Search Term: " DEADLY "
The Amazing Health Benefits of Green Tea
May 08, 2019 01:32 PM
Green tea is a very versatile health food with many different benefits. Green tea can help regulate your weight and your blood sugar. The caffeine and l-theanine it contains can help improve brain functioning and reduce anxiety symptoms. Green tea bags can be used to repair damage inflicted on your skin by free radicals and UV light. Green tea’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects may even help to reduce the damage to the body and brain from conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
"“Green tea has been a favorite drink of health enthusiasts for decades,” Dr. Ellen Kamhi, Ph.D., author of the”Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide,” tells Newsmax. “It has also been well studied for its health promoting effects on skin. It’s high in compounds called polyphenols which help eliminate free radical damage and rejuvenate aging skin cells."
Read more: https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/green-tea-health-benefits/2019/03/19/id/907629/
Pregnant diabetic women are encouraged to take propolis
April 24, 2019 01:58 PM
A recent study took pregnant rats who were suffering from gestational diabetes, and they gave them propolis to see if it had a beneficial impact on regulating their glucose levels. The results showed that propolis did, in fact, help regulate blood sugars, and it also helps in several other areas as well. Taking propolis consistently can also help protect you against hypertension during your pregnancy, as well as promote faster wound healing which is extremely important in diabetic patients.
"Their study, which was published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, showed that the superfood propolis not only improves pregnancy outcomes but also placental oxidative stress."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-26-diabetic-pregnant-women-should-take-propolis.html
Happy news: Curcumin outperforms prozac for reducing symptoms ofdepression
January 25, 2019 10:22 AM
Despite the prevalence of depression, drug companies have still failed to come up with a way to address without side effects. The compound curcumin found in the turmeric spice has already been proven popular for it’s health effects but also holds promise in fighting depression. Phytotherapy Research found that it compared well next to Prozac when reducing depression symptoms. Importantly, taking curcumin does not produce the side effects that Prozac creates. To get more of this into your diet, you can purchase organic turmeric root and add to your meals. It is common to add to meats, cereal, granola, eggs, even coffee and tea. With 12.7% of Americans taking antidepressants, using this natural remedy may be a great option.
"Lots of people think they either have to live with their negative feelings or accept the possibly deadly side effects that come with antidepressant use, but there are some natural remedies that can be surprisingly effective – and one of the best may prove to be curcumin."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-22-happy-news-curcumin-outperforms-prozac-reducing-symptoms-of-depression.html
Goji berry extract found to be an effective treatment for twodeadly tropical diseases
October 13, 2018 11:52 AM
According to a study by two Welsh universities, Goji berries are an effective remedy for fascioliasis and schistosomiasis. It turns out that goji berries contain a compound that is active in fighting the parasites that cause these two life-threatening tropical diseases. Approximately 17 million people around the globe carry fascioliasis infections. And it’s estimated that 600 million people carry schistosomiasis, which is a deadly parasitic illness similar to malaria. Researchers are hopeful that a drug can be developed using a compound in goji berries, which are also beneficial for eye, liver, and kidney health.
"Schistosomiasis is spread by a waterborne parasite, while fascioliasis is spread by a foodborne parasite. Both of the diseases are treated with a single drug that’s widely administered to the population where the diseases are widespread."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-09-16-goji-berry-extract-treatment-for-two-deadly-tropical-diseases.html
Cut your risk for liver cancer by HALF by just increasing your vitamin D levels
June 20, 2018 04:44 PM
Study suggests that close to 40% of individuals will experience cancer, personally in their lifetime, whether it happens as a small brush with an easily removed melanoma, or whether it manifests as something far more lethal. Much of how the 'cancer' card plays out for any one of us, however, is beyond our scope t do much about. But, we can control what we consume, which can in turn affect our chances.
For example, study also suggests that use of vitamin D can significantly slice one's cancer risk. However, while the general slice afforded those that make use of vitamin D is estimated at a generous 20%, the vitamin offers an even deeper cut when it comes to one of the most deadly cancers, liver cancer. The data, based on thousands of Japanese study subjects, followed for more than a decade, suggests that the risk, specific to liver cancer, could be as high as 50%.
"We don’t get to choose whether or not we’ll get cancer or which type we might develop, so this may feel like a losing battle, but the truth is that you have more power over cancer than you think."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-06-15-cut-your-risk-for-liver-cancer-by-half-by-just-increasing-your-vitamin-d-levels.html
Dyslipidemia Causes + 5 Tips to Manage It Naturally
January 02, 2018 08:59 AM
Dyslipidemia causes 5 plus tips to manage it naturally. This is a group of disorders characterized by changes in plasma lipids or lipoproteins. This included two that they are familiar with. The two are cholesterol and triglycerides. The goal for people over 20 is to have cholesterol levels that are under 200 milligrams per deciliter. There are an estimated 99 million Americans that are dealing with blood cholesterol levels higher than what is considered the healthy range.
"However, in my opinion, one of the things you should focus on most is avoiding processed foods that increase cholesterol due to how they cause inflammation."
Read more: https://draxe.com/dyslipidemia/
Unable to develop a new antibiotic drug for decades, new research "discovers" potential in a compound from honeybees, ignoring the fact that natural medicine has used bee pollen for years
September 23, 2017 12:14 PM
The University of Chicago has recently announced findings that bee pollen has antimicrobial properties, something that practitioners of natural medicine have known for years. It fights bacteria in a different way than conventional antibiotics and with the rising prevalence of antibiotic resistant microbes, this is potentially a game changer. The potential is great but also precarious as pesticide use has drastically decreased the bee population in the last few years. Hopefully science realizes just how important natural remedies are before it is too late.
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have labeled antibiotic resistance as one of the most pressing public health issues in the world as illnesses that used to be easy to treat become deadly."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-09-14-unable-to-develop-a-new-antibiotic-drug-for-decades-new-research-discovers-potential-in-a-compound-from-honeybees.html
More Evidence Of CBD's Potential In Addressing Opioid Abuse
August 28, 2017 12:14 PM
There is some good evidence showing CBD's potential in addressing opioid abuse. Researchers from the University of Mississippi have found a lot more evidence that cannabidiol can be a very powerful tool in addressing the scourge of opioid medicine abuse as well as addiction. The study involved morphine and CPP testing. Tests were done on mice and results showed that there is a real potential for cannabidiol to be used in fighting the opioid crisis, which has been deadly.
"University of Mississippi researchers have found more evidence that cannabidiol could be a powerful tool in addressing the scourge of opioid medicine abuse and addiction."
Read more: https://www.hempgazette.com/news/cannabidiol-solution-opioid-abuse-hg0394/
Help, and hope: Could cannabis possibly help fight cancer?
July 21, 2017 04:14 PM
Cancer is a deadly condition claiming the lives of far too many people. There are treatments for cancer, but currently there is no cure. But, scientists, researchers, and medical professionals are all looking at cannabis as a potential cure for cancer. Could the time for a cure for cancer be now, all with thanks to an herb that's been illegal for so long now? Find out all the details about the new cannabis research that suggest the cure may be near.
"The combination of both (CBD and THC) causes apoptosis; cannabis tends to go to cancer cells weakened due to chemotherapy and causes them to kill themselves,"
Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/13/cancer-journal-cannabis/
Analyzing the use of CBD Oil as potential cancer treatment
July 19, 2017 07:14 AM
Could the cure for cancer be found in CBD oil? As more research is put into CBD and its health benefits, it is believed that it may very well aid in treatment of cancer. The analyzation of the benefits of CBD oil for cancer treatment have been outlined, and what you learn here might come as a surprise. But nonetheless, it is sure to make you smile just to think that a cure for this deadly disease may very well be near.
Read more: Analyzing the use of CBD Oil as potential cancer treatment
Heavy intake of antibiotics linked to deadly bowel cancer
April 16, 2017 06:44 PM
Antibiotics are one of the best inventions that this planet has ever seen. Preventing millions of deaths from common bacterial infections is hard to argue with. However, recent research has shown that the continued use, and generally the overuse, of antibiotics can have some dire consequences. Among them is stomach cancer, an especially difficult form of cancer to treat. So while the pros of antibiotics far outweigh the cons, one needs to be careful not to overdue their useage.
Read more: Heavy intake of antibiotics linked to deadly bowel cancer
Scientists Call for Restrictions on Ibuprofen & other OTC Painkillers After Deadly Risks Discovered
April 09, 2017 03:44 PM
Generally people know that medications can have negative side effects. But when it comes to over the counter pain medications it is often thought that they are safe to take. There are studies however that show that stuff like Ibuprofen actually have some pretty terrible side effects when taken to often, when taken with other drugs, or if you take too many at one time. If you take over the counter medications often you should see what you can do to wean yourself off of them.
"A recent study from Denmark that was published in the European Heart Journal has found that taking Ibuprofen, the popular over-the counter painkiller is linked to a 31% increased risk of cardiac arrest, among other things."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/scientists-call-restrictions-ibuprofen-otc-painkillers-deadly-risks-discovered/
Think You're Allergic to Nuts? You May Not Be
March 30, 2017 07:29 AM
You may not be allergic to all nuts just because you are allergic to one. It has been studied, and studies indicate that there is a good chance that just because you are allergic to one type of nut, does mean that you have to avoid all nuts. It is also recommended that babies be introduced to peanuts at an earlier age to avoid a nut allergy altogether. Allergies can be deadly, but you should not avoid all nuts just because one can do you harm.
Read more: Think You're Allergic to Nuts? You May Not Be
Diet Responsible For 45 Percent of All Deaths From Heart Disease and Diabetes
March 26, 2017 01:44 PM
Heart disease and diabetes are two deadly conditions that you do not want to experience, yet the likelihood that you will are great, especially if you are not maintaining the best lifestyle. One of the worst things that you can do to impede on your health is consuming the wrong foods. In particular one diet is responsible for nearly half of all deaths from these two conditions. Do you want to know more about the diet and its contributions to these conditions?
"Data published in the March 7 issue of JAMA indicated that the highest number of cardiometabolic deaths were associated with too much sodium and processed meat, and not enough nuts and seeds, seafood omega-3 fats, vegetable, and fruit, compared with optimal consumption levels."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/diet-responsible-45-percent-deaths-heart-disease-diabetes/
Diabetes: The Silent Killer
March 11, 2017 12:59 PM
Diabetes is the silent killer. Experts say that one in three people have pre diabetes and have blood sugar levels that are very high. If blood sugar levels are not checked regularly and controlled, then it could lead to the disease. March 28th is Alert Day, which calls for people to take care of this issue.
"Experts say that one in three Americans have “Pre-Diabetes” and have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal."
Fiber-rich diet could cut colorectal cancer risk, study finds
February 02, 2017 02:59 PM
No one likes to talk about cancer, it is a very touchy subject for most people. However, Harvard has been conducting a study for the last 30 years and the study says if you have a rich whole-grain cereal and protein diet you have a lower risk of getting Colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second most DEADLY form and the third most common of the disease. Every little bit helps when it comes to our health, especially when trying to prevent such life changing diseases.
"Colorectal cancer is the second most DEADLY form of cancer and the third most common form of the disease."
Can curcumin Fight Cancer?
Curcumin is a bright yellow liquid that is produced by some plants, and some people were led to believe that it has the properties to cure cancer which has been found to be entirely false. Although the research has not been abandoned altogether, it has so far led to nothing, and this means that it can not under any circumstance help fight cancer. Some patients have been found to consume up to eight grams in a single day for three to four months; there were still no changes. Although a research scientist had published that there was chance of the plant, form the ginger family to it curing cancer, but now the report has been retracted and deemed fraudulent and misleading by the original publisher.
It is in this light that the many cancer patients that had seen it as a means of escaping that DEADLY disease now finds themselves whether they were in the first place despite taking curcumin in large amounts. Some of these patients have reported diarrhea as well as mild headaches although the studies showed no signs of any form of toxicity from the curcumin. This well designed clinical research has shown that there is no relationship between it and the curing of cancer.
In human subjects, however, it was found that it reduces the C - reactive protein significantly. There was no relationship established between the dose and response, though. This is not good news for any cancer patients out there, but it does shed a lot of light on this subject and eliminates the need for the patients to keep on doing something that is not helping them. It is imperative to find alternative means to curing cancer, but this is not the way as it is not going to help with much. So, the answer is that Curcumin does not in any way help your body fight cancer.
Why Americans remain vulnerable to infectious diseases
December 08, 2016 02:59 PM
There is uncertainty in the impact of vector-borne diseases in the US. The effect of changing climate may alter which geographic areas are at risk from vector-transmitted infections. Drug resistance is a growing problem and requires urgent action to tackle it. Antibiotics are a key weapon in the battle against bacterial infections, but we must use those tools carefully to make sure they stay effective.
"By analyzing trends in US mortality between 1980 and 2014, scientists found that infections were responsible for 5.4% of all deaths, with the majority caused by influenza and pneumonia."
Vitamin D levels tied to breast cancer survival
November 21, 2016 02:47 PM
We’ve all heard that we should be getting plenty of vitamin D in our diet. Now there may be an even better reason to keep our vitamin D levels up. A recent study has shown a link between high levels of the vitamin and a better prognosis for breast cancer. They claim that boosting levels during treatment didn’t change the outcomes. Patients who had high levels at the time of diagnosis had the best results in the end. They were less likely to die of any cause from the cancer. It is recommended that adults get 600-800 IU of vitamin D each day.
