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Cranberry May Have More Uses Than Just Bladder Infections
November 03, 2007 01:04 PM
The effects of cranberry on bladder and other urinary tract infections are well known. The infections are caused by a bacterium, Escherichia coli, known to most people as E. coli that attaches to the wall of the bladder or the urinary tract, and is very difficult to dislodge with antibiotics once it is there.
Cranberry contains a glycoprotein that prevents the E. coli from doing this, and so acts by preventing, not the invasion of the bacterium itself, but the mechanism by which it causes the disease. Drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis can prevent cystitis occurring in women, or at least reduce the frequency of incidences.
Now, however, there is a growing body of evidence that cranberry may have more uses than just for bladder infections. It is known to help prevent gum disease by the same mechanism: the bacteria are prevented from sticking to the teeth and gums by means of the same glycoprotein that is effective with E. coli and urinary tract infections
There is also evidence that cranberry juice can be helpful in resolving ear and respiratory infections. A study of a group of children in 2002 has indicated that cranberry juice can inhibit the adhesion to red blood cells of certain strains of the bacterium Haemophilus influenza that might cause a large proportion of middle ear infections. It seems to have an effect on the hair-like pili, by which bacteria stick to surfaces. This has been supported by results that indicated no effect on the bacteria strains that lack these pili.
These tests, however, were carried out experimentally in test tubes, but it is worth keeping in mind that such studies are under way, and that the results are looking very promising. However, they have not yet reached the stage where they can be stated to have been proved, though there is no reason why you should not try cranberry juice if any of your family is prone to such infections, especially of the middle ear.
Yet another study has established that cranberry might be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease by reducing the oxidation of blood cholesterol that makes it very sticky. There are two type of cholesterol, LDL cholesterol that carried the cholesterol from the liver through the blood to areas of your arteries that need repair. Your blood also contains high density lipoproteins (HDL) that carry excess cholesterol back to the liver for destruction and ejection from the body – that is the so-called ‘good’ cholesterol.
The LDL cholesterol works much like putty, covering the cracks in arterial walls, and without it you could have even more severe problems than with high levels of LDL cholesterol. However, when the LDL cholesterol gets oxidized by, for example, free radicals in the blood, then it becomes sticky and too much of it gets laid down on the artery walls.
Free radicals are produced through many agents, but the most common are smoking, environmental pollution and pesticides. These sticky coatings tend to build up after a time and lead to a condition known as atherosclerosis whereby the build up of coating can severely restrict the artery. This causes high blood pressure and can even lead to the artery becoming completely blocked. This can lead to serious heart problems and, if the artery is in the brain, even strokes.
In the study, a group taking one, two then three glasses of 27% cranberry juice daily for a month at a time were found have a 40% reduced risk of heart disease at the end on month three due to a 10% increase in the good HDL cholesterol. This was due to the antioxidant effect of the cranberry juice preventing the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol which causes the problems. Antioxidants mop up free radicals before they can do any damage.
Cranberries contain a high polyphenol content, and it is believed that it is these antioxidants that are responsible, though this has still to be proved. This antioxidant effect can also reduce the risk of cancer, render you less liable to inflammatory conditions and also give your immune system a boost by helping to clear up the free radicals that are one of your body’s worst enemies. However, that is not all that cranberries can do. There are even more exciting new developments that could have an impact on women suffering from ovarian cancer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention record that ovarian cancer is the 7th most common type of cancer in the USA, and the 5th most common cause of cancer deaths amongst women. The general treatment for ovarian cancer is by chemotherapy using the Platinum drugs Paraplatin and Cisplatin. The problem with these drugs is that cancer cells can become resistant to them, and if higher doses are used it can lead to side effects including renal failure and nerve damage.
Tests were carried out using ovarian cancer cells and a 27% solution of cranberry juice, a common commercially available concentration. The cells were then treated with Paraplatin. It was found that the Paraplatin was six times more effective at killing the ovarian cancer cells than when the cells had not come into contact with the cranberry juice. This is a considerable difference. The rate of spread and growth of some of the other cancer cells were also reduced.
The reason that the cranberry was used was due to its wide range of potential health benefits in fighting stomach ulcers, cystitis and some other cancers. It is believed that the effect is due to very powerful antioxidants known as A-type proanthocyanidins, which are found only in cranberries. Other studies have found this chemical to have had an effect in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in lung cancer, colon cancer and leukemia, all involving different types of cancer cell. Other antioxidants such as flavenoids and querticin in cranberry juice might also contribute, but the proanthocyanadin is believed to be the principal active agent due it being found only in cranberries.
The researchers temper their results with the caution that these are tests only, but that theoretically a cranberry supplement could be used as a part of a chemotherapy course. Animal studies are commencing shortly though it will be some time before a new therapy has been developed. It is possible; however, that the therapy could consist of a simple oral dose of cranberry juice taken during the course, but you should consult your physician for the most appropriate treatment for you.
