All the Good Things Alcohol Does for Your Body

Why must we always focus on liver disease?

We know all about the awful shit that’ll happen to you if drink too much: Shorter life expectancy. Liver disease. Nerve damage. Ulcers. Decreased cognitive function over time. But what about all the good stuff? Doesn’t a glass of wine a night prevent heart attacks and high blood pressure? And doesn’t a glass of whisky soothe a sore throat? Totally says conventional wisdom — and sometimes science, too. In fact, here are at least seven good things booze can do for your health according to actual scientific findings…

1) It May Be the Fountain of Youth. A 2006 study by the Catholic University of Campobasso in Italy reported that drinking less than four drinks (for men) or two drinks (for women) per day could reduce the risk of death by 18 percent. “Little amounts, preferably during meals, appears to be the right way [to drink alcohol],” explained Giovanni de Gaetano, one of the study’s authors. “This is another feature of the Mediterranean diet, where alcohol, wine above all, is the ideal partner of a dinner or lunch. But that’s all: The rest of the day must be absolutely alcohol-free.”

2) It May Lower Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. In 2005, the School of Public Health at Harvard University found that “moderate amounts of alcohol raises levels of high-density lipoprotein, HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol and higher HDL levels are associated with greater protection against heart disease. Moderate alcohol consumption has also been linked with beneficial changes ranging from better sensitivity to insulin to improvements in factors that influence blood clotting. … Such changes would tend to prevent the formation of small blood clots that can block arteries in the heart, neck and brain, the ultimate cause of many heart attacks and the most common kind of stroke.”

3) It’s Viagra-Adjacent. Contrary to popular opinion, newer research has found that moderate drinking might actually protect against erectile dysfunction in the same way that drinking red wine might benefit heart disease. In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers found that the chances of erectile dysfunction were reduced by 25 to 30 percent among alcohol drinkers. “Compared with never-drinkers, the age-adjusted odds of ED were lower among current, weekend and binge drinkers and higher among ex-drinkers, said lead researcher, Kew-Kim Chew, an epidemiologist at the University of West Australia, who conducted the study with 1,770 Australian men.

4) It’s Full of Antioxidants. The department of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University found in 1993 that while susceptibility to the common cold was increased by smoking, moderate alcohol consumption led to a decrease in common cold cases for nonsmokers. Almost a decade later, according to The New York Times, Spanish researchers found that drinking eight to 14 glasses of wine per week, particularly red wine, could lead to a 60-percent reduction in the risk of developing a cold. The scientists suspected that this had something to do with the antioxidant properties of wine.

5) It Can Help Prevent Dementia. In a study that’s included more than 365,000 participants since 1977, as reported in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, moderate drinkers were 23 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. “Small amounts of alcohol might, in effect, make brain cells more fit. Alcohol in moderate amounts stresses cells and thus toughens them up to cope with major stresses down the road that could cause dementia,” Edward J. Neafsey, a co-author of the study, told Science Daily in 2011.

“We don’t recommend that nondrinkers start drinking,” Neafsey added. “But moderate drinking — if it is truly moderate — can be beneficial.”

6) It Reduces the Risk of Gallstones. Drinking about a beer and a half per day can reduce the risk of gallstones — pieces of solid material that form in the gallbladder — by one-third, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia. The researchers believed that alcohol might reduce gallstones through its effects on cholesterol, but the magnitude of the effect hadn’t been calculated.

7) It Can Lower the Chance of Diabetes. Results of a Dutch study in 2005 showed that healthy adults who drink one to two glasses of liquor per day have a decreased chance of developing type 2 diabetes, in comparison to those who don’t drink at all. “The results of the investigation show that moderate alcohol consumption can play a part in a healthy lifestyle to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes type 2,” researchers said in a statement to Reuters.

So drink up! Just don’t get fucked up—too often.

https://melmagazine.com/all-the-good-things-alcohol-does-for-your-body-fcbbb663f3a

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Chasing the Dragon – America’s Struggle With Opioid Addiction

by Dr. Mercola, Guest Waking Times 

If you or someone you know is hooked on prescription drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, or street drugs like heroin, you’ll connect with “Chasing the Dragon,” a raw 2016 documentary about the horrors of drug addiction.

