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  Messages 1-12 from 12 matching the search criteria.
Maitake Mushrooms - Eating your Way to Health Darrell Miller 10/25/13
Maitake Mushroom Darrell Miller 9/10/08
Supplements to Fight Prostate Cancer Darrell Miller 7/29/07
Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements Darrell Miller 5/11/07
Growing Older, Feeling Better Darrell Miller 3/28/07
Conclusion Darrell Miller 11/22/06
Q. If these three natural products are taken together, could they over-stimulate my immune Darrell Miller 11/22/06
Q. How did research discover maitake’s health benefits? Darrell Miller 11/22/06
Takeing Cat's Claw, IP-6 and Maitake Mushroom over stimulate immune system? Darrell Miller 11/11/05
Q. How did researcher discover maitake’s health benefits? Darrell Miller 11/11/05
Mushroom Miracales Darrell Miller 6/18/05
<b> Mushrooms </b> Darrell Miller 6/10/05



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Maitake Mushrooms - Eating your Way to Health
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Date: October 25, 2013 07:36 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Maitake Mushrooms - Eating your Way to Health

maitake

In a world full of processed drugs and foods, the possibilities of getting a viable natural remedy for an ailment have decreased exponentially. As the society as a whole becomes more concerned with the safety and nutritional value of the foods they eat, the need for a food that kills more than two birds with a single stone is one that cannot be outdueled. Currently, one of the best foods of choice out there is the Maitake mushroom.

Where is maitake mushroom came from

The Maitake is an edible mushroom native to the northeastern Japan Mountains. This mushroom contains the maitake D-Fraction, a compound that exists in our bodies in a form referred to as beta-glucan. Since this component plays a vital role in maintaining the body’s homeostatic levels and hindering the development of some detrimental medical conditions, increasing its concentrations in our bodies increases our chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Components of maitake

Research has proven that the active component in the Maitake mushroom inhibits the growth of cancerous cells. It also boosts our immune system by stimulating the production of neutrophils, T-cells and white blood cells. This is achieved by the catalytic effect of the polysaccharide fibers it contains hence increasing the rate at which your immunity system regenerates and how strong it can stand in time of an infection.

Benefits of maitake mushroom

Other uses of the maitake extract include treating high blood sugar levels, combating hypertension, accelerating weight loss, lowering cholesterol levels in the body and supplying us with the trace elements our bodies need to function optimally.

Even though most of these research results are from tests that have not yet been rigorously verified on human beings to prove their effectiveness, there is nothing to be afraid of since eating this mushroom will leave you with no negative side effects.

Currently, we can reap of this mushroom’s healing and health boost powers by either directly eating it or by taking the maitake D-Fraction as a dietary supplement. The last option is more viable to people who do not have access to the mushroom in its original form.

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Maitake Mushroom
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Date: September 10, 2008 09:23 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Maitake Mushroom

Found growing on trunks or stumps of trees in deciduous forests in temperate climates, the maitake mushroom is native to Eastern Canada and the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Maitake also can be found thriving in northeastern Japan and parts of Europe. With fan-shaped caps on stalks that may be fused together in masses, the mature maitake plant can weight up to twenty pounds. Also called dancing mushroom because of people dancing for joy when they found the maitake mushroom, one legend explains that the name refers to the fact that maitake overlaps other forms of fungi and has the appearance of butterfly wings flapping in a dance.

Only thirty years ago this type of mushroom had yet to become cultivated or well-known. Before 1979 maitake could only be found in the wild. However, now cultivation techniques have made it possible for maitake to be enjoyed all over the world, with some Japanese research finding that it is useful for the healing of a variety of ailments. Maitake is quickly becoming more and more important in the field of natural health. Like other mushrooms, maitake is rich in polysaccharides, which are complex natural sugars that have great benefits in healing as they work to strengthen the immune system to help it fight disease. Beta D-glucan is the powerful polysaccharide that is found in maitake, a compound that helps to stimulate the immune response.

Studies have found that maitake mushroom has the ability to reduce blood pressure in laboratory experiments that took place on animals. A study that was conducted in 1994 at the Ayurvedic Medical Center of New York found that maitake can also be of great value for humans too. This study, which involved individuals who had mild to moderate hypertension, was performed on eleven volunteers. Each volunteer was given three 500 mg doses of maitake twice a day for one month.

The results showed that blood pressure was reduced by 5 to 20 percent. Maitake may also be able to help lower blood cholesterol levels, which is a major factor in fighting and preventing heart disease. Several studies on humans have found impressive results, with three out of four patients with hypertension showing reduction in blood pressure after taking three to five grams of maitake each day.

Maitake also contains properties that are able to protect the liver from damage and even potentially reverse the damage that has already occurred. Demonstrating a hepato-protective effect, maitake works against toxins and potential liver damage. It has also been found to help protect the liver from harmful effects of hepatitis, as a group of thirty-two chronic hepatitis-B patients were studied. Each patient was give maitake extract, with the results showing that 72 percent recovered while only 57 percent of the group the used traditional therapy recovered.

As cancer continues to be leading cause of death in the western world, Human studies are beginning to find that D-Fraction polysaccharides in maitake mushroom can help to treat various types of cancer. D-Fraction seems to inhibit carcinogenesis and metastatis. Maitake also seems to help to lessen the severity of treatments that are hard on the body and produce debilitating side effects.

Finally, maitake was also the first mushroom that was found to inhibit the activity of HIV in laboratory studies, as it possesses the ability to kill the HIV virus. It stimulates T-cell action and prevents T-cells from being destroyed by HIV cells. Maitake is valuable for increasing the lifespan of individuals who are infected with HIV, but also there quality of life as it may help to slow the development of AIDS symptoms.



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Supplements to Fight Prostate Cancer
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Date: July 29, 2007 11:41 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Supplements to Fight Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer and Nutritional Supplements

 

Years of research have discovered that the foods a man chooses to eat (or doesn’t eat) can have a profound impact on the health of his prostate gland. Because of this close nutritional link, prostate cancer may be the most preventable type of cancer (after smoking-related lung cancers).

Recently, there has been an incredible amount of research and investigation of prostate cancer. Many of these studies have explored the use of certain nutrients to prevent and actually treat prostate cancer. These nutrients, calcium D-glucarate selenium, broccoli, green tea, maitake, and lycopene are powerful prostate cancer fighters. All are available as nutritional supplements that men can take every day as an important part of a healthy diet.

In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss prostate cancer and how men can actually prevent it with the use of these six nutrients. Plus, if men already have prostate cancer, these nutrients can be an important part of their treatment regimen in fighting their disease.