"For women diagnosed with breast cancer, high vitamin D levels in the blood may be tied to better odds of surviving and having tumors with less DEADLY characteristics, suggests a new study."
Too much heat in the kitchen may increase your risk of heart disease
November 14, 2016 04:54 PM
The high temperatures you are cooking your food at may actually lead to heart disease. Cooking food at very high temperatures can actually create new compounds that are harmful to us. Specifically, the oils and how hot they get may actually be the culprits. By just heating and frying alone you could be turning those healthy vegetables into DEADLY bites full of extra chemicals instead.
"If you're a fan of a well-seared steak or a crisp fried samosa, you may need to pace yourself, as a new study has found that you could be increasing your risk of heart disease."
Did you know there is a natural remedy to stop heartburn in its tracts?
Acid reflux plague's thousands of individuals each day in the U.S.A. Many of which take over the counter and prescription anti-acid drugs. Doing this is not without side effects, these drugs can cause all sorts of health issues even kidney failure. Fortunately, there is an alternative that can help.
Acid reflux is a sign of an imbalance in the digestive tract. Put it simply, your body is not able to detect the acid that is setting in your stomach from the last time you ate something. If stomach acid is not released from the stomach after your food has been digested, you will experience heart burn. Doctors tell you that taking a drug to reduce stomach acid will solve your problem, but the opposite is actually the case. Since your body does not detect the acid present in your stomach, you need to add more acid. Anti-acids actually prolong and compound the issue with DEADLY side effects.
Taking a simple inexpensive supplement called HCL with pepsin, one can successfully eliminate heart burn with zero side effects. If you suffer from heart burn, taking one or two pills of Hcl with each meal will solve your problem.
Adding a probiotic and soluble fiber to your diet can help restore balance to your digestive tract and eventually eliminate any recurrences.
Stop taking dangerous anti-acid drugs and start your self on the path to true healing with natural remedies such as Hcl with Pepsin.
How to Detoxify the Body
Free radicals are elements in the body that attacks healthy cells, resulting to cellular and tissue damage. When this happens, mild conditions such as weight gain to serious illnesses such as cancer may occur. The production of more and more free radicals intensifies due to several factors. Pollution, the food you eat, different kinds of chemicals found in the environment and the daily stress you go through are all factors that contribute to the increase of free radicals. Thus, detoxification should be a must for everybody.
Detox means cleansing the body of toxins and harmful elements. The importance of detoxification has intensified as years go by. The modern world has not only offered outstanding innovations but many DEADLY diseases. The many benefits of detox can help counter these unhealthy occurrences.
What are some of the Benefits of Detoxifying the Body?
This is among the exciting benefits one can get from detoxification. Just like a clean house or a clean car engine, you would feel a heightened vitality as harmful elements are flushed out of your system. This boosts in energy will help you accomplish daily tasks and even go to the gym after work.
Detoxification cleanses essential organs such as the liver, kidneys and colon. These organs are crucial in the body’s waste management system. Buildup of toxins in the body can slow down the work that they do. Overtime, when the stress is too much to bear, these organs may experience fatigue, disrupting their function. Diseases associated with abnormally functioning liver and kidneys can become serious medical conditions. Therefore, proper care and management is important.
Weight loss can just be a bonus when you choose to detox. Because you are choosing to live healthily, you can rid yourself of excessive calories, salt, sugar and other unhealthy foods that compromises your detoxification process. Also, as you continue with a good cleansing regimen, your organs will be able to function well, improving your metabolism.
How Can You Detoxify?
The “father of plants”, Alfalfa, is gaining popularity in the field of detox. Alfalfa has roots that can reach 20 to 30ft down the ground. For this unique characteristic, minerals and essential vitamins are rich in Alfalfa. Traditionally, the herb’s parts from its leaves to the seeds are used as medicine. It is a good source of minerals such as Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorous and Zinc, as well as vitamins A, C and E.
Alfalfa, as early as the 6th century, has been beneficial for its role in treating many health issues such as kidney problems, arthritis, cardiovascular disorders, digestive problems and auto-immune illnesses. Today, more and more health problems are being addressed by the use of Alfalfa. Detoxification using the herb also became popular due to its natural ability to eliminate excess fluid and toxins in the body. Aside from this, its vitamins and mineral properties are useful for people who are trying to lose weight.
Detoxification should be a healthy process. Make sure to make it as one by using the right detox ingredient.
Thyroid Health and Selenium
Selenium is nature’s best secret. It is a nutrient that when used in the correct amounts in your food, can make huge and exciting changes. However, the body only needs small amounts of this mineral, but it has huge benefits on one’s health. It protects us against many health problems that are associated with the aging process such as osteoarthritis and cancer. A certain amount of this mineral is required in order to protect the body from DEADLY viruses and also to aid in healthy thyroid functioning.
Selenium deficiency frequently goes untreated simply because it does not show any noticeable symptoms. If the levels of selenium are low, the thyroid will have to work extra hard to manufacture its hormones and the body will have a tough job converting those hormones to a form the cells can use. This is because selenium is a chief ingredient of the molecules necessary for the body to be able to create and use seleno-proteins (thyroid hormones).
The initial stages of low selenium levels will reduce the optimal production of the thyroid hormone in the glands. If this continues the thyroid gland becomes inflamed. Eventually, this is what leads to thyroid autoimmune problems
Problems that come with low selenium levels can be more serious when the levels of mineral, iodine, is low. Iodine is well known for its key role in thyroid health. Selenium is also important in aiding your body to recycle iodine. Low selenium levels coupled with low iodine levels can lead to thyroid imbalance
An enlarged thyroid is known as goiter. This is one of the serious forms of thyroid imbalance. Most individuals diagnosed with goiter usually have low iodine levels, however research has also shown that the patient also have low levels of selenium. Therefore, it is very important to treat both deficits so as to re-establish thyroid stability
Doctors readily admit that there is no any specified dose of selenium required for better functioning of the thyroid. The one thing they agree on is that optimizing selenium intake aids in general health.
What Are The Health Benefits Of PABA
May 10, 2014 04:30 AM
What is a PABA
Para-amino benzoic acid or PABA is generally not known, yet in any case it is a paramount supplement, however it is considered as one of the B-complex vitamins. The perplexity is maybe justifiable because PABA assumes a paramount part in the production in the collection of a standout amongst the most essential B-complex vitamins and folic acid.
Benefits of folic acid
The numerous vital benefits of folic acid have been generally recorded, the most critical likely being the avoidance of genuine conception deformities, especially spina bifida; and additionally insurance against stroke, cardiovascular malady and even certain malignancies. In reality, sufficient supplies of folic acid are viewed as so significant to wellbeing that staple sustenance, for example, bread are routinely enhanced with it. In any case the regular Western eating regimen is accepted by numerous nutritionists to be seriously insufficient. PABA's part in empowering the union of the body's vitamin might subsequently be viewed as sufficient in itself to make it a vital supplement in its own particular right.
Nevertheless there is much more to para-aminobenzoic acid than this. The supplement has additionally been considered a general agains oxidant, help check the maturing and degenerative impacts of harming free radical action; and as a mitigating which may be gainful in the lightening of the indications of the menopause and osteoarthritis.
The calming properties of PABA likewise make it a specific most loved by dietary specialists in battling glitches of the resistant framework, for example, thyroiditis, and a possibly DEADLY condition known as scleroderma, in which stringy tissue develops through the skin.
Moderate supplements of PABA were an old yet now unfashionable, medication for skin conditions, vitiligo, in which the skin loses its common pigmentation, bringing about unattractive and humiliating blotches.
For most individuals, in any case, the great thing about PABA is that, it is not just promptly accessible from the nourishments, which embody a steadily adjusted eating regimen, yet can additionally be made by the body.
Therefore, in customary circumstances, and in case you're in sensibly great wellbeing, you presumably need not bother with a different day by day supplement of PABA. Anyhow like all the B complex vitamins, PABA regardless capacities best in the vicinity of a great supply of every last one of others, thus it’s habitually found in restrictive multi-vitamin arrangements. The better quality ones usually incorporate around 30-50mg; a little add up to make it certain, however worth having as a protection strategy when you're pointing for ideal comprehensive nourishment, and especially when you acknowledge the supplement's pivotal part in the combination of folic acid.
What's So Special About Bentonite Clay?
March 09, 2014 10:46 PM
What is bentonite
Bentonite Clay is mined around Fort Benton, Wyoming, from whence it got its name. Really Bentonite is found in ample supply in the northwest of the United States around Wyoming and Montana. Bentonite has been utilized by Indians and locals for a long time to cure a mixture of maladies by detoxifying the form.
Bentonite is really simply regular earth from the beginning. It is 61% silica additionally holds 18% aluminum, and little measures of iron, sodium, and magnesium. It is basic, with a ph of 8.3 to 9.1.
Bentonite works inside by drawing in a mixed bag of toxic substances from the gastrointestinal tract. The Bentonite Clay has a negative charge while the toxins have a tendency to have a positive charge. Along these lines there is the fascination of the toxins to the dirt. When these are assimilated, the figure wipes out the earth and toxins and you are healthier
What is Xylitol?
February 09, 2014 08:50 AM
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a 5-carbon Sugar alcoholic recognized even more particularly like a polyalcohol (polyol) and it has already been getting used because the 60's. You can find this within nourishments with regard to unique nutritional reasons as well as a number of without having Sugar goodies, candy, mints as well as biting down hard gums.
Carnitine Heart Energy!
November 24, 2012 10:56 AM
An Amino Acid
Carnitine is an amino acid that our body manufactures for the purpose of carrying fatty acids into cells so that these acids are converted to energy. Before you begin to lose interest from the scientific sentence that you just read, here's what Carnitine does, simply put - it helps your body create energy.
Improve Heart Energy!
Carnitine is more commonly known as L-Carnitine, and since it does help your body creates energy, it has been extensively researched and scientists have come to the conclusion that using L-Carnitine as a supplement will help your heart improve its functioning and thus reduce the risk of heart disease. Although it sounds too good to be true, it is a scientific fact and has been proved by numerous studies. For people who are already suffering from any kind of heart disease, L-Carnitine, used in tandem with other prescribed medication can help by increasing the effects of the medication by quite a large amount, and making the heart function effectively and treating any disease symptoms that the patient might have. To be more specific, it helps the heart from conditions that result in lower blood supply to the heart, like angina pectoris, myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest.
It can thus be seen that Carnitine not only helps improve heart energy, but can also be life saving by removing these DEADLY conditions. For those who wish to make the most of Carnitine's heart friendly benefits, it is widely available as a nutritional supplement, and one does not need a prescription to get it. However, like with any supplement, it must be used in moderate amounts, as per the recommended dosage, it is impossible to overdose but taking more does not mean it will work better..
Although no conclusive bad effects have been linked to this supplement use, it is always better to be safe than sorry, and by using Carnitine wisely, you can improve your heart energy and keep it in prime shape.
What are the Benefits of Cat's Claw?
May 24, 2012 07:43 AM
Cat's Claw is a supplement that helps people suffering from certain diseases and/or other physical conditions. It is found in the Amazon and is named for the thorny portions of the leaves on the plant. The medication is extracted from the root bark to help achieve healing of an ailing body.
Benefits of taking Cat's Claw Supplements
Digestion- Cat's Claw helps keep the digestive tract on course, easing the pain involved with constipation. It will help assure that a bowel movement occurs on a regular basis. Doctors suggest that a person should have at least one bowel movement per day. If that is not the case, Cat's Claw can help solve the problem.
Arthritis- Arthritic patients often find relief in Cat's Claw supplements. It helps reduce the swelling involved with the disease, making day to day life easier for the patient. Arthritis is one of the most painful medical conditions that a person can contract. There is no cure for it, but Cat's Claw can help patients maintain a more normal lifestyle.
Cancer- Cancer is a DEADLY disease that can put fear into the bravest of people. Cat's Claw may be able to help in slowing the progression of the disease though. Studies have shown that the ingredients in Cat's Claw deter further cancer cell growth. Studies are still being conducted on this root medicine to determine if it has other effects on cancer as well.
Healing- Cat's claw helps in the process of healing wounds. There are several forms of the drug, including tincture (liquid) form. It can be used much like alcohol is used for wounds to keep it from becoming infected. Cat's Claw speeds up the healing process to avoid a more lengthy recovery.
Ulcers- Cat's Claw helps heal ulcers, a very painful medical condition that attacks the lining of the stomach. Ulcers are a chronic condition that cannot be reversed. The symptoms can be reduced using Cat's Claw in the proper manner.
High Blood Pressure- High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and/or strokes. Keeping the blood pressure at a normal level is essential to prevent these DEADLY medical conditions from occurring. Cat's Claw helps reduce high blood pressure so that it heart attacks and strokes do not continue to threaten patients.
HIV- HIV is the onset of another DEADLY disease; AIDS. It has led to the death of thousands of people who have contracted it. Researchers are still looking for the cure for the disease. Until they find it, Cat's Claw can help reduce the risk of contracting full-blown AIDS. Cat's claw will not reverse HIV, but it will help those suffering from it have a greater chance of survival. Essentially, Cat's Claw helps slow down the progression of HIV.
Cat's Claw has far too many benefits to overlook. It comes in several forms including tincture, capsule, tablet or herb form. The form taken should be in conjunction with the health issue the patient would like to address. The healing elements of the natural medicine mimic those of the aloe plant, but with many more benefits to help boost greater health.
Supplements to Fight Prostate Cancer
July 29, 2007 11:41 AM
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
-Painful or burning urination
-Difficulty in having an erection
-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.
