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SAFETY OF NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION: PART 2

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on July 22, 2013 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Extracted from (Bionutrition, Ray D. Strand, MD)

It seems that every week you see an article in a newspaper or hear a report on television about the dangers of taking #NutritionalSupplements. I have been sharing with you throughout this book the health benefits you can receive by taking high-quality, complete and advanced nutritional supplements. So how do you explain why there is so much in the way of negative clinical studies in regard to nutritional supplementation? As a physician, the last thing that I want to do is recommend something that is going to be harmful to my patients. I want to approach the answer to this question from different aspects that the next time you see a negative report on taking nutritional supplements, you will have some better insight on how this happens.

Looking for the "Magic Bullet"

Almost every study that I have referenced from our mainstream medical literature is studying a single nutrient to see if there is a health

benefit. For example, they may look at #VitaminE or #VitaminC or #calcium or #selenium or #magnesium" etc. They look at these individual #nutrients as if they were #drugs. This is just the way we do research. However, vitamin E and vitamin C are not drugs. They are simply #nutrients that we get from our foods that our bodies need to function properly. There is almost universal agreement among researchers that the underlying or root problem of almost all of these chronic degenerative diseases is #OxidativeStress. Therefore, selecting various antioxidants or their supporting #BCofactors or minerals seems like a plausible way to study whether or not there is some protection provided by supplementing

these nutrients. There are several problems with this approach.

 

First of all, any particular antioxidant only works in a particular part of the body and against particular free radicals. For example, vitamin E is fat-soluble, so it works primarily within the cell membrane against certain free radicals. Vitamin C is the best antioxidant within the plasma or fluid-filled areas because it is water-soluble. Glutathione is the best intracellular antioxidant. All of these antioxidants need the so-called #antioxidant minerals and B cofactors available in all of their enzymatic reactions to do their job. If these nutrients are not available in adequate or optimal levels, it doesn't matter what the level of antioxidant is you are supplementing, you will get marginal results.

Second of all, we know that the problem is generally not a particular nutritional deficiency, but instead, it is oxidative stress. You learned in earlier chapters that it is all about balance. You want to have enough antioxidants available for the number of free radicals you produce; then there is no oxidative stress. This requires supplementing a wide variety of antioxidants and their supporting nutrients to accomplish this goal. As you will learn in the next chapter, this creates a positive synergy that gives you-the best chance to bring oxidative stress back under control. When you supplement a single nutrient, you are starting out with a major handicap. The most amazing thing that I have observed in reviewing hundreds of clinical trials, looking at the health benefits of supplements in various diseases, is that the majority show a definite positive health benefit using just one nutrient.

Third of all, when you use a single nutrient like vitamin E or beta-

carotene, there is a possibility that it can become a #pro-oxidant. In other

words, clinical studies show that it can actually create more #FreeRadicals than if you were not supplementing at all. When several different #antioxidants and their supporting nutrients are supplemented together, this does not occur. However, there are very few clinical studies where this is done because researchers are continually looking for the "#MagicBullet." Here is an illustration of how this happens in the real world and why the results of these clinical trials are so misleading. (Part 2B to follow soon)

#AlphaTocopherol #BetaCarotene #CancerPrevention Study

Researchers have found in several clinical trials that were looking at antioxidant status of the participant that those smokers who had the highest levels of antioxidants in their body had the least risk of developing #LungCancer. In fact, most of the studies showed that the most important #antioxidant happened to be beta-carotene. Therefore, researchers in Finland decided to supplement 30,000 participants who were heavy smokers with either a placebo, synthetic beta-carotene, synthetic vitamin E, or both synthetic beta-carotene and vitamin E. None of the studies demonstrated a decrease in the number of these participants who developed lung cancer. However, there was a major concern because the group that only took the synthetic beta-carotene actually had an increase in the number of participants who developed cancer. This was a widely publicized study and their conclusion was that beta-carotene was dangerous to take, especially for smokers. This has led most physicians to recommend to their patients to not take beta- carotene or any antioxidants because it could be dangerous.

 

This is a perfect example of researchers being aware of the fact that smokers who have the highest antioxidant levels in their blood stream had the lowest risk of developing cancer trying to find the "magic bullet."