 

Q. What does the prostate gland do?

A. The prostate is a gland in a man’s reproductive system. It makes and stores seminal fluid, the milky fluid that nourishes sperm. This fluid is released to form part of the semen. The prostate is about the size of a walnut and it is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate actually wraps around the upper part of the urethra, the tube that empties urine from the bladder through the penis.

 

Q. What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

A. Early prostate cancer often does not cause any symptoms. However, many symptoms of prostate cancer are also symptoms of other problems with the prostate, such as an infection or benign prostatic hyperplasia, a prostate enlargement associated with age-related changes.

A man who has any of these symptoms should see his health care practitioner for evaluation:

-A need to urinate frequently, especially at night

-Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine

-Inability to urinate

-Weak or interrupted flow of urine

-Painful or burning urination

-Difficulty in having an erection

-Painful ejaculation

-Blood in urine or semen

-Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.

 

Q. Are certain men more prone to get prostate cancer?

A. Age is the biggest risk factor: most prostate cancers occur in men over 65 years of age. A man’s risk for developing prostate cancer is higher if his father or brother has had the disease. African-Americans are at higher risk for the disease. Mechanics, farmers, sheet metal workers, and workers exposed to cadmium have also had high rates of prostate cancer.

 

Q. How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

A. A man who has any of these risk factors may want to ask his health care professional whether to begin screening for prostate cancer (even though he does not have any symptoms), what tests to have, and how often to have them.

The usual prostate tests include: Digital rectal exam: the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate through the rectal wall to check for hard or lumpy areas.

Blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA): a lab measures the levels of PSA in a blood sample. The level of PSA may rise in men who have prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland), or an infection in the prostate.

These tests will only determine if there is a problem with a man’s prostate gland. They cannot determine if the problem is cancer. Only a biopsy of a sample of prostate tissue can reveal the presence of actual prostate cancer.

 

Q. What nutrients help prevent or treat prostate cancer?

A. The prostate health nutrients, calcium D-glucarate, selenium, broccoli, green tea, maitake, and lycopene, each work in unique ways. Some help men’s bodies’ work more effectively some keep cancer cells from growing, while others actually kill prostate cancer cells. Let’s discuss each nutrient and how it works.

 

Calcium D-Glucarate

It is a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe. There are also “natural” toxins that are produced in our bodies. Excess hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, can cause cancer when they are no longer needed. Cancer causing chemicals not only initiate cancer, but exposure to them can also cause existing cancers to grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly.

Our bodies do a fairly good job of eliminating some of these toxins before they can cause us harm. In the liver, the toxin is bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool. However, yet another chemical, an enzyme called glucoronidase, can break this bond between the toxin and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released back into our bodies, capable of causing us harm once more. The longer the toxins and excess hormones are in our bodies, the greater the chances they can make us seriously sick. Scientists have discovered that increased glucuronidase activity in the body is strongly associated with prostate cancer.

Fortunately, scientists have also discovered that a natural substance found in foods, calcium D-glucarate, can greatly reduce the activity of glucuronidase. Calcium D-glucarate helps our bodies keep the harmful toxins and chemicals bound to glucuronic acid. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase. CDG has been shown in many experimental studies to significantly stop prostate cancer growth. Studies have shown that by taking calcium D-glucarate, our bodies and get rid of the toxic chemicals and excess hormones that might stimulate cancer formation.

 

Selenium

Selenium is an essential trace mineral fund in the soil. Both plant foods like oatmeal and meats that we eat, such as chicken and beef, contain selenium. How much selenium, however, is difficult to determine. This is because the amount of selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in the plant foods that are grown in that soil. Animals, too, will have varying levels of selenium in their muscle, depending on the amount of selenium in their feed. The actual selenium level in the grasses and grains that make up animal feed reflect the amount of the selenium in the soil where they grew.

A major antioxidant, selenium slows down aging, keeps our skin supple, and helps prevent dandruff. Selenium also keeps our blood vessels healthy and protects us from heart disease. However, some of selenium’s most powerful effects are on the prostate gland.

In a recent study, researchers recruited 974 men to take part in a large clinical trial to determine if selenium could prevent cancer. Half of the men were given selenium supplements and half were given a placebo. Researchers, who did know which group got the placebo, watched and recorded the men’s progress. The researchers were amazed to learn that selenium cut the rate of prostate cancer by 63%!

The results of this study were so impressive that it has led to many other studies of selenium and prostate cancer. In fact, researchers at the Arizona Cancer Center and the Arizona College of Public Health in Tucson are currently studying the effect of selenium on prostate cancer in four ongoing clinical trials.

 

Broccoli

Scientists have observed over for a long period of time, that men who eat lots of broccoli have a lower risk of getting prostate cancer. It seems that sulforaphane, a compound abundant in broccoli, is the secret ingredient responsible for this connection. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body, called phase 2 enzymes, which deactivate cancer-causing chemicals. In lab experiments, prostate cancer cells that were exposed to sulforaphane, the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent.

 

Green Tea

There is a potent plant substance in green tea that is a very effective killer of prostate cancer cells. A recent study tested four common components of green tea and determined that one of these compounds, epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, has a special affinity for prostate cancer cells. Scientists discovered that EGCG can stop the growth of prostate cancer dead in its tracks. The chemical structure of EGCG is very similar to substances in red wine and cruciferous vegetables, known cancer killers.

 

Maitake mushroom

For many years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-Fraction.

A recent study at New York Medical College showed that maitake D-Fraction destroyed 95% of human prostate cancer cells in lab experiments.

 

Lycopene

Some of the most exciting nutritional news in relation to prostate health involves lycopene. This carotenoid is found primarily in tomatoes, and men who eat lots of cooked tomatoes have very low rates of prostate cancer. Because promising preliminary reports demonstrate that lycopene can actually kill prostate cancer cells, there has been an explosion of lycopene and prostate cancer studies.

In one of these studies, 32 prostate cancer patients ate a pasta meal covered with three-fourths cup of tomato sauce every day for three weeks. Results showed their PSA levels dropped two points. Even signs of DNA damage dropped sharply. The ability of lycopene to drop these levels in just three weeks has impressed researchers and scientists worldwide.

 

Q. Do I have to take each nutrient separately?

A. While you can purchase each one of these nutrients and take them separately, all of these nutrients are available in prostate health formulas. Make sure the formula you buy contains calcium d-glucarate, lycopene, and selenium, broccoli standardized to contain a minimum of 125 mcg sulforaphane, green tea, and maitake mushroom extract. Standardized ingredients provide consistently effective nutrients.

