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Healthy living linked to higher brain function, delay of dementia
November 27, 2016 12:59 PM
According to a recent study by York University, fruits, vegetables, and regular exercise have more to do with our well-being than we think. Researchers discovered that people who were normal weight or overweight, but not obese, and ate healthy had much higher cognitive function. The diet high in essential minerals and nutrients helped maintain and increase cognitive function in adults.
"It’s tempting to dip into the leftover Halloween treats, but new research has found that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, combined with regular exercise, leads to better cognitive functioning for younger and older adults, and may delay the onset of dementia."
Prevent Disease With Discount Vitamins
October 24, 2007 09:33 AM
You can prevent disease with discount vitamin just as easy as with those you pay top dollar for on the High Street. Vitamins are vitamins, and they do not lose quality for price as long as you know what to look for and stick with name brands. They are the most purchased supplement in the western world, and there are ways of getting them for less than the normal price.
First, though, a definition of what a vitamin is since an astounding number of people have no idea of what actually constitutes a vitamin even though they can recite all the letters. In fact, a vitamin is a molecule, obtained from an organic animal or vegetable source that is essential for life. Without it there can be no animal life and vitamins generally catalyze or act as coenzymes in the biochemistry that makes up all of the chemical reactions of the body. A catalyst allows a reaction to occur without changing itself, and a coenzyme allows enzymes to do their jobs.
Let’s have a look at one or two vitamins to provide examples of these statements. In bygone days when sailors used sail to cross the oceans in open boats powered only by sail and oar, a trip that takes us a week in a cruise liner these days could take sailors several months. It was not only the fact that they relied on favorable winds, but also that they did not always know where they were going, and were frequently unable to store up for a whole voyage. They depended on landing at islands on the way to replenish supplies. Disease due to lack of nutrition was common and one of these was scurvy.
This condition is not strictly a disease and is due to a lack of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. In fact the name ‘ascorbic’ comes from the Latin for ‘without scurvy’. The symptoms are liverish spots over the body, spongy gums that cause the teeth to fall out and bleeding from the mucus membranes. Healed scars will open up, and cured and knitted bone fractures will separate. Ultimately it causes death. The first person is used since scurvy still exists.
It is due to a breakdown in the synthesis of collagen which heals scars, keeps joints held together, and forms the outside part of cells, and also some inner cell structures. Collagen synthesis is dependent on the amino acids proline and lysine that are hydroxylated by the enzymes lysyl and prolyl hydroxylase. The problem is that these enzymes need ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to do their work. Without it, collagen cannot be made.
Although the chemistry was unknown, early sailors soon found that citrus fruits such as lemons and limes prevented this horrible condition. The English used to stock up their ships with fresh limes at any port of call that had them, and this is why the English are frequently referred to a ‘Limeys’. It got them a nickname, but it saved their lives. Scurvy is now rare, but it is not a disease as such that can be eradicated. It occurs now and again in teenagers with poor diets that do not include fresh fruit and vegetables.
Vitamin C supplements are now available, and it is one of the most common of the discount vitamins on the market. The same is true of vitamin A that is essential for good eyesight. It has many other uses, as has vitamin C, but without it we could not survive. Without it we will eventually become blind, although the first symptom is night blindness. However, an excess can lead to hypovitaminosis A, a condition common in the developed world. Its absence can kill us, and vitamin A deficiency is one of the more common conditions of the developing world. Vitamins are contrary creatures, and can do us harm as well as good.
How about vitamin D, the sunlight vitamin? We don’t think of it, yet it is responsible for the strength of your skeleton and the regulation of calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood. Without it our bones become soft, our children get rickets and we eventually die – frequently through cancer.
1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol is the chemical name for calcitriol, which is the form of vitamin D found in the body, known as vitamin D3. This has been found to kill some cancer cells in the laboratory, and it is thought that supplements of vitamin D might help to prevent some types of cancer. The reults of a four year cancer study were released in June, 2007, that showed a reduction of 60% in cancers where patients were given a aupplement of 1100 inernational units daily. This rose to 77% where the cancers had been diagnosed in their first year.
The effect of vitamin D was emphasized by the reults of a study of more than 4 million cancer patients that showed a marked difference in the risk of cancer according to whether they lived in sunny or less sunny climates.
So these are the benefits of some discount vitamin supplements. How, then, do you find vitamins at discount prices? The easiest way is to purchase in bulk. There are those that form online clubs for vitamins and pay a weekly or monthly fee to join. When offers come online for specific supplements at low prices, they are purchased by the groups and distributed. You could do the same yourself with some friends, since it is generally cheaper to purchase 5 Kg of a vitamin that 500g. Your local health food store could also help you out since they are likely to be able to procure discount bulk prices from their supplier.