First of all, the use of #SyntheticAntioxidants instead of #NaturalAntioxidants creates very little chance of success from the beginning. Synthetic antioxidants have been shown to cause more problems than they help. These researchers also concluded that using a single antioxidant like beta-carotene can actually cause it to become a pro-oxidant (creating more #FreeRadicals), especially in heavy #smokers. Despite the objections that the study was flawed, this study had a tremendous influence on the medical community and the population in general. The design of the study, which used heavy smokers who had smoked for years, would be a very difficult group to see a health benefit. However, these characteristics in the design of these studies are pretty typical.

 

However, the rest of the story was not told until July 2004. The same data was reviewed and reported in the #AmericanJournalofEpidemiology with entirely different findings. These researchers looked at total antioxidant intake. These researchers concluded that supplementing beta-carotene in combination with other antioxidants significantly reduced the risk of developing #cancer in these smokers. The authors concluded by stating, "These findings support the hypothesis that a combination of dietary antioxidants reduces lung cancer risk in male #smokers." This is quite a different conclusion using the same data. However, this was not reported in the mainstream media as the original findings were reported.

Statistical Manipulation

A prime example of this type of clinical study was when we were bombarded by sensational news reports about the possible danger of taking higher doses of vitamin E. These reports were based on a review article that was published in the #AnnalsofInternalMedicine (4 January 2005; Vol. 142 No.1) written by Dr. Edgar Miller of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Miller concluded that a "high" dosage of vitamin E supplements (over 400 IU per day) may increase death rates and should be avoided. Careful evaluation of this study reveals how statistical manipulation can produce whatever results the researcher desires.

The Rest of the Story

Here are important facts that the media reports didn't mention:

This is not a new study. It is simply a review of thirty-six controlled trials, with follow-up of longer than one year; done from 1966 to 2004. There is no new research here, just an interpretation of old data.  Only nineteen trials were considered for statistical interpretation. Out of the original thirty-six, they eliminated seventeen trials that did not have more than ten deaths.  None of the individual trials noted any statistically significant differences in the mortality between the control group and the vitamin E group.

The studies involved patients who were already very ill. For example, the Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study (CHAOS) involved more than 2,000 patients who had already suffered a heart attack. The #Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ACDS) involved patients who already had moderate to severe Alzheimer's #dementia.

Many of the patients in both the vitamin E group and the control group died. Eight of the nineteen studies actually showed fewer deaths in the vitamin E group than the control group. The authors were even very careful to point out that their marginal findings of increased deaths from all causes could not be carried over to healthy individuals. But you didn't hear that on the evening news.

 

Twisting the Numbers

First and foremost, realize that you can prove anything you desire by simply setting up the criteria of the study to meet the conclusion that you desire to achieve.  Out of the original thirty-six trials, the reviewers eliminated twelve trials because there were fewer than ten deaths, three trials were eliminated because there was no mortality data available, and two trials were eliminated because the mortality data was confusing. This left the reviewers with nineteen trials that lasted longer than one year and involved more than ten deaths. They pre-selected trials that supported  their conclusions. That's just bad science. But then the numbers get twisted even more. In order to have results that mean anything, you have to have "statistical significance." In order to do this, you plug your data into simple formulas that tell you whether your results have a cause or whether they were the result of chance.  When all the trials are considered together, or when each study was considered individually, there was no statistically significant connection that could be made between #VitaminE and death. The differences could only be attributed to chance.

However, by focusing their analysis on only one or two of the larger studies, they were able to show a very slight statistically significant difference in deaths between the two groups of very ill patients. These studies used higher dose vitamin E primarily and the researchers came up with a marginally significant difference in deaths between these two groups. But remember, the higher doses were only given to patients who were the most ill, so we would expect a higher death rate anyway.

When they compared the deaths between the control group and the vitamin E group for all nineteen studies, there was no statistical difference in the death rate of either group. Had they analyzed all of the trials and let all the data speak for itself, they would have not found statistical significance.  So the conclusion that higher doses of vitamin E cause more deaths from all causes is absolutely bogus. This is truly a manipulation in the highest sense of the word. They were grabbing at straws for anything they could show statistically. First they had to eliminate seventeen of the trials. Then they eliminated the low dose vitamin E studies and focused on those who were most ill. By their own admission they state, "High-dose vitamin E trials were often performed with patients suffering from various #ChronicDiseases, and we could not evaluate or project these findings to #HealthyAdultPopulations." But you didn't hear that on the news, either.

