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Vitamin C research booming, 'emerging evidence' promising - ThePress
April 12, 2019 04:02 PM
Researchers from around the world will convene in Australia, sharing the newest research on Vitamin C. Controversy precedes the gathering, with opposing claims on vitamin C’s effectiveness in treating cancer. This debate harkens back to research conducted in the 1970’s, but the results of recent trial might sway naysayers; it reported an 80% mortality reduction rate for those suffering from sepsis. Supporters from University of Otago claim that vitamin C’s hype has been largely ignored in the past, but more and more studies garner its support. Opposition from the same school submit the gathering evidence is substantial, but more research must be conducted.
"Alongside traditional treatments, patients with septic shock are being given intravenous doses of vitamin C, totalling about 7g a day."
Read more: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/110559685/vitamin-c-research-booming-emerging-evidence-promising
New evidence shows that walnuts optimize the gut microbiome tosuppress colon cancer cell growth
April 06, 2019 09:26 AM
Tree nuts, especially walnuts have been a controversial topic talked about for decades. In a new study, it was found that walnuts can help optimize the way your biology works and possibly suppress colon cancer. It is important to note that this study was done with mice, one group of which was fed a concentration of walnuts and was found to have around 2 times fewer tumors at the conclusion of the study. A quick overview of the nutrient profile of the walnut is also included for reference.
"To date, colon cancer is the third most common type of the disease around the globe."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-10-walnuts-optimize-gut-microbiome-to-suppress-colon-cancer-cell-growth.html
Bee pollen proven to be a "treasure trove of active naturalmetabolites" that benefit human health
February 17, 2019 02:42 PM
The tiny balls of pollen that bees harvest from vegetation is known as bee pollen. Many people assume that allergies associated with bee pollen are fairly high, but research is showing this pollen can actually act as an antihistamine. Only two people in a six-year time period were shown to have genuine bee pollen allergies. On the other hand, the histamine reduction properties located within bee pollen have proven to be successful in reducing the risk of allergic reactions to other substances.
"The ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese all recognized the value of honey and bee pollen in medicine."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-14-bee-pollen-treasure-trove-of-active-natural-metabolites.html
Take Indian kudzu if you're diabetic: It keeps your kidneys healthy
November 10, 2018 09:51 AM
Diabetes is a serious and chronic condition, which as it progresses can wreak havoc on an array of bodily systems. One potential victim of the havoc is the kidneys. They endure a great deal of oxidative stress in a body that is constantly fighting the effects of diabetes. This ongoing stress overtime does damage the kidneys and can eventually destroy them The condition of oxidative stress endured by kidneys functioning under an ongoing onslaught of diabetic effects is known as diabetic nephropathy. In a worse case scenario it can lead to total renal failure. The organic tuber, Indian Kudzu, is an Aryuvedic medicine staple, besides housing a wealth of antioxidants. Researchers from a Banaras Hindu University recently decided see whether the oxidative power of Indian Kudzu might be able to stand tall against the stress endured by kidneys undergoing diabetic onslaught, thereby protecting them from the ravages of the stress. The study, which used rodent subjects, proved that though oxidative stress in the diabetic rodent subjects was high, the kudzu was able to reduce or reverse some of the damage, due in part to its ability to improve human antioxidant enzyme activity.
"The tubers are a treasure trove of antioxidants that reduce the effects of oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species related to aging and various ailments."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-06-indian-kudzu-for-diabetics-it-keeps-kidneys-healthy.html
Selenium, vitamin K2 and nicotinamide riboside ride new research toward roles beyond being ...
May 26, 2018 09:16 AM
When we're in need of a new multivitamin, we typically just run to the local drug store and take whatever we see on the shelf. Lately, researchers have been digging deeper into what these mainstream pharmaceutical companies are putting into these multivitamin supplements. A good example is a chemical called selenium. Studies by certain commercial corporations claim that it has cancer fighting abilities, but the research seems to be a bit vague and even watered down.
"New indications for ingredients that have been featured in many multivitamin products have helped to expand their reach into different formulations and even standalone products."
Read more: https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2018/04/24/Selenium-vitamin-K2-and-nicotinamide-riboside-ride-new-research-toward-roles-beyond-being-multivitamin-bit-players
6 Common Myths and Controversies About High-CBD Cannabis
March 20, 2018 09:18 AM
With the recent loosening of regulations on medical and recreational cannabis, a number of new cannabis products have flooded the market. As a result, consumers are often confused about the different options out there and what they do. One of these is CBD, and there are a number of myths surrounding it. For one, many people believe that it is a pure sedative, which isn't true. Additionally, it is often thought that the source of CBD is irrelevant - also false.
"Cannabidiol (CBD) is an exciting focus of medical research, popular media, and legislation related to cannabis. Its presence is becoming ubiquitous on the shelves of health food stores and search engine results for numerous medical conditions, but don’t believe everything you hear."
Read more: https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/separating-cbd-facts-from-myths
Why hemp seeds from cannabis are a revolutionary superfood ready to save the people and the planet
December 30, 2017 07:59 AM
Hemp seeds come from cannabis. This means they are sort of controversial. They're very healthy, though. They contain many healthy fats and nutrients. They are considered a super food and would be a good addition to any diet. You could grind them and add them so you didn't detect them if you don't like the taste. You can get hemp powder already which is ground seeds. You can add these to smoothies and any other dish you want.
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Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-12-10-why-hemp-seeds-from-cannabis-superfood.html
Better health a few drops away
December 23, 2017 03:59 PM
Cannabis has been shown to be highly helpful for many diseases. Though controversial in many communities, some of the benefits can also come from its legal cousin, hemp. Hemp oil has many of the similar properties as cannabis oil and is legal. Hemp can help with many problems with inflammatory problems, like fibromyalgia. The best part, besides its legal status, is that it is far easier to get and can be found in many products, including seeds, oil and even rope, though the rope doesn't give you the same health benefits.
"Hemp oil is a nutritional oil made out of hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are versatile and nutritious seeds offering health benefits. Cannabis oil, on the other hand, is an oil made from a specific part of the Cannabis Sativa plant which has higher concentrations of particular molecules, triggering responses in the human body."
Read more: http://www.leavenworthtimes.com/news/20171219/better-health-few-drops-away
Paleo Diet Plan, Best Paleo Foods + Paleo Diet Recipes
December 06, 2017 07:59 AM
Our diets have changed a lot over the past few decades. Foods have come and gone and overall, we have gotten worse at eating. Processed foods are a lot more common now. Fruits and veggies are actually less common than processed foods. It is also impossible to go down the road a few miles and not spot a fast food chain that has sprung up in the area. The Paleo diet is a rejection of this fast food lifestyle.
"The Paleo diet has been associated with many health benefits from better blood sugar levels to reduced inflammation. Considered one of the best diet plans for weight loss because it’s high in protein and fat and emphasizes nutrient-rich foods, it may also increase satiety and help correct nutrient deficiencies. Still, the diet has remained the subject of much controversy in recent years."
Read more: https://draxe.com/paleo-diet-plan/
Treating Autism With Cannabis Now Has Scientific Support
October 20, 2017 10:14 AM
Autism is a hard thing to diagnose and treat. There are different forms of it. There are also different levels of severity. Cannabis is one way some treat it even though it is controversial. Most cannabis uses are. There is scientific evidence that this may work. It is at least looking into if you can get past the stigma, though it might not work for everyone. Some don't react to it just like any other medication.
"Looking at the quality of the social interactions, we found that our autistic-like mice tended to dart away from a social interaction and huddle in the corner of their testing box."
Read more: https://www.civilized.life/articles/cannabidiol-treatment-for-autism-scientific-support/
Is Fluoride Bad for You? It’s Not Just in the Water
October 19, 2017 10:14 AM
The benefits and risks of fluoride has been a subject of much contention since the 1960’s when it was added to the public water supply in the US and several other countries, though no studies have been shown to prove this fact. . According to the CDC, fluoride helps prevent cavities. Those against fluoride maintain that fluoride is dangerous, and can cause damaging effects to living organisms. This claim is supported by the fact that the type of fluoride in drinking water, sodium fluoride, was considered as industrial toxic waste.
"But when we look at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these questions are unsettled and we have much less information than we should, considering how long this [fluoridation] has been going on. I think that’s why fluoridation is still being challenged so many years after it began. In the face of ignorance, controversy is rampant."
Read more: https://draxe.com/is-fluoride-bad-for-you/
Hemp 101: What It Is, And How It Can Save The World
August 11, 2017 12:14 PM
Many people believe that hemp and marijuana are the same substance, but they are more like cousins than brother and sister. This is important to note since the uses of hemp are many and the effects on our environment and economy could be great. In the attached article, the author provides an overview of the historical and current uses of the hemp plant, describes the misunderstanding of its properties and details the legal and political obstacles its use has met. The author recommends that US farmers and manufacturers continue to work toward removal of growing restrictions and increased use of hemp in industrial and commercial applications.
"Hemp won’t get you high, after all, but it seems to carry the same controversy as weed does."
Read more: http://weeddaily.net/hemp-101-save-world/
Is chronic fatigue syndrome an inflammatory disease?
August 02, 2017 04:14 PM
Chronic fatigue syndrome has been a very controversial thing for many years. Experts have not been able to gain much insight when it comes to the cause of it. There is a new study out that puts forward the suggestion that it is actually an inflammatory disease. There are wide ranging symptoms which makes it quite difficult to diagnose. It is characterized mostly by debilitating fatigue. it is also usually accompanied by pain and difficulties in retaining focus.
"Characterized by often debilitating fatigue, and sometimes accompanied by pain and difficulties in retaining focus, CFS/ME affects between 836,000 and 2.5 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."
Read more: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318714.php
Advantages And Disadvantages Of CBD Oil
July 25, 2017 12:14 PM
There are some advantages and disadvantages of CBD oil. CBD oil is a derivative of cannabis. The origin of this oil is the marijuana plant. It does not intoxicate anyone that uses it. There have been several controversies that have emerged because its parent plant is used for recreational use. But, there are many indications of the health benefits it offers. Marijuana consists of some quantity of CBD. One of the benefits of CBD oil is decreased anxiety.
