You Are the Weaker Side in a War You Don’t Even Know Is Going On

You Are the Weaker Side in a War You Don’t Even Know Is Going On

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
– John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness (1838-1914)

[DISCLOSURE: This is a rant. It is filled with personal opinion based on the science I have read and the facts on the ground as I have observed them. You can do anything from rage in disagreement to nod your head in agreement to learning more about these situations before you lose the war against your health and welfare.]

You are an innocent victim in a war going on around you that you might not be aware of. Yes, it sounds like a conspiracy theory. But in this case the evidence is clear and irrefutable. I will not trouble you with the science (study references) here for the sake of simplicity. If you doubt anything, check it out.

Perhaps the most significant characteristic of your life that has not been taught to you by your doctor, your schools or even what you learn from television or the internet is that you are not just one being. What you consider to be you is the host for billions of tiny microbes, bacteria for the most part, that inhabit virtually every part of your body.

It’s called your immune system. That’s right. Your immune system is actually not part of the cell structure of your body. They are independent organisms that live in symbiosis with you. You can’t live without them and they can’t live without you.

Does that sound creepy? That’s what doctors and the media believe you will think. They believe you will appreciate remaining ignorant about what may be the most important part of your body, certainly the one that keeps you alive every day.

Science can’t tell you how many or even how many varieties of microbes compose your immune system. The reason is that it varies from individual to individual. There could be as many as 10,000 different varieties of microbes in your immune system with anything up to billions of each. If you have a healthy immune system. Which you may very well not have.

Shouldn’t your doctor be able to correct your immune system’s deficiencies? Yes. But they don’t. Antibiotics, indeed most pharmaceuticals prescribed by your doctor will impair or even destroy your immune system. Antibiotics are microbe killers. Trouble is, they kill hundreds of times more good microbes than bad. Yes, antibiotics and most pharmaceuticals (especially the most popular ones) harm your immune system. Drugs kill the wrong things. And you believe the doctors.

If you know a little about good health and the immune system you will likely know that fresh fruits and vegetables will boost your immune system. But conventional industrial farms commonly use pesticides (poisons), herbicides (poisons) and chemical fertilizers on the very same “fresh” fruits and vegetables you will see for sale in your supermarket. Nobody knows what effects the chemical fertilizers will have on your health years later. Nobody ever tests for that. Nobody.

You will have heard of GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods and GE (genetically engineered) foods–same thing, different terms in different countries–and likely read how safe they are. The producers of those chemicals that are put on the seeds they produce that accept those poisons create studies that show how safe the poisons are. But are they? The tests are notorious sources for conflict of interest. Independent studies, which receive little or no attention in the media (that profit from the chemical and pharmaceutical companies–same companies really) become buried, hidden from a public that deserves to know.

Farm workers who apply the chemicals must wear hazardous materials suits that completely enclose their entire bodies.The most famous is Roundup, by Monsanto. Its main active ingredient–glyphosate, claimed to be perfectly safe (yes, a poison they claim is safe)–has been found in mother’s breast milk, in baby foods, in vaccines, in fresh organic foods, in most chemically treated city drinking water, in air samples in a majority of cities, virtually everywhere.

GMO food crops and seeds have been banned in a large number of countries of the world. Glyphosate and similar poisons have been banned in a large number of countries. Banned because they are carcinogens, chemicals that cause cancer. Yet you can buy Roundup freely over the counter in the USA and Canada. And when you apply it you are not required by law to wear a HAZMAT suit like the industrial farmers do. You aren’t even advised to wear a mask or apply it downwind.

Generally speaking, mold, bacteria, insects and many larger animals will avoid eating a majority of food that is available in a supermarket. Some will avoid it even when they are starving because they do not recognize it as “food.” The poison itself is so effective that it kills every living organism in the soil. Everything. How do you think that affects the food chain whose larger organisms feed you?

People are finding themselves allergic to the clothes they buy and the new furniture and draperies they install in heir homes. Others find themselves ill in other ways, including cancer, from the chemicals embedded in the fabric to make it “look better.” You can ask your doctor about any of this.