Another way is to wait until your local store makes special offers, or seek offers in the press. These can often be found, but if you are concerned mainly with the common vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E then a large proportion of the population are interested in these and you should not find it difficult to sell several kilos of these. You will not only get yours free, but will a sizeable profit into the bargain.
Anything between that and the normal price is an advantage for chemicals that are essential for life. One thing to always remember, buy reputable name brand vitamins because if the vitamins seem to cheap than you’re probably right. Name brand vitamins have quality and can be purchased at discount prices if you look long enough.
Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements
May 11, 2007 10:47 AM
Breast Cancer and Nutritional Supplements
There is probably nothing more frightening for a woman than the discovery of a lump in her breast. Cancer and all its consequences quickly come to mind. This quick association may materialize, in part, because no woman is immune. Most have a friend, a sister, a mother, or a coworker who has been diagnosed with the disease. And they know how difficult dealing with this disease can be. Fortunately, 80% of all breast lumps are not cancerous. Most are cysts or a benign clump of tissue.
Over her lifetime, a woman’s breasts undergo many, many changes. From before puberty and on, breast tissue is continually evolving. Breasts often feel different before menstrual cycle, returning to normal a few days after. Pregnancy certainly causes changes in a woman’s breasts, as does breastfeeding. And as women age, breast tissue becomes less dense.
Because of these continual changes, breast tissue especially requires adequate nutrition. While everyone benefits from a healthy diet, there are additional nutrients from which women can specifically benefit.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss breast cancer and the vast amount of research that has explored the role nutrition plays in this serious and still deadly disease. Specifically, we will discuss how two B vitamins, calcium D-glucarate, broccoli extract, green tea, maitake mushrooms, and iodine can all help prevent breast cancer.
Q. How can these nutrients prevent breast cancer?
A. Scientists learn a lot about disease from simply observing what is happening around them. One observation that has been recognized for many years is that certain cultures have very low incidence of breast cancer. Women n
Moms (and dads) have also learned a lot about diseases simply by observing what is happening in their families. They have notices that certain vegetables play a large role in the prevention of all types of diseases, including cancer. And, accordingly, they have been urging their offspring to eat their vegetables for several generations.
Building on these observations, scientists have designed and carried out many studies to determine what it is about these nutrients that can prevent breast cancer. What they have discovered, so far, follows. Let’s start with the B vitamins.
Deficiencies of this vitamin can result in a serious type of anemia. Nerve damage can also occur if B12 levels are too low. Researchers are now investigating whether breast cancer may, in part, be caused by a B12 deficiency as well.
Another study, this one taking place in a laboratory setting, discovered that vitamin B12, applied directly against experimental breast cancer cells, actually stopped the cancer cells from growing. The researchers conducting the experiment believe that giving vitamin B12 to women with breast cancer as part of a chemotherapy regime, might help keep the cancer in check.
Low folic acid intake is linked to the development of all cancers. This is because folic acid is crucial to the making and continual repair of DNA, the molecule that carries our genetic code. A recent study discovered that high intakes of folic acid might actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. The researchers looked at the diets of over 2600 women. During interviews with the researchers, the women reported what they usually ate. Once the data was collected, the results showed that women, who ate lots of foods that contained folic acid, had much lower rates of breast cancer.
There is no clear-cut, single cause of breast cancer. Many factors are required for the disease to appear. One such factor is estrogen. A recent study showed that women who developed breast cancer tended to have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women without breast cancer. This means that women who got their periods before age eleven or entered menopause after age fifty-five have a higher risk of breast cancer. This also supports the theory that the number of menstrual cycles a woman has affects her risk for breast cancer.
Another factor is drinking alcohol. Because alcohol raises estrogen levels, if a woman consumes even moderate amounts of alcohol her risk of breast cancer also is increased. The link between alcohol and breast cancer may even be stronger than other dietary links. However, an important study has discovered that folic acid may uncouple this link.
A very large study of over 34,000 women recently studied the effect of folic acid on the risk of breast cancer. This project was part of the Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing, long-term study that looks at nutrition’s role in the development of disease. The women in the folic acid and breast cancer study were followed for 12 years. The participants completed detailed food questionnaires that provided the researchers with important data.
The women were divided into four groups:
1. Women with low folic acid levels and drink alcohol
2. Women with high folic acid levels and rink alcohol
3. Women with low folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
4. Women with high folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
Within these four groups the women were further divided into subgroups according to the amount of alcohol they consumed each day and their specific folic acid intake.
