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Even the World Anti-Doping Agency has warmed to CBDs
February 18, 2018 03:59 PM
Many government and regulatory agencies around the world are warming up to the important medical benefits of cannabidiol, an oil compound derived from medicinal marijuana. But, even more surprisingly, one of the most strict anti-substance-use agencies in the world is turning its interest to the idea as well. The World Anti-Doping Agency, the arbiter of doping in sport and one of the strictest regulatory bodies around, has been taking testimonials from athletes regarding the potential usefulness of this substance.
"Thanks to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) decision in September of last year, CBD is no longer a prohibited substance as of this year."
Read more: https://www.inlander.com/spokane/even-the-world-anti-doping-agency-has-warmed-to-cbds/Content?oid=8135746
Can your dog be arrested for using a cannabis extract?
December 16, 2017 03:59 PM
Thomas McDermott, a Democrat and the Mayor of Hammond, Indiana, brought up the legality of using cannabidiol oil (CBD) for treating his Labrador retriever's arthritis at the BGD Legislative Conference in Indianapolis. At the conference was Republican Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill who last month stated that the use of CBD was illegal in most circumstances in his state after a bill passed to allow epilepsy patients to legally use the oil for seizures. McDermott questioned Hill using a story about his dog that suffered from arthritis, noting that his vet recommended using CBD oil to treat the pain. He mentioned that the oil allowed his dog to move around more easily, had more energy, and had improved appetite. McDermott thought aloud that Hill was "grandstanding" on CBD, but Hill simply stated he was following the law as it was written. When McDermott asked if his dog was breaking the law, Hill responded that the Mayor himself was breaking the law - not the dog. McDermott was upset afterwards that Hill accused him for being a criminal for treating his dog with CBD, and he has no plans to change the therapy for his dog.
"The question Thomas McDermott wanted answered Wednesday doesn’t get asked often during policy discussions in Indiana: Could his Labrador retriever be breaking the law by using a pain remedy extracted from cannabis?"
Read more: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2017/12/13/can-your-dog-arrested-using-cannabis-extract/949429001/
World Anti-Doping Authority To Permit CBD For Athletes
October 16, 2017 10:14 AM
The World Anti-Doping Authority has ended its ban on cannabidiol, or CBD, paving the way for atheletes to use the drug as from January 2018. Following decades of pressure from athletes and after extensive consultation with experts and other stakeholders, WADA has officially removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances. CBD is widely sought after for its protective and restorative effects. However, CBD that is produced from cannabis may still contain some THC, which remains prohibited.
"Athletes claim they use CBD for protective and recovery treatments, and have been lobbying WADA for decades."
Read more: http://www.cannatech.news/2017/10/10/world-anti-doping-authority-permit-cbd-athletes/
Is Your Fireplace Giving You Lung Cancer?
March 19, 2017 08:44 AM
Your fireplace may actually give you lung cancer. A wood fire can be a really relaxing thing. You can sit by the fireplace and enjoy the night in comfort with a loved one. Although wood fire smells very good, it is not worth the risk of getting cancer. You need to stay safe and make sure that you are not susceptible to cancer.
"According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you should never smell smoke in your home when using a wood burning fireplace."
This Cancer-Causing Chemical May Be in Potatoes, Cereal and Your Morning Coffee, Too
March 15, 2017 11:59 AM
Acrylamide, a chemical created when carbohydrate rich foods are cooked at high temperatures can be found in potato chips, French fries, cereal, toast and coffee among other foods. The chemical has been shown to cause cancer in animals with mixed studies in humans. It can be avoided by shortening cooking times or boiling instead of frying or baking/broiling and don't overcook your food. Soak your potatoes before cooking and avoid potato chips. Keep in mind it firms from plant-based foods so be aware when you cook these types of foods
"In November 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a consumer update advising people to reduce consumption of foods in which acrylamide is plentiful, noting this toxic byproduct is found in 40 percent of calories consumed by the average American."
Possible new head of the FDA is a supporter of medical marijuana … Could Trump's FDA finally stop suppressing cannabis?
February 04, 2017 12:59 PM
Back on November 8th 2016 there was much celebration among the marijuana community. There were four more states that legalized adult use cannabis and several, including Florida, that legalized medical marijuana. However, there was still a lump in the back of many of our throats. Sessions has a long standing anti-drug stance and has made some strong comments against cannabis legalization. Recently the Trump administration has made a surprising announcement when they confirmed previous reports that Jim O'Neil is being considered to lead the Food and Drug Administration.
"For decades, cannabis advocates have pushed for universal legalization of medical marijuana. Citing scientific study after scientific study, they have forcefully (and truthfully) argued that legalization would provide much needed relief to millions of people suffering from a host of medical ailments."
CBD - The Myths And Facts
January 26, 2017 02:59 PM
CDB is a cannabis compound that does not contain any THC, making some believe it is good. There have been some confusing reports recently in the British media about a compound in cannabis called CBD and how it has been reclassified as medicine. There are many facts and myths about it, but most importantly it is not weed, and has many uses.
"In the UK it has been possible to buy CBD as a nutritional supplement. But last October, the Medical Healthcare Regulatory Agency decided to recognise CBD’s therapeutic benefits and reclassify it as medicine."
The Sky's Not Falling! Media Misreporting DEA on CBD “Illegality”
December 23, 2016 12:59 PM
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently created a new code for tracking of cannabis extracts, independent of the code that tracks cannabis itself. This minor tweak to their paperwork unfortunately set off an internet scare, with multiple news sources stating that the new code effectively reversed cannabis and hemp legality when dealing with extracts rather than plants. That was not the case: the DEA has made clear that their coding system has no legal implications, and those statements have been confirmed by industry and legal experts.
"Later, in a follow-up phone interview Baer reiterated to The Cannabist that the move allows the DEA to more accurately track elements such as scientific and medical studies, as researchers use the codes to identify which substance they’re examining."
Heavy metals alert - How to safely detoxify the body
December 14, 2016 08:59 AM
Like heavy metal? The music, not the chemical floating around your body. A new study released shows that heavy metals are inside our bodies. They cause cancer and other horrible diseases. The way to stop this is a detox that will help get rid of all these material from our body.
"Metal poisoning is due to an unhealthy accumulation of metals within the body."
WikiLeaks emails mention aspartame, acknowledging it puts holes in mice brains
November 23, 2016 10:59 AM
Aspartame is bad for us and has been for some time. There are many negative effects of aspartame recorded over the last 20 plus years. People still have done nothing to get rid of this horrible thing because it makes things appear to be better for you. People are just ignoring scientific evidience.
"Unfortunately, the history of how aspartame came to be a societal mainstay is not a sweet one."
One in seven children suffer high air pollution: UNICEF
November 04, 2016 07:49 AM
A recent announcement from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has highlighted the risk that air pollution poses to the world's children. The Agency reported that 1 in 7 children around the world are commonly exposed to high levels of air pollution. This environmental and health crisis is most common in South Asia.
"Almost one in seven children worldwide live in areas with high levels of outdoor air pollution, mostly in South Asia, and their growing bodies are most vulnerable to damage, the U.N. children's Agency UNICEF said on Monday."
July 08, 2009 10:50 AM
The headline "Doubts over heart claims of omega-3 fats" was published in March of 2006 in the world's largest international news Agency, Reuters. This article reported on the findings of a study on omega-3 fats and heart health, which published the exact same month in the British Medical Journal. The article found in Reuters claimed that the systematic review of 89 studies led to the conclusion that there was no substantive evidence that omega-3 fats actually protected individuals against cardiovascular disease or cancer. The New Zealand Herald picked up this article and announced that the heart-healthy advice to eat more oily fish was incorrect, as it advised its readers to put fish oils on the top of the list of medical beliefs that turned out to be myths.
In actuality, the omega-3 investigation, conducted by Lee Hooper and coworkers at the University of East Anglia School of Medicine, was a meta-analysis, as it combined data from several available clinical trials. Meta-analyses are highly speculative due to the differences in the scientific protocols between the included studies, which can lead to difficulty in exposing a common factor. A good meta-analysis is often useful to put contradictory evidence into perspective. However, a poorly designed analysis can lead to bad science and faulty conclusions.
This Hooper analysis was a review of 48 randomized controlled trials, along with 41 cohort studies. However, the investigation only used as few as 15 controlled trials and 3 cohort studies in compiling the data. Included in this analysis were studies that had very small sample sizes and provided little data on the effects under investigation. Extremely low death rates in several of the studies that were included worsened the situation, which resulted in a very large confidence interval and a lower analytical power than what was expected. Additionally, there was a large degree of difference among the included studies. Some of them had death rates in their control groups as low as 0.5%, while others had extremely high control-group death rates exceeding 15% and 22% in two cases. This fact indicates that there were large disparities in the health of subjects. This much heterogeneity among subjects requires a high degree of analytical power in order to produce meaningful results. This was something that the Hooper study lacked.
When addressing the above issues, the authors of the study pointed out that “there were too few events such as deaths, associated cardiovascular events, and incidences of cancer to rule out the possibility of important effects from various interventions.” This basically means that the numbers produced in the study produced results that didn't show much of anything. In a case like this, a person should be extremely cautious as to dismissing a possibly association based on negative results. Dr. Mike Knapton, the Director of Prevention and Care for the British Heart Foundation cautioned the public that they should not stop consuming omega-3 fats or eating oily fish as a result of this study. The wise advice given by Dr. Knapton, however, was not enough to stop the media from fabricating stories and devaluing the necessity for omega-3 fats.
The fact is that omega-3 when taken on a consistent basis can help reduce cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. Look for high quality omega-3 fish oil that is molecularly distilled at your local or internet health food store. Always select name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Omega-3 fish oil is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
May 08, 2009 10:00 AM
L-Cysteine is what is known as a non-essential amino acid, meaning that it can be biosynthesized by the body and hence not an essential part of your diet. Due to its possessing a thiol side chain, it is termed a hydrophilic amino acid with an affinity for aqueous systems. Because of this it is relatively highly reactive, and is therefore an important component of a large number of enzymes and proteins.
Although, after all, it is not an essential amino acid, deficiencies can occur in the young and in the old, and also in those suffering certain metabolic diseases. Dietary sources include high-protein foods such as chicken, turkey, pork, dairy products and vegetables such as cereals, broccoli, garlic and onions.
The biochemistry of this amino acid begins with another amino acid known as serine, and also methionine. The latter is fist converted to homocysteine, which is then combined with serine to form cystathionine. This is then converted into cysteine and alpha- ketobutyrate. The thiol group is highly reactive and gives cysteine its biological properties.
L-Cysteine possesses strong antioxidant properties due to the thiol group which easily undergoes redox reactions. However, it is for its detoxification effect on the body that the amino acid is mainly taken as a supplement. It is, therefore, these properties that we shall discuss first.
Cysteine can reduce the toxic effects of alcohol, such as a hangover or the more serious liver damage. The by-product of alcohol metabolism that does most damage and is responsible for the majority of the negative after-effects of excessive alcohol consumption is acetaldehyde. L-Cysteine converts acetaldehyde into the more acceptable acetic acid, and so prevents the aldehyde from having too much of a negative effect on your health and well-being. However, the results obtained from such studies have been from animals only, and the therapeutic effects of cysteine have not yet been tested on humans.
What has been tested and is known is that L-cysteine is effective in the detoxification of heavy metals in the body. A common source of heavy metal toxicity is mercury from amalgam fillings in the teeth. Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared in 1989 that dental amalgams are a hazardous substance under the Superfund law, many people still have them in their mouths.
The thiol group and L-cysteine has a high affinity for mercury and other heavy metals, as previously stated, and a supplement can be used to remove from the body any mercury leached from mercury-based tooth fillings. It can also be used to bind to copper, lead and cadmium. Lead and cadmium are particularly toxic to the human body, and even though lead is no longer used in plumbing or paints, and cadmium in toys or paints, there are still many sources of these two heavy metals available that can lead to human toxification.
An L-cysteine supplement can be used to remove these heavy metals from the body. Any proteins containing cysteine will tightly bind heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, molybdenum, cobalt and mercury, and allow them to be excreted by the body in the usual fashion. This direct involvement in heavy metal detoxification is a very useful property of this amino acid.
Another detoxification application of L-cysteine is in direct involvement in protecting cellular glutathione levels, and also the prevention of the death of liver cells by acetaminophen poisoning. The latter is of particular interest to many people since acetaminophen is better known as paracetamol, and since this is a freely available over-the-counter drug, overdoses are not unknown. The result of an overdose is the necrosis of liver cells, with eventual liver failure and death.
The treatment of choice is N-acetylcysteine. If used within 10 hours of the overdose it is extremely effective, and even from 16 to 24 hours it is better than other controls. It is believed that the acetylcysteine liberates cysteine which, when available to the liver, enables the biosynthesis of glutathione. Glutathione can then maintain the production of the fifth metabolite required for the specific detoxification of the paracetamol/acetaminophen.
L-Cysteine is also an essential component in the biosynthesis of coenzyme A, an enzyme essential for the production of energy from fats and carbohydrates. It is also a very important component of hair, from which it is commercially produced. Without an adequate intake of L-cysteine the growth of healthy hair would not be possible.
There are several supplemental uses of L-cysteine including the treatment of bronchial conditions for which the amino acid can help to liquefy and clear mucus from the airways and lungs. It is also used to protect against side effects of chemotherapy treatment of cancers and for medical treatments for excessive exposure to radiation.
However, there are certain situations in which L-cysteine should be avoided when at all possible. Diabetics should not use it, and neither should those suffering from cystinuria, whereby large quantities of amino acids, including cystine, are excreted in their urine. L-cystine, incidentally, is formed by oxidation of L-cysteine.
Paradoxically the amino acid is one of the several hundred additives made to tobacco by the cigarette companies. Although, as with the majority of tobacco additives, its purpose is unknown there are two possible reasons for its inclusion. L-Cysteine is a known expectorant, so it could be added to promote the expectoration of mucus in the lungs which is promoted by smoking, and it also increases the production off the antioxidant glutathione that is depleted in smokers.
There are several other non-medical uses for the amino acid, but it is for is its detoxification properties that it is most used as a supplement. However, because it is largely derived from human hair or duck feathers, it may not be classed as kosher or halal in spite of many claims made to that effect, though the more expensive source of microbial fermentation from corn sugar can be.
The substance is recognized as safe by the FDA, and must be labeled as L-cysteine when it is present in a preparation intended for its therapeutic effects. Keep in mind however, that it should be avoided by diabetics.
Vitamin D 1000 IU
October 14, 2008 11:58 AM
Throughout the past few years, vitamin D has rightly gained a lot of overdue respect for the various health benefits that is provides to those throughout the world. However, many of us continue to fall short of the adequate intake of this nutrient as a result of many lifestyle choices. Although it’s important to use it, sunscreen is one of the main culprits contributing to vitamin D inefficiency because it blocks the skin’s ability to make vitamin D during sun exposure. Adding to the problem is the fact that we need even more of this vitamin than we previously thought.
The need for vitamin D is higher than ever, the general population’s adherence to the advice to stay out of the sun or apply sunscreen when outside has inadvertently contributed to 65 to 85 percent of American adults having a vitamin D deficiency. Actually, diet and sun sources of vitamin D are so inadequate that Robert P. Heaney, MD, a bone-mineral specialist and professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, urges all adults to supplement about 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day. So if you run low on vitamin D, what’s the problem? For starters, vitamin D deficiency puts your bone health in danger and increases your risk of rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, and type II diabetes. Additionally, vitamin D is underappreciated for its crucial role in preventing osteoporosis. Since vitamin D is necessary for the efficient absorption of calcium, the principal bone mineral, if you’re planning on getting enough calcium in your body and keep it there, then it is necessary that you have enough vitamin D in your body.
If that isn’t enough motivation to cause you to consider vitamin D supplementation, consider the fact that new research has found that supplementing with vitamin D also prolongs life. Upon reviewing data from 57,000 people involved in 18 different trials, researchers at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France have found that supplementing with vitamin D lowers the risk of death by 7 percent. These trials used vitamin D supplements ranging from 300 to 2,000 IU per day, with the average being approximately 528 IU.