 

Q. What else can men do to prevent prostate cancer?

A. Adopting a healthy diet, including eating 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, eating several servings of whole grain cereals and bread, and reducing red meat consumption to 2 or 3 servings per week has been shown to reduce the risk of all kinds of cancer. In addition, the recent lycopene studies suggest that a diet that regularly includes tomato-based foods may help protect men from prostate cancer.

Men 50 years and older should have a digital rectal exam (DRE) and PSA test each year. African-Americans and those at higher risk should begin at age 40. Talk with your health care professional to determine how frequently the test should be done.

 

Conclusion

This year doctors expect to find 180,000 new cases of prostate cancer is the United States and 37,000 men will die of it. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. But there is hope.

More cancers are caught early and new treatments might help make it possible for men to live long and healthy lives following their diagnosis. By taking a few simple steps, men diagnosed with prostate cancer can take charge of their lives and overcome much of the fear and anxiety that accompany a cancer diagnosis.



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Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements
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Date: May 11, 2007 10:47 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements

Breast Cancer and Nutritional Supplements

 

There is probably nothing more frightening for a woman than the discovery of a lump in her breast. Cancer and all its consequences quickly come to mind. This quick association may materialize, in part, because no woman is immune. Most have a friend, a sister, a mother, or a coworker who has been diagnosed with the disease. And they know how difficult dealing with this disease can be. Fortunately, 80% of all breast lumps are not cancerous. Most are cysts or a benign clump of tissue.

Over her lifetime, a woman’s breasts undergo many, many changes. From before puberty and on, breast tissue is continually evolving. Breasts often feel different before menstrual cycle, returning to normal a few days after. Pregnancy certainly causes changes in a woman’s breasts, as does breastfeeding. And as women age, breast tissue becomes less dense.

Because of these continual changes, breast tissue especially requires adequate nutrition. While everyone benefits from a healthy diet, there are additional nutrients from which women can specifically benefit.

In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss breast cancer and the vast amount of research that has explored the role nutrition plays in this serious and still deadly disease. Specifically, we will discuss how two B vitamins, calcium D-glucarate, broccoli extract, green tea, maitake mushrooms, and iodine can all help prevent breast cancer.

 

Q. How can these nutrients prevent breast cancer?

A. Scientists learn a lot about disease from simply observing what is happening around them. One observation that has been recognized for many years is that certain cultures have very low incidence of breast cancer. Women n China and Japan are good examples of this. Compared to women in America, Canada, and parts of Europe, Asian cultures have much lower breast cancer rates. It seems likely that something in their diet might be protecting these women from the disease because once Asian women adopt a western diet, their breast cancer rates climb.

Moms (and dads) have also learned a lot about diseases simply by observing what is happening in their families. They have notices that certain vegetables play a large role in the prevention of all types of diseases, including cancer. And, accordingly, they have been urging their offspring to eat their vegetables for several generations.

Building on these observations, scientists have designed and carried out many studies to determine what it is about these nutrients that can prevent breast cancer. What they have discovered, so far, follows. Let’s start with the B vitamins.

 

Vitamin B12

Deficiencies of this vitamin can result in a serious type of anemia. Nerve damage can also occur if B12 levels are too low. Researchers are now investigating whether breast cancer may, in part, be caused by a B12 deficiency as well.

At John Hopkins University in Maryland, two large but separate blood sample donations were evaluated against cases of breast cancer. In 1974, 12,450 blood samples were donated by female volunteers. In 1989, another 14,625 women again voluntarily donated samples of their blood. Cases of breast cancer that occurred in these groups of women were then recorded and their blood samples examined. Women, who had the lowest levels of B12 in their blood, had the highest rates of breast cancer.

Another study, this one taking place in a laboratory setting, discovered that vitamin B12, applied directly against experimental breast cancer cells, actually stopped the cancer cells from growing. The researchers conducting the experiment believe that giving vitamin B12 to women with breast cancer as part of a chemotherapy regime, might help keep the cancer in check.

 

Folic Acid

Low folic acid intake is linked to the development of all cancers. This is because folic acid is crucial to the making and continual repair of DNA, the molecule that carries our genetic code. A recent study discovered that high intakes of folic acid might actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. The researchers looked at the diets of over 2600 women. During interviews with the researchers, the women reported what they usually ate. Once the data was collected, the results showed that women, who ate lots of foods that contained folic acid, had much lower rates of breast cancer.

There is no clear-cut, single cause of breast cancer. Many factors are required for the disease to appear. One such factor is estrogen. A recent study showed that women who developed breast cancer tended to have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women without breast cancer. This means that women who got their periods before age eleven or entered menopause after age fifty-five have a higher risk of breast cancer. This also supports the theory that the number of menstrual cycles a woman has affects her risk for breast cancer.

Another factor is drinking alcohol. Because alcohol raises estrogen levels, if a woman consumes even moderate amounts of alcohol her risk of breast cancer also is increased. The link between alcohol and breast cancer may even be stronger than other dietary links. However, an important study has discovered that folic acid may uncouple this link.

A very large study of over 34,000 women recently studied the effect of folic acid on the risk of breast cancer. This project was part of the Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing, long-term study that looks at nutrition’s role in the development of disease. The women in the folic acid and breast cancer study were followed for 12 years. The participants completed detailed food questionnaires that provided the researchers with important data.

The women were divided into four groups:

1.      Women with low folic acid levels and drink alcohol

2.      Women with high folic acid levels and rink alcohol

3.      Women with low folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol

4.      Women with high folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol

Within these four groups the women were further divided into subgroups according to the amount of alcohol they consumed each day and their specific folic acid intake.

The researchers found that women who consumed the lowest amounts of folic acid and drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day had the highest rate of breast cancer. In contrast, women who had high intakes of folic acid and also drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day, had the same rate of breast cancer as the women with high folic acid intakes who did not drink. In other words, women who had high levels of folic acid in their diet erased their alcohol-related increase in breast cancer risk.

 

Calcium D-Glucarate

It seems estrogen can be both friend and foe. While women need the hormone to soften skin, thicken hair, and fill out hips and breasts, estrogen can also nourish breast tumors, helping them grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly. Thanks, in part, to good nutrition, American women get their periods early and go through menopause alter in life. Women today also have fewer pregnancies; families with one or two children are quite common.