Your government likely warns you about climate change and advises you that your car emits too much greenhouse gases. Your government does not tell you that airplanes–many fewer than cars–emit almost as much greenhouse gas as cars. They also do not tell you that one of the greatest sources of greenhouse gases is power generating stations that account for almost one-quarter of all emitted greenhouse gases. Those power stations are usually owned by the same governments that want you to cut back on driving your car.

If there is something wrong that is a public hazard, you may be assured that a government will blame you for it. That will distract you from the fact that governments are the greatest hazards to health on the planet. They do not protect you from air pollution. They do not protect you from water pollution. They will not enact legislation that will make your food free from hazardous ingredients. They will not insist on proof that new drugs–always man-made chemicals, never natural products grown in nature–are safe. Testing of new drugs is from three months to a year, usually. Yet they could affect your health years later. You will never know and never suspect it when you are dying and don’t know why.

If you live in a democracy, you vote for the people who make decisions that affect your life and your health and your future. Legislators are ordinary people like you and me. They often make a lot of critically important decisions based on very limited input. Often that input comes from the very people who stand to benefit from their decisions. Or from lobbyists who are paid by the stakeholders.

You should learn. You should teach your legislators. Without your pestering, they may not even know the harm their decisions will make.

You should not be the victim of their ignorance or neglect. Nor should you allow yourself to be a victim of your own ignorance.

Bill Allin in the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book about inexpensive and easy solutions that people are not taking to overcome serious problems. The “war against health” is a serious social problem. He has authored hundreds of articles that are available free on the internet.
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Keeping Kids “Innocent” Is Wrong, Ultimately Harmful

Keeping Kids “Innocent” Is Wrong, Ultimately Harmful

“Now I really suspect that Grandma is hiding [the newspapers with news about the Great War]. That would mean the news was so bad she did not want me to read it. But knowing the truth is better than imagining the worst.”
– Jean Little, If I Die Before I Wake: The Flu Epidemic Diary of Fiona Macgregor, part of the Dear Canada series that teaches history and culture to children through story telling

They grow up so quickly, don’t they? How often have you heard that? Or maybe you have said it yourself.

Too many parents try to protect their children from the “cruel world out there” by hiding truth and reality from them. “There will be time for them to learn that later, when they are old enough and mature enough to handle it.”

The trouble is, by the time the parents believe their kids are old enough to handle the bad news about life, the kids have usually already experienced the bad part. They are past the time when they needed the input. The parents failed in their most important function, to raise their children to know how to handle what they face in their lives.

Compared with most mammals and primates, humans have an extremely long period of childhood. Nature has accommodated this by allowing for the slow development of a child’s body. Girls don’t begin to become fertile (able to procreate) until they are old enough that their prehistoric female ancestors were ready to be mothers. Similarly with boys becoming sexually mature.

The frontal lobes of the brain, the parts that help us tell right from wrong, good from bad, and that help us to think our way through serious problems do not fully develop until well on into the teen years.

By the age that adolescents become sexually mature, most of them know almost nothing about what is happening inside their bodies (how the hormones will affect them, not just the mechanics of reproduction as studied in school), how the same is affecting those of the opposite sex and how they can and should manage their strong feelings of sexual attraction toward others.

A recent study in the United States showed that fully half the college students surveyed knew almost nothing about how to avoid pregnancy. Does that seem unbelievable? It isn’t to those college students.

At the adolescent age of their kids, many parents are saying to other parents that “Kids are interested in sex too young these days,” and “I don’t want my kid to be having sex until he (or she) is much older and can handle the responsibility.” That age is not 12 years. But kids (about 15%) have their first sexual experiences by that age. By age 14 or 15, virtually half of them have had sex at least once. Parents are in denial, unless a daughter becomes pregnant. Then they blame the daughter, or TV, or movies, or their family doctor, just about anyone.