Several experts, those including doctor Robert P. Heaney, MD, are calling for an increase in vitamin D intake for all adults. A good supplement amount of vitamin D is 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day. This amount is safe for everyone, and, considering the importance of vitamin D and the affordability of the supplement, you can’t afford not to do it. The benefits of supplementing with vitamin D far outweigh any costs that are incurred in the purchase of the product. Vitamin D products are sold at many health food stores around the world. To learn more information about the many benefits of vitamin D and its great effects on the body, as well as the results of vitamin D deficiency, don’t hesitate to contact your local health food store.
Genetically Engineered Foods May Cause Rising Food Allergies
January 21, 2008 02:14 PM
Arguments made by the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates plant produced pesticides, tell us not to worry about the thought of consuming toxic pesticides. Instead, they say that the pesticides used, Bt, are produced naturally from a soil bacterium which has a history of safe use by organic farmers who have used the solution for yeas as a method of insect control. Genetic engineers simply remove the gene that produces Bt and insert it into the DNA of corn and cotton plants, making the plant do the work, instead of the farmer. They also say that the Bt toxin is quickly destroyed in our stomach, and even if it survived would not harm humans or any other mammals. However, these arguments are solely that, arguments, which are unsupported and refuted according to a lot of research.
When a study was done, spraying natural Bt over areas in Vancouver and Washington State for months, about 500 people reported reactions, mostly those being allergy or flu-like symptoms. Six of those people had to go to the emergency room, while workers who applied the Bt sprays reported that their eyes, nose, and throats were irritated. Similarly, farmers who were exposed to liquid Bt said that they had reactions such as infection, ulcers on the cornea, skin irritation, burning, swelling, and redness. One woman even reported fever, altered consciousness, and seizures when she was accidentally sprayed with Bt. This proves that the statements of Bt doing no harm on humans is extremely false. As for being destroyed in the digestive system, studies on mice disproved this as well. Results of these, and other, studies showed that plant-produced Bt is always active and much more likely to trigger an immune response than the natural version.
Additional studies in 2005 reported by medical investigators in India found that hundreds of agricultural workers are developing severe allergic reactions when they are exposed to Bt cotton. This exposure includes picking cotton, loading it, cleaning it, or simply leaning against it. Some people that work at ginning factories must take antihistamines daily in order to go to work. These reactions are only trigger with the Bt varieties and the symptoms are virtually identical to those that were described by the 500 people in Vancouver and Washington who were sprayed with Bt.
Another study was done on the basis that Bt-toxin is produced in GM corn and can be eaten intact. It is also in pollen which can be breathed in. Therefore, a village of Filipino people were studied in 2003 when an adjacent Bt cornfield was pollinating. 100 of these people were stricken with disease which included symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, extreme stomach pain, vomiting, chest pains, fever, and allergies, along with respiratory, intestinal, and skin reactions. The symptoms first appeared in those that were living closest to the field and then progressed to those further away. When the same corn was planted in four other villages the following year, the same symptoms returned in all four areas only during the time of pollination.
All of these studies confirm that GM crops engineered to produce built-in pesticides provoke a great variety of immune responses. Allergic reactions are a defensive and often harmful reaction from the immune system to an external irritant that occur when the body interprets something foreign as harmful and offensive and acts accordingly. Since all GM foods have something foreign and different, it is easy to see why the body would react in such ways. As the GM foods arise on the market place make sure you scan each label to make sure you are not buying a GM vegetable of fruit. Check every label this way you will not be stricken with debilitating symptoms that may prevent you from going to work. Always say NO to GM foods and support your organic foods store.
IBS Sufferers Rejoice Over Probiotics
January 18, 2008 10:55 AM
For those people who are tormented by Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the good news is that there is a safe and effective remedy. The FDA recently requested that a drug which is commonly used for IBS be withdrawn from the market, with the Agency adding that doctors who prescribe the drug should work with their patients to transition them into other therapies. Thankfully, studies have already shown that there are specific bacteria that are as effective as the drug and have no side effects. The news about this probiotic treatment offers relief from the debilitating constipation; diarrhea, abdominal cramps, gas, and bloating that cause IBS victims to suffer.
Since there are so many things that can go wrong with the human body, it is amazing that any of us feel healthy. The rush for scientists to find a cure for every problem people experience is now having a negative impact on us, as bacteria have become resistant to the drugs and many of the medications have side effects that are worse than the initial ailment. For many sufferers of IBS, that is the case with the prescription drug Zelnorm. Early this year, Zelnorm was withdrawn from the market at the request of the FDA because of its life-threatening cardiovascular side effects. It was shown to coincide with a higher chance of heart attack, stroke, and worsening heart chest pain that could eventually become a heart attack. Additionally, anti-diarrheal medications of laxative drugs are not recommended for the long-term treatment of IBS because the colon can become dependant on them for a bowel movement.
Because one in five Americans suffer from IBS, this condition is the most common disease diagnosed by doctors. IBS starts affecting people in their early adulthood, afflicting more women than men. Stress, emotions, and diet can strongly affect the colon of people that affected by IBS, triggering a variety of symptoms ranging from uncomfortable to agonizing. Symptoms of IBS can be so severe that their lifestyle can be disrupted. Although IBS cannot be traced back to a single cause, it is classified as a functional disorder, meaning a problem with the way the body works. Researchers have concluded that more than 75 % of patients with IBS have evidence of excessive bacteria in their small intestines. Doctors tell their patients to control their diet and lessen emotional stress, as well as avoid French fries, milk products, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated sodas. The following factors continually affect overall health and can leave microflora in a bad state: stress, diet, pollution, aging, illness, colon cleanses, drugs and antibiotics, medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation, and environmental changes due to traveling or moving.
Research has shown that Bifidobacterium infantis is an effective treatment for all the symptoms of IBS. This supplement helps to restore optimal immune function to protect the intestines from damaging toxins, but also presents no toxins. B. infantis can be found as a supplement, but be sure to buy only supplements that list the exact strain of the bacteria, such as NLS super strain, to make sure that you are getting the right bacteria. This bacterium is the most beneficial bacteria prominent in a healthy baby, having up to 99 percent Bididobacterium spp, in its G.I. tract. B. infantis has also been shown to prevent the invasion of Bacteroies in the gut epithelial layer, a bacteria that is responsible for inflammatory bowel conditions. Taking the right probiotic beneficial bacteria, B. infantis, NLS super strain, may not only ease the symptoms of IBS, it may also help patients achieve optimum health.
Chronic Illness and eating healthy
November 09, 2007 12:43 PM
Chronic illness which exhibits itself as a recurring disease, with lingering and lasting symptoms is a growing pandemic amongst people today. The question is how much of this is due to neglect on the basics of healthy living? Today’s fast paced life style could be a factor for these reoccurring problems. For example, we pride ourselves on keeping five things in the air at the same time; this has caused us to slip from eating three healthy meals per day to drinking a slim fast or popping a diet pill to keep going. Moving away from proper diet and nutrition may be the reason our bodies are breaking down today resulting in chronic illnesses.
Whether you are free from or burdened by illness it is time to take charge of your health! The first thing one can do is basic research. Studies on dietary supplements in scientific and medical research are an ongoing process both in the United States and internationally. If you are interested in finding citations on a particular chronic illness or research that is available I recommend looking at government agencies such as (i) The Office of Dietary Supplements, (ii) The National Institutes of Health (NIH), (iii) The National Agricultural Library (NAL), and (iv) United States Department of agriculture (USDA). It is also possible to obtain research abstracts from different major databases such as MEDLINE for biomedical related articles and AGRICOLA for botanical and agricultural science. To find these different databases and governmental agencies, search google using the respective Agency/database name.
Research shows that stress reduction can help to improve energy levels, improve sleep quality, and reduce high blood pressure. The following are some suggestions for reducing stress:
1. Weight lifting is not just about barbells and muscle-building but about stressing the body as a means for relieving stress.
2. Cardiovascular exercises such as jogging and bicycling.
3. Exercise is helpful by increasing blood flow to the brain, release of hormones, stimulates the nervous system and produces a feeling of well being.
Eating healthy including supplementation
1. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid has the ability to boost the immune system. Vitamin C also helps to produce neurotransmitters by converting L-Tyrosine into dopamine. Along with dopamine, ascorbic acid also synthesizes norepinephrine and serotonin which have been found to be directly related to control anxiety and depression.
2. B-Vitamins are also the important for reducing stress. For example, Niacin (Vitamin B3) helps the body fight stress in three ways, (i) controls blood sugars, (ii) improves blood flow and (iii) regulates the release of energy from carbohydrates.
Stress is a state of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors which are an unavoidable effect of living. Stress has been linked to coronary heart disease, psychosomatic disorders and various other mental and physical problems. Reducing stress is essential and can be done through diet and exercise. Nutritional science studies the relationship between diet and states of health and disease. Nutritional science has found human nutrition is very complex and varies widely and proper nutrition cannot be obtained by simply eating three meals a day because quite simply the average person just does not eat well. If you eat less than five servings of fruits and vegetables daily it is impossible to obtain all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. In order to seek assurance that you are getting all your body needs I suggest you take a good multiple vitamins which supplies at least 100 percent of the daily value for various vitamins and minerals. It is a good idea however to discuss with your doctor the best choices as he or she knows your history and specific health needs best.
FDA proposes to allow irradiated foods to go label-free
July 30, 2007 10:05 AM
Since 1986, any food sold in the United States that has been irradiated must, by law, disclose that fact to the consumer, by bearing the international radura symbol as well as the words “treated by irradiation” or “Treated with radiation.” However, if the FDA has its way, all that could change. The Agency put forth a proposal in April which would require that packaging only reveal a food has been irradiated if the process created a “material change” in the food, such as a change in color, texture, or taste outside of the normal variances for the food. Additionally, the FDA is proposing allowing food manufacturers to substitute the word “pasteurization” for irradiation,” which has a decidedly negative association in the American consumer’s mind.
Does irradiation = pasteurization?
The bit about swapping the term “pasteurization” for “irradiation” is not actually new. Food manufacturers have been allowed to do that since the passage of the 2002 farm bill, which broadened the legal definition of pasteurization to include “any safe process that is at least as protective as pasteurization and is reasonably certain to kill the most resistant pathogens likely to occur in food.” The California Almond Board, apparently inspired by that legislation, recently announced its decision to irradiate raw almonds and label them “pasteurized.” However, most people still understand the old definitions, whereby pasteurization means using heat to destroy pathogens and irradiation means using ionizing radiation to do so.
Consumers want to know
What is new about the current proposal is the suggestion to lift the requirement that irradiated foods be labeled as such. And that won’t go over so well among consumers. According to a 1997 poll commissioned by the American Association of Retired Persons and Center for Science in the Public Interest, 88.6 percent of Americans want irradiated foods to be labeled. Indeed, the last time the FDA made a move to allow irradiated foods to go label free, the Agency received more than 5,000 comments on the issue.
What’s at stake?
According to the consumer group Center for Food Safety, irradiation can create potentially dangerous chemical byproducts, such as benzene and toluene; cause stunted growth in lab animals fed irradiated foods; and reduces foods’ nutrition value.
Noting irradiation’s unpopularity, the FDA stated that if foods treated with irradiation were not required to be labeled, more manufacturers would probably opt to use it. The Agency is particularly concerned given the E.coli outbreak last November in fresh spinach.
Fortunately, even if the proposal becomes law, there will still be one surefire way to avoid irradiated foods: buying Organic.
References used in this article.
Civic leaders and public citizen tell wal-mart “Nebraskans won’t buy meat treated with irradiation” ! public citizen. May 27, 2007. //www.tradewatch.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=201
FDA may loosen labeling rules for irradiated foods. Center for infectious disease research & policy (CIDRAP). //www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/irradiation/news/apr1007irradiation.html
FDA proposes softening irradiated food labels. April 4, 2004. USA today. //www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-04-05-food-irradiation_N.htm
Food irradiation. The center for food safety. //www.centerforfoodsafety.org/food_irrad.cfm
Complete Liver Cleanse
April 19, 2007 04:17 PM
Complete Liver Cleanse
Technical Data Sheet
The liver performs over 500 functions, including metabolizing carbohydrates and proteins, synthesizing and storing vitamins, and regulating hormones – naming just a few. To do this job, the liver is also required to be exposed to potentially harmful toxins and chemicals, every day.
One way to support the liver is through periodic supplementation with the proper balance of herbal ingredients, phytosterols, and fiber. Complete Liver Cleanse is a convenient, multi-ingredient formula that supports overall liver health and detoxification.
Complete Liver Cleanse:
Includes ingredients for various aspects of liver and gallbladder support:
-Herbal ingredients that support liver and gallbladder health
-Detoxifying ingredients that keep bound toxins from being reabsorbed
-Phytosterols to block cholesterol absorption in the intestines
-Fiber that moves cholesterol and toxins out of the body
-Oat beta-glucan fiber with up to 4 times higher viscosity than other beta-glucan
-Simple, two week liver cleanse program
Each 3 capsules contain:
Calcium (as calcium D-glucarate) 13 mg
Proprietary PuraFiber Blend: 1 mg
Viscofiber Oat B-Gucan Concentrate, phytosterols
(beta sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, brassicasterol,
and other plant sterols), and glucomannan
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Fruit Phytosome 220 mg
One part Milk Thistle Extract, standardized to contain 80%
Silymarin bound to two parts phosphatidylcholine (soy) using
a patented process
Burdock (Arctium lappa) Root Extract 4:1 100 mg
Calcium D-Glucarate 100 mg
Boldo (Peumus boldus) Leaf Extract 2:1 75 mg
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) Rhizome Extract 50 mg
Standardized to contain 90% curcuminoids
Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) Root Extract 4:1 50 mg
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) Leaf Extract 30 mg
Standardized to contain 13-18% caffeylquinic
Acids calculated as chlorogenic acid
Contains no: sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, dairy products, artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, ingredients of animal origin, or preservatives. This product contains natural ingredients; color variations are normal.
Other ingredients: See label for most current information
Viscofiber is a registered trademark of Cebena Bioproducts, Inc. The use and composition of the Viscofiber proprietary formula is protected by patients and patent applications filed in the
This product contains calcium D-glucarate, the use of which is licensed from Applied Food Sciences, LLC, and protected by
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Every day, the liver must process an almost unbelievable amount of blood – at a rate of three pints every minute. All the while, the liver performs over 500 physiologic functions, including protein and glucose synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, vitamin and mineral storage, synthesis of clotting factors, urea formation, metabolism of medications, and the production of bile. The liver also assists in hormonal regulation, blood glucose control, and other regulatory functions.
Harmful substances that have been neutralized by the liver are carried to the intestines and kidneys for excretion. They are transported by bile, a greenish, watery solution that is synthesized, and continuously being excreted, by the liver. Stored in the gallbladder, a small sac cupped in the under surface of the liver, bile is also required for the digestion of dietary fats. However, in the case of toxins, bile is primarily an early transporter of the toxic compounds to the intestines, where they can be bound to fiber that helps transport them out of the body. Environmental toxins, including lipid (fat) soluble toxins, are broken into water-soluble components by bile to be excreted through the kidneys or colon.
Detoxification refers to the process of excreting potentially harmful compounds that are both generated by the body and acquired through exposure to the environment. In the body, toxins are generated as by-products of cellular metabolic processes. Examples include dead and digested bacteria, hydrogen peroxide, cellular debris, and carbon dioxide.
The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that the amount of environmental toxins in the air, groundwater, and soil has increased significantly in the last 40 years. In fact, the use of pesticides has doubled every ten years since 1945. Americans are increasingly exposed to heavy metals, pesticides, fossil fuel emissions, sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, and other harmful chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that traces of toxic chemicals can now be found in nearly every American.
Herbal Liver Support
One of the major components in Complete Liver Cleanse is its milk thistle extract, standardized to contain 80% silymarin, the plant’s most bioactive compound. Milk Thistle provides support, at a cellular level, for healthy liver function. A patented delivery system, known as the Phytosome process, provides superior absorption of the milk thistle extract.
