Archive | June 17, 2017

Tennessee Counties Sue Opioid Makers Using Local “Crack Tax” Law*

Tennessee Counties Sue Opioid Makers Using Local “Crack Tax” Law*

 

That “crack tax” – otherwise known as the drug dealer liability statute – was passed in 2005 to allow for civil action against street drug dealers, many of whom were peddling crack.

The U.S. opioid epidemic has continued to worsen in 2017 as super-powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil taint the nation’s heroin supply. While the FBI’s final tally has yet to arrive, preliminary data suggest that overdose deaths last year eclipsed the 50,000 recorded nationally in 2015 – the most ever. And the body count is expected to be even higher in 2017. As the death toll in some of the hardest-hit areas of the country skyrockets – in some cases forcing county coroners to build larger freezers to store the bodies – states have begun filing lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies responsible for making and marketing opioid painkillers, in hopes of offsetting the ballooning public-health costs that have been a byproduct of the crisis.

Three Tennessee district attorneys are the latest prosecutors to file suit against the drug makers, joining a group that includes the attorneys general of Ohio, Illinois, Mississippi, New York and Santa Clara and Orange County in California – not to mention the Cherokee Nation. But the Tennessee prosecutors’ approach differs from their peers in one unique way:

They are suing under the state’s long-ridiculed and rarely used “crack tax” law, which would hold Big Pharma liable for damages as if they were street-level drug dealers, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

While the companies targeted by individual states differ, prosecutors are all alleging similar misconduct: That the pharmaceutical companies leaned on researchers to play down the drugs’ addictive qualities, while spending millions on marketing them to both patients and doctors.

Another lawsuit filed in Washington in January alleged that Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, was aware of the drug’s immense popularity on the streets, but did nothing to curb its distribution.

The suit also names a “Baby Doe” as a plaintiff. “Baby Doe,” the News Sentinel reports, is a boy born in March 2015 addicted to opiates because his mother, identified as “Mary Doe,” was an opiate addict and bought her drugs in Sullivan County, one of the three judicial districts represented in the legal action.

Filed on behalf of the three prosecutors and Baby Doe by Nashville law firm Branstetter, Stranch and Jennings, the lawsuit spends dozens of pages detailing publicly available accounts of alleged fraud and deceptive marketing practices by opiate manufacturers.

“It is now beyond reasonable question that the manufacturer defendants’ fraud caused Mary Doe and thousands of others in Tennessee to become addicted to opioids — an addiction that, thanks to their fraudulent conduct, was all but certain to occur,” the lawsuit stated.

Tennessee logs more opiate prescriptions per capita than every state in the nation except West Virginia, the News Sentinel reported. Sullivan County is considered an epicenter, so much so its law enforcement agencies snared their own reality television shows. Shelby County in West Tennessee is also considering joining the lawsuit.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III issued a statement Tuesday in which he said his office is investigating the state’s options in pursuing its own legal action.

“Our objective is to identify and hold accountable the parties responsible for this opioid epidemic,” the statement read.

That “crack tax” – otherwise known as the drug dealer liability statute – was passed in 2005 to allow for civil action against street drug dealers, many of whom were peddling crack.

However, since police typically seize convicted drug dealers’ profits under criminal and civil forfeiture laws – and since most drug dealers go to prison after they’re arrested – there was rarely anything left to be claimed in civil court.

But unlike street dealers, pharma firms are flush with cash. Purdue has annual sales of nearly $3 billion, while Mallinckrodt and Endo also rack up billions each year from sales of opiate drugs.

Many legal experts have said that the current batch of lawsuits resembles the 1998 settlement between the four largest U.S. tobacco companies – Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, Brown & Williamson and Lorillard – and 46 states attorneys general. In accordance with that judgment, the tobacco companies agreed to pay out more than $200 billion through 2025, with payments to be made in perpetuity.

While states are no doubt in need of financial resources to offset the public-health costs they’re forced to absorb because of the epidemic, pharmaceutical companies have at least one strategy to legally deflect blame: If the showdown ever makes it to trial, defense attorneys will try to slough off as much blame as possible on the overprescribing doctors, like one elderly physician who was arrested earlier this month in New York City and charged with needlessly prescribing millions of pills.

Source*

Related Topics:

Study Finds FDA Approved Drugs Dangerous*

Cherokee Nation Sues Drug Companies and Retailers for Illegal Prescribed Opioids in the Cherokee Nation*

Ohio Sues Big Pharma for Deliberately ‘Fueling Opioid Epidemic’*

Pharma Execs Arrested in Conspiracy to Create Opioid Addicts for Profit*

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Italian Government to Remove Unvaccinated Children From Parents*

Italian Government to Remove Unvaccinated Children From Parents*

By Baxter Dmitry

Major demonstrations have rocked Italy this past week as the government attempts to pass a new law that will triple the number of mandatory vaccinations for Italian children and threatens to remove unvaccinated children from their parents. 