All of these factors increase the time women’s bodies are exposed to estrogen. As we discussed before, longer exposure means increased opportunities for estrogen to cause trouble. It is also a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe.

The body does have a system that eliminates some of the excess estrogen and toxic chemicals before they can cause harm. In the liver, they are bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin or estrogen is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool.

However, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase can break this bond between estrogen and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released from its bone, capable of causing harm once more. Increased beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependant cancers like breast cancer.

Fortunately, scientists have discovered that a natural substance found in foods calcium D-glucarate (CDG) can stop the activity of beta-glucuonidase. CDG keeps the harmful estrogen bound to glucuronidase. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase.

CDG has been shown in experimental studies to significantly stop beast cancer growth. And several human trials are currently underway with CDG to determine its capability to decrease the breast cancer risk in women at high risk for the disease.

 

Iodine

There are some very interesting connections between breast tissue and thyroid tissue. Iodine is an essential trace element present in a hormone of the thyroid gland and is involved in several metabolic functions. One iodine function is the protection of breast tissue from cancerous cells.

In a laboratory study, researchers exposed breast cancer cells and breast tissue without any cancer to a type of seaweed that contains high levels of iodine. The seaweed killed all of the cancerous cells, yet did not harm the normal breast cells. Japanese women frequently eat this type of seaweed and have very low rates of breast cancer. The study’s researchers believe one reason for this low incidence of breast cancer may be the iodine in the seaweed.

And, for some as yet unknown reasons, women who have thyroid cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. While they are unsure why this happens, researchers are continuing to study this link, and support of healthy thyroid function remains an important consideration.

 

Broccoli

For quite some time, scientists have observed that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, significantly reduce the risk of disease, including cancer. It seems a phytochemical in broccoli sulforaphane, is one of the chemicals responsible for this beneficial activity. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body called phase 2 enzymes that deactivate cancer-causing chemicals.

Breast cancer cells exposed to sulforaphane in several lab experiments showed that the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent. Researchers are in the process of setting up clinical trials to study sulforaphane’s effect in women who have breast cancer.

 

Green Tea

There is a tall amount of research, including finding from the Nurses’ Health Study, that suggest green tea beverage consumption is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer. In fact, researchers have long noted the low rates of breast cancer in Japan, a country where green tea consumption is very high.

The active compound in green tea responsible for breast cancer inhibition is epigallocatechin-3 gallate or EGCG. When breast cancer cells are exposed to EGCG in lab experiments, the cells stop growing, lose their ability to replicate, and die.

In a recent study, researchers discovered that drinking green tea prevented the recurrence of breast cancer in women who have previously been diagnosed and treated for the disease. This study involved over 1100 Japanese women. The women who drank green tea every day had very low rates of their breast cancer returning.

 

Maitake Mushrooms

For thousands of years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-Fraction.

Not only does the D-Fraction in maitake mushrooms stop the growth of cancerous tumors, it also alerts and stimulates immune cells (including macrophages and natural killer cells) to fight the disease. Maitake also inhibits some of the mechanism that promotes metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells in the lymph and bloodstream.

Because of this success, maitake is now being used in clinical trials of women with breast cancer. One study reported significant improvement of symptoms, including reduction of the tumor. The maitake was given to breast cancer patients in addition to standard chemotherapy.

 

Q. Should these nutrients be used in place of traditional treatment for breast cancer?

A. Absolutely not. None of these nutrients can cure breast cancer. However, they can be a part of a validated plan of treatment. If you have breast cancer, talk to your health care practitioner about these nutrients. Remember, nutritional supplements are just that: supplements to food, medication, and treatment. They are intended to enhance and prevent, not replace.

 

Conclusion

Despite apprehension in performing self-breast exams, women are very proactive in their health. Yearly mammograms and pap tests have been an important part of their lives for many years, and newer and more accurate diagnoses are emerging. The prevention of health problems in themselves and their families has always been a high priority for women. And for women, nutrition has played an important part of health problem prevention.

Nutritionally speaking, what benefits your breasts benefit your whole body. However, as we have learned, there are specific links between nutrition and developing breast cancer that seem to be fairly strong.

Making a few changes may reduce the risk of developing the disease. The nutrients listed here, vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium d-glucarate, iodine, broccoli, green tea, and maitake mushrooms can be an important part of a woman’s preventative health regimen.



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Growing Older, Feeling Better
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Date: March 28, 2007 02:15 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Growing Older, Feeling Better

Growing Older, Feeling Better

 

Not long ago, when a man turned sixty-five, he became officially old – the best years of his life far behind him. The milestone meant his working days were done and if he was lucky, he might get four or five years to spend as he wished before illness and infirmity set in. It was simply expected and accepted that the older a man got, the sicker he got.

Well, not anymore. Today, a man age 65 is just as likely to be found hiking in the hills, running in a marathon, or even dancing in the streets than rocking in that proverbial front porch rocker. Because it’s becoming more and more evident that the older a man gets, the healthier that man has been.

Eating healthy, exercising, and kicking harmful habits (like smoking) can add years to a man’s life. Aging research is proving over and over again, that we can prevent and delay heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease – the major causes of disability and death in men over 50.

Now, it’s very true that good clean living from early on is preferable to sixty five years of bad habits and five years of good. But it’s also true that it’s never too late for men to make changes and vow to take better care of themselves. And one of the easiest and most effective ways men can improve their health is the addition of high quality nutritional supplements.

In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’ll talk about specific dietary supplements that have been scientifically shown to improve the health of men over fifty, prevent the diseases that often strike at this crucial time in men’s lives, and actually slow the aging process.

 

Q. I just turned 50 and I’d like to begin taking nutritional supplements, but they seem so confusing. Where should I begin?

A. Many men feel the same way. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of nutritional supplements on health food store shelves. Figuring out which supplements provide the best health benefits for a 50+ man can be overwhelming.

The best foundation supplement is a high quality multivitamin. Research is repeatedly finding that even very healthy men who take daily multivitamins can significantly improve their health. In fact, an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recommends that all adult Americans take a vitamin supplement. Look for solid doses of vitamin supplement. Look for sol doses of vitamins and especially minerals. Multivitamins designed to be taken once a day are often woefully deficient in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The only mineral a man should avoid is supplemental iron. Iron should only be in formulas for women prior to menopause. Men over 50 get all the iron they need from food and too much iron can cause health problems.

 

Look for men’s multivitamins that contain lycopene in the formula. Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red. The redder the tomato, the more lycopene is present. Numerous studies have shown that when men have high lycopene levels in their blood, they have a much lower risk of heart disease, age-related macular degeneration (a leading cause of vision loss) and prostate cancer.