The researchers found that women who consumed the lowest amounts of folic acid and drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day had the highest rate of breast cancer. In contrast, women who had high intakes of folic acid and also drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day, had the same rate of breast cancer as the women with high folic acid intakes who did not drink. In other words, women who had high levels of folic acid in their diet erased their alcohol-related increase in breast cancer risk.
It seems estrogen can be both friend and foe. While women need the hormone to soften skin, thicken hair, and fill out hips and breasts, estrogen can also nourish breast tumors, helping them grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly. Thanks, in part, to good nutrition, American women get their periods early and go through menopause alter in life. Women today also have fewer pregnancies; families with one or two children are quite common.
All of these factors increase the time women’s bodies are exposed to estrogen. As we discussed before, longer exposure means increased opportunities for estrogen to cause trouble. It is also a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe.
The body does have a system that eliminates some of the excess estrogen and toxic chemicals before they can cause harm. In the liver, they are bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin or estrogen is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool.
However, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase can break this bond between estrogen and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released from its bone, capable of causing harm once more. Increased beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependant cancers like breast cancer.
Fortunately, scientists have discovered that a natural substance found in foods calcium D-glucarate (CDG) can stop the activity of beta-glucuonidase. CDG keeps the harmful estrogen bound to glucuronidase. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase.
CDG has been shown in experimental studies to significantly stop beast cancer growth. And several human trials are currently underway with CDG to determine its capability to decrease the breast cancer risk in women at high risk for the disease.
There are some very interesting connections between breast tissue and thyroid tissue. Iodine is an essential trace element present in a hormone of the thyroid gland and is involved in several metabolic functions. One iodine function is the protection of breast tissue from cancerous cells.
In a laboratory study, researchers exposed breast cancer cells and breast tissue without any cancer to a type of seaweed that contains high levels of iodine. The seaweed killed all of the cancerous cells, yet did not harm the normal breast cells. Japanese women frequently eat this type of seaweed and have very low rates of breast cancer. The study’s researchers believe one reason for this low incidence of breast cancer may be the iodine in the seaweed.
And, for some as yet unknown reasons, women who have thyroid cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. While they are unsure why this happens, researchers are continuing to study this link, and support of healthy thyroid function remains an important consideration.
For quite some time, scientists have observed that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, significantly reduce the risk of disease, including cancer. It seems a phytochemical in broccoli sulforaphane, is one of the chemicals responsible for this beneficial activity. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body called phase 2 enzymes that deactivate cancer-causing chemicals.
Breast cancer cells exposed to sulforaphane in several lab experiments showed that the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent. Researchers are in the process of setting up clinical trials to study sulforaphane’s effect in women who have breast cancer.
There is a tall amount of research, including finding from the Nurses’ Health Study, that suggest green tea beverage consumption is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer. In fact, researchers have long noted the low rates of breast cancer in
The active compound in green tea responsible for breast cancer inhibition is epigallocatechin-3 gallate or EGCG. When breast cancer cells are exposed to EGCG in lab experiments, the cells stop growing, lose their ability to replicate, and die.
In a recent study, researchers discovered that drinking green tea prevented the recurrence of breast cancer in women who have previously been diagnosed and treated for the disease. This study involved over 1100 Japanese women. The women who drank green tea every day had very low rates of their breast cancer returning.
For thousands of years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction.
Not only does the D-fraction in maitake mushrooms stop the growth of cancerous tumors, it also alerts and stimulates immune cells (including macrophages and natural killer cells) to fight the disease. Maitake also inhibits some of the mechanism that promotes metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells in the lymph and bloodstream.
Because of this success, maitake is now being used in clinical trials of women with breast cancer. One study reported significant improvement of symptoms, including reduction of the tumor. The maitake was given to breast cancer patients in addition to standard chemotherapy.
Q. Should these nutrients be used in place of traditional treatment for breast cancer?
A. Absolutely not. None of these nutrients can cure breast cancer. However, they can be a part of a validated plan of treatment. If you have breast cancer, talk to your health care practitioner about these nutrients. Remember, nutritional supplements are just that: supplements to food, medication, and treatment. They are intended to enhance and prevent, not replace.
Despite apprehension in performing self-breast exams, women are very proactive in their health. Yearly mammograms and pap tests have been an important part of their lives for many years, and newer and more accurate diagnoses are emerging. The prevention of health problems in themselves and their families has always been a high priority for women. And for women, nutrition has played an important part of health problem prevention.
Nutritionally speaking, what benefits your breasts benefit your whole body. However, as we have learned, there are specific links between nutrition and developing breast cancer that seem to be fairly strong.