Lorenzin cancel your law, we are not your herd,” tens of thousands of Italians chanted at a protest in Rome, holding banners decrying government overreach into their homes and the health of their children.

The march in Rome, the largest in the country, is believed to be the biggest free-vaxxer event in world history. They were gathering to protest the proposed law that will raise the number of mandatory vaccines received by Italian children from four to 12.

The law, proposed by Minister of Health, Beatrice Lorenzin, will become effective unless the Italian Parliament saves the day and blocks the new legislation.

Protests agains mandatory vaccinations in various cities throughout Italy during the past week (June 2017).

Under the draconian new law, Italian children who have not received the full schedule of 12 mandatory vaccinations will lose their right to attend school, the parents will be fined up to 7,500 euros ($8396), and in case the Italian government had not already made it clear they are completely in the pockets of Big Pharma, they also announced that unvaccinated children will be taken away by local child protective services.

But Italians of all stripes are rising up in defiance of the new law. Politicians, associations, doctors, lawyers, and parents came together for the first time on the streets of Rome to make their voices heard.

One protestor shared a heart-rending account of his difficulties raising a vaccine damaged child in Italy:

I am here as a parent, as a parent of a child who, unfortunately, has been damaged by a hexavalent vaccine. I am a parent who has tried to follow the path of the law and I have found myself in front of shameful situations, when the state courts consider vaccine injured kids as, allow me to say, the town’s idiots, the losers.”

The protestors want freedom of choice regarding vaccines, informed consent, the constitution of an independent committee for vaccine research, and objective data about reactions. They are not content to blindly rely on the word of Big Pharma and government when it comes to the health of their children.

Two doctors have been struck off this year in Italy over their refusal to work as Big Pharma shills and a further 24 doctors are being investigated for declaring that vaccines are not always harmless.

Is this the start of a medical revolution in Italy? A worldwide movement against the profit-driven interests of Big Pharma and government corruption is beginning to gain traction. It is up to you to help spread the word.

Source*

Related Topics:

Italian President Signs 12 Vaccines as Mandatory…Protests Erupt!*

The Foundation of the West is Finally Shaking, Its Future Unсertain*

Germany to Begin Mandatory Vaccinations, Fines Of Up To $2,800*

Australian Prime Minister and Wife Tied to Pharma, Pushing Mandatory Vaccination*

California Officials Increase Mercury-laced Vaccines for Children and Pregnant Women*

Murdered Doctors Who Discovered Cancer Enzymes in Vaccines*

Whopping Vaccine Injury Payouts for US Fiscal Year 2017 Released*

Vaccine Producer Merck’s President Led Secret Biowarfare Program, Influencing Experiments on Americans*

Triplets Regress into Autism Following Flu Vaccine*

Saudi Arabia and Israel to Establish Economic Ties*

Saudi Arabia and Israel to Establish Economic Ties*

By Carol Adl

Saudi Arabia and Israel are in talks to establish official economic ties for the first time since Israel was created on the Palestinian territories almost 70 years ago.

The move will put the Jewish state on a path to normal relations with the bastion of Sunni Islam and guardian of the two sacred Muslim cities.

The first steps toward ties between two of Iran’s staunchest enemies would start small and will include Israeli businesses to operate in the Gulf and allowing Israel’s El Al airline to fly over Saudi airspace.

Press TV reports

The Times, citing unnamed Arab and American sources, said in a report on Saturday that forming economic connections between to two, which would be gradual and step by step, could begin by allowing Israeli companies to open shops in the Arab kingdom, or granting El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. permission to fly over Saudi airspace.

“However, any such progress would bolster the alliance between Iran’s two most implacable enemies and change the dynamics of the many conflicts destabilizing the Middle East,” the report speculated.

So far Saudi officials have had some open meetings with senior officials in Israel, trying to gradually pave the way for establishing ties with the occupying regime.

Back in May last year, Israeli newspaper Arutz Sheva reported that Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies, namely Jordan and Egypt, had been sending messages to Israel through various emissaries, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. They had asked Tel Aviv to resume Middle East negotiations under new terms, which included changes to the Saudi initiative.

In July last year, Anwar Eshki, a well-connected retired general in the Saudi military paid a visit to Israel, meeting with Israel’s Foreign Ministry director general Dore Gold and Yoav Mordechai. He also met with a number of Knesset members.

Israeli daily Ha’aretz at the time described the visit “a highly unusual one,” as Eshki could not have traveled to Israel without approval from the Saudi government.