Quality and Amount of Nutrient Used in a #ClinicalTrial is Critical There seems to be a number of recent clinical trials that either have shown no positive health benefits or even negative health benefits.  However, as you review them it becomes obvious that they were going to be negative clinical trials from the beginning because of either the amount or quality of nutrient that was supplemented. This was certainly the case involving The Physicians' Health Study, where vitamins E and C were studied in regard to the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

The study did involve a large number of participants for an extended period of time - nearly 15,000 physicians were followed for ten years.  The studied concluded that neither vitamin E nor #VitaminC reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events. However, when you look at what was actually used for supplementation you found that only 500 mq of a synthetic vitamin C was used in one group and 400 IU of #SyntheticVitaminE was used in another. First of all, I have not seen any significant health benefits in the medical literature with the use of supplemental vitamin C until you get to about 1,000 or 2,000 me daily. In the case of vitamin E, only 400 IU was used every other day. Synthetic vitamin E is only absorbed at 50 of natural vitamin E. They only were receiving 100 IU daily and synthetic antioxidants have been found to be inherently poor in quality. Researchers dismiss this problem very quickly because they have the same antioxidant potential as the natural antioxidants. However, synthetic vitamin E (#dl-alpha-tocopherol), for example, has been shown to actually displace the natural vitamin E (#dAlphaTocopherol) in the body and decrease its level within the cell membrane. This is actually harmful for the body and clinical trials using these types of antioxidants are destined to fail from the start.   

As I was writing this chapter, a major study came out on the health benefits of #multivitamin use in #postmenopausal women. More than 150,000 women in the #Women'sHealthInitiative (February 2009) were followed, and those who took multivitamins had no increase or decrease of cancer, heart disease, or stroke. Now, you must realize that all multivitamins are based on #RDALevels of nutrients, except possibly for the amount of #FolicAcid they contain (usually 400 rncq). This has been my experience with all the clinical trials that studied the health benefits of taking a #multi-vitamin or one-a-day vitamin: They are woefully inadequate in providing those optimal levels that have been shown by the medical literature to provide health benefits. I agree that taking a multivitamin/mineral is a waste of time and effort. If you are going to supplement your diet, you need to be taking all of these essential nutrients at the optimal or advanced levels - #bionutrition.

 

The Economics of Medicine

I am not really a conspiracy theory advocate. However, I am acutely aware of the true economics of medicine. In my book #DeathByPrescription, I detail the approval process of all #PharmaceuticalDrugs. The average cost for a pharmaceutical company to take a drug from the laboratory to your local drug store is 500 million dollars. Then the amount of money a pharmaceutical company spends to market its drug to the public and physicians is enormous. You can't turn on your television or read a magazine or newspaper in today's world without learning about the newest drug for any ill that you may have. Obviously, the media outlets are going to be supportive of any new major breakthrough in drug therapy because they receive so much in advertising dollars from this industry. It is also likely that these same media outlets are going to run down the use of nutritional supplementation whenever possible. Any negative study or even slightly negative study is shouted from the rooftops and every media outlet. In general, when I go back and look at the actual clinical trial they have just reviewed, it is obvious that they have a definite bias against supplementation. I would estimate that eight out of ten clinical trials that evaluate the health benefit of supplements are positive when they use optimal levels and high quality supplements. However, you rarely read anything about these positive studies.

The only thing that will ever lower health care costs in the world today is when individuals decide to become proactive in protecting their health. You will not receive much support from the medical community because of physicians' bias against #supplementation.

 

Get your high quality supplements here : http://getfreedom.stbwrap.com/

 

View more information here : http://www.raystrand.com/

Safety Of Nutritional Supplements: Part 1

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on July 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Throughout this book (Bionutrition, Ray D. Strand, MD, http://www.raystrand.com/ ) I related the medical evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of #NutritionalSupplements in preventing and/or slowing the progression of #ChronicDegenerativeDiseases . However, for these supplements to be effective for this purpose they must be taken for a lifetime and they must be safe. Every time physicians prescribe a medication, especially if it is for the treatment of a #ChronicIllness, we explain to the patient the potential danger for the use of that drug. It amazes me how many physicians try to get patients to quit taking their nutritional supplements because they could be dangerous to their health. In my book Death by Prescription (Thomas Nelson 2003), I document the fact that #AdverseDrugReactions are the third leading #CauseOfDeath in the United states and Canada. There are more than 180,000 deaths every year due to adverse drug reactions. This is just behind #HeartDisease ) and #cancer and just ahead of #stroke on the list 0f the top ten CausesOfDeath in the United States; however, you will never see this listed in any report as a cause of death. According to Dr. Bruce Pomeranz, as reported in the April 15, 1998 Journal of the American Medical Association, medications that have been properly prescribed cause more than 100,000 deaths a year. There are another 80,000 deaths every year due to improperly prescribed medications, which brings the total of deaths due to medications to 180,000 every year. Dr. Pomeranz also states that another 2.1 million patients have serious complications because of medications.