Silymarin, a key compound found in milk thistle, is a mixture of flavonoids with a long history of liver support. Silymarin supports the health of Kupffer cells, specialized liver cells responsible for removing bacteria, old blood cells, and other foreign matter from the liver’s blood supply. Silymarin scavenges free radicals (superoxide anion radical and nitric oxide) produced by activated Kupffer cells, supports healthy leukotriene levels, and supports glutathione production that is used in detoxification.
Silymarin also supports the health of hepatocytes, highly versatile liver cells with unique physiologic functions. Studies of silymarin have demonstrated that it supports the health of the hepatocyte outer membrane, which is crucial to the liver’s detoxification processes. Silymarin also supports the healthy regenerative ability of the liver through support of protein synthesis in the hepatocytes.
A special, patented proves known as Phytosome enhances the absorption of milk thistle in Complete Liver Cleanse. The Phytosome process pairs herbal ingredients with phosphatidylcholine molecules. Phosphatidylcholine is a naturally occurring substance found in soybeans, egg yolks, and some vegetables. In the body, phosphatidylcholine is an important building block of cell membranes.
When milk thistle (or other herbs) are bound with phosphatidylcholine, the phosphatidylcholine molecule facilitates absorption through the intestines into the bloodstream. Research has shown increased blood and serum levels for phytosome herbs in comparison to the individual herb alone.
To test whether binding an herb with phosphatidylcholine increased its bioavailability, researchers gave volunteers identical amounts of either milk thistle alone, or milk thistle phytosome. The researchers then took blood sample from the participants and measured the level of silybin (a key compound in milk thistle). The measurements showed that silybin levels in participants taking the phytosome form of milk thistle were higher, and that silybin was detected for a longer time, than those who took milk thistle without the phytosome delivery system.
Other Herbal Liver Supportive Ingredients
Herbal extracts are often at their best when they are working synergistically – that is, when different constituents of each plant work together and support each other. Complete Liver Cleanse contains a variety of herbal extracts that have noted benefits for supporting the body’s healthy bile flow and free-radical scavenging effects. These ingredients provide a wide spectrum of liver supportive benefits.
For instance, dandelion root extract supports healthy bile flow from the gallbladder.
Burdock is originally native to Europe and Asia, but was introduced to
Burdock root (Arctium lappa) supports the natural physiologic processes of organs involved in detoxification and elimination: notably, the liver, kidneys, and intestines.
Bolodo (pemus boldus) is a small evergreen native to South America, but naturalized to southern
In scientific studies, boldo appears to have strong free-radical scavenging ability, mostly attributed to the catechin and flavonoids content of its leaves. In a clinical study, boldo also appears to relax smooth muscle and support intestinal transit time.
Artichoke Leaf extract specifically supports healthy bile production in the liver and healthy gastrointestinal function in general. Research into artichoke’s gastrointestinal supportive properties has included at least three clinical trials. Artichoke’s role in supporting healthy cholesterol levels within normal limits has also been investigated.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a perennial shrub native to southern
More recently, turmeric has been investigated for its support of healthy bile secretion, and pancreatic and gastric function.
In a scientific study, dietary curcuminoids derived from turmeric supported healthy lipid metabolism and cholesterol levels already within normal limits.
Curcumin has also been shown in scientific studies to enhance the activity of glutathione S-transferase - an enzyme responsible for linking glutathione (one of the body’s natural antioxidants) with toxins to help remove them from the body. In this way, it provides additional support for healthy liver function.
The process of detoxification is the breakdown and excretion of substances that are no longer needed or may be harmful to the body. One of the ways in which the body excretes hormones and toxins is by binding them to glucuronic acid in the liver, and then excreting this compound in the bile.
However, this process can be disrupted by B-glucuronidase, an enzyme that is produced by intestinal bacteria. This enzyme has the ability to break (uncouple) the chemical bond established by glucuronic acid. This action releases the bound toxins, which are then reabsorbed into the body instead of being excreted.
Calcium D-Glucarate is the calcium salt of d-glucaric acid. It is found in both the human body, and in some plant sources, including broccoli and oranges.
Calcium d0glucarate enhances the body’s detoxification systems by inhibiting the actions of beta-glucuronidase. This helps decrease the portion of active compounds that could be hazardous to the body.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is vital to fat digestion, cell structure, nerve insulation and hormone production. Cholesterol comes from two sources: dietary or “exogenous” cholesterol absorbed in the intestine, and “endogenous” cholesterol formed mostly by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.
Cholesterol occurs in two forms known as lipoproteins. Lipoproteins act as transports that carry fat s to and from the cells.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) carries low lipid density cholesterol (LDL) away from arterial walls and returns it to the bloodstream. LDL then travels back to the liver, which processes and eliminates it. While high levels of HDL cholesterol is desirable, high amounts of LDL cholesterol is not supportive of optimal health.
LDL-cholesterol is both synthesized in the body, or absorbed into the bloodstream through receptor sites in the intestines. Think of these receptors as “parking spaces” for cholesterol. As it happens, the liver can receive up to 500 mg per day of cholesterol from intestinal absorption. (It can also produce as much as 1000 mg per day).
One way to help reduce the absorption of LDL cholesterol molecules it to occupy their “parking places” in the intestines. Phytosterols in Liver Cleanse are essentially the “fat” of plants. They’re found in nuts, corn and rice and are some of the “good” fats associated with the benefits of olive oil, flaxseed oil and other healthy oils.
The structure of phytosterols is so similar to cholesterol that they fit perfectly in the specially-shaped intestinal parking spaces that LDL-cholesterol would normally occupy.
Taken with, or just before meals, phytosterols block the cholesterol receptor sites so that cholesterol is excreted from the body rather than absorbed. Phytosterols also have the additional role of helping promote healthy bile salt excretion in the intestines.
The phytosterol blend in Complete Liver Cleanse can help minimize the absorption of cholesterol from high-protein food sources, help retain healthy cholesterol levels that are within normal limits, and move bile sat through the digestive system.
Fiber and detoxification
Fiber plays a key role in the removal and excretion of intestinal toxins in detoxification. Only fibers that can effectively bind toxins will be successful in eliminating these harmful substances. Due to the unique benefits of individual fibers, the best binding, removal, and elimination effects are noted when combining different fiber types. Complete Liver Cleanse contains a combination of oat beta-glucan and konjac fiber that has been shown in scientific studies to bind to bile salts.
Dietary fibers are complex mixtures of cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, mucilage, and gums, which are resistant to digestive fluids or enzymes – that is, they aren’t absorbed into the bloodstream. So, while fiber itself doesn’t necessarily provide nutrients, it does promote laxation and modulate gastric and intestinal physiology. Intestinal flora that normally reside within the colon utilize fiber as a medium for microbial fermentation, resulting in the synthesis of the vitamins, vitamin K and biotin, and the formation of short chain fatty acids, or SCFA.
SCFA have a simple, but important job: to be absorbed by the colon mucosa, increasing fecal matter bulk and providing energy. Fiber has been demonstrated in numerous clinical studies to provide support of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, immune, and endocrine function health.
Complete Liver Cleanse also features two unique fibers to promote detoxification – konjac and oat beta-glucan.
Konjac, (Amorphophallus Konjac) is a tuber native to
As a fiber, konjac has shown positive results maintaining healthy cholesterol levels within normal limits in clinical studies. This beneficial effect is due to konjac’s ability to boost excretion of bile acid.
Oat beta-glucan has been a widely studied fiber source for supporting healthy cholesterol levels within normal limits.
In a randomized clinical study, oat beta-glucan showed support of healthy HDL/LDL ratios already within normal limits in individuals over a three week trial.
Closely linked to cholesterol, oat beta-glucan has also been studied for its support of healthy bile excretion.
Fiber has benefits beyond maintaining healthy cholesterol levels already within normal limits. It also contributes to healthy blood sugar levels already within normal limits. In a double-blind, clinical study, the oat beta-glucan fiber used in Liver Cleanse was shown to have 4 times higher viscosity than another high concentrate beta-glucan fiber.
Viscosity – the resistance to flow – is an important factor in beta-glucan, and all fiber. Water, for instance, would have a low viscosity, because it provides very little resistance to movement. Fiber, on the other hand, should have a higher viscosity in order to maximize its transit time through the GI tract, providing a gentle “scrubbing” on the intestinal walls. Therefore, the higher the viscosity, the greater the potential benefit.
Three capsules in the morning and three capsules at bedtime for 14 days.
Warnings: Do not use if you know or suspect you have an obstructed bile duct or problematic gallstones. If pregnant, nursing or taking prescription drugs, consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use. Keep out of reach of children.
Mushrooms are good for the Immune System
January 26, 2007 06:12 PM
Medicinal Mushrooms Grown on Purple Kculli Corn Yield Life Changing Results
Even though we treat them like vegetables, mushrooms aren’t really plants. They’re fungi and fungi grow much differently than fruits and vegetables. Most food plants, like strawberries, broccoli, and red bell peppers make chlorophyll from sunlight to gain the nutrients they need to grow. Mushrooms don’t make chlorophyll; to get the nutrients they need to grow, mushrooms release enzymes into the forest floor or flora they’re living on to break down the organic matter into a form the mushroom can absorb.
Because most mushrooms that we eat or use today are raised as crops, or cultivated, they are grown on a variety of substrates. Similar to the commercial potting soils you can buy at nurseries and garden stores, mushroom substrates vary widely in quality and the kinds of nutrients within. Mushrooms are really unique in that they can grow on almost anything, such as sawdust, shredded newspaper, and straw.
However, mushrooms are only as nutritious as the substrate they were grown on-even those unique varieties called medicinal mushrooms. While the simple button mushrooms found on pizza are most often eaten for their woodsy taste and texture, the use of medicinal mushrooms is much more complex. These mushrooms are valued because they contain numerous compounds that have been extensively studies by researchers for their ability to activate cells of the immune system.
Researchers have recently discovered that when medicinal mushrooms are grown on a Purple Kculli (pronounced ka-coo-lee) Corn substrate, the resulting mushrooms are jam-packed with powerful and potent disease-fighting compounds. Beautiful Purple Kculli Corn has long been used by the people of the Peruvian Andes as a tasty vegetable, natural food color, and powerful functional food-keeping them healthy and free of disease.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we’re going to talk about four powerful medicinal mushrooms that, when grown on Purple Kculli Corn, have even more potent compounds to prevent and treat cancer and other serious health problems.
Q. How exactly do medicinal mushrooms prevent and treat cancer?
A. Medicinal mushrooms are very complex. They contain numerous compounds that have been extensively studied for their ability to activate cells of the immune system. Some of the most amazing immune boosting compounds in medicinal mushrooms are beta-glucans 1-3, beta glucans 1-6, arabinogalactins, and arabinoxylans – compounds that work “hand-in-hand” with certain cells of the immune system. But to get abundant amounts of these compounds, medicinal mushrooms must be grown on substrates with high levels of nutrients. And the most nutrient dense substrate of all comes from Purple Kculli Corn.
Q. Why is Purple Kculli Corn extract good for growing medicinal mushrooms?
A. You’ve probably heard that brightly colored fruits and vegetables (like beets, broccoli, and blueberries), have more antioxidant power than paler fruits and vegetables (like iceberg lettuce, onions, and garlic). In fact, the deeper the color, the better. And there is no deeper color in nature than the deep purple of Purple Kculli Corn grown in the lush coastal plains of Peru. The kernels from Purple Kculli Corn are not only naturally beautiful, the pigment itself is extremely healthy and have been used by the people of the Peruvian Andes for centuries as both food and food coloring.
Once harvested, the Purple Kculli Corn is naturally processed into an antioxidant-rich extract. When certain medicinal mushrooms are grown on Purple Kculli Corn extract, the Purple Kculli Corn becomes a super-substrate, producing medicinal mushrooms with incredible amounts of the immune-boosting compounds. And when Purple Kculli Corn extract is added to medicinal mushroom formulas the antioxidant power increases, too.
Q. How do the medicinal mushroom compounds fight disease?
A. When bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens are present in the body, white blood cells, or leukocytes, swing into action. Leukocytes work together to defend the body against infections, like colds or the flu, as well as diseases that start within us, like cancer. These disease fighting cells are the backbone of the body’s defense system. And each type of cell works in different ways.
The macrophage, a name that means “big eater,” is a first-strike leukocyte that protects us from disease by, quit literally, devouring invading pathogens. Natural Killer (NK) cells act like sentries – constantly prowling for cancer cells, killing them quickly when they’re discovered. B-cells are the immune system’s military intelligence, seeking out targets and communicating their coordinates, while T-cells are the foot soldiers, destroying the invaders that the intelligence system has identified.
Scientists have long known that medicinal mushrooms help make white blood cells more deadly. But until recently, they weren’t sure how. Research has now shown that macrophages and NK cells have receptor sites specifically for beta-glucans 1-3 and beta-glucans 1-6. When the beta-glucans bind to the macrophages and NK cells, they make the lymphocytes stronger and more lethal. By increasing the lymphocytes’ strength, beta-glucans help them churn out more of the specialized chemical messengers, too.
Arabinogalactins and arabinoxylans, powerful polysaccharides found in medicinal mushrooms, are potent stimulators of the immune system. These compounds increase the activity of interleukins, interferons, and a tumor necrosis factor, all key components in a healthy immune system. When medicinal mushroom extracts with high amounts of Arabinogalactins and arabinoxylans are taken, diseases are dramatically reduced.
Researchers found that complex polysaccharides in four varieties of medicinal mushrooms – Agaricus blazei (Agaricus), Grifola frondosa (Maitake), Coriolus versicolor (Coriolus or Turkey Tail), and Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) – are serious cancer fighters. The chart below explains how:
Mushroom Health Benefit
Agaricus (Agaricus Blazei)
Agaricus not only contains the greatest number of medicinal compounds, it also contains a powerful anti-tumor polysaccharide that all other medicinal mushrooms are lacking. Recently, 100 women who were receiving carboplatin, a chemotherapy drug used to treat ovarian cancer, volunteered for an important study. Half of the women were given an extract of Agaricus mushrooms, while the other half were given a placebo or dummy pill. The researchers discovered that NK cell activity was significantly higher in the Agaricus group. The women in this group were also less nauseated, fatigued, and wear than the women taking the placebo, an important consideration for people with cancer.
Maitake (Grifola Frondosa)
Maitake is one of the most researched of all medicinal mushrooms. In one clinical study, the effect of Maitake mushroom compounds were studied in ten patients with cancer who were not currently taking any chemotherapeutic drugs. The researchers found that the Maitake not only significantly stimulated NK cell activity, it also repressed the cancer’s growth, and stopped the tumors’ ability to metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body. And in another clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given Maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, 69% of breast cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when Maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
Versicolor compounds show great promise as cancer immunotherapy agents in all cancer stages. In one clinical trial, 34 patients with advanced terminal lung cancer were given Coriolus versicolor polysaccharides or a placebo (dummy pill) for 28 days. While the group getting the Versicolor felt less fatigued and sick, very important considerations at the end-of-life, there were no changes in the placebo group.
Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)
Reishi mushrooms are too tough to eat, but they’ve been used medicinally for centuries and have been extensively researched. In a safety study to determine Reishi’s effect on blood thinning mechanisms, healthy volunteers received 1.5 gm Reishi or placebo daily for 4 weeks. There were no significant changes in either group and all blood clotting measurements remained within the normal range, demonstrating its safety. In a recent clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
Not only do Agaricus, Maitake, Coriolus, and Reishi have incredible amounts of immune boosting polysaccharides, when they are grown on Purple Kculli Corn, they also have a much higher ORAC value than mushrooms grown on other substrates.
Q. What are ORAC values?
A. ORAC, or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a measurement of the antioxidant power in fruits and vegetables. The higher the power, or ORAC value, the stronger the antioxidant is against free radicals. While free radicals are made by breathing oxygen and digesting food, and are simply the consequences of being alive, the older we get the more free radicals we make. And the more free radicals we make the more destructive they can be. Free radicals will rip membranes, wreck cells, cripple mitochondria, and ruin DNA. As this damage accumulates, even more free radicals are made. And if not stopped or slowed, this might lead to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, dementia, and cancer.