Source*

Related Topics:

Terror Attacks in Iran Were Joint Saudi-Israel-U.S. Project*

Israel Backs Saudi Arabia in Confrontation with Qatar*

Saudi Arabia Uses Israeli Firm G4S to Make E-Bracelets for Hajj*

Red Sea Deal: Are Israel and Saudi Arabia Forming a Joint Military*

U.S, U.K., Israel, China, Saudia behind Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide*

Saudis and Israeli’s Stage Hajj Stampede*

Saudi Arabia to allow Israel Airspace to Strike Iran*

Disclosure of Close Ties with Israel During Hajj Raises Saudi Concerns*

Unholy Trinity United States-Israel- Saudi Arabia Sowing Discord amongst Muslims*

US, Saudis-Israeli, Qatar “Arab Spring Coup” in Sudan*

Thousands Protest in London as Pressure Builds on Theresa May*

Thousands Protest in London as Pressure Builds on Theresa May*

 

 

Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside Downing Street in central London on Saturday to rally against the alliance of Theresa May’s government with Northern Ireland’s hardline DUP.

Protesters demanded May step aside following the disastrous election campaign of the Conservative Party, which now needs the support of the DUP to guarantee a majority vote in parliament. 

The hashtag #MayMustGo trended on social media as thousands of protesters attended the march in central London.

Frustration over May’s Pyrrhic election victory has turned to anger since the devastating Grenfell Tower disaster, from which the official death toll has reached 60, with dozens of people still missing.

May is facing mounting pressure to resign due to her handling of the situation and tensions have been heightened by her failure to meet with victims in wake of the tragedy.

Anger has boiled over in London over claims that earlier renovation work may have been responsible for the dramatic spread of the blaze.

Britain’s Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has written to Prime Minister Theresa May regarding her decision to hold a public inquiry into the fire.

The opposition leader is seeking assurances that the inquiry will be fully independent and held under the provisions of the 2005 Inquiries Act.

Corbyn also stressed that the inquiry should have sufficient scope to establish “all the relevant facts and to ensure that all necessary lessons are learned.”

 

Source*

Related Topics:

Grenfell Tower Block Fire Survivors Storm London Town Hall*

Top Aides to U.K. PM Quit After Election Losses*

The Day after the U.K. Election*

U.K.’s Conservative Party are now facing Criminal Charges for Election Expenses Fraud*

Theresa May’s Pact with the Devil*

It Took a Nine-year-old Muslim Boy 35 Seconds to Rumble Theresa May*

Young Mothers are going Hungry so their Children can Eat in Theresa May’s Britain*

Teen Pregnancy Rate Falls 42.6 percent after U.K. Cuts Sex-ed, Birth-control Funding*

Top Aides to U.K. PM Quit After Election Losses*

Bank Bail-outs Behind Behind U.K.’s Collapsing Public Services*

Cabal’s New Tool Measures Resilience in Adolescent Syrian Refugees*

Cabal’s New Tool Measures Resilience in Adolescent Syrian Refugees*

A brief and reliable survey tool to measure resilience in children and adolescents who have been displaced by the brutal conflict in Syria has been created by an international team of researchers.

Finding what makes a person resilient, can lead to what makes a person less resilient. There are more immediate actions to improve the lot of Syrians

 

Researchers from Yale University, together with partners at universities in Canada, Jordan, and the United Kingdom, have developed a brief and reliable survey tool to measure resilience in children and adolescents who have been displaced by the brutal conflict in Syria. Over 5 million people have been forced to flee the six-year-old conflict in Syria, and over 650,000 Syrians are now rebuilding their lives in neighboring Jordan. Building resilience in people affected by war is a priority for humanitarian workers, but there is no established measure that could help assess the strengths that young people in the Middle East have in adversity. This makes it difficult to assess the nature of resilience and to track changes over time.

The researchers, in partnership with humanitarian organizations working on the Syrian-Jordanian border, have designed and tested a culturally relevant tool in English and Arabic languages. They describe their findings in an article published June 15 in Child Development.

“Humanitarian organizations strive to alleviate suffering and also nurture the resilience of refugees — their ability to overcome adversity,” said Catherine Panter-Brick, professor of anthropology and global affairs at Yale University and the study’s lead author.

“If you only focus on the negative — people’s trauma — then you’re missing the full picture. We have developed a tool for accurately measuring resilience in Arabic-speaking young people.

This survey will help researchers and service providers to craft effective interventions that bolster people’s strengths.”

The tool is useful for quickly measuring resilience in both refugee and host communities. It identifies strengths at the individual, family, and cultural level, thus including individual, interpersonal, and collective sources of resilience. It asks respondents to rate 12 statements, including “I have opportunities to develop and improve myself for the future,” “my family stands by me in difficult times,” and “education is important to me,” on a five-point scale from “not at all” to “a lot.”