 

It bothers me when the media and medical community try to discourage individuals from taking nutritional supplements because they may actually cause harm and increase your risk of death. This even becomes more ironic when the alternative the medical community has to offer is for you to be taking more drugs, instead of supplements.  This has to be the height of arrogance, when we know that drugs are the third leading cause of death in this country. There have only been a handful of deaths reported in the last decade due to nutritional supplements. The most commonly reported were the deaths of individuals who were taking very high doses of niacin, which had been prescribed by physicians as a treatment for elevated #cholesterol. These individuals took many times the optimal levels recommended in this book in an attempt to create a #pharmacological effect.

 

Recently, there has been a lot of publicity regarding deaths due to an herb called #ephedra. Ephedra has been used in a large number of #overTheCounter #DietPills. However, you have to realize that ephedra is an herb or natural drug that has a #pharmaceutical effect - it is not a nutritional supplement. Nutritional supplements are simply nutrients we get from our foods, at levels we cannot obtain from our foods.

When you understand the safety of these nutrients, you will begin to realize why vitamin and mineral supplements are ideal products to be used for #ChemoPrevention and for reducing the risk of chronic degenerative diseases. #Pharmaceutical drugs may possess some #ClinicalBenefit in preventing some of these diseases, but they inherently create a risk to the patient. So let's look at some specific adverse reactions that have been reported about nutritional supplementation.

Vitamin A (#vitamina )

Of all the nutritional supplements, straight vitamin A causes the most concern. Vitamin A #toxicity can occur in adults who take in excess of 50,000 IU per day for a prolonged period of time. A lower dose may create toxicity if the patient has underlying liver disease. Signs of vitamin A toxicity include dry skin, brittle nails, hair loss, gingivitis, anorexia, nausea, fatigue, and irritability. Accidental ingestion of a single large dose of vitamin A by children (100,000 to 300,000 IU) can cause acute toxicity. This may present as #headache, #vomiting, and #stupor because of the increase in #IntracranialPressure .  Women must avoid vitamin A supplementation during #pregnancy.  Dosages as low as 5,000 to 10,000 IU are believed to have caused birth  defects." I do not recommend taking straight vitamin A in supplementation. The need for vitamin A within the body may be met by simply taking #beta-carotene and the mixed #carotenoids. These are very safe and the body is able to turn these into vitamin A as the body needs it. 

Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene has been used in high doses over several years without a single reported adverse effect. Some individuals develop a yellowing of the skin called #carotenodermia. However, this is totally benign and reverses completely once the beta-carotene is reduced or discontinued. A recent study called the #Alpha-Tocopherol #Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study conducted in Finland and a similar study in Washington State showed significant increased risk of developing lung cancer in a group taking beta-carotene alone. This was not observed in patients who took vitamin E alone or those who took beta-carotene with vitamin E.   These studies involved males aged 50 to 69 who had been heavy smokers for more than a 36-year period. This study has received great media coverage and has caught the attention of many physicians. This study will be discussed in detail in Safety of Nutritional Supplements: Part 2.

Vitamin E

Although #vitaminE is a #fat-soluble vitamin, it has a tremendous safety record. In clinical trials of vitamin supplementation as high as 3,200 IU per day has not shown any adverse effects. Vitamin E has been shown to inhibit #PlateletAggregation in much the same way as aspirin does." This property of vitamin E is actually a benefit in reducing heart disease rather than a concern. Some researchers believe this will actually improve the effectiveness of #aspirin in patients with heart disease.

Vitamin C

#VitaminC is safe even at very high doses, although some people may have #AbdominalBloating, gas, or #diarrhea. At one point, there was a concern vitamin C supplementation might increase the risk of #KidneyStones. This was seen in only one clinical trial, however, and the last four similar trials did not substantiate those findings.