There is no such thing as an age when a child is too young to learn about matters of adulthood. That’s the whole purpose of childhood, for them to learn about being adults before they actually get there and have to live it.

However, there is a secret about conveying adult information and knowledge to children. It’s not what you tell them so much as how you tell them. Like any kind of communication, the message must be formed in such as way that the receiver understands it and can absorb it. Preferably that the young person has understood the message enough that he or she can process how to incorporate it somehow into his or her life.

A child can know the intricacies of sex without actually feeling the need to have it with another person. There are consequences. One is pregnancy and that includes becoming a parent long before the adolescent is ready to become a parent, to raise, provide for and protect a child.

Teens have learned how to avoid having intercourse by having sex in such a way that pregnancy is not possible. One method for each gender is cunnilingus (for the female) or fellatio (for the male). These do open the possibilities for STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), including HPV infection, even throat cancer or HIV. The answer is not to hide these possibilities, but to discuss them so the adolescent has a chance to understand the risks.

Those who do not know make the most mistakes. The consequences of those mistakes often affect a person for the rest of his or her life. The knowledge young people need is not just about sex. It’s about everything they may be exposed to in their lives, including at school, on the streets, on televison and on the internet.

Innocence in childhood becomes ignorance in adulthood. Innocent children suffer great disadvantages. Ignorant adults become victims of all kinds of problems. To make life worse, ignorant adults who received little help from their parents tend to be shy about asking for help from others when they are adults. In other words, ignorant adults tend to remain ignorant, often to the extent of refusing to learn when they have the opportunity.

There are no advantages for a child to remain innocent. There are huge and harmful disadvantages for an adult to be ignorant about the realities of life. One of those disadvantages is that ignorant adults tend to be more fearful of more different things than those who are knowledgeable. They also tend to lack empathy and often find it hard to be sympathetic. These are critically important characteristics we want in the generation that will soon run our country.

If you want a child who never grows up, get a dog or cat. If you are the parent of a child, help that child become a well balanced and responsible adult. It’s the primary life responsibility of every parent. Talk about it.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book of easy and inexpensive solutions to seemingly impossible problems. He gives advice through his web site and his internet group. To learn more about these go to

Why GMO (GE) Foods Are Dangerous

Why GMO (GE) Foods Are Dangerous

The safety of GMO foods is unproven and a growing body of research connects these foods with health concerns and environmental damage. For this reason, most developed nations have policies requiring mandatory labeling of GMO foods at the very least, and some have issued bans on GMO food production and imports.

In Canada we do not. – David Suzuki FoundationDr. David Suzuki is a Canadian environmentalist.

GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) and GE (Genetically Engineered) are, for all intents and purposes, identical and interchangeable. North America tends to use GMO, Europe GE, usage varies in the rest of the world.

Simply put, the process involves taking genetic material from the DNA of one organism and inserting it into the DNA of another organism. The idea is to confer the benefit of the genetic material of the donor organism onto the receiving organism, thereby “improving” the recipient organism.

Opponents of GMOs call it “playing God.” This seems excessive. Playing the Devil might be a more appropriate label. We will return to the labeling idea later.

The governments of the USA, Canada and a few other countries that tend to go along with whatever the US says are either supremely stupid or unspeakably corrupt. While both are highly negative, the shocking possibility exists that those same governments are both stupid and corrupt. That is shocking because, given the present staggering power of chemical giants such as Monsanto, little short of physical revolution may be considered to cause committed countries to back away from decisions that have harmed and will harm their own people.

This article will not attribute opinion to the results of scientific research. That has been done too often. The research has been done, the conclusions are public, but the chemical giants have managed to cover it up so successfully that the majority of people know little about them. Governments who have committed to allow GMOs are too embarrassed to admit their grievous mistakes, so remain silent. They fear litigation as a consequence of allowing harmful foods on the market. Millions of people are now in the process of destroying their health as a result.

This article will instead appeal to logic, to your sense of right and wrong, to what used to be known as common sense. GMOs are purely destructive over the long term, covertly destructive in the short term. Here’s why.