Q. How does Purple Kculli Corn increase the ORAC value of medicinal mushrooms?
A. All brightly colored fruits and vegetables have very high ORAC values; and the higher the ORAC value – the greater the antioxidant power. Not only can we measure the ORAC values of fruits and vegetables, we can also measure the ORAC values of mushroom substrate extracts. Purple Kculli Corn extract has an ORAC value of 1789 (measured in umolesTE/gram). Now, remember that mushrooms are fungi, not fruits and vegetables, and they gain most of their nutrients from the ground (or substrate) they are grown on. When mushrooms are cultivated or “farmed” on substrates with a high ORAC value, they will absorb compounds from the substrate giving them a higher ORAC value, too. So growing mushrooms on antioxidant rich, high ORAC value, Purple Kculli Corn yields medicinal mushrooms with high ORAC values as well.
Q. Some mushroom supplements have more than four medicinal mushrooms. Wouldn’t a mushroom supplement with seven mushrooms or more have a higher ORAC value than a supplement with only four?
A. Well, more is not always better – especially when it comes to medicinal mushrooms. Some supplements have a “kitchen sink” selection of mushrooms. The makers of these supplements hope that by adding modest amounts of many mushrooms, they will end up with a product that just might have some health benefits.
Clearly, it’s not how many or how exotic the mushrooms are in a medicinal mushroom supplement, it’s the substrate that mushrooms are grown on that makes the difference.
Q. How can I make sure the medicinal mushroom supplement I buy contains natural and organic mushrooms grown on Purple Kculli Corn substrate?
A. Become a label reader! Medicinal mushroom formulas have a statement showing accreditation from a certifying Agency, such as the American Food Safety Institute, International; California Organic Farmer Association, Minnesota; or Crop Improvement Association, on the label, and have met certain criteria. They must be grown without chemicals or pesticides. The growers must be certified as organic mushroom produces by an accredited third party. And the growers must keep a record of their production and handling practices.
Of the nearly 38,000 varieties of mushrooms, Agaricus blazei, Grifola frondosa, Coriolus versicolor, and Ganoderma lucidum have impressive medicinal properties. With a little help from Purple Kculli Corn, these mushrooms can provide even more potent and powerful cancer preventing properties for superior mushroom supplements.
An Interview with Congressman Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast.
May 30, 2006 02:36 PM
Ambassador to Health Profile
An Interview with Congressman Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast.
Congressman Sam Farr, a fifth-generation Californian, represents the state’s beautiful central coast. His district encompasses the length of the big Sur coastline in Monterey County, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Salinas Valley “Salad bowl,” the redwoods, mountains and beaches of Santa Cruz County, and the majestic rural landscape of San Benito County. The health and wealth of this region has been strengthened by Rep. Farr’s focus on the environment, education and the economy. Rep. Farr was raised in Carmel, California and graduated from Willamette University with a BS in biology. He later attended the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the University of Santa Clara. He is fluent in Spanish. As a tough advocate for the health food industry, he has lobbied for strict federal organic standards.
Todd: Congressman Farr, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! Id also like to thank you for all the great things you’ve done for our community, form funding marine sanctuaries and authoring the Ocean’s Act to expanding Pinnacles national Monument. The League of Conservation Voters and others have recognized you as an “Environmental Hero”. And, you’ve worked hard to support the economic vitality of central coast’s $3 billion agriculture industry which includes a substantial organic segment. Our backyard here is also the home of a robust group of nutritional supplement manufacturers. An estimated 187 million Americans are currently taking dietary supplements as part of their daily healthy diet. In California, we’ve got 792 natural product manufacturers and distributors. Where do you stand on the state of our industry?
Congressman Farr: Well, thank you for the introduction and for asking to talk to me about nutritional supplement issues. I am very supportive of this industry and include myself in the 187 million Americans taking dietary supplements. I think supplements offer many safe and viable tools to maintain your health. The continued growth of this industry is an indication of both consumer confidence in the products and the products’ ability to fill the gaps where conventional medical care falls short.
Todd: It is estimated that by 2030, more than 70 million Americans will be over the age of 65 and the cost of health care could reach $16 Trillion per year. A recent study by the Lewin Group showed that by taking certain dietary supplements, seniors can lead healthier, more productive, independent lives while saving billions in reduced hospitalizations and physician services. Do you share our view that a Wellness Revolution is needed to counter the dilemma of an aging population versus shrinking health care support in the future?
Congressman Farr: Our health care system is definitely facing a challenge, especially as the Baby Boomers hit their 60’s and Americans are living longer than ever before. As a Baby Boomer myself, I am well aware of America’s aging population and the impact that will likely have not only on our social institutions but also our fiscal well-being. I agree that dietary supplements do play and will play an even larger role in the future as more seniors look for a way to augment their diets in order to stay healthy and active longer than past generations.
Todd: Our industry is regulated by DSHEA (the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act), which was passed unanimously by Congress in 1994 to create a reasonable regulatory framework for access to, information about, dietary supplements. But many say that the FDA and DSHEA weren’t adequately funded to do the job as tasked. “Supplements are unregulated” is a false argument we sometimes hear. To ensure that the FDA is able to carry out the law as Congress intended, Representatives Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) introduced H.R. 2485, the DSHEA Full Implementation and Enforcement Act of 2005. Did you support this bill and where does it stand today?
Congressman Farr: I think the DSHEA is a critical law and was proud to support it when Congress considered it in 1993 and 1994. I would certainly support H.R. 2485 if it came up for a vote in Congress. Unfortunately this bill has not moved since it was first introduced and referred to the Subcommittee on health in the house energy and commerce committee. Since this is an election year we have a tight schedule with only about 60 legislative days scheduled before we adjourn. That means it’s likely Congress will only finalize bills such as the appropriation bills that fund government before adjournment.
Todd: Our business climate has included some valid and rigorous challenges to improve our industry, from good manufacturing practices (GMP), to allergy labeling, to implications of Prop-65 in California. It’s disconcerting that a new bill, H.R. 3156 The Dietary Supplement Access and Awareness Act would try to capitalize on misconceptions about the industry. In an era of declining health care and declining insurance coverage, this bill would regulate supplements as prescription drugs. Among other things, it would also require adverse event reports to be turned over to the FDA, even though other foods, including those with identical ingredients, do not have the same requirements. This has the potential to be the next Prop-65-like Lawsuit mill. The result of H.R. 3156 would be chilling. It will knock smaller producers out of the market. It will result in higher prices for all supplements. It will decrease the availability of health-giving supplements to the public. What’s your feeling on this?
Congressman Farr: I am similarly concerned about H.R. 3156 and would oppose it if it came up for a vote in Congress. Like H.R. 2485, this legislation has been referred to a subcommittee on Health in the House Energy and Commerce Committee without any further action. The supplement industry has worked in good faith with the FDA since passage of DSHEA and H.R. 3156 would re-invent a wheel that isn’t needed. Instead, adequate funding as proposed in H.R. 2485 would provide ample oversight for the industry.
Todd: According to a recent study, 72% of the general population believe the government should fund more research on health benefits of nutritional supplements. Do you agreen and what can be done to meet this need?
Congressman Farr: I definitely agree that the federal government should play a bigger role in support of research regarding the health benefits of nutritional supplements. As a member of the House Appropriation Committee, I sit on the subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the FDA’s budget and I know the tight fiscal restraints the Agency is under. I’ve worked with my colleagues to provide adequate funding, but it’s an uphill battle especially when we’re in a “robbing Peter to pay Paul” kind of situation. I recommend that people within the industry organize and use your consumer base to actively lobby Congress for additional funds. I’m fond of reminding people that the squeaky wheel gets grease – so let every Congress member and Senator know how much this issue matters to you.
Todd: When there is overwhelming scientific evidence that nutritional supplements provides relief for a disease condition, it currently takes a lawsuit to get the FDA to relent and allow the claim. Even then, the FDA strictly limits the claim and requires a disclaimer that does more harm than good in communicating this important information to the public. There is a new bill, H.R. 4282, The Health Freedom Protection Act that would end FDA and FTC censorship of health information. As an example, the 50% of all adult males who suffer from an enlarged prostate could receive relief from that condition by consuming a simple and safe ingredient, saw palmetto derived from the fruit of the dwarf American palm tree. The FDA censors that information. The public deserves a better opportunity to be informed about omega-3 EFA and heart disease, folic acid and birth defects, phosphatidylserine and cognitive impairment. Do you agree and do you support this bill?
Congressman Farr: I agree the public needs to access to the best information possible so they can make well informed choices about their health. I likely would support H.R. 4282 if it came up for a vote in Congress. Unfortunately this bill is in a similar situation as other we’ve mentioned in this interview – and again because of the tight schedule of an election year, it’s unlikely action will happen this year.
Todd: According to the barometer study, 85% of the US population is currently using some type of dietary supplement. Do you? Looking at your busy schedule from co-chairing the House Oceans Caucus to your seat on the Travel and Tourism Caucus, you are one busy congressman! Are you popping nutritional supplements please tell us!
Congressman Farr: I do take some nutritional supplements, though they vary and since Ginkgo Biloba isn’t among them I cant remember their names off-hand! One product I do use faithfully is Airborne to help me combat germs and colds that I might get from sitting on an airplane. But, like many Americans my life is over-scheduled and combined with the amount of air-travel I do, I find nutritional supplements helpful as I try to stay healthy despite my hectic lifestyle.
Todd: Thank you Congressman Farr! Live long and prosper!
DSEA Release of Health/Cost Impact Study Conducted by the Lewin Group, Initial Results, Wash DC; Nov. 2, 2005
NNFA database. Adam.F on 3-15-06.
DSEA Nutritional Supplement Barometer Study, 2005 Report, Prepared by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI).
Todd Williams; Source Naturals Marketing Programs Manager.
Soft Drinks Contaminated by Benzene
May 27, 2006 09:24 AM
A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing program has found cancer-causing benzene in soft drinks at levels averaging four times the standard for tap water. The brand names have not been released.
The test data were uncovered by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which posted the test results on the group’s website, www.ewg.org
Highly elevated Benzene Levels
Between 1995-2001 the RDA tested 24 samples of diet soda for benzene. The result: 79% tested at levels above the federal limit for benzene in tap water, which is 5 parts per billion (ppb). The maximum benzene level detected was 55 ppb. In addition to the diet sodas, the FDA tested a number of other non-diet soft drinks. One cola was contaminated at 27 times the tap water limit, and fruit drink had a 95 ppb level.
“These results confirm our suspicions there are highly elevated benzene levels in some very popular drinks,” Richard Wiles, EWG’s senior vice president said in a press release.
Reaction Triggered by Preservatives
According to an article in beveragedaily.com, sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid in soft drinks can react together to form benzene. Sodium benzoate is a common preservative in soft drinks, and ascorbic acid is often added as an antioxidant to extend shelf life.
Negotiations between the FDA and the beverage industry in 1990 resulted in an agreement that the industry would voluntarily reformulate its soft drinks to prevent this combination. The recurrence of benzene contamination may be due to new soft drink manufacturers in the market who were not a part of, or aware of, the original negotiations.
Britain Pulls Soft Drinks from Shelves
In contrast to the U.S. situation, food safety campaigners in England were successful in having benzene –containing soft drinks removed from the supermarket shelves. The British Food Standards Agency pulled four soft drink brands which contained more than 1 ppb of benzene, and rushed out the results of tests on 149 drinks, including a range of fruit juice, iced tea, squash, fizzy and low-sugar drinks, according to The Times of London.
The Wellness Revolution and Contaminated Soft Drinks
The controversy over benzene in soft drinks is an example of how toxic exposure exists in our food and immediate environment. The constant exposure to toxics were-and especially our children—experience is a major cause of chronic illness.
In this situation, the organic products available for purchase in health food stores are especially vital. And since some exposure to toxics is unavoidable we must take advantage of the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and the liver, the main organ of detoxification, as well as immunity for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, calcium D-glucarate, folic acid, Reishi and shiitake mushrooms, and turmeric.
Sources: www.ewg.org www.beveragedaily.com 02/25/06. Associated Press 04/11/06. www.fda.org.
Public Pressure Forces Corporations to Curtail Most Soda Pop sales to schools
The Nation’s largest beverage distributors have agreed to halt nearly all soda sales to public schools, according to a deal announced may 3rd by the William J. Clinton Foundation.
The companies have agreed to sell only water, unsweetened juice and low fat milks to elementary and middle schools, according to a spokesman for former President Bill Clinton. Diet sodas would be sold only to high schools.
The deal follows a wave of criticism by school districts and state legislatures amid reports of rising childhood obesity. Soda has been a particular target because of its caloric content and popularity among children.
Fight for supplements now—it’s a matter of life and death.
May 20, 2006 01:15 PM
More than 100,000 people a year die from obesity. More than 100,000 people a year die from synthetic drugs’ side effects. These staggering numbers are a direct result of food and drugs. Isn’t there a governmental Agency that monitors our food and drugs? Oh yes—it’s called the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Judging by the numbers, the FDA needs to immediately start improving the quality of our food supply and imposing stricter safety regulations on the pharmaceutical industry. It’s a matter of life and death.
The mortality numbers associated with obesity and drugs are conservative, the tip of a massive iceberg. All signs indicate that the US, like the Titanic, is on a course for a disastrous collision with an unhealthy food supply and increasingly ubiquitous drugs. At the helm is the FDA, navigating like a dangerously distracted captain. The iceberg looms but instead of steering away, captain FDA scrutinizes a harmless ice cube in his glass—the nutritional supplement industry.
As the Iceberg draws closer, the captain is joined by his crew: Senators Dick Durbin, Tom Harkin and Orrin Hatch. Oblivious to the threat they gather around the captain’s ice cube: “this ice cube could be dangerous. How can we minimize the treat? Ice cubes should probably be controlled by the FDA. Let’s draft legislation that treats this ice cube like a iceberg, just in case.” Meanwhile, we are about to crash full speed into the real danger.
Headed for Disaster
This analogy reflects reality: Durbin, Harkin, and Hatch are drafting non-causal Adverse Event Reporting (AER) legislation that could destroy our health freedom. Under AER, supplements will be associated with adverse events like heart attacks and strokes—even if they had nothing to do with, and did not cause, those events. Treating safe, natural supplements as if they are drugs makes about as much sense as treating an ice cube like an iceberg.
While these senators target natural supplements, American citizens continue to die at alarming rates because of deadly pharmaceutical drugs and an unhealthy food supply. Where are the priorities of these misguided senators and the FDA? Dietary supplements are part of the solution to this problem, helping to support health and ensure proper nutrition.
AER is a health emergency! Durbin’s legislation could be introduced any day now. We the people, the passengers on this poorly navigated ship , must mutiny, storm the helm, fight against non-causal AER and steer towards health freedom.
We must Take Control!
If we want safe, beneficial nutritional supplements, we must exercise democratic power of the people. AER is poised to implementation. We must rise up together and tell our elected officials that we demand the right to take vitamins! Send Fax today, and send another fax tomorrow to make your voice heard! Fax vitamin adversary Senator Dick Durbin at 202-228-0400, and let him know you will never vote for an enemy of health freedom. Fax key vitamin players in Congress, Senators Tom Harkin at 202-224-9369 and Orrin at 202-224-6331. Let these senators know that their support of non-causal AER will forever tarnish their legacies. Fax Senator Michael Enzi, Chairman of the senate Subcommittee on health, Education, Labor and Pensions, at 202-228-0359. Tell Senator Enzi in no uncertain terms that dietary supplements help keep you and your family healthy, and it is your right to take them.
Visit //www.NHA2006.com/ and use revolutionary technology to enable visitors to rapidly and easily compose letters and faxes to Congress. For health, freedom and liberty, join the NHA.
A toxic by-product of industrial waste.