 

Other important considerations are antioxidant blends, especially fruit- and tea-derived extracts; ginseng for energy and stamina; and digestive enzymes to aid in absorption and compensate for age-related decreased enzyme levels.

 

In fact, years of research has shown the foods a man chooses to eat (or not to eat) can have a profound impact on the health of his prostate gland. Because of this close nutritional link, prostate cancer may be the most preventable type of non-smoking related cancers.

 

Q. Aside from taking a quality multivitamin for general health, what nutritional supplements prevent and treat prostate cancer?

A. Six vital and all-natural nutrients can prevent prostate cancer from developing and even help fight the disease.

 

Calcium D-Glucarate

When men are exposed to excess levels of hormones, their risk of prostate cancer increases. A natural substance found in fruits and vegetables called calcium D-glucarate (or CDG), helps men’s built-in detoxification systems get rid of these harmful excess hormones.

 

Selenium

This antioxidant has powerful effects on the prostate gland. In a recent study, researchers recruited 974 men to take part in a large clinical trial to determine if selenium could prevent cancer. The researchers found that selenium cut the rate of prostate cancer by 63%!

 

Green Tea

Green tea is the most widely consumed liquid in the world, after water. Men in China and Japan have been drinking it for centuries. They also have very low rates of prostate cancer. Research has discovered that potent plant substance in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, can stop the growth of prostate cancer cells dead in their tracks.

 

Maitake Mushroom

For many years, maitake mushrooms, or dancing mushrooms, have been linked to good health in those who eat them. That’s because maitakes contain an important compound called D-Fraction. A recent study showed that maitake D-Fraction destroyed 95% of human prostate cancer cells in lab experiments.

 

Lycopene

Promising preliminary reports demonstrate that lycopene can actually kill prostate cancer cells, so there has been an explosion of lycopene and prostate cancer research.

 

Q. What exactly happens to men’s hormones as they get older?

A. Just as women experience significant hormonal changes as they age, so do men. In fact, the term andropause has been used to describe men’s mid-life changes. Similar to menopause in women (where the decline of estrogen causes a myriad of symptoms), andropause in men signals the slow decline of testosterone, the chief sex hormone in men. While estrogen levels decline faster and more abruptly in women than testosterone levels do in men, testosterone decline can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms. These include abdominal weight gain, hair loss, reduced energy and sex drive, heart disease, and prostate enlargement. Whether a man labels these age-related changes as andropause or just the consequences of aging, most men will unfortunately experience some or all of them as their birthdays mount.

 

Q. So, is there a supplement that can give me the hormone level of a 20 year old?

A. Sadly, no, at least not yet! But there is a nutrient that can help the testosterone in a man over fifty “behave” more like a younger man’s testosterone.

 

A study that took place at the Fred Hutchinson Center in Seattle found that men who ate three servings of cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts – every day had a 48 percent lower risk of prostate cancer. It seems a cruciferous plant chemical called diindolylmethane (DIM) that’s formed when broccoli is eaten, is the substance responsible for this impressive prostate cancer prevention. Since not many men could be persuaded to ea t broccoli for breast, lunch, and dinner every day researchers tried to extract DIM from these vegetables and make into a nutritional supplement. After many years of trying, scientists finally discovered a stable, all natural, and absorbable from of DIM.

 

The secret of DIM’s prostate cancer prevention is its ability to metabolize estrogen. While estrogen is generally thought of as a “female” hormone, a precise ratio of testosterone-to-estrogen is needed to maintain a man’s healthy sexual response, effective sexual function (erection of the penis and intercourse), strong bones and muscles, viable sperm, and a well-functioning prostate gland. As men enter their fifties, this ratio begins to change.

 

When men take DIM, however, their estrogen metabolism improves, testosterone metabolism accelerates, and the unwanted conversion of testosterone into estrogen is eliminated. This results in higher testosterone levels, similar to those seen in young men. As a result, DIM may speed weight loss, reduce prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), and help men over 50 feel stronger and leaner.

 

Some supplements on the market today contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a precursor to DIM. However, I3C is unstable and requires activation in the stomach to be converted into DIM. This means I3C must be taken at a much higher amount and can undergo unpredictable and undesirable chemical reactions in your stomach and colon. DIM is by far the preferred supplement.

 

Q. What is saw palmetto? Does it reduce symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)?

A. Yes it does and very effectively too. Saw palmetto is a small palm tree native to Florida and North Carolina. The tree’s dark red berries contain many beneficial compounds. Nutritional supplements that contain saw palmetto are highly effective in the treatment of BPH.

 

The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It wraps around the upper part of the urethra and its primary job is the production and storage of semen, the milky fluid that nourishes sperm. BPH is one of the most common health conditions in older men. Half of all men aged 40-60 and more than 90 percent in men over 80 have BPH. BPH causes the prostate gland to enlarge, putting pressure on the urethra.

 

Men have trouble starting or maintaining a stream of urine, find they can’t completely empty their bladders, and have to urinate frequently, even during the night. They may also have episodes of uncontrollable dribbling or complete loss of urine. BPH is caused by the conversion of estrogen to a very potent form of testosterone called, dihydrotestosterone (or DHT). When prostate cells are exposed to DHT, they multiply in number and get much larger.

 

BPH rarely improves. It most often remains the same for years or gets gradually worse. The need to continually urinate, interrupted sleep, dribbling, and loss of urine can significantly interfere with a man’s quality of life. Prescription medications that have been developed to treat BPH are only partially effective. And surgical removal of the prostate gland may result in even more persistent urinary incontinence and the inability to achieve an erection (ED).

 

However, saw palmetto berry extract relieves the symptoms of BPH by inhibiting the production of DHT. And, in study after study after study, saw palmetto caused none of the side effects that happen with prostate surgery or medications.

 

Q. There seem to be plenty of ads for supplements that claim they make men into Sexual Superheroes. Is there an “honest” nutritional supplement to help me sexually?

A. That’s a very good observation. And yes, there are honest nutritional supplements for men’s sexual health.

 

Sexual intimacy is an important, complex, and lifelong need. It makes us feel better physically and mentally and adds to our sense of security, belonging, and self-esteem. But just like other changes that happen to men as they get older, men’s sexual response most often changes, too. Declining testosterone levels, changes in blood flow to the penis, certain medications that older men are prescribed, and the presence of diabetes or heart disease can all affect men’s ability to engage in sexual activity.

