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Reduce Inflammation Through Diet: Foods to Eat and Avoid
April 30, 2022 10:02 AM
Do you suffer from inflammation? If so, you're not alone. Inflammation is a common problem that many people deal with on a daily basis. It can cause pain and discomfort in the body, and it can make everyday activities difficult to perform. Luckily, there are ways to reduce inflammation through diet. We will discuss the foods that you should eat and avoid if you want to reduce inflammation. We will also provide some helpful tips for getting started!
How can you reduce inflammation through diet?
There are many ways to reduce inflammation through diet, but perhaps the most important is cutting out processed foods and sugar. These foods contain inflammatory compounds known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which can aggravate existing inflammation or cause it to develop in the first place. In addition, studies have shown that eating a diet rich in vegetables and lean proteins can help to lower levels of inflammation throughout the body. Choosing whole grains, fruits, and healthy fats like olive oil is also a good way to support a body that is fighting against inflammation. In short, adopting a diet low in sugar and processed foods and high in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can go a long way toward reducing inflammation both now and in the long term.
Supplements to take to reduce inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural and necessary part of our immune response, but if it becomes chronic or extreme, it can cause issues for our overall health. There are many different supplements that have been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and promoting overall good health, including omega-3 fatty acids, Boswellia, pumpkin seeds, and turmeric. These nutrients work by interfering with the production of inflammatory hormones and enzymes, changing the chemical balance within our bodies and helping to reduce swelling and discomfort. Whether taken as a capsule or added to your diet through food sources like fish oil or ginger tea, these supplements can be an excellent way to boost your system's ability to fight inflammation. So if you're looking for ways to reduce inflammation and improve your overall well-being, consider adding these key nutrients to your daily routine.
The most effective anti-inflammatory supplements, Fish oil, Curcumin, and Boswellia!
While there are a number of different anti-inflammatory supplements on the market, some have proven to be more effective than others when it comes to reducing inflammation in the body. Perhaps the most commonly recommended supplement for this purpose is fish oil, which is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that has been shown to be especially effective in reducing inflammation. Another popular anti-inflammatory supplement is curcumin, which gives turmeric its signature yellow color and is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, another powerful anti-inflammatory agent is derived from the resin of Boswellia trees called Boswellia extract. All of these compounds have been shown to reduce inflammation in various scientific studies and can therefore be considered among the most effective anti- inflammatory supplements available today.
Tips for getting started on a anti-inflammatory diet?
When trying to get started on an anti-inflammatory diet, there are a few key strategies that can help make the process more successful. First, it is important to stock your pantry and fridge with plenty of healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, and reduce refined sugar intake as much as possible. These nutrient-dense foods are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that help to reduce inflammation and promote overall health.
Another key strategy to keep in mind when starting an anti-inflammatory diet is the use of supplements such as curcumin and CBD. These powerful compounds are believed to have anti-inflammatory effects in the body, helping to curb inflammation at its source vs. simply masking symptoms with painkillers or steroids. You can incorporate these supplements into your diet by taking them as pills or liquids or by incorporating them into your cooking through recipes like curried chicken or infused coconut oil tinctures.
The latest for calmness, relaxation, and to fight inflammation is CBD
CBD, or cannabidiol, has become increasingly popular in recent years as a natural solution for relieving stress, promoting relaxation, and managing inflammation in the body. Unlike THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, CBD does not produce any high or altered state of consciousness. Instead, its many benefits are achieved through interactions with various receptors throughout the body, modulating mood and regulating pain response. As more and more people turn to CBD to achieve a sense of calm and well-being without depending on traditional pharmaceuticals, this powerful compound continues to gain widespread attention as a promising treatment option for everyday health issues. So if you're looking for a natural way to feel more mellow and at peace with yourself and your environment, consider giving CBD a try! With proven effects on everything from chronic pain management to improved sleep quality, this powerful all-natural remedy has something to offer everyone. Whether you're ready to give CBD a try for yourself or just curious about its many potential benefits, there's never been a better time than now to learn more about this exciting new approach to health and wellness.
Inflammation is one of the most common health concerns today, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. While diet and lifestyle can be major contributing factors like white sugar, there are also a number of dietary supplements that can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Curcumin, fish oil, and CBD are some of the most popular supplements for managing inflammation. These substances work by targeting key pathways involved in inflammatory responses, helping to prevent or reduce swelling and pain. They can be taken on their own or combined with other anti-inflammatory compounds for maximum effectiveness. Ultimately, whether you are trying to manage chronic illness or simply boost your overall health, using supplements such as curcumin, fish oil, and cbd can be a great way to go about it. So if you're looking for more tools to manage inflammation in your diet, these are certainly worth trying out.
Whatever methods you choose, remember that making small changes over time will be much more effective than trying to overhaul your lifestyle all at once. With a little patience and persistence, you can start down the path toward better health today! Let dietary supplements assist you in your goal to reduce inflammation each day for a life time!
HIV-1 people can boost their immune system with Korean red ginseng
February 11, 2019 11:11 AM
Korean red ginseng may have critically important for people infected by HIV. HIV, which weakens the immune system by targeting T helper cells, can be controlled by antiretrovirals, but these can grow less effective over time. Patients who consumed Korean red ginseng had slower annual loss of T helper cells, and these patients had a longer survival duration as a result. Dosage levels had no real impact, but taking Korean red ginseng for longer periods of time enhanced the benefits.
"The herb displays anti-inflammatory activity and helps manage the immune system. It also contains saponins that exert adjuvant actions against inflammatory disease."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-05-hiv-1-people-can-boost-their-immune-system-with-korean-red-ginseng.html
Cannabis kills cancer cells
January 03, 2019 11:28 AM
Reputable medical sources such as the British Journal of Pharmacology are finding that cannabis has a direct impact on treating cancer by targeting it from several areas. Although more and more of these studies are being published, it still isn't enough for the medical community to hold the claims above traditional treatments such as chemotherapy that can take a huge toll on the body. This is due to a huge lack of funding when it comes to the anti-cancer effects of cannabis.
"The big scientific news, however, is that the most researched active cannabis constituents, THC and CBD, have been found to also kill cancer cells."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/cannabis-kills-cancer-cells/
Arthritis: How changing your diet could ease the pain
October 29, 2017 01:14 PM
Nearly a quarter of a million people in Ireland live with chronic arthritis of one kind or another. Most drugs that treat these conditions currently work by targeting inflammation caused by the immune system but come with many downsides. Changing your diet could help alleviate some symptoms without the side affects. For osteoarthrisis, work on dieting to lose weight. Extra pounds and a high BMI can cause stress on your joints and the actually releases proteins that cause inflammation. Focus on eating more vegetables, consuming less sugar, take vitamin D, and lowering your overall fat intake to reduce symptoms of arthritis
"A diet that is low in fruit and vegetables and high in processed foods promotes inflammation."
Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/life/health/arthritis-how-changing-your-diet-could-ease-the-pain-36254066.html
Tackling autism by targeting gut bacteria
June 28, 2017 07:14 AM
The symptoms of autism may be targeted by altering bacteria in the stomach. People with autism tend to have a reoccurrence of gastrointestinal issues. This research, conducted by Dr. Qinrui Li, suggests that the root of GI issues may be a result of an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. It is suggested that if the gut can be reverted back to a healthier state, that some autism symptoms may be alleviated.