April 21, 2006 04:34 PM
Imagine a government permitting industry to dump toxic waste products into the drinking water supply, denying the public the right to make an informed choice by censoring the press and dissenting experts. Meanwhile, influential leaders disseminate misinformation and hoodwinked people demand community acess to the dangerous chemical.
Although it might seem like science fiction, this scenario has been playing in America since 1940’s. the toxic chemical? Fluoride. Today, 170 million Americans, approximately two thirds of the population, have fluoridated drinking water issuing from their taps.
A 1998 Gallup poll showed that the majority of Americans—a whopping 70% --support water fluoridation. Dissenters are seen as crackpots and conspiracy theorists.
EPA Unions Call for a Moratorium
In august 2005, eleven Environmental Protection Agency employee unions under the umbrella of NTEU Chapter 280, primarily scientists, researchers, doctors, submitted a request to Congress for a moratorium on drinking water fluoridation, based on scientific evidence that fluoride is a proven carcinogen.
Dr. William Hirzy, Vice President of Chapter 280, explains that the biggest misperceptions about fluoridated water are “that its safe and effective, that basically there are no adverse effects, and that it does this magic of lowering dental decay rates.”
A Profitable By-Product
Although the American Dental Association explains that fluoride is a naturally occurring compound, the form used in drinking water, hydrofluorosilicic acid is, in fact, a product of man.
Today’s fluoride is a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry. Air filtration vents, called “Wet-Scrubbers,” trap fluoride, which is a gaseous by-product of manufacturing. For many years, the gas was vented into the sky, where it caused lawsuits by farmers for burnt crops and sickened animals. Now, the fluoride is sold to American communities as well as developing countries, Dr. Hirzy calculates the fertilizer industry makes about 100 million a year from their toxic by-product.
Fluoride’s Tainted History
Fluoride’s effect upon teeth was first observed in children who were overexposed to ingested fluoride. Their teeth turned pitted and brown, a condition recognized as dental fluorosis. According to the American Dental Association, fluoride damages only the body’s tooth-forming cells, buy many scientists are concerned that other cells are damaged as well.
According to Phyllis Mullenix, Ph.D., a prominent toxicologist, animal research shows that fluoride crosses the blood-brain barrier, causing defects in the brain region devoted to memory and learning. In humans, the behavior evidenced in rats would qualify as motor dysfunction, deficits or learning disabilities.
Is Fluoride Good for Poor People?
Many argue that fluoridation is needed by economically disadvantaged populations with inadequate access to dental care. In fact, these are the people at greatest risk from fluoride, which wreaks its most hazardous effects on those who are malnourished. Calcium deficiency, in particular, is linked with fluorosis.
Is It Good For Anything?
Ironically, many dental authorities acknowledge that ingested fluoride has little to no effect on preventing cavities in the pits and fissures of the teeth, where most cavities occur. Many researchers acknowledge that only topical fluoride can stop cavities. The largest nation wide study, conducted in 1989 by the national institute of Dental Research, showed that children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities have approximately the same cavity rate.
Fluoridation and the Wellness Revolution
The Fluoridation controversy is another example of our health care system’s approach of throwing chemicals at problems, rather than solving them through improved public hygiene and better nutrition. In addition, calcium and vitamin D supplementation can help build strong teeth, while vitamin C is essential for healthy gums.
Source: www. Fluoridealert .org, www. Fluoridedebate .org, www. Nteu280 .org/issues/fluoride/fluoridesummary.htm
California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) and Progesterone Cream Warnings
February 17, 2006 06:29 PM
Scientific Safety Information on Progesterone
California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) and Progesterone Cream Warnings Amy Kosowski, M.S., LDN
Prop 65: What is it?
Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 , was enacted as a ballot initiative in the state of California in November of 1986. The Proposition was intended by its authors to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals 1.
Proposition 65 requires the Governor to publish, at least annually, a list of chemicals “known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity .” Progesterone, as well as other human hormones, appear on this list 1. Set forth below is the information that formed the bases for the addition of progesterone to the Prop 65 list by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”).
Prop 65 and Progesterone - Perspective
In August of 2004, OEHHA published a document stating the rationale for the addition of Progesterone to the Prop 65 list 2. This document is a review of human, animal, and in vitro studies that used progesterone, synthetic progestins, and other progestagens (progesterone-like compounds). Experimental data from the use of all of these compounds were mixed together, along with data from studies using other steroid hormone derivatives (mainly synthetic estrogens) and many different methods of administration.
Although this review covered the existing scientific literature on progesterone and its many derivative compounds, there are many problems with the type of data analysis that was employed.
First, progesterone is endogenous to humans and necessary for bone and reproductive health while progestins and other synthetic progestagens are not. Progestins and progestagens are similar in molecular structure to progesterone, but when they bind to progesterone receptors, their effects are usually much stronger and more likely to cause abnormal physiologic responses 3, 4. Furthermore, the majority of the studies concerning the health effects of these progesterone derivatives involved combinations with synthetic estrogens 2-4.
There were very few studies mentioned in the 2004 document that used exclusively bio-identical progesterone (the kind found normally produced by humans as well as that used in progesterone creams), and those studies that did were at supra-physiologic doses (very high). The doses of progesterone ranged from 10-1000 times the dose usually recommended by manufacturers of progesterone creams 2, although in a few cases, the doses were closer to the recommended dosages.
The route of administration of progesterone is also at issue. All of the studies cited in the OEHHA document used either oral, injected, or suppository forms of hormones; none was conducted using transdermal creams. This is an important consideration because hormones absorbed through the skin are metabolized differently than hormones that are administered via other routes 5, 6.
Putting it Together
While the OEHHA Prop 65 reference document on progesterone 2 is a broad survey of the published scientific literature examining the potential effects of the pharmaceutical use of progesterone and its synthetic derivatives, it is not clear at all that these effects would be seen with the use of low-dose progesterone creams.
The OEHHA Prop 65 progesterone document evaluates a broad range of information regarding progesterone and synthetic materials that are not natural progesterone. The conclusion reached was not challenged, and it is on that basis that progesterone creams now carry the Prop 65 warning.
1 California OEHHA Web Site: //www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/p65faq.html .
2 Reproductive and Cancer Hazard Assessment Section, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency (2004) Evidence on the developmental and Reproductive Toxicity of Progesterone.
3 Campagnoli C, Abba C, Ambroggio S, Peris C (2005) Pregnancy, progesterone and progestin in relation to breast cancer risk. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 97(5):441-450.
4 Campagnoli C , Clavel-Chapelon F , Kaaks R , Peris C , Berrino F (2005) Progestins and progesterone in hormone replacement therapy and the risk of breast cancer. Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2005 96(2):95-108.
5 de Lignieres B, Dennerstein L, Backstrom T (1995) Influence of route of administration on progesterone metabolism. Maturitas 21:251-257.
6 Gompel A, et al. (2000) Progestins were also proapoptotic in normal as well as in hormone-dependent breast cancer cells. Steroids 65(10-11):593-598.
7 Bu SZ ( 1997) Progesterone induces apoptosis and up-regulation of p53 expression in human ovarian carcinoma cell lines. Cancer 79(10):1944-50.
Nutritional Supplements Could Save U.S. $6.5 Billion.
January 07, 2006 12:26 PM
Health Care Crisis Bankrupting U.S. Budget
Nutritional Supplements Could Save U.S. $6.5 Billion.
You probably never heard about it on the radio, nor saw its actions reported on CNN. Others can’t guess what its acronym stands for. The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an investigative arm of Congress examining the receipt and payment of public funds. This government office exists for the sole purpose of communicating to Congress those facts and figures which we, as a society, can’t afford to overlook.
And they are saying that the healthcare system is going to bankrupt us. The Agency recently issued a special report called 21st Century Challenges, which concludes that current U.S. fiscal policies are unsustainable and, unless radical changes are initiated relatively soon, will “result in large, escalating, and persistent deficits.
The Money Pit
According to the GAO report, the United States spends more than 15% of our gross domestic product on health care, and that figures growing fast. We spend a larger percentage than is spent by any other industrialized country. What’s even more suprising is how little we get for the money. An estimated 45million Americans are uninsured. The United States continues to compare abysmally to the other industrialized nations in critical areas like infant mortality, life expectancy, and premature and preventable deaths.
Medicare and Medicaid together devour 20% of the federal budget. With the baby boomers—individuals born between the end of WWII 1960—hitting retirement age this year, those figures will only grow larger with each passing year. Unless, as the GAO report says, something is done quickly.
A report released just weeks ago by the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA) demonstrates that the government can save at least 6.5 billion in health care cost reductions if nutritional supplements are integerated into the healthcare system.
The Lewin Group, a market research firm, developed a report, entitled: Increasing Quality of Life While Minimizing Costs. It focused in on just two supplements, both of which concern reduction in disease prevention for people over age 65. Omega-3 oil, popular for its reduction in coronary heart disease, is projected to save 3.1 billion dollars. Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which supports healthy vision, will save 2.5 billion dollars if this supplement is added to health care plans, according to the study. Savings would come from reduced hospitalizations and doctor’s fees, as well as reduced nursing home use for those who in good health, could remain independent rather than needing to transfer to live-in care facilities.
Early last month, a bipartisan caucus on dietary supplements kicked off. It will be co-chaired by Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), and Rep. Fran Pallone (D-N.J.), and its goal will be to examine the manner in which nutritional supplements may become a component of healthcare reform, such as part of an individual flexible Spending Account or health Saving account. As the GAO report indicates, the government interest is reaching critical mass and nutritional supplements are on the verge of entering a new era. As Congressman Cannon said during a November 2nd press conference, government needs to develop a sound policy supporting nutritional supplements “As more and more Americans start taking responsibility for their own health.”
Sources/Links for Further Reading:
Visit the website of the United States Government Accountability Office. //www.gao.gov/
House Government Reform Subcommittee on Human Rights Wellness. //reform.house.gov/
For more information about the Lewin Group’s Health Impact Study, please visit: //www.supplementinfo.org/
Feds Subsidized Poor Nutrition
October 29, 2005 01:54 PM
Feds Subsidized Poor Nutrition
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this year issued a new food pyramid aimed at convincing Americans to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins such as dairy, meat and beans. While the USDA publicizes its pyramid with much fanfare, the Agency implements policies that subsidize the consumption of nutrition-poor, high fat and processed foods, while offering no incentive to farmers to grow healthful crops.
The Pyramid Versus Farm subsidies
A recent Associated Press (AP) article* contrasted the pyramid recommendations with a breakdown of this year’s $17 billion in direct subsidies to farmers.
Overproduction Leads to Lower Prices
U.S. farm policy leads to the overproduction of nutrition-poor, fat and starch-laden foods. As a result, the prices of these foods go down, while healthy food remains less affordable.
A related AP story describes the barriers faced by poor families who would prefer a more nutrition’s diet but end up eating cheap, unhealthy food. Adam Drewnowski, director of the University of Washington’s Center of public Health Nutrition is quoted: “Energy-dense foods rich in starch, sugar or fat are the cheapest option. As long as the healthier lean meats, fish and fresh produce are more expensive, obesity will continue to be a problem for the working poor.”
Food Policy and the wellness Revolution
With obesity and related health problems at a crisis point, some consumer advocates are trying to change our government’s food policies. An effective response to the current dietary crisis requires political charge as well as education about healthy lifestyles. Meanwhile, it is a wise strategy for individuals to develop a personal, nutritional supplement regimen. The centerpiece of this program should be a scientifically advanced and comprehensive multiple such as Source Naturals Life Force.
The wellness Revolution - 90% Of Americans Carry Chemical Stew in their Bodies.
October 01, 2005 01:22 PM
The Wellness Revolution
90% of Americans Carry Chemical Stew in their Bodies
The third national report on human exposure to Environmental Chemicals, issued this summer, shows that most people in the U.S., and especially children, carry a dangerous mixture of chemicals in their bodies. Nevertheless, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), authors of the report, issued a press release focusing on progress made in a few areas—and most media looked no further than the optimistic press release.
The CDC sampled the blood and urine of thousands of subjects across the country for 148 environmental chemicals. This study found a significant decline since previous reports in exposure to secondhand smoke and in lead levels in children’s blood.
Despite the positive headlines, however, the study documented the presence in human bodies of dozens of pesticides and toxic compounds used in consumer products. Among the findings:
Body Burden and the wellness Revolution
This Study—the latest indication that all of us carry a “body burden” caused by widespread chemical use in our society—shows the need for a system that relies on organic agriculture and alternative pest controls. The constant exposure to toxics we experience today is a major cause of chronic illness, including cancer, birth defects or abnormal development, brain or nervous system damage, hormonal and reproductive imbalances, and impaired immunity, to name just a few.
Meanwhile, individuals should take advantage of the organic products available in health food stores, and the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and the liver, the main organ of detoxification, as well as immunity—for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, calcium d-glucarate, folic acid, Reishi and shiitake mushroom, and turmeric. A healthy lifestyle and appropriate supplementation can offer some protection from societal pollution.
Sources: Third National Report on Human Exposure to environmental Chemicals, 2005, available at www.cdc.gov. Los Angeles Times, 7/22/05. A Brief Companion to CDC’s 2005 National Exposure Report, Physicians for Social Responsibility, www.psr.org. Pesticide action network, www.panna.org.
CRN Steps Up Efforts Against Calif. High School Sports Supplement Bill
September 26, 2005 09:16 AM
Washington - The council for Responsible nutrition (CRN) has stepped up its efforts to amend Calif. S.B. 37, an oft-amended bill that originally sought to protect high school athletes from performance-enhancing substances, but has been recently changed to focus on two supplements—ephedra and DHEA—already illegal to California minors, As well as synephrine, which is on the U.S. Anti-doping Agency (USADA) watch list. In addition to its regular opposition efforts, including a position statement, CRN gave each legislator a poster, detailing concerns about the narrow focus on the bill and the possible motives behind the bill’s current focus on dietary supplements.
“We are not opposed to preventing young athletes from abusing harmful products”, said Judy Blatman of CRN. “We are suggesting a simple amendment—change the words ‘dietary supplements’ to ‘performance enhancing substances.’ Broadening the language to include steroids, growth hormones and illegal drugs would encourage athletes to avoid use of harmful substances.”
The bill, created by Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), was introduced last year but was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for being to “broad, vague and unfocused,” according to Blatman. Schwarzenegger then drew fire for his connections to supplement marketers and several sports nutrition-based magazines.
Pesticide Report Shows Widespread Body Burden.
September 16, 2005 10:50 AM
Women and Children Especially Vulnerable
Most Americans carry toxic pesticides in their bodies, according to a recent report. Often, the so called “body Burden” of these chemicals is well above government-defined safety levels. Included are pesticides linked to cancer, birth defects, low birth weight, declining sperm counts, and infertility.
Chemical Trespass, by the Pesticide Action Network, analyzes data collected by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) from blood and urine analyses of 9,282 people. Among the findings:
Pesticides residues and metabolites were found in every subject. The average person had 13 pesticides in his or her body. The Average 6 to 11 year old was exposed to certain organophosphorus (OP) pesticides at four times the levels deemed acceptable by the environmental protection Agency. Children are especially susceptible to dietary pesticides since they eat more food on a body weight basis than adults.
Organochlorine (OC) pesticides were found as significantly higher levels in women. This probably reflects women’s higher body fat content; OC pesticides are stored in fatty tissue.
Mexican-Americans showed the highest pesticides exposure, probably due to their disproportionate employment in agriculture. However, the statistics did not include occupational information.
Many pesticides used widely in the past, such as DDT and chlordane, are still found in our bodies, even in children born years after they were banned.
Cause for Alarm?
The CDC, which tested for 116 environmental chemicals, stressed that presence of these chemicals in the body does not necessarily indicate disease and called for more study of the dosages that should cause concern. The Pesticide Action Network sharply criticized this approach as a “Failure to protect public health.” Much evidence links long-term, low-level exposure to chronic illnesses, the group said, and the problem is more acute when one considers the additive effects of combining chemicals.