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 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
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.
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.
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
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.
This year doctors expect to find 180,000 new cases of prostate cancer is the
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.
Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements
May 11, 2007 10:47 AM
Breast Cancer and Nutritional Supplements
There is probably nothing more frightening for a woman than the discovery of a lump in her breast. Cancer and all its consequences quickly come to mind. This quick association may materialize, in part, because no woman is immune. Most have a friend, a sister, a mother, or a coworker who has been diagnosed with the disease. And they know how difficult dealing with this disease can be. Fortunately, 80% of all breast lumps are not cancerous. Most are cysts or a benign clump of tissue.
Over her lifetime, a woman’s breasts undergo many, many changes. From before puberty and on, breast tissue is continually evolving. Breasts often feel different before menstrual cycle, returning to normal a few days after. Pregnancy certainly causes changes in a woman’s breasts, as does breastfeeding. And as women age, breast tissue becomes less dense.
Because of these continual changes, breast tissue especially requires adequate nutrition. While everyone benefits from a healthy diet, there are additional nutrients from which women can specifically benefit.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss breast cancer and the vast amount of research that has explored the role nutrition plays in this serious and still DEADLY disease. Specifically, we will discuss how two B vitamins, calcium D-glucarate, broccoli extract, green tea, maitake mushrooms, and iodine can all help prevent breast cancer.
Q. How can these nutrients prevent breast cancer?
A. Scientists learn a lot about disease from simply observing what is happening around them. One observation that has been recognized for many years is that certain cultures have very low incidence of breast cancer. Women n
Moms (and dads) have also learned a lot about diseases simply by observing what is happening in their families. They have notices that certain vegetables play a large role in the prevention of all types of diseases, including cancer. And, accordingly, they have been urging their offspring to eat their vegetables for several generations.
Building on these observations, scientists have designed and carried out many studies to determine what it is about these nutrients that can prevent breast cancer. What they have discovered, so far, follows. Let’s start with the B vitamins.
Deficiencies of this vitamin can result in a serious type of anemia. Nerve damage can also occur if B12 levels are too low. Researchers are now investigating whether breast cancer may, in part, be caused by a B12 deficiency as well.
Another study, this one taking place in a laboratory setting, discovered that vitamin B12, applied directly against experimental breast cancer cells, actually stopped the cancer cells from growing. The researchers conducting the experiment believe that giving vitamin B12 to women with breast cancer as part of a chemotherapy regime, might help keep the cancer in check.
Low folic acid intake is linked to the development of all cancers. This is because folic acid is crucial to the making and continual repair of DNA, the molecule that carries our genetic code. A recent study discovered that high intakes of folic acid might actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. The researchers looked at the diets of over 2600 women. During interviews with the researchers, the women reported what they usually ate. Once the data was collected, the results showed that women, who ate lots of foods that contained folic acid, had much lower rates of breast cancer.
There is no clear-cut, single cause of breast cancer. Many factors are required for the disease to appear. One such factor is estrogen. A recent study showed that women who developed breast cancer tended to have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women without breast cancer. This means that women who got their periods before age eleven or entered menopause after age fifty-five have a higher risk of breast cancer. This also supports the theory that the number of menstrual cycles a woman has affects her risk for breast cancer.
Another factor is drinking alcohol. Because alcohol raises estrogen levels, if a woman consumes even moderate amounts of alcohol her risk of breast cancer also is increased. The link between alcohol and breast cancer may even be stronger than other dietary links. However, an important study has discovered that folic acid may uncouple this link.
A very large study of over 34,000 women recently studied the effect of folic acid on the risk of breast cancer. This project was part of the Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing, long-term study that looks at nutrition’s role in the development of disease. The women in the folic acid and breast cancer study were followed for 12 years. The participants completed detailed food questionnaires that provided the researchers with important data.
The women were divided into four groups:
1. Women with low folic acid levels and drink alcohol
2. Women with high folic acid levels and rink alcohol
3. Women with low folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
4. Women with high folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
Within these four groups the women were further divided into subgroups according to the amount of alcohol they consumed each day and their specific folic acid intake.
The researchers found that women who consumed the lowest amounts of folic acid and drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day had the highest rate of breast cancer. In contrast, women who had high intakes of folic acid and also drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day, had the same rate of breast cancer as the women with high folic acid intakes who did not drink. In other words, women who had high levels of folic acid in their diet erased their alcohol-related increase in breast cancer risk.
It seems estrogen can be both friend and foe. While women need the hormone to soften skin, thicken hair, and fill out hips and breasts, estrogen can also nourish breast tumors, helping them grow bigger, stronger, and more DEADLY. Thanks, in part, to good nutrition, American women get their periods early and go through menopause alter in life. Women today also have fewer pregnancies; families with one or two children are quite common.
All of these factors increase the time women’s bodies are exposed to estrogen. As we discussed before, longer exposure means increased opportunities for estrogen to cause trouble. It is also a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe.
The body does have a system that eliminates some of the excess estrogen and toxic chemicals before they can cause harm. In the liver, they are bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin or estrogen is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool.
However, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase can break this bond between estrogen and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released from its bone, capable of causing harm once more. Increased beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependant cancers like breast cancer.
Fortunately, scientists have discovered that a natural substance found in foods calcium D-glucarate (CDG) can stop the activity of beta-glucuonidase. CDG keeps the harmful estrogen bound to glucuronidase. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase.
CDG has been shown in experimental studies to significantly stop beast cancer growth. And several human trials are currently underway with CDG to determine its capability to decrease the breast cancer risk in women at high risk for the disease.
There are some very interesting connections between breast tissue and thyroid tissue. Iodine is an essential trace element present in a hormone of the thyroid gland and is involved in several metabolic functions. One iodine function is the protection of breast tissue from cancerous cells.
In a laboratory study, researchers exposed breast cancer cells and breast tissue without any cancer to a type of seaweed that contains high levels of iodine. The seaweed killed all of the cancerous cells, yet did not harm the normal breast cells. Japanese women frequently eat this type of seaweed and have very low rates of breast cancer. The study’s researchers believe one reason for this low incidence of breast cancer may be the iodine in the seaweed.
And, for some as yet unknown reasons, women who have thyroid cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. While they are unsure why this happens, researchers are continuing to study this link, and support of healthy thyroid function remains an important consideration.
For quite some time, scientists have observed that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, significantly reduce the risk of disease, including cancer. It seems a phytochemical in broccoli sulforaphane, is one of the chemicals responsible for this beneficial activity. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body called phase 2 enzymes that deactivate cancer-causing chemicals.
Breast cancer cells exposed to sulforaphane in several lab experiments showed that the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent. Researchers are in the process of setting up clinical trials to study sulforaphane’s effect in women who have breast cancer.
There is a tall amount of research, including finding from the Nurses’ Health Study, that suggest green tea beverage consumption is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer. In fact, researchers have long noted the low rates of breast cancer in
The active compound in green tea responsible for breast cancer inhibition is epigallocatechin-3 gallate or EGCG. When breast cancer cells are exposed to EGCG in lab experiments, the cells stop growing, lose their ability to replicate, and die.
In a recent study, researchers discovered that drinking green tea prevented the recurrence of breast cancer in women who have previously been diagnosed and treated for the disease. This study involved over 1100 Japanese women. The women who drank green tea every day had very low rates of their breast cancer returning.
For thousands of years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction.
Not only does the D-fraction in maitake mushrooms stop the growth of cancerous tumors, it also alerts and stimulates immune cells (including macrophages and natural killer cells) to fight the disease. Maitake also inhibits some of the mechanism that promotes metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells in the lymph and bloodstream.
Because of this success, maitake is now being used in clinical trials of women with breast cancer. One study reported significant improvement of symptoms, including reduction of the tumor. The maitake was given to breast cancer patients in addition to standard chemotherapy.
Q. Should these nutrients be used in place of traditional treatment for breast cancer?
A. Absolutely not. None of these nutrients can cure breast cancer. However, they can be a part of a validated plan of treatment. If you have breast cancer, talk to your health care practitioner about these nutrients. Remember, nutritional supplements are just that: supplements to food, medication, and treatment. They are intended to enhance and prevent, not replace.
Despite apprehension in performing self-breast exams, women are very proactive in their health. Yearly mammograms and pap tests have been an important part of their lives for many years, and newer and more accurate diagnoses are emerging. The prevention of health problems in themselves and their families has always been a high priority for women. And for women, nutrition has played an important part of health problem prevention.
Nutritionally speaking, what benefits your breasts benefit your whole body. However, as we have learned, there are specific links between nutrition and developing breast cancer that seem to be fairly strong.
Making a few changes may reduce the risk of developing the disease. The nutrients listed here, vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium d-glucarate, iodine, broccoli, green tea, and maitake mushrooms can be an important part of a woman’s preventative health regimen.
NHA/Washington Update - Statistics Lie
April 06, 2007 04:57 PM
The mass media targets antioxidants with misleading stats.
The smear campaign against nutritional supplements continues in 2007, with headlines such as the following: “Antioxidants Don’t help You Live Longer,” “Antioxidants Might be Dangerous,” “Antioxidants Do Not Prevent Disease and May Increase Mortality.” Do you notice a theme? Antioxidants are the latest target for media manipulators seeking to steer the public away from life-enhancing nutrition.
The study that spawned these alarmist headlines, first published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is a “meta-analysis”; this means it draws its conclusions from a number of different studies. In this case, 68 studies involving 232,606 people were analyzed. Meta-analyses are an example of how easily statistics can lie.
Like 2004’s infamous vitamin E-bashing meta-analysis (which proclaimed vitamin E to be DEADLY, even though it focused on elderly patients who were already stricken with disease), the recent meta-analysis of antioxidants has a preordained outcome—results are determined by which studies are chosen for analysis. Experts have pointed out significant flaws in the execution of this meta-analysis; for example, it includes studies that administered many different combinations of antioxidants, and in varying doses. In addition, these Hitler-skelter antioxidants and dosages are scattered across a wide range of people, everyone from male doctors to elderly nursing home patients. Finally, this meta-analysis neglected to include the most significant antioxidant study ever conducted in its findings. The china study, which in surveying 800 million people was one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, verified antioxidants effectiveness in fighting cancer, heart disease and stroke. Why was it not included in the meta-analysis?
Even a junior high school science student would question this meta-analysis’s statistical significance. So how can mass media transform this flawed study into headlines that proclaim antioxidants will kill you?
The answer is because the media gets away with it. In our fast paced world, where celebrity rehab stints are front page news, fact-driven journalism is fading—and distracted news readers are enabling its demise. The solution? Consider media reports with awareness and intelligence, and never assume that headlines speak truthfully.
The recent antioxidant bashing study crumbles when subjected to awareness and intelligence. In addition to the obvious study flaws, and even more telling: stories coving the study with headlines proclaiming “antioxidants may increase mortality” are grievously misleading; as it turns out, the study did not identify any causes of death—which were surely diverse given that the study tracked over 200,000 diverse people. Believe the headlines, however, an antioxidants causing all the deaths when in fact they probably caused none—an example of the absurd “association with out causation” logic that may destroy our right to take safe, natural supplements.
Continue investigating and you will find that Denham Harman, MD, PhD, the “father of the free radical theory of aging,” antioxidants pioneer and professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, is able-bodied and active at age 91. Harman takes antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium daily—a revelation with more credibility than any antioxidant bashing hatchet-job study.
Educate yourself about antioxidants and other supplements that Congress is trying to take away from you. Fight to keep your health under your own control, always. Patronize the natural health food store that are committed to providing you with quality products and reliable knowledge. For more information, visit www.nha2007.com
Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus
February 06, 2007 02:41 PM
Enjoy the Rainbow – the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables
We’ve all heard the statistics, and have probably seen the signs in the produce section of our favorite grocery store: eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is important,
Chances are also pretty good that we’ve also seen the newest food pyramid, encouraging Americans to “eat a rainbow of frits and vegetables.” That is, choose from the rich variety of colors for the best all-around health benefits.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’re going to look at the unique health components of different colored fruits and vegetables, and why they’re so important. Plus, we’ll learn about supplemental options, like fruit and vegetable drink mixes, for those days when our diets just aren’t that great.
Q. What’s the big deal about fruits and vegetables?
A. Well, for the main reason that they are whole foods – created by nature (or at least generations of farming) and are rich in a variety of nutrients. Processed foods can’t match the health benefits of strawberries or broccoli – items that have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.
Q. What does “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables really mean?
A. This is simply an easy way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible to maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are often a tangible clue to the unique vitamins and other healthy substances they contain. Getting a variety of colors, therefore, means getting a variety of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
Enjoying the Rainbow: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:
Q. Can you tell me a little more about the healthy components of fruits and vegetables?
Let’s take a look at some of the most well-studied and important nutrients:
Quercetin is found in apples, onions and citrus fruits (also is hawthorn and other berries and apple-related fruits usually used in traditional herbal remedies and modern supplements). It prevents LSL cholesterol oxidation and helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Clinical studies show that quercetin’s main points of absorption in the body appear to be in the small intestine – about 50%. The rest – at least 47% is metabolized by the colonic micro flora – the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. You may consider adding these beneficial bacteria (found in yogurt) either through the diet or a supplemental form.
Ellagic Acid is a component of ellagitannins – dietary polyphenols with antioxidant (and possibly anticancer) properties. Polyphenols are the basic building blocks of many plant-based antioxidants. More complex phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids are created from these molecules.
