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The Many Benefits of NAC — One of the Most Important Supplements You’ve Likely Never Heard Of

By Dr. Mercola

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) — a precursor which is needed for glutathione biosynthesis — is an incredibly useful supplement that few people have even heard of. Many of its benefits relate back to the fact that it helps boost production of glutathione, an important antioxidant your body produces naturally that helps reduce free radical damage and plays a role in the detoxification of heavy metals and other harmful substances.

NAC is both safe and inexpensive, and has been commercially available for a long time. It's also generally well-tolerated and has no known serious side effects. Considering its wide array of health benefits, it's a supplement worthy of consideration for many. As noted in a recent medical review of NAC's many clinical uses, it is a:1

"… potential treatment option for diseases characterized by the generation of free oxygen radicals. Studies have shown no maternal or fetal harmful effects of NAC treatment … NAC prevents apoptosis [editor's note: programmed cell death] and oxygen related genotoxicity in endothelial cells by increasing intracellular levels of glutathione and decreasing mitochondrial membrane depolarization."

NAC Helps Counter Toxic Effects of Alcohol

NAC supplementation can also help "pre-tox" your body when taken before alcohol, thereby minimizing the damage associated with alcohol consumption — a tidbit that may be useful to know in light of the approaching holidays. NAC is a form of the amino acid cysteine, which in addition to increasing glutathione also reduces acetaldehyde toxicity that causes many hangover symptoms.2

Taking NAC (at least 200 milligrams) 30 minutes before you drink can help lessen the alcohol's toxic effects. NAC is thought to work even better when combined with vitamin B1 (thiamine).3 Vitamin B6 may also help to lessen hangover symptoms.

Since alcohol depletes B vitamins, and B vitamins are required to help eliminate alcohol from your body, a B vitamin supplement taken beforehand, as well as the next day, can be helpful. All of that said, it's important to realize that this protocol will not reduce your susceptibility to alcohol poisoning or other acute adverse events associated with binge drinking, so please use common sense and drink responsibly.

NAC Is a Potent Antidote to Acetaminophen Toxicity

NAC is also used in medicine as an antidote for acetaminophen toxicity. Like alcohol, one way that acetaminophen causes liver damage is by depleting glutathione. If you keep your glutathione levels up, the damage from the acetaminophen may be largely preventable. This is why anyone who overdoses on Tylenol receives large doses of NAC in the emergency room — to increase glutathione.

Mortality due to acetaminophen toxicity has actually been shown to be virtually eliminated when NAC is promptly administered in cases of acetaminophen overdose. While I generally do not recommend using acetaminophen-containing drugs for minor aches and pains, they are sometimes necessary to temporarily suppress severe pain, such as post-surgical pain. So, if you ever use acetaminophen I strongly recommend taking it along with NAC.

And, if you have children and keep acetaminophen in your home, I strongly recommend keeping a bottle of NAC as well in case of accidental overdose. NAC therapy should be initiated within eight hours of an acute overdose for best results. If you suspect an overdose has occurred, seek medical help right away. If this isn't an option, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following protocol:4

"Oral administration is the preferred route for NAC therapy unless contraindications exist (e.g aspiration, persistent vomiting). The usual recommended loading dose is 140 mg/kg followed in 4 hours by a maintenance dose of 70 mg/kg orally given every 4 hours. This dosing is commonly recommended to be continued for 72 hours; however more recent clinical experience supports tailoring the duration of therapy to the patient's clinical condition."

NAC Offers Important Liver Support

The most common use of NAC is for liver support in general. A 2010 study5 — in which it was noted that the antioxidant resveratrol has been found to enhance replication of the hepatitis C virus and hence is not a suitable supplement for those with hepatitis C — suggests NAC may be a better alternative for this and other chronic liver diseases.

"Consistently, we found that [NAC] modulates the expression of iNOS [editor's note: iNOS is an inducible and calcium-dependent isoform of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase or NOS, which helps synthesize nitric oxide] in human hepatocytes stimulated by proinflammatory cytokines," the authors write.

"The effect occurs by blocking the activation of the iNOS promoter, and is associated with modulation of NF-κB activity, a central transcription factor for induction of iNOS expression. The biological phenomenon might well be the basis of the therapeutic effects of NAC on chronic liver diseases different from those caused by acetaminophen intoxication."