"CBD oil can help in managing anxiety attacks by changing the response produced by brain receptors towards serotonin."
Read more: http://reportshealthcare.com/advantages-disadvantages-cbd-oil/
Offal: Are Organ Meats Healthy to Eat?
June 17, 2017 12:14 PM
People might question whether or not organ meat is actually healthy to consume. It has been a largely controversial topic as of late. People wonder if it is part of a super food group, or something to be avoided like the plague. Offal is another term for organ meat. Most of American's diets are about eating the muscles of other animals. There are a lot of beliefs on the subject and it's hard to discern the truth in this area by relying on what people say.
"Liver is good for you, just like most organ meats for most people."
Read more: https://draxe.com/offal/
Cholesterol: The good, the bad and dietary cholesterol
March 24, 2017 01:44 PM
LDL cholesterol is known as the awful cholesterol since it is the fundamental wellspring of cholesterol development in the dividers of the veins. Add up to cholesterol level is a blend of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and different fats in the blood. Dietary cholesterol is the cholesterol found in every creature sustenance, be that as it may, nourishments, for example, eggs, liver, kidney and shellfish, including shrimps and prawns are especially rich in cholesterol. Oils, for example, coconut oil and palm oil additionally contain soaked fat and known to influence blood cholesterol levels to fluctuating degrees, however late proof recommends we require promote logical audit with respect to the degree to which blood cholesterol levels are influenced. No suggestion was made in 2015 for particular breaking points on dietary cholesterol allow as more logical proof was required in regards to the connection between the measure of dietary cholesterol admission and blood cholesterol levels.
"The research evidence on this matter, however, has been quite clear for a long time - the amount of cholesterol in the diet does not significantly affect blood cholesterol levels when compared to the fat content of the diet2."
Read more: http://www.myjoyonline.com/lifestyle/2017/March-14th/cholesterol-the-good-the-bad-and-dietary-cholesterol.php
Treading carefully on medical marijuana
March 24, 2017 11:44 AM
Medical marijuana has long been a controversial topic and countries all over the world are slow to make cannabis available for medical reasons. Many people swear by marijuana as an effective treatment for a variety of conditions. Unfortunately, there is limited scientific evidence to support some of these medical claims and proponents of the plant should be cautious when making such claims. This article provides an in-depth explanation of what has been proven in scientific research and what studies some countries are undertaking.
"The calls for legalisation of medicinal cannabis have been shrill and perhaps based on misunderstanding."
Read more: http://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/health-features/treading-carefully-on-medical-marijuana-35539393.html
5 Ways CBD Can Improve Health
March 16, 2017 04:44 AM
CBD is still controversial, but no one can argue with the results that science is giving us concerning this hemp-derived substance. Don't go another day without learning the array of medical benefits offered to your health when you use CBD. You might be quite surprised to learn the abundance of ways that CBD can help you feel your best day in and day out, but you will certainly like the information that you learn and will want to use it to your benefit.
"Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana, and science has given it close attention in recent years for its potential in treating a wide variety of medical conditions."
Read more: https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.civilized.life%2Farticles%2F5-ways-cbd-improves-health%2F&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGmM2M2RhZjlmZTVmZDZjMmU6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNGRx_GLyElbd6ovLhDu2tG1_8AtEA
How Soy Can Both Prevent Breast Cancer And Fuel Its Spread
March 13, 2017 01:59 PM
Soy is one of the most controversial food items in the modern diet. There is soy in almost every food in the world. While there are benefits to soy, there are also draw backs. Soy can help provide the nutrition need to fight breast cancer in women, but it can also cause it in men. This is why there is so much controversy around it, and it may be better off cutting it out of your diet totally.
"To eat soy or not: That’s the question many U.S. women have been asking."
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-soy-can-both-prevent-breast-cancer-and-fuel-its-spread_us_5894b9eee4b040613136a214
'Now I take cannabis oil, I'm starting to get my life back again'
February 22, 2017 12:59 PM
Cannabis oil is one of those controversial things that do wonders for some people but not others. This is one person's positive experience with it. It is legal in a lot of places so is worth a look if you have problems with pain but it's not guaranteed to help anyone. It may or may not.
"Affecting one in every 10,000 people in the UK, it causes small patches of red and swollen tissue, called granulomas, to develop in the organs of the body. It usually affects the lungs and skin. There is no cure."
Are the Unique Phytocannabinoids Found in Cannabis Actually Essential Nutrients? The Answer ...
February 22, 2017 07:59 AM
Cannabis oil is steeped in controversy. Some want it to be illegal and others swear by its powers to heal and help. There are many supposed benefits to it. This discusses nutrients it may contain. If you're a skeptic or even if you already like it you may be interested in this.
"The sooner that governments of the world recognize that cannabis prohibition is detrimental to the health of mankind, the sooner the world can start getting healthy."
What are the Health Benefits and Uses of CBD?
January 30, 2017 12:59 PM
The recent legalization of marijuana in many states has lead to the investigation of the health benefits of the drug and other parts of the plant that makes it. CBD oil in particular has been talked about as a possible treatment for diseases such as cancer and seizures. So far, it has been found to be anti-inflammatory, a painkiller, and a neurological stabilizer. Much of the controversy is over the fact that CBD comes from the same plant that gives us marijuana. However, CBD oil does not have the psychoactive properties that marijuana has.
"While there has been opposition from multiple groups over the legalization and use of CBD based products, the claims made by these groups are founded out of ignorance and are commonly funded by large pharmaceutical companies."
Huge 400 page scientific report concludes marijuana effectively treats chronic pain
January 26, 2017 10:59 AM
One of the most controversial topics in recent history is the question of whether or not marijuana can treat chronic pain. The question then arises whether or not the information contained in the report will actually benefit the pro-marijuana movement overall is an open question, since the findings are a mix of positive and negative regarding the use of marijuana and its impact on public health. This information may or may not play an important role.
"The researchers reported evidence associating marijuana to an increased risk of automobile accidents, lower birth weights for babies whose mothers smoked cannabis during pregnancy, and a link between marijuana smoking and bronchial problems."
Cannabis Use For Pediatric Cancers
January 25, 2017 07:59 AM
With the slackening of legislation in some states to allow the use of marijuana, there has been a surge in the research to test the effectiveness of cannabis against various diseases. The most interest has been on treating cancer. Animal cells have shown promise in fighting off cancer in children, but human trials are currently prohibited. There have, however, been some documented cases of parents using cannabis to treat cancer in their children. These few cases just show how much more research we need to apply to the topic.
"Cannabis treatment for children with cancer remains controversial, however, in cases of treatment-resistant cancers and severe side effects from treatment, cannabis must be a readily available option, especially since it is significantly less toxic than most cancer treatments."
Aspartame now being marketed as natural sweetener, name changed to 'AminoSweet'
December 27, 2016 02:59 PM
Artificial sweeteners are starting to come under a lot of scrutiny. One of the most controversial is aspartame, which some consider a very toxic substance. Since the public views this so negatively, they are attempting to get it back to market by changing the name. It will now be called AminoSweet, but it is just as dangerous.
"Since acquiring ownership of the aspartame business from Monsanto in 2000, Japanese drug company Ajinomoto has been working hard to rebrand and recreate aspartame in order to boost its acceptance by the public."
Why Vitamin D Is Extra Important for Athletes
December 18, 2016 12:59 PM
Vitamin D is one of many essential substances that our bodies need to function properly. It should be one of the easiest vitamins for us to get since it is provided by the sun. However, recent culture has lead us to spend more time inside, which makes it more difficult. This vitamin helps our bodies maintain bone, immunity, and brain health as well as having many other benefits. It has also been linked to less inflammation and pain, which can be very helpful for athletes. If you suffer from these issues, you may need to check your vitamin D intake.
"Vitamin D has been linked to reduced inflammation and pain, a lower risk of fractures, and an increase in muscle protein and type II muscle fibers."
Depression: does it originate in the immune system?
December 04, 2016 12:59 PM
While it is true that 1 out of 10 people are affected by depression, the cause of it is controversial. For years we have believed that low serotonin levels were the cause of mood disorders. New research now suggests that mood disorders could be caused by the body's immune system. Those antidepressants that some have been taking, may not have worked if serotonin levels weren't to blame.
"For decades, we've been told that serotonin is the key culprit for mood disorders, but now a growing number of doctors are subscribing to a radical new theory of depression - that the problem, at least for some people, is in fact the result of inflammation in the body, caused by the body's immune system reacting to an infection or stress."
Are we thinking about depression all wrong?
November 30, 2016 08:59 AM
Depression has become an open topic all across the world. More people than ever are open to discussing their depression and seeking help. We have all been led to believe that depression is a chemical imbalance that occurs in our brain. But what if this was misleading and their are other possible reason why a person becomes depressed. A research study has been conducted to find out how inflammation has an effect on our body and could it be responsible for more than just aches and pains.
"One in ten of us will experience depression at some point. Just what causes this highly debilitating disease, and the best way to treat it remains controversial"
Did You Know That Folic Acid Can Help Prevent Birth Defects
There is continuing good press for folic acid in several aspects of human health, but the foremost health issue it addresses is a human reproduction. The popular belief that folic acid removes serious birth defects is supported by incontrovertible scientific facts. If a woman plans on getting pregnant, eating foods rich in folic acid is among other things that have to take priority.
Folate is an indispensable component of life in that it is directly connected to DNA and RNA processes, most notably in inhibiting changes to DNA. Folate deficiency results in the limited production of cells such as erythrocytes, also called red blood cells, bringing about abnormalities of cells in the body.
The fact that folate sustains the enhanced rate of cell division promotes the correct developments of body tissues and organs during pregnancy, significantly reducing the number of reported congenital malformations. Folate stabilizes DNA synthesis in red blood cells, hence the prevalent opinion that it is a must-have prior to conception. The employment of red blood cells is important to the first half of pregnancy as this time covers the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord in the fetal development, leading to a drop in folate levels before and during this stage.