Genetically modified seeds are engineered to withstand poisons. These poisons are spread over the land in which the seeds will grow, ostensibly to kill off pests and plants that would compete with the seed during the growing season.

You need to understand that these poisons are not selective. They are broad spectrum. That is, they kill everything, every living organism, every plant, every animal, every bacterium and other microbe in the soil they touch. As there are literally millions of microscopic organisms in every teaspoon of fertile soil, that is a massive amount of destruction.

Then the genetically modified seeds are planted. They sprout, they grow, they eventually produce food-like products you will find in your food market. The chemical companies claim the seeds carry none of the poisons with them to maturity. Research proves this is a lie. More recent research has found these poisons in the air people breathe and the water they drink.

So, prove it, you say, give us the research. No, I won’t do that. Articles that provide support for their arguments based on “scientific research” can and often are embarrassingly biased, edited not to give all available evidence but to provide evidence to support the opinion expressed. The internet will give you the evidence if you search. This article will not give you one-sided evidence to support its claims.

Search “organic foods pros and cons.” And “gmo foods” to start. Then “gmo damage.”

Now to the logic or common sense part. It has been well known and documented for centuries, even millennia, that very small amounts of poison ingested over an extended period of time will eventually cause ill health, then death. Kings and emperors used to have tasters (or the chefs who prepared their meals) eat some of the food intended for the leaders before they indulged.

Some fine mysteries, such as by Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, showed how murderers killed their victims by giving them small amounts of poison over weeks, months, even years. Court records show how some people murdered others in similar ways today.

The very same companies that produce the seeds that can survive the assaults of poisons on fields in which they grow also produce the poisons themselves. Even today some governments are approving GMO seeds on which DDT (an insecticide banned in most countries decades ago) and components of Agent Orange (best known for killing countless innocent people in SE Asia during the Vietnam war, though people are still suffering and dying from it today) may be sprayed. Yes, you read that right.

Not only do they give permission for farm fields to be poisoned lifeless before seeds are planted, they are now giving permission for industrial farmers to spray poisons directly on the crops.

You decide, is that stupidity or corruption? Or both.

Ask yourself how much sense it makes for a human to take as a blood thinner a poison (warfarin) that in stronger doses kills rats, a fellow mammal. With all of the advice we receive about the importance of eating green leafy vegetables to keep us healthy and extend our lives, warfarin users must be careful of them because the vitamin K1 they contain interferes with warfarin’s effectiveness as a blood thinner. Eating an extremely healthy food can harm a warfarin user.

At a time when health care costs soar dramatically to previously unimagined heights, governments are knowingly making more of their own citizens sick. It is known that those living today will be the first generation in centuries to live shorter lifespans than their parents. That prediction was made because of widespread obesity.

We may also expect it because of widespread poisoning of the foods we eat. Yet government food and drug agencies still call GMO foods safe in some countries.

Many of these same governments are refusing to allow food products with GMO ingredients to have labels clearly stating their GMO content. What would you call it? Consumers are not allowed to know if the food they buy and eat and feed to their children is unhealthy or toxic.

You have a choice about what you eat. Learn about it first or suffer the consequences. Those consequences could include not only a shorter lifespan, but years of ill health before you die. Nobody wants that.

Final note: chemical giant and the world’s most powerful advocate of GMO seeds (it sells both single year seeds and Roundup, the poison that kills everything before its seeds are planted) Monsanto refuses to allow any GMO products or food components in its own staff canteen.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book about cheap and easily implemented solutions to pervasive social problems. Yes, ill health from GMO food consumption is a serious social problem.

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Why I Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Why I Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Aside from vitamins D and K, we humans can’t make any of the vitamins we need to stay healthy.
Carl Zimmer, “Vitamins’ Old, Old Edge”, The New York Times, December 9, 2013

I gotta tell you, right at the top of my list would be taking vitamins. I know that over the years doctors have said they’re ridiculous and all that. But I started taking my vitamins at an early age. And I take them every day. Every bloody day! So I think that’s number one. For whatever reason, I feel active and pretty good at my age.
Regis Philbin, American media personality (b. 1931–that makes him age 82 )

Regis was active and full of life, even at age 80 when he finished his last “LIVE!” show on television. He holds the Guinness Book of Records title for “Most Hours on Camera.”