In consultation with groups of young Syrian refugees and Jordanian hosts, the research team first examined local understandings of resilience. Then they adapted and translated a tool that has been successfully used in other cultures with vulnerable populations — the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM) — to make it contextually relevant for use in Arabic-speaking refugee communities. To test the tool, the researchers interviewed 603 11- to 18-year-old boys and girls, including refugees and non-refugees, living in five towns near the Syrian-Jordanian border.

As expected, they found that higher levels of resilience were associated with less stress and fewer mental health problems. They also found interesting differences in sources of resilience within the populations surveyed. Boys and girls placed a different emphasis on the importance of family support, participation in religious activities, and education as a gateway to “the future.” And while Jordanians identified role models as important to resilience, Syrian refugee youth drew strength from overcoming their traumatic experiences, feeling re-settled, sustaining ambition, and believing that formal education was still important. For all these young people, reliance on family ties was paramount, more so than relationships with peers, the researchers noted.

“This new survey tool measures an important aspect of well-being, one that examines positive strength, rather than vulnerability and difficulties,” said co-author and team leader, Rana Dajani, professor at the Hashemite University in Jordan. “It will help humanitarian organizations evaluate their programs for young people and their families.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Syrian Education Ministry Launches the Psychological and Social Support Guide*

Israelis Trafficking in Syrian Children’s Body Organs*

Syrian Soldier Breaks Down In Tears Upon Reunification With His Family in Aleppo*

Rights Group Sues Trump Admin for Legal Explanation of Syria Missile Strike*

Syria, and Why Your Patriotism is Misguided*

Unity on U.S. Hands Off Syria Coalition*

Desperate Cabal Use UFO to Attack Caught Over Syria, Countless Structures Destroyed*

The Occult Reasoning behind the Cabal’s Battle for Syria*

U.N. Reveals U.S. Massacred 300 Civilians in Raqqa Last Week*

What the Media Won’t Tell You about Syria*

Goldman Sachs Financial Tricks to Prop Up “The Economy is Great!” Claim, Fund Syrian War*

Your Body Cries Out for Water*

Your Body Cries Out for Water*

What if water, plain and simple, was the most critically lacking substance for energy and health promotion in the modern lifestyle?

By Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D.

Some years ago, I read the late Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj’s marvelous book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, first published in 1992 and more recently updated in 2008.  Here this Iranian-American physician made and makes a strong case that chronic low grade and usually unrecognized dehydration affects most of us in the West, attuned as we are to avoiding water as a beverage and too often choosing dehydrating caffeinated and sweetened drinks that only contribute to the problem.  After all, caffeine is a well-known diuretic, as is sugar.

We may think when we imbibe sodas, coffee, energy drinks, or for the healthier among us, even herbal teas, that we are in effect ingesting adequate “water.” But as Dr. Batmanghelidj points out, such intake only makes dehydration worse, causing a greater water loss overall than we take in.  For example, for every 10 ounces of a caffeinated beverage, be it coffee, black tea, soda pop or an “energy” drink, we can lose up to 12 ounces of water, a loss contributing to, not resolving, low grade chronic dehydration.  Even the healthy favorites of non-caffeinated herbal teas dehydrate, due to the complex combination of diuretic molecules in the brew as well as the osmotic effect.

“Your Body’s Many Cries For Water” — Dr. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

After reading this book and the several that followed, I began to suspect that many of my patients, often diagnosed with life threatening malignancies and other serious degenerative diseases, appeared to be chronically dehydrated, though virtually none expressed any sensation of thirst.  Many, when first starting treatment with me, acknowledged that they never drank any water at all, relying instead, and mistakenly, on a variety of other beverages including dehydrating herbal teas they assumed provided for all water needs.  For many years I have routinely recommended my patients drink a minimum of 6-8 glasses of water a day in addition to whatever other liquids they might ingest such as the recommended vegetable juices.  More recently, after giving greater thought to the subject, I have been recommending now 8-10 glasses a day, along with one half teaspoon of good quality sea salt, such as Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt.  And, I have been surprised by the unexpected results.

Recently, one patient’s cholesterol, despite intensive nutritional supplementation including those anti-cholesterol nutrients such as carnitine, etc. a proper organic diet and intensive detoxification routines, continued to rise toward the 300 level.  When I questioned him, he readily admitted that though I had suggested he consume 6-8 glasses of water daily, he assumed that the four glasses of prescribed carrot juice and a remarkable eight cups of organic herbal tea would serve as equivalents to drinking plain water, which he found tedious to do and distasteful.  When I instructed him that he immediately eliminate all herbal tea from his diet substituting instead the recommended water, within six weeks his total cholesterol dropped 63 points and his HDL, the alleged “good” cholesterol, went up considerably.  Water intake had done effectively in six weeks what many heart-friendly supplements and an ideal nutritionally replete diet had failed to do in a year.

