Monday, June 29, 2009

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Vitamin C


Vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic acid, is the most popular and highly effective antioxidant. Vitamin C itself is oxidized and recycled for reuse in order to protect body substances, as well as food substances, from being oxidized. For instance, Vitamin C prevents iron in the intestines from being oxidized resulting in proper absorption of iron. Vitamin C also recycles the body’s vitamin E supply and protects blood components from oxidation. Its antioxidant properties also reduce the risk of damage to the body caused by toxic chemicals and pollution.

This water soluble vitamin also assists enzymes in their functions such as in the synthesis and maintenance of collagen in order for collagen to serve as a base for the connective tissues in the body such as the bones, tendons, ligaments, teeth and skin. Collagen is responsible for strengthening blood vessel walls and for scar tissue formation in order to heal wounds, mend fractures and prevent bruises.

In addition to being an antioxidant and an enzyme-assisting vitamin, Vitamin C also supports the immune system and improves the body’s defenses. Its antiviral properties protect the body against viral infections, decreasing the body’s susceptibility to colds, coughs and other respiratory infections.

Unlike the other vitamins such as Vitamin K and Vitamin E, Vitamin C cannot be made inside the body. This is why it is important to incorporate Vitamin C-rich foods in the diet. Excellent sources are vegetables such as parsley, broccoli, bok choy,cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green pepper, and sweet red peppers. Deficiency of Vitamin C (or scurvy) may be due to poor intake of Vitamin C-rich foods from the diet or from cigarette smoking and second hand smoke exposures. Low Vitamin C intake of the body can result in poor wound healing, susceptibility and increased frequency of colds and respiratory infections, skin discolorations, dry and itchy skin, lung related conditions, joint diseases and bone fragility, loose teeth and weakened tooth enamel, bleeding gums, swollen ankles and wrists, and anemia.

As with other vitamins, it is considered high-risk if Vitamin C supplements are taken in excessive doses. High doses of Vitamin C is unsafe for individuals specifically those who have high amounts of iron in the body since Vitamin C already increases iron absorption. Effects such as formation of kidney stones, alteration of Vitamin E actions, and aggravation of gout symptoms may surface. The average daily value for Vitamin C intake is 60 mg/day.

Dr. James E. Carlson B.S.,D.O.,M.B.A.,J.D.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

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Vitamin K

Have you ever wondered how wounds heal? How our bodies have the ability to stop bleeding through clotting? The main function of Vitamin K, a fat soluble vitamin, is to aid in the synthesis of essential proteins for healthy blood clotting. The clotting of blood is an important part of the wound healing process as it functions to separate infected areas from other areas of the body. Through this, the spread of infection is prevented.
Studies show that people with adequate amounts of Vitamin K in their bodies are less prone to fracture incidence. This is because Vitamin K also helps maintain protein synthesis that is important for bone mineralization. Together with the bone vitamin, also called Vitamin D, Vitamin K ensures that the bone binds with the minerals they need to aid in the formation of cartilage and maintenance of bone mass.

Only a few individuals experience Vitamin K deficiency because this vitamin can be obtained from a non food source- the bacteria that synthesize Vitamin K in the gut. Individuals who are most likely to be Vitamin K deficient are premature babies whose guts are not yet inhabited by intestinal bacteria or adults who have taken or are taking antibiotics for a prolonged period of time, killing both good and bad bacteria in their intestinal tracts. Individuals who are also taking anticoagulant medications for heart disease reduce the amounts of Vitamin K in the body to decrease blood clotting. Likewise, people who have conditions such as liver disease, impaired kidneys and pancreatitis are prone to Vitamin K deficiency as well. Individuals who are Vitamin K deficient are likely to experience poor blood coagulation resulting in hemorrhagic symptoms and then to anemia. Severe deficiency can also cause impairment of bone mineralization that can hinder bone formation and growth and can eventually lead to osteoporosis.