Ellagic acid is found in many fruits and foods, namely raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts. Clinical studies suggest that ellagitannins and ellagic acid act as antioxidants and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract.
Ellagitannins are durable antioxidants, and happily, they do not appear to be diminished by processing, like freezing. This means the benefits are still strong, even in frozen packs of raspberries or strawberries, or some of the better multi-ingredient supplement drink mixes.
In scientific studies, ellagic acid also showed an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, decreasing their ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule that provides the primary energy source for the cells in our bodies. In a sense, ellagic acid seems to deprive cancer cells of their fuel.
Beta-Carotene: Probably the best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Many vegetables, especially orange and yellow varieties, are rich in this nutrient. Think summer squash, yams and of course, carrots.
Beta-carotene has long been associated with better eyesight, but it has other benefits, too. In a scientific study, beta-carotene decreased cholesterol levels in the liver by 44% and reduces liver triglycerides by 40%.
Lycopene is a carotenoid mostly found in tomatoes, but also in smaller amounts in watermelon and other fruits. Clinical studies have shown that lycopene consumption may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, high intakes of lycopene are associated with a 30% to 40% reduced risk. And, as good as beta-carotene is, its cousin, lycopene, seems to be an even stronger nutrient, protecting not just against prostate cancer, but heart disease as well.
Lutein is found in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and members of the squash family. Lutein is important for healthy eyes, and in fact it is found in high concentrations naturally in the macular region of the retina – where we see fine detail. It is one of the only carotenoids, along with its close sibling zeaxanthin, that is found in the macula and lens of the eye.
Lutein also supports your heart, too. In a scientific study, lutein reduced atherosclerotic lesion size by 43%. In other words, high intakes of lutein may actually help prevent coronary artery disease!
Interestingly, as is the case with lycopene, cooking or processing foods with lutein may actually make it more easily absorbed.
In clinical studies, men with high intakes of lutein (and its close cousin, zeaxanthin, found in broccoli and spinach) had a 19% lower risk of cataract, and women had a 22% decreased risk, compared to those whose lutein intakes were much lower.
Vitamin C: One of the best-known nutrients out there, vitamin C keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. A free-radical fighter, vitamin C prevents oxidative damage to tissues, builds strength in collagen and connective tissue, and even reduces joint pain.
Sources of vitamin C are scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits and vegetables.
Potassium: Most Americans are deficient in potassium. For the most part, it’s hard to get too much of this valuable mineral. Potassium does great things for our hearts. Higher intakes of dietary potassium from fruits and vegetables have been found in clinical research to lower blood pressure in only 4 weeks.
Many researchers believe that the typical American diet has led to a state of chronic, low-grade acidosis – too much acid in the body. Potassium helps change pH balance to a more alkaline environment in the body and increases bone density.
This was proven in the long-running Framingham Heart Study which showed that dietary potassium, (along with magnesium and fruit and vegetable intake) provided greater bone density in older individuals.
Fiber is another food component many just don’t get enough of – especially if they’re eating a “typical American diet.” Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. However, fiber from a good fruits and vegetable drink mix should be derived from inulin and chicory root. This soluble fiber source not only adds to the overall amount of fiber you need (25 to 38 grams a day), but also provides a nice “nesting ground” for the beneficial bacteria that populate the intestines. And, even though some fiber has a bad rap for inhibiting mineral absorption, inulin and chicory root are “bone building” fibers – they actually help the body absorb calcium.
Flavonoids are an overarching term that encompasses flavonols, anthocyanidins, and flavones, isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, Quercetin and more. They are almost everywhere: in fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, nuts and seeds – even in the coffee, wine and tea we drink. Flavonoids are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and the leaves of trees and other plants.
Flavonoids have many health benefits. They can help stop the growth of tumor cells and are potent antioxidants. Additionally, flavonoids have also been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation.
Anthocyanins: High on the list of important “visible” nutrients are anthocyanins. They color fruits and vegetables blue and red.
Anthocyanins are members of this extended family of nutmeats, the flavonoids. Typically found in high amounts in berries, anthocyanins are readily absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.
As antioxidants, anthocyanins dive deep into cell membranes, protecting them from damage. IT may be one reason why the anthocyanins from blueberries are considered such an important component in battling neuronal decline, like Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also excellent sources of this flavonoids group.
SDG lignans, (short for secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) are polyphenolic components of flaxseed, pumpkin and other herbal sources. Much of the recent research surrounding lignans has focused on flaxseed. In scientific and clinical studies, lignans from flaxseed support hormonal balance and may have cancer-preventing abilities. In fact, in one study, flaxseed lignans reduced metastatic lung tumor by 82% compared to controls.
The lignans in pumpkin seed, also considered a major source, target 5-alpha reductase activity.
This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, like testosterone, is a steroid hormone or androgen. Androgens are responsible for the development and maintenance of masculine sex characteristics in both men and women. Excess levels of DHT can cause serious problems with prostate or bladder health. That’s why modulation of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme is so important – it helps maintain healthy testosterone and DHT levels. By balancing the levels of these key hormones, pumpkin seed lignans provide protection for prostate and bladder cells.
In addition, pumpkin seed has been shown to modulate the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is present in the estrogen-producing cells of the adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, adipose tissue, and brain. Aromatase converts testosterone, an androgen, into estradiol, and estrogen.
Inhibition of the aromatase conversion can help maintain a balance of healthy testosterone levels in women, which has been shown to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incidence of incontinence.
In fact, a clinical study, involving a pumpkin extract in conjunction with soy, resulted in significant support for bladder health. After two weeks of supplementation, 23 of the 39 postmenopausal women enrolled in the study showed great improvement in urinary frequency and sleep. By the end of the six week study, 74.4 percent of participants found pumpkin extract safely and significantly improved “nocturnia,” that is, the need to urinate frequently at night. For individuals with 2 to 4 episodes of nocturnia prior to the stud, and 81.8% improvement was seen – also showing great improvement in sleep quality. After all, if you don’t have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom you’re bound to get better sleep.
Beta glucan: Mushrooms are intense immune-boosting powerhouses due to their beta-glucan content. Three well-studied power-house mushrooms that contribute beta glucan to the diet include maitake, reishi and shiitake.
The most significant constituents of mushrooms are long chain polysaccharides (molecules formed from many sugar units) known as beta-glucan. These huge molecules act as immunoregualtors in the human body, helping to stabilize and balance the immune system.
This includes specific support of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the primary cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes fall broadly into three categories: T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells.
In one 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, 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.
In another clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more DEADLY to cancer cells.
And, in a scientific study of human breast cancer and myeloma cancer and myeloma cancer cell lines, shiitake compounds provided a 51% antiproliferative effect on the cells – inducing “apoptosis’ – the programmed cell death that should occur naturally.
While beta-glucan are distributed throughout the mushroom body, the beta-glucan concentrations are significantly higher in the mycelium – the interwoven fibers or filaments that make up the “feeding structure” of the mushroom.
Bioflavonoids are commonly found in bright yellow citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. They are responsible for the bright pigment found in the skin of the fruit, and are considered a “companion” to vitamin C, seeming to extend the value of the nutrient within the body.
Hesperidin is just one of the valuable bioflavonoids found in citrus. Hesperidin appears to lower cholesterol levels, as well as support joint collagen in examples of rheumatoid arthritis.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG):
Polyphenols, most notably EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, are well-studied and powerful components of tea. EGCG has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Green tea also boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation – part of the front-line defense of our bodies against sickness and disease.
Q. I’ve been seeing articles about fruits, vegetables and supplements touting “high ORAC value.” What does this mean?
ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and is simply a measurement of antioxidant activity of nutrients. Oxygen radicals, or free radicals, are unstable molecules. They grab electrons from other cells to use for themselves, and in the process can damage them. It is believed that free radical activity plays a role in the development of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also plays a role in aging.
Antioxidants help prevent this damage by “loaning out” extra electrons to stabilize free radicals/ Consider any fruit or vegetable with a high ORAC rating as having a lot of “antioxidant power.”
I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it just seems so hard to get five servings a day.
The number one excuse I hear for not buying frits and veggies is that “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” But are they really? Certainly, fresh foods that aren’t in season and have to be shipped a distance can be a bit pricey. If anyone added up how much spend on fast food, or prepackaged or processed snacks, it would probably be shocking.
Luckily, there are many ways to get your “Daily 5”. For instance, frozen fruits and veggies retain much of their nutrient profile. They can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. So too, are fruit and vegetable drink mixes – excellent supplemental sources of some of the nutrients our bodies need most.
More recently, the American
Of course, for people not accustomed to the fiber in fruits and veggies, there is some reason to think it’ll increase gas. When cell walls break down, and fiber passes through the system, it can create flatulence. Folks who eat fruits and vegetables every day generally don’t have this problem. Their systems are already accustomed to it.
For those just starting out on a better diet, however, start slowly – it helps your body adapt. Cooking vegetables can help, too, because it begins breaking down the cell walls early on.
One thing is certain, however. The “Typical American Diet” and good health are mutually exclusive. The increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension all point to the abuse our bodies suffer by eating diets high in fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.
Q. Can I just drink fruit and vegetables drinks in place of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables?
Green drinks and fruit and vegetable drink mixes aren’t meant to replace whole foods, but they can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling or just trying to fill everyday nutritional gaps. Their whole food ingredients absorb very easily and gently in the gut, and many of these drink mixes contain healthy doses of fiber, too.
Green drink mixes and food-based drink mixes combine many colorful fruits and vegetables and sometimes grasses in a healthy, mixable supplement assortment. While there have been many advancements in the field of green drinks, there are only a few that take the primary reason we eat into consideration: taste!
Happily, there are some companies out there with great-tasting drink mixes that also formulate based on the color concept, ensuring you get the broadest assortment of nutrients from a full range of fruit and vegetable colors to promote optimal health.
High-quality fruit and vegetable drink mixes offer the best from nature’s color wheel in a convenient and great-tasting supplement. So, the next tie you feel like taking a coffee break – try a fruit and veggie break instead. Your body and spirit will thank you.
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.
Q. What effect do the POAs from cat’s claw root have on our immune system?
November 22, 2006 01:38 PM
A. Cat’s claw POAs work to keep us healthy by directly interacting with white blood cells, the backbone of our immune system. Our white blood cells are the disease fighting cells of the human body. These highly specialized cells fight diseases we catch, such as cold and flu, as well as diseases that start within our own cells, such as cancer and autoimmune diseases. There are many kinds of white blood cells; each has a specific job to do in fighting diseases.
Certain POAs help white blood cells called macrophages work faster. The macrophages’ job is to engulf and digest foreign material. This means that macrophages can ingest more bacteria and disease causing microbes when they are exposed to POAs. The scientists also discovered that POA cat’s claw extract increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin, that is secreted by macrophages. Interleukin (IL-1) has important immune enhancing properties. IL-1 alerts resting white blood cells and spurs them into action. It also helps make other biochemicals essential to an activated immune system. (90% of white blood cells are in reserve)
POAs also help B cells. B cells are white blood cells that make antibodies that kill germs. Each B cell is programmed to make one specific antibody that is effective against one specific germ (such as a bacteria, virus, or fungus). When scientists looked at the number of B cells after they were exposed to POA cat’s claw root extract, they found that the B cells had increased significantly, resulting in an increased supply of antibodies.
And perhaps most importantly as they relate to cancer, the POAs in cat’s claw root extract help increase the number of T-cells, the true soldiers of the immune system. There are many different kinds of these white blood cells, including Helper T-cells, Suppressor T-cells, and Killer T-cells. Increased Helper, Suppressor, and Killer T-cells can more effectively destroy cancer cells. Increasing the number of circulating T-cells is very important in a disease like AIDS as well.
European health care providers are often very comfortable integrating the use of herbal and nutritional supplements as vital components of their patients’ cancer treatments. In Austria alone, cat’s claw extract is used together with conventional treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery), to treat hundreds of cancer patients every year!
A recent clinical observational study looked at POA cat’s claw extract in 78 people with very advanced brain cancer. All of the participants reported that the special POA cat’s claw helped them feel better, have more vitality, and reduced side effects (such as nausea) caused by their conventional cancer treatment. The researchers felt that POA cat’s claw extract may also prove to have benefit in extending the life span of people with these types of DEADLY brain cancers.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree – Dietary Supplements are targeted while foods sicken millions.
November 09, 2006 11:54 AM
The FDA and our enemies in Congress want you to believe that non-causal Adverse Event Reporting (AER, as presented in the S.3546 bill in Senate and the HR.6168 now in the House of Representatives) for supplements should be implemented to protect our health. The latest nationwide E.coli outbreak casts a shadow of doubt on S.3546/HR.6168 supporters’ motives, however-because these bills are treating safe, natural supplements as dangerous threats while foods wreak havoc on our nation’s health.
By the time this issue went to press, 187 people had been sickened and as many as three people had died from toxic E.coli bacteria found in contaminated bags of spinach. Tragically, this is nothing new; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that food borne disease cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the United Stages each year. More than 200 known diseases are transmitted through bad food.
Despite these staggering figures, there is no adverse event reporting system in place for foods. So if our enemies in Congress truly want to protect us, why are they pursuing non causal AER for safe, natural dietary supplements and not foods? The unfortunate answer is that non-causal AER supporters are either ignorant or in pursuit to non-disclosed political agendas. The latter is extremely disturbing especially when these self serving political agendas, promoted in the name of “protecting health,” will actually harm public health by taking away our supplements.