Dr. Batmanghelidj provides an interesting explanation for such cholesterol drops, as I have now observed in my own practice.  Water certainly serves many functions in our body, as a solvent in the blood, as well as “filler” in the extra and intracellular spaces, but it also functions as a main adhesive in cell membranes, keeping them intact while yet fluid, allowing the necessary passage of molecules in and out of the cell.  As a polar molecule, water’s electrically charged surfaces keep the complex molecules that make up the membrane itself in place, where they are supposed to be.  In a state of deficiency as the water level in the membranes falls, the movement of nutrients into the cells and wastes out becomes significantly less efficient, and the membrane structure itself becomes less stable.  In this situation, if chronic, the liver begins synthesizing and releasing cholesterol into the bloodstream; this lipid can then substitute for water as a last ditch adhesive in the cells, to keep their membranes functional.  So, an elevated cholesterol in the context of undiagnosed chronic water deficiency reflects the body’s wisdom, rather than some random or genetic mystery.

Dr. Batmanghelidj also makes a case that diabetes may be another result of chronic subclinical water deficiency. To understand his argument, as a start I think it would be useful to summarize, though briefly, what insulin does.  This hormone, through a complex receptor system and signal transduction in the target cells, drives glucose across membranes so it can be used by cells as an energy source.  Along with the glucose, other substances including potassium, certain amino acids, and importantly, water pass into the cell interior.  As Dr. Batmanghelidj points out, this insulin-stimulated flow of water from the extracellular to the intracellular space can be a problem with even mild dehydration, leading as it can to further depletion of the body’s extracellular fluids and reduced blood volume.  Since neurons are 85% water in their healthy state and since the brain receives and requires fully 20% of our total blood supply, carrying with it oxygen and essential nutrients, the effect of vascular volume depletion can be catastrophic.  Dr. Batmanghelidj argues that to preserve its own blood supply and the integrity of its nine trillion cells, the brain, through prostaglandin and neurologic signaling, suppresses insulin synthesis and secretion.  This in turn reduces the constant flow of water into the various cells of the body, conserving water to satisfy the brain’s own requirements.  Of course there’s a tradeoff, reduced fluid supplies to most cells in order to meet the water demands of the central nervous system.

To complicate matters, deficiency in salt (sodium chloride), an essential nutrient, often accompanies and complicates subclinical as well as overt dehydration.  This is particularly true in our current medical climate, in which physicians generally ignore the importance of adequate water intake at the same time demonizing salt, ignoring the mineral’s many essential biochemical functions.  Among its many responsibilities, sodium chloride is an essential component of the extracellular fluids, helping to maintain its normal osmotic state.  In salt deficiency, the extracellular “sea” becomes dilute to the point water will flow into the area of higher density within the cell, contributing to the further depletion of extracellular fluids.  But as the pancreatic beta cells reduce insulin secretion and blood glucose levels rise in response to dehydration, glucose can substitute for sodium in the extracellular space, maintaining normal osmotic balance while reducing the potentially dangerous excessive flow of water into the cells.  In this vision, diabetes serves as an appropriate response to a difficult situation, chronic dehydration, reorganizing basic physiological processes as the disease we call diabetes in order to preserve our brain health.

In his writings, Dr. Batmanghelidj perceives diabetes as a problem primarily of insulin suppression, which helps compensates for significant water and salt deficiency.  We, however, in our office, see the situation a bit differently, and with greater complexity.

As to some background, my colleague Dr. Linda Isaacs and I offer a very intensive nutrition program for the treatment of cancer and other serious illness, involving three basic components: individualized diets, individualized supplement regimens, and “detoxification” routines such as the coffee enemas.  The diets we prescribe can range from largely plant based, raw foods (always organic of course) to an Atkins-type largely fatty red meat plan (all grass fed). We base our specific dietary and supplement recommendations on the state of the each patient’s Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), that collection of neurons that regulate virtually all physiological processes including respiration, cardiovascular activity, digestion, endocrine secretion, and immune function.  Neurophysiologists further divide the Autonomic Nervous System into two branches, the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) which work in opposition to each other but synergistically to regulate metabolism from moment to moment, as our activities, needs, and stresses change.  For example, keeping the discussion brief, when the sympathetic system fires, heart rate and blood pressure increase, and blood shunts from the digestive organs and skin to the brain.  When the parasympathetic neurons fire, an opposite series of events follows, with blood flowing more readily to the digestive system and skin, and less so to the brain.  Of course, in classical physiology the SNS represents the stress nervous system which mobilizes the body’s resources to deal with any minor or major difficulty in our lives, sending blood to the brain so we can think fast and to our muscles so we can react quickly as needed, while shutting down non-essential – at least in the stressful moment – processes like digestion. In contrast, the PNS acts more as the system of repair, rebuilding, and regeneration, responsible for the breakdown of food, the absorption, assimilation, and utilization of nutrients.