Pesticides and the wellness Revolution
This study shows the need for a system that relies on organic agriculture and alternative pest controls. Meanwhile, individuals should take advantage of the organic products available in health food stores, and the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and immunity—for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, Reishi and shiitake mushroom, turmeric, and much more.
Sources: Second National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, Center for Disease Control, available online at www.cdc.gov.exposurereport Chemical Trespass, Pesticide action network, available online at www.panna.org
Adverse Reactions to Foods and Dietary Supplements
August 27, 2005 08:27 AM
Adverse Reactions to Foods and Dietary Supplements
Answers to common Questions
The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that between 60,000 and 106,000 deaths per year in the United States are caused by prescription drugs. See JAMA, April 15, 1998 – Vol 279, No. 15. Fortunately, adverse reactions to foods and dietary supplements are far more rare than adverse reactions to drugs. However, we each consume a larger variety and quantity of foods than drugs. Because of this, and because each of us can react differently, an allergic or isolated reaction to a food or supplement is a possibility. Here’s helpful information about what to do if you or someone you care for has what appears to be an adverse reaction to a food or dietary supplement.
What types of reactions could I have?
The most common adverse reaction is an allergic reaction. In order to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction, carefully read all labels and buy products from reputable manufacturers who accurately disclose the ingredients in their products. If you need help finding these manufacturers, ask your local health food retailer for recommendations.
How do I know what caused my reaction?
Take time to carefully review what might have caused the reactions. Doctors and experts in toxicology look at several different factors in trying to determine the cause of a particular reaction.
1. Is this reaction a side effect of drugs I am taking?
Asking your self these questions can help limit the number of possible causes and may lead you to an answer more quickly.
What should I do if I have an adverse reaction?
Weather or not you know the potential cause of the reaction, follow these steps:
How can I reach the FDA or another government Agency about my concerns?
Various state and federal agencies employ personnel who can help respond to concerns or questions about adverse reactions. Following is contact information for some of the agencies:
How can I report an adverse event?
FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) has an Adverse Event Reporting System (CAERS) that can be contacted in any of the following ways:
You can contact FDA’s MedWatch Program in any of the following ways:
For Non-emergencies related to products purchased via internet, fill out an online form on FDA’s website at vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/qa-top.html (see link to “form to report unlawful sales”)
You may also contact any local poison control center, local or state health agencies, the department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Trake Commision, the Consumer Products safety Commission, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and t hey will forward your report to the FDA.
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: CAUSE FOR WORRY
July 15, 2005 12:26 PM
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: CAUSE FOR WORRY
Among some of the most troubling food additives that we routinely ingest are artificial sweeteners, also referred to as non-nutritive sweeteners. Having received the FDA stamp of approval, they are liberally ingested with little thought to what their actual health risks may be. Andrew Weil, M.D., in his book Natural Health Natural Medicine, writes: More worrisome than preservatives are artificial sweeteners. Saccharin, a known carcinogen, should be avoided. Cyclamates, banned some years ago for suspected carcinogenicity, are not being reconsidered for use in food. They taste better than saccharin but cause diarrhea in some people. Avoid them too. Recently, aspartame (NutraSweet) has become enormously popular. The manufacturer portrays it as a gift from nature, but, although the two component amino acids occur in nature, aspartame itself does not. Like all artificial sweeteners, aspartame has a peculiar taste. Because I have seen a number of patients, mostly women, who report headaches from this substance, I don’t regard it as free from toxicity. Women also find that aspartame aggravates PMS (premenstrual syndrome). I think you are better off using moderate amounts of sugar than consuming any artificial sweeteners on a regular basis. A natural sweetener that may cause some people problems is sorbitol, originally derived from the berries of the mountain ash tree. Sorbitol tastes sweet but is not easily absorbed form the gastrointestinal tract and is not easily metabolized. It is a common ingredient of sugarless chewing gums and candies. If you eat a lot of it, you will probably get diarrhea. People with irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis should avoid sorbitol.
Ann Louise Gittleman, in her book, Super Nutrition for Women, writes: In 1977, a Canadian study indicated that when pregnant rats were fed large doses of saccharin, their male offspring developed bladder cancer. As a result, the Canadians banned saccharin and the U.S. Congress ordered warning labels on all saccharin products like Sweet ‘N Low. The national Academy of Sciences in 1978 evaluated the evidence and concluded that saccharin was primarily a promoter of other cancer-causing agents, a cocarcinogen. In the meantime, G.D. Searle developed aspartame, a combination of two amino acids and methanol (wood alcohol) . . . Few long-term studies of the effects of aspartame have been done. However, reports to the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control indicate that, as more people consume the substitute in large quantities, health may be affected. In some circumstances, individuals may be getting high levels of methanol; for example, it is estimated that on a hot day after exercise, an individual drinking three 12-ounce cans of diet cola could easily consume as much as eight times the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limit for methanol consumption. The most common complaints are dizziness, disorientation, tunnel vision, ear buzzing, loss of equilibrium, numbing of hands and feet, inflammation of the pancreas, high blood pressure, eye hemorrhages and seizures. Artificial sweeteners can stimulate hunger or cause additive allergies, just as sugar does. In other words, we get the disadvantages of sugar, along with the proven or suspected disadvantages of artificial sweeteners. While thousands of Americans continue to consume aspartame in unprecedented amounts, controversy surrounding its safety lingers. Dr. Richard Wurtman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has reported that abnormal concentrations of neurotransmitters developed when he fed laboratory animals large doses of aspartame. He believes that the phenylalanine content of the sweetener actually manipulates and alters certain brain chemicals which could initiate behavioral changes and even seizures. He also purports that while small quantities of aspartame may be safe, the cumulative effects of the compound—particularly if consumed with high carbohydrate, low protein snacks—could be serious (Wurtman I, 799-801, Wurtman II, 429-430, Wurtman III, 1060).
In spite of serious concerns, saccharine and aspartame packets sit in restaurant sugar bowls all over our country, while in Japan, natural stevia powder enjoys popularity as one of the best and safest non-caloric sweeteners available.
June 25, 2005 08:13 PM
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Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics; 1994. 4 Center for Science in the Public Interest and McDonald’s Nutrition and You—A guide to Healthy Eating at McDonald’s: McDonald’s Corp,1991. 5 Bray GA. Appetite Control in Adults. In: Fernstrom JD, Miller GD eds. Appetite and Body Weight Regulation. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1994:1-92. 6 Michnovicz JJ. How to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer. New York: Warner Book Inc. 1994:54. 7 Carcinogens and Anticarcinogens in the Human Diet. National Research Council Report, National Academy of Sciences, 15 Feb. 1996. 8 Van Tallie TB. Obesity: adverse effects on health and longevity. Am J Clin Nutr 1979:32: 2723-33. 9 Somer E, M.A. R.D. Nutrition for Women. New York: Henry Hold and Company, 1993:273. 10 Swaneck GE, Fishman J. Covalent binding of the endogenous estrogen 16A-hydroxyestrone to estradiol in human breast concer cells: characterization and intranuclear localization. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1988:85;7831-5. 11 Colditz GA. Epidemiology of breast cancer. Findings from the nurses’ health study. Cancer1993;714:1480-9. 12 Hennen WJ. Breast Cancer Risk Reduction. The effects of supplementation with dietary indoles. Unpublished report 1992. 13 Deslypere BJ. Obesity and cancer. Metabolism 1995;44(93):24-7. 14 Somer E, M.A. R.D. Nutrition for Women. New York: Henry Hold and Company, 1993:281. 15 Whittemore AS, Kolonel LN, John M. Prostate cancer in relation to diet, physical activity, and body size in blacks, whites, and Asians in the United States and Canada. J Natl Cancer Inst 1995;87(9):629-31. 16 Key T. Risk factors for prostate cancer. Cancer Survivor 1995;23:63- 77. 17 Kondo Y, Homma Y, Aso Y, Kakizoe T. Promotional effects of twogeneration exposure to a high-fat diet on prostate carcinogenisis in ACI/Seg mice. Cancer Res 1994;54(23):6129-32. 18 Wang Y, Corr JG, Taler HT, Tao Y, Fair WR, Heston WD. Decreased growth of established human prostate LNCaP tumors in nude mice fed a low-fat diet. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995;87(19):1456-62. 19 Nixon DW. Cancer prevention clinical trials. In-Vivo 1994;8(5):713-6. 20 Key T. Micronutrients and cancer aetiology: the epidmiological evidence. Proceed Nutr Soc 1994;53(3):605-14. 21 Gorbach SL, Goldin BR. The intestinal microflora and the colon cancer connection. Reviews of Infectious Diseases 1990;12(Suppl 2):S252-61. 22 Shrapnel WS, Calvert GD, Nestel PJ, Truswell AS. Diet and coronary heart disease. The National Heart Foundation of Australia. Med J Australia. 1995;156(Suppl):S9-S16. 23 Ellis JL, Campos-Outcalt D. Cardiovascular disease risk factors in native Americans: a literature review. Am. J. Preventive Med 1994;10(5):295-307. 24 DiBianco R. The changing syndrome of heart failure: an annotated review as we approach the 21st century. J. Hypertension 1994; 12(4 Suppl):S73- S87. 25 Van Itallie TB. Obesity: adverse effects on health and longevity. Am J Clin Nutr 1979;32(suppl):2723-33. 26 Kestin M, Moss R, Clifton PM, Nestel PJ. Comparative effects of three cereal brans on plasma lipids, blood pressure and glucose metabolism in mildly hyper-cholesterolemic men. Am J Clin Nutr 1990;52(4):661-6. 27 Story JA. Dietary fiber and lipid metabolism. In: Spiller GA, Kay RM. eds. Medical Aspects of Dietary Fiber. Penun Medical; New York, 1980, p.138. 28 Stein PP, Black HR. The role of diet in the genesis and treatment of hypertension. Med. Clin. North America. 1993;77(4):831-47. 29 Olin JW. Antihypertensive treatment in patients with peripheral vascular disease. Cleve. Clin. J. Medicine. 1994;61(5):337-44. 30 Tinker LF. Diabetes Mellitus—a priority health care issue for women. J. Am. Dietetic Association. 1994;94(9):976-85. 31 Gaspard UJ, Gottal JM, van den Brule FA. Postmenopausal changes of lipid and glucose metabolism: a review of their main aspects. Maturitas. 1995;21(3):71-8. 32 Coordt MC, Ruhe RC, McDonald RB. Aging and insulin secretion. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biology and Medicine. 1995;209(3):213-22. 33 Felber JP. From Obesity to Diabetes. Pathophysiological Considerations. Int. Journal of Obesity 1992;16:937-952. 34 Gillum RF. The association of body fat distribution with hypertension, hypertensive heart disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors in men and women age 18-79. J Chronic Diseases 1987;40:421-8. 35 Haffner SM, Stern MP, Hazuda HP, et al. Role of obesity and fat distribution in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellits in Mexican Americans and non- Hispanic whites. Diabetes Care 1986;9:153-61. 36 Bonadonna RC, deFronzo RA. Glucose metabolism in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes and Metabolism. 1991;17(1 Pt. 2):12-35. 37 Shoemaker JK, Bonen A. Vascular actions of insulin in health and disease. Canadian J. of Applied Physiology. 1995;20(2):127-54. 38 Resnick LM. Ionic Basis of Hypertension, Insulin Resistaince, Vascular Disease, and Related Disorders. The Mechanism of ‘Syndrome X’. Am. J. Hypertension. 1993;6(suppl):123S-134S. 39 Trautwein EA. Dietetic influences on the formation and prevention of cholesterol gallstones. Z. Ernahrugswiss. 1994;33(1):2-15. 40 Cicuttini FM, Spector TD. Osteoarthritis in the aged. Epidemiological issues and optimal management. Drugs and Aging. 1995;6(5):409-20. 41 Melnyk MG, Wienstein E. Preventing obesity in black women by targeting adolescents: a literature review. J Am. Diet. Association. 1994;94(4):536-40. 42 Robinson BE, Gjerdingen Dk, Houge DR. Obesity: a move from traditional to more patient-oriented management. J. Am. Board of Family Practice. 1995;8(2):99-108. 43 Dulloo AG, Miller DS. Reversal of Obesity in the Genetically Obese fa/fa Zucker Rat with an Ehpedrine/Methylxanthines Thermogenic Mixture. J. Nutrition. 1987;117:383-9. 44 Dulloo AG, Miller DS. The thermogenic properties of ephedrin/methylxanthine mixtures: animal studies. Am J Clinical Nutr. 1986;43:388-394. 45 Richelsen B. Health risks of obesity. Significance of the regional distri-bution of adipose tissue. Ugeskr. Laeger. 1991;153(13):908-13. 46 Lissner L, Heitmann BL. Dietary fat and obesity: Evidence from epidemiology. European J. Clinical Nutrition. 1995;49(2):79-90. 47 Lissner L, Heitmann BL. The dietary fat: Carbohydrate ratio in relation to body weight, Current Opinion in Lipidology. 1995;6(1):8-13. 48 Ravussin E. Energy metabolism in obesity. Studies in the Pima Indians. Diabetes Care. 1993;16(1):232-8. 49 O’Dea K. Westernisation, insulin resistance and diabetes in Australian aborigines. Med J. Australia. 1991;155(4):258-64. 50 Bailey C. Fit or Fat . Houghton Mifflen, Boston, 1991. 51 McCarty MF. Optimizing Exercise for Fat Loss. Unpublished report. 52 Weinsier RL, Schutz Y, Bracco D. Reexamination of the relationship of resting metabolic rate and fat-free mass and the the metabolically active components of fat-free mass in humans. Am. J. Clinical Nutrition. 1992;55(4):790-4. 53 Evans WJ. Exercise, nutrition and aging. J. Nutrition. 1992;122(3 suppl):796-801. 54 Schlicker SA, Borra ST, Regan C. The weight and fitness status of United States children. Nutrition Reviews. 1994;52(1):11-7. 55 Raben A, Jensen ND, Marckmann P, Sandstrom B and Astrup A. Spontaeous weight loss during 11 weeks’ ad libitum intake of a low fat/high fiber diet in young, normal weight subjects. Stockholm Press. 1995;916-23. 56 Blundell JE, Cotton JR, Delargy H, Green S, Greenough A, King NA, Lawton, CL. The fat paradox: fat-induced satiety signals versus high fat overconsumption. Short Communication 1995:832-835. 57 Reinhold RB. Late results of gastric bypass surgery for morbid obesity. J Am Coll Nutr 1994;13(4):307-8. 58 McCredie M, Coates M Grulich A. Cancer incidence in migrants to New South Wales (Australia) from the Middle East, 1972-1991. Cancer Causes Control 1994:5(5):414-21. 59 Schiff ER, Dietschy JM. Steatorrhea Associated with Disordered Bile Acid Metabolism. Am. J. Digestive Diseases. 1969;14(6) 60 Nauss JL , Thompson JL and Nagyvary J. The binding of micellar lipids to Chitosan. Lipids. 1983;18(10):714-19. 61 Braconnot H, Sue la natrue ces champignons. Ann Chim Phys 1811;79:265. 62 Odier A. Memoire sur la composition chemique des parties cornees des insectes. Mem Soc Hist Nat Paris 1823;1:29. 63 Johnson EL, Peniston QP. Utilization of shellfish waste for chitin and Chitosan production. Chp 19 In: Chemistry and Biochemistry of Marine Food Products. Martin RE, Flick GJ, Hebard CE and Ward DR (eds.) 1982. p.415-. AVI Publishing Co., Westport, CT. 64 Shahram H. Seafood waste: the potential for industrial use. Kem Kemi 1992;19(3),256-8. 