I hadn’t planned on becoming a single parent. Nobody does. More importantly, with two kids under age ten to support and care for by myself, I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t prepared. How could I feed three people when I had little idea how to prepare meals? I could hardly make toast and prepare canned soup.

Local supermarkets were helpful as they provided suggestions for combinations of foods I could assemble to make something resembling a meal. But how could I be certain I was providing my kids with full and balanced nutrition as I knew that growing children needed?

My solution was to find out what vitamin and mineral supplements would ensure that they and I had minimums of what we needed. That’s how it began. If I at least provided foods my kids would eat and that was healthy, I didn’t need to worry about balancing nutrition if they got the nutrients they needed. Which was good because my reading was suggesting this could be difficult as research at the time conflicted about what was right, good and balanced. And I didn’t have much time to spare as a classroom teacher with 35 needy kids to manage.

One part has not changed. Research results still show great conflicts. Now I know to find out not just who conducted the research, but who paid for it. It made sense then and has proven so many times since that researchers tend to find results favourable to the companies that provided funding for the research. Researchers, now and then, always wanted more funding for more research when their current project ended. Follow the money and you often find yourself where you hoped not to be.

Studies funded by manufacturers of sugar or companies that make products that depend largely on sugar tend to conclude that sugar is not so bad for you. They stress the benefits of other nutrients. Large suppliers of fresh produce stress in their advertising that fresh is good, without noting that their products are often covered in pesticides, fertilizers and other growth stimulants that come straight from a chemical factory.

Monsanto, Dow, BASF and their like stress that the chemicals they make to put onto and into food products vanish shortly thereafter. They often forget to note research projects that have shown their products to be dangerous to human health and the environment.

As for GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms, also known as GEs, Genetically Engineered products, a term more popular in Europe), none of the chemical companies, none of the factory farms and none of the food suppliers point out that some 55 countries around the world have banned such products, deeming them risky to human health. And threatening to foods grown organically nearby through wind blows and other methods by which modified seeds are spread.

All of the above companies spend fortunes to see that laws forcing them to announce these additions to natural foods on labels never get passed. Why don’t they want us to know? Because they have something they want to hide, something they don’t want you to find out about, of course.

Packaged foods, whether in cans, bottles or other wrappings, tend to have preservative chemicals added to ensure they don’t spoil on food market shelves. The trouble is that they don’t “spoil” or break down in the human gut either, which is what we all desperately want to happen for digestion to work. Food that remains undigested in the gut or blood vessels is just plain dangerous.

Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid products with ingredients we don’t want, especially if the manufacturers have made sure the laws don’t force them to put information important to consumers on their labels.

What’s more, medical and health research (the dependable and honest variety) have shown in recent decades that our bodies need nutrients beyond what they would likely get from foods from the average food market. Why? If our ancestors didn’t need these extra nutrients, why should we? Because most of us want to live many years longer than our ancestors did. And the diet of the average person is not prepared to accommodate or provide for those extra years.

And, sad to say, many of the foods we buy in stores is pre-treated before we get it that it has already lost most of its nutritive value. Milk that is pasteurized and now heated to high temperatures to help it last for weeks without spoiling is nothing like the milk your grandma served to her kids.

We all know about how cancer (breast, prostate and colorectal get the most publicity) is far more common now than ever before. Diabetes and obesity, almost rare in past decades, are so common now that doctors call them pandemics. Why are so many diseases more common now than years ago? What we eat–our diet–has changed dramatically. Our diet conforms more to what manufacturers want to sell us than what is best for our bodies to survive and thrive for eight or nine decades. Advertising makes sure we believe what we buy is good for us.