We believe certain patients have a strong sympathetic system, and a corresponding weak parasympathetic system.  This has relevance to our discussion, since when the sympathetic system fires, its active nerves suppress pancreatic insulin secretion while at the same time stimulating the breakdown of body proteins and storage carbohydrates into simple glucose, hence ultimately raising blood sugar.

In such patients with a strong SNS, the brain, perceiving chronic even low grade dehydration as a significant danger and physiologic stress, further activates the already hypertonic SNS, suppressing insulin release still more and encouraging glucose production.  If prolonged without resolution of the underlying dehydration, the scenario outlined by Dr. Batmanghelidj ensues, with the brain trying to maintain extracellular and essential blood volume by reducing insulin secretion and increasing the osmotic effect of glucose in the extracellular fluids.  In such patients, we prescribe a diet and supplement regiment aimed at reducing sympathetic tone, at the same time increasing PNS activity.  But if we don’t also correct dehydration with adequate water intake, the SNS will keep firing, determined to keep blood flow to the brain intact.

In another group of patients we find a strong parasympathetic nervous system, and a correspondingly weak sympathetic system, and in them diabetes has a different origin, and a different course.  In contrast to the SNS, when the PNS nerves activate they directly stimulate the pancreatic beta cells to synthesize and release copious amounts of insulin into the bloodstream.  Consequently, these patients, even when healthy, tend toward high blood insulin and a lower than “normal” blood sugar, since glucose will be shunted out of the blood and into the cells rather continuously.

With dehydration, even low grade, chronic dehydration these “Parasympathetic Dominants” as we call them, must also work to conserve extracellular fluid volume.  However, over time though they continue to secrete excess insulin, in response the receptors for the hormone situated on target cells withdraw from the membrane, neutralizing its glucose-driving effect no matter how high the insulin level goes. We end up with the paradoxical situation of high blood insulin, coupled with high blood sugar – what contemporary researchers refer to as “insulin resistance,” a syndrome I associate primarily if not exclusively with an overly strong parasympathetic system.  But the end result, in a state of dehydration, is the same as insulin suppression in the “Sympathetic Dominants”, less water seeping into cells and higher extracellular glucose acting as an osmotic pull to keep water where it is most needed in the bloodstream.  With these patients we prescribe a diet and supplement regimen designed to suppress the overactive PNS and stimulate the weaker SNS.  But in addition to appropriate diet and supplement programs, adequate water and with it salt are a must.

Though I found the clinical results of increasing water impressive, I became intrigued by my patients reporting significant improvement in their overall energy as well as their cognition, often within days of upping their water while at the same time reducing ingestion of dehydrating liquids like tea.  I began to suspect a fair amount of fatigue – both severe in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and less so in the typical malaise reported by so many in this day and age – has, as a significant component, chronic low-grade dehydration.

My clinical observations led me to an intensive review of the literature on cellular energetics, both academic and more popular, including the books of Dr. Batmanghelidj, many of them well-referenced.  I began to suspect that everything I had been taught about the subject of water in my highly “sophisticated” biochemistry courses in medical school may have been very much misguided.  Of course, it has been long dogma, for at least 50 years that our cells synthesize the energy they need from the breakdown of food stuffs, including complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fatty acids into glucose, a six carbon sugar.  Ultimately, or so the teaching goes, each molecule of glucose provided either directly from diet or indirectly from the conversion of certain amino acids and fatty acid break down products, gets channeled into glycolysis, a series of ten complex reactions occurring within the cell cytoplasm.  This sequence of molecular events ultimately reduces glucose to the two carbon molecule pyruvate.  In the process, two molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell’s main storage molecule for potential energy, form.  In ATP, potential energy resides in what are called “high energy phosphate” chemical bonds, where it is held in reserve until released.   I might add that biochemists consider a two molecule production of ATP trivial for all the complicated enzymatic efforts involved in these initial steps of glucose metabolism.

From this point, the pyruvate enzymatically transforms into another two carbon molecule, acetyl-Coenzyme A, which then gets directed into one of the many mitochondria, those small organelles sitting within the cell cytoplasm considered as the main site of energy synthesis in mammalian cells.   As an aside, mitochondria have a distinct micro-structure, with two membranes encasing the organelle interior, or matrix, and containing its own unique mitochondrial DNA that in us comes only from our mothers.

