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Better Living Through Well Being

As Fukushima radiation makes landfall on West Coast beaches, the Natural News Forensic Food Lab is testing foods for radioactive cesium-137 and other heavy metals, and in conjunction with the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center, the lab has been publishing reports for many off-the-shelf food products. Through NaturalNews.com, these heavy metals lab results are free to the public and include parts per billion (ppb) concentrations of aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, and copper, and due to concerns about food absorbing radioactive fallout from the Fukushima catastrophe, results for cesium and uranium are also included.

Toxic elements are linked to diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, kidney failure, cognitive impairment, birth defects, hardening of the arteries and more. Many people also have health conditions that are worsened by toxic heavy metals, which can stay in the body for decades. This food science project provides transparency to consumers so they can make informed decisions about what foods they wish to consume or avoid. Foods being tested include fast foods, conventional grocery products, breakfast cereals, superfoods, protein powders, infant formula, packaged meats, dairy products, sodas, teas, and dietary supplements.

The Natural News Forensic Food Lab has made a breakthrough food science discovery with its process of measuring a food’s natural ability to bind with and capture toxic heavy metals. This “capturing” means a proportion of the toxic substances pass through and are eliminated rather than being absorbed directly into the body, thus rendering them harmless. This testing revealed that nearly all foods containing natural insoluble fibers are able to bind with mercury and many other whole foods are able to bind with various other heavy metals or toxic substances. This research also provides scientific evidence for how liquid mineral supplements and vitamin/mineral powders need to be carefully looked at with additional testing to ensure they are not contaminated with toxic elements and heavy metals. Once a whole food has been altered by processing, juicing, powdering, or in some way separating out the fiber, which is the food’s natural metals retention factor, the substances it contains are more immediately accessible to absorption by the body.

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A major storm is headed for the healthcare industry this year, and it is due to arrive on October 1st. The switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 medical coding has been in the works for many years. Some say this represents the biggest change in the healthcare system since the implementation of Medicare, yet a large part of the professional community has little or no awareness of the federal mandate. With the procedure codes increasing from 17,000 codes under ICD-9 to more than 141,000 codes under ICD-10, mastering the coding transition will be a Herculean task. It is time to start piecing the ICD-10 puzzle together, as there are only 8 months left, and the learning curve is steep. Consequences of this change are inevitable and the impact will be felt all throughout the industry. The top 3 challenges are the cost of lost productivity, increase in need for documentation, and the challenge of training medical staff in the new changes.

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Although there has been some improvement since the problem was seriously addressed by the Federal government in 2009, a recent survey published in the “Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy” says drug shortages are still having a major impact on patient care. In addition to the more well known impacts such as medication errors and side effects related to use of alternative medications, increased institutional costs, cancelled care and delayed treatment, are the increased admissions due to drug shortage related treatment failures. The survey clearly shows that patients are aware these shortages are happening and they are upset that their care is being adversely affected by them.

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A new study in the journal “Medical Care” shows that Internet-based portals, as well as the use of electronic medical records, are becoming increasingly important to health care delivery. The study provides new evidence that patient portals may help patients adhere to their medications and achieve improved health outcomes.

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I hope you will also enjoy reading the other articles of interest in this Winter 2014 TMIS eNewsletter.

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I am grateful to be in a collaborative business with many talented and skilled professionals. Additional feedback and recommendations for our products and services at TM Information Services are always welcome.

- Mary Michele McLaughlin


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