Produced by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the film features ordinary Americans sharing personal stories of danger and destruction that characterized their lives prior to recovery from hard-core drug addiction.

Because the documentary is filled with harsh language and disturbing images, parental discretion is advised.

In 2015, 52,404 Americans died from drug overdoses; 33,091 of them involved an opioid and nearly one third of them, 15,281, were by prescription.1,2,3 Meanwhile, kidney disease, listed as the 9th leading cause of death on the CDC’s top 10 list, killed 48,146.4

The CDC does not include drug overdoses on this list, but if you did, drug overdoses (63 percent of which are opioids), would replace kidney disease as the 9th leading cause of death as of 2015.

Many of those featured in “Chasing the Dragon” are regular people from good homes and loving families. The one characteristic they had in common while using was a feeling of powerlessness to escape the spiraling cycle of drug use and abuse that dominated every moment of their lives.

One recovering addict, a woman named Melissa, had this to say about her drug use: “It became my full-time job. The needle was my boss — a very demanding boss.”

To prevent you or someone you love from becoming addicted to prescription painkillers, I’d like to take a closer look at opioid abuse and offer several healthy alternatives to help you manage pain.

How Bad Is Prescription Drug Abuse in the US?

A 2015 study5 suggested 1 in 4 Americans who use opioid painkillers become addicted to them. Despite the drugs’ high risk of addiction, a 2016 NPR health poll6indicated less than one-third of people said they questioned or refused their doctor’s prescription for opioids.

Dr. Leana Wen, emergency physician and health commissioner for the city of Baltimore, recommends you discuss with your doctor any concerns you may have about receiving a prescription for narcotics.

Due to their highly addictive potential, it’s important, she says, to ensure such drugs are your best and only option:7

“Ask why. Often other alternatives, like not [taking] anything at all, taking an ibuprofen or Tylenol, physical therapy or something else can be effective. Asking ‘why’ is something every patient and provider should do.”

Wen’s concerns are well placed. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),8 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on opioids in 2014.

On average, more than 1,000 of them land in emergency rooms every day as the result of abuse or misuse of prescription painkillers.

“There’s very little difference between oxycodone, morphine and heroin,” says Dr. Deeni Bassam, board-certified anesthesiologist, pain specialist and medical director of the Virginia-based Spine Care Center. “It’s just that one comes in a prescription bottle and another one comes in a plastic bag.”9

Bassam, whose views on drug addiction are presented throughout “Chasing the Dragon,” believes most drug dependency starts innocuously:10

“A friend offers you something at a party or at home. Or you’re having a bad day, and you need something to pick you up, so somebody hands you a pill and says, ‘Here, this will help you feel better.’ That’s how this problem always starts.”

Deborah Taylor, senior vice president and executive director of Phoenix House Mid-Atlantic, a nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization operating in 10 U.S. states, notes:11

“The progression of addiction and the behavior that comes with it is pretty standard regardless of where you’re born, how much money you have, how old you are and your race or nationality.

You can be the smartest person in the world — and the minute that chemical hits your bloodstream, you lose control of what it does in your body. You can’t control it. Nobody can control it. I don’t care who you are. It’s not controllable.”

From Prescription Opioids to Street Drugs

The transition from prescription opioids to street drugs like heroin is a relatively easy one. When a prescription runs out, the cost to renew it becomes unmanageable or a physician refuses to renew a prescription, many addicts look for other options.

Heroin, which is often cheaper and easier to obtain than opioids, is a popular alternative. Chemically, the drugs are very similar and provide a similar kind of high. Without additives, heroin is as dangerous as Oxycontin and equally addictive. However, when dealers cut heroin with other drugs, the results can be deadly.

According to the Chicago Tribune,12 in just six days during August 2016, a staggering 174 heroin overdoses took place in Cincinnati, Ohio, a city that records, on average, 20 to 25 overdoses a week.