Other Health Benefits of NAC

Aside from its hepatoprotective effects, research suggests NAC may also help:6,7,8

Prevent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation

Improve muscle performance

Prevent contrast-induced kidney damage during imaging procedures

Protect against Alzheimer's disease when taken in combination with lipoic acid

Attenuate influenza when started before infection

Reduce symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis

Treat pulmonary fibrosis

Prevent asthma

Improve male fertility by improving sperm quality, and treat infertility in female patients with clomiphene-resistant polycystic ovary syndrome. It's also been shown to reduce risk of premature birth and miscarriage

Treat certain forms of cancer and protect against toxicity of radiotherapy; DNA damage has been shown to be "completely blocked" by NAC.

Beware that some of the evidence suggests NAC may not work well with some forms of chemotherapy, so do not use as a cancer treatment adjunct without consulting your doctor

Decrease frequency, duration and symptoms in patients with chronic bronchitis

Improve symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease and ALS

Treat HIV infection

Reduce tissue inflammation

Reduce your risk of insulin resistance

Reduce symptoms associated with schizophrenia

Prevent addictive behaviors such as binge eating, drug addiction (especially cocaine addiction) and other compulsive behaviors such as nail biting by normalizing the neurotransmitter glutamate

Prevent depression, bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, and improve daily function in those with these disorders

Improve intestinal barrier function, reducing your risk of leaky gut

Enhancing the regeneration of bone; speeding up bone mineralization

Improve sleep and reduce snoring in those with obstructive sleep apnea

Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome

Increase survival rate in patients with chronic heart failure

Increase survival rate in patients who have had a heart attack

Reduce your risk of heart disease

Aid in recovery from brain injury

Treat Helicobacter pylori infection when used as an adjunct to other therapy

Protect against gentamicin-induced hearing loss in patients on renal dialysis

NAC Offers Hope for Patients With Parkinson's and Other Neurodegenerative Conditions

As you can see, the list of NAC's potential uses is quite long; there's even evidence it may be an effective remedy against acne, decreasing acne outbreaks by about half.9 Some of its most promising uses is as a neuroprotectant. Scientists are currently investigating it as a treatment for Parkinson's disease — a disorder that has been linked to glutathione deficiency in the substantia nigra, a region that houses dopamine neurons.10

Research looking at autopsied brains suggests Parkinson's patients have barely detectable levels of glutathione in this brain region. This deficiency is not restricted to Parkinson's, however. Subsequent studies have found glutathione deficiency in the substantia nigra is common in a number of other neurodegenerative conditions as well, including progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy and Alzheimer's disease.11 As noted in a recent article by Science of Parkinson's:12

"Researchers have subsequently found that decreased levels of glutathione does not directly result in dopamine cell loss … but it does make the cells more vulnerable to damaging agents (such as neurotoxins … ) This has [led] investigators to ask whether administering glutathione to people with Parkinson's disease would slow [down] the condition."

In one small-scale clinical trial,13 600 milligrams (mg) of intravenous glutathione was administered twice a day for 30 days, after which the patients were monitored for up to four months. All experienced significant improvement, with an average decline in disability of 42 percent. The effects lasted for two to four months after the treatment ended. The remarkable effects of the treatment are demonstrated in the following video.

Other studies have confirmed the usefulness of NAC in the treatment of Parkinson's. Several are discussed on Science of Parkinson's, so for more information, please see that original article.14

As just one example, a randomized study15,16 on 23 patients found a combination of 600 mg of oral NAC twice a day plus a weekly IV infusion of NAC at 50 mg per kilogram of body weight, had a very consistent, neuroprotective effect, improving patients' mental and physical abilities. Brain imaging also confirmed beneficial changes were in fact occurring in the brain.

PTSD, Depression and Treatment of Addiction

Another area where NAC shows particular promise is in the treatment of mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and substance use disorders. In one recent study,17 PTSD symptoms in war veterans decreased by 46 percent, substance use cravings by 81 percent, and depression by 48 percent after NAC treatment. Here, patients took 2,400 mg of NAC a day for eight weeks.

As a group, the veterans no longer met diagnostic criteria for PTSD at the end of their treatment. This, lead author Sudie Back, Ph.D., said, "are some of the best outcomes we have seen in the literature for a medication." As reported by Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC):18

"Currently, there are no well-explored pharmacological treatments for patients with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorder. Although selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a class of drugs used as antidepressants, have been approved by the FDA for treatment of PTSD, pharmacological treatments for co-occurring conditions haven't been as effective as some hoped for.