65 Rouget C. Des substances amylacees dans le tissue des animux, specialement les Articules (Chitine). Compt Rend 1859;48:792. Commission on Natural Health Products. 1995 67 Peniston QP and Johnson EL. Method for Treating an Aqueous Medium with Chitosan and Derivatives of Chitin to Remove an Impurity. US Patent 3,533,940. Oct. 30:1970. 68 Poly-D-Glucosamine (Chitosan); Exemption from the Requirement of a Tolerance. Federal Register. 1995;60(75):19523-4. Rules and Regulations. Environmental Protection Agency 40 CFR Part 180. April, 19, 1995. 69 Arul J. “Use of Chitosan films to retard post-harvest spoilage of fruits and vegetables,” Chitin Workshop. ICNHP, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. 70 Karlsen J, Skaugrud O. “Excipient properties of Chitosan,” Manufacturing Chemist. 1991;62:18-9. 71 Winterowd JG, Sandford PA. Chitin and Chitosan. In: Food Polysaccharides and their Applications. Ed: Stephen AM. Marcel Dekker 1995. 72 Chitin Workshop. ICNHP, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. 73 Advances in Chitin and Chitosan. Eds: CJ Brine, PA Sandford, JP Zikakis. Elsevier Applied Science. London. 1992. 74 Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 75 Zikakis, JP. Chitin, Chitosan and Related Enzymes. Academic Press, Inc. 1984. 76 Abelin J and Lassus A. Fat binder as a weight reducer in patients with moderate obesity. ARS Medicina, Helsinki, Aug- October, 1994. 77 Kanauchi O, Deuchi K, Imasato Y, Shizukuishi M, Kobayashi E. Increasing effect of a Chitosan and ascorbic acid mixture on fecal dietary fat excretion. Biosci Biotech Biochem 1994;58(9):1617-20. 78 Maezaki Y, Tsuji K, Nakagawa Y, et al. Hypocholesterolemic effect of Chitosan in adult males. Biosci Biotchnol Biochem1993;57(9):1439-44. 79 Kobayashi T, Otsuka S, Yugari Y. Effect of Chitosan on serum and liver cholesterol levels in cholesterol-fed rats. Nutritional Rep. Int., 1979;19(3):327-34. 80 Sugano M, Fujikawa T, Hiratsuji Y, Hasegawa Y. Hypocholesterolemic effects of Chitosan in cholesterol-fed rats. Nutr Rep. Int. 1978;18(5):531-7. 81 Vahouny G, Satchanandam S, Cassidy M, Lightfoot F, Furda I. Comparative effects of Chitosan and cholestryramine on lymphatic absorption of lipids in the rat. Am J Clin Nutr, 1983;38(2):278-84 82 Suzuki S, Suzuki M, Katayama H. Chitin and Chitosan oligomers as hypolipemics and formulations containing them. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 63 41,422 [88,422] 22 Feb1988. 83 Ikeda I, Tomari Y, Sugano M. Interrelated effects of dietary fiber on lymphatic cholesterol and triglyceride absorption in rats. J Nutr 1989;119(10):1383- 7. 84 LeHoux JG and Grondin F. Some effects of Chitosan on liver function in the rat. Endocrinology. 1993;132(3):1078-84. 85 Fradet G, Brister S, Mulder D, Lough J, Averbach BL. “Evaluation of Chitosan as a New Hemostatic Agent: In Vitro and In Vivo Experiments In Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 86 Malette W, Quigley H, Gaines R, Johnson N, Rainer WG. Chitosan A New Hemostatic. Annals of Thorasic Surgery. 1983;36:55. 87 Malette W, Quigley H, Adickes ED. Chitosan effect in Vascular Surgery, Tissue Culture and Tissue Regeneration. In R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday, Eds: Chitin in Nature and Technology. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 88 Okamoto Y, Tomita T, Minami S, et al. Effects of Chitosan on experimental abscess with Staphylococcus aureus in dogs. J. Vet. Med., 1995;57(4):765-7. 89 Klokkevold PR, Lew DS, Ellis DG, Bertolami CN. Effect of Chitosan on lingual hemostasis in rabbits. Journal of Oral-Maxillofac-Surg, 1991;Aug. 49(8):858-63. 89 Surgery, Tissue Culture and Tissue Regeneration. In Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 90 Hiroshi S, Makoto K, Shoji A, Yoshikazu S. Antibacterial fiber blended with Chitosan. Sixth International Conference on Chitin and Chitosan. Sea Fisheries Institute, Gdynia, Poland. August 1994;16-19. 91 Shimai Y, Tsukuda K, Seino H. Antiacne preparations containing chitin, Chitosan or their partial degradation products. Jpn. Kikai Tokkyo Koho JP 04,288,017 [92,288,017] 13 Oct 1992. 92 Suzuki K, Okawa Y, Suzuki S, Suzuki M. Candidacidal effect of peritoneal exudate cells in mice administered with chitin or Chitosan: the role of serine protease in the mechanism of oxygen-independent candidacidal effect. Microbiol Immunol. 1987;31(4):375-9. 93 Sawada G, Akaha Y, Naito H, Fujita M. Synergistic food preservatives containing organic acids, Chitosan and citrus seed extracts. Jpn, Kokai Kokkyo Koho JP 04 27,373 [92 27,373] 30 Jan 1992. 94 Min H-K, Hatai K, Bai S. Some inhibitory effects of Chitosan on fishpathogenic oomycete, Saprolegnia parasitic. Gyobyo Kenkyu, 1994;29(2):73-4. 95 Nelson JL, Alexander JW, Gianotti L, Chalk CL, Pyles T. The influence of dietary fiber on microbial growth in vitro and bacterial translocation after burn injury in mice. Nutr 1994;10(1):32-6. 96 Ochiai Y, Kanazawa Y. Chitosan as virucide. Jpn Kokai Tokkyo Koho 79 41,326. 97 Hillyard IW, Doczi J, Kiernan. Antacid and antiulcer properties of the polysaccharide Chitosan in the rat. Proc Soc Expl Biol Med 1964; 115:1108-1112. 98 Shibasaki K, Sano H, MatsukuboT, Takaesu Y. pH response of human dental plaque to chewing gum supplemented with low molecular Chitosan. Bull- Tokyo-Dent-Coll, 1994:35(2): 61-6. 99 Kato H, Okuda H. Chitosan as antihypertensive. Jpn. Kikoi Tokyo Koho JP 06 56,674 [94 56,674] 100 Kato H, Taguchi T. Mechanism of the rise in blood pressure by sodium chloride and decrease effect of Chitosan on blood pressure. Baiosaiensu to Indasutori 1993;51(12):987-8. 101 Muzzarelli R, Biagini G, Pugnaoni A, Filippini O, Baldassarre V, Castaldini C, and Rizzoli C. Reconstruction of Periodontal Tissue with Chitosan. Biomaterials. 1989;10:598-603. 102 Sapelli P, Baldassarre V, Muzzarelli R, Emanuelli M. Chitosan in Dentistry. In Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 103 Borah G, Scott G, Wortham K. Bone induction by Chitosan in endochrondral bones of the extremities. In Advances in Chitin and Chitosan. Eds: CJ Brine, PA Sandford, JP Zikakis. Elsevier Applied Science. London. 1992. 104 Ito F. Role of Chitosan as a supplementary food for osteoporosis. Gekkan Fudo Kemikaru, 1995;11(2):39-44. 105 Nakamura S, Yoshioka T, hamada S, Kimura I. Chitosan for enhancement of bioavailability of calcium. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 07 194,316 [95 194,316] 01 Aug 1995. 106 Maekawa A, Wada M. Food Containing chitin or its derivatives for reduction of blood and urine uric acid. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 03 280,852 [91 280,852], 11 Dec 1991. 107 Weisberg M, Gubner R. Compositions for oral administration comprising Chitosan and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. Antacid preparations for alleviating gastric hyperacidity. U.S. patent 3257275 108 Kanauchi O, Deuchi K, Imasato Y, Shizukuishi M, Kobayashi E. Mechanism for the inhibition of fat digestion by Chitosan and for the synergistic effect of ascorbate. Biosci Biotech Biochem1995;59(5):786-90. 109 McCausland CW. Fat Binding Properties of Chitosan as Compared to Other Dietary Fibers. Private communication. 24 Jan1995. 110 Deuchi K, Kanauchi O, Imasato Y, Kobayashi E. Biosci Biotech Biochem. 1994:58,1613-6. 111 Ebihara K, Schneeman BO. Interaction of bile acids, phospholipids, cholesterol and triglyceride with dietary fibers in the small intestine of rats. J Nutr 1989;119(8):1100-6. 112 Weil A, M.D. Natural Health Natural Medicine: Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990:182. 113 Chen Y-H, Riby Y, Srivastava P, Bartholomew J, Denison M, Bjeldanes L. Regualtion of CYP1A1 by indolo[3,2-b]carbazole in murine hepatoma cells. J Biol Chem 1995;270(38):22548-55. 114 Intestinal Absorption of metal ions and chelates. Ashmead HD, Graff DJ, Ashmead HH. Charles C Thomas, Springfield, IL 1985. 115 Nutrient Interactions. Bodwell CE, Erdman JW Jr. Marcel Dekker New York 1988. 116 Heleniak EP, Aston B. Prostaglandins, Brown Fat and Weight Loss. Medical Hypotheses 1989;28:13-33. 117 Connor WE, DeFrancesco CA, Connor SL. N-3 fatty acids from fish oil. Effects on plasma lipoproteins and hypertriglyceridemic patients. Ann NY Acad Sci 1993;683:16-34. 118 Conte AA. A non-prescription alternative in weight reduction therapy. The Bariatrician Summer 1993:17-19. 119 McCarty MF. Inhibition of citrate lyase may aid aerobic endurance. Unpublished manuscript. 120 Bray GA. Weight homeostasis. Annual Rev Med 1991;42:205-216. 121 Dulloo AG, Miller DS. The thermogenic properties of Ephedrin/Methylxanthine mixtures: Human studies. Intl J Obesity 986;10:467-481. 122 Arai K, Kinumaki T, Fujita, T. Bulletin Tokai Regional Fisheries Res Lab. 1968;No. 56. 123 Bough WA. Private communication. 124 Freidrich EJ, Gehan, EA, Rall DP, Schmidt LH, Skipper HE. Cancer Chemotherapy Reports 1966;50(4):219-244. 125 A Drovanti, AA Bignamini, AL Rovati. Therapeutic activity of oral glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis: A placebo-controlled double-blind investigation. Clinical Therapeutics 1980;3(4):260-272. 126 K Deuchi, O Kanauchi, M Shizukuishi, E Kobayashi. Continuous and massive intake of Chitosan affects mineral and fat-soluble vitamin status in rats fed on a high-fat diet. Biosci. Biotech. Biochemistry. 1995;59(7):1211-6. 127 . BesChitin W in Chitin Wound Healing (video), Unitika Corporation, April 1992.
June 25, 2005 08:04 PM
Chitosan is not only very useful, it is also very safe. Chitosan has been used extensively in nummerous industrial, health, and food applications.66,71 Nevertheless, all substances when taken improperly or in gross excess can be detremental to our well-being. For example, water is normally safe when swallowed. On the other hand, breathing large amounts of water can be deadly. Similarly breathing air is relatively safe whereas intraveneous injections of air are usually fatal. To determine the relative safety of various foods, scientists run experiments to determine the food’s toxic level or LD50. Chitosan has been found to have an LD50 of over 16 grams/day/kg body weight in mice.122 Chitosan is a fiber which expands to form a gel in the acidic environment of the stomach. The problems encountered with extremely high doses of chitosan were caused by gastric dehydration and impaction due to the expansion of the fiber.123 To put these data in context, the authors compared Chitosan to common sugars stating “[I]t appears that chitosan is less toxic than these substances.”122 Mice are not men. For safety purposes data gathered in mice is divided by 12 to get the human equivalent.124 The relative LD50 in humans then would be 1.33 grams/day/kg. Given that an average person weighs 150 pounds or 70 kg, this means that the toxic amount for a person would be greater than 90 grams per day. Conservatively, one could feel very confident below the 10% level, or 9 grams per day. Clinical studies have used amounts in the 3-6 grams per day range with no adverse effects. As with any fiber, a person is well advised to drink plenty of water. Changing our diets affects our colon function. Constipation or diarrehea may occur in some persons depending on their individ-ual constitutions and on how well the Chitosan supplement was originally formulated. Even though Chitosan is not digestible by our enzymes, it can and is degraded by soil and water microorganisms. This makes Chitosan environmentally friendly. This was recently acknowledged by the US Environmental Protection Agency when it exempted Chitosan from tolerance level testing.68 Any breakdown of chitosan by our colon microflora would release D-glucoseamine which is itself a wonderfully beneficial nutrient for osteoarthritis sufferers.125 Because Chitosan can bind lipids and certain minerals, it is best to take essential fatty acid supplements, fat soluble vitamins and mineral supplements separate from Chitosan. Taking Chitosan with D- or L-ascorbic acid helps increase the amount of fat bound and decrease the loss of minerals. 77,126
June 25, 2005 09:58 AM
For thousands of years amazing magical and medicinal powers have been attributed to garlic. Prized as a legendary protectant against vampires in Transylvania, it has also been used to enhance sexual prowess and fight off infections. Referred to as “the stinking rose,” it is mentioned in Bible, the Talmud, and in the Odyssey by Homer as well. The Egyptians looked to garlic as a tonic which boosted physical strength and consumed it while building the pyramids. The Greeks utilized its laxative properties, and the Chinese prescribed it for high blood pressure. Vikings and Phoenicians alike extolled the virtues of garlic and used it both for flavoring foods and treating disease.
Garlic is a hardy, perennial bulb which is native to the Mediterranean regions of Africa and Europe. Along with onions, leeks, chives and shallots, garlic is a member of the lily family. The botanical name for garlic, allium sativum may have been derived from the celtic word all which refers to “pungent.” The edible portion of the garlic plant grows underground and consists of a cloved bulb.
Hippocrates believed that garlic could treat uterine cancer and Native Americans used it for stomach cancer. During the Bubonic Plague years in Europe, garlic was used to boost immunity against the infectious organism responsible for so many deaths. Several accounts relate that survivors of the plague were frequently those who had routinely ingested large amounts of garlic. A sixteenth- century herbalist writes, referring to garlic, “The virtue of this herb is thus. It will unbind all wicked winds within a man’s body.”1
During the eighteenth century, Russians utilized garlic to treat influenza. Eventually, garlic would become known as “Russian penicillin.” American colonists regarded garlic for its ability to kill parasites.
In the nineteenth century, Louis Pasteur finally proved scientifically that garlic contains antibiotic properties. His discovery led to the initiation of hundreds of studies which have substantiated his findings. What was thought to be nothing more than a culinary ingredient has medicinal value. Garlic can effectively kill bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. In the late nineteenth century, garlic was routinely used by physicians as an effective treatment for typhus, cholera and whooping cough. It was highly recommended by medical practitioners and considered as staple treatment for infection. Albert Schweitzer used garlic for treating amebic dysentery in Africa. Early in this century, tuberculosis was treated with garlic and it was also used as an antibiotic/antiseptic for wounds during World War II. American and European doctors alike noted a remarkable high cure rate in tuberculosis patients treated with garlic.
2 Septic poisoning and gangrene, which can so quickly develop in battlefield wounds were prevented to a significant degree by using garlic. During the 1950’s Chinese scientists used garlic to successfully treat influenza. Subsequently, western studies found that garlic was an effective treatment for the common cold. Today the widespread use of antibiotics have relegated garlic to the back burner of medicinal therapies for infection. The discovery of penicillin resulted in classifying garlic as nothing more than a folk remedy. Unfortunately, for several decades its medicinal potential was no longer taken seriously by scientists. Over the last decade, scientific interest in garlic has dramatically escalated. In 1990, the First World Congress on the Health Significance of garlic and Garlic Constituents was held in Washington D.C. Herbalists have always considered garlic as an effective treatment and preventative agent against colds, flu and other infectious diseases. The present focus on garlic as a medicinal agent promises to support the notion that garlic should be utilized by medical practitioners much more than it currently is.
Recently, medical research has focused on garlic’s potential value in treating cardiovascular disorders and as an anti-cancer agent. This renewed interest in garlic has contributed to the development of the “Designer Foods Program” which is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.3 This Agency investigates foods that may be effective cancer preventatives. Garlic is one of those foods which may have profound cancer prevention potential.