The Tribune13 claims the unprecedented number of overdoses was precipitated by heroin cut with carfentanil, a drug originally developed as a tranquilizer for large animals such as elephants. Cut into heroin, it was meant to deliver a stronger and more extended high, which would presumably keep users coming back to buy more.

Instead, it resulted in a string of overdoses and deaths that left law enforcement begging local citizens to not buy heroin until the ultra-potent batch was off the streets. Their advice made sense considering carfentanil is 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than morphine…

more…

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/04/20/chasing-dragon-americas-struggle-opioid-addiction/

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What the Rat Brain Tells Us About Yours

Katnelson-BR-2

The evolution of animal models for neuroactive medicine.

Alittle more than a decade ago, Mike Mendl developed a new test for gauging a laboratory rat’s level of happiness. Mendl, an animal welfare researcher in the veterinary school at the University of Bristol in England, was looking for an objective way to tell whether animals in captivity were suffering. Specifically, he wanted to be able to measure whether, and how much, disruptions in lab rats’ routines—being placed in an unfamiliar cage, say, or experiencing a change in the light/dark cycle of the room in which they were housed—were bumming them out.

He and his colleagues explicitly drew on an extensive literature in psychology that describes how people with mood disorders such as depression process information and make decisions: They tend to focus on and recall more negative events and to judge ambiguous things in a more negative way. You might say that they tend to see the proverbial glass as half-empty rather than half-full. “We thought that it’s easier to measure cognitive things than emotional ones, so we devised a test that would give us some indication of how animals responded under ambiguity,” Mendl says. “Then, we could use that as a proxy measure of the emotional state they were in.”

First, they trained rats to associate one tone with something positive (food, of course) and a different tone with something negative (hearing an unpleasant noise). They also trained them to press a lever upon hearing the good tone. Then, for the test, they’d play an intermediate tone and watch how the animals responded. Rats have great hearing, and the ones whose cage life wasn’t disturbed were pretty good judges of where the new tone fell between the other two sounds. If it was closer to the positive tone they’d hit the lever, and if it was closer to the negative one they’d lay off. But the ones whose routine had been tweaked over the past two weeks judged this auditory information more negatively. Essentially, their negative responses bled into the positive half of the sound continuum.

Since Mendl published his so-called judgment bias task in 2004, it’s been shown to work in at least 15 other species, including dogs, sheep, bees, and even us humans. Some scientists—himself included—have begun to ask whether there’s a role for it beyond animal welfare. Considering that it probes one of the core clinical measures of depression, could it be used to evaluate the efficacy of much-needed new medicines for that condition?

Katnelson-BR-1
RAT FUNK: For years the pharmaceutical industry depended on the “forced swim test” to validate antidepressants. It showed rats given the drug would paddle longer in water before giving up than rats not doped.Frank Greenaway / Getty Images

Drug discovery in neuroscience has hit a wall, with just 1 in 10 drugs tested in the final stage of clinical trials reaching the finish line of approval. With very few exceptions, no new types of drugs for mind disorders have been approved for decades. You might think drugs fail because they’re found to be toxic, but most die in clinical trials because they aren’t shown to work. Trace that back to the root of the problem, and one big stumbling stone along the drug development pathway is the point where animal tests—and most are done in rodents—wrongly predicted they would.

“We have lots of experience with this—15 to 20 years of failure,” says Ricardo Dolmetsch, the global head of neuroscience at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. “I can name 14 or 15 examples [of tested drugs] that were just fantastic in animals and did not do anything at all in humans.”

Even as these failures have accrued, neuroscientists armed with increasingly potent tools for pinpointing the genes that play a role in psychiatric disorders and the brain circuits those genes control are getting closer to understanding the pathologies of these illnesses. As drug companies—which had largely abandoned or strongly curtailed their efforts in neuroscience and mental health over the past several years—begin to dip their toes back into the water, it seems a fitting time to ask whether modeling aspects of the human mind in rodents is even possible.