There is no set intake level for Vitamin K since toxicity from natural sources is rare. However, taking synthetic forms of Vitamin K in high doses may result in the release of the red blood cell pigment bilirubin into the blood, causing jaundice. Jaundice in infants may lead to brain damage or death. Vitamin K’s riches food sources are dark green leafy vegetables such as collard greens, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, spinach, cauliflower and cabbage. Canola oil and soybeans are also excellent sources of Vitamin K.

Dr. James E. Carlson B.S.,D.O.,M.B.A.,J.D.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

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Vitamin E

The family of Vitamin E is divided into two components, the tocopherols and the tocotrienols, each with four different forms: alpha, beta, gamma and delta. Alpha tocopherol is the only form that is active in meeting the requirements of the human body.

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that functions primarily as an antioxidant, serving as the body’s main defender against oxidative damage or from free radicals. Vitamin E’s antioxidant properties protect the cells’ membranes, lipids and other compounds from being oxidized.

The anti-oxidizing effects of Vitamin E also keep the lungs from exposure to high concentrations of oxygen by working together with other antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin B3 to keep oxygen molecules from being reactive that can result in destruction of cell structures.
Other benefits offered by Vitamin E to the body are development of normal nerves, support and protection of healthy skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, protection of white blood cells to promote immunity from diseases, and defense against heart disease.

Oxidative damage causes deficiency of Vitamin E in humans. In premature infants, deficiency of this vitamin leads to a condition called erythrocyte hemolysis. This condition causes the infant’s red blood cells to rupture, resulting in anemia later on. In adults, malabsorption of fats caused by diseases such as celiac and gallbladder disease can be a factor in creating vitamin E deficiency. Symptoms of deficiency usually include loss of muscle coordination, impaired movement, speech and vision.

Individuals who are affected with a Vitamin E deficiency are most likely on a low fat diet for a long period of time. Also, consumption of processed foods may increase the risk for Vitamin E deficiency. It is important to remember to maintain the daily intake recommendation for vitamins to avoid deficiencies.

The recommended intake for Vitamin E is 15 milligrams for adults and 5 milligrams for children. Vitamin E is widespread in food sources and excellent sources are mustard greens, safflower oil, canola oil, wheat germ, mayonnaise, sunflower seeds, chard and turnip greens. Excessive intake of Vitamin E may cause symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, blurring of vision, and uncontrollable bleeding.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

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Vitamin D

Also referred to as Calciferol for its ability to increase calcium deposits in bones, Vitamin D is best known to maintain blood calcium and phosphorus levels in order to promote and maintain formation of strong bones. When calcium or phosphorus levels are low, Vitamin D raises blood calcium levels by absorbing calcium from the digestive tract, from bones and by retention within the kidneys.

Vitamin D also plays a huge part in the growth and development of the brain, heart, skin, reproductive organs and pancreas. When it comes to the maintenance and regulation of the immune system, Vitamin D possesses anti-inflammatory effects that prevent conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and psoriasis. Protection from osteoporosis, cancer, and hyperthyroidism are also some of the functions of Vitamin D in the body.

Rickets or osteomalacia (adult rickets) is a condition that arises from Vitamin D deficiency. In rickets, abnormalities of the bones or skeletal malformations such as bowed legs, protruding belly, and knock-knees are noticeable. Other indications of Vitamin D deficiency are softening of the bones, muscle weakness, frequency of fractures, obesity, and increased risk for cancers. Most people who are Vitamin D deficient are strict vegetarians with relatively low vitamin D intakes, those with genetic susceptibility, have limited exposure to sunlight, and people who have conditions related to the parathyroid gland, liver and kidneys.

In most cases, people rely on nutrition and supplements to get the adequate amount of vitamins into the body. However, all the body needs to synthesize Vitamin D is to get enough sun each day. The sunlight is the richest source of Vitamin D as it transforms cholesterol compounds in the skin to Vitamin D in the blood through natural and adequate exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun. For those who have limited sun exposure, it is essential that they incorporate excellent sources of Vitamin D in their diet. Foods such as salmon, shrimp, sardines, fish, mackerel, eggs, and cod liver oil are some of the few natural sources of Vitamin D.