Not only are AER supporters barking up the wrong tree, but the AER bills that they have constructed are totally destructive. S.3546/HR.6168 is based on association and not causation. That’s right—S.3546/HR.6168 disregard what actually caused an adverse event, and instead use “guilt by association.” These poorly constructed bills are impotent when it comes to protecting people, but nonetheless are poised to devastate the nutritional supplements industry. If passed, S.3546/HR.6168 will unleash a barrage of frivolous lawsuits that will make trial lawyers rich while bankrupting the entire nutritional supplement industry and taking away our vitamins forever.
It is hard to imagine why some elected officials, the FDA and certain nutritional supplement industry groups are channeling so much money and energy into AER for harmless supplements while potentially DEADLY pathogens are tainting our food supply and sickening millions. If our elected officials truly wish to help the American people and protect public health, they should leave safe, natural dietary supplements alone and focus their AER efforts on foods—but only if they take the time to draft an intelligent, functional AER bill that is based causality.
Don’t Give Up the Fight
Adverse events with supplements are practically nonexistent. Adverse events with food are abundant. Elected officials who support S.3546/HR.6168 and the non-causal AER they espouse are clearly misguided, with an imbecile’s grasp on prioritization. If you agree that non-causal AER for supplements is an unwarranted waste of time and will destroy the industry by guilt by association, then please voice your opinion, before it’s too late!
Please call and fax Joe Barton, Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and other key AER players at the following numbers (fax numbers second): Barton at 202-225-2002, 202-225-3052; Chairman of the Judiciary Committee F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. at 202-225-5101,202-225-3190; House Majority Leader John Boehner at 202-225-6205, 202-225-0704; Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert at 202-225-2976,202-225-0697; and Congressman Nathan Deal a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, at 202-225-5211, 202-225-8272.
Don’t let self-serving political skullduggery take your vitamins and supplements away from you! Visit www.NHA2006.com and take advantage of online tools that allow you to easily send faxes to Congress. Please do not delay—without swift and decisive action, we may all lose our health freedom forever!
*This editorial is a public service announcement sponsored by the Nutritional Health Alliance (NHA).
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.
Effects of Cat's Claw on the immune system.
November 11, 2005 05:50 PM
Q. What effect do the POAs from cat’s claw root have on our immune system?
A. Cat’s claw POAs work to keep us healthy by directly interacting with white blood cells, the backbone of our immune system. Our white blood cells are the disease fighting cells of the human body. These highly specialized cells fight diseases we catch, such as colds and flu, as well as diseases that start within our own cells, such as cancer and autoimmune diseases. There are many kinds of white blood cells; each has a specific job to do in fighting diseases.
Certain POAs help white blood cells called macrophages work faster. The macrophages’ job is to engulf and digest foreign material. This means that macrophages can ingest more bacteria and disease causing microbes when they are exposed to POAs. The scientists also discovered that POA cat’s claw extract increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin, that is secreted by macrophages. Interleukin (IL-1) has important immune enhancing properties. IL-1 alerts resting white blood cells and spurs them into action. It also helps make other biochemicals essential to an activated immune system. (90% of white blood cells are in reserve) POAs also help B cells. B cells are white blood cells that make antibodies that kill germs. Each B cell is programmed to make one specific antibody that is effective against one specific germ (such as a bacteria, virus, or fungus). When scientists look at the number of B cells after they were exposed to POA cat’s claw root extract, they found that the B cells had increased significantly, resulting in an increased supply of antibodies.
And perhaps most importantly as they relate to cancer, the POAs in cat’s claw root extract help increase the number of T-cells, the true soldiers of the immune system. There are many different kinds of these white blood cells, including Helper T-cells, Suppressor T-cells, and Killer T-cells. Increased Helper, Suppressor, and Killer T-cells can more effectively destroy cancer cells. Increasing the number of circulating T-cells is very important in a disease like AIDS as well.
European health care providers are often very comfortable integrating the use of herbal and nutritional supplements as vital components of their patients’ cancer treatments. In Austria alone, cat’s claw extract is used together with conventional treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery), to treat hundreds of cancer patients every year!
A recent clinical observational study looked at POA cat’s claw extract in 78 people with very advanced brain cancer. All of the participants reported that the special POA cat’s claw helped them feel better, have more vitality, and reduced side effects (such as nausea) caused by their conventional cancer treatment. The researchers felt the POA cat’s claw extract may also prove to have benefit in extending the life span of people with these types of DEADLY brain cancers.
MIGRAINE BLOCKER - Homeopathic Remedy for Headache and Migraine Relief
September 30, 2005 09:41 AM
NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT
MIGRAINE BLOCKER - Homeopathic Remedy for Headache and Migraine Relief
One tablet contains:
Omega Man - For Men Interested in Optimal Health
August 12, 2005 11:10 AM
For Men Interested in Optimal Health, Vitality and Staying Young
Scientists have discovered the key that unlocks the door to a longer life, healthy weight, optimal athletic performance, and overall well-being. That key is composed of essential fats, called omega-3 fatty acids. You need these fats to balance the effects of the male hormone testosterone. Found in flax, pumpkin seeds, and other plants, omega-3 fats are essential to well-being, vitality, and optimal fitness; yet most men are deficient in the omega-3s.
The low-fat and nonfat fads of the 1980s and 1990s taught nutrition experts a lot about the importance of omega-3 fats. As food manufacturers created one nonfat product after another, a strange thing happened- men got fatter and heart disease rates jumped.
Since then, experts at research institutions including Harvard and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have linked nonfat diets with depression, heart disease, weight gain, and poor physical performance.
We now know that all fats are not created equal. Although some fats are indeed bad for our health, other fats are essential to overall health, vitality, and well-being. Most men, however, over consume the wrong fats- those found in processed foods and animal products- and do not consume enough of the right fats. To make matters worse, the good omega-3s are dwindling from the food supply. Food processing has stripped this important fat from our foods, making supplementation necessary.
Thankfully, Omega Man from Barlean’s Organic Oils, a new whole food concentrate for men, will help reduce the risk of some of the most DEADLY and common men’s health problems. All men will benefit from Omega Man. Its blend of essential fats from flax, Styrian pumpkin seeds, and other sources complement one another, providing the optimal mix of the right types of fats, which promises to promote health and vitality no matter what your age.
From the athletic pursuits of your early twenties to the health concerns of your fifties and beyond, Omega Man is an important part of a man’s healthy diet and will unlock the door to a new, more vibrant, healthier you.
Recently, we’ve begun to report on the importance of certain men’s power foods and nutrients. By putting optimal amounts of these into men’s diets, men can ensure greater health and longevity.
Super Health Blend
Omega Man’s unique blend of flax, pumpkin and other fatty acid sources is an optimal formula for men’s health and vitality.
Organic Flaxseed Oil
Barlean’s award-winning organic omega-3 and lignan-rich flaxseed oil makes up the base of this formula and provides the richest and best-absorbed source of omega-3 fatty acids available. Other popular sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, may contain contaminants such as mercury and industrial chemicals. Barlean’s flaxseed oil, on the other hand, comes from organic seeds grown in optimal conditions with no chemicals, pesticides, or other contaminants. You can feel safe knowing that all of Barlean’s flaxseed oil products, including Omega Man, are pure and fresh. They help you promote optimal health without polluting your body.
In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, Barlean’s lignan-rich flax oil is one of the world’s richest sources of lignans, important plant chemicals that act like hormones in the body. Lignans have been shown to bind to existing hormones in the body, bringing your hormones into the optimal balance needed for good health. Few men consume the amount of lignans needed to promote hormonal balance, making supplementation so important.
Lignans serve in the body to block two critical enzyme systems that serve to initiate prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia. The first is aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to a powerful testosterone derivative that is five times more powerful than its precursor in promoting prostatic disease. The second is 5-alpha reductase, and enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. Despite popular belief, estrogen is much more powerful in provoking prostate disease than testosterone. In fact, the ratio of testosterone to estrogen begins to weigh in favor of estrogen in the aging male. As testosterone levels decline with age, estrogen levels appear to remain relatively stable. Compared to younger men, the ratio of estrogen to testosterone is up to 40 percent higher in older men.
Breakthrough research is implicating the imbalance between testosterone to estrogen as a primary cause of prostate disease. Flying in the face of past misconceptions, it would actually serve the aging male to increase testosterone at the expense of estrogen. It appears that this is exactly what lignans do in blocking the enzyme necessary for converting testosterone to estrogen. When the enzyme is blocked, testosterone is spared because it is not being converted to estrogen. In what you could visualize as a seesaw-like action, the ratio of testosterone to estrogen begins to move back in favor of testosterone.
The action of lignans in sparing testosterone may hold greater implications than the obvious. Lack or loss of sexual desire in men and women is oftentimes associated with low testosterone levels. By preserving testosterone, many men and women may be able to retain or regain their sexual vigor. In fact, agents that block the conversion of testosterone to estrogen have been showing to increase testosterone levels by as much as 10 percent. (Speaking of sexuality, the surgical treatment of choice for prostatic disease (prostectomy) is the leading cause of impotency in men over 50. This fact alone should be powerful motivation for men of all ages to consider a supplemental regime to include lignans to lower the incidence of prostate cancer and benign prostatic hypertrophy.)
The full significance of a “high-in-lignan” diet may be realized by the fact that lignans have been found isolated within prostatic fluids. Analytical work performed at a prominent cancer research center has indicated that the level of lignan in expressed prostatic fluid can be remarkable high, suggesting that it could well exercise a physiologic role within the gland. The glandular cells are certainly bathed in prostatic secretion for some considerable period, during which they could well influence cell biology. It has been established that the higher the intake of dietary lignans, the higher the physiologic lignan concentration in urine, blood plasma and prostatic secretions. The inference here is that the more dietary lignans that are ingested the more protection is offered in bathing the prostate gland in fluids high in protective lignans.
Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil
Barlean’s went to the edge of the earth to procure the seeds of a rare and unique pumpkin found only in the region of southeast Austria. It is reputed for its extraordinary wealth of vitamins A, C, E, and K and high levels of phytosterols, all important for reducing risk of enlarged prostate and in the fight again cancer and heart disease.
Nearly every part of your body, from your internal organs to your cell membranes to your brain, contains phospholipids. Phospholipid supplementation has been shown to promote heart, digestive, liver, and brain health. Omega Man contains the optimal amounts of phospholipids for your health.
Plant Phytosterol Complex
Omega man is a rich source of the plant phytosterols betasitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. If men have not begun to put phytosterols into their diet, then they’re missing out on an important natural food constituent that offers protection against toe most common cancers, that is an excellent remedy for enlarges prostate, and lowers cholesterol. Phytosterols are used widely in Europe to treat enlarge prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and are known to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by interfering with cholesterol absorption. Omega Man contains an optimal blend.
10 Things You Should Know About Prostate Cancer
July 27, 2005 02:12 PM
10 Things You Should Know About Prostate Cancer
If you were to compile a top ten list of things men would rather just avoid, prostate exams might even rate above taking out the garbage, doing dishes and going shopping. But there’s no good excuse to ignore this walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis and in front of the rectum. Confused by the debate surrounding nearly ever aspect of prostate cancer and embarrassed to request a physical exam, many men ignore prostate health, only to discover that the benefits of screening far outweigh its risks. As women openly talk about breast and ovarian cancers, prostate health remains a difficult and controversial topic for men to discuss, forcing many to forgo the manual exam that could lead to early detection and straightforward treatment. Though most males eventually develop some cancerous cells in their prostates, many prostate cancers develop so slowly that men often die of other causes. Indeed, it’s often said that most men die with prostate cancer, not from it. But the fact remains that prostate cancer kills more men who don’t smoke than any other cancer: The American Cancer Society reports that more than 232,000 men will be diagnoses with prostate cancer in 2005 and 30,350 will die from it. These statistics seem fairly overwhelming when you consider that one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, while one in eight American women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Despite the ongoing debate about whether the results of a prostate screening may cause unnecessary treatment, growing evidence suggests that testing for prostate cancer saves lives. The number of men who died of the disease fell by 26% from 1991 to 2001, with a five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer of nearly 100%; 10-year survival rates for all prostate cancer patients stand at 92%, while 15-year survival rates fell to 61%. Energy Times evaluated some of the key issues surrounding prostate cancer, including screening misconceptions, risk factors and lifestyle choices that can influence the likelihood of developing this potentially DEADLY disease. We hope they help you, or your significant other, make well-informed health decisions.
HERBS FOR A HEALTHY LIVER
July 14, 2005 03:38 PM
HERBS FOR A HEALTHY LIVER
The liver is extremely important in ridding the body of toxins. It is the key channel of elimination. Good health is impossible without adequate liver function. It is one of the most important organs in the body and often is not considered when it comes to health. The liver cannot function if digestion is poor or the colon is congested. Everything the enters the liver must be detoxified.
Everything we breathe, eat and absorb through the skin is refined in the liver; it becomes overburdened when too much is required. The liver is required to detoxify at a much higher rate than ever before. The exposure to toxins has increased rapidly over the years. The liver works by using enzymes to break down toxic material. The liver then converts the material from a fat soluble form to a water soluble form to be eliminated through the kidneys.
Milk thistle has a complex of compounds known as silymarin. These substances are actually known to protect the liver against some toxins and help increase the function of this important organ. Silybin found in this herb is used as an antidote to the DEADLY deathcap mushroom which is known to destroy liver cells. It also contains amines (thyramine and histamine) which are known to help stimulate the production and flow of bile. Milk thistle has been proven to be very beneficial on liver function.