Read more: Tackling autism by targeting gut bacteria
You won't believe what turmeric is being used for
May 31, 2017 12:14 PM
Turmeric has many known benefits. It can reduce inflammatory receptors in our body, and also reduce pain and swelling. It also has been tested to lower sperm motility. This was found out when sperm was mixed with the spice. The spice can also chances of heart disease by improving blood flow in the body. You can have too much turmeric though. Overuse can cause headaches, rashes, fever and different digestion habits. Turmeric is a good supplement used in moderation.
"The evidence shows that curcumin offers strong anti-inflammatory benefits via targeting multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway."
Read more: http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition-tips/you-wont-believe-what-turmeric-is-being-used-for/news-story/80d6f9d28dd57246107db9903f4422f0
Compound in hot peppers found to halt growth of breast cancer cells
April 16, 2017 12:59 AM
Discovering breast cancer is pretty rare yet it seem to be common. There is no cure for breast cancer unfortunately but oncologist are still searching for one daily. However, even though there is no cure there are certain to prevent cancer. For starters, living a healthy life daily is really a great way to prevent cancer because it will keeping your body cleaning. There is one ingredient to help prevent cancer that no on would have thought about and that is hot peppers. According to the article they stunt the growth of breast cancer cells.
"Capsaicin, an active ingredient that gives chilies and peppers their pungent taste, was shown to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, a study found."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-04-03-compound-in-hot-peppers-found-to-halt-growth-of-breast-cancer-cells.html
Food NOT Chemo Holds ‘Cure’ For Colon Cancer
March 17, 2017 03:59 PM
Chemotherapy has long been the chosen therapy for patients suffering from cancer, but if you have colon cancer, perhaps it is not chemo that you should be interested in. Instead, perhaps it is the foods that you are eating that you should consider. How does the food that you eat help with colon cancer?
"Colon cancer is one of the world’s most prevalent and lethal forms of cancer and is believed to be driven primarily by the Western diet."
How Retinol Helps with Anti-Aging
February 26, 2017 05:59 AM
Retinol, which is a form of vitamin A, has become one of the most widely celebrated anti-aging products. This is because it works within cells to help slow breakdown of collagen and stimulate quicker growth of new collagen. This leads to smoother skin with less spots and wrinkles. One of the most important things to remember is that retinol works best when applied at night. Sunlight can cause it to irritate the skin. The Woda skin care line currently has one of the most hailed products due to its addition of antioxidants to the formula.
"Retinol products have since become celebrated options for fighting wrinkles, fine lines, sun spots, and other signs of aging."
One plants broad based attack against cancer
There are a multitude of ways cancer cells can form, lets look at a few ways and discuss them.
Epigenetics: A process that controls the behavior of genes. Dietary and lifestyle choices can alter the way our genes work. Exposure to toxins can cause protective genes to goto sleep and allow destructive genes to awaken all due to the way we eat and live. When this happens, disease can start.
Apoptosis: known as the programed life cycle of cells. this natural cycle can be interrupted and when this happens, the cell does not die as intended, old and genetically damaged cells form tumors.
Angiogenesis: damaged cancer cells need nutrients and oxygen to survive. Some cancers are able to form their own network of blood vessels.
Cancer Stem Cells: these are super cancer cells that can remain dormant for years which eventually activate and causes cancer to recur.
Cancer is a very complex disease, todays anti-cancer drugs are designed to address only one single pathway or gene with in cancer cells. Since cancer is a complex network of hundreds of genes and pathways, conventional drugs are very unlikely to be effective in the end.
Since a large majority of the drugs are designed around natural plants and their function, it would stand to reason that taking the natural plant would not only be effective but have zero side effects.
Fortunately, we have a plant that has been validated by thousands of scientific studies. This plant compound is called curcumin.
If you are somebody you know is suffering from cancer, you should seriously consider taking curcumin or telling family members about this wonderful plant compound.
The Health Benefits Of Frankincense Oil
February 17, 2014 06:39 AM
What is frankincense
The history of frankincense oil dates back to early times of the great Roman Empire during the time of Jesus Christ. With over 5000 years of great benefits, frankincense oil comes from Boswellia plant commonly found in parts of Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. It is said that frankincense was found in King Tut’s Tomb, and that it is mentioned in the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. People say that was brought by one of the three wise men who visited Jesus and his parents in Bethlehem from the Middle East. However, today, frankincense is being used in many scientific fields, especially in the medical field across the world.
Uses of frankincense
Frankincense oil is used in the treatment of many medical conditions, diseases, and infection. Some of the diseases include wounds, wrinkles, dry skin, sore muscles scars, and other skin problems. Other than treating these infections, research has also revealed that it is able to treat cancer, arthritis, and anxiety.
A study conducted by scholars from the University of Oklahoma revealed that frankincense oil has the ability to differentiate between cancer cells and normal bladder cells. This study also revealed that this product could help in inhibiting growth and development of cancer cells in an individual. Due to this fact, it can be used to instigate the death of cancer cells on the bladder.
Another separate research conducted by scholars from Virgina-Maryland school of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 found that frankincense oil could be used in relieving horses from skin cancer lesions.
Another important benefit of frankincense oil is that it causes relaxation and general mood control in individuals. For this reason, it is used as an incense in many cultures around the world. It does this by targeting specific parts of the brain and the nervous system. Frankincense oil can also be used in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
How Does Tart Cherry Fight Gout?
November 01, 2013 07:44 PM
Tart cherry studies
The problem whether tart cherry is helpful for gout sufferers or not has been intensely discussed during the past few years and after several studies and clinical trials, the researchers discovered that taking tart cherry extract or juice represents an effective solution to treat this health issue and ease its symptoms.
What can tart cherry doHow can tart cherry be helpful in case of gout sufferers? In the first place, cherries have always been used in traditional medicine for promoting normal levels of uric acid within the blood – given that high blood concentrations of this heterocyclic compound lead to gout, modulating them using cherries will automatically prevent this affection from occurring and reduce the pain and swelling it causes.
As mentioned above, there have been various studies targeting the effect of tart cherry on gout and according to the most recent one, consuming approximately 280 grams of cherries will decrease the uric acid levels with approximately 14% and increase the excretion of uric acid at the same time. Whether it is about regular tart cherry juice or medication, the effect will be mostly the same, reducing the pain caused by gout substantially.
What tart cherry contains
It should be noted that tart cherries contain approximately 10 milligrams of vitamin C in their composition, an organic (carbon-based) compound that can successfully ameliorate the inflammation and swelling produced by the gout and promote the uric acid excretion. Vitamin C acts primarily as an antioxidant, determining the human organism to eliminate not only the toxins from the tissues, but also the uric acid crystals that deposit in joints, tissues or tendons.
Whether we talk about tart cherry juice or supplements, this natural solution does not involve any potential health risk for gout sufferers, lowering the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (which is an indicator of chronic inflammation) significantly and helping the blood stabilize the normal uric acid levels.
How Does the Herb Holy Basil Help with My Health?
March 10, 2011 02:04 PM
Holy Basil And Cholesterol, Inflammation, and more
Ocimum tenuiflorum, known as Holy Basil in the vernacular, is an herbal plant indigenous to South Asia, where it is called Tulsi. It is widely distributed across the subcontinent of India and surrounding countries and is primarily cultivated for its age-old medicinal benefits in addition to its religious significance to Vaishnavite practices of Hinduism. It has earned popularity as a health tonic over the centuries, and recent studies have supported its positive effects on human health. Today it is often associated with lowering cholesterol and glucose, acting as an antioxidant, and regulating inflammatory intermediaries.