It is important to note that Vitamin D is the most toxic of all vitamins. Ingestion of Vitamin D in excess may produce kidney stones, thinning of tooth enamel, and may harm the bones, brain, nerves, heart and arteries. Thus far, there have been no observable cases of toxicity that resulted from sunlight exposure.

Dr Jim

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

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Fluoride is not necessarily considered to be an essential mineral since it is not required in sustaining life. However, it is beneficial in maintaining dental health as it prevents the development of tooth decay in children and in adults. Fluoride, mainly found in teeth and bones, protects the teeth from decay by supporting the mineralization of enamel and by suppressing the metabolism of plaque bacteria therefore inhibiting acid production.

The usual source of fluoride is drinking water as most foods have very low fluoride content. Other sources of fluoride are from tea leaves and fish such as sardines, salmon, cod, mackerel, and shrimp. Bone chicken, canned meats such as corned beef and sausages, and infant foods are also fortified with fluoride. When there is an insufficient amount of fluoride in the body, the teeth are highly susceptible to decay. In some cases, fluoride concentration in water is raised to help prevent dental decay especially in children. This process is called “fluoridation”. It is considered a safe and cost-effective way of reducing dental caries. Fluoride is very important during formation of teeth in childhood as it will provide protection against tooth decay for a long period of time. Fluoridation has been approved by major dental and medical associations such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Dental Health and the American Medical Association.

When the water contains too much fluoride a condition called fluoridosis may occur. This is characterized by an irreversible discoloration of the teeth and occurs only during development of the teeth, rarely after formation. Use of some fluoridated toothpastes, mouthwash and supplements has also increased the occurrence of fluoridosis. To avoid developing this condition people who drink fluoridated water should eliminate other sources of fluoride such as fluoride supplements unless prescribed. For children, fluoridosis can be prevented by limiting the amount of toothpaste to a very small quantity and to teach them not to swallow the toothpaste.

Fluoride products must be stored securely to avoid poisoning especially in children. Other symptoms involved in fluoride toxicity are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, itching, chest pain, weakness and excessive sweating.

Dr. James E. Carlson B.S.,D.O.,M.B.A.,J.D.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

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Vitamin A is known to be the first ever fat-soluble vitamin to be documented. It is described as the “Jack of all Trades” of vitamins with benefits to vision, the immune system, cell development, skin and bones, and reproduction.

There is a good reason why Vitamin A is referred to as retinol or retinal. This is because the chief and best known function of Vitamin A deals with the vision or eye sight. Vitamin A plays an essential role in the synthesis of Rhodopsin, a pigment that stores Vitamin A compounds that is present in the retina’s rod cells. The Rhodopsin functions by allowing the rod cells to detect light in a dark condition. Additionally, Vitamin A also plays a role in the maintenance of a healthy cornea. Vitamin A deficient individuals may exhibit a condition known as keratinization wherein a build up of a protein called keratin clouds the cornea. If this worsens, permanent blindness called xerophthalmia may occur.

Vitamin A does not only support the eye sight. It also works to protect the skin and the internal linings of the body such as the lungs, intestines and bladder by maintaining and promoting cell growth and development. Vitamin A also aids in the normal bone metabolism.

Vitamin A is also recognized to possess anti-viral or anti-infective properties. It aids in the prevention of viral infections and maintenance of an optimal state of the immune system to promote the body’s defenses against diseases. For instance, children affected with measles who are Vitamin A-deficient may result to infection leading to blindness.

People who are experiencing vitamin A deficiency may be from results of their extreme low fat dieting or are suffering from conditions such as alcoholism, measles, or cystic fibrosis. Deficiency of Vitamin A may result to conditions such as anemia, cessation of bone growth, loss of sight most especially at night, bone malformation, keratinization, and cell growth retardation. The body’s susceptibility to viral infections is also increased, making the body prone to infections, respiratory viruses, or pneumonia.