Vitamin D

#VitaminD has previously been thought to have a great potential to cause toxicity. However, we are now realizing the greatest concern to our health is #VitaminDDeficiency. The recommended amount of vitamin D has been rising steadily over the past decade. With the advent of inexpensive vitamin D blood tests called a #25-hydroxyvitaminDLevel, physicians are beginning to realize the extent of vitamin D deficiency. Most physicians are now recommending supplementing at least 1,000 to 1,200 IU of vitamin D daily if your vitamin D level is above 50 ng/ rnl. If it is low, you may take very high doses of vitamin D without any fear of toxicity. However, it is important that this is prescribed by your physician and that there are follow-up blood tests. Although I have not seen vitamin D blood levels above 100 ng/ml in all of the testing of my patients, vitamin D toxicity may increase the blood levels of calcium, cause deposits of calcium in internal organs, and increase the risk of kidney stones."

Niacin (#VitaminB3)

#Niacin supplementation may create flushing to the skin, nausea, and liver damage. Clinical studies have shown slow-release products of niacin may decrease the risk of flushing, but they also increase the risk of liver damage. Many people use high doses of niacin as a natural way to decrease their cholesterol levels. I recommend slowly building up to 1.5 grams per day. It is best to be under the direction of your physician and have your liver function checked periodically. There are some very effective drugs that may be used to lower your cholesterol. Depending on the level and ratio of your cholesterol, your physician can advise you on the best approach.

Vitamin B6 (#Pyridoxine)

#VitaminB6 is one of the few water-soluble vitamins with a possible risk of toxicity. Doses greater than 2,000 mg can cause symptoms of nerve toxicity. When using doses between 50 to 100 mg daily, there have not been any reported cases of toxicity" 

Folic Acid

#FolicAcid supplementation may mask an underlying vitamin B12 deficiency. Therefore, you should always take vitamin 812 supplements when you are taking folic acid. When you follow my concept of cellular nutrition, you will not have to worry about an underlying 812 deficiency.

Choline

#Choline is generally well tolerated, although at very high doses (20 grams per day) it can create a fishy odor and cause some nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Calcium

Calcium supplements are tolerated in doses up to 2,000 mg. It was once thought high levels of calcium supplementation could lead to increase in kidney stones; however, several recent studies actually show that the higher your intake of calcium is, the lower your risk of developing kidney stones,"

Iodine

#Iodine supplementation greater than 750 mcg can suppress thyroid hormone secretion. There have also been reports of acne-like skin eruptions at these higher levels of iodine intake.

Iron

There has been an increased concern about the use of #iron in supplementation. The use of inorganic iron is even more of a concern. Americans generally get plenty of iron and supplementation of this nutrient may create an iron overload, which has been associated with increased risk of heart disease in males. There is some concern iron may actually increase oxidative stress.

Manganese

#Manganese taken in supplementation is very safe, although there are reports of people who develop manganese toxicity from their environment. This is usually seen in those who mine manganese or are exposed to high levels in the environment. These individuals may begin to hallucinate and become very irritable.

#Molybdenum

Molybdenum is quite safe. A daily intake of greater than 10 to 15 mg, however, may lead to gout-like symptoms.

Selenium

#Selenium has been found to be safe in several clinical trials, which used doses in the range of 400 to 500 mcg daily. I believe, however, doses of selenium supplementation should be less than 300 mcg daily. Symptoms of selenium toxicity include depression, irritability, nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. There have been no toxic effects associated with supplementation of #VitaminK, #VitaminB1 (#thiamin), #VitaminB2 (#riboflavin), #biotin, #VitaminB5 (#pantethine), #inositol, #VitaminB12, #chromium, #silicon, #CoQ10, #boron, #GrapeSeedExtract, and #alpha-lipoicAcid.

 

Get your high quality supplements here : http://getfreedom.stbwrap.com/

View more information here : http://www.raystrand.com/

Dreamer vs. Doer?The Great Separator

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on February 26, 2013 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

One thing separates the dreamer and the doer.

 

It also separates the wishful from the wealthy.

 

Two people can have the same capabilities,

same hope and same aspiration,

but have radically different outcomes.

 

How?

One acted and the other did not.

 

ACTION is the great separator.

 

Right now, there are opportunities, ideas, dreams or aspirations in your life that you know you SHOULD act on, you WANT to act on, but you are afraid to do so.

 

Oh, you might be excusing your lack of action by your telling yourself you don’t know what to do, how to do it or if it will work out.