Counteracts Stress Factors
The juice of holy basil has long been reputed to display adaptogenic properties. There have been countless accounts of its effectiveness in combating stress. In fact, the most compelling of all anecdotal evidence has something to do with its ability to create a feeling of wellness right after ingestion, the same tonic benefits attributed to ginseng. To date studies point to its homeostatic effects on the stress hormone cortisol, creating homeostatic effects on its metabolites and their interactions with compounds released in response to stress.
Neutralizes Free Radicals
Holy basil has been observed to show antioxidant activities, and this is one of its mechanisms in allaying symptoms brought on by fatigue. Free radicals are released by the body to dispose of pathogens, but are in turn disposed of by endogenous antioxidants. Oxidative stress ensues when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to neutralize them. The polyphenols found in holy basil helps the body quench excesses of free radicals.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
There has been a growing body of literature devoted to the lipid-lowering properties of holy basil. The phytochemicals found in holy basil have been cited to affect the metabolic pathway that produces very-low-density lipoproteins, which is a precursor to low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, and bring about an increase in high-density lipoproteins, dubbed good cholesterol. Also, it has been associated to the overall decrease of lipids present in the bloodstream, notably free fatty acids.
Reduces Blood Glucose
One of the earliest observations on the health effects of holy basil is its properties that counter the progression of diabetes. It has been reported many times to have helped patients of type 2 diabetes mellitus, which results from the compromised ability of cells to respond to the hormone insulin. The use of holy basil extracts has yielded promising results on promoting the glucose uptake of cells, and, of course, the consequent decrease in glucose present in the blood.
Holy basil has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory benefits. The most recent research has pointed out that organic compounds found in holy basil may inhibit the enzyme called COX-2, which facilitates the synthesis of inflammatory mediators. Eicosanoids are endogenous substances produced by local tissues during inflammation, and a special group called prostanoids is responsible for the pain tied to inflammation. By targeting COX-2, holy basil greatly aids against inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
What is stopping you from giving holy basil a try today?
November 25, 2008 12:08 PM
According to the 2006 National Health Survey from the National Center for Health Statistics, it is estimated that about 17.6 million adult Americans suffer from hay fever, with 6.8 children also suffering. Even more, physicians state that more than 11 million office visits are by patients seeking relief from hay fever, which is also known as allergic rhinitis. Symptoms of hay fever include itchy eyes, runny nose, congestion, and an endless amount of sneezing. All of these symptoms are caused by an overacting immune response to a variety of possible triggers, which include pollen from plants, dust, dust mites, airborne pollutants, mold, and pet dander.
Hay fever is marked by inflammation of mucous membranes in the eyes, throat, ears, sinuses, nose, and lungs. Although the development of inflammation in allergies is complex, one of the most influential factors is immunoglobulin E (IgE), which responds to protein allergens. Although there is a genetic component to susceptibility to allergic response to certain triggers, the focus of allergy relief is on the events that occur as a reaction.
Various natural products offer allergy relief by targeting the factors in allergy pathology. Similar to other areas of immune health, fruits and vegetables are suggested for the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that they provide. Vitamin C is a major antioxidant in the airway surface liquid of the lungs; therefore, it can severely impact allergies and asthma. Low levels of vitamin C have actually been associated with asthma in both adults and children. Also, low levels of vitamin E have been associated with asthma and other wheezing illnesses. Combining antioxidant ingredients also provides additional relief. Therefore, by combining vitamins C and E with the antioxidant NAC, pollen-induced airway inflammation is inhibited by blocking ragweed oxidases which cause oxidative stress and inflammation in the airways.
On its own, NAC reduces mucous viscosity and protects against lung tissue damage. According to scientists, lycopene may also be beneficial. As far as minerals are concerned, both magnesium and zinc have been proven to help. Quercetin has both antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties, allowing it to inhibit the release of histamine in nasal mucosa of allergic patients. Glucomannan was shown in a study to suppress allergy symptoms, while CLA reduces allergy symptoms such as sneezing.
One of the best natural remedies for allergies is comprised of botanicals such as licorice root, skullcap, pine bark extract, and butterbur. Licorice root offers anti-inflammatory activities along with aide in fighting IgE allergic reactions, while skullcap can restrict inflammatory cytokine production. Pine bark extract blocks the release of allergy troublemakers in the body even better than a known pharmacological histamine inhibitor.
Similarly, butterbur has abilities in blocking histamine release by IgE-sensitized mast cells and relieving allergy symptoms as effectively as drugs without the drowsy side effects. Although allergies are widespread and disrupt the daily lives of many people, they strike one out of every four Americans, affecting six times more than cancer. The mechanisms of allergic reactions in the body, especially those in the upper respiratory system, are becoming more and more well-known.
Natural products are available that can help to address these mechanisms, along with the mediators that produce the inflammation and symptoms that allergies create. Natural vitamin supplements are available at your local or internet health food store.
Astaxanthin, a Member of the Carotenoid Family, is a Powerful Antioxidant
January 31, 2008 09:00 AM
Astaxanthin is a member of the carotenoid family responsible for the red color of many types of algae. Being a carotenoid, it is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger as well as support proper eye function.
However, such a bland statement belies the true worth of astaxanthin in its fight against free radicals. It is of particular benefit in its ability to absorb the high energy of singlet oxygen, releasing it as heat, and returning the singlet oxygen to its ground neutralized state. Singlet oxygen is a particularly harmful and reactive oxygen species of free radical that is formed in the body as part of our normal metabolism, and that contains a high level of free energy that can be used to oxidize and destroy the cells of your body.
In achieving this, astaxanthin is regarded as one of the most potent plant derived antioxidants known, being up to ten times more active than beta carotene, Lutein or its cousin canthaxanthin. So why are antioxidants so valuable to our biochemistry and what would happen if they did not exist?
Free radicals are thieves that use your body as their operating ground. They operate by stealing an electron from a molecule that comprises part of you, and in some cases when this occurs the cell from which the electron is removed is destroyed. Generally electrons go around in pairs, but occasionally an electron pair can lose one of the electrons during a chemical reaction. Many such reactions occur naturally inside the body, especially during the production of energy from blood sugars in the mitochondria, and such a molecule containing a single unpaired electron is called a free radical. Free radicals are also generated by the reactive components of many pollutants such as traffic fumes and cigarette smoke, tars and pesticides, and also by the effect of UV radiation in sunlight.
The only purpose of a free radical is to steal an electron from the first source it can find. Such reactions occur very rapidly after the free radical has been generated, and if this electron belongs to another body cell, then the cell is destroyed leading to effects such as premature aging or even cancers. Free radical oxidation of the LDL lipids that carry cholesterol around the blood causes the deposition of fatty plaques inside arterial walls that eventually become constricted or even blocked, leading to heart disease or strokes.
That is why antioxidants that destroy these free radicals are so prized, and the more of them that there are in your body then the less affect the free radicals will have on you. You will retain your youthful looks longer, and will be less liable to suffer from heart disease, cancers, circulation problems and conditions such as diabetes. Many abnormal conditions can be laid at the door of free radicals.