If you are planning or currently pregnant, supplementing folic acid is a must, consider taking a prenatal multiple vitamin that has folic acid added!
Can Melatonin Increase Prolactin?
December 22, 2012 11:28 AM
What Is Melatonin?
Melatonin chemically known as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine is a naturally occurring compound normally found in microbes, plants and animals. Many of the biological effects that are associated with this product are usually produced via activation of the melatonin receptors. However, there are others which are as a result of its powerful and pervasive antioxidant nature.
Melatonin and Sleep
Melatonin also plays a vital role in maintaining natural cycle of wakefulness and sleep. There are some controversies over whether melatonin can increase prolactin or not.
Can Melatonin Increase Prolactin?
Studies that have been conducted recently by medical experts have shown that melatonin can cause an increase in the level of prolactin. Prolactin refers to a hormone which usually plays a vital role in regulating menstrual cycle and in producing milk. It is thus advisable that women who normally experience mood changes or who are in depression related to menstruation should avoid it.
In conclusion, it is my sincere hope that the question on if melatonin can increase prolactin has been answered.
Can tea Tree Oil Kill Bugs?
September 26, 2011 11:26 AM
Tea tree oil is known as an essential oil which is light yellow in color with a camphoraceous scent. It is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia which originates from the northeast coast of Australia. The other name of tea tree oil is melaleuca oil.
Tea tree oil has been studied on its medicinal benefits. Such studies revealed that tea tree oil has a potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. In fact, since the olden times, tea tree oil can administered topically as an antiseptic agent. In addition, tea tree oil is also popularly used as one of the ingredients among many cosmetic products. Industrially, tea tree oil has been controversial whether it can be used to kill bugs or not.
Experiments on "concentrated" tea tree oil and bed bugs have shown that it can effectively kill bugs and other insects. However, it cannot be used at home because concentrated forms of tea tree oil have been found to be toxic to the human body. The commercial preparation of tea tree oil is diluted so that it cannot cause harmful effects to the body. Diluted tea tree oil, on the other hand, cannot kill bugs and insects. Health experts also further stipulated that it is significantly dangerous to use “concentrated” tea tree oil at home specifically at your bedroom. If tea tree oil in undiluted form is introduced inside the body either by ingestion or inhalation, it can have a negative effect on the liver so it is wise to always dilute this oil before ingesting.
If the room is exposed to “concentrated” tea tree oil, make sure to open the windows and provide adequate ventilation. Avoid entering the room for a short span of time because it the air is toxic. Eventually, if “concentrated” tea tree oil is smeared on the skin, it may cause inflammation as manifested by swelling and redness, blistering and itching. If swallowed, concentrated tea tree oil can cause significant diarrhea.
If diluted tea tree oil is employed for bed bugs, it can only make the bugs weak, not killed. The diluted form of tea tree oil is non – toxic to humans and is considered to be a cheaper remedy for the control of bed bug bites. Therefore, it can kill bugs but in concentrated form. However, concentrated tea tree oil must not be used as a household insect killer because of its toxicity. On the other hand, diluted form of tea tree oil is non – toxic but in cannot kill bugs and insects.
As mentioned earlier, tea tree oil is used as an ingredient of many cosmetic products such as facial creams, ointments, lotions, soaps, shampoos and even acne removing agents. Allergic reaction to tea tree oil is rare. However, if hypersensitivity occurs, manifestations include mild dermatitis, blister formation and rashes. It is important to remember that tea tree oil is for external use only. It must not be introduced inside the body even in very small amount because it can cause mild to severe adverse reactions. If untoward effects occur after use, consult your doctor.
How Does Lithium Help with Memory and Mental Disorders?
July 04, 2011 08:42 AM
Lithium And The Brain
Lithium is a chemical element whose ions have been observed to display pharmacological effects. It is best known as a treatment for mania and remains to this day an approved drug for mood disorders in several countries, including the US. It has been associated with countless scientific studies since the latter half of the 19th century. It is one of the most extensively studied of all drugs that alter mood.
Depression is an ancient disease of the mind that was referred to as melancholia in the ancient world. It has been noted in religious writings over the centuries. High energy levels and mental hyperactivity characteristic of bipolar disorder were once associated with supernatural causes. Religious beliefs have historically considered mental disorders as the work of the devil, and melancholia is not an exception.
Melancholia and mania were two separate mental conditions. The former was always tied to evil forces whereas the latter were thought to be triggered by other supernatural causes. Early Greek and Roman physicians noted that active behavior deemed to be pathological could be cured by drinking spring waters. Research have studied and reported that these spring waters actually contained lithium salts.
Manic depression was first posited in the 1950s to be a mental illness distinct from both melancholia and mania. It was in France when two psychiatrists independently observed the type of insanity that oscillates from between bouts of depression and mania. It was later categorized as a specific type of psychosis in that the condition was acute, and thus the patient functions normally after recovery.
Lithium was introduced as a treatment for manic depressive disorder in the form of lithium carbonate in the first half of the 20th century. Its use was discovered when lithium urate produced tranquilizing effects on animal subjects. Lithium salts were used as tranquilizers shortly after. Human experiments have proven to be effective in controlling patients chronically suffering from bouts of manic disorders.
Bipolar disorder is now the widely used term in psychiatry, though manic depression is still preferred by many medical professionals. It was first used in the 1950s to describe oscillations between two polar behaviors: mania and depression. It is a subtype of depression, the other one being major depression or unipolar depression. Lithium remains a drug for mania amid its changing descriptions.
Medicinal concentrations of lithium are generally considered safe in that they produce no apparent psychoactive effects. Instead, they work as a therapeutic treatment. It has been widely established that lithium possesses properties that stabilize mood, though its mechanism of action is still a matter of controversy. It is believed that lithium rebalances brain chemicals and alters gene expression.
Lithium appears to have an impact on several neurotransmitters present in the central nervous system, such as glutamate and serotonin Inasmuch as these neurotransmitters are noted for their role in mood and memory, some sources have ascribed nootropic effects to regular intake of lithium supplements.
Lithium is a wonderful supplement available over the counter. Try some Lithium today and feel the difference!
Can Dietary Collagen Help the Skin and Joint Tissue?
June 30, 2011 10:45 AM
Collagen and Your Health
Collagen is the most common form of protein in humans and other mammals. It is a major constituent of the extracellular matrix that provides structural support to animal cells from the outside. It displays great tensile properties, which is responsible for the strength and elasticity of the skin. Since it is a component of fibrous tissue, it is also found in ligaments and cartilages that make up joint tissue.
Dietary collagen has long been postulated to contribute to the biochemical composition of cells present in the skin and joints. Proponents of collagen supplements believe that dietary collagen is assimilated into the extracellular matrix and fibrous tissue. The scientific community has been doubtful about the efficacy of topical applications of collagen, but oral supplements have been promising in clinical trials.
Molecular collagen is composed of polymers of amino acids linked by peptide bands, which are too big at the cellular level to get absorbed through skin. On the other hand, intestinal absorption of dietary collagen remains a matter of controversy. That being said, nutraceutical companies have developed formulations of supplements that facilitate the best possible absorption rates and better bioavailability.
Tough bundles of collagen fibers comprise several polypeptide chains of fibrous structural proteins. All fibrous tissues have cells and extracellular matrix in between. High concentrations of collagen found in cartilages, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and even bones give these fibrous tissues tensile strength, the reason why the joints are capable of bearing a certain level of longitudinal stress without tearing apart.
Structural proteins make up the outer layer of the human skin and its appendages, such as the scalp, hair, and nails. The most important of these proteins are collagen, keratin, and elastin. Collagen fibers are responsible for the tensile properties of the skin. Keratin provides strength whereas elastin exerts an elastic effect. Collagen fibers affect the process of healing and its degradation leads to wrinkles.
Oral route of administration is believed to produce the health benefits linked to dietary collagen. While researchers have ruled out the health claims tied to collagen creams and lotions, they have reported encouraging results about dietary collagen. In fact, collagen supplements utilized in the management of rheumatoid arthritis and treatment of skin disorders have produced significantly positive outcomes.
One clinical trial that involved more than 200 participants diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis point to the medicinal potential of collagen as an adjunct treatment for rheumatism and osteoarthritis. There was a noticeable decrease in joint pain, morning stiffness, and restrained mobility, which were noted as statistically significant. For this reason, supplementation of collagen has attracted more research.
Dietary collagen is now becoming increasingly visible in the nutraceutical industry in that sales have increased in the past few years. It has become the subject of numerous studies well underway, and as such developments in collagen supplementation are expected to produce formulations specialized for higher bioavailability. The good news is dietary collagen has not been linked to any adverse effects.
Get some collagen today and feel the difference it can make in your diet!
Why Should I be Using a Natural Mouth Wash?
March 18, 2011 04:51 PM
Natural Mouth Wash, Should you Switch?
Natural mouth washes have been around since time immemorial. Earliest accounts point to their use in treatment of gingivitis, but only recently have they played an important role in oral hygiene. The discovery of antiseptic compounds, such as chlorhexidine, has brought mouth washes into mainstream popularity. Their commercial value remains strong although new studies seem to favor the use of natural mouth washes.
Provides Excellent Antiseptic Properties
Salt solution is among the earliest of all natural mouth washes. It is easy to prepare and proven to aid against mouth infections. In Greek and Roman antiquity, physicians recommended a mixture of salt and vinegar, which does kill certain microorganisms in the mouth cavity known to cause dental carries. This has also been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine in allaying mouth pains and promoting periodontal health.
The ancient text of Jews, the Talmud, records the use of olive oil for gum problems. Today plant-based oils are widely accepted to display excellent antiseptic properties, and there is scientific consensus that most essential oils are potent enough to denature pathogenic microorganisms. Aloe vera, cinnamon, fennel, tea tree, myrrh, and peppermint are becoming increasingly popular as ingredients for natural mouth washes largely owing to their desirable scents in addition to being potent bactericides.