Groundbreaking basic science research by [Back and Peter Kalivas, Ph.D., chairman of the department of neuroscience at MUSC] has shown that levels of glutamate transporters in the brain are decreased in substance use disorders, and NAC can help restore those levels and guard against relapse in animal models of substance use disorder.

Because evidence suggests that substance use disorder and PTSD share overlapping neurobiological pathways, Sudie Back … hypothesized that NAC treatment with therapy would be a novel approach to treating the co-occurring conditions. Back is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC and a staff psychologist at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center."

In studies19 looking at NAC for bipolar depression, individuals taking 1 gram of NAC twice a day for two months reduced their depression score by eight points and reported improvement in functioning and quality of life. It's also been shown to help those with treatment resistant depression and, to a lesser degree, major depressive disorder.

Do beware, however, that NAC may interact with certain antidepressants if you take them together, making the antidepressant more potent. As a result, you need to work with your doctor as you may need to reduce the dose of your antidepressant medication if you take it concomitant with NAC.

NAC May Improve Fertility in Both Men and Women

The last area I will home in on here is fertility, as both male and female infertility are on the rise. A number of studies20 have demonstrated the benefits of NAC for fertility in both men and women. As noted above, NAC has been shown to improve sperm quality in men. It's also been shown to improve the ovulation rate in women by 52 percent.21 In this study, women took 1,200 mg per day of oral NAC for five days, starting on the third day of their menstrual cycle. Endometrial thickness also significantly improved.

Other research shows NAC helps improve the quality of a woman's eggs22 — a factor that can improve your chances of not only getting pregnant naturally, but also improve your odds of successful IVF treatment. It also lowers your risk of miscarriage, and increases the pregnancy rate in women who have had recurrent miscarriages.23

Endometriosis, which is a common cause for female infertility, is also improved by NAC supplementation.24 In one Italian study,25 women who took 600 mg of NAC three times a day for three consecutive days per week, for three months, saw such significant improvement that half of the treatment group — 24 out of 47 — were able to cancel their surgeries. Eight of the 47 women receiving NAC had complete remission of cysts. In comparison, only one of the 45 women in the control group (which received a placebo) was able to cancel her surgery and only four had remission of cysts.

General Dosing and Safety Guidelines

NAC is widely available as an oral dietary supplement and is relatively inexpensive. Unfortunately, it's rather poorly absorbed when taken orally. According to some studies,26,27 oral bioavailability may range between 4 and 10 percent. Its half-life is also in the neighborhood of two hours, which is why most study subjects take it two or three times a day.

Due to its poor bioavailability, the recommended dosage can go as high as 1,800 mg per day. No maximum safe dose has yet been determined, but as a general rule, it's well-tolerated, although some do experience gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, diarrhea or constipation. Should this occur, reduce your dosage. It's also best taken in combination with food, to reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal effects.

Also keep in mind that since NAC boosts glutathione, which is a powerful detox agent, you may experience debilitating detox symptoms if you start with too high a dose. To avoid this, start low, with say 400 to 600 mg once a day, and work your way up. Also, if you are currently taking an antidepressant or undergoing cancer treatment, be sure to discuss the use of NAC with your physician, as it may interact with some antidepressants and chemotherapy.

Six Powerful Home Remedies for Acne

By Dr. Mercola

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting nearly 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24.1 Not only does acne leave physical marks such as blackheads, whiteheads, inflammation and scars, but it can also create psychological wounds in the form of anxiety, depression and low self-image. As one woman — Emily Goldberg, editorial fellow at The Atlantic — afflicted with chronic acne explains:2

"Over the years I struggled with acne, I had begun to think of it as a personal failure. Something was wrong with my skin, but I also felt like something was wrong with me because I couldn't fix it. Worst of all, there was no hiding this failure. I was convinced it was the first thing people saw when they looked at me, because I knew it was the first thing I saw when I looked at myself."

I have personal experience with acne and can relate to both the physical and psychological pain that accompanies it. From my teens into my late 20s, I struggled with cystic acne, a severe form characterized by large, painful lesions.

Most teens get a type of acne called acne vulgaris, which can appear on your face, back, chest, neck and shoulders. The most common belief about acne is that it begins when the pores in your skin get clogged with oil (sebum) and dead skin cells, causing the growth of bacteria that trigger inflammation.3

Contrary to what you may have been told, acne is more than an aesthetic problem. It is a sign of imbalance in your body, very specifically in your gut. Many physicians miss the acne-gut connection and focus instead on topical treatments and powerful prescription drugs. These approaches are time-consuming, expensive and offer few lasting effects. Because there are no "quick fixes" to address acne, it's worth your time to uncover the hidden aspects of your diet and lifestyle that are very likely contributing to it.