Studies done recently indicate that milk thistle is beneficial for severe liver disorders such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, as well as general liver restoration, protection and strengthening. The properties of milk thistle have been confirmed in animal studies to be a protection in liver disorders.
Turmeric has been found to contain liver protective properties similar to the glycyrrhizin found in licorice. This ability may be due to its powerful antioxidant activity. It also has been found to increase enzymes in the liver to pre vent inflammation. Turmeric has also been found to increase bile acid output. Turmeric has the ability to breakdown carcinogens and toxins allowing them to be excreted from the body without doing damage. It seems to protect the liver from toxic damage.
Licorice contains glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid which help stimulate interferon in the body which is essential for protecting the immune system. It also contains liver protective properties preventing damage due to toxic exposure. Glycyrrhizin found in licorice is thought to inhibit cell injury. Glycyrrhizin has been found in studies to be beneficial in treating cases of chronic hepatitis B. It seems to improve liver function as well as reduce liver enzymes that are known to determine liver damage.
Scientific studies have found that schizandra protects the liver against toxins. Problems with the liver and lead to immune disorders because of the build up of toxins. Schizandra has also been found to protect against the effects of alcohol in mice. Other studies have found this herb to have a mild regenerative effect on the liver . It is used in China to treat infectious hepatitis. It helps to protect the liver from damage and encourage liver regeneration after injury or illness.
THE DEADLY DEATHCAP MUSHROOM, SILYMARIN, AND LIVER DAMAGE
July 12, 2005 09:58 AM
THE DEADLY DEATHCAP MUSHROOM AND SILYMARIN
The protective action of Silymarin in the liver has been confirmed through several experimental and clinical studies. Animals who have had their livers exposed to toxic chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride, amanita toxin (DEADLY mushroom) and galactosamine were protected from damage by Milk Thistle.3 Animals who had their livers partially removed experienced some organ regeneration when treated with Milk Thistle.
In the 1970’s, additional research on the ability of Milk Thistle to de-toxify liver cells of DEADLY mushro o m poisoning was conducted. The poison of this mushroom is extremely toxic and usually results in death within two to five hours. Amantine causes severe hemorrhagic liver dystrophy and inevitable death. Even when the studies were undertaken, scientists did not expect Milk Thistle to offer any significant protection against such a volatile and DEADLY toxin. The two peptides which comprise the poison are the most potent liver damaging substances currently known. Sixty patients who had severe amanita poisoning in Europe were treated with Milk Thistle. The results were impressive.
In experiments where silymarin was given before the amanita toxin was ingested, it was 100 percent effective in preventing liver toxicity.4 If given within ten minutes, it still neutralized the poison. Even after 24 hours, it was found to prevent death and liver damage.5
Not only did Milk Thistle protect the liver fro m amantine damage, it also helped to prevent the loss of weight normally seen in animals that have ingested the poison. The impressive results of these tests resulted in stepped up production of Milk Thistle extract, which has made it much more available now.
Immune Health - Herbs to Maintain A Healthy Immune System
July 01, 2005 04:21 PM
Immune Health By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt The immune system has been receiving a lot of media attention, especially since the rise in recognized immune system deficiency diseases. The efficient functioning of the immune system is of paramount importance to everyone, adults and children alike, since it controls our ability to fend off illness, whether it is a common cold or more DEADLY disease. The immune system is made up of a combination of specialized cells, chemicals, tissues and organs. These include the lymph nodes, thymus gland, spleen, bone marrow and tonsils, as well as specialized white blood cells, which recognize and engulf invading microorganisms and cellular debris.
The ability of the immune system to function optimally is influenced by many factors. These include inherent genetic makeup, environmental influences (such as pollution, pesticides, hormones, artificial flavoring/colorings in food), obesity, stress levels, exposure to infective agents, etc. Specific research suggests that consuming excessive amounts of sugar interferes with immune function. We can aid our immune system by eating a high amount of organic green vegetables, whole grains and nuts, while cutting down on 'junk food' consumption. Stress reduction, through prayer, meditation, yoga and moderate exercise can also help.
Herbs may be used in two different ways to help the immune system. Tonics strengthen the immune system over time, while strong immune system stimulants have a more immediate action, and are used during an acute infection.
Herbal tonics work to help maintain a dynamic balance in the body and usually need to be taken long-term. Astragalus is said to build "Wei chi". "Chi" is the Chinese concept of life energy force. "Wei chi" is thought of as 'protection'. Current scientific studies confirm the positive benefits of Astragalus on the immune system. One study by the National Cancer Institute demonstrated Astragalus' ability to help strengthen resistance of the immune system, especially to viral infections. Reishi, called the "mushroom of immortality", has been used for centuries as an overall tonic. Chinese physicians have used Ligustrum berries specifically for their immune-enhancing activities. They are often combined with Astragalus for a synergistic effect. Coptis is another Chinese herb that contains the bitter yellow compound, berberine. This herb helps the immune system prevent infections. Many of these herbs can be found in the unique combination formula called Immunotonic™ (alcohol-free). Immunotonic™ offers the ideal way to experience the benefits of many herbs in one convenient supplement.
Other immune system tonic herbs include Siberian Ginseng and Schisandra. Siberian Ginseng is an adaptogen that helps to balance the immune system. It gives strength and fortitude, especially when dealing with environmental stress. Schisandra has been shown to build non-specific resistance, improve brain function, increase work capacity and build strength.
Osha Root has been used traditionally by both Chinese and Native Americans (who called it Chuchupate) for colds and flues, sore throats and other health ailments requiring a higher level of immune support. Echinacea is a well-researched and respected immune system stimulant. (Refer to our Echinacea article for further information). It helps increase the activity of white blood cells, which engulf invading microorganisms. Thuja is an herbal extract from the Northern White Cedar tree. It is a strong immune stimulant that Native Americans used for colds, coughs, bronchitis and other respiratory infections. Possibly the mushroom with the greatest capability of stimulating the immune system is the Maitake. It is known as the "dancing mushroom" because it was so highly prized that whoever found some would dance for joy. Maitake contains specific chemical components that have been scientifically studied for their strong immune enhancing effects; (refer to Maitake Bio-Beta-Glucan™ article for further information). Nature's Answer® combines these herbs in Immune Boost™, a combination formula for use during acute illness and infections. Try it along with the combination formula Echinacea & Goldenseal. Nature’s Answer® offers a selection of all these herbs in liquid and/or capsule forms. Check with your local health food store, or visit www.naturesanswer.com, for more information.
Children can often use a boost to their immune system to help ward off colds and flues. Nature's Answer® comes to the rescue with three alcohol-free formulas specifically designed for their special needs - E-KID-nacea™, E-KID-nacea Plus™, and NatChoo™. All of these outstanding formulas help promote a healthy immune system.
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
Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ...
June 13, 2005 10:31 AM
Botanical Arsenal by Fred Thomas Energy Times, May 3, 1999
The complexities surrounding the various types of cancer stem from the variety of ways in which these diseases can wreak their havoc. Luckily, the equally complex world of plants contains novel compounds that can help our bodies fight off cancer's DEADLY progress.
Research into these botanical compounds is mushrooming. An example: The mighty maitake, a fungus with flair, alternately known as the king (it can grow as large as a basketball, worth its weight in silver to the ancient Japanese); the prince; the Hen of the Woods (it sticks out of from trees when it grows in the wild); and the dancing mushroom to those who leaped for joy when they found one growing in its native northeastern Japan.
Researchers today dub it with a new moniker: Herbal Heavyweight.
Mushroom with Potential
The maitake, with such other medicinal mushrooms as shiitake and reishi, historically has been eaten to promote general well-being and vitality. In the modern lab, however, scientists focus on the potent immune enhancing powers of maitake, which spotlight its cancer fighting potential.
Twenty years ago, maitake, Grifola frondosa, was an obscure, largely unavailable mushroom. A series of significant Japanese studies then catapulted it into prominence-and popularity.
Hiroaki Nanba, PhD, of the department of immunology at Kobe Women's College of Pharmacy on Kobe, Japan, and a leading international researcher on maitake, conducted the preliminary tests on the mushroom, demonstrating that it stimulates immune function and inhibits tumor growth.
In 1986, Dr. Nanba fed powdered maitake to mice injected with tumor cells; 86.3% displayed inhibited tumor growth.
Dr. Nanba and his colleagues went on to run additional mouse tests, finally reporting that this potent mushroom "directly activates various effector cells (macrophages, natural killer cells, killer T-cells, etc.) to attack tumor cells."
From then, maitake mushrooms were headed to fame as cancer ninjas.
Stoking The Immune Engine
Like other mushrooms, maitake is rich in complex polysaccharides, immunomodulators that successive tests after Dr. Nanba's have shown to be effective in cancer and AIDS treatment.
The polysaccharides in maitake have a unique structure, rendering them some of the most powerful to be studied (Chem Pharm Bull 1987:35:1162-8).
What makes maitake a particularly hot property is beta-D-glucan, its primary polysaccharide. Studies show that the body absorbs it readily, at which point it effectively stimulates interleukin-1, natural killer cells and macrophages, anti-tumor warriors that battle solid cancers (Chemotherapy 1990;38:790-6; also International Conference on AIDS, Amsterdam, 1992).
Effective And Safe
In addition to lab tests, trials on people have shown that maitake may offer powerful therapy against liver and stomach cancer (studies in China), breast and colon cancer (US research) and Kaposi's Sarcoma, the virulent cancer attacking AIDS sufferers.
Importantly, studies show that no side effects or interactions accompany maitake's efficacy.
Maitake fortunately has won the interest and enthusiasm of the scientific community. Currently, researchers at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, headed by Denis Miller, MD, are completing an exhaustive test of the anticancer and immunostimulatory actions of maitake on folks with advanced colorectal cancer. These investigators hypothesize that the polysaccharide beta-glucans derived from the fruitbody of maitake fight tumors and boost immune function. "Though it cannot be said that maitake ...[is] the cancer cure," said Dr. Nanba in his closing remarks at the Adjuvant Nutrition in Cancer Treatment Symposium in Tampa, Florida, in October 1995, "one can safely say that they do maintain the quality of life of patients and improve the immune system, resulting in the possible remission of cancer cells with no side effects."
More Bodily Benefits
Maitake maven Dr. Nanba also has tested-with strongly positive results-the effect of maitake on blood glucose, insulin and triglycerides in mice, whose levels of all three substances declined when they were fed the mushroom (H. Nanba working paper, Anti-Diabetic Activity by Maitake Mushroom, 1994).
With colleagues, Dr. Nanba showed that maitake lowered blood pressure in hypertensive rats (Chem. Phann. Bu//36:1000-1006,1988). Other studies suggest it may accelerate weight loss.
This admirable adaptogen (meaning it helps the body adapt to stress and normalize its functions) is water soluble and may be eaten in food or taken as a supplement. Vitamin C is believed to intensify maitake's beta-glucans and enhance their absorption.
It's not just what you eat that may help protect against cancer, but what you drink as well. Research from China and Japan, where tea is the everyday drink and rates of several cancers like breast and prostate are lower, may persuade you to turn over a new leaf in your own beverage choice. One of the first studies to spark interest in tea came from Shanghai (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, June 1, 1994), where people who drank two to three cups a day were found to have about a 60% reduction in the risk of cancer of the esophagus. The reason: tea leaves contain compounds called polyphenols, potent antioxidants.
In fact, in tests at the University of Kansas, three of these, known as catechins, far outshone the common antioxidant vitamins C and E. Clinical trials are just starting, but early results are encouraging. A team of Chinese scientists reported that in a third of people with precancerous mouth sores who drank three cups of a mixture of green and black tea the lesions shrank significantly.
Researchers at the Saitama Cancer Center in Japan found that green tea seems to improve the prognosis of breast cancer. They followed a group of women with early-stage tumors for seven years. Those who drank more than five cups of green tea a day were only half as likely to suffer a recurrence as patients who consumed fewer than four cups a day.
And at the University of Indiana, toxicologist James Klaunig found that the lungs of cigarette smokers who drank the equivalent of six cups of tea a day suffered 40 to 50 percent less damage from the toxins in smoke, potentially lowering their risk of lung cancer and other pulmonary problems. Simultaneously, research from Purdue University suggests tea's cancer-discouraging powers go beyond being an antioxidant. Scientists Dorothy and D. James Morre showed that a tea catechin dubbed EGCG inhibits a growth-promoting enzyme on the surface of many cancer cells-happily without affecting normal cells. And researchers at the Ohio State University College of Medicine found that EGCG counteracted another enzyme, urokinase, that helps cancer cells spread. To top it off, Mayo Clinic scientists recently showed that EGCG prompted prostate cancer cells to commit suicide (Cancer Letters, Aug. 14, 1998).
So far, most tea research has focused on green tea, and investigators agree it's more potent than the black tea most Americans favor. But because both kinds come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis (it's the processing that makes the difference as black tea is fermented, green tea isn't) both contain cancer-fighting polyphenols, just in different quantities. As long as the tea you drink (even decaffeinated) is fresh brewed, it's likely to provide some benefit; powdered and prepared teas probably don't. And adding milk may dilute the effect.