 

When men have a chronic inability in obtaining and/or maintaining an erection, it’s called erectile dysfunction (ED). While ED is not an inevitable part of getting older, it does occur more frequently as men age. About 5% of 40-year-old men have ED, but more than 23% of 65-year-old men have difficulty maintaining erections.

 

The development of prescription medication Viagra (sildenafil citrate) has revolutionized ED treatment. When a man is sexually stimulated, Viagra helps the penis fill with enough blood to cause an erection.

 

Like all medicines, Viagra can cause some side effects, including headache, flushing of the face, and upset stomach. But because Viagra is a prescription medication, it requires a visit to a licensed healthcare practitioner. For many men, telling anyone (even a professional) that they are having trouble getting or keeping an erection is simply too embarrassing. Viagra is also fairly expensive and many older men do not have prescription drug health insurance.

 

These reasons may explain that while an estimated 30 million men in the United States – 10% of the male population – experience chronic ED, as few as 5% of men with chronic ED seek treatment.

 

Not every man can take Viagra, either. Men who use nitrate drugs, often used to control chest pain (also known as angina), must not take Viagra. This combination can cause their blood pressure to drop to an unsafe or life-threatening level. Men with serious liver and kidney problems who take Viagra must be monitored closely for possible serious side effects.

 

The good news is there is a nutritional supplement that’s formulated with vitamins, herbs, and glandular products that targets male sexual organs. The formula contains vitamin E, liver fractions, wheat germ, beta-sitosterol, and herbal extracts of muira puama, Mexican damiana, saw palmetto, cola nut, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba.

 

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and men’s testicles, adrenal glands, and pituitary glands need high levels of this fat-soluble vitamin for proper functioning. Extracts of Muira puama, Mexican damiana, and cola nut have been studied for their beneficial effects on male hormones.

 

Study of ginkgo in sexual response came about when a patient in a nursing home who was taking the herb for memory enhancement noted that his erections were improved. Since then, study of ginkgo has shown it helps blood flow to the penis. Sexual response research in one ginkgo study showed that 76% of men taking ginkgo experienced improved sexual desire, erections, and orgasms.

 

While other nutritional supplements sold to improve sexual stamina often make outrageous claims, reputable manufacturers rely on science and results to sell their products.

 

An important note

Most often sexual problems are simply part of the aging process. They can also be signs of serious health problems. If the use of nutritional supplements for two months does not improve your erections, you do need to see your healthcare practitioner. Almost all practitioners understand how difficult this problem is for men to discuss and are experienced in getting the information as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

 

Conclusion

No man has the power to stop the passage of time. But every man has the power to make aging more healthy and less harmful. Research conducted on men who live to be 100 and beyond, has determined that those who reach extreme old age do so by avoiding ill health, rather than by enduring it. As I like to remind my patients, “Age is not determined by years, but by function.” And it’s never too late for men to detour around the major illnesses of getting older. With good nutrition, healthy habits, and high quality nutritional supplements, the best years of a man’s life can absolutely and positively be those he spends in his 70s, 80s and even his 90s.

 



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Conclusion
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Date: November 22, 2006 01:45 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Conclusion

These three natural discoveries may be some of the most important health discoveries to date. From the mountains of Japan, the rainforests of Peru, and the learned halls of a prestigious university we have been given powerful allies in healthy immunity and cancer prevention. Thankfully, there are formulas available at health food stores that contain all three natural discovery dietary supplements in one convenient product.

Our immune systems are continuously assaulted from pollutants in the environment, toxic additives in our food, and common chemicals we use and depend on everyday. These assaults can leave us vulnerable to so-called simple diseases, like colds and the flu, as well as serious problems, such as cancer and autoimmune diseases. Staving off these threats means our white blood cells must stand ready to mount incredibly intricate defenses. Cat’s claw root extract, maitake D-Fraction, and IP-6 with inositol provide powerful protection from disease and an all natural boost to our immune system.



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Q. If these three natural products are taken together, could they over-stimulate my immune
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Date: November 22, 2006 01:44 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Q. If these three natural products are taken together, could they over-stimulate my immune

A. That is a very good question. And at first glance, it might seem a possibility. However, one of the most amazing aspects of all three nutritional products, POA cat’s caw root extract, maitake D-Fraction, and IP-6 with inositol, is their ability to both strengthen a weakened immune system and calm down a hyperactive immune system. They modulate the immune system.

The POAs in Cat’s claw root extract do not take over the immune system’s job, they simply strengthen the body’s immune system so it can do its job better. Maitake D-Fraction does not act on cancer cells directly, it encourages the body’s own immune system regulators to act. IP-6 with inositol does not increase NK cells, it increases NK cell activity. In other words, these three natural discoveries strengthen and balance the immune system without the fear or over-stimulation.

In fact, it is theorized that cat’s claw root extract, maitake mushrooms, and IP-6 with inositol may work synergistically. Meaning, together they strengthen and balance the immune system even better when they are taken together. However, if you use a cat’s claw supplement that contains any amount of TOAs, not only will the good “spirits” of the POAs be cancelled, experts believe that they will interfere with IP-6 with inositol as well. That’s why it is vital to choose a cat’s claw supplement that is 100% TOA-free and says so on its label.

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Q. How did research discover maitake’s health benefits?
TopPreviousNext

Date: November 22, 2006 01:40 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Q. How did research discover maitake’s health benefits?

A. Because maitakes are well known as healthy food, researchers interested in medicinal mushrooms have studied them extensively. They discovered many maitake compounds with dramatic health-promoting potential. One of these compounds, maitake D-Fraction, has particularly powerful anti-cancer effects.

In lab studies, D-Fraction stops the growth of cancer cells and cancerous tumors. Maitake D-Fraction stimulates the activity of two white blood cells, macrophages and natural killer cells. These white blood cells then trigger the production of interleukins and other lymphokines, two biochemicals that help mediate the immune response. Maitake also inhibits some of the mechanisms that promote metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells in the lymph system and bloodstream.

Because of this success, maitake D-Fraction is now being used in preliminary clinical trials of women with breast cancer. One study has reported significant improvement of symptoms, including reduction of the tumor. The maitake D-Fraction was given to breast cancer patients in addition to standard chemotherapy.

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Takeing Cat's Claw, IP-6 and Maitake Mushroom over stimulate immune system?
TopPreviousNext

Date: November 11, 2005 06:33 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Takeing Cat's Claw, IP-6 and Maitake Mushroom over stimulate immune system?