In order to maintain the recommended daily intake of vitamin A the following foods are excellent sources of Vitamin A for the body: liver and fish oil, milk and milk products, butter, eggs, and spinach. It is important to avoid excessive intake of Vitamin A through supplements to prevent conditions such as dry and itchy skin, vision changes, brittle hair and nails, fatigue, liver damage, bone growth retardation, muscle weakness and Vitamin K malabsorption that results in insufficient blood clotting abilities of the body.

Dr. James E. Carlson B.S.,D.O.,M.B.A.,J.D.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

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What exactly are proteins and what does it do to our body?

Proteins are complex organic compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. A strand of amino acids makes up the structure of a protein. The body also breaks down proteins in order to recycle amino acids. Through reusing the body’s amino acid supply to build proteins, the body establishes a "reserve" of amino acids in case of protein or energy deprivation.

The proteins in the body are very flexible in function. First, protein builds new tissues in the body and replaces depleted cells in the internal organs (i.e. intestinal tract), skin, and muscles (i.e. the heart) which are also constantly breaking down their own proteins. The proteins in the body are also used to make hemoglobin in the red blood cells in order to carry oxygen to other areas of the body. These red blood cells are also constantly replaced by new cells from the bone marrow to get rid of worn-out cells.

Proteins are also responsible for building enzymes and maintaining hormones. An example of a hormone that is made of amino acids is the thyroid hormone and insulin. Hormones respond to the internal environmental changes in order to restore normal conditions and in the case of thyroid hormones, regulate the body’s metabolic processes.
Proteins also help maintain the fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Through proteins, cells retain the fluid and keep the fluid volume and composition constant. It has to be noted, however, that too much fluid will cause edema.

Other functions of proteins, among many, are to protect the immune system, to act as the "buffer" to maintain acid-base balance, to provide for the body’s energy needs and aid in blood clotting.

The essential amino acids can only be obtained from food sources.

Therefore, in order to have adequate intake of protein, an individual must include protein in his regular balanced diet. Luckily, there are many different kinds of food that are excellent sources of protein. There are two groups of protein-containing foods. Eggs, fish, meat, poultry, and milk have all the nine essential amino acids and therefore are called complete proteins. On the other hand, food sources that are lacking at least one essential amino acid are vegetables (peas, beans, etc.), grains, and seeds and nuts are called incomplete proteins.

Dr. James E. Carlson B.S.,D.O.,M.B.A.,J.D.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

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Fiber supports the structures of a plant- its leaves and stems. In the body, fiber functions as a facilitator in the digestive process and in elimination. Fibers in the digestive tract play an important role in the absorption of nutrients and cholesterol, excretion of bile, stimulation of bacterial fermentation in the colon and increasing the amount of stool. The actions of dietary fiber within the digestive tract provides overall health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, lowering the risk for the development of diabetes, maintaining weight within healthy limits and promoting the health of the digestive system.

Fiber is classified into insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fibers are indigestible food components that do not dissolve in water. Soluble fibers are also indigestible but as food components, are readily dissolved in water. Soluble fibers cannot be digested by human enzymes but they may be broken down by the bacteria in the intestinal tract for absorption.

Soluble fibers reduces the absorption of LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol), therefore lowering the risk for heart and artery disease as well as stroke. Fiber binds to the bile, which is cholesterol converted by the liver, and is excreted out of the body in feces. The binding of fiber and the bile results in the removal of most of the cholesterol (as bile) from the body. Soluble fibers also regulate the blood sugar in order to control diabetes. It neutralizes blood glucose by slowly absorbing the sugars that are released. Additionally, soluble fibers promote the feeling of fullness by slowing down the movement of food through the upper digestive tract. This helps maintain an ideal body weight by delaying hunger.

Excellent food sources for soluble fiber are low carbohydrate bread, legumes, psyllium husks, dried beans, flax seeds, and nuts.