However, what is certain is that cranberry may have more uses than just bladder infections.
What are Trace Minerals?
November 20, 2005 07:41 AM
You may collect silver coins, wear a Platinum ring, or have a gold filling. You've likely sipped tea poured from a copper kettle, eaten a cookie from a fancy tin container, or traveled on an airplane made of titanium. But did you know that these elements and many others -- in very small, balanced trace amounts -- are critical to your health? Although trace minerals are no longer as common in the foods you eat, they exist plentifully in their proper proportions in the mineral-rich waters of the earth's oceans and seas.
COLLOIDALIFE Trace Minerals - The Precious Elements of Life...
June 01, 2005 11:41 AM
Throughout history, minerals were crucial to the growth and success of civilizations. From the iron spear to the silicon chip, elements of the earth have influenced the fate of nations. Today, we’re beginning to appreciate the importance of minerals to the growth and health of the human body – especially in light of so many new challenges to our health. It’s no surprise then that trace minerals are in great demand; after all, our lives depend on them. Due to denatured soils and the widespread use of agricultural chemicals, food plants now contain fewer essential minerals. These precious elements of health are our real wealth, and like a modern gold rush, the search is on for valuable trace minerals. Unfortunately though, there’s a lot of “fools’ gold” on the market. Source Naturals built its reputation with leading-edge formulas that make a difference you can feel. Now, after very thorough research, we are proud to offer COLLOIDALIFE, the finest and safest complete trace mineral formula available today.
The ColloidaLife Advantage
Minerals – the Foundation of Life
As human beings, we are profoundly connected with our world. The elements of this earth become the minerals essential to every cell in the body. The millions of chemical reactions occurring within us each second – as molecules are continually broken down and rebuilt into necessary forms – cannot take place without enzymes; and enzymes can’t work unless they’re activated by the right mineral or vitamin. For example, magnesium is the activator mineral for over 300 different metabolic enzymes that facilitate the biochemical processes of life. Most of us are familiar with the minerals that are found in significant quantities in our bodies. We’re aware of the importance of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. There are, however, other minerals that we need in minute quantities called “trace minerals.” Though less understood, research is revealing the vital role they have in the overall structure and function of the human body. Many people are recognizing the need to supplement their diets with trace minerals such as copper, zinc, chromium, manganese, molybdenum, iodine, selenium, silver, and boron.
Modern Agriculture and Mineral Deficiencies
Minerals cannot be produced by the human body and therefore must be obtained from the diet. However, intense agriculture has depleted the soil of most essential minerals, returning only a few used in fertilizers to stimulate rapid plant growth: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Consequently few people get anywhere near a hundred percent of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowances) of minerals (and these RDAs are only the minimum amount needed to avoid a full-blown deficiency condition).
A Superior Solution
The key to formulating colloidal trace mineral supplements is found at the molecular level. Colloids are particles in a solution that are completely dispersed and will not settle out. Many trace mineral products are just water leached through mineral deposits, and contain high levels of undesirable minerals. COLLOIDALIFE is prepared through a proprietary process whereby 20 minerals are individually prepared as colloids. These USP grade minerals are then blended with 52 charged ionic mineral electrolytes derived from highly purified ocean water. This ionic solution strengthens the net surface charge of the colloidal particle, creating a more stable colloid. The trace mineral electrolytes in COLLOIDALIFE are present in extremely small, but optimal quantities that prevent the colloids from precipitating out. Because the ionic matter is easily absorbed and is highly reactive in the body, only trace amounts of the different electrolytes are needed. COLLOIDALIFE therefore provides protection from possible deficiencies while avoiding the possibility of toxicity.
Some trace mineral formulas have multi-gram per liter levels of aluminum, iron, or sulfur – much higher than desirable – as well as high amounts of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. (Although a high level of iron produces an energy rush, in the long run it may promote excessive free radicals.) Because COLLOIDALIFE’s mineral colloids are individually prepared, their quantities are specifically controlled. COLLOIDALIFE contains safe levels of the minerals that should be limited in the diet, unlike simple solutions of earth and water. The ocean water containing the ionic minerals is purified by several procedures that remove any environmental or biological contaminants.
The Ocean Within
The minerals in COLLOIDALIFE emulate the way minerals are carried in the blood and used by the cells: colloidal particles suspended in ionic fluid. Sea water – except for its higher salt content – has a mineral profile very compatible to that of the body’s three fluid systems: blood plasma, lymphatic, and extra-cellular. This similarity underscores our intimate connection to the earth and its oceans. Neutral in taste, Source Naturals COLLOIDALIFE can be held under the tongue for sublingual absorption, or swallowed directly. COLLOIDALIFE is the perfect solution to compensate for a mineral-poor diet that may be limiting your ability to enjoy a healthy and vital life.
ColloidaLife – Mineral Profile*
COLLOI D A L MI N E R A L S
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