One word explains why testing neuropsychiatric drugs in animal models is hard, and that word is language. If we want people to tell us how they feel, we ask them. Animals, of course, have to show us—and it turns out some of our widely used methods for guiding them to do so haven’t been that great. That’s particularly true for depression. How do we know a rat is depressed?

An experiment called the “forced swim test” or “Porsolt test,” after its founder Roger Porsolt, has been widely used since the late 1970s, at least by pharmaceutical companies and drug regulators.

It’s a remarkable story. Before the mid 20th century, treatments for mental or psychiatric disorders consisted primarily of psychotherapy or interventions like sleep cures, insulin shock therapy, surgeries such as lobotomy, or electrical brain stimulation—most prominently, electroconvulsive therapy. Quite suddenly, spurred by the accidental discovery of an antipsychotic drug called chlorpromazine in 1952, these conditions were re-imagined as chemical imbalances that could be corrected with a well-designed pill…

more…

http://nautil.us/issue/47/consciousness/what-the-rat-brain-tells-us-about-yours

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Depression Now the Number 1 Worldwide Cause of Disease and Disability

by Alex Pietrowski, Staff Writer, Waking Times

Something is dreadfully wrong in the world when depression has become such a major cause of dis-ease. Even the most successful members of our society are plagued with this illness, and it has become so prevalent that it is now the number one cause of disease and disability in the world.

“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide,1,2 affecting an estimated 322 million people worldwide, including more than 16 million Americans. Globally, rates of depression increased by 18 percent between 2005 and 2015.3

According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 are on antidepressant drugs. Among women in their 40 and 50s, 1 in 4 is on antidepressants.4

In addition to the human suffering, the financial impact of depression is also severe. WHO estimates the global economic loss by households, employers and governments is at least $1 trillion annually.

Depression is also strongly linked to an increased risk for substance abuse, diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and suicide.” [Source]

These numbers only reflect cases of reported depression, suggesting that in actuality, the crisis may be much worse.

In the U.S., suicide rates are now at a 30 year high, coincidentally about 30 years after Prozac was pushed into the mainstream by Pfizer. This begs the question of whether or not the modern catch-all solution of antidepressants is helping this crisis or actually making it worse. Given that one of the known side-effects of antidepressants is an increase in risk for suicide, it would seem logical that taking psychotropic medications for emotional wellness is not the best solution.

While most doctors will tell you that medication is the best solution, the three primary causes of depression are known: poor diet, lack of sunlight, and spiritual anemia.

People today are suffering from a serious lack of connection to themselves and to the natural world, and as pharmaceutical companies push the boundaries of chemical remedies, a host of natural spiritual medicines that have been clinically proven to swiftly counter depression and anxiety are outlawed by the drug war state. Entheogens like ayahuasca and iboga are not welcome in our society, while psilocybin mushrooms are also illegal, all of which are helping people to overcome mental illness without developing expensive, long-term addictions to pharmaceuticals.

READ: The Difference Between My Psychiatrist and My Shaman

When such an epidemic as this grows to affect so many, it’s time to reevaluate our lifestyle and our treatment for it, yet this is increasingly difficult with the presence of a medical establishment which limits our understanding of depression while so willingly recommending pills as a convenient solution.

About the Author
Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider ofstorable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.
This article (Depression Now the Number 1 Worldwide Cause of Disease and Disability) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/04/13/depression-now-number-one-worldwide-cause-disease-disability/

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The Impossible Quest for North Korea’s Ever-Elusive Hangover-Free Booze

by Josh Schollmeyer

On the mornings when my head pounds the hardest after a long night of drinking, I often think of two things: Will I throw up the Gatorade I just spent two hours building up the stamina to get from the refrigerator—and why couldn’t last night’s bender have been in Pyongyang?