So how do we get the nutrients if we know what our bodies need? Often the only way to get some of them is through what we now call supplements. By the way, only a few decades ago people were told that we would all be eating pills or liquid meals in the 21st Century. Nobody was shocked by that news then, but many are alarmed by people taking pills and liquids that are not prescribed by a doctor now. Why? Big corporations don’t make much money when we buy supplements instead of their drug products prescribed by their doctors.

You can see how my thinking on the subject of vitamin and mineral supplements (and now tablet supplements of other edible plant products) has evolved over the years. I have left what is perhaps the most important point to the last.

Why do we get old? What happens inside of us that makes us more vulnerable to disease, bone breakage and so on as we pass the formerly enforced age of retirement, 65? Why are we weaker and more vulnerable to attack by bacteria and viruses? While the answers may seem mysterious to those who have not kept up with research, they are becoming public, albeit slowly.

Our DNA is made up of chromosomes, each of which has many genes. Each cell of our body has these genes. As each cell dies off (most from daily to once a month), they are replaced by newly minted genes that carry the same genetic information. Almost. Over time, many decades for most of us, the tail ends of some of the chromosomes fail to be reproduced when new cells are formed in our bodies.

The tail ends of the chromosomes are called telomeres. These telomeres (they keep chromosomes from getting tangled up with each other) can get lost over countless reproductions. When that happens, parts of genes can be lost as well. With some genes and chromosomes not complete, our bodies are not as capable of defending themselves as they were when we were younger. That makes our body vulnerable to all sorts of things, including aging.

An enzyme called telomerase can add telomeres to the ends of chromosomes when they divide (reproduce). Our DNA, the stuff of life, can actually be improved by having telomerase add telomeres to our chromosomes over time. Okay, enough chemistry and biology.

We can actually improve our own DNA and prevent ourselves from aging too quickly (and dying too soon) if we know how to have our bodies create the telomerase that will fix up our DNA chromosomes. But how?

It’s all in what we eat. Just as inadequate nutrition will cause our chromosomes to get shorter faster and younger, good nutrition can help us to boost our DNA to help us live longer and stronger and more active lives as we get older.

What foods or supplements can do that for you? Now that’s when it gets hard to answer. First of all, the threat of litigation prevents me from providing easy answers. More importantly, each person is different and requires a different combination of nutrients. There is no one-size-fits-all.

Did it seem to you as if I just hit you and ran away there? I didn’t mean to. The answers are not simple or easy to find. What works for me will not necessarily work for you. You will need to find your own answers, what works for you.

Fortunately, the internet has loads of resources that will help you if you want to dig in and do the research yourself. Just don’t expect to find the solution in a single pill. There is no magic involved. This science is in its early stages, so no definitive answers are possible. But you can read to learn more.

At the end of this article are some resources to get you started with your reading about supplements.

Finally, a few notes about supplements:

(1) Almost all supplements contain fillers to give them size and colour. While making the tablets or capsules larger, thus seemingly more impressive (worth more) to the customer, they add nothing of benefit. Some claim the fillers could be harmful, though any decent researcher could find that even water can be harmful.

(2) A small number of studies have found that supplements are a waste of money, that they do nothing. Careful scrutiny of each study reveals that in every case the conditions or amounts of each supplement were arranged so that the results were inevitable. Example, if four of a tablet are necessary to accomplish some health benefit and only one tablet is given to test subjects, the results will inevitably show the supplement is ineffective, it doesn’t work.

(3) Opponents of supplements, who often share a warm and friendly relationship with pharmaceutical companies, claim that all the necessary vitamins and minerals we need to be healthy are available in food. That is true. If a person eats the diet recommended by health authorities. But nobody does. In fact, “the typical American diet” that students of the subject read so much about is downright unhealthy. Supplements ensure that you don’t miss anything you need, including trace minerals that are not in every vegetable and without which you could be unhealthy or die. Supplements lower your risk of dying younger and living a sad and dependent life in the final decades of your life.