Avoids Bad Effects of Synthetic Compounds
The appeal of natural mouth washes lies in the absence of chemical compounds suspected to be harmful to the oral mucosa and the entire mouth cavity. Parabens are a group of chemicals that are commonplace in the cosmetic industry. Among all chemicals present in mouth washes, they are the most controversial in that studies have associated them to carcinogenic effects and estrogenic properties.
It is a well-established fact that sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, a chemical derived from lauryl alcohol and sulfate trioxide, is an irritant whether consumed or topically applied to body surfaces. Moreover, their presence in toothpastes and mouth washes has been linked to higher incidence of aphthous ulcers, or what we refer to as canker sores. Natural mouth washes do not contain SLS, but are known to mimic the antimicrobial properties of SLS to teeth and gums.
Synthetic dyes have long been recognized as irritants to the endothelium that line the mouth, and a few are known carcinogens in animals. Triclosan, an antifungal and antimicrobial agent widely used in many types of disinfectants, is now tied to disturbances in the endocrine system. Natural mouth washes are products that can be replicated at home, with the use of ingredients that are all-natural and at the same time devoid of identified irritants.
Relieves Inflammatory Oral Problems
Natural mouth washes are just as effective as those that contain compounds derived from reactions of organic compounds. In the past few decades synthetic compounds have been commercially touted to be effective against inflammation, but there is also a resurgence of interest in naturally occurring compounds, which are equally helpful in inhibiting inflammatory mediators present in the mouth.
If you are using a commercial mouth wash, changing to a natural mouth wash can free you from consuming chemicals that might cause cancer.
Do the switch today!
April 08, 2010 04:31 PM
Comments by Craig Gerbore, CEO of Madhava:
Reading through the attack articles and blogs that have surfaced recently one could think that using agave is bad for one's health. These claims are utterly false and misleading. They are extreme views drawn from extreme examples and applied way out of context. They are propagandizing and clearly designed to frighten, not educate. All of the fears and concerns associated with the overconsumption of sugars and calories in general have been unfairly cast on agave.
What is a "healthy" sweetener? One that you use moderately and sensibly.
Health concerns related to fructose and caloric sweeteners are all dependant on the overconsumption of them. All foods have calories and it is the overall consumption of calories that lead to obesity and related issues, not any one food source.
Agave's caloric value is comparable to the other sweeteners in the category. Due to its greater sweetness though, less agave is used compared to the others, so agave actually can reduce caloric consumption per serving. This is due to a higher fructose content. The higher content does not mean higher consumption though, due to the smaller portion used. But, it is not the single serving that matters, it is the number of servings which lead to the overconsumption issues which may result in health concerns.
As a reference point, 9-10 teaspoon servings of agave would be the approximate caloric equivalent of one 16 oz soft drink. With this perspective, is agave really being overconsumed as a choice of sweetener for home use?
Every single health issue which the attackers have tried to associate with agave is really the result of a caloric overconsumption issue. There are no documented issues with normal, moderate consumption of agave or sweeteners in general as part of our everyday diet. For reasons unknown, some have attempted to isolate agave from the real world and real world conditions with the goal of inhibiting agave's use. They play on people's fears, reference false information and fail to address health issues in any meaningful way.
The purpose of this article is to debunk the controversial misinformation surrounding agave. All information debunking the myths and misinformation is based on current science and facts. It is our goal to provide you with useful information so that you can make your personal nutritional choices in a well-informed, science-based manner.
The Agave Controversy: Exposing the fraudulent article by Rami Nagel
By Dr. Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN
And Craig Gerbore, CEO Madhava
The controversy about agave syrup was manufactured by the publication of a single article on the internet, which has been reproduced and adapted for virtually every other article produced on the internet and other media venues. That article, written by Rami Nagel and published on Naturalnews.com, was highly biased and full of inaccuracies, half-truths and misinformation about agave. Since the Naturalnews.com article has been the sole source of nearly all other popular articles in public media, we want to set the record straight with science-based, reliable information to offer a more balanced resource to those interested in learning more about agave syrup. Who is the author, Rami Nagel?
According to the description on the Naturalnews.com website, Rami Nagel is a "citizen journalist". This means that Mr. Nagel is self-employed, and not employed as an in-house journalist by the website. He wrote and published the article without any editorial or content oversight, and the editor of the website, Mike Adams, makes it clear that the article was not checked for incorrect or inaccurate information or facts. The introduction to the article, written by Mr. Adams, states that readers had written to comment that Mr. Nagel's resources were biased with conflicts of interest due to their financial interests in competing sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup. So even the website editor himself states that the article is not fact-checked, and it is biased and unbalanced.
Who is Russ Bianchi?
The sole resource interviewed for the article is Russ Bianchi, identified by the author as Managing Director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc. Mr. Bianchi has clear conflict of interest ties to the sweetener industry. We have documentation of the fact that Mr Bianchi had plans to market a product named Replace. It was to be touted as a low calorie alternative sweetener composed of natural and artificial ingredients! Mr Bianchi was prevented from marketing this sweetener as the result of a lawsuit against him by the owner of the formula.
Mr Bianchi is quoted by Nagel extensively and exclusively. Many, if not all, of his statements are blatantly false or misrepresentations of fact. He is clearly propagandizing against agave nectar.
Was anyone else interviewed for this article?
Yes. Craig Gerbore, president and owner of Madhava Agave Syrup, was extensively interviewed by the author but no parts of that interview were included in the article.
It is important to note that neither Mr Nagel or Mr Bianchi have not made themselves available for questions on their statements since the articles appearance. They remain out of sight and have entirely avoided the controversy their statements created.
What is agave nectar?
The opening line of this paragraph in the article by Mr. Nagel states:
"The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice."
This is absolutely false. There is no starch in agave. The source of carbohydrate in agave syrup is inulin, a polysaccharide made up primarily of strings of fructose units. Starch is a polysaccharide made up of strings of glucose molecules. They are significantly different, and this difference is why agave syrup is naturally sweet.
The very basis of the argument presented by Mr. Nagel is false.
The agave plant is a succulent, similar to a cactus. The agave sweetener comes from both the Salmiana agave plant and the agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) which are both organically farmed in Mexico and certified organic by USDA approved certifiers. As the salmiana plant grows it produces a stalk called the "quiote" and when this is removed, a natural liquid called "aquamiel". The liquid is collected from the plant, while Blue agave pinons are harvested and shredded to remove the similar juice. Either can be naturally processed thermally or by enzymes into agave nectar.
The juice of the plant is not naturally sweet. The string of connected fructose units that makes up the major proportion of inulin does not have a sweet taste, but when the fructose units are separated (the process is called hydrolysis) by the addition of an enzyme, similar to digestion, or thermally for most blue agave, the syrup becomes quite sweet. That is the entire processing chain for agave nectar. There are no additives, other ingredients or chemicals in Madhava agave nectar. It is absolutely pure and organic and GMO free.
? Mr. Nagel claims that agave syrup is a "refined corn fructose" similar to high fructose corn syrup. This is absolutely false. There is no relationship between agave syrup and high fructose corn syrup in any way, including the source of the product, or the manufacturing process.
? Mr. Nagel refers to a "confidential FDA letter" from Mr. Martin Stutsman, claiming that agave is fraudulently labeled. We contacted Mr. Stutsman at the United States Food and Drug Administration, and his response made it clear that there was never a "confidential FDA letter". He did publish a public letter referenced in an FDA document as "FDA letter from Martin Stutsman to Dr. Eric
Wilhelmsen (Wilhelmsen Consulting), May 8, 2000", regarding evaporated cane juice, a topic wholly unrelated to agave syrup.
? He continued in his response to us that the paragraph in Mr. Nagel's article inaccurately reflected the substance of his comments in the document.
This link will take you to the original document in which the letter was referenced (reference #2):
In fact, Mr. Nagel fabricated the entire story of the letter. Mr. Stutsman is a lawyer, not a doctor. The quotes were completely taken out of context from the document, and the quotes never referred to agave syrup at any time. Nagel goes on to further misrepresent Mr. Stutsman's intent in the published document by weaving in other inaccurate information that is thoroughly unrelated to the original document. Mr Bianchi's subsequent statements on labeling issues are false and without merit.
Mr. Nagel is clearly caught red-handed. He has misrepresented the words of a government official, lied about the facts, and twisted the information to achieve his own agenda. This strategy is repeated throughout the article.
? Mr. Nagel continues his deceptive writing by referring to a quote by the late Dr. Varro Tyler in his book, The Honest Herbal. The first line of the paragraph is a direct quote from the book. Nothing else in that paragraph remotely resembles anything else found in Dr. Tyler's book. Mr. Nagel is trying to claim that agave syrup contains large quantities of saponins, and that they can be harmful to health. Here is the debunking of that paragraph:
1. Dr. Tyler does not include the variety of agave plant used for agave syrup.
2. The entire discussion is about the use of the sword-shaped leaves and the stem. Agave syrup is produced from the natural liquid in the plant. The saponins are isolated from the leaves of the plant.
3. There is no documented evidence to suggest agave syrup contains worrisome levels of saponins and the entire rest of the discussion about health dangers is fabricated and false.
People are going to continue to consume sweet food and drink. There are only three categories of choice to sweeten food. Those are artificial sweeteners, stevia, or caloric sweeteners from natural sources, sugars.
Most people will not choose artificial. Many will not choose stevia. That only leaves the category of sugars. In this group, agave is a good choice due to its organic quality, ease of
use, neutral flavor, low glycemic index and the fact that less is used to equal the sweetness of the others in the category.
The sweeteners in this category are composed of three primary sugars used to sweeten foods: glucose, fructose and sucrose. These sugars belong to a class of compounds known as carbohydrates. "Saccharide" is a term that denotes sugar, or substances derived from sugar. Monosaccharides are simple or single sugars; disaccharides are derived from two joined monosaccharides and when they are hydrolyzed, or separated, they yield two molecules of simple sugar. Strings of more than two sugar molecules are called polysaccharides. This category includes compounds such as starches, cellulose and inulin.
Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides. Glucose and fructose are found abundantly in nature in fruits and plants. Sucrose is the disaccharide formed by the joining of glucose and fructose, also known as table sugar. When comparing their relative sweetness, glucose is the least sweet tasting, sucrose is next, and fructose is the sweetest of the three sugars, measured as 1.4 times sweeter than table sugar. Because it is so sweet, people typically use less fructose when sweetening foods compared to sucrose.
? In the article by Mr. Nagel he states , "fructose is not what is found in fruit. Commonly, fructose is compared with its opposite and truly naturally occurring sweetener, known as ‘levulose' (made by nature)..."
Another fabrication. In fact, levulose is just another name for fructose. There are various nomenclatures used in the scientific naming of compounds. Fructose and levulose are exactly the same thing; the names are interchangeable. It is no different than if you called your father, "dad", and your sibling called your father, "father". He would still be the exact same person. Fructose and levulose are different names for the exact same thing: a sugar found in nature.
Mr. Bianchi also is quoted to say that the body does not recognize the fructose in agave. This is another false piece of propaganda which demonstrates just how far he is reaching. If this were true, it would have no impact on us. He immediately contradicts himself with the claims of detrimental effects caused by the overconsumption of fructose.
Sugars can be compared to each other in their ability to raise blood sugar levels by using the Glycemic Index. The scale is set from zero to 100, where low numbers do not have much impact on blood sugar levels, and high numbers raise blood sugar levels quickly. Fructose is very low on the scale. Because agave syrup is high in fructose, it has a rating of 32 or lower. Honey, which has a higher proportion of glucose to fructose, has a Glycemic Index of 58. Sucrose has a Glycemic Index of 68, and glucose, serving as the index standard, is 100.
All sugars, whether fructose, glucose, sucrose or others, contribute 4 calories per gram to our total diet. 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories
In addition to calories, sugars sweeten our foods offering a desirable taste and adding enjoyment and pleasure to our dining. During cooking and baking, sugars allow for browning and the unique consistencies of syrups, candies, frostings and frozen desserts. The varieties of sugars, such as crystallized table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, molasses, honey and agave nectar, among others, contribute different properties and flavors to foods.
When you add your own sugar to foods you are in control of how much sugar you use. Most people would never add as much sugar as do the food manufacturers. Moderate amounts of sugar can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet for an active individual. Natural sugars are easily metabolized and utilized by the body, offering a very efficient source of fuel for physical and mental activity.
Of course, sugars should be used in moderation in the diet. This can control calories and help create a diet that is dense in nutrients.
Impact of sugar on health and disease
? The remainder of Mr. Nagel's article works to link agave syrup with the increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease, and the general rise of morbidity and mortality in the population. This is an overconsumption issue involving far more than the occasional use of agave. Here are the facts:
• Rats that are fed a high fructose diet become obese and will develop the chronic diseases associated with obesity: insulin resistance, diabetes and metabolic disease.
• No one should eat a diet that reflects this type of experimental diet.
• Too much sugar in the diet, whether from fructose, glucose or sucrose, can be unhealthy. Diets high in sugar promote tooth decay and periodontal disease; create an overabundance of calories and a deficit of nutrients. This scenario typically leads to weight gain and the development of chronic disease.
• Active individuals can include a moderate amount of added sugar in their diet without negative health consequences. When calorie intake is balanced with physical activity, sugar serves as an efficient source of fuel for muscles, the brain and the central nervous system.
• According to the World Health Organization (2003), individuals can healthfully include 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. This translates into 200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet, or 12½ teaspoons of added sugar daily. Clearly, one can safely add a couple of teaspoons of sweetener to a cup of tea or coffee, or have a little sweetened food without worrying about their risk of developing disease.
• Agave syrup, which is sweeter than other sugars and low on the Glycemic Index scale, is a good choice to include as one of the added sugars in your diet because you will use less sugar (and therefore fewer calories) and minimally raise blood sugar levels.
Just a teaspoon of agave: the healthy use of sweeteners in your diet
We all want to live healthier and longer lives. Diet and nutrition plays a key role, impacting our health and our ability to perform physically and mentally now and into the future. Food offers us not only sustenance, but also pleasure and enjoyment. Food is present in so many parts of our lives: at celebrations, business events, family events, religious and spiritual occasions, sports outings, the focus of our family meals, intimate dinners, and sometimes just the excuse to socialize.
Sweet foods make us feel good. Sugar allows for the elevation of serotonin in our brains, the "feel good" neurotransmitter that elevates mood, helps us focus, and in the evening, helps us relax and sleep.
Sugar is a source of energy for our muscles, brain and central nervous system. Without sugar our bodies will not function at peak capacity.
Too much sugar, however, is not good. In small amounts sugar energizes us, but in large doses, repeated throughout the day, day in and day out, sugar puts stress on the body. The extra calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in time can lead to chronic disease. In the short term, high sugar intakes can lead to a nutritionally deficient diet and a sense of being on an emotional roller coaster.
So be selective about your use of sugars and use them in moderation in your diet. Just like all foods, a variety will enhance the nutritional content of your diet and the flavor and tastes that you can enjoy. Since sugars come in different forms and have different flavors, they can be used most effectively in specific foods and beverages. For instance, agave syrup is liquid and less viscous than honey, making it easy to mix into cold liquids like iced tea and coffee, and is great to add to cold unsweetened cereals for a little sweet taste. Agave's mild flavor allows chefs and bakers to sweeten foods lightly, without overpowering the taste of the dish.
Pay attention to how much sugar is added to your diet every day. Read labels so that you know when sugar is added to manufactured foods. Keep the consumption of added sugars in your diet to no more than 10% of your total daily calorie intake so that you have plenty of room for nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein-rich foods, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
Remember that nutrition is a science based on facts. We are making great advances in our understanding of the science of foods and nutrition. Beware of people with hidden agendas using fear tactics to influence your choices. Don't take their opinion at face value. What are their credentials? What conflicts of interest do they have? If they do not disclose conflicts, then assume that they are manipulating the truth.
Most of all enjoy food. Think about what you need to eat to promote whole health. Don't overindulge, but don't deprive yourself of the bounty of wonderful tastes, either. Use celebrations as occasions to enjoy your favorite foods and try new ones. A teaspoon or two of sugar easily fits into the diet of an active, healthy person. Agave syrup offers an organic low-glycemic choice for those looking for that option.
Resources for this article:
Charley H. Food Science, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1982.
Figlewicz DP et al. Effect of moderate intake of sweeteners on metabolic health in the rat. Physiology and Behavior 98:618-624, 2009
Johnson RK et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2009
Tyler VE. The Honest Herbal, Third Edition. Pharmaceutical Products Press, New York, NY, 1993.
Myth: Agave Nectar is bad for you and should be avoided at all cost!
April 08, 2010 04:14 PM
Agave Nectar attacks have increased recently; this is at a result of its popularity. More and more shoppers are finding Agave Nectar to be an amazing sugar substitute. With this the popularity of blogs and pop up articles have caught on as "Agave" has become a new buzz word such as "Green." The main source of the unfounded attacks on Agave are directly linked to one article written and posted on the web by a "Spiritual Psychologist" with no medical, science, or industry background.
Furthermore, the authors sole "sweetener” expert has direct links to artificial sweeteners discrediting both the author’s creditability and the "experts" motives. Not only does the "expert" have direct links to a potential competing sweetener, but has a history of questionable business practices. The complete disregard for medical, scientific, industry facts by the author and industry "expert" is appalling. Not to mention they should be ashamed for their fear based tactics and questionable ethics. We think it should be noted that the author himself has avoided entirely the controversy he created and has not made himself available to address questions about the errors of fact, the manipulation of information and misstatements included in his article, the purpose of which was not to educate, but an attempt to derail the rising popularity of agave nectar.
Madhava Honey has recently added to our consulting team, Susan M. Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN. She has written several books on the topic of High Performance Nutrition and worked with groups such as the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sonics, Miami Heat, Gatorade Sports Nutrition Speakers Network and a former Educational Advisory Board member of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. She will be consulting with us and providing Madhava consumers with the facts about Agave Nectar and Fructose in a balanced diet.
Natural Vitamins under Attack
June 29, 2009 02:53 PM
The value of nutritional supplements in protecting and promoting human health has been intensely debated in recent years throughout the scientific and medical community as well as the national press. Many researchers believe that supplements provide a convenient and effective way to supply the optimal amounts of essential nutrients that are necessary for supporting long-term health, while others argue that there is no proof that supplements provide any real health benefits at all.
A lot of the debate has been published by media that is more interested in selling papers than reporting the truth. Because of this sloppy reporting and distorted information, the public has been unnecessarily alarmed, causing them to lose trust in complementary health care. It is crucial that this false information be addressed before harm that is irreversible is done to an industry that is committed to natural approaches to wellness and a public that is increasingly confused as to where to turn for truthful advice on preventing disease and achieving optimal health. The mixed messages that have been reported in the headlines have confused both health-conscious consumers and medical practitioners, as one day they’re told something is good for them and the next day they’re told it is not.
If there is any consolation to this whole thing, it may be helpful to understand that science never progresses smoothly, as there are always new findings that appear to disprove long-held beliefs. Controversy is necessary for change, as it paves the road that science must travel in order to arrive at the real truth. Unfortunately, bias in the media and conflicts of interest add an unnecessary element to finding the real scientific truth.
When looking at the recent studies that have been negated, there are several explanations that arise for the findings that seem to contradict prevailing scientific evidence. First of all, several long-term dietary intervention trials have recently come about which were developed in the early 1990s before good and bad fats were differentiated. Because of this design, these studies simply assume that all fat is the same, and to reduce fat, one must cut out all kinds of fat. Secondly, it has been proven that there will always be a statistical fluke in a bunch. Therefore, out of 100 clinical studies to investigate a particular effect, probability states that five of these studies, no matter how well they are designed, will show results that are not real.