Here in the mitochondrial matrix the pyruvate offspring acetyl-Coenzyme A goes through a second series of eight chemical reactions known collectively as the citric acid or Krebs cycle, yielding another two molecules of ATP, still a paltry amount for all the complicated biochemistry.  But then quickly, in yet another series of complex series of steps known as oxidative phosphorylation occurring on the mitochondrial membrane, hydrogen atoms released from the breakdown of glucose enzymatically convert into positively charged hydrogen ions and a single negatively charged electron.  This electron passes in turn through a series of electron transport reactions yielding an additional and now substantial 34 ATP molecules.  Think of relay runners passing the baton in turn, as the electrons move along the steps of oxidative phosphorylation.  So in total, each single molecule of glucose travelling into the glycolysis-citric acid cycle-oxidative phosphorylation pathways forms a total of 38 ATP molecules – long thought, in fact thought even today, to be the main and the only source of energy to drive the thousands of cellular reactions occurring each second.

In essence, this hypothesis taught as fact, this construct – and that’s all it is, a construct – assumes at its core that our food either directly or indirectly provides the molecule glucose needed as the starting point for these reactions.  There is, or so I was taught, no other way for our cells to synthesize usable energy and survive, other than from the breakdown of the materials we ingest as food.

Instinctively, I began to question this traditional view of cellular energetics, observing over and over again the rapid improvement in energy in my patients with an increase not in food, but in water.  How could that be?  

As a first point, biochemists state in the citric acid cycle the step-wise reactions of acetyl-Coenzyme A release 20 neutral-charge hydrogen atoms, whose further reduction into hydrogen ions and an electron allows for the large numbers of ATP molecules synthesized during oxidative phosphorylation.  But where one might ask, do these hydrogen atoms, absolutely critical for the creation of adequate ATP in this process, come from?   They come from one place, and one place only, water.  In the chemical process known as hydrolysis, water – which is remember, two hydrogens combined with one molecule of oxygen – reacts with those molecules originating from the metabolism of glucose, releasing the hydrogen atoms so crucial in the succeeding steps in the ATP production line. In retrospect, knowing what I know now, it is interesting to note that in the textbooks, the authors when discussing cellular glucose metabolism invariably mention water almost in passing, as some secondary player in the process.  Yet it is far more, it is absolutely critical, as critical as glucose itself, for without adequate water insufficient hydrogen atoms will be available to produce the high levels of storage ATP energy needed to fuel every reaction in every cell in the body.

From my own clinical observations and from Dr. Batmanghelidj’s writings, I suspected low grade chronic dehydration – which he reports and which I believe as well – affects the great majority of us Americans.  This overall subclinical deficiency curtails water availability even at the level of the cell cytoplasm and mitochondria, in turn reducing production of ATP and leading to all manner of disability, from chronic fatigue to, Dr. Batmanghelidj argues, auto immune disease, even cancer.  This shouldn’t be surprising, since in one sense disease, whatever its form and whatever the name the experts give to it, represents at its core a state of cellular energy inefficiency.

I suspected the rapid improvement in energy in many of my patients reflected an improvement in the water mechanics inside the cell, particularly in those neurons within the brain.  The brain weighs a mere two and a half or so pounds, yet uses 20-25% of all the body’s energy output, making it a highly metabolically active organ.  And its nerve cells consist of 85% water, in contrast to most other body cells whose water content falls somewhat lower, at 75%.  Again, though physiologists and biochemists have long known this fact, they present this information as an aside in the textbooks, without editorial comment, where here comment would be useful.  The brain needs water, a lot of water, to manufacture the enormous amounts of ATP needed to fuel its complex regulatory activities.  Even slight borderline subclinical dehydration that reduces the water content of these neurons inevitably will play havoc on glucose metabolism, ATP production and ultimately on cellular energetics, leading, I believe, to at one end of the spectrum a mild state of fatigue, depression, malaise, and at the other end of more serious water deficiency, neurological disease such as Parkinson’s, even Alzheimer’s.

The story gets even more interesting, beyond the pivotal role of water in the breakdown of food-derived glucose in our various cells.  I must give credit to Sayer, who has done a masterful job presenting evidence that scientists such as Gerald Pollack now question, as have I and Dr. Batmanghelidj before me had, this standard model of cellular energetics requiring glucose from foodstuffs as the penultimate starting point.  Some now suspect that in another hydrolysis event, in this case the reaction of water with melanin pigment found in the retina of our eyes and throughout our skin, may provide a far greater supply of ATP than that created from the breakdown of foodstuffs and the metabolism of glucose in the usual sequence of glycolysis-citric acid cycle-oxidative phosphorylation.