Maybe it’s all relative, considering the crazy shit the Kim family typically gives itself credit for — e.g., the ability to control the weather, the discovery of a unicorn lair and the lack of a need to urinate or defecate — but inventing a hangover-free North Korean booze doesn’t seem that insane. First of all, there’s a British dude who’s made it his life’s work to rid the world of hangovers by 2050 via something called alcosynth, a mere 33 years away. Plus, repressive regimes have had moments of ingenuity in the past. Two recent examples: The Soviets pioneered Lasik, and the Cubans allegedly discovered a vaccine for lung cancer.

And so, despite a hemisphere-to-hemisphere eyeroll from the international media when North Korea announced in January 2016 that it had developed a kind of liquor that was all party, no cleanup, it seemed plausible enough. (Admittedly not as plausible: The DPRK’s earlier claims that some of the medicinal properties contained therein could also successfully treat SARS and AIDS.) Moreover, the regime credited the ginseng that infused the booze (called Koryo Liquor) as the hangover cure-all — a claim that also isn’t as bat-shit crazy as it seems, since scientists have long studied ginseng’s health benefits. A fact from WebMD, not state-run media.

The ginseng in question is considered legit as well — an actual North Korean-produced good many people would go out of their way to purchase and something the rest of the world would gladly import, if not for the draconian international sanctions imposed because of of Pyonyang’s nuclear program.

Calling bullshit (or propaganda) on the idea that you can’t get hung over in North Korea would be as easy as me downing a bottle of Koryo and seeing what happens in the morning. But therein lies the rub: In all the coverage of it (and pretty much everyone in the world covered it — an outrageous promise that was easy to both laugh at and dream on), it appeared as though no one could ever get their hands on it. In fact, by my count, there have been only four people who have come close — and three of them were these American soldiers who went to the DMZ and came back with a red-label, off-brand version (i.e., not Koryo, but something similar and definitely of DPRK origin):

The other is Elliott Davies, a world traveler who chronicles his continent-hopping on the website Earth Nutshell. Unlike the trio of American military personnel, he got the real thing — 86-proof Kaesong Koryo Insam Liquor. “It was purchased from a supermarket in Pyongyang where I was told I was the second foreigner to be allowed inside,” he writes on his site.

“A plaque on the entrance denoted the dates both Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un had overseen the store. It’s illegal for foreigners to handle local currency. To pay, I had to line up, receive a receipt, then head over to the currency exchange booth offering unofficial, black market North Korean Won rates to make the payment before heading back to collect my goods and finally back to the booth to collect my change in three different currencies, almost certainly wrong, as usual.”

“The alcohol was also a smash hit with the Korean People’s Army General who searched by luggage on departure from North Korea in Sinuiju,” he continues. “Smiles weren’t derived effortlessly in North Korea, but after the General discovered this magical box, it resulted in one of absolute approval… which was quickly wiped from his face when I refused to offer it as a bribe.”…

more…

https://melmagazine.com/the-impossible-quest-for-north-koreas-ever-elusive-hangover-free-booze-d83410ac0877

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The Spiritual Consequences of Alcohol Consumption

by Zahrah Sita, Guest Waking Times

Although it is mass-produced, mass promoted, legal, and ingested by a multitude of people all over the world, most people don’t ever consider or understand the spiritual consequences of drinking alcohol.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the etymology of the Word alcohol. Etymology means the root of the word… where it is derived from.

The word “Alcohol” comes from the Arabic “al-kuhl” which means “BODY EATING SPIRIT”, and gives root origins to the English term for “ghoul”. In Middle Eastern folklore, a “ghoul” is an evil demon thought to eat human bodies, either as stolen corpses or as children.

The words “alembic” and “alcohol”, both metaphors for aqua vitae or “life water” and “spirit”, often refer to a distilled liquid that came from magical explorations in Middle Eastern alchemy.