Thirdly, it is expected that about one fifth of clinical trials that investigate a particular effect will not have the needed number of subjects to produce a result that is statistically significant. This is so because in most clinical trials there is only an 80% probability of finding a real result, which is known as the power of the test. Because of this, there is up to a 20% chance completely missing the mark and failing to find a difference when one actually exists. Finally, some investigations are just bad science, as they are improperly conducted, poorly reported, and inadequately reviewed. Unfortunately, these studies attract a great deal of attention from the media, which has been the case recently.
Natural vitamin supplements can feed the body and help the body fight disease and stay wall. The foods we eat determine what kind of health we will have, if we eat poorly, we will live with poor health. This is why we should consume a multiple vitamin and mineral as well as herbs and food concentrates to help supply our diet with the needed nutrients to sustain and maintain a good healthy lifestyle. Look to your local or internet health food store for vitamins, herbs, and food concentrates.
August 15, 2008 11:53 AM
In the recent past, DHEA has shown scientists its amazing abilities within the human body. Clinical tests have created a huge amount of interest for both scientists and consumers, with estimates of about 500 in-depth clinical studies on DHEA taking place. These tests, which have been conducted at some of the most prestigious medical research centers and universities in the country, have proven DHEA to be one of the most important anti-aging and anti-disease substances of the 21st century.
DHEA is a crucial and important hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands. It is often called the mother hormone, as it forms the base for the biochemical actions of hormones like testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and corticosterone. These hormones control important body functions that determine metabolism, energy output, endocrine mechanisms, and reproductive capabilities. DHEA directs the entire endocrine systems through activating and inhibiting enzymes. In its many clinical studies, DHEA has shown an unusually wide variety of physiological benefits. Although it has been known for many years that DHEA is made by the adrenal glands, the function of DHEA in the body has only been recently studied.
DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands, but it can also be found in non-patented prescription drugs and other over-the-counter forms. A lot of these supplements contain a synthetic DHEA-S. A lot of people consider Dioscorea extract, which can be found in Mexican Wild Yam, to have a natural source of DHEA. There are a lot of naturally occurring compounds that can mimic the actions of DHEA and, at the time, do not require a prescription. Wild Yam and Mexican Yam can give a botanical precursor of DHEA, which is considered a substantial source by a lot of health advocates. A great number of studies on DHEA that is derived from Mexican Yam have been conducted, with results concluding that DHEA derived from Mexican Yam and Dioscorea extract is a great idea. However, some controversy surrounds the value of Wild Yam as a valuable source of DHEA.
DHEA is used in the body to make other hormone, as it is the most dominant of all the hormones present in the body. It contributes to the proper growth of brain cells, inhibits the conversion of carbohydrates to fats, decreases the formation of blood clots, regulates hormones, decreases the stickiness of platelets that can clump to cause heart attacks and strokes, increase estrogen in women and testosterone in men, lowers LDL cholesterol, enhances overall immunity, and decreases symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
DHEA helps to reduce menopausal symptoms, promotes thermo genesis, helps to increase muscle mass, stabilizes blood sugar, inhibits appetite and discourages eating, boosts endurance, inhibits diseases associated with aging, helps to restore collagen and skin integrity, fights fatigue and depression, helps to inhibit certain tumors, improves calcium absorption to discourage osteoporosis, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and helps to lower blood pressure.
DHEA levels dramatically vary in each individual and can drop as a result of stress or other conditions such as blood sugar, fever, hypertension, nicotine ingestion, alcohol consumption, drinking coffee, and the presence of various diseases. Taking birth control pills and other synthetic hormones can also deplete levels of DHEA. When any of these occur, supplementation is needed. Therapeutic doses range from 5 to 25 milligrams per day which can be found here at VitaNet, LLC.
June 04, 2008 02:39 PM
Every year people get bogged down with stuffy noses, watery eyes, congestion, sore throats, headaches and sneezing. The common cold rears its ugly head when the snow finally melts away and the trees get their tiny buds. Spring is normally a time when a lot of colds and viruses are passed around. It is inconvenient not only because of the annoying symptoms; it also makes us miss days of work or school. It interrupts our lives for days at a time. Few people can afford the luxury of taking off from everything they are expected to do for that period of time.
The springtime cold season doesn’t have to be a problem for you, though. You can boost your immunity to cold and flu symptoms with echinacea. This herb can reduce the time you spend nursing a cold and get you back on your feet much faster than waiting it out or taking prescription drugs.
What is Echinacea?
Echinacea is a flowering plant, also known as the purple coneflower, found in the North American plains. This powerful plant has long been used as a medical alternative to stimulate the immune system and protect the body from infection and disease. Echinacea is most commonly found in herbal teas and in extract form and is used as a home remedy for the spring time cold season.
How Echinacea Boosts Immunity
Echinacea works like a natural antibiotic. It attacks toxins in the blood to fight off disease and strengthen the immune system. It also reduces inflammation in the body. Typically, it is more effective if you start taking it at the first sign of a cold. The most popular use for echinacea is to reduce the duration and severity of colds, respiratory infections and sinus problems.
Inconclusive Data and Controversy about Echinacea
There are a large number of studies that have been done of the echinacea herb to determine if it is actually helpful in reducing the common cold. The problem is the results are not consistent. Part of this is because different parts of the flower have been used in different studies. Some report that echinacea is effective at boosting immunity and speeding up recovery from the springtime cold. Others say there is not a significant difference in the duration of a cold when using Echinacea.
One thing to consider about the herb is the possible side effects. No major side effects have been cited regarding the use of echinacea; however, it could cause an allergic reaction. It is also possible to develop rash or asthma from taking echinacea.
Recently, researchers have started to look at the collective data on echinacea to determine if it is truly effective at treating colds and preventing diseases. According to a review in The Lancet Infection Diseases, "published evidence supports echinacea’s benefit in decreasing the incidence and duration of the common cold." The review went on to state: "Echinacea decreased the odds of developing the common cold by 58 percent and the duration of a cold by 1.4 days."
This is promising news, which confirms the use of Echinacea can reduce the severity of a cold and speed the recovery process along so you can get back to your regular routine that much faster.
May 22, 2008 11:45 AM
Damiana can be used by both men and women. It is known to have restorative effects on reproductive organs in both sexes.
For men, Damiana is known to raise levels of testosterone. It is also helpful in treating premature ejaculation and impotence. For women, it helps to induce delayed menstrual periods and ease the symptoms of painful menstruation. It also treats the headaches women sometimes get due to menstruation.
This herb has been widely advertised and used in Mexico as an aphrodisiac. The ancient Mayans used it as a sexual stimulant and people in Central America still use it in this way today. This use is controversial due to lack of scientific evidence to support the claim.
One study found some of the plant's compounds to be similar to those found in progesterone. More than 150 herbs have been tested for their ability to bind with the progesterone and estrogen receptors found in breast cancer cells. Damiana was one of the highest progesterone-binding herbs tested.
The herbal properties of Damiana have a life enhancing and stimulating effect on the body and mind. The herb works well on nervous exhaustion and to restore the body after periods of high stress.
Damiana's stimulating action is considered very valuable to people who suffer from mild depression. Herbalists will typically recommend remedies that contain this herb. Damiana is very strong and aromatic, and has a slightly bitter taste. It can be found in different forms such as capsule, liquid extract and tea. Its leaves are used as a substitute for tea leaves in some countries. In other countries, it is used as flavoring in a variety of liqueurs.
Damiana acts as an antiseptic and tonic for the body. It is also a restorative agent for nervous system functions. Damiana is used for other conditions as well, although no scientific proof of its effectiveness exists. These conditions include:
* Asthma * Anxiety * Depression * Headache * Menstrual disorders
Damiana has been known to cause mild indigestion for some users. It also contains a compound called arbutin, which, in the urinary tract, converts into the chemical hydroquinone. Larger amounts can cause serious side effects such as:
* Convulsions * Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) * Nausea * Vomiting * Possible collapse and death
A maximum safe dosage of Damiana has not yet been determined. Also, the safety of using this herb has not been established in children or pregnant and nursing women. People with liver or kidney disease should use extra caution because their ability to safely use this herb is unknown as well.
In people using higher doses of Damiana, it is believed that they experience a mild euphoric sensation. In some cases, consumption of Damiana leaves has been known to act as a mild laxative. The more leaves consumed, the more prominent the laxative effect.
Damiana is native to parts of southern California and the Gulf of Mexico. It can also be found growing wild in some areas of the northern Caribbean Islands and Namibia. It is widely cultivated in these areas. Its preferred habitat has a hot and humid climate. It flowers in the summer and this is when the leaves are harvested. The leaves of the Damiana plant are the only part used for cultivation.
The herb can be taken in the form of a tea. Some people even smoke it like tobacco. The herb will bring about a relaxed state of mind for the user. It is said to induce a subtle high if smoked.
Damiana possesses many properties that are useful to both men and women. Research continues in an attempt to either prove or disprove claims of its benefits to humans.
April 30, 2008 03:03 PM
Sharks do not have skeleton of bone but of cartilage, which is a dense form of connective tissue. Its main components are cells known as chondrocytes that are responsible for producing collagen fibers, an elastic protein called elastin that is responsible for the skin returning to its original shape after being pinched, and ground substance that is rich in proteoglycan, a protein with glycosaminoglycan chains.
Shark cartilage is said to be beneficial in the treatment of many conditions including arthritis, psoriasis (allied to arthritis), rheumatism, eczema, acne, allergies and the most controversial – cancer. It is said to inhibit tumor growth by inhibiting angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels by growing them from old ones. This can lead to metastasis, or the spread of cancer between organs and also feed the cancer cells with blood.
Shark cartilage has been used medicinally for thousands of years, particularly in ancient China where its use is documented, and might also have been in other areas where the consumption of fish was high. However, the production of shark cartilage and its trade is not well documented. The major cartilage consuming countries are Australia, India, Japan and the USA, although it is used or consumed in many other countries, especially Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and, increasingly, Europe.
The best quality of cartilage is from the blue shark due to its higher chondroitin quality. Chemically, chondroitin is an acid mucopolysaccharide, and a very large molecule that is used for a variety of purposes. In arthritis it is difficult to get it to the source of the problem due to its physical size and large doses are used to ensure that at least a proportion passes through the capillaries to the joints.