(4) Supplements can do you harm of taken indiscriminately or to excess. As with anything else you put into your mouth, moderation is the key. Moderation, not elimination.

(5) Vegetarians and vegans may suffer problems with heart disease and with other body organs if they sustain a chronic shortage of vitamin B12 in their diet. The risk of these problems vanishes when they take B12 supplements.

(6) Some vitamin manufacturers will suggest doses far higher than you need (usually because they believe their vitamin is water soluble, thus you can’t overdose). Remember, it’s a supplement, not a main course.

(7) Most vitamin and mineral containers will recommend that you ask your doctor before beginning a new series of supplements. This is wise in case they might conflict with something you are already taking or with something in your system. If your doctor says you should not take any vitamin supplements, you may want to consider finding another doctor who is more interested in your health than in his or her income.

This short video is about extending life:

or use this shorter version of the URL:

A doctor specializing in nutrition delivers the goods

You can even heal tooth cavities or prevent them with proper nutrition

Vitamins and minerals to prepare the body to protect against Multiple

Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and many other diseases.

Human nutrition, the gut microbiome, and immune system: envisioning the future

(This summarizes the relationship between diet/gut bacteria and health.)

Finally science writer Carl Zimmer with a bit of history of humans and vitamins

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems as well as hundreds of articles, all available on the internet.
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The Difference Between Your Illusions And Reality

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How beautiful it would be to see man wrestle with his illusions and vanquish them.
– Naguib Mahfouz, Egyptian writer awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988 (1911-2006)

What a spectacle! There’s nothing that some people like better than to watch someone destroy themselves. But is that what Mahfouz intended?

Indeed, is it even possible to wrestle with our own illusions without destroying ourselves?

Illusions are all we have to work with when we perceive the world. We believe what we see, hear, taste, touch and smell is the real thing. But it’s never the same as someone else who experiences the exact same thing.

One of the closest possible human relationships is marriage. Yet as much as people share in a marriage and as close to sharing the same experiences and goals as people get, when they separate or divorce they seldom think that the relationship failed for the same reasons. Indeed, each usually believes that the other was responsible for the breakup. They don’t even remember the same events that were such good experiences the same way.

If you want a real shock, sit a few friends down with you, individually, and ask them to candidly describe you, the kind of person you are, your likes and dislikes, what you are like as a friend, your attitudes toward the world around you. It would be extremely rare for any of them to be accurate or similar. What’s more, none will be like your own impression of yourself.

We have not just an opinion about ourselves, but an illusion about who we are. No one else shares that illusion because no one else has or can experience the world around us the same way we have or do. Even the timing of experiences affects our impressions of reality. The same experience in early childhood is perceived much differently in adulthood.

When we go to sleep, we dream a kind of reality that we can’t support as “real” when we are awake. Yet the truth is that no one is certain which is reality and which is mere illusion, the wakeful perceptions or the dreams. Our brains function differently when we dream than when we are awake. Even our own brain can’t tell which is real to it and which is not. To our brain, both are real, just different realities.

Most of us convince ourselves that our waking experiences are the real ones, but that is what we have been taught since early childhood. (“It’s only a dream. It’s not real.”)

Mahfouz meant that it would be beautiful if we were to tackle our misguided illusions and vanquish them. That is, the ones that are too far away from the reality that others perceive of us. In his way he is saying that he wants us all to deal with the realities of the world in the same way, as if we were each one component of a greater entity or reality.

Would that make us all followers, pets of a greater power that determines the fates of all of us? Some believe that to be true anyway. Others believe that free will is our blessing.

No matter which way we choose for our life, we choose our own illusions. If that is the case, it only makes sense to choose the ones that will serve us well over the long term, instead of the many harmful components that people choose for themselves for the short term.

And how long is the long term anyway? Some say it ends when we die. Others say that this life is but one small part of a continuum or that this life is an individual experience set that we will use when we rejoin the greater entity after death.

Choose your illusions wisely.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book about guiding children to create safe and productive personal illusions for their lives so that they can be confident and competent adults.
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