The stronger the free radical, the more harm it can do to you and a strong antioxidant such as astaxanthin is a very powerful weapon in your armory against them. Astaxanthin is a member of the oxygenated xanthophylls, and its high level of antioxidant power likely comes from the ketonic and hydroxyl functional groups of the ionone ring structure. It is more polar than most carotenoids, and this is a likely reason for its ability to span the cell membrane layers, with the active groups close to the hydrophilic-hydrophobic interface. They are thus more readily available at the sites where most free radicals tend to be found and provide immediate protection to the cell membrane and also to the intracellular mitochondrial membrane.
Many antioxidants destroy free radicals by donating an electron, and become oxidized themselves. Astaxanthin, however, does not do this, but instead adds the free radicals to its long double bonded chain hence avoiding oxidation and rendering it much more powerful than normal antioxidants. It is unusual among antioxidants in that it is also able to cross the blood-brain barrier, and so reduces oxidative stress that can cause neurological disorders in general, and also problems with eyesight. It can also attach itself to lipoproteins to enable it to be carried throughout the bloodstream, being available anywhere that free radicals are generated. The carotenoid is also active against active oxygen species that are responsible for inflammation.
Another property is its ability to neutralize the oxygenated free radicals formed by the photo-oxidation properties of UVA and UVB radiation. Included in these are the previously mentioned highly reactive singlet oxygen and also triplet oxygen that astaxanthin is able to neutralize without becoming oxidized. In fact reactive oxygen species in general can cause oxidative stress, and they have been thought responsible for many forms of disease and health conditions, and the powerful effect of astaxanthin in targeting many of these has led it to be regarded as highly beneficial to the immune system and to health in general.
Another benefit is the ability of the substance to help prevent the oxidation of high density lipoproteins (HDL) that are responsible for carrying cholesterol in the blood back to the liver for destruction. Free radical oxidation of HDL impairs its ability to transport cholesterol, and so decreasing the level of such free radical oxidation will by definition increase the quantity of good HDL available, and hence reduce the concentration of cholesterol in the blood. Studies have proved this to be the case, and astaxanthin supplements are very beneficial to those suffering from high blood cholesterol levels, and helps protect them from heart disease and strokes.
The substance is naturally available from a wide range of marine sources, such as lobsters (where it was first discovered), shrimp, salmon, trout and in a wide variety of red and green algae. The substance is also used as a red pigment. Carotenoids are essential, meaning that they are not produced in the human body and can only be obtained in our diets.
For that reason, the most convenient way to take it, apart from continually eating shrimp and lobster, is as a supplement. Astaxanthin is available either as a powerful antioxidant in its own right, or in combination with other substances with which it acts to provide a very strong deterrent to any free radicals that think they can freely roam your body.
Folic acid enhances Chemotherapy
October 10, 2005 12:05 PM
Folic acid enhances Chemotherapy
Scientists have discovered that cancer cells have a natural attraction to folic acid. This safe constituent of vitamin B is now being used as a nontoxic “Trojan horse” to carry chemotherapy directly to various cancers. Researchers reported at the 4th annual Gene, Drug Therapy and Molecular Biology meeting that the vitamin can be used with conventional chemotherapy drugs and a variety of new gene therapies to destroy cancer cells.
Scientists have repeatedly found that folic acid is overexpressed in certain cancers: specifically, cancers of the ovary, cervix, endometrium, kidney, breast, brain, lung and colon. Scientists found that folic acid is especially overexpressed on tumors that are resistant to conventional chemotherapy. Dr. Philip Low of Purdue University and chief scientific officer at Endocyte, Inc. based in Lafayette, Indiana, told attendees that folic acid could become a perfect carrier for many types of tumor targeting. Endocyte researchers estimate that cancers that overexpress the folate receptor are diagnosed in about 300,000 people each year in the US.
This new specific targeting approach exploits cancer cells' insatiable appetite for folic acid. Compared to healthy cells, researchers say that cancer cells have 500,000 times greater affinity for folic acid. The folic acid that these cells ravenously seek can be used to target and deliver drugs to easy-to-find and hard-toreach cancer cells at the same time while avoiding normal, healthy cells. Folic acid does not trigger an immune response in the human body. It is readily available, easy to produce on large scale, and can be attached to a great number of drugs.
July 15, 2005 09:52 AM
CANCER/TUMORS AND ST. JOHN'S WORT
July 15, 2005 09:31 AM
St. John’s wort, and more specifically, hypericin, has an outstanding ability to work favorably at the cell level against normally destructive invaders like viruses and bacterias. But these are not the only destructive agents that are being targeted by researchers in Hypericum research. Hypericin has been shown in various recent studies to work very effectively against cancerous cells and tumors of varying kinds. The April 1996 issue of Laryngyscope reported that hypericin is showing great potential in targeting human cancer growths through what is called “phototargeting,” a process that uses laser activation of hypericin, along with chemotherapy, for improved results in inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells. The study states, These results show that hypericin is a sensitive agent for phototherapy of human cancer cells in vitro and indicate that this drug may be useful for tumor targeting via minimally invasive imaging-guided laser fiber optics.22
Another recent study commented on the use of hypericin in treating human cancer cells, saying that “the nucleus of the cell . . . is the target for the toxic action of hypericin.” The study pointed out that the compound is well distributed throughout the cells, indicating that its value as an anticancer agent remains high.23
Yet another study points to the photodynamic qualities of hypericin in combating cancerous cells. The study’s results suggest that hypericin “has considerable potential for use as a sensitizer in the PDT [photodynamic therapy] of cancer.” And when hypericin was used in conjunction with other “scavenging” agents, its inhibitory abilities were greatly enhanced. Again, with such promising results from clinical studies, St. John’s wort (and hypericin) is perhaps opening the way to curing one of our most devastating diseases, cancer. Further research could quickly finalize a cure.