Arthritis is a particularly prevalent disease and comes in two forms: osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis develops over a long period of time, and generally the cartilage roughens and becomes thin, while the bone becomes thinner. Extra synovial fluid, that lubricates the joint, can be formed and that causes swelling. The bone tried to repair itself, but degeneration continues and the tendons become affected. Eventually inflammation can occur leading to severe swelling and pain. There are several causes, the most common being injury or repetitive hard use of the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is completely different, and is caused by the immune system rather than wear and tear. The immune system mistakes parts of your joints as being foreign, and attacks the synovial membrane, or lining of the joint. It might also attack the sheath around the tendons. This eventually causes the cartilage to thin and the joints to wear, and the inflammatory response can cause painful inflammations. There is no apparent cause, though heredity, lifestyle and hormones might all be connected.
The effect of shark cartilage on arthritis is well documented, and in one study in the 1970s, only 11% of patients did not respond well to a treatment of cartilage injections. The pain relief the injections provided lasted from six weeks to over a year, though no reason could be provided for the vast difference. However, it did seem to demonstrate that the remedy was more than just a placebo. In another study involving bedridden osteoarthritis patients, eight out of ten could leave their beds after only three weeks of oral cartilage treatment. Shark cartilage appears to be effective when administered both intravenously and orally.
In a later placebo study involving 147 arthritis patients, they were given either shark cartilage or a placebo. Those with the placebo were encouraged to use other treatments when their pain became severe. After five years the placebo group reported a 5% drop in pain scores compared to 85% of the group taking shark cartilage. The joint deterioration in each group was assessed, and was considerably less in the cartilage group, who also lost less time at work through pain.
All of these results indicate that shark cartilage can be used to relieve osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis pain in at least 60% of sufferers. Since rheumatoid arthritis has been linked to psoriasis, this could also explain its effects on psoriasis. What the studies did indicate is that you need not wait five years to find if the treatment is effective or not: if you do not experience positive results within between four and six weeks, then shark cartilage treatment will likely not work for you.
There is no doubt that shark cartilage can provide relief to painful, swollen joints, and this is likely due to the mucopolysaccharides. It can also prevent the undesirable growth of new blood vessels into the cartilage and appears to help to regulate the immune system. These are also two of the reasons why it is believed by some to be an effective treatment for cancer by preventing metastasis.
It was the publication of the book “Sharks Don’t get Cancer” that started the rush for shark cartilage as a a treatment for cancer, but the problem is that sharks do get cancer – they even get cancer of the cartilage! However, that does not mean that the scientific reasons for the inhibition of metastsis are invalid. They are valid, and it is metastsis rather than the original cancer that ferquently leads to death. Metastsis is the spread of the disease round the body by the bloodstream, and shark cartilage appears to be able to help to prevent that. It also prevents the growth of blood cells into cancerous areas to feed the cancers with oxygen and other nutrients.
Although there are few reported side effects of shark cartilage, in the interest of safety it is advised that children and pregnant women should avoid it. The same is true of people recovering from recent surgery since it could slow healing due to its effect on repairing blood vessels. If you have a low white blood cell count, do not have a shark cartilage enema since it can cause a potentially fatal infection.
Otherwise it should be safe to take, and is available in many forms including creams, capsules, powders and injections. The recommended dosage is 1 gram dried shark cartilage for each 7 Kg (15 lb) body weight. Once you begin to see an effect on the pain of your arthritis, one can then try to reduce the dose to 1 gram for each 18 Kg (40 lb) body weight.
The Prevention and Treatment or Prostate Cancer
April 10, 2008 01:36 PM
Last week I shared with you the controversy surrounding the use of PSA screening to determine the status of the prostate. There are many doctors who do not believe that using PSA is accurate enough to rely on for determining whether or not a high PSA indicates prostate cancer. Many men, who have a high PSA, after more detailed examination, did not have cancer and men with a low PSA did have cancer. Some physicians do not believe that the current methods of diagnosing prostate disorders are saving lives. Also, there is a group of physicians nationwide that strongly believe the best treatment is no treatment but rather a “watch and wait” approach. Prostate cancer usually is slow growing and more than 70% of men who develop it are over 65.
The older a man is, the more likely he is to die of some other condition before his prostate cancer becomes a real threat. To reiterate, the American Cancer Society states, “at this time watchful waiting is a reasonable option for some men with slow growing cancers because it is not known whether active treatment such as surgery, radiation therapy or hormone therapy prolongs survival”. So what action can be taken? While prostate enlargement (BPH) is not related to prostate cancer, it can elevate PSA scores and can cause symptoms in 50% of men by age 80 and nearly all will show signs of BPH by age 85.
If you have early symptoms of BPH such as frequency of urination, a burning feeling after urination and the caliber of stream that isn’t what it used to be, getting up several times through the night and low back pain, taking a good prostate support formula will be your best treatment and prevention. Most men will notice a remarkable improvement within a few weeks. A good prostate support formula will provide relief for 80-90% of all men from these annoying symptoms.
But what about prostate cancer?
The best cure for prostate cancer is prevention. I’ll give you a complete supplement program for prevention but first what about PSA testing? “I don’t believe in screening for something when it’s too late. By the time cancer develops a positive mammography or a true high PSA are likely too late, or if fortunate, that particular cancer will not be a problem. It makes far more sense to prevent the problem in the first place. And there is clear data, prevention is possible”. Dr. Robert J. Rowen, MD, Second Opinion, Soundview Communications. My recommendation, based on research of several scientific studies, includes various nutritional supplements and herbal extracts.
Following are several very important studies that all men should be aware of. In 1966 Dr. Larry Clark of the University of Arizona published startling data suggesting that prostate cancer could be reduced by as much as an amazing 60% by supplemental yeast derived selenium, 200 mcg per day. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and participates in key and crucial detoxification and free radical scavenging enzymes (80-90% of all disease is caused by free radical damage and inflammation).
Selenium is one of a number of antioxidants to prevent this free radical damage; In 1999 a New Zealand study published in the British Journal of Cancer documented a 40% lower incident of prostate cancer in men with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in their blood. These findings have been confirmed in other omega-3 fatty acid studies. Conversely, another published report documents a high level of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in invasive prostate tissue samples. Taken together with recent reports on high levels of omega-6 fatty acids (soy, sunflower, safflower, peanut, corn and most vegetable oils) linked to breast cancer, a common thread emerges. The American diet is overwhelmed with omega-6 oils.
Excessive use of omega-6 fatty acids are cancer causing and also cause inflammation. Trans fatty acids from hydrogenated oils seriously add to the problem. There are other nutrients that have shown to reduce prostate-cancer risk. Vitamin E and lycopene have also shown to prevent prostate cancer. Lycopene is commonly found in tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes. If you like spaghetti sauce or salsa, this is a great way to fight prostate cancer. While vitamin E, selenium, lycopene and omega-3 fatty acids are all great prostate supporting nutrients, through research I found a much more powerful combination of food grade molecules that can prevent and treat cancer.
Extensive research in the last few years has revealed that regular consumption of certain fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Fruits and vegetables having the highest degree of prostate cancer protection are the following: grapes (resveratrol), garlic, tomatoes, hot peppers, turmeric (curcumin), ginger, berries, milk thistle, cloves and fennel. These foods are protective because they are extremely active and excellent antioxidants. My favorite is turmeric (curcumin) because not only is it an antioxidant, it is also an anti-inflammatory agent. When it has this dual effect it is many times more potent than other types of food. In the United States there is 30 times more prostate cancers diagnosed than there are in India where turmeric is consumed liberally in most of the Indian dishes. Cancer does not begin shortly before it’s diagnosed.
The origin of cancer may be years or decades in the process before it is even diagnosed as such. It is a multi-step process that goes through various phases such as cellular damage and transformation and culminates in the acquisition of invasive potential angiogenic properties and establishment of metastatic lesions. This process, and probably rightly so for all cancers, can be activated by any one of the various environmental carcinogens (cancer causing); all forms of tobacco products, industrial emissions, gasoline vapors, inflammatory agents, food coloring and preservatives, excessive UV rays, alcohol, hair dyes, cleaning products and drugs.
The multi-step process of these cancer causing compounds progress in three stages; tumor initiation, promotion and progression phases. A powerful antioxidant/anti-inflammatory can prevent most if not all of the damaging effects when taken on a daily basis. Several population based studies indicate that people in Southeast Asian countries have a much lower risk of acquiring colon, gastrointestinal, prostate, breast and other cancers when compared to their western counterparts. It is very likely that constituents of their diet such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, onion, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, chili’s and green tea play an important role in their ability to avoid these cancers.
These foods, or key active extracts from these foods, are known to block the NF-kB activation process. Also, several phytochemicals such as curcumin, resveratrol and green tea catechins have been shown to suppress AP-1. Several chemopreventative phytochemicals including curcumin, resveratrol and green tea have been recently shown to be powerful inhibitors of several growth factor receptors including EGFR. Curcumin also possesses the capacity to inhibit the activation of the EGF-Receptor indicating that it has the potential to break the autocrine loops that are established in several advanced cancers.
Studies also suggest that curcumin, resveratrol and green tea can actually be used as safe, non-toxic treatments in drug resistant cancers. These natural phytochemicals (food grade) can help fight certain cancers thereby requiring a smaller dose of drug chemotherapy. They also can protect the body from the damages of drug chemotherapy and radiation. “This mini review presents evidence that chemopreventative agents, curcumin, green tea and resveratrol, can be used not just to prevent cancer but also to treat cancer. Because of their pharmacological safety, most chemopreventative agents can be used in combination with drug chemotherapeutic agents to enhance the affect at lower doses and thus minimize chemotherapy- induced toxicity. Because cancer is primarily a disease of old age, less toxic therapy is a major priority. This review reveals that molecular targets of chemopreventative agents are similar to those currently being used for the treatment of cancer. Tumor cells use multiple cell survival pathways to prevail and thus agents that can suppress multiple pathways have great potential for the treatment of cancer”1,2. Curcumin, resveratrol and green tea were as effective in preventing and treating certain cancers based on lab and animal studies. There have been approximately 20 human positive studies but much more needs to be done.