Making a few changes may reduce the risk of developing the disease. The nutrients listed here, vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium d-glucarate, iodine, broccoli, green tea, and maitake mushrooms can be an important part of a woman’s preventative health regimen.
TMG Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 02:13 PM
TMG Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 03/07/05
LIKELY USERS: People with high homocysteine levels; People with risks of developing Alzheimer’s Disease; People needing greater metabolism of fats; People with liver detoxification challenges; People consuming alcohol KEY INGREDIENTS: TMG is composed of three methyl groups attached to a glycine atom. It can “donate” methyl groups.
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: TMG is a metabolite of the B vitamin family product called Choline. Choline has 4 methyl groups, TMG has 3 and DMG has 2. These substances plus Folic acid, Vitamin B-12 and SAM-e are all methyl donors. Methyl donors can contribute methyl groups to biological processes such as liver function, detoxification and cellular replication (production of new cells). Methylation protects the kidneys and stimulates production of the fat-transporting molecule l-carnitine.
TMG helps the liver metabolize fats, preventing the accumulation of fats in the liver. It also helps to detoxify chemicals in the liver, while protecting the liver from being damaged by those chemicals.
Methylation with TMG helps to convert the dangerous, inflammatory chemical homocysteine into the amino acid methionine. TMG may lower homocysteine when B-6, B-12 and folic acid cannot.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: TMG is also known as Betaine and is a component of Betaine hydrochloride (Betaine HCl), a stomach acid supplement that is very acidic. But Betaine HCl is not used in the same way as TMG. TMG is not highly acidic and will not supplement low stomach acid.
TMG may be useful for autistic children, along with B-6 and magnesium. It may also be useful in strengthening the body’s immune response against pathogenic bacteria. There is very preliminary evidence that TMG and methyl donors may help against some forms of seizures.
DMG has been used as a sports supplement. TMG is 50% more effective than DMG in any application where the methyl groups are useful. Otherwise, they can used interchangeably.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: One serving per day, or up to 6,000 mg., as needed.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: SAM-e, Milk Thistle (Silymarin), Dr. Verghese’s Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator, Antioxidants, NAC, Homocysteine Regulators, D-Flame, Detox Support
CAUTIONS: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement.
People with Parkinson’s or taking L-dopa should not use methyl donors like TMG without a physician’s specific approval and supervision. There are no other known drug interactions with TMG.
This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim. This is not an official publication by any company, nor has this information been screened or approved by the FDA or any private company.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. REFERENCES:
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June 25, 2005 08:13 PM
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Home on the Range
June 13, 2005 03:52 PM
Home on the Range
by Janis Jibrin, RD Energy Times, September 5, 1999
Got chicken? Americans can't seem to get enough of this bird. Last year each of us ate, on average, just about 80 pounds of chicken, a whopping increase over the 49 pounds we each devoured in 1980 and an eight-pound increase from 1995. Part of this food's popularity comes from its lean image as a healthier, less fatty alternative to red meat (don't forget to take the fatty skin off). Chicken's also a cheap protein source: At many popular supermarkets you'll find weekly specials at about a dollar a pound.
But at health food markets, chicken can cost upwards of $1.69 a pound. These birds may be touted as raised in an organic, stress-free environment and on a vegetarian diet, free of antibiotics. For many people, this poultry is a better buy.
The Alternative Chicken
Most of the supermarket chicken you pick up in grocery refrigerated cases are broilers, birds bred to mature in about eight weeks. In comparison, in the '60s, chickens needed 14 weeks to become adult poultry. Conventionally-raised broilers eat grain mixed with whatever's cheapest on the market, such as recycled cooking oil that's been used to fry fast foods and animal parts.
These birds reside in chicken coops the size of football fields and don't see the light of day until transported to the slaughterhouse. On the other roost, alternatively raised chickens are brought up in a variety of ways (see box), but usually enjoy a more relaxed life and diet.
Chickens on the farm receive antibiotics for two reasons: To fight off the diseases that can run rampant through a crowded chicken coop and to encourage faster growth.
Antibiotics Stimulate Growth
Mark Cook, PhD, professor of animal science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, explains, "Gut bacteria trigger an immune system assault, which makes chickens a little feverish, suppresses appetite and slows growth. Antibiotics stimulate growth indirectly, by keeping bacteria levels down, and preventing the immune reaction." When birds get sick, they often get dosed with even more antibiotics.
This widespread antibiotic use has come home to roost and may contribute to the growth of bacteria that, frequently exposed to chemicals, have evolved ways to keep from being killed by pharmaceuticals.