June 25, 2005 08:13 PM
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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995;87(19):1456-62. 19 Nixon DW. Cancer prevention clinical trials. In-Vivo 1994;8(5):713-6. 20 Key T. Micronutrients and cancer aetiology: the epidmiological evidence. Proceed Nutr Soc 1994;53(3):605-14. 21 Gorbach SL, Goldin BR. The intestinal microflora and the colon cancer connection. Reviews of Infectious Diseases 1990;12(Suppl 2):S252-61. 22 Shrapnel WS, Calvert GD, Nestel PJ, Truswell AS. Diet and coronary heart disease. The National Heart Foundation of Australia. Med J Australia. 1995;156(Suppl):S9-S16. 23 Ellis JL, Campos-Outcalt D. Cardiovascular disease risk factors in native Americans: a literature review. Am. J. Preventive Med 1994;10(5):295-307. 24 DiBianco R. The changing syndrome of heart failure: an annotated review as we approach the 21st century. J. Hypertension 1994; 12(4 Suppl):S73- S87. 25 Van Itallie TB. Obesity: adverse effects on health and longevity. Am J Clin Nutr 1979;32(suppl):2723-33. 26 Kestin M, Moss R, Clifton PM, Nestel PJ. Comparative effects of three cereal brans on plasma lipids, blood pressure and glucose metabolism in mildly hyper-cholesterolemic men. Am J Clin Nutr 1990;52(4):661-6. 27 Story JA. Dietary fiber and lipid metabolism. In: Spiller GA, Kay RM. eds. Medical Aspects of Dietary Fiber. Penun Medical; New York, 1980, p.138. 28 Stein PP, Black HR. The role of diet in the genesis and treatment of hypertension. Med. Clin. North America. 1993;77(4):831-47. 29 Olin JW. Antihypertensive treatment in patients with peripheral vascular disease. Cleve. Clin. J. Medicine. 1994;61(5):337-44. 30 Tinker LF. Diabetes Mellitus—a priority health care issue for women. J. Am. Dietetic Association. 1994;94(9):976-85. 31 Gaspard UJ, Gottal JM, van den Brule FA. Postmenopausal changes of lipid and glucose metabolism: a review of their main aspects. Maturitas. 1995;21(3):71-8. 32 Coordt MC, Ruhe RC, McDonald RB. Aging and insulin secretion. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biology and Medicine. 1995;209(3):213-22. 33 Felber JP. From Obesity to Diabetes. Pathophysiological Considerations. Int. Journal of Obesity 1992;16:937-952. 34 Gillum RF. The association of body fat distribution with hypertension, hypertensive heart disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors in men and women age 18-79. J Chronic Diseases 1987;40:421-8. 35 Haffner SM, Stern MP, Hazuda HP, et al. Role of obesity and fat distribution in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellits in Mexican Americans and non- Hispanic whites. Diabetes Care 1986;9:153-61. 36 Bonadonna RC, deFronzo RA. Glucose metabolism in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes and Metabolism. 1991;17(1 Pt. 2):12-35. 37 Shoemaker JK, Bonen A. Vascular actions of insulin in health and disease. Canadian J. of Applied Physiology. 1995;20(2):127-54. 38 Resnick LM. Ionic Basis of Hypertension, Insulin Resistaince, Vascular Disease, and Related Disorders. The Mechanism of ‘Syndrome X’. Am. J. Hypertension. 1993;6(suppl):123S-134S. 39 Trautwein EA. Dietetic influences on the formation and prevention of cholesterol gallstones. Z. Ernahrugswiss. 1994;33(1):2-15. 40 Cicuttini FM, Spector TD. Osteoarthritis in the aged. Epidemiological issues and optimal management. Drugs and Aging. 1995;6(5):409-20. 41 Melnyk MG, Wienstein E. Preventing obesity in black women by targeting adolescents: a literature review. J Am. Diet. Association. 1994;94(4):536-40. 42 Robinson BE, Gjerdingen Dk, Houge DR. Obesity: a move from traditional to more patient-oriented management. J. Am. Board of Family Practice. 1995;8(2):99-108. 43 Dulloo AG, Miller DS. Reversal of Obesity in the Genetically Obese fa/fa Zucker Rat with an Ehpedrine/Methylxanthines Thermogenic Mixture. J. Nutrition. 1987;117:383-9. 44 Dulloo AG, Miller DS. The thermogenic properties of ephedrin/methylxanthine mixtures: animal studies. Am J Clinical Nutr. 1986;43:388-394. 45 Richelsen B. Health risks of obesity. Significance of the regional distri-bution of adipose tissue. Ugeskr. Laeger. 1991;153(13):908-13. 46 Lissner L, Heitmann BL. Dietary fat and obesity: Evidence from epidemiology. European J. Clinical Nutrition. 1995;49(2):79-90. 47 Lissner L, Heitmann BL. The dietary fat: Carbohydrate ratio in relation to body weight, Current Opinion in Lipidology. 1995;6(1):8-13. 48 Ravussin E. Energy metabolism in obesity. Studies in the Pima Indians. Diabetes Care. 1993;16(1):232-8. 49 O’Dea K. Westernisation, insulin resistance and diabetes in Australian aborigines. Med J. Australia. 1991;155(4):258-64. 50 Bailey C. Fit or Fat . Houghton Mifflen, Boston, 1991. 51 McCarty MF. Optimizing Exercise for Fat Loss. Unpublished report. 52 Weinsier RL, Schutz Y, Bracco D. Reexamination of the relationship of resting metabolic rate and fat-free mass and the the metabolically active components of fat-free mass in humans. Am. J. Clinical Nutrition. 1992;55(4):790-4. 53 Evans WJ. Exercise, nutrition and aging. J. Nutrition. 1992;122(3 suppl):796-801. 54 Schlicker SA, Borra ST, Regan C. The weight and fitness status of United States children. Nutrition Reviews. 1994;52(1):11-7. 55 Raben A, Jensen ND, Marckmann P, Sandstrom B and Astrup A. Spontaeous weight loss during 11 weeks’ ad libitum intake of a low fat/high fiber diet in young, normal weight subjects. Stockholm Press. 1995;916-23. 56 Blundell JE, Cotton JR, Delargy H, Green S, Greenough A, King NA, Lawton, CL. The fat paradox: fat-induced satiety signals versus high fat overconsumption. Short Communication 1995:832-835. 57 Reinhold RB. Late results of gastric bypass surgery for morbid obesity. J Am Coll Nutr 1994;13(4):307-8. 58 McCredie M, Coates M Grulich A. Cancer incidence in migrants to New South Wales (Australia) from the Middle East, 1972-1991. Cancer Causes Control 1994:5(5):414-21. 59 Schiff ER, Dietschy JM. Steatorrhea Associated with Disordered Bile Acid Metabolism. Am. J. Digestive Diseases. 1969;14(6) 60 Nauss JL , Thompson JL and Nagyvary J. The binding of micellar lipids to Chitosan. Lipids. 1983;18(10):714-19. 61 Braconnot H, Sue la natrue ces champignons. Ann Chim Phys 1811;79:265. 62 Odier A. Memoire sur la composition chemique des parties cornees des insectes. Mem Soc Hist Nat Paris 1823;1:29. 63 Johnson EL, Peniston QP. Utilization of shellfish waste for chitin and Chitosan production. Chp 19 In: Chemistry and Biochemistry of Marine Food Products. Martin RE, Flick GJ, Hebard CE and Ward DR (eds.) 1982. p.415-. AVI Publishing Co., Westport, CT. 64 Shahram H. Seafood waste: the potential for industrial use. Kem Kemi 1992;19(3),256-8. 65 Rouget C. Des substances amylacees dans le tissue des animux, specialement les Articules (Chitine). Compt Rend 1859;48:792. Commission on Natural Health Products. 1995 67 Peniston QP and Johnson EL. Method for Treating an Aqueous Medium with Chitosan and Derivatives of Chitin to Remove an Impurity. US Patent 3,533,940. Oct. 30:1970. 