Too Many Children Taking Melatonin


By Dr. Mercola Melatonin is an important hormone produced by your body’s pineal gland. One of its primary roles is regulating your body’s circadian rhythm. When it gets dark, your brain starts secreting melatonin (typically around 9 or 10 p.m.), which makes you sleepy. Levels typically stay elevated for about 12 hours, then, as the sun rises, your pineal gland reduces your production, and the levels in your blood decrease until they’re hardly measurable at all. When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, such as from shift work, jet lag or nighttime light exposure, your body produces less melatonin. It’s these instances when supplementing with small amounts of melatonin can be most useful, as it may help to reset your internal clock.1 However, a growing number of children are reportedly now taking the supplement to help them sleep, which could be associated with long-term risks. Melatonin May Help Children With Certain Sleep Disorders If your child has a unique medical need that makes
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/06/22/melatonin-children.aspx

Probiotics Help Reduce Symptoms of Depression


By Dr. Mercola When it comes to mental health, most assume the brain is in charge. In reality, your gut may be calling the shots. Interestingly enough, in the 1800s and early 1900s, it was thought that waste in your colon could produce infections that lead to depression. As it turns out, they weren’t too far off the mark. Scientific advances now suggest your state of mind is influenced, if not largely directed, by the microflora in your gut, and probiotics (beneficial bacteria) are being thought of as “the new antidepressants.” However, while it may be tempting to trade one pill for another, I urge you to consider taking a more comprehensive approach. Taking a probiotic supplement may be helpful, but if you’re still eating the same junk as before, it’s not likely to make a significant difference. The key, really, is to eat a healthy diet. Limiting or eliminating sugar is absolutely essential, as adding healthy fats will provide your brain with much-needed fuel, while fermented foods w
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/06/22/probiotics-depression.aspx

The Heroes Who Sunk Lead


By Dr. Mercola Lead has a cumulative effect on multiple organ systems in your body and is particularly harmful to young children. After it enters the body, it is distributed through the brain, kidney, liver and bones, and is often stored in the bones and teeth.1 There is no known safe exposure to lead, which often affects young children and lower socioeconomic groups the hardest. However, humans have a long and intimate relationship with lead, dating back to 3000 B.C. when the Roman Empire used it to create pipes for their plumbing and to sweeten wine that they then shipped all over Europe.2 Documents from that period report symptoms of colic, anemia and gout attributed to overexposure to lead. Some historians even believe lead poisoning hastened the fall of the Roman Empire. The oldest known piece made of lead is a figurine from 4000 B.C., found in Egypt.3 In more recent years, the durability of the heavy metal made it an excellent additive to paint, and the chemical properties made
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/06/21/heroes-who-sunk-lead.aspx

The Worst Kind of Meat


By Dr. Mercola The first large-scale animal farm factories appeared in the early 1970s,1 designed for egg-laying hens. However, it wasn’t long before beef and pork producers followed suit with the aim to reduce overhead and increase profits, which also reduced the quality of the meat produced. Today, most meat sold in the U.S. is raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). In a corporate-controlled environment characterized by large-scale, centralized production, companies — not farmers — have identified means of production, processing and distribution that produce more meat for less money. The repercussions associated with these farms have included a rise in antibiotic-resistant disease claiming the lives of nearly 23,000 Americans each year,2 and a significant impact on local water supply from waste water runoff from these farms.3,4 Both of these concerns are driving significant global issues with water quality and antibiotic-resistant bacterial disease. Although t
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/06/21/worst-kind-of-meat.aspx

Factory Farms Consuming the US


By Dr. Mercola Industrial agriculture, characterized by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and vast swatches of genetically engineered (GE) monocrops, are touted as necessary to feed the world. At one time not long ago, it was up to small family farms to provide the food for nearby communities and ensure food security for the U.S. In an essay adapted from John Ikerd’s presentation at the 10th Annual Farm and Food Leadership Conference — Farm Policy at a Crossroads: A Time to Choose — it’s explained:1 “U.S. farm policies from the 1930s through the 1960s were premised on the proposition that food security could best be assured by keeping independent family farmers on the land. Family farmers had been the cultural foundation of American society and were committed to maintaining the productivity of their land — not only for the benefit of their families and communities but also for the food security of their nation.” Since the 1970s, however, farm policies have o
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/06/20/factory-farms-consuming-us.aspx

Cherries — A Potent Super Food


By Dr. Mercola Cherries are a favorite summer treat with a number of health benefits. Harvest season runs from May through July, and with high susceptibility to disease and a short shelf life, cherry season is a short one. An exception is if you grow your own Barbados or West Indian cherry, more commonly known as the acerola cherry. I have several acerola trees and harvest cherries nearly nine months of the year. Acerola cherries1 also are one of the highest sources of vitamin C. Each acerola cherry provides about 80 milligrams (mg) of natural vitamin C with all the other important supporting micronutrients, unlike synthetic vitamin C. When I have a bountiful harvest and eat more than 100 cherries, I get close to 10 grams of vitamin C. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin C in the U.S. is a mere 75 to 90 mg for women and men respectively, so just one of these cherries can provide you with all the vitamin C you need for the day. You pretty much have to grow acerola cherries on y
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/06/19/cherries-super-food.aspx

Paying Respect to Dr. Kummerow


By Dr. Mercola As they say, patience is a virtue, and that’s part of what it took for Dr. Fred A. Kummerow to accomplish what was arguably his most important work: spearheading a federal ban on synthetic trans fats in processed foods. It took nearly 50 years of what The New York Times described as his “contrarian” nature to get the job done, and it wasn’t an easy task. Kummerow, a comparative biosciences professor at the University of Illinois, died on June 2, 2017, at the age of 102. He had studied trans fats for decades — long before they were an issue in the minds of food scientists. Despite opposition and even ridicule (such as heckling by industry representatives at scientific conferences, according to his local Champaign, Illinois, newspaper, the News-Gazette1), his tenacity eventually facilitated changes in the American diet that have undoubtedly saved thousands of lives. Perhaps it was his perseverance in working toward his goal that spurred Kummerow on to centenarian status
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/06/19/trans-fat-toxicity-scientist-fred-kummerow-dies.aspx