Q. If these three natural products are taken together, could they over-stimulate my immune system?

A. That is a very good question. And at first glance, it might seem a possibility. However, one of the most amazing aspects of all three nutritional products, POA cat’s claw root extract, maitake D-Fraction, and IP-6 with inositol, is their ability to both strengthen a weakened immune system and calm down a hyperactive immune system. They modulate the immune system.

The POAs in cat’s claw root extract do not take over the immune system’s job, they simply strengthen the body’s immune system so it can do its job better. Maitake D-Fraction does not act on cancer cells directly, it encourages the body’s own immune system regulators to act. IP-6 with inositol does not increase NK cells, it increases NK cell activity. In other words, these three natural discoveries strengthen and balance the immune system without the fear of over-stimulation.

In fact, it is theorized that cat’s claw root extract, maitake mushrooms, and IP-6 with inositol may work synergistically. Meaning, together they strengthen and balance the immune system even better when they are taken together. However, if you use a cat’s claw supplement that contains any amount of TOAs, not only will the good “spirits” of POAs be cancelled, experts believe that they will interfere with IP-6 with inositol as well. That’s why it is vital to choose a cat’s claw supplement that is 100% TOA-free and says so on its label.

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Q. How did researcher discover maitake’s health benefits?
TopPreviousNext

Date: November 11, 2005 06:22 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Q. How did researcher discover maitake’s health benefits?

Q. How did researcher discover maitake’s health benefits?

A. Because maitakes are well known as healthy food, researchers interested in medicinal mushrooms have studied them extensively. They discovered many maitake compounds with dramatic health-promoting potential. One of these compounds, maitake D-Fraction, has particularly powerful anti-cancer effects.

In lab studies, D-Fraction stops the growth of cancer cells and cancerous tumors. Maitake D-Fraction stimulates the activity of two white blood cells, macrophages and natural killer cells. These white blood cells then trigger the production of interleukins and other lymphokines, two biochemicals that help mediate the immune response. Maitake also inhibits some of the mechanisms that promote metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells in the lymph system and bloodstream.

Because of this success, maitake D-Fraction is now being used in preliminary clinical trials of women with breast cancer. One study has reported significant improvement of symptoms, including reduction of the tumor. The maitake D-Fraction was given to breast cancer patients in addition to standard chemotherapy.

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Mushroom Miracales
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Date: June 18, 2005 09:11 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Mushroom Miracales

Mushroom Miracles by Bert Hoffman Energy Times, April 12, 2004

Mention mushrooms and few people immediately recognize these humble fungi as important tools that can be used to boost well-being. More often, folks identify mushrooms as food with a peculiar appeal. But mushrooms' potential impact on health far surpasses their culinary reputation.

You don't have to stretch your imagination too far to understand why mushrooms have been much neglected in the modern, Western medical search for plants that can boost health.

Unable to make chlorophyll, often dependent on the kindness of other nutrient-producing organisms for their survival, these humble fungal denizens of dark, damp spaces seem to prefer an anonymous existence that is out of sight and out of the consciousness of the scientific mind.

However, mushrooms have now assumed a spot in the center of the research spotlight. Because of their potent content of natural chemicals that appear to have a strong influence on human health and well-being, during the past decade mushrooms have been the subjects of intensive studies on how they can be used to reduce the risk of cancer and to treat these diseases.

Appropriately, this recent round of research began in a place that has long revered these diminutive organisms: Japan. Japan and other Oriental countries have traditionally recognized the immense value of mushrooms as both food and medicine.

Food and Medicine

As an ancient Chinese saying notes, "food and medicine share a common origin." And one of the very earliest Chinese medical books, Shen Noug's Herbal (Shen Noug Pen Ts'ao Jing), first noted the extraordinary beneficial effects of eating mushrooms 2,000 years ago, back in the first century.

More recently, but still well ahead of Western medical experts, in 1575, Pen Ts'ao Kang Mu (a Chinese compendium of medicinal therapies), written by Li Shi Zhen, outlined the medical benefits of about 20 mushrooms.

Nowadays, modern researchers believe mushrooms' usefulness stems from the fact they contain a wealth of antioxidants. But these aren't just any antioxidants. Scientists think that some of these chemicals can potentially drop your risk of cancer, significantly lower blood pressure, help the body fight diabetes, offer protection for the liver, alleviate some of the ill effects of inflammation, lessen the chance of blood clots and help the body's immune system fend off viruses and other microbes. Quite a collection of benefits for these lowly beings!

The 10,000-Year Mushroom

Through the ages, the reishi mushroom (also known variously as the Mannetake, or 10,000-year mushroom, and the Immortality Mushroom) has been the most popular mushroom in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cultures. The reishi mushroom is frequently depicted in a wide variety of traditional Oriental artwork and even puts in an appearance in Chinese royal tapestries.

To some, reishi's power goes beyond the natural and include the supernatural. Originally grown on aging plum trees, reishi is also sufficiently well regarded to be employed by the Japanese as a good luck charm. But you don't have to believe in the supernatural to be superbly impressed with reishi. The beneficial natural substances in reishi include steroids, lactones, alkaloids, triterpenes and polysaccharides.

Large Molecules

Of these chemicals, polysaccharides (complex chains of sugars) in particular have intrigued researchers looking into the way mushrooms help health. These polysaccharide macromolecules are very large (for molecules) and complex, a complexity that leads researchers to believe they are capable of conveying a huge amount of biological information that help the immune system stop cancer in its early stages. The differences in the benefits of various polysaccharides stems from their intriguing geometrical shapes.

Distinctive Differences

Even though two distinctive polysaccharides may contain the same number of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms, their three-dimensional differences-the way they are structured and branch off in different directions-can endow them with very different health benefits.

Though they all share a basic structure (usually, these molecules consist of a main chain of atoms with various side chains), the slight variations of the side chains changes their effects.

By deciphering the microscopic structures of these molecules, scientists think they are beginning to uncover which ones are most effective against cancer. For instance, in isolating a particularly useful polysaccharide called beta-D-glucan from reishi, researchers have found that this substance fights tumors in lab experiments (Chem Pharm Bull 1981; 29: 3611).

Maitake Benefits

Meanwhile, beta-D-glucan and other extracts taken from the maitake mushroom have also been shown to possess powerful anti-cancer effects in lab experiments (Immunopharm Immunotox; 19:175).

In one instance, researchers in the laboratory who were trying out various substances on prostate cancer cells found that applying extracts of maitake results in a kind of programmed self-destruction (apoptosis) of these undesirable cancer cells (Molec Urol; 4:7). In addition, another substance known as maitake D-Fraction has been shown to strongly fight cancer in lab animals-in one study, their liver cancer growths were reduced by up to 90% (Ann NY Acad of Sci; 833:204).