68 Poly-D-Glucosamine (Chitosan); Exemption from the Requirement of a Tolerance. Federal Register. 1995;60(75):19523-4. Rules and Regulations. Environmental Protection Agency 40 CFR Part 180. April, 19, 1995. 69 Arul J. “Use of Chitosan films to retard post-harvest spoilage of fruits and vegetables,” Chitin Workshop. ICNHP, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. 70 Karlsen J, Skaugrud O. “Excipient properties of Chitosan,” Manufacturing Chemist. 1991;62:18-9. 71 Winterowd JG, Sandford PA. Chitin and Chitosan. In: Food Polysaccharides and their Applications. Ed: Stephen AM. Marcel Dekker 1995. 72 Chitin Workshop. ICNHP, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. 73 Advances in Chitin and Chitosan. Eds: CJ Brine, PA Sandford, JP Zikakis. Elsevier Applied Science. London. 1992. 74 Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 75 Zikakis, JP. Chitin, Chitosan and Related Enzymes. Academic Press, Inc. 1984. 76 Abelin J and Lassus A. Fat binder as a weight reducer in patients with moderate obesity. ARS Medicina, Helsinki, Aug- October, 1994. 77 Kanauchi O, Deuchi K, Imasato Y, Shizukuishi M, Kobayashi E. Increasing effect of a Chitosan and ascorbic acid mixture on fecal dietary fat excretion. Biosci Biotech Biochem 1994;58(9):1617-20. 78 Maezaki Y, Tsuji K, Nakagawa Y, et al. Hypocholesterolemic effect of Chitosan in adult males. Biosci Biotchnol Biochem1993;57(9):1439-44. 79 Kobayashi T, Otsuka S, Yugari Y. Effect of Chitosan on serum and liver cholesterol levels in cholesterol-fed rats. Nutritional Rep. Int., 1979;19(3):327-34. 80 Sugano M, Fujikawa T, Hiratsuji Y, Hasegawa Y. Hypocholesterolemic effects of Chitosan in cholesterol-fed rats. Nutr Rep. Int. 1978;18(5):531-7. 81 Vahouny G, Satchanandam S, Cassidy M, Lightfoot F, Furda I. Comparative effects of Chitosan and cholestryramine on lymphatic absorption of lipids in the rat. Am J Clin Nutr, 1983;38(2):278-84 82 Suzuki S, Suzuki M, Katayama H. Chitin and Chitosan oligomers as hypolipemics and formulations containing them. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 63 41,422 [88,422] 22 Feb1988. 83 Ikeda I, Tomari Y, Sugano M. Interrelated effects of dietary fiber on lymphatic cholesterol and triglyceride absorption in rats. J Nutr 1989;119(10):1383- 7. 84 LeHoux JG and Grondin F. Some effects of Chitosan on liver function in the rat. Endocrinology. 1993;132(3):1078-84. 85 Fradet G, Brister S, Mulder D, Lough J, Averbach BL. “Evaluation of Chitosan as a New Hemostatic Agent: In Vitro and In Vivo Experiments In Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 86 Malette W, Quigley H, Gaines R, Johnson N, Rainer WG. Chitosan A New Hemostatic. Annals of Thorasic Surgery. 1983;36:55. 87 Malette W, Quigley H, Adickes ED. Chitosan effect in Vascular Surgery, Tissue Culture and Tissue Regeneration. In R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday, Eds: Chitin in Nature and Technology. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 88 Okamoto Y, Tomita T, Minami S, et al. Effects of Chitosan on experimental abscess with Staphylococcus aureus in dogs. J. Vet. Med., 1995;57(4):765-7. 89 Klokkevold PR, Lew DS, Ellis DG, Bertolami CN. Effect of Chitosan on lingual hemostasis in rabbits. Journal of Oral-Maxillofac-Surg, 1991;Aug. 49(8):858-63. 89 Surgery, Tissue Culture and Tissue Regeneration. In Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 90 Hiroshi S, Makoto K, Shoji A, Yoshikazu S. Antibacterial fiber blended with Chitosan. Sixth International Conference on Chitin and Chitosan. Sea Fisheries Institute, Gdynia, Poland. August 1994;16-19. 91 Shimai Y, Tsukuda K, Seino H. Antiacne preparations containing chitin, Chitosan or their partial degradation products. Jpn. Kikai Tokkyo Koho JP 04,288,017 [92,288,017] 13 Oct 1992. 92 Suzuki K, Okawa Y, Suzuki S, Suzuki M. Candidacidal effect of peritoneal exudate cells in mice administered with chitin or Chitosan: the role of serine protease in the mechanism of oxygen-independent candidacidal effect. Microbiol Immunol. 1987;31(4):375-9. 93 Sawada G, Akaha Y, Naito H, Fujita M. Synergistic food preservatives containing organic acids, Chitosan and citrus seed extracts. Jpn, Kokai Kokkyo Koho JP 04 27,373 [92 27,373] 30 Jan 1992. 94 Min H-K, Hatai K, Bai S. Some inhibitory effects of Chitosan on fishpathogenic oomycete, Saprolegnia parasitic. Gyobyo Kenkyu, 1994;29(2):73-4. 95 Nelson JL, Alexander JW, Gianotti L, Chalk CL, Pyles T. The influence of dietary fiber on microbial growth in vitro and bacterial translocation after burn injury in mice. Nutr 1994;10(1):32-6. 96 Ochiai Y, Kanazawa Y. Chitosan as virucide. Jpn Kokai Tokkyo Koho 79 41,326. 97 Hillyard IW, Doczi J, Kiernan. Antacid and antiulcer properties of the polysaccharide Chitosan in the rat. Proc Soc Expl Biol Med 1964; 115:1108-1112. 98 Shibasaki K, Sano H, MatsukuboT, Takaesu Y. pH response of human dental plaque to chewing gum supplemented with low molecular Chitosan. Bull- Tokyo-Dent-Coll, 1994:35(2): 61-6. 99 Kato H, Okuda H. Chitosan as antihypertensive. Jpn. Kikoi Tokyo Koho JP 06 56,674 [94 56,674] 100 Kato H, Taguchi T. Mechanism of the rise in blood pressure by sodium chloride and decrease effect of Chitosan on blood pressure. Baiosaiensu to Indasutori 1993;51(12):987-8. 101 Muzzarelli R, Biagini G, Pugnaoni A, Filippini O, Baldassarre V, Castaldini C, and Rizzoli C. Reconstruction of Periodontal Tissue with Chitosan. Biomaterials. 1989;10:598-603. 102 Sapelli P, Baldassarre V, Muzzarelli R, Emanuelli M. Chitosan in Dentistry. In Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 103 Borah G, Scott G, Wortham K. Bone induction by Chitosan in endochrondral bones of the extremities. In Advances in Chitin and Chitosan. Eds: CJ Brine, PA Sandford, JP Zikakis. Elsevier Applied Science. London. 1992. 104 Ito F. Role of Chitosan as a supplementary food for osteoporosis. Gekkan Fudo Kemikaru, 1995;11(2):39-44. 105 Nakamura S, Yoshioka T, hamada S, Kimura I. Chitosan for enhancement of bioavailability of calcium. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 07 194,316 [95 194,316] 01 Aug 1995. 106 Maekawa A, Wada M. Food Containing chitin or its derivatives for reduction of blood and urine uric acid. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 03 280,852 [91 280,852], 11 Dec 1991. 107 Weisberg M, Gubner R. Compositions for oral administration comprising Chitosan and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. Antacid preparations for alleviating gastric hyperacidity. U.S. patent 3257275 108 Kanauchi O, Deuchi K, Imasato Y, Shizukuishi M, Kobayashi E. Mechanism for the inhibition of fat digestion by Chitosan and for the synergistic effect of ascorbate. Biosci Biotech Biochem1995;59(5):786-90. 109 McCausland CW. Fat Binding Properties of Chitosan as Compared to Other Dietary Fibers. Private communication. 24 Jan1995. 110 Deuchi K, Kanauchi O, Imasato Y, Kobayashi E. Biosci Biotech Biochem. 1994:58,1613-6. 