Catch Your Breath
June 14, 2005 05:56 PM
Catch Your Breath
by Carl Lowe Energy Times, October 10, 2004
Asthma is on the rise. This serious breathing problem already afflicts 300 million people around the world and is expected to hinder the lung function of 400 million people in 20 years (Annual World Asthma Meeting, 2/17/04).
In the US, asthma continues to strike our kids. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (2/24/03), the rate at which kids developed asthma doubled between 1980 and 1995. By 2001, 6.3 million American kids had asthma. The cost of treating all these kids: more than $3 billion a year.
Few researchers are prepared to state definitively why asthma rates have continued to climb during the past two decades. However, many investigators point to factors that seem inextricably linked to this disorder, which is marked by wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing spells.
A report from the American Public Health Association and researchers at Harvard puts a lot of the blame for the high rate of asthma on global warming, smog and the atmosphere's growing burden of carbon dioxide. These are linked to industries and car exhaust that release pollution.
In this increasing burden of toxins released into the atmosphere, the rate of asthma among toddlers has grown to be particularly worrisome. Their rate of asthma has climbed more than twice the national average: by 160% between 1980 and 1994. According to these researchers (Inside the Greenhouse: The Impacts of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and Climate Change on Public Health in the Inner City), global warming-which involves large increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide released by internal combustion engines and and industrial processes-has fomented the asthma epidemic in several ways:
• Extra heat in the atmosphere has stimulated rapid plant growth that results in more fungus, pollen and spores; this causes allergies that often lead to asthma. Weeds like ragweed, which release allergenic particles, have greatly increased during the past few years. • Extreme weather has caused more floods and damp houses, leading to more indoor air pollution from molds. • Diesel pollutants are now combining with pollen and mold to irritate lungs, causing troublesome allergic reactions.
Bus Fume Hazards
The report notes that in neighborhoods like Harlem, in New York City, 25% of all children suffer asthma. Rates are particularly high in children who live in apartments that are located along bus routes.
A finding that surprised the scientists is the fact that carbon dioxide released by city traffic and the burning of coal and natural gas persists over urban areas, causing a dome of CO2 pollution.
Research on air quality in New York City, Phoenix and Baltimore shows that these lingering CO2 domes contain from 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide to 600 ppm. Those levels are significantly above the global average of 379 ppm. Over the course of the earth's history, going back more than 400,000 years before the Industrial Age, research shows the atmosphere has averaged only 180 to 280 ppm.
Breathing difficulties that increase at night can point to asthma, according to Robert Fink, MD: "Asthma can be a nocturnal disease, at its worst between 10 pm and 4 am, when cortisol [a hormone that regulates many bodily functions] levels are lowest" (Pediatric Asthma: Diagnosis and Treatment Goals, Medscape).
Dr. Fink says that if problems with breathing are bad enough to interfere with sleep, a health practitioner should be consulted to analyze the difficulty.
Diet and Asthma
Although nobody can guarantee protection against asthma, research suggests that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce your risk. For instance, a study in Australia found that people who ate the most apples and pears reduced their chances of suffering from this breath-robbing disorder.
In research involving about 1,600 people, aged 20 to 44, they found that those who consumed the largest quantity of these fruits enjoyed the lowest rate of asthma (AJCN 2003; 78:414).
This is the latest study to confirm the fact that apples and other fruits help to keep lungs healthy. " There is extensive evidence from studies over the last 10 to 15 years that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is beneficial to lung health," observes Carol Trenga, PhD, a research scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle. "The most compelling evidence is linked to fruits high in vitamin C, which are associated with improved lung function in the general population of adults and children."
Produce for Smokers
Quitting smoking represents one of the best ways to reduce lung disease. But even if you smoke, research on smokers has found that those who ate a moderate amount of fruits and vegetables have fewer lung problems (American Thoracic Society 97th International Conference 5/2001).
And you don't have to change your diet very much to make a difference: In that research, merely eating one and half pieces of fruit a day or eating about a tablespoon of vegetables daily significantly dropped smokers' chances of serious lung disease.
Fruits and Veggies to the Rescue
In a study at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, scientists looking at the diets of more than 2,500 people found that eating five or more apples or three tomatoes a week increased lung function. Eating apples and tomatoes also reduced the risk of wheezing.
" The likelihood is that any effect is due to the concerted action of all the nutrients in apples and tomatoes, especially the antioxidants that are particularly rich in the peel of apples and contribute to the coloring of tomatoes," says researcher Sarah Lewis, PhD.
" Antioxidants may work by protecting the airways against the insult of tobacco smoke and other atmospheric pollutants," she adds. Dr. Trenga recommends that everyone eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. She also notes, "[I]t is reasonable to suggest modest supplementation with for example, vitamin C (250-500 mg twice/day) and vitamin E (up to 400 IU per day), in at-risk populations as a complementary therapy after considering the specific needs of the individual...These levels are very safe and have other health benefits (such as vitamin E and heart disease) in addition to potentially improving lung health."
Since asthma is linked to allergies, herbs that help to quell respiratory allergies can possibly lower your risk of asthma. A blend of standardized herbal extracts that contains Phyllanthus emblica (Indian gooseberry or amla), Terminalia chebula (Harda or Haritaki), Terminalia bellerica (bedda nut tree), Albizia lebbeck (Indian walnut), Zingiber officinale (ginger root), Piper longum (Indian long pepper), and Piper nigrum (black pepper) has been found to improve breathing and reduce the effect of allergies (FASEB J 2004; Vol II:A912, Abs. 600.8). Other studies have shown that these herbs can relieve nasal congestion, ease sneezing and clear bothersome mucus (J Am Coll Nutr 22(5): Abs 46, 2003).
Avoiding antibiotics may also lower the risk of asthma. " Over the past four decades there has been an explosive increase in allergy and asthma in westernized countries, says Mairi Noverr, PhD, a researcher who has looked at the lin between antibiotic use with asthma and allergies. " We propose that the link between antibiotic use and dysregulated pulmonary immunity is through antibiotic-induced long term alterations in the bacterial and fungal GI microflora."
In other words, Dr. Noverr's research shows that beneficial bacteria in people's intestines, which take part in strengthening immunity and regulating the immune response to pollen, may have been harmed by the overprescription of antibiotics by physicians. Dr. Noverr and his fellow researchers gave lab animals antibiotics before exposing them to candida albicans (a yeast infection). They then exposed the animals to mold spores. The result: a greater sensitivity to inhaling the spores and breathing problems similar to what people experience during hay fever season (104th General Meeting American Society of Microbiology).
" The studies presented here are the first direct demonstration that antibiotic therapy can promote the development of an allergic airway response," says Dr. Noverr. On a global scale, the outlook for asthma is worrisome. As other countries continue their industrial growth, the burden on the earth's atmosphere will grow. Meanwhile, few serious measures are being taken to reduce global warming, and the national diet frequently neglects lung-friendly vegetables and fruits. But within that uncertain scenario, you can boost your chances of healthy lungs: Eat more apples. Stay away from smoky buses. Hope for clear skies.
June 10, 2005 04:08 PM
Basic Detox by Harriet Epstein , February 4, 2002
Basic Detox By Harriet Epstein Trying to stay healthy and clean in a dirty world can prove a difficult task. The rise of modern industry and agriculture has meant the widespread accumulation of toxins in our environment that can cause health problems.
As Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin point out in their book The Road to Immunity (Pocket), "Fat soluble chemicals are readily absorbed by the body but are difficult to excrete. To be excreted, they must first be enzymatically converted into water-soluble substances. Some of them can't be converted at all."
Bock and Sabin point out that a 1990 survey by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that looked at people's tissues found that everyone the Agency examined had styrene (a chemical used to make plastic) and xylene (a paint and gasoline solvent) stored in their bodyfat.
The toxins that you encounter every day are not only present in air and water, but also may be found in food and medicines. If we eat beef that's been exposed to pesticides, those chemicals may be shunted into our bodyfat. Pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables may end up in a similar place.
To cope with chemicals, the human body has evolved methods for detoxifying. When we breathe out we often release inhaled toxins. Other toxins are purged through urine, feces and sweat.
One of the chief organs responsible for cleansing the body is the liver. This organ utilizes a pair of chemical pathways for breaking down and eliminating toxins. In our hectic, industrialized world, this flow of toxins can overwhelm the liver's ability to detoxify. In addition, the dual processes the liver uses to eliminate noxious substances may become unbalanced, allowing toxins produced by one pathway to build up to dangerous proportions.
Once liver function falters, toxic havoc ensues. Toxins may remain in the body, often stored indefinitely in bodyfat. The body's detoxifying systems may be swamped with toxins.
In protecting the liver and enhancing its detox functions, many naturopathic practitioners recommend the herb milk thistle (silybum marianum). According to Steven Bratman, MD, and David Kroll, PhD, authors of the Natural Health Bible (Prima), milk thistle helps the liver cope with its toxic load. Consequently, milk thistle is frequently used in Europe for liver problems like jaundice.
Bratman and Kroll point out that milk thistle "is one of the few herbs that have no real equivalent in the world of conventional medicine." As Lise Alschuler, ND, medical director at the Bastyr Natural Health Clinic, told Natural Digest, "Milk thistle protects the liver against toxic damage (and) helps prevent damage to the rest of the body."
The compounds in milk thistle that help zap toxins, known as silymarin, protect the liver by binding with substances that would otherwise interact with the liver and slow its function. They also help the liver repair itself and regenerate new liver cells.
As an extra bonus, silymarin acts as an antioxidant, protecting liver cell membranes from oxidative damage.
Dandelion has a place as another traditional treatment for toning the liver and boosting the body's filtration system. The leaves are a cornucopia of antioxidants and nutrients including B vitamins, vitamins A, C and D, plus boron, silicon, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They help detoxify by acting as a mild diuretic: they cause the body to eliminate excess fluid.
But herbalists worldwide have found the compounds in dandelion root most useful for helping alleviate liver and gall bladder malfunction. (If you think you suffer these difficulties, consult your health practitioner.) Two unique and helpful natural substances found in dandelion root are chemicals called germacranolide and eudesmanolide. The root, according to the Natural Health Bible, has traditionally been used to speed up a sluggish or congested liver as well as detoxing the body by eliminating constipation. Research indicates dandelion root may stimulate bile flow (Arzneimittel -forschung 9, 1959: 376-378).
Juniper berries (Juniperus communis), may also be taken with dandelion as a diuretic. This botanical, often used to combat urinary tract problems, is also an anti-inflammatory (Phyto Res 1, 1997: 28-31).
Heavy metals rank as dangerous toxins unleashed by modern industry. As Michael Murray, ND, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, explain in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel and aluminum can "accumulate within the (body) where they can severely disrupt normal function."
Public health experts estimate at least one in five Americans has been a victim of heavy metal poisoning. Lead may be the most common villain. In your everyday life, you may be ingesting metals from your cookware, from pesticides, cigarette smoke, dental fillings, polluted fish, and chipping house paint.
Signs that you may suffer from toxicity linked to heavy metals: Unusual fatigue, Persistent headaches, Unexplained muscle pains, Anemia, Ringing in the ears or dizziness and Tremors.
Of course, if you think you suffer from heavy metal poisoning, you should see a knowledgeable health practitioner as soon as possible. Murray and Pizzorno recommend an array of precautions to protect yourself against heavy metals in the environment:
Take a daily multivitamin and mineral.
Take extra amounts of vitamin C and B-complex.
Take amino acids that contain sulfur (taurine, cysteine and methionine) and high sulfur foods like onions and garlic (or supplements). (Consult your pharmacist of health practitioner before taking individual amino acids.)
In addition, Leo Galland, MD, in his book The Four Pillars of Healing (Random House) offers these tips for keeping your digestive tract functioning at top capacity:
Take supplements of lactobacil-lus acidophilus and lactobacillus plantarum, friendly bacteria that in-habit the large intestine. These microorganisms can help break down toxins and eliminate them.
Use aspirin and ibuprofen as little as possible. They increase the permeability of the digestive system, allowing allergens and other problematic substances to enter the body.
Do not use antacids. The stomach's acidic environment is designed to kill ingested bacteria and parasites.
To fight digestive problems or heartburn, cut back on saturated fat; eat smaller meals. Chewing on calcium tablets after meals may help. Foods that can exacerbate heartburn include coffee, alcoholic beverages and very spicy foods.
Dr. Galland also recommends not eating for four hours before bed.
Environmental Free Radicals
Detoxing the body may also require taking antioxidant nutrients to fight off what are called free radicals.
Free radicals are caustic molecues thought to be involved in causing many chronic problems such as cancer and heart disease. Free radicals are created within the body and its cells every time a metabolic activity takes place. While the human body has developed its own mechanisms for defending itself against these byproducts of metabolism, exposure to pollution, radiation and other toxins may overburden the body's free radical burden. Scientists believe that taking extra antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E and carotenoids (natural substances found in many vegetarian foods) may help prevent damage by free radicals.
Environmental oxidizing agents include ionizing radiation (from industry, sun, cosmic rays, x-rays) ozone and nitrous oxide (from auto exhaust) heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead) and cigarette smoke, along with other chemical and compounds from food, water and air. Free radicals are believed to play a role in more than sixty different health conditions, including the aging process, cancer and arteriosclerosis. (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993;90:7915-7922).
The good news? Reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing intake of antioxidant nutrients can shrink the risk of these health problems.
"Antioxidants can't get rid of heavy metals and solvents," says Dr. Glidden, "but they do cut down on the damage they do while they're there. As toxins wander through your body, they generate metabolic reactions, resulting in free radicals. And anti-oxidants mop them up." The liver is the last line of defense in handling toxins; supplements help it regenerate itself.
The body itself does produce enzymes like Superoxide dismutase (SOD) catalase, and glutathione peroxidase which can defend against and defuse many types of free radicals.
Supplements of these compounds are also available to augment the body's supply.
These building block nutrients include the minerals manganese, zinc, and copper for SOD and selenium for glutathione peroxidase. Many vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants. Dr. Crinnion recommends a multivitamin with "a lot of B, especially magnesium."
Since chlorinated pesticides like DDT "rob the body" of B1 and Vitamin A, he says, it's a good idea to supplement these as well.
In addition, acidophilus, a beneficial bacteria that grows in the digestive tract (and found in yogurt) may restore immunity hurt by pollutants. A study on women with recurrent vaginal candidiasis found that acidophilus cut their infections by 300% (Annals Int Med 1992; 116:353-357.)
Another immunity enhancer, colostrum, a natural immune enhancer that promotes cellular repair (Food Res Intl. 1995, 28(1):9-16) can also help the immune system battle pollution.
Vitamin C vs Pollution
A study of vitamin's C's antioxidant properties, conducted by University of Buffalo epidemiologists, and presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Epidemiologic Research, revealed that people with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood serum have lower levels of a marker of oxidative stress.
"It is well known that oxidative stress (cell damage caused by free radicals) plays a role in arteriosclerosis, cancer, pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions," said Holger Schunemann, M.D. a research assistant professor of social and preventive medicine at the University of Buffalo and lead author on the study.
"In this population, vitamin C was negatively associated with oxidative stress, suggesting it may play a role in protecting against these diseases." Vitamin C is the "greatest antioxidant," says Dr. Crinnion. "It has even been shown to clear lead from the blood."
A powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, Vitamin E scavenges free radicals protecting cells from oxidative damage. Vitamin E, "reverses toxicity of various toxic chemicals," says Dr. Walter Crinnion, "it is also a stabilizer of membranes." A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition regarding antioxidant vitamin supplementation and lipid peroxidation in smokers even indicates that an antioxidant-supplemented drink can reduce lipid peroxidation and susceptibility of LDL to oxidation in smokers and may ameliorate the oxidative stress of cigarette smoke.
Dr. Glidden recommends E preferably in the form of mixed tocopherols )If you take blood thinners, check with your health practitioner.)
Unfortunately, completely avoiding toxins in today's world is probably impossible. Civilization and toxic chemicals accompany each other hand in rubber-glove-encased hand. Still, with proper attention to nutrition and supplements to keep our bodies detoxifying, we can probably minimize health difficulties linked to these undesirables.