This development threatens human health. Bacterial infections that people contract, once easily cured by penicillin or other drugs, are now tougher to eradicate. For instance, campylobactor, a common bacteria found in chicken, and responsible for some food poisonings, now demonstrates signs of resistance to drugs like floroquinolones. A powerful class of antibiotics, floroquinolones used to dependably conquer this infection.
"Floroquinolones are an extremely important class of antibiotics, used to treat many types of infections such as urinary tract infection, a wide variety of gastrointestinal illnesses, pneumonia, almost everything," says Kirt Smith, DVM, PhD, epidemiologist, acute disease epidemiology section, Minnesota Department of Health.
A study by Dr. Smith, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (340, 1999: 1525-32), showed that the percent of floroquinolone-resistant campylobactor appearing in infected people in his state-Minnesota-climbed from a little over 1% in infected people during 1992 to 10.2% in 1998. He and other scientists strongly suspect that the rise is a direct consequence of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to allow floroquinolones in poultry feed beginning in 1995.
Although it was nearly impossible for Dr. Smith to trace the precise origin of campylobactor poisoning, he believes chicken was usually the source-and not just U.S. chicken. Many of the infected people had returned from Mexico and other countries.
"Sales of floroquinolones for poultry use in Mexico has increased dramatically," notes Dr. Smith.
Many alternative chicken producers do not use any antibiotic-laced feed at all. Other farmers adjust the feed to lower gut pH, making it more acidic and lowering chances of bacteria. At the U. of Wisconsin, Dr. Cook is developing antibodies to suppress the immune response to bacteria so chickens won't need antibiotics to spur growth. Buying and dining on chicken raised with little or no antibiotics could beneficially lower your risk of contracting a hardy bacterial infection. Better to catch campylobactor from an antibiotic-free chicken than a conventional chicken, speculates Dr. Cook. "There's less likelihood the bug will be resistant, and a better chance your problem can be cured with antibiotics," he explains.
And, looking beyond your own immediate health risk, buying antibiotic-free chicken makes a small contribution to stopping the spread of antibiotic resistant bugs. A Matter of Taste Conventionally raised chickens get little exercise and live only eight weeks, so they're tender but bland.
"There's not much taste in a modern chicken. Free range or organically grown, older birds usually have more taste," notes Dr. Cook.
The days of barnyard chickens happily clucking and strutting around in picturesque nature have disappeared with the family farm. Today, chickens lead a meager existence. After hatching, baby chicks are tossed into a gigantic hen house that is home to up to 30,000 birds. Their short lives are lived within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandated 3/4 square foot per chicken. In that squeeze, birds can catch "chicken influenza," especially in winter when it's too cold to let in much fresh air.
Laying hens don't experience much more of a peaceful existence. These birds live their years with about five other hens, so crowded they can't flap their wings. Cages, suspended in the air, let eggs roll into a holding area. So they don't peck each other, hens are often debeaked, a painful process that can cause infection.
Hens go through natural laying and "dry" cycles. Growers manipulate this cycle by "forced molting," depriving hens of food for four to 14 days to keep them constantly laying. By the end of two years, hens are worn out. Their inactivity weakens their bones enough that electrical stunning, the usual method for knocking chickens out before slaughter, shatters their bones. So some wind up being plucked and boiled alive, according to Mary Finelli, program director for farm animals and public health at the Humane Society of the United States. The meat from these hens, tougher than other birds, was probably in your deli lunch sandwich. It's also used in the school lunch program or may end up in dog food.
"Generally, organically-grown broilers and hens have it better because room to move is part of the organic certification process," says Finelli. Finelli suggests visiting chicken suppliers to find out how chickens are treated. Or, she advocates a Humane Society book listing reliable firms. For a local producer call the society: 202-452-1100. According to a Consumer Report report, some growers force chickens out the last week of their lives to brand them "free range." So free range isn't a prime standard for choosing a decently raised chicken. However, turkeys thrive outdoors, so choosing free-range turkey is often a good idea for better tasting poultry.
In any case, organic is your best bet for chicken without pesticides. Make it your main choice for your 80 pound yearly consumption!
To fight cruel treatment of poultry:
• Forced Molting Ban. Forced molting is shocking hens for more eggs. To support petitions banning forced molting write: Docket Manage-ment Branch, FDA, Dept. Health & Human Serv-ices, 12420 Parklawn Drive, Room 1-23, Rock-ville, MD 20857. Include docket # 98P-0203/CP
• Downed Animal Protection Bill (House Bill 443, Senate Bill S515) spares some animals from the tortuous journey from chicken house to slaughterhouse. Mandates humane euthanization.