 

I can tell you firsthand, nothing I have ever accomplished had I done before.

 

I have been in wildly different industries: from the direct selling of environmental products, to real estate, to television, to educational software, to Internet media, to publishing and more.

 

None of these industries was I educated or trained to be in;

 

 

I had no experience in any of them previously—I just jumped in and started. And the outcomes evolved in ways well beyond what I could have planned for or envisioned at the beginning, meaning all the paralysis by analysis is useless anyway because it will never work out as you plan.

 

The key is to just get started.

 

Someone said to me recently, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step.” That’s the key—just take the first step. Then when you do, take another. One at a time—one after another.

 

Before you know it you will have risen to the top of an industry, maybe heights you could never have allowed yourself to dream of and set goals for, simply because you jumped in and got started.

 

That’s all it takes, ACTION.

 

So tell me, What opportunity or goal are you finally going to jump in and go for? Need to encourage someone to just jump in and get going? Forward them this blog.

 

- See more at: http://darrenhardy.success.com/2013/02/dreamer-vs-doer/#sthash.rWdQHZdb.dpuf

What Debt Collectors Can and Cannot Do

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on February 21, 2013 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (0)

In the United States collection agents are limited in the methods they can use to collect personal debts by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Personal debts include credit card debt, auto loans, mortgage payments, medical bills and other family and household expenses not used for a business. Canadian debt collection regulations differ by province; however, there are some practices that are generally off limits to all debt collectors. If you are dealing with a debt collector or have any questions call your law firm today.

 

Collection agents MUST:

 

  • Contact you in writing, or attempt to do so, before taking any further action to collect a debt, including legal actions to secure payment of the debt;
  • Identify themselves when contacting you about a collection matter;
  • Provide information on the original creditor and amount owed. The original creditor is the company or institution to which the debt was owed before it was transferred to the collection agency.

Collection agents are NOT permitted to:

 

  • Harass you or your family with threats of harm or violence, use of obscene language or by making calls at unreasonable times of day;
  • Deceive you by providing inaccurate or misleading information;
  • Send you false legal documents or threaten to take legal action they are not authorized or willing to take;
  • Charge interest or other fees that are not authorized by law;
  • Demand payment on an account that you have disputed without providing proof that the debt is legitimate;

Contact your employer, relatives, friends and neighbors for anything other than your direct contact information. In some instances debt collectors may be permitted to contact employers to verify employment, job title and mailing address.

When you need assistance dealing with a debt collector, call your law firm and speak with an attorney.

The 11 Things You MUST Know About a Power of Attorney

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on February 3, 2013 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

A power of attorney (POA) is a powerful tool that allows someone to act on your behalf in medical, legal and business affairs. Call your law firm and an attorney will explain the benefits of a power of attorney to you. In the meantime, here are some important things to know about powers of attorney:

 

 

  1. A person must be legally competent when signing (granting) a POA. A person who is not mentally capable of handling his or her own affairs cannot grant a valid power of attorney.
  2. The individual granting the power of attorney is known as the grantor in the United States and the donor in Canada.
  3. The individual granted power is often referred to as the agent, attorney or attorney-in-fact.
  4. The powers granted by a POA may be limited or general. A general power of attorney allows the agent to act broadly in the handling of financial and personal matters, while a limited power of attorney grants only specific powers to the agent.
  5. A medical or health care POA limits the agent’s power to medical decisions, including the termination of life support. It is important that the attorney drafting your POA and the individual you appoint as agent understand your wishes.
  6. A “living will” or advanced medical directive is different than a medical power of attorney. In a “living will”, the maker gives instruction on the limits of medical care he or she desires directly to family and medical staff. No agent is appointed.
  7. Give copies of your medical POA and “living will’ to your physicians and trusted friends or family members and ask them to keep them in a safe place in case they are needed.
  8. You must know and trust your designated agent. An unscrupulous agent with a general POA could drain your bank accounts, sell your car or open lines of credit in your name. Once the damage is done it can be extremely difficult to repair. If you have any doubts about your choice of agent, do not sign a POA naming them.
  9. Your agent should be financially sound and capable of making important financial decisions. Be sure your agent manages his or her own affairs satisfactorily before giving that agent a power to manage yours.
  10. A POA or “living will” can be revoked. If you wish to revoke a previous POA or “living will”, call your law firm and speak with an attorney.
  11. POA documents are no longer valid after the grantor or donor is deceased. After the grantor dies the executor manages the estate in accordance with the will.