In the words of writer and health enthusiast, Jason Christoff :

“In alchemy, alcohol is used to extract the soul essence of an entity. Hence its’ use in extracting essences for essential oils, and the sterilization of medical instruments. By consuming alcohol into the body, it in effect extracts the very essence of the soul, allowing the body to be more susceptible to neighboring entities most of which are of low frequencies (why do you think we call certain alcoholic beverages “SPIRITS?”). That is why people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol often black out, not remembering what happened. This happens when the good soul (we were sent here with) leaves because the living conditions are too polluted and too traumatic to tolerate. The good soul jettisons the body, staying connected to a tether, and a dark entity takes the body for a joy ride around the block, often in a hedonistic and self-serving illogical rampage. Our bodies are cars for spirits. If one leaves, another can take the car for a ride. Essentially when someone goes dark after drinking alcohol or polluting themselves in many other ways, their body often becomes possessed by another entity.”

I became aware of this phenomenon years ago when I was given a spiritual vision. In this vision, I was transported as an observer above a popular bar and nightclub. Above the venue where a variety of ghoul-like entities. Inside the bar were people drinking alcohol, socializing, dancing, and so on. I watched as certain people became very drunk. I saw their souls, while connected through a thread, exited the body. I understood that the soul was leaving the body because of the great discomfort of being in a body highly intoxicated with alcohol. When the soul exited the body, other non-benevolent entities entered or latched on to their vacant shells. Once the entities took hold of the body, they used the body to play out all kinds of dark acts, such as violence, low-level sexual encounters, destructive behaviors, rape, and more.

Years later, while reading a book called Mans Eternal Quest, by Paramahansa Yogananda, this spiritual master clearly explained the exact same thing as I was shown in the vision.

I began to look back over my life and remember situations where I saw dark spirits hanging around people who had become very drunk. Let me elaborate a bit when I say I saw these entities … I have had the abilities of clairvoyance (the ability to perceive things beyond the natural range of the senses … which can include: ESP, extrasensory perception, sixth sense, psychic powers, second sight; telepathy, and more) , clairaudience ( the ability to perceive sounds or words from outside sources in the spirit world), and the experience of being a spiritual intuitive and empath since childhood. I have the ability to see energies and spiritual manifestations that most people don’t see. As I looked back over my life I could remember many incidents of encountering non-benevolent spirits in the presence of intoxicated individuals. I also have had experiences of looking into the eyes of a few people who were surely “possessed” by dark energies that were not their own.

I also remember a psychology course I once took. In part of this course, we studied advertising and the effects on humans. We looked at the advertising for alcohol. A master teacher of this subject illuminated the fact that most alcohol advertisements are embedded with hidden messages and images – not typically perceivable to the common sight, yet perceived through the subconscious. Knowing how powerful the subconscious is in our decision making, feelings, reactions, beliefs, etc., the slick sales teams of alcohol (as well as tobacco and other products) used this sinister technique to trick us into buying their products and joining the societal cult of mental apathy and cultural obedience. Many of these hidden messages and images were extremely sexual – working to influence some of the basest urges and primal nature of humans. Let this example bring you to a place of curiosity and questioning. Why have the marketing teams felt the need to trick us and coerce us through subliminal messages to buy products that are harmful to the human body and to our soul?

How many times have you or someone you know, after becoming quite intoxicated with alcohol, behaved in a manner uncommon to them? Perhaps you experienced the changing of voice, violence, sexual promiscuity, ingesting of harmful substances, destruction to property, conflictual behavior, and other negative expressions. Consider these experiences and ask yourself – is this the manifestation of light, love, and positivity? Do these occurrences represent a path of consciousness and health?…

more…

About the Author
Zahrah Sita is a holistic healer, health educator, herbalist, writer, spiritual intuitive, intitiate of the Great Mystery School, and more. Zahrah has healed herself naturally of several serious health ailments, including advanced stage cancer. She offers health and life coaching, intuitive counsel, personalized healing programs, and more. Contact Zahrah at ZahrahSita@Gmail.com for more information or to schedule a consultation. Follow Zahrah on Facebook at www.facebook.com/zahrah.raay.aguila
This article (The Spiritual Consequences of Alcohol Consumption) was originally created by Zahrah Sita and is re-printed here with permission. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/04/13/spiritual-consequences-alcohol-consumption/

 

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Cancer’s Financial Cost is as Agonizing as Cancer Itself

big pharma