. The few that weren’t seized are now highly prized collectibles.

In 1975, U.S. citizens were again permitted to own gold. At the time the bullion coin of choice was the South African Krugerrand. For many reasons our government wanted to issue its own gold coin. A representative of the U.S. Mint came to my office in Washington, DC and purchased a variety of gold coins. I was the executive vice president of Deak-Perera then, a company that specialized in foreign currencies, including gold and silver coins. They purchased gold coins minted in South Africa, Austria, and yes, even Mexico.

A few years later the U.S. Mint announced the production of a new American coin—the gold Eagle. It was available in four denominations: 1-oz, ½-oz, ¼-oz, and 1/10-oz of gold. The obverse featured a redesign of the classic Augustus Saint-Gaudens design.

I’m proud to say that during the first year of issue, 1986, my new company, Asset Strategies International, helped a major precious-metals company pre-sell more of these new American gold coins than any other company in the U.S. One day alone we shipped 600 registered packages throughout the country. Over the course of a year literally thousands of gold coins passed through our offices. The Eagle had definitely landed!

In 1986, the U.S. Mint added a silver dollar to its offerings. The silver Eagle contains 1 ounce of silver and has a face value of $1. The mint wisely chose to use Adolph A. Weinman’s “Walking Liberty” design on the obverse of the coin. To say it is classically beautiful is an understatement. It is a joy to hold in your hand—and an even bigger delight to drop on your desk where it makes that unique “silver on wood” clink that Americans haven’t heard in years.

There is much that our government has done and wants to do with which we could quarrel. But no one can deny that it makes the most beautiful modern coinage in the world. And you can own some for a small premium over the spot price of their gold and silver content!

The best way to purchase these gorgeous coins is through a reputable coin dealer. You’ll find a list of recommended dealers on the website for the U.S. Mint, www.usmint.gov. I’m proud to note that ASI has been included there for many years.

Because demand can rise and fall, so can premiums. Get two or three different quotes before you buy. (And never, never give your business to mass marketers, who always have the highest premiums around. How do you think they can afford all that advertising?)

With gold hovering around $1,000 an ounce, the gold American Eagle is admittedly expensive. Remember, you can purchase versions as small as 1/10th ounce. But note: the smaller the coin, the higher the premium.

An even better investment, in my opinion, is the silver American Eagle. You can purchase this classic American beauty for less than $20 each. As the price of silver continues to climb (something I think is all but inevitable) your coins could turn out to be a superb investment.

When I was growing up, on every birthday, my parents gave me a bright, shiny silver dollar. I still have those coins, mostly for sentimental reasons. But they’ve also soared in value. If you’d like your children to know what “real money” used to look like, you might consider doing the same. After all, the only thing that’s still good as gold is gold… or maybe silver.

Kennedy’s successor to affect healthcare vote

Kennedy's successor to affect healthcare voteGovernor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has named Paul G. Kirk, a democrat, as an interim U.S. senator for the state, which will likely swing the Senate vote on Obama’s healthcare proposal.

Democrats would need 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to override Republican opposition on President Obama’s healthcare proposition. Kirk’s immediate appointment gives the Democrats this critical 60th vote.

Obama is lobbying for the formation of an insurance marketplace which would allow Americans who do not have health insurance through their employers to buy coverage. The new system would combine private insurers and a public option to promote competition and reduces the price of coverage.

Senator Tom Harkin, a democrat from Iowa who took over Senator Kennedy’s position as chairman of the Senate health committee, told Reuters, "I’m convinced we’re going to have a healthcare reform bill on the president’s desk before we go home for Christmas."

Republicans have countered the Obama administration’s proposal with a three-pronged plan which includes making healthcare more affordable, making it more accessible, and promoting healthy lifestyles and higher quality care.
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Kennedy's successor to affect healthcare vote

Kennedy's successor to affect healthcare voteGovernor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has named Paul G. Kirk, a democrat, as an interim U.S. senator for the state, which will likely swing the Senate vote on Obama’s healthcare proposal.

Democrats would need 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to override Republican opposition on President Obama’s healthcare proposition. Kirk’s immediate appointment gives the Democrats this critical 60th vote.

Obama is lobbying for the formation of an insurance marketplace which would allow Americans who do not have health insurance through their employers to buy coverage. The new system would combine private insurers and a public option to promote competition and reduces the price of coverage.

Senator Tom Harkin, a democrat from Iowa who took over Senator Kennedy’s position as chairman of the Senate health committee, told Reuters, "I’m convinced we’re going to have a healthcare reform bill on the president’s desk before we go home for Christmas."

Republicans have countered the Obama administration’s proposal with a three-pronged plan which includes making healthcare more affordable, making it more accessible, and promoting healthy lifestyles and higher quality care.
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Grunch of Giants by R. Buckminster Fuller

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“Gross Universe Cash Heist (Grunch)” is the theory that large corporations use the government to enforce their economic suppression of the rest of society and steal resources and assets from around the world whenever and wherever they want.

Written by inventor, architect, engineer, geometrician, cartographer and philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller in 1981, Grunch of Giants postulates the theory that the United States industrial complex—corporations—are controlling world events for their own ends. Even politicians are controlled by Grunch, a vast invisible empire that includes airwaves and satellites, factories and research laboratories and large cities.

Nobody knows who runs Grunch, but it controls all the world’s banks and does just what its lawyers tell it to do. All decisions for Grunch are made in back rooms, with the deciding factors being business and money.

According to Fuller, every day 75,000 humans around the world die of starvation and its side effects, even though more than enough food is produced to support all the people on earth. Grunch did not cause this, Fuller says, but Grunch could easily end it if it so chose.

Grunch, Fuller writes, did not invent the universe. In fact, it did not invent anything. It monopolizes know-where and know-how but is devoid of know-why. It is preoccupied with absolute selfishness and its guaranteed gratifications. It is as blind as its Swiss banks are mute.

In order to understand how the Grunch works, Fuller says you must first study their history and development. In beginning his explanation, Fuller quotes one of his friends, who he called a giant and described as a member of the Morgan family (presumably the J.P. Morgan banker family). “Bucky, I’m very fond of you, so I am sorry to have to tell you that you will never be a success. You go around explaining in simple terms that which people have not been comprehending, when the first law of success is, ‘Never make things simple when you can make them complicated.'”

One of the first things Fuller had to do was make a decision: Did he want to try to make money, or make sense, as the two things are mutually exclusive. So Fuller decided to make sense and he used his books to explain how the world works.

This book is not light reading. In fact, it is often difficult to follow and at times quite scientific in its language. Nor is it for the closed-minded, because it challenges conventional thinking and forces the reader to look at the world from a different paradigm.

But if you are willing to consider that things aren’t as they seem, and in fact are completely different from what all are taught, then this book makes a good addition to your library.