 

4 Legal Tips to Help Save You Money in 2013

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on January 22, 2013 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Taking charge of your finances is a great way to kick off 2013. The following tips are designed to help you survey where you are, diagnose any potential problems and with the help of your law firm, resolve legal issues.

 

1. Review Your Credit Report – The best way to monitor your financial history and ensure the accuracy of your credit score is by reviewing your credit reports each year. In the United States, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that the three consumer credit reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—provide you with a free copy of their report once every 12 months. You may order your free annual credit report online at annualcreditreport.com (https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp) or by calling 1-877-322-8228. Canadians may view the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website by here (http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/eng/consumers/creditloans/reportScores/index-eng.asp). The FCAC website offers information on how to obtain credit reports and correct errors. If you need assistance correcting inaccurate information on your report, call your law firm today.

 

2. Check Your Mail – Monitor your bills and any collection notices carefully. Ignoring collection notices will only lead to headaches, increased fees and potential legal action including wage garnishment. Even if you cannot afford to pay a bill in full, working out a reasonable payment plan with the lender or collection agency may buy you time and save you money in the long run. If you need assistance working out a payment plan or disputing an inaccurate bill, call your law firm and speak with an attorney.

 

3. Review Your Insurance Coverage – You need to periodically review your policies to insure they cover the essential investments in your property, changes in your life and recent purchases. If you need help deciphering the terms of a policy or disputing a denied claim.

 

4. Start Preparing Your Taxes – Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your tax return. In the rush to complete returns last minute, many filers omit deductions or overpay. Taking your time early in the year, organizing paper work and carefully reviewing returns will help make sure your filing is accurate.

7 Tips for Stopping Cyber Bullies

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on January 15, 2013 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Today, online bullying is a reality for adults and teens alike. The personal nature of social networking, the ability to broadcast information to large groups of people in seconds and the bully’s feeling of anonymity can make this type of harassment particularly damaging and hurtful. These tips are designed to help you prevent and/or stop cyber bullies.

 

  1. Talk to your children. Keep an open dialogue with your kids about their online social circle. Let them know if they are bullied they can talk to you. Also, make sure they understand the damage that bullying can cause others. Look for warning signs that your child is being bullied or bullying and step in right away.
  2. Do not respond to a bully. Save or copy emails, messages or other evidence, but avoid engaging with a tormentor.
  3. If the perpetrator is a minor you may try reaching out to a parent or guardian to intervene in the matter. Many parents are surprised to learn that their children are bullying and will help intervene.
  4. If the bully attends your children’s school, discuss the matter with an administrator or counselor. Some schools have guidelines for dealing with cyber bullies and preventing escalation.
  5. File formal complaints with phone and internet providers to block the bully.
  6. Physical threats, stalking or harassment may constitute a criminal matter. Contact the police to report the abuse right away.
  7. Talk to your law firm to find out what other options may be available to you and your family. Laws dealing with online harassment vary; it is important to discuss the matter with an attorney who knows the laws in your state or province.

4 things you should give up to be happy

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on January 14, 2013 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The following is from an email fro my good friend Natalie Ledwell.

I thought it too goo to let pass.

 

"Most people have it wrong.

 

Most folks think that by gathering more stuff,

they'll finally find happiness.

 

But often, you can find true happiness RIGHT NOW,

in this moment, simply by letting go.

 

Here are 4 things that you can let go of that will

make you a happier, more peaceful person by the

time you hit the sack tonight:

 

1) Let go of the need to impress others.

 

If you're a human being, chances are you care about

what other people think of you.

 

After all - we are naturally social creatures!

 

But if you find yourself spending too much of your

time, money or energy trying to impress other people

and get their approval, you're not being true to YOU.

 

There's no need to try and be something you're not,

because who you are right now is FABULOUS!

 

Focus instead on living the most authentic version

of yourself.

 

When you fully embrace who you are and share it with

others, you'll find that people will appreciate how

REAL you are and will flock to you effortlessly. :)

 

2) Let go of the need to be right.

 

Sometimes when we feel we've been mistreated or

misunderstood by someone, we can get caught up

into wanting that person to admit they've

wronged us.

 

And we want an apology!