Astragalus Against Tumors
Astragalus, an herb commonly used in Asia to boost stamina, has impressed western doctors for its potential for helping people cope with chemotherapy. As John Diamon, MD, W. Lee Cowden, MD and Burton Goldberg point out in the Definitive Guide to Cancer (Future Medicine), "Astragalus appears to protect the liver against the harmful toxic effects of chemotherapy and may be effective in treating terminally ill liver cancer patients." (They cite a study in the Jrnl of Ethnopharmacology 1990, 30:145-149.) In addition, they point out, research in Japan supports using a ginseng-astragalus combination to improve the function of natural killer (NK) cells which can boost immunity (Japanese Jrnl of Allergy, 37:2, 1998, 107-114).
Other studies confirm astragalus' potential in fighting off cancer. Research at the General Hospital of PLA, Beijing, showed that flavonoids (pigments) in astragalus could help protect cell membranes from oxidative damage caused by ultraviolet exposure (Chung Kuo Chung Yao Tsa Chih, 21(12):746-8; 1996 Dec).
A study of laboratory animals at Cunma University in Maebashi, Japan, found that Astragalus could help preserve immune function against the harmful side effects of chemotherapy (Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih, 15(2):101-3, 1995 Feb).
Like a flame attracting moths, garlic bulbs have irresistibly drawn the attention of medical researchers. A study at Aarhus University, Denmark, found that skin cells in laboratory dishes treated with garlic supplements lived longer, healthier lives than untreated cells (Jrnl Ethnopharm, 1994. 43:125-133).
Meanwhile, a long list of research demonstrates that garlic's phytochemicals may fight tumors and reduce the carcinogenicity of the pollutants and chemicals that assault us daily. A study in China reported in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that garlic helped slow tumors in lab animals (1983, 11:69-73). Another study in the Journal of Nutrition found that compounds in garlic could "suppress the growth of human colon tumor cells" (126, 1355-1361).
Added to those benefits, Robert A. Nagourney, MD, reports in the Journal of Medicinal Food (1:1, 1998, 13-28), garlic may "modify the carcinogenicity of foodstuffs." In other words, studies show that garlic can make chemicals in foods like pork less likely to cause your cells to become cancerous. (Ind J Physiol Pharmacol, 39:347-353).
DNA, the stuff that genes are made of, face constant threats from free radicals, caustic molecules that can alter cellular structure and possibly cause genetic mutations that lead to cancer. But research into what are called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), flavonoids (pigments) derived from fruits vegetables, grape seed extract and the bark of maritime pine trees shows that OPC may be able to shield DNA from injury.
In particular, studies of a grape seed extract called Activin have demonstrated this substance can help liver cell DNA escape a destructive process called peroxidation (FASEB, 11:3, 2/28/97).
In these experiments, Activin demonstrated the ability to inhibit the growth of tumor cells as well as slow the replication enzymes of HIV viruses. This protective ability proved to be more potent than that of vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin E.
What does the future promise to reveal? Scientists believe that many unexamined plants probably contain undiscovered phytochemicals that hold great potential for helping us fight the cancer epidemic.
Certainly, if the next few years produce as many results as the past decade, the next millennium will witness a long line of cancer-prevention discoveries. Before long, you should be able to take advantage of these potent substances.
As you gulp your garlic, tip your tea cup, mull your maitake, acquire Activin and await your astragalus, you may meditate on what may soon be added to our growing anti-cancer arsenal. Undoubtedly, scientists with a botanical bent will be uncovering more coveted anti-cancer secrets before too long.
Cancer at the Millenium - the war on cancer entering its third decade...
June 13, 2005 10:23 AM
Cancer at the Millenium by Harriet Brown Energy Times, May 1, 1999
With the war on cancer entering its third decade, the necessity grows clearer for medical science to engage the enemy on several fronts. Until recently, high-tech medical weapons like vaccines and gene therapy, inspired by a flood of insights into the molecular basis of cancer, garnered most of the hope, hype, headlines and research money. The science was sexy and the prospect of a "cure" dramatic. But, today, advocates of prevention receive equal, if not greater, attention.
Improving our diets and prudently supplementing with vitamins and minerals, can deliver a major preventive impact. Contentious experts concede that at least a third (and probably more) of all cancers can be blamed on a combination of eating too much of the wrong foods and not enough of the right ones.
The Dietary Difference
Though cancer can progress rapidly once it leaps past its inception, it develops over many years and in several stages. Beneficial compounds in food and supplements may intervene along a line that runs from initial exposure to carcinogens to the final step into outright malignancy. Nutrients may: - counteract environmental poisons and the toxic byproducts of liver metabolism
The Big Picture The dietary guidelines advocated by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (which generally coincide with those of most health organizations) may sound familiar: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Get lots of fiber. Limit fat, especially animal fat. Go easy on meat and avoid the cured variety (they contain nitrites). If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Watch your total calories, and your weight. Pretty straightforward stuff.
Carotenoids, as their name suggests, are orange and red pigments in fruits and vegetables, most notably carrots and tomatoes, although they're also in everything from sweet potatoes to spinach and brussels sprouts (in the latter their distinctive color is masked by green chlorophyll).
Lycopene, a carotenoid found primarily in tomatoes, displays double the free radical-fighting activity of beta carotene, the most widely studied carotenoid. Of 72 studies looking at consumption of tomatoes or tomato-based products reviewed in the February 1999 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, almost half showed a significant reduction in one or more of a variety of cancers.
Research shows that lycopene may be best at lowering a man's risk of prostate cancer. A 1995 Harvard Medical School study (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87: 1767-76) queried nearly 48,000 male health-care professionals about their consumption of fruits and vegetables. The only foods that reduced their risk of prostate cancer were, apparently, tomato sauce, tomatoes, pizza (tomato paste). For those who ate ten servings a week, risk dropped 45 percent; with four to seven servings, 20 percent. In animal studies lycopene decreased the number and size of mammary tumors (Eleventh International Symposium on Carotenoids, 1996).
Tomatoes are one of the richest sources of lycopene. Cooking tomatoes helps by releasing the lycopene from the plant cell walls. Also, the oil in tomato sauce enhances absorption in the stomach. Lycopene is also available in supplements.
Wine drinkers rejoiced when resveratrol, a constituent of the skin of red grapes, was found to protect their hearts (by blocking oxidation of LDL cholesterol and discouraging blood clotting). Now they have another reason to toast this potent antioxidant. When researcher John Pezzuto at the University of Illinois at Chicago screened about 1,000 plants for anticancer activity, he came up with one whose active ingredient turned out to be resveratrol. In lab tests it squelched both free radicals and inflammation, two well-known cancer inducers (Science, 6/10/97). In a study with mice, resveratrol reduced the number of skin tumors by up to 98 percent compared to control animals. Because the effective doses were high (Pezzuto estimates a person would have to quaff about five gallons of wine a day to get the equivalent) and because more than a drink or two a day may raise the risk of breast cancer, researchers don't recommend nondrinkers take up wine. But supplements of synthesized resveratrol (as well as grape juice) may help.
Saturated fat is an authentic dietary villain. Aside from clogging arteries, it's a suspected contributor to several cancers, though the evidence is greater for some cancers (prostate) than for others (breast cancer)
Of the two other main categories of fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, mono seems benign, if not positively protective. For example, in a study of the influence of diet on breast cancer, Greek researchers discovered that women who consumed higher amounts of olive oil (which is mostly mono) were less likely to be afflicted with breast cancer (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995: 87; 110-116).
When it comes to polyunsaturated fats, however, things get complicated. The fat that predominates in corn, sunflower and other vegetable oils, called omega-6, has long been associated with cancer risk in animal experiments. Likewise the type found in margarines, trans fats, which are partially saturated vegetable oils. On the other hand, the omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA, which are found primarily in deep- and cold-water fish like cod, mackerel, and halibut, protect against both heart disease and cancer. In an epidemiological study covering 24 European countries, British researchers established that mortality rates for colon and breast cancers declined as fish and fish oil consumption rose (British Journal of Cancer 1996: 74; 159-64). And Finnish scientists discovered that the breast tissue of women who had breast cancer contained significantly less DHA and EPA than the breasts of healthy women (Nutrition and Cancer 1995: 24; 151-160).
Experts believe the omega-3s' anticancer effect derives from its ability to tamp down the prostaglandins that stimulate inflammation. Chronic inflammation unleashes a steady stream of free radicals, which can damage DNA and thereby trigger cancer. Omega-3s also help the liver detoxify potentially harmful substances.
Fortunately for the fish-phobic, nonmarine sources of omega-3 fats include flaxseed and hemp oils.
Minerals to Lower Cancer Risk
n Calcium: possibly protective against colon cancer. In a recent trial (New England Journal of Medicine, 1/14/99) researchers gave people with a history of precancerous colon polyps either two 600 mg calcium tablets a day or a placebo for nine months and found fewer polyps. n Selenium: powerful antioxidant and supporter of immunity. Researchers find that cancer rates in various regions is lowered when soil and vegetables contain more selenium
In a selenium-depleted area in China afflicted with one of the highest incidences of stomach and esophageal cancer mortality in the world, scientists asked different groups to take various combinations of nutrients. After five years they found a significant reduction in the cancer rate among those who had gotten supplements of selenium, vitamin E and beta carotene (Biological Trace Element Research 1985; 7: 21-29). In the U.S. researchers studying the potential effectiveness of selenium supplementation for preventing nonmelanoma skin cancers came up with a surprise. The 200 mcg a day the subjects received for an average of 4.5 years had no impact on skin cancer but did significantly cut the rates of lung, colorectal and prostate cancers (Journal of the American Medical Association, 12/25/96).
More recently Harvard researchers determined that men with prostate cancer had much lower levels of selenium in their toenails (a measure of consumption) than healthy men (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 8/119/98).
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale, have long been singled out for their association with protection against cancer. In a 1996 survey of 94 population studies and clinical trials focusing on consumption of cruciferous vegetables, 67 percent showed a reduced risk, the strongest link being with lung, stomach, colon and rectal cancers (Cancer Epidemiological Biomarkers 1996; 5: 733-748).
Scientists at Johns Hopkins showed that sulforaphane, from these plants, stimulates enzymes that help detoxify carcinogens generated in the liver. When they injected rats with a cancer-causing chemical, only 26 percent of the rodents pretreated with sulforaphane developed mammary cancer, compared to 68 percent of controls. Even animals who did come down with cancer had tumors that appeared later and smaller.
Other researchers have focused on a cruciferous-vegetable compound called indole-3-carbinol, which has proved especially effective against breast cancer cells. Recently, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley found that indole-3-carbinol, rather than acting as an anti-estrogen, (as had been thought), actually stops breast cancer cells by turning off a protein critical to their replication (Jrnal of Bio Chem, 2/13/98). Consequently, when treating certain forms of cancer, some doctors have paired indole-3-carbinol with the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen - which counteracts estrogen - and found that the combination has proven more potent than either separately.
Several decades ago British physician Denis Burkitt proposed that the low incidence of colon cancer among native peoples in South Africa was attributable to the fact that their diet was rich in fiber. The fiber, it was hypothesized, bulked up the stool, speeding its passage through the bowel and reducing the time carcinogens contact its lining; it also helped neutralize cancer-promoting bile acids.
This concept has been backed up by numerous studies. Recently, Harvard researchers sprinkled cold water on this idea, finding that an examination of the eating habits of more than 80,000 female nurses, could find no protective effect against colon cancer or precancerous polyps from consuming fiber (NEJM, January 21, 1999). Most experts' take on this apparent refutation: Maybe the "high fiber" intake in this case wasn't high enough, and this is just one study among many.
Fighting Breast Cancer
Fiber has also been linked to reduced rates of breast cancer. At first it was thought that if fat was a breast-cancer culprit, fiber might just be a marker for a low-fat diet. But a look at Finland undermined that idea: Finnish women eat both a lot of fat and a lot of fiber, and their breast cancer rate ranks much below that in the U.S., (where we eat gobs of fat and little roughage).
Fiber helps take estrogen out of circulation as it passes through the liver, while the isoflavones in many high-fiber plants and vegetables are themselves weak estrogens, which compete for slots on breast tissue's estrogen receptors. The special fiber in flaxseed oil called lignans act against estrogen in two ways: by binding its receptors and by inhibiting the enzyme that converts other hormones into estrogen.
Fiber comes in two basic forms, insoluble (e.g., wheat bran, celery, the skins of fruits and vegetables) and soluble (e.g., oat bran, citrus fruits, beans). Until a few years ago, scientists believed that cancer protection came mainly from insoluble fiber, but that thinking has turned around.
A soluble fiber called citrus pectin has been shown to halt the tendency of prostate, lung, breast and skin cancers to metastasize, or spread (e.g., Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87: 3448-353). Typically cancer turns DEADLY only when it gets into the bloodstream and invades new territory. Modified citrus pectin appears to stop this aggression by preventing cancer cells from attaching to healthy tissue.
While the name inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) sounds like a mouthful, many of us consume mouthfuls of this natural substance every day - in foods like corn, rice, whole-grain cereals, oats and wheat.
But now scientists have isolated IP-6 and found that this powerful antioxidant can slow the destructive cellular processes that lead to tumors. In a study published in Anti-Cancer Research (Nov/Dec 1998), scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine demonstrated that IP-6 could shrink liver tumors in laboratory animals.
The researchers believe that IP-6 can help prevent cancer and also be useful in lowering the risk of health problems like kidney stones and heart disease. Research like this continues to expand our knowledge of how to lower the risk of cancer. In the next millennium, with more and more information making its way into the media and onto websites, our power and the responsibility to reduce our risk of cancer will continue to grow and offer new possibilities.