111 Ebihara K, Schneeman BO. Interaction of bile acids, phospholipids, cholesterol and triglyceride with dietary fibers in the small intestine of rats. J Nutr 1989;119(8):1100-6. 112 Weil A, M.D. Natural Health Natural Medicine: Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990:182. 113 Chen Y-H, Riby Y, Srivastava P, Bartholomew J, Denison M, Bjeldanes L. Regualtion of CYP1A1 by indolo[3,2-b]carbazole in murine hepatoma cells. J Biol Chem 1995;270(38):22548-55. 114 Intestinal Absorption of metal ions and chelates. Ashmead HD, Graff DJ, Ashmead HH. Charles C Thomas, Springfield, IL 1985. 115 Nutrient Interactions. Bodwell CE, Erdman JW Jr. Marcel Dekker New York 1988. 116 Heleniak EP, Aston B. Prostaglandins, Brown Fat and Weight Loss. Medical Hypotheses 1989;28:13-33. 117 Connor WE, DeFrancesco CA, Connor SL. N-3 fatty acids from fish oil. Effects on plasma lipoproteins and hypertriglyceridemic patients. Ann NY Acad Sci 1993;683:16-34. 118 Conte AA. A non-prescription alternative in weight reduction therapy. The Bariatrician Summer 1993:17-19. 119 McCarty MF. Inhibition of citrate lyase may aid aerobic endurance. Unpublished manuscript. 120 Bray GA. Weight homeostasis. Annual Rev Med 1991;42:205-216. 121 Dulloo AG, Miller DS. The thermogenic properties of Ephedrin/Methylxanthine mixtures: Human studies. Intl J Obesity 986;10:467-481. 122 Arai K, Kinumaki T, Fujita, T. Bulletin Tokai Regional Fisheries Res Lab. 1968;No. 56. 123 Bough WA. Private communication. 124 Freidrich EJ, Gehan, EA, Rall DP, Schmidt LH, Skipper HE. Cancer Chemotherapy Reports 1966;50(4):219-244. 125 A Drovanti, AA Bignamini, AL Rovati. Therapeutic activity of oral glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis: A placebo-controlled double-blind investigation. Clinical Therapeutics 1980;3(4):260-272. 126 K Deuchi, O Kanauchi, M Shizukuishi, E Kobayashi. Continuous and massive intake of Chitosan affects mineral and fat-soluble vitamin status in rats fed on a high-fat diet. Biosci. Biotech. Biochemistry. 1995;59(7):1211-6. 127 . BesChitin W in Chitin Wound Healing (video), Unitika Corporation, April 1992.
CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
June 23, 2005 11:20 AM
CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
Capsicum is a remarkable whole body stimulant that can boost blood flow, tone the nervous system, relieve indigestion, promote sweating, help to cauterize and heal ulcers, ease persistent pain and fight off infection. One very authoritative work on African plants suggests that Capsicum’s “regular ingestion is highly beneficial in hemorrhoids, varicose veins, anorexia, liver congestion and vascular conditions . . .the indigenous inhabitants of Africa and of the Antilles are remarkably free form all of these conditions as they use Capsicum fruit in their diet.”10 Most of the therapeutic actions of Capsicum are attributed to the alkaloid or glucoside content of the herb.11 The latest scientific studies conducted with Capsicum will be discussed in subsequent sections.
Because Capsicum boosts peripheral circulation and stimulates organ secretion, it expedites the therapeutic delivery and action of other herbs. In other words, the medicinal benefits of these herbs reach infected or inflamed tissue more rapidly due to enhanced blood flow.12 Consider the following statement: “Cayenne will insure the rapid and even distribution of the active principles of the rest of the herbs to critical function - al centers of the body, including those involved in cellular respiration, metabolism, data transmission, and neural-hormonal activation. Cayenne is included in several other blends for this reason. In extremely small quantities it can dramatically increase the efficiency of most other herbs.”13 Many health practitioners believe that the key to healing is CAPSICUM stimulation. Capsicum stimulates eve rything from blood flow to peristaltic action in the stomach, to intestinal transit time. The re m a rkable ability of Capsicum to stimulate organ secretion and even heart action makes it one of the strongest natural stimulants known. Se veral different kinds of herbal blends targeting various body systems will utilize Capsicum to boost the formula’s efficacy.
Capsicum is said to be unequaled for its ability to boost circulation and increase heart action. Interestingly, cultures who consume significant amounts of cayenne pepper in their diet have much lower rates of cardiovascular disease.14 Capsicum exerts a variety of desirable actions on the entire card i ovascular system. It has the extraordinary ability to enhance cardiovascular performance while actually lowering blood pressure.15 A quote taken from a card i ovascular publication re a d s , “Capsaicin has also been shown to prolong cardiac action potential in atrial muscle . . .”16 Michael T. Murray, N.D., has stated, “ Cayenne pepper [Capsicum] should be recommended as a food for its beneficial antioxidant and cardiovascular effects.”17 Herbalists have considered Capsicum as a superior “f o o d” for the heart. In fact, in cases where a heart attack is suspected administering capsicum in hot water has been thought to help lessen the severity of the attack. Capsicum can also be placed on or under the tongue in emergencies involving heart attack, stroke or hemorrhaging. 18 Note: Using Capsicum for any heart-related problem, especially a suspected heart attack should never take the place of medical attention or a physician’s care.
CAPSICUM Blood Cholesterol Reducer
Various studies have conclusively demonstrated that Capsicum reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the a rteries) by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels .19 Additional clinical studies conducted in India found that when cayenne was ingested along with dietary cholesterol, the typical rise in liver and blood serum cholesterol levels was significantly inhibited. In addition, bile acids and free cholesterol were subsequently eliminated from the body through the stool.20 Interestingly, these tests revealed that using Capsicum was actually more effective in reducing cholesterol that capsaicin alone.2 1 Daniel Mowrey, Ph.D., emphatically points out that this is just one of many examples of the superiority of whole botanicals as opposed to their isolated components.22 Note: Using Capsicum in combination with Hawthorn is a particularly good cardiovascular tonic.
Blood Pressure Equalizer
While an added bonus of Capsicum’s capability to lower blood serum cholesterol is a decrease in blood pressure, additional evidence strongly suggests that the herb initiates other mechanisms that fight hypertension .23 “Cayenne, according to another study, also reduces the blood pressure in an even more direct manner: a number of years ago, a team of researchers discove red that capsaicin acts in a reflexive manner to reduce systemic blood pressure, a kind of coronary chemoreflex.”24 Adding Garlic to Capsicum creates an even better therapeutic blend for treating hypertension.