I agree with the very smart scientists proposing this alternative melanin pathway to energy formation having little to do with food – but much to do with water – but also suspect there exists an additional ATP manufacturing scheme found not just in the eye and skin, but in every cell in our body, all 100 trillion of them.  It has been long known that the interior of the cell, loaded as it is with all manner of proteins, peptides, fats, and electrolytes, particularly the positively charged potassium and its adjuvant negative chloride, exhibits a higher osmolality, that is, it is denser than the surrounding extracellular fluid that baths all cells and which contains sodium as its main positive ion. Scientists have precisely calculated this ratio of the density of the cell interior compared to the exterior extracellular fluid in a healthy cell at 1.1 to 0.8. Consequently, water, which will invariably flow from a solution of lesser concentration to a solution of greater concentration across a permeable membrane, will tend to pass continually into our cells, bringing along with it sodium while pushing potassium out.  This is a constant process, 24 hours a day.  To survive, our cells must expel the extra water and sodium, while drawing in the lost potassium.

Our cell membranes possess an elaborate series of enzymes taught to all first year medical students as the sodium-potassium ATP pump, which requires high energy ATP molecules to fuel the reverse expulsion of water and sodium out of cells.  However, my well-intentioned professors, at least in my experience, failed to teach a fact that I find so crucial to understanding cellular energetics.  As it turns out, the movement of water into cells through the membrane, as Dr. Batmanghelidj reports from the literature, operates as a microscopic hydroelectric turbine, yielding in the rapid flow more ATP than the process consumes!  As an analogy, in a hydroelectric dam the high speed plunging of water down an elevation gradient from higher ground to lower creates energy that can easily be converted into what we call hydroelectricity, energy from water.  On a smaller scale at the cell membranes a similar process plays out, endlessly during the life of every cell in our every organ.  This constant flow of water into cells isn’t, as I had thought based on my medical school learnings, just an inconvenience, a problem that fortunately our cells have solved with the ATP pump, it may very well turn out to be our most significant source of ATP energy.  Dr. Batmanghelidj believes up to 90% of all energy stored as ATP comes not from the breakdown of glucose, but from the hydroelectric processes in these cation pumps at the cell surface.

A further point warrants mention, illustrating the important, crucial role of water in the energy mechanics of the cell.  As should be clear by this point, in all our cells ATP represents the primary repository of potential energy used in all cellular processes.  There are, to be fair, other, less significant sources such as GTP, guanosine triphosphate that like ATP, stores potential energy in phosphate bonds.  But whether we consider ATP or GTP or both, these two molecules release energy as needed through, once again, hydrolysis, the reaction of these molecules with water.  Interestingly, the researchers George and colleagues (as discussed by Dr. Batmanghelidj) calculated the actual total energy released from the hydrolysis of ATP with water.  ATP itself, in its high-energy phosphate bond, contains the equivalent of 600 units of energy relatively speaking.  However, the hydrolysis of ATP to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) eventually releases a total of 6,435 units of usable, available energy, more than ten times the amount contained as potential energy in ATP itself.  In effect, the very reaction of hydrolysis releases far more energy than is contained in the high energy bond itself.

So, in summary, water seems to be at the center of cell energetics. This is true whether we stick to the traditional view of ATP production from the metabolism of glucose, a process in which hydrolysis of water yields the lion’s share of ATP, or adopt more contemporary positions that that water mechanics, and water energetics, involve far more than the traditionalists teach.  We must today, in addition to the glycolysis pathways, consider the creation of ATP at various other points and in various other processes, including the hydrolysis of melanin and at the hydroelectric cation pumps of the cell membrane.  Then there is the hydrolysis of ATP itself, in which the sum total of energy released due to water exponentially exceeds the potential energy contained within the molecular bonds.

If we allow that water provides the spark for energy creation, we must then reconsider the potentially short and long term catastrophic effects of even borderline dehydration that compromises cellular energetics, cellular efficiency, and inevitably, our own health. Dr. Batmanghelidj insists we all need to cut out all caffeine containing and most other non-water fluids, substituting instead a full 8-10 eight ounce glasses of plain water daily, including WITH meals contrary to popular teaching.  In addition, he recommends we also ingest for each 10 glasses of water one-half teaspoon of good quality mineral-containing sea salt, such as Celtic or Himalayan, available in any health food store.  With increased water intake, we will lose salt, an essential nutrient, so we need to make up the difference.  And please, don’t rely on your sense of thirst to determine water needs – in chronic dehydration, from which most of us suffer, our thirst thermostat in the brain down regulates so we learn not be thirsty, even when we need water.  Forget the traditional teachings that we should drink only when we are thirsty, and that salt is our enemy.  Both ideas, both principles should be discarded forever.  And as Dr. Batmanghelidj reports and as I can confirm, I have seen patients with chronic high blood pressure on multiple medications including diuretics, whose blood pressure went down and the medications were discarded when they increased their water and gradually, even their salt intake.  But that is another story, for another time.

Source*

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