At the same time, research in China on people has demonstrated that maitake may help reduce tumors and alleviate the effects of leukemia (Alter Comp Ther 12/98; 420).

According to A.S. Daba and O.U. Ezeronye (Afr Jrnl Bio 12/03; 672), "Mushroom polysaccharides offer a lot of hope for cancer patients and sufferers of many devastating diseases.

" [These substances support]...a fundamental principle in Oriental medicine...[they help] regulate homeostasis of the whole body and... bring the diseased person [back] to his or her normal state."

The Activity of Active Hexose Correlated Compound Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC), an extract taken from shiitake and other mushrooms, is a relatively new substance that is also being researched for its anti-cancer benefits.

Studies on AHCC began in Japan in the 1990s when scientists looked at how it could potentially help people recovering from liver cancer. In those tests, researchers found that giving people AHCC apparently helped them survive longer.

In the future, scientists feel certain that they will uncover even more anticancer uses for mushrooms and the chemicals they contain. A key advantage to these natural substances is their lack of side effects. For instance, in research on an anti-cancer chemical called lentinan, taken from shiitakes, investigators have found that less than one percent of people experience the kind of discomfort that make them discontinue treatment. (This chemical has been used to treat stomach cancer.)

But a long list of beneficial mushroom substances are probably still waiting to be discovered. More evidence of mushrooms' benefits: A study of mushroom workers in a part of Japan called the Nagano Prefecture found that these farmers enjoyed a significantly lower cancer rate than other inhabitants of that part of the country.

In the rest of Japan, about one in six hundred people dies of cancer. But that rate death rate drops to about one in a thousand for mushroom raisers who eat a diet heavy in mushrooms.

John Smith, PhD, from the University of Strath-Clyde, notes that "...increasing evidence [shows] mushrooms offer a remarkable array of medicinally important compounds that have yet to be evaluated by Western medical scientists." Mushrooms offer the best of both worlds: good health that tastes great.



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Mushrooms
TopPreviousNext

Date: June 10, 2005 10:16 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Mushrooms

Mushrooms by Frank Sturges Energy Times, December 7, 1999

The interest in mushrooms as health enhancers has... mushroomed. Mushrooms, researchers have found, are filled with a long list of substances that may help us fight disease. Some of these natural chemicals boost immunity. Others may be effective against cancer and heart disease.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the research into mushrooms stems from the vast number of mushrooms that dot the landscape. At least 1.5 million types of fungi populate forests, fields, nooks and crannies, but studies have detailed the properties of less than 3,000.

Compound Interest

Mushrooms produce so many beneficial compounds because they constantly fight off other fungi and microbes to survive. These substances, which mushrooms utilize for defense, can apparently help humans.

One of the most important of these classes of compounds are the polysaccharides. Scientists believe these long starch molecules spark immune action that can protect us against invading germs or cancer. They may do this by persuading the body to create what are called killer T-cells. These immune warriors destroy microscopic invaders and may help stop tumors.

According to Paul Stamets, author of Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (Ten Speed), use of polysaccharides... "will synergistically, in combination with the individual's immune system, result in dramatic recoveries...Right now we don't clearly understand all the elements in those formulas to be able to predict downstream what will happen. But clearly with some people, it is tremendously effective" (Townsend Ltr, 6/98).

In addition, mushrooms also make biologically active chemicals called steroids and terpenes, says Christopher Hobbs, author of Medicinal Mushrooms (Interweave). These substances are thought to help fight off the formation of cancerous tumors.

Maitake: Useful Fungus

Maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms, also known as "Hen of the woods," contain chemicals called beta glucans that can enhance immunity. Scientists are particularly fascinated by substances called the "D-Fraction." Studies show these can spur immunity (Biol. Pharm. Bull. 17(12), Dec. 1994: 1554-60).

Researchers are also looking into the possibility that Maitake can help people with AIDS regain weight. And scientists are examining their effect on high blood pressure and diabetes.

Reishi's Effects

In Tibet, the Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has long been used to battle altitude sickness in the Himalayan mountains. Reishi is also reputed to soothe frayed nerves.

Scientific studies have supported these traditional uses, finding that people who consumed Reishi functioned better in low oxygen (Proceedings Contrib Symp 59 AB, 5th Intl Cong, 8/14-21, 101-104). Other research finds Reishi may help ease arthritis (Proc 1st Intl Symp on Ganoderma l. 11/17-18, 99-103, Tokyo).

Lion's Mane

Lion's Mane (Heri-cium erinaceus), also called "Monkey's head," has traditionally been a treatment for stomach problems in China. But researchers have found that chemicals in this mushroom help fight tumors (Biosci Biotech Biochem 56(2), Feb. 1992: 347-8).

During the past few years, scientific investigators have also begun to extract chemicals called erinacines from lion's mane. These substances, (known as Nerve Growth Stimulant factor) appear to encourage neuron regeneration. The potential uses: boosting nerve performance, fixing neurological damage and treating Alzheimer's disease (Tetrahedron Ltrs 35(10), 1994: 1569-1572).

Divine Fungus

Known as Cogmelo de Deus (Mushroom of God) in Brazil, the Royal Agaricus (Agaricus blazei) has been grown in Japan since the '70s where it enjoys widespread popularity. Researchers find that it provokes powerful anti-tumor effects. This fungus harbors more beta-glucans, immunity enhancers, than other mushrooms.

Mushroom Performance

Can a fungus make athletes faster? A few researchers think so, pointing to Chinese Olympians who use Cordyceps sinensis. This fungus, traditionally grown on caterpillars, is another native of the Himalayas.

Traditionally, Cordyceps has been used to foster stamina, better breathing and immunity.

At least one study shows this fungus may help blood vessels dilate during exercise. By supplying extra blood to working muscles, Cordyceps may help fight off fatigue and boost performance (Abstracts from 5th Mycological Cong, Vancouver, 8/14-21).

Research Extravaganza

The mushroom called Shiitake has been the subject of an extravagant amount of research since the '60s. Called the "elixir of life," it boosts immunity. Stamets reports that people with cancer who take Shiitake do significantly better in coping with their disease (Abstract 2nd Meeting Soc of Natl Immunity, Italy, 5/25/94).

Another characteristic of Shiitake mushrooms: a celebrated taste. The tongue and the palate take great pleasure in this health enhancer!



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