Insoluble fibers promote regular bowel movements by moving the bulk through the intestines and maintaining an optimal pH balance in the intestines. It makes it easier to pass stool and increase stool bulk. Insoluble fibers help prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, appendicitis, weakening of the intestinal walls and development of cancerous substances that leads to colon cancer. Insoluble-fiber rich food sources are green vegetables, seeds and nuts, flax seeds, and psyllium husks.

There are no specific diseases that are due to fiber deficiency. However, low intake of fiber is associated with numerous health problems such as constipation, bowel irregularities, increased LDL cholesterol levels, obesity and possibly colon cancer. Those that are high-risk for fiber depletion are individuals who have high intake of junk foods and whole wheat products and low intake of fiber-rich foods. In a day, it is recommended to consume 25-30 grams/day.

Excess amounts of fiber in the body can result in displacement of other nutrients from the diet. Too much fiber from supplements can also cause malabsorption of other nutrients and minerals causing their deficiencies. Additionally, fiber carries water out of the body and high intake of fiber may cause fluid imbalances resulting in dehydration. Excessive intake of fiber can also result in obstruction of the intestines.

Dr. James E. Carlson B.S.,D.O.,M.B.A.,J.D.

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I am now going to publish my nutritional articles as found on my website Don't forget you can go to and read the first ten chapters of my book for free as well as peruse all of my nutritional articles. Remember, I am adding content daily. Thanks again for visiting my blog!

Let's start with a discussion of fiber.

Dr. James E. Carlson B.S.,D.O.,M.B.A.,J.D.

Monday, June 1, 2009

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Chapter 10 of Genocide:How Your Doctor's Dietary Ignorance Will Kill You


Non-nutritive sweeteners need to be mentioned because when we eat low carbs we will come across these things. The most widely seen are Nutrisweet (also known as aspartame), Stevia (now being advertised heavily), Splenda (dextrose, maltodextrin, sucralose), Equal (dextrose, maltodextrin, aspartame), Sweet-n-Low and the like. They are referred to as non-nutritive because they provide a sweet, sugary taste to the foods we eat; yet they contain no nutrition such as carbs, protein, fat, vitamins or minerals. They may be placed in foods which have nutrients, but the sweetener itself is absent of any nutrition in and of itself. You will be bombarded with foods which contain most commonly the controversial aspartame. So what exactly is aspartame and why the controversy?
Aspartame is formed when we combine an amino acid, phenylalanine, with another amino acid called aspartic acid. (1) This new substance is about 100 times as sweet as table sugar. Since it does not contain any carbs it will not put weight on you and it cannot be used to make cholesterol or fat.

The controversy is the anecdotal reports of aspartame being associated with everything from multiple sclerosis to Gulf War Syndrome. I have read numerous internet reports sent by concerned people speaking of all the dangers inherent in aspartame. The only problem is that there is no factual scientific evidence that aspartame causes any problems, unless you are born with a deficiency in a certain enzyme (phenylalanine hydroxylase) and cannot break down the phenylalanine part of aspartame. Thing is, in the US, we check for a deficiency of that enzyme at birth so we should not be missing the absence of the enzyme unless the newborn is not checked.

But hold on, I told you that aspartame is a combination of both phenylalanine and aspartic acid; maybe it is the aspartic acid part causing the problems. Well, aspartic acid is also known as aspartate, which is simply an amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Without amino acids proteins cannot be built. If proteins cannot be built in our bodies, we die. When we eat proteins our bodies break down the protein into what made up the protein in the first place, that is, the amino acids. So our bodies are used to seeing these amino acids and we need them to survive.

The Internet reports I read blamed the many diseases aspartame allegedly caused on the presence of formaldehyde. In other words, the concerned citizens were stating aspartame was somehow creating formaldehyde and it was the formaldehyde which caused all the diseases.
Now while aspartame does break apart in solution, which limits its shelf life, and it is troublesome to cook with for the same reason; it does not break apart in any way to create formaldehyde. I suppose someone who had a little bit of chemical knowledge may have looked at the structure of aspartame and compared it to what formaldehyde looks like. The two at first glance look nothing like one another. But somebody wanted to find something wrong with aspartame so they continued to look.