The Blood Sugar Blues - help lower blood sugar
June 12, 2005 08:08 AM
The Blood Sugar Blues by Carl Lowe Energy Times, July 10, 2003
The cells in your body run on the sugar they get from blood. Normally, this energy distribution system functions efficiently. When things go awry, however, blood sugar fluctuations can cause serious problems.
If your blood sugar stays too high, your pancreas, heart and other organs suffer. But stabilize your blood sugar and you can stabilize your health.
Problems linked to too much blood sugar are widespread. Diabetes, in which the body becomes increasingly unable to regulate blood sugar levels, is one of the most serious and widespread conditions. Plus, researchers now know that elevated blood sugar, even if you don't suffer diabetes, elevates your risk of heart disease and pancreatic cancer (JAMA 5/17/00).
Researchers at the Northwestern University Medical School have shown that with every bump up in your blood sugar levels, your chances of contracting pancreatic cancer rises significantly.
"Because the prevalence of type 2 (adult onset) diabetes and obesity, including childhood obesity, is steadily increasing, identifying a potential causal association between hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and pancreatic cancer could have important preventive and prognosticative implications for this cancer," notes Susan M. Gapstur, MD, a professor at Northwestern.
In other words, measuring your blood sugar can go a long way towards measuring the odds of developing this devastating condition. In the United States, pancreatic cancer is the fifth most DEADLY cancer. The disease is difficult to discover, and tumors in the pancreas usually remain hidden until the cancer has spread throughout the body.
Blood Sugar and Heart Problems
A collection of researchers now believes your blood sugar level so closely predicts your heart disease risk that blood sugar may be a more accurate heart disease predictor than cholesterol. According to a study in England (BMJ 2001; 322:15), the higher your blood sugar level, the higher your risk of heart disease and other serious health problems.
In particular, a type of blood sugar called glycated hemoglobin may provide an indication of what kind of trouble your heart and arteries may face in the future.
Glycated hemoglobin is blood glucose (sugar) that has latched onto your red blood cells. The levels of this type of attached sugar climbs when blood sugar levels consistently stay too high. After a while, this sugar not only sticks to blood cells, it also starts sticking to other tissues, an occurrence that can lead to cardiovascular disease.
While about one in twenty people in their late 40s or older has diabetes, experts estimate that almost three out of four have at least some degree of elevated glycated hemoglobin.
Higher and Higher
Men and postmenopausal women are at highest risk for elevated blood sugar. Your blood sugar also generally increases:
You can lower your risk of forming glycated hemoglobin by taking the antioxidant vitamins C and E and drinking three or four alcoholic drinks a week (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000: 71(5)). In addition, losing weight and exercising also drops your glycated hemoglobin.
When glucose enters the bloodstream after a meal, it has a variety of possible destinations. It can be picked up by brain cells, which use glucose as their only source of fuel (this explains why low blood sugar can cause headaches, dizziness and shakiness). Glucose also can enter muscles, which can burn either glucose or fat for energy. Or glucose can enter fat cells for storage-not a desirable option for someone who is already overweight.
One reason blood sugar may rise to unhealthy levels is a condition called glucose resistance or intolerance, which occurs when insulin, the hormone-like substance that shepherds glucose into the body's cells, can't do its job efficiently. That leads to blood which is too rich in both sugar and insulin.
Researchers believe that the element chromium can help the body use insulin more effectively, which, when combined with adequate exercise, allows glucose to more easily enter muscle cells.
"In experiments, chromium supplementation has actually been found to improve glucose tolerance in some diabetics and in people with impaired glucose tolerance," says nutrition researcher and teacher Shari Lieberman, PhD, in The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book (Avery/Penguin).
In a number of investigations, chromium has not only helped improve glucose tolerance, but it has also decreased circulating insulin, glycated hemoglobin and cholesterol levels (Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1998; 17:548-55). (People with elevated glucose levels often suffer from elevations in cholesterol as well. In the search for ways to improve cholesterol levels, Germany's Commission E, an herbal authority respected around the world, has approved the use of garlic to help support healthy cholesterol.)
Ginseng and Blood Sugar
American ginseng, an herb known as an adaptogen (which means it helps the body cope with everyday stress) is another tool for controlling blood sugar. Research at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto shows that taking American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) about 40 minutes before you eat can reduce your blood sugar (Archives of Internal Medicine 4/9/00).
According to Vladimir Vuksan, MD, lead investigator for the research team, these findings may have important implications for the treatment and prevention of diabetes. "Although preliminary, these findings are encouraging and indicate that American ginseng's potential role in diabetes should be taken seriously and investigated further. Controlling after-meal blood sugar levels is recognized as a very important strategy in managing diabetes. It may also be important in the prevention of diabetes in those who have not yet developed the disease," says Dr. Vuksan.
Fat vs Sugar
Supplemental helpings of the fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) have also been shown to control blood sugar and lower your risk of diabetes (Journal of Nutrition 1/03). "In previous work, we found that CLA delayed the onset of diabetes in rats," says Martha Belury, PhD, the senior author of the investigation and an associate professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University. "In (our latest) study, we found that it also helped improve the management of adult-onset diabetes in humans."
Dr. Belury's research shows that CLA may help lower levels of leptin, a hormone believed to regulate fat levels. By reducing leptin, CLA may help reduce body fat, which, in turn, may lower the risk of diabetes and high blood sugar.
A consistent, long-term exercise program is one of the single best ways to convince your body to temper blood sugar levels and lower your risk of developing diabetes (Clinical Exercise Physiology 2/15/02).
"It now appears that there is...a long-term beneficial effect from regular exercise, most likely due to the fact that a significant amount of fat is lost," says exercise physiologist Cris Slentz, PhD. "Long-term exercise leads to loss of fat in the gut (stomach) region, which is especially beneficial since this fat is thought to be directly linked to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease."
Dr, Slentz's study examined how exercise influences the way the body uses sugar in people who have a high risk of diabetes.
In this research, five overweight individuals who had never exercised before engaged in an intensive workout program for nine months. Afterwards, they went back to their couch potato lives.
Dr. Slentz and other investigators measured their blood sugar before they started the exercise program and then remeasured these levels at one day, five days and thirty days after the nine-month regimen ended.
The researchers also looked at these people's insulin sensitivity, a measure of how well their bodies controlled blood sugar.
"Insulin sensitivity, or its ability to stimulate glucose metabolism, was higher after nine months of exercise, and the fasting insulin levels were lower," Slentz said. "Just as importantly, 30 days after stopping exercise, insulin sensitivity was still 24% higher than pre-exercise levels, indicating that beneficial effects of exercise persisted."
In this study, people pedaled exercise bikes, walked on treadmills and climbed stairs. By the end of the research, they were working out about an hour a day.
So if you've put off devoting yourself to an exercise program and taking care of your blood sugar, you now have more reason to start as soon as possible. Paying attention to blood sugar pays off.
June 10, 2005 02:35 PM
by Jane Lane Energy Times, February 7, 1999
The cholesterol story packs enough subplots to satisfy a soap opera. There's Cholesterol: The Good, the Bad and the Awful. Cholesterol: The Stalker Behind Every (Restaurant) Door. Cholesterol Steals Your Heart Away-to the Mediterranean.
The very image of cholesterol chills the imagination. Lurid and unsavory, it would seem to bob through the bloodstream like blobs of fat congealed on cold soup, slathering itself onto arteries.
Cholesterol is in fact a normal, natural substance in our bodies, found in the brain, nerves, liver, blood and bile. Cholesterol is so crucial that each cell is equipped with the means to synthesize its own membrane cholesterol, regulating the fluidity of those membranes when they are too loose or too stiff.
We manufacture steroid hormones-the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, and the male hormone testosterone-from cholesterol. Adrenal corticosteroid hormones, which regulate water balance through the kidneys, and the hormone cortisone, the vital anti-inflammatory that also governs our stress response, come from cholesterol. Other jobs of cholesterol: production of vitamin D and bile acid (for the digestive process); healing and protecting skin, and antioxidant compensation when vitamin and mineral stores are low.
How can mere mention of this invaluable component in our body chemistry make our blood run cold?
Guilt by Association
Cholesterol's reputation as a bad character actually originates in the crowd it runs with: the lipoproteins, protein molecules to which it binds in order to travel back and forth through the bloodstream to the liver, where it is manufactured.
Not really a nasty round glob of fat at all, cholesterol is a crystalline substance, technically a steroid, but soluble in fats rather than water, thus classified as a lipid, as fats are. Thousands of cholesterol molecules bind with lipoproteins, spherical fat molecules that transport them through the bloodstream.
Three different kinds of lipoproteins participate in this necessary process, not always with the same salutary effect. Here's how they work:
High-density lipoprotein (HDL): referred to as the "good cholesterol." Carries relatively little cholesterol. Travels through the bloodstream removing excess cholesterol from the blood and tissues. HDLs return the surplus to the liver, where it may once again be incorporated into low-density lipoproteins for redelivery to the cells.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): the so-called "bad cholesterol," heavily laden with cholesterol, hauling it from the liver to all cells in the body.
Ideally, this system should be in balance. But if there is too much cholesterol for the HDLs to pick up, or an inadequate supply of HDLs, cholesterol may aggregate into plaque groups that block arteries.
Lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a): the "really bad" cholesterol, can step in, providing the glue that actually sticks to the arterial wall. Lp(a) is an LDL particle with an extra adhesive protein wrapped around it, enabling it to attach fat globules to the walls of blood vessels. The potentially DEADLY results are atherosclerotic ("plaque") deposits. Simple LDL lacks adhesive power and presents little risk for cardiovascular disease.
Researchers confirmed the existence of Lp(a) in the August 1996 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, disclosing that high levels of Lp(a) in the blood can double a man's risk of heart attack before age 55. Doctors estimate that about 20% of all Americans carry elevated levels of Lp(a).
One troubling aspect of the report, part of the ongoing 40-year-old Framingham Study, concerned the fact that the men who suffered heart attacks entered the project with no signs of heart disease and only slightly elevated cholesterol.
But during the 15-year investigation, 129 men out of 2,191 developed premature heart disease.
The culprit? High levels of Lp(a)
Experts don't know for certain where Lp(a) comes from, or its normal function, although they suspect the body's quotient of Lp(a) is mostly due to your genes. According to the study, they also believe that aspirin, a blood thinner, and red wine (or its grapeseed and skin extracts) may mitigate the damage of Lp(a). That also would explain why the French, who tend to wash down their fat-rich diet with red wine, experience a relatively moderate incidence of cardiovascular disease
The Terrible Triglycerides
The body also transports fats via triglycerides (TGs), the main form of body fat and the storehouse for energy. Edible oils from seeds, egg yolk and animal fats also are composed chiefly of TGs. Although not as corrosive as LDL, excess TGs intensify heart disease potential when they oxidize and damage artery linings or induce blood cells to clump.
An "acceptable" level of triglycerides is thought to be 200 milligrams, although under 150 is probably healthier. And some researchers think your triglyceride reading should be below 100. High triglycerides and low HDL often occur together, increasing the risks of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, heart and kidney failure and other degenerative diseases.
What To Do About Your Cholesterol
Have it checked. High cholesterol alone shows no symptoms. Your health practitioner can perform a laboratory test to measure your levels. Thoroughly share your own medical history and as much as you know about your family members: heredity and related illnesses definitely are important influences. People with diabetes, for example, can have high levels of triglycerides, which also may lead to pancreatitis (painful inflammation of the pancreas) at extremely high levels.
According to the National Cholesterol Education Program, a reading of under 200 mg/dL is desirable; 200 to 239 is borderline high; 240 and above is high. Your LDL level should be 130 or under; HDL should not be lower than 35. A triglyceride level below 200 is considered desirable; readings above 400 are high.
Adjust your diet. Cholesterol levels are readily controllable, primarily through changes in your diet. Leslie C. Norins, MD, PhD, suggests all-out war in his Doctor's 30-Day Cholesterol Blitz (Advanced Health Institute) with saturated fats, which raise cholesterol more than any other component in your diet, as your number-one target. Out with saturated fats like butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, red meat and some vegetable fats found in tropical oils like coconut and palm; in with fruits, vegetables, brown rice, barley (a good source of soluble fiber, the kind that soaks up fats and cholesterol and escorts them out of the body), beans, potatoes and pasta, prepared or dressed with monounsaturated fats in olive and canola oils (the so-called Mediterranean diet concept). Feast on cold-water fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines and herring) rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce serum lipids, among many other healthful advantages.
Exercise. Move it and lose it are the words to live by when it comes to cholesterol. Researchers from the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention reported in the July 2, 1998 New England Journal of Medicine (vol. 339, pages 12-20) that a weight-loss diet like that of the National Cholesterol Education Program plus exercise significantly lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol levels for men and postmenopausal women. The diet alone failed to lower LDL in these folks with high-risk lipoprotein.
Educate yourself. In addition to your health practitioner, books and magazines can guide you in cholesterol management. A trove of information is the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), launched in 1985 by the National Institute of Health. Their address is: National Cholesterol Education Program, Information Center, P.O. Box 30105, Bethesda, MD 20824-0105; telephone (301) 251-1222; they're on the web at /nhlbi/.
Recommended Reading: Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill (Alive, 1993), by Udo Erasmus.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing (Avery, 1997), by James F. Balch, MD, and Phyllis A. Balch, CNC.
The Healthy Heart Formula (Chronimed, 1997), by Frank Bary, MD.
Eradicating Heart Disease (Health Now, 1993), by Matthias Rath, MD.
May 12, 2005 05:14 PM
VitaNet ® Staff