 

Or at least acknowledgement that we are right and they're

wrong. :)

 

The problem is that not all human beings see things

from the same perspective. In your world, you're

right… but in their world, so are they.

 

There are definitely times where an apology is necessary.

 

But most other times, rather than allowing feelings of

negativity to take root inside you and start spilling

over into other areas of your life, it may be best to

ask yourself this:

 

"Do I want to be right? Or do I want to be happy?"

 

Often it's just our ego that keeps us holding on to past

resentments and upsets. Instead, consider letting go of

the desire to be right and you'll find you'll instantly

restore happiness and contentment in your life.

 

3) Let go of the desire to gossip.

 

I've heard it said that gossip is just a cheap way to make

yourself feel good, and I have to agree.

 

We all know that gossiping about other people is… well, not

so good.

 

But when the people around you are doing it, it can be easy to

slip into doing it too!

 

Consider though that the quality of your life depends on the

quality of the conversations you have.

 

If you want to live a more fulfilling life, start by embracing

the power of your word. Your voice is powerful! And what you

have to say makes a difference.

 

Be committed to having more positive conversations about

things that matter… not people… and you'll be surprised how

quickly you'll brighten your outlook on life.

 

4) Let go of the past.

 

It's easy to dwell on the past, especially when the future is

so unknown!

 

Looking to the past can feel safe… we know what has happened

and we know what we could do to change things… if only we

had the chance.

 

The truth is though that you never will have the chance to

change the past.

 

Not unless scientists finally invent a time machine. ;)

 

Your past has served its purpose - its brought you to the

place you are today and made you the person you are now.

And who you are right now is absolutely perfect.

 

Be grateful for your experiences, but know that NOW is all

you have. So do your best to enjoy each moment. Give

yourself the gift of being present!

To your everlasting happiness,

Natalie Ledwell

Mind Movies

 

P.S. I have a challenge for you…

 

Out of the four things I've listed above, what one are

you willing to take on THIS WEEK for your own happiness?"

Hit-and-Run Accidents: What Victims NEED to Know

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on December 27, 2012 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Hit-and-run accidents leave victims feeling helpless. What can the police do? What will insurance cover? These tips are designed to help you in the aftermath of a hit-and-run auto accident. If you have been involved in any type of auto accident call your law firm today.

 

  • Do not chase the other driver. It may be tempting to follow the other driver, but anyone willing to flee the scene of an accident may be dangerous.
  • Call the police. Filing a police report is extremely important. Even if you have very little information about the other driver, a police report will be necessary for any insurance claim or legal action.
  • Gather as much information as you can at the scene. If you can only remember one piece of information make it the other driver’s license plate number. Knowing the make and model of the car will also be helpful. Take note of the location and circumstances of the accident as well as where the other driver was coming from. Write everything you can remember down and take pictures at the scene if at all possible. Also gather contact information from any witnesses.
  • File an insurance claim. If the other driver is identified, the police or your insurance company may obtain their insurance information. It is important to file a claim with their insurance company as soon as possible.
  • Understand your coverage. Do you have uninsured motorist coverage? Some states and provinces make purchasing this type of coverage mandatory. Without adequate coverage you may end up footing the bill for car repairs and medical expenses. Talk to your law firm about the laws where you live and make sure you are adequately covered.
  • Do not sign a settlement agreement or accept payments from an insurance company without first speaking with your attorney.

What You Need to Know Before an ER Visit

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on December 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Unfortunately, visits to the emergency room often increase during the holidays. While it is impossible to predict an ER visit, there are a few tips that can help you prepare in advance of an emergency.

 

Coverage – It is important to understand your health insurance coverage. Make sure you know which hospitals in your area are covered under your plan. If you are traveling for the holiday, understand what you need to do to inform your insurance company in the event of an emergency.

 

Know Your Local Hospitals – Just as important as knowing where you are covered or where you will get the best rates if you are uninsured, is doing your homework on quality care in your area. Hospitalsafetyscore.org allows visitors to check the safety score of hospitals. Consumer Reports also offers hospital ratings to its subscribers.

 

Medical Power of Attorney – Everyone should have an up-to-date medical power of attorney or advanced medical directive. These documents ensure your family members know what you want in the event of a health crisis.

 

Important Documents – Make sure all of your estate planning and insurance documents are kept somewhere safe, yet remain easily accessible to your family or caregiver in the event of an emergency. It is important that these documents can be easily retrieved if they are needed.


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