Blood Detoxification CAPSICUM
“Cayenne is a kind of catalyst in the blood purification process . . . it acts as a diaphoretic, stimulating the excretion of wastes in the swe a t . ”25 Because Capsicum stimulates organ secretion and boosts peripheral blood flow, it would only stand to reason that it would also facilitate the faster removal of toxins from the bloodstream and lymphatic system. You may have already noticed that Capsicum is frequently added to blood-purifying herbal combinations. Circulatory Booster Researchers have found that the simulating action of Capsicum on surface capillaries can help to pre vent cold hands and feet.2 6 For this reason, it may be helpful for Reynaud’s Syndrome. Old remedies using Capsicum have even recommended placing it in socks to warm the feet and to help prevent frostbite. An old folk cure for a chilled body was a steaming hot cup of Capsicum tea. Free Radical Scavenger The rich flavonoid content of Capsicum gives it significant antioxidant capabilities. A recent study conducted in 1995 showed that Capsicum has a higher ascorbic acid content than chiles from the jalapeno or serrano varieties .27 Vitamin C and bioflavonoids can scavenge for dangerous free radicals which cause tissue damage and can predispose organs to degenerative diseases. Free radicals are found everywhere and are created as by-products of metabolic p rocesses including the act of breathing itself. Pollutants can expose the body to free radicals. An interesting study done in Mexico City and published in 1993 found that Capsicum extract was able to modulate the mutagenic activity of urban air samples.28 In other words, these potentially dangerous nitro - a romatic compounds found in polluted air were kept from mutating by red chile extract.29 Chemical breakdowns of Capsicum have also found that CAPSICUM the pepper is high in Provitamin A, which significantly contributes to its healing ability and immune fortification.30 Anti-Carcinogenic Compound Anti-cancer research recently tested Capsicum on laboratory rats and found that it does indeed demonstrate anti-cancer properties by inhibiting certain enzymes which can initiate the mutation of cells.31 What this implies is that taking Capsicum can afford the body some protection against the cellular mutation which occurs in malignant growths. Capsicum actually inhibited the formation of dangerous metabolites under laboratory conditions where they should have normally been activa t e d .3 2 This study implies that Capsicum may have many more sophisticated bio-chemical actions than previously thought.
An Impressive Pain Killer
Capsaicin has recently emerged as a remarkably effective pain reliever and has become the subject of recent clinical research . Applying capsaicin in cream or ointment form to painful joints, scar tissue or other painful conditions involving peripheral nerves confuses pain transmitters. In other worlds, capsaicin temporarily disrupts sensory nerve cell biochemistry there by impeding the relay of pain sensations from the skin surface. It does this by inhibiting a neurotransmitter called substance P. This specific compound is thought to be the main mediator of pain impulses from peripheral nerve endings.33 Substance P has also demonstrated its ability to inhibit inflammatory pain generated in arthritic joints in much the same way.34 Today, several over-the-counter topical preparations utilize capsaicin for the pain of arthritic joints. The ability of Capsicum to control severe and unresponsive pain is significant, to say the least. Modern clinical utilization of topical capsaicin may offer signifi-cant relief for a number of painful conditions including: diabetic neuropathy, cluster headaches, post-amputation pain, post-mastectomy pain, shingles and painful scar tissue.35
In the early spring of 1996, prime time national news show s reported that scientists had found that individuals who had suffered from chronic pain in post-surgical scars (heart bypass, arterial grafts, etc.) were successfully treated with topical preparations containing capsaicin. While this may have been news to many of us, clinical studies had been already published for several years that capsaicin held profound value for various kinds of pain which did not respond to established medical treatments. Typically surgical scars and regions around them can produce persistent pain or can be very sensitive to the touch even when completely healed. This type of pain phenomenon seems to respond well to capsaicin ointments and creams.
When capsaicin preparations were applied following mastectomy or breast reconstruction, pain was significantly relieved. Se veral double blind studies found that using capsaicin creams four times daily for 4 to 6 weeks resulted in much less frequent occurrence of sharp, jabbing pain.3 6 All thirteen patients studied had a 50 percent or greater improve m e n t .3 7 Various unpleasant sensations other than pain also improved with topical applications of capsaicin creams.38
MOUTH SORES FROM RADIATION OR CHEMOTHERAPY
A fascinating study conducted at the Yale Pain Management Center discove red that capsaicin could ve ry significantly lessen pain caused by mouth sores which frequently develop after chemotherapy or radiation.39 Apparently delivering the capsaicin in the form of soft candy (taffy) enabled the substance to be retained in the mouth long enough to desensitize the nerve endings causing the pain. Each one of the eleven case studies re p o rted that their pain had decreased and in two patients, it stopped entirely.40
Diabetic neuropathy is a painful nerve condition which can develop in cases of prolonged diabetes. Several double-blind studies have supported the considerable value of capsaicin creams for relieving the pain associated with this disorder.41 The results of a controlled study using Capsicum for seve re cases of diabetic neuropathy which did not respond to conventional therapy were published in 1992. A cream containing Capsicum was applied to painful areas four time a day and pain was carefully e valuated for 8 weeks at two-week intervals. The results we re impressive, to say the least. In the 22 patients who used the Capsicum the following results we re re c o rded: “Capsaicin tre a tment was more beneficial than vehicle treatment in the overall clinical improvement of pain status, as measured by physician’s global evaluation and by a categorical pain severity scale . . . In a follow-up study, approximately 50 percent of the subjects reported improved pain control or were cured . . .”42 No t e : While there was a burning sensation when the Capsicum c ream was first applied, some subjects found that its magnitude and duration lessened with continued application.43
The FDA has approved capsaicin-based ointments for the treatment of pain that results from diseases like shingles. Again, numerous studies have documented the value of capsaicin for decreasing the miserable nerve-related pain associated with shingles. The general consensus derived from these tests were that approximately 50 p e rcent of people suffering from shingles responded well to capsaicin creams, some even after 10 to 12 months.44
Note: If blisters accompany a shingles outbreak, it is better to wait until they have healed before using any capsaicin-based ointments or creams.
RELIEF FOR BURNING FEET
Frequently an uncomfortable “burning” sensation in the feet will occur in many people, particularly in diabetics. As ironic as it may seem, using capsaicin creams may actually alleviate this burning. “In various studies, diabetics who treated their burning feet with capsaicin got greater improvement and we re able to walk more easily than those not using the cream.”45 In addition, using topical applications of capsaicin as opposed to strong, oral drugs is much more preferable.
Clinical tests have confirmed that topical capsaicin ointments substantially alleviate the miserable pain that characterizes osteoand rheumatoid arthritis.46 These studies revealed that using 0.075 capsaicin cream reduced tenderness and pain.47 Dr. Michael T. Murray writes: “ . . . seventy patients with osteoarthritis and thirty - one with rheumatoid arthritis received capsaicin or placebo for 4 weeks. The patients were instructed to apply 0.025 percent capsaicin cream or its placebo to painful knees four times daily. Significantly more relief of pain was reported by the capsaicin-treated patients than by the placebo patients throughout the study . . .”48 Anyone suffering from osteo or rheumatoid arthritis should evaluate the effectiveness of capsaicin ointments for joint pain. Ester Lipstein-Kresch, M.D., has studied the effectiveness of capsaicin creams for arthritis and has stated: “You need to apply it three or four times a day on the affected area for at least two weeks before you’ll see any improvement. An initial burning sensation at the site is not unusual for the first few days, but this goes away with continued application.”49 Note: Capsaicin is also useful for tennis elbow due to its ability to block the transmission of pain.
MIGRAINE HEADACHES (CLUSTER TYPE)
Topical applications of capsaicin ointments intranasally may also help to relieve the pain of a specific kind of migraine headache called cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are characterized by s e ve re pain which typically radiates around one eye. The term “cluster” refers to the fact that these headaches tend to occur in clusters of one to three per day and can recur at intervals. Headache pain and severity we re reducing in groups using intranasal capsaicin.5 0 This type of capsaicin treatment should be done under a physician’s care. There is some speculation that capsaicin may be more effective in pre venting migraines before they develop into a full blown attack.51