From the research that I have done, I am convinced sufficiently enough to take many of these compounds as a preventative of cancer. These compounds are completely safe and non-toxic even in high doses. What does one have to lose? Why not take the positive preventative measure? –Compliments of Terry Naturally
Ref: 1. Role of chemopreventaive agents in cancer therapy. Comprehensive Cancer Center Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center, New York Medical College, Bronx New York
2. Cytokine Research Section, Department of Bioimmuno Therapy, University of Texas, M.D Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Texas
Are Inflammation, Immunity, And Allergic Reactions A Role For Supplements?
November 10, 2007 11:29 AM
Inflammation, immunity diseases and allergic reactions are all connected with your immune system, and the way the body reacts to what it considers to be foreign invaders that are a risk to your health. Although you may not understand that all three have the basic underlying cause, in fact they do, and here is why.
Inflammation manifests as pain and swelling in the inflamed area, and not only can the area also get hot, but it can also raise your temperature in general, commonly called a fever. Fever is the body’s way of raising temperature above that at which foreign organisms such as bacteria and viruses can live, so any inflammatory condition that results in fever by definition must be an immune response through the body trying to eliminate foreign invaders.
If your body gets injured in any way, your immune system responds, and usually calms down again if decides that the injury is not serious. Your immune system is actually initiated by what are known as pro-inflammatory hormones, such as prostaglandins that stimulate the nerves to signal pain and swell the blood vessels close to the injury to make room for the large white blood cells when they arrive. That also allows blood and plasma to rush out and cause swelling at the site of the injury. Other prostaglandins act to quell the immune response, and get your body back to normal.
Another such hormone is a cytokine, which informs the brain of the intrusion. Some cytokines called leukocytes stop the immune system when necessary to prevent the destruction of healthy tissue, and also halt the inflammatory response. If the leukocytes are not working properly, the body can be severely damaged as the immune system becomes uncontrolled and starts to attack healthy tissue.
Then there are the histamines that allow you to expel the agents causing the problem by sneezing, watery eyes, runny noses and scratching. They lead lymphatic fluid and blood to the site of the problem in order that the invasion can be attacked and destroyed.
It is the histamines that provide what is commonly referred to as an allergic reaction, which is really the immune system coming into action to remove invaders such as pollen, dust mites and any other agent that can cause an allergy. Immunity is caused by introducing small amounts of the agent into the blood, so that the immune system can develop a memory of them. Then, when the same invader returns at a later date, the system can immediately attack them with the antibodies that have been produced.
All of these: inflammation, immunity and allergies, are caused by the reaction of the immune system to what it perceives as an invader. Normally these are bacteria and viruses, but sometimes they react to other foreign bodies such as pollen. In some people this provokes no response at all, while in others it provokes the immune system to create antibodies against the pollen, and emit histamine to expel it.
Substances that cause allergies are referred to as allergens. Many allergens are environmental, such as dust, pollen and peanuts. Some people are allergic to certain animals, such as cats or dogs, and others to chemicals in the air such as hydrocarbon emissions, particularly when in particulate form.
The symptoms can be simple, such as a runny nose, a cough and hay fever or more complex such as hives, eczema and asthma. All of these are caused by the immune system reacting to an invader. There are also foods that cause internal inflammation, such as shellfish and whitefish, eggs and tomatoes. Many of these can be extreme, leading to serious illness and can even be fatal. So what can be done to treat people who are particularly prone to inflammation and allergic reactions?
Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to reduce inflammation, unlike their Omega-6 cousins that appear to increase it. Omega-3 oils contain chemicals known as eicosanoids, of which the prostaglandins are an example. While this might seem paradoxical, since prostaglandins are what set off the whole process, there are many types of these. Prostaglandin E2 is the type that leads to allergic immune reactions, and omega-3 fatty acids reduce the concentration of these in the blood.
Those who eat little fish tend to suffer more from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and other conditions indicating a lack of control of the immune system. On the other hand, processed foods contain more omega-6 fatty acids that can promote these conditions. The major components of omega-3 oils are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and also DHA, docosahexaenoic acid. These are all anti-inflammatories and have been shown to have very positive effects on inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and eczema. Each of these is a different type of inflammatory condition caused by inappropriate immune response.
However, it not just fish oils that can help resolve problems with our immune system. Quercetin is what is known as a flavonoid. It is a strong anti-oxidant and natural anti-histamine that combats histamine release and the swelling associated with the immune response to allergens. It also counters the inflammatory agents of arthritis and so helps to reduce the pain associated with many of these conditions. It appears to work better in conjunction with bromelain, a very powerful anti-inflammatory that also possesses anti-allergen response properties. Bromelain is extracted from pineapple stems.
Another natural product is a resin extract that is obtained from the Boswellia serrata tree. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and has been recommended for the treatment of arthritis (rheumatoid and osteo), Crohn’s disease and has been suggested as a treatment for asthma, though studies are still under way. However, world wide experience is that Boswellia is effective against gout, psoriasis and ulcerative colitis, to name another three totally different inflammatory conditions.
What all of this indicates are two things. First that inflammation, immunity and allergic reactions are connected conditions, and due to either poor control over or an over stimulated immune response to what the body perceives as being abnormal, in the way that hormones and other chemicals that are used to control our immunity detect it to be.
Secondly, there are many natural products that can be used as supplements to treat these effects caused by the immune system, and that their effectiveness has been proven, if not by scientific study, then by generations of traditional application as treatments of the symptoms of the conditions concerned.
However, although many have been proved by scientific study, others have not, and you should always refer to your physician before undergoing any treatment other than that prescribed. Also, there is incontrovertible evidence that the role for supplements in the treatment of inflammation, immunity and allergic reactions are beneficial. Many use nothing else.
Soft Drinks Contaminated by Benzene
May 27, 2006 09:24 AM
A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing program has found cancer-causing benzene in soft drinks at levels averaging four times the standard for tap water. The brand names have not been released.
The test data were uncovered by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which posted the test results on the group’s website, www.ewg.org
Highly elevated Benzene Levels
Between 1995-2001 the RDA tested 24 samples of diet soda for benzene. The result: 79% tested at levels above the federal limit for benzene in tap water, which is 5 parts per billion (ppb). The maximum benzene level detected was 55 ppb. In addition to the diet sodas, the FDA tested a number of other non-diet soft drinks. One cola was contaminated at 27 times the tap water limit, and fruit drink had a 95 ppb level.
“These results confirm our suspicions there are highly elevated benzene levels in some very popular drinks,” Richard Wiles, EWG’s senior vice president said in a press release.
Reaction Triggered by Preservatives
According to an article in beveragedaily.com, sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid in soft drinks can react together to form benzene. Sodium benzoate is a common preservative in soft drinks, and ascorbic acid is often added as an antioxidant to extend shelf life.
Negotiations between the FDA and the beverage industry in 1990 resulted in an agreement that the industry would voluntarily reformulate its soft drinks to prevent this combination. The recurrence of benzene contamination may be due to new soft drink manufacturers in the market who were not a part of, or aware of, the original negotiations.
Britain Pulls Soft Drinks from Shelves
In contrast to the U.S. situation, food safety campaigners in England were successful in having benzene –containing soft drinks removed from the supermarket shelves. The British Food Standards Agency pulled four soft drink brands which contained more than 1 ppb of benzene, and rushed out the results of tests on 149 drinks, including a range of fruit juice, iced tea, squash, fizzy and low-sugar drinks, according to The Times of London.
The Wellness Revolution and Contaminated Soft Drinks
The controversy over benzene in soft drinks is an example of how toxic exposure exists in our food and immediate environment. The constant exposure to toxics were-and especially our children—experience is a major cause of chronic illness.
In this situation, the organic products available for purchase in health food stores are especially vital. And since some exposure to toxics is unavoidable we must take advantage of the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and the liver, the main organ of detoxification, as well as immunity for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, calcium D-glucarate, folic acid, Reishi and shiitake mushrooms, and turmeric.
Sources: www.ewg.org www.beveragedaily.com 02/25/06. Associated Press 04/11/06. www.fda.org.
Public Pressure Forces Corporations to Curtail Most Soda Pop sales to schools
The Nation’s largest beverage distributors have agreed to halt nearly all soda sales to public schools, according to a deal announced may 3rd by the William J. Clinton Foundation.
The companies have agreed to sell only water, unsweetened juice and low fat milks to elementary and middle schools, according to a spokesman for former President Bill Clinton. Diet sodas would be sold only to high schools.
The deal follows a wave of criticism by school districts and state legislatures amid reports of rising childhood obesity. Soda has been a particular target because of its caloric content and popularity among children.
A toxic by-product of industrial waste.
April 21, 2006 04:34 PM
Imagine a government permitting industry to dump toxic waste products into the drinking water supply, denying the public the right to make an informed choice by censoring the press and dissenting experts. Meanwhile, influential leaders disseminate misinformation and hoodwinked people demand community acess to the dangerous chemical.
Although it might seem like science fiction, this scenario has been playing in America since 1940’s. the toxic chemical? Fluoride. Today, 170 million Americans, approximately two thirds of the population, have fluoridated drinking water issuing from their taps.
A 1998 Gallup poll showed that the majority of Americans—a whopping 70% --support water fluoridation. Dissenters are seen as crackpots and conspiracy theorists.
EPA Unions Call for a Moratorium
In august 2005, eleven Environmental Protection Agency employee unions under the umbrella of NTEU Chapter 280, primarily scientists, researchers, doctors, submitted a request to Congress for a moratorium on drinking water fluoridation, based on scientific evidence that fluoride is a proven carcinogen.
Dr. William Hirzy, Vice President of Chapter 280, explains that the biggest misperceptions about fluoridated water are “that its safe and effective, that basically there are no adverse effects, and that it does this magic of lowering dental decay rates.”
A Profitable By-Product
Although the American Dental Association explains that fluoride is a naturally occurring compound, the form used in drinking water, hydrofluorosilicic acid is, in fact, a product of man.