Treating Acne Is Big Business

Acne is one of the most common skin problems for which people seek the advice of a dermatologist, and one of the most frequently misunderstood and mistreated conditions. A focus on external solutions has fueled the growth of the acne-treatment industry, which is now estimated at $3 billion in the U.S.4

If you have a mild case of acne, the first line of conventional treatment is often topical. Topical treatments claim to reduce oil production, unclog pores, speed cell turnover and kill off bacteria, thereby reducing inflammation. Your physician will likely recommend creams, gels and lotions, such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, or topical retinoid medicines, such tretinoin (Retin-A), adapalene (Differin), and tazarotene (Tazorac).

If you have moderate to severe acne, it's unlikely topical treatments will be effective. This may result in your physician suggesting oral antibiotics. Some of the most common antibiotics prescribed for acne include doxycycline, erythromycin, minocycline and tetracycline.5 Remember that while taking antibiotics may kill some of the bacteria that are feeding your acne, it will also destroy your beneficial gut bacteria. Loss of healthy gut bacteria can result in yeast infections, as well as resistant bacterial strains, among other problems.

Antibiotic resistance continues to be a serious and growing problem today. Take erythromycin, a commonly used acne antibiotic. As more strains of bacteria adapt to erythromycin, it is becoming less effective. Because of antibiotic resistance, some physicians have begun to limit the duration antibiotics are used to treat acne, while others have pulled back from prescribing them altogether.

Toxic Medications May Be Offered as the 'Gold Standard' of Acne Treatment

If you have severe acne, the gold standard for drug treatment was previously a powerful and potentially harmful medication called Accutane (isotretinoin). A number of studies linked Accutane to numerous damaging side effects, including birth defects, Crohn's disease and suicide.6 When its patent ended in 2009, Swiss drug maker Roche Pharmaceuticals stopped manufacturing Accutane.

Although Accutane is off the market, several generic equivalents of isotretinoin remain available today, among them Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan and Sotret.7 Isotretinoin is extremely unsafe for pregnant women, and it is administered with great care for that reason.

One additional method that has been used to control acne for premenstrual flare-ups and moderate cases of acne in women involves prescribing low-dose birth control pills that contain estrogen, such as Estrostep, Ortho Tri-Cyclen or Yaz.8 While many acne sufferers go through some or all of the treatments mentioned above, it is often to no avail, as affirmed by Goldberg:9

"For years, the cabinet underneath my bathroom sink was a graveyard of skin-care products, filled with the ghosts of face soaps, washes, toners and scrubs past. Bottles of Neutrogena, Cetaphil, Proactiv and Clean & Clear products were all laid to rest after my hopes that they would cure my blemished face were dashed, raised and dashed again. Nothing I tried worked.

A couple years and a handful of dermatologists later, piles of prescription products were also thrown into the landfill of acne medications in my bathroom. Tubes of Retin-A, Tazorac and Epiduo cream, and antibiotics like doxycycline and tetracycline had all been prescribed to no avail."

While your physician may try to win you over to one of the treatment options I've just discussed, I hope you will not be content with any of those proposed solutions, which seek to treat only your skin. You can make better use of your time by learning about and beginning to treat your acne from the inside out.

Does Acne Have Its Roots in the Poor Western Diet?

A closer look at the Western diet suggests that sugar and refined carbohydrates (carbs), as well as dairy, may be fueling acne outbreaks. As you can imagine, as the Western diet, with its focus on carb-heavy and dairy-laden fast food and junk food, has creeped into societies around the world, so, too, has acne. Conversely, researchers wrote in the journal Adolescent Health Medicine and Therapeutics:10

" … [T]here are also populations documented that abstain from a Western diet, eating meals … devoid of grains or dairy products. As a result, acne vulgaris is absent in these populations."

Research suggests that diets high in sugar and refined carbs — also known as high-glycemic diets — literally feed acne:11 "The association between diet and acne can no longer be dismissed. Compelling evidence shows that high-glycemic load diets may exacerbate acne. Dairy ingestion appears to be weakly associated with acne."

What Do Grain-Based Carbs Have to Do With Acne?

As you may already know, your body prefers vegetable-based carbs to the ones found in grains. Vegetable-based carbs are slow to break down into simple sugars, and therefore have minimal impact on your insulin levels. On the other hand, eating grain-based carbs raises your insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). Higher IGF-1 levels can lead to the release of increased male hormones, such as testosterone, which cause your pores to secrete more sebum.