Trouble is, the body does not break down aspartame in any way to form formaldehyde. It would take extreme heating in an attempt to create formaldehyde from aspartame and the heat it would take would cause everything to collapse into a bunch of single elements. Mainly carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. So, yeah, you would get a lot of gas from the explosion you created to do this, but you would not make any formaldehyde.

So basically even though there are look alike areas on aspartame that closely resemble formaldehyde our bodies cannot and do not break down aspartame to create formaldehyde. Our bodies break up aspartame into phenylalanine and aspartate, two amino acids our body's can handle. I may have failed to mention that phenylalanine is also an amino acid, but it is, and it too, is safe.

Some who have read of the dangers relating to aspartame may remember the soda can scenario. It was argued that formaldehyde was produced in the soda cans in the Gulf War due to the extreme heat of the desert. This seems somewhat logical until one realizes that the amount of heat needed to possibly create formaldehyde from aspartame would be so high the cans would explode. Then of course, you would not be able to drink the soda.

When one finally understands aspartame one can see that it is safe to drink or eat. It is not a dangerous sweetener and I consume it on a daily basis and I have not had an issue with it; and I have been eating and drinking products with aspartame for as long as I can remember. Actually, if you stop and think about it aspartame is found in just about every diet product out there. Millions and millions of people ingest it every day. Why have we not seen a statistically significant rise in all the diseases aspartame is reported to cause? Until I see some evidenced-based scientific data showing aspartame is dangerous, I will continue to eat or drink it on a daily basis.

Aspartame is found in a sweetener known as Equal. We have already discussed aspartame, but now we need to discuss the other ingredients in Equal, that is, the dextrose and maltodextrin. I get a little anxious when I find dextrose and maltodextrin in an ingredient list. This is because dextrose is just a fancy way of saying glucose and maltodextrin is glucose molecules attached together, but not long enough to represent a true carbohydrate. In biochemistry speak, it is a short chain carbohydrate Yes, both dextrose and maltodextrin have the potential to make cholesterol and fat as well as elevate blood pressure and sugar numbers. I will tell my patients if they are having a hard time with lowering their cholesterols, losing weight, lowering blood pressure, or are still seeing elevated blood sugars to avoid Equal to see what effect that has. If things correct themselves then they are told to stay off equal. If nothing happens then they are told they can continue with this sweetener.

As far as Splenda is concerned, it too, contains dextrose and maltodextrin so the same cautionary advice holds, but its last ingredient is a substance known as sucralose. Sucralose is claimed to be about 600 times as sweet as sucrose. (Ibid) Sucrose is commonly known as table sugar and contains both glucose and fructose combined together. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener, will not cause tooth decay, and can be used in baking. (Ibid) Our bodies do not treat sucralose as it does sucrose. That is, sucralose will not be broken down into glucose and fructose, therefore no cholesterol, fat, blood pressure or sugar elevations should be seen with sucralose. Of course, if one sees elevations to the above then one must stop their consumption of any foods which contain sucralose.

Now a word about saccharin. Yes, an experiment many years ago suggested saccharin caused cancer in lab rats. Problem is, they were giving these poor rats what would be equivalent to a few tons of the stuff for us over a short period of time. Heck, even water can kill us if we drink too much of it. And then the scientists found out that a mite, which infected the rats, was creating the cancer. I do consume saccharin, not so much on a daily basis, but I am certainly not convinced it causes cancer.
How many of you know about the mite, saccharin, and cancer link? I am thinking not many. Well, let us see, why did this not make it in the paper? Got me. All I can say is until you know the facts, you just do not know. Since I know the facts I am not afraid to consume foods containing these sweeteners.

Hope everyone enjoyed the first ten chapters of my book GENOCIDE:How Your Doctor's Dietary Ignorance Will Kill You!

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Please go to to order my book or go to and request a digital copy of my book for only $11.99!