Sebum is a greasy substance that traps acne-promoting bacteria on the surface of your skin. IGF-1 also causes skin cells known as keratinocytes to multiply, a process that is also associated with acne. While dairy products have a relatively low glycemic index, they also increase the IGF-1 level in your blood plasma, generating the same effects noted above.12

In addition, dairy is very hormonally active, meaning it boosts male sex hormones (various forms of testosterone or androgens) and drives up insulin levels, very similar to sugar and starchy carbs.13 On top of the effects to your skin, the consumption of high-glycemic foods and dairy products increases inflammation in your body. Inflammation not only can trigger acne, but it can also wreak havoc on the makeup of your intestinal bacteria, as mentioned earlier.

Change Your Diet to Control Acne Outbreaks

You'll be happy to know that simply eliminating fast food and junk food from your diet is a great first step toward getting your acne under control. Set a small goal to begin reducing sugary carbs such as baked goods (e.g., bagels, bread, cookies and muffins). Replace those items with whole foods — grass-fed meat, organic vegetables and high-quality fats.

Next, move on to grains and start reducing your consumption of corn, oats, rice and wheat. If you regularly consume pasta and potatoes, particularly potato chips or French fries, consider that these items may be feeding your acne, and may need to be eliminated.

As you reduce your consumption of each troublesome food, you will begin to notice changes in your acne. Almost immediately, you should experience less inflammation and fewer flare ups. If you remove a troublesome item from your diet for a time and then decide to reintroduce it, you will likely notice its effect — for better or for worse — on your acne.

In time, you will feel increasingly empowered to manage your food intake in a way that supports your desire for clearer skin and fewer acne outbreaks. In some cases, if certain foods consistently trigger acne, you may decide to eliminate them from your diet permanently.

Besides the foods mentioned above, I recommend you leave fruit juices, soda and other sugar-laden beverages behind. If you have not yet cultivated the habit of reading ingredient labels, begin reading them now. You may be surprised at just how much sugar and empty calories you've been ingesting. Particularly avoid food and drinks containing corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, as well as added sugar of any kind. 

Controlling Acne Takes a Whole-Body Approach

Your skin is an organ of elimination and your body's largest organ. Because your skin is a channel for eliminating toxins, it's important to tune into the message acne is trying to convey.

When your complexion is broken out — be it dry, inflamed, oozing, red or splotchy — it is signaling the presence of underlying issues that need your attention. While most conventional acne treatments address the superficial level of your skin, you must take a whole-body approach to nourish and heal your skin from the inside out. Below are some essential factors that you may consider integrating into your acne-busting plan over the long term:

Avoid starchy carbs, sugars, grains and dairy: As mentioned above, changing your diet is probably the single most important step you can take to improve your skin health. Replace acne-triggering foods with whole foods and healthy fats, such as avocados, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olives and olive oil.

Balance your bacteria levels: You can reestablish your bacterial balance by incorporating naturally fermented foods and/or taking a high-quality probiotic supplement. Proper bacteria balance is particularly important if you have been on antibiotics, because those drugs kill off the beneficial bacteria in your gut that are vital to a strong immune system.

Drink more water: Hydrating your body with pure, filtered water facilitates cell growth and regeneration, eliminates waste and improves your skin tone. Every day, drink enough water so that your urine is a pale-yellow color. If your urine is bright yellow, you probably need to drink more water (unless you take B vitamins, which themselves turn urine bright yellow).

Eat animal-based omega-3 fats: Omega-3 fats help to normalize skin lipids, reduce inflammation and prevent dehydration in your cells. Fatty-acid deficiency can manifest in a variety of ways, but skin problems such as eczema, thick patches of skin and cracked heels are common. In one study, 45 individuals, with mild to moderate acne, were given a daily omega-3 supplement for 10 weeks that was shown to decrease their acne significantly.14

Get adequate vitamin D: Without adequate vitamin D, your body cannot fight infections on your skin or elsewhere. Exposing large areas of your skin to appropriate amounts of sunshine is the best way to optimize your vitamin D levels, but you can also take a supplement.

Make time for exercise: Getting plenty of high-intensity exercise promotes blood circulation, regulates hormones and reduces stress, all of which help fight acne. If you have access to an infrared sauna, it can be helpful for detoxing because sweating can help flush unwanted toxins out through your skin.

Manage your stress: My favorite tool for destressing is the Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT, which involves tapping on your body's energy meridians to clear emotional blocks and restore your mind-body balance. Other proven stress-busters are meditation and yoga.

Prioritize sleep: Did you know that a good night's sleep can decrease your stress and lead to clearer skin? Your body's main time for healing and restoration, including renewing your skin, is at night while you sleep.

Six Natural Remedies for Temporary Relief From Acne Flare-ups

If you are dealing with a major acne flare-up right now and are seeking temporary relief, you may want to try one or more of the home-remedies presented below.15

Aloe Vera

Using a spoon, scrape the gel from an aloe leaf, and apply it to clean skin as a moisturizer. Repeat one to two times daily, or as desired.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix one part organic apple cider vinegar and three parts water (use more water if your skin is sensitive). Apply the mixture to the affected area using a cotton ball. Wait five to 20 seconds, then rinse with water and pat dry. Repeat this process one to two times per day, as needed.

Green Tea

Steep green tea in boiling water for three to four minutes and allow to cool. Apply tea to skin using a spray bottle or cotton ball. Allow to dry, then rinse the area with water and pat dry.

Honey and Cinnamon Mask

Make a paste with 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Apply the mixture to the affected area and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off and pat your skin dry.

Tea Tree Oil

Mix one part tea tree oil with nine parts water. Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture to affected areas. Repeat one to two times daily, or as needed. (Tea tree is potent, so always dilute it before applying it to your skin.)

Eat More Zinc-Rich Foods

Low zinc levels have been associated with severe acne,16 so if you suspect your levels may be low consider adding more zinc-rich foods, such as grass-fed beef and pastured chicken, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms and spinach, to your diet.

Weekly Health Quiz: Cotton, Dementia and Organic Certification

1 The legal status of CBD oil as a nutritional supplement is threatened by:

  • Doctors who claim medical marijuana is dangerous
  • Drug companies seeking FDA approval for CBD-containing drugs

    The legal status of CBD oil as a nutritional supplement is now threatened by drug companies seeking FDA approval for CBD-containing drugs. Learn more.

  • CBD manufacturers making illegal health claims
  • Research showing CBD may be addictive

2 For health, which type of cotton fabric is likely most important to be certified organic?

  • Items worn closest to the body, like underwear and T-shirts

    The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification is the platinum standard for organic apparel, tracking the cotton from farm to final packaging through every step of the supply chain. A simple first step toward health is to make sure your undergarments are GOTS certified and free of toxic dyes. Learn more.

  • Items with the greatest bulk, like sweaters and jackets
  • Items dyed with chemical dyes
  • Bedding, such as linens and comforters

3 Which organization was found guilty of money laundering in the fight against GMO labeling across the U.S.?

  • Monsanto
  • Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)

    The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which was found guilty of money laundering and has fought hard against GMO labeling across the U.S., has lost some of its most prominent members, including Nestlé and Campbells. Learn more.

  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

4 Which of the following type of food was recently included in organic certification?

  • Factory farmed eggs
  • Beef raised in concentrated animal feeding operations
  • Milk from non-pastured cows
  • Hydroponically (soilless) grown produce

    Hydroponic vegetables grown under artificial lighting in coconut waste or ground up plastic can now gain organic certification. Learn more.

5 Which of the following lifestyle strategies has been found to boost memory by improving the function and size of your hippocampus, thereby lowering your risk of dementia?

  • Eating a vegetarian or vegan diet
  • Exercise, including high-intensity and aerobic training

    High-intensity workouts and aerobic exercise boost memory by improving hippocampal function and increasing left hippocampal volume — findings that suggests exercise is an important prevention strategy against dementia. Learn more.

  • Grounding, or walking barefoot on the earth
  • Eating an all-organic diet

6 1 in 6 American children has a developmental disability and 54 percent have a chronic illness. Which of these potential culprits appear to be strongly linked to these statistics?

  • Poor prenatal nutrition
  • Increased number of vaccines given to children

    One in 6 American children has a developmental disability and 54 percent are chronically ill. Many of the same health problems are also listed or known side effects of vaccine. Learn more.

  • Increased use of in vitro fertilization due to infertility
  • Exposure to blue light after sunset

7 Patients with autoimmune conditions will typically experience significant improvement on the following kind of diet:

  • Low-fat diet
  • Low-carb diet
  • Vegan diet
  • Lectin-free diet

    In a recent paper, Dr. Steven Gundry showed that 90 of 102 patients had complete remission of all biomarkers for autoimmune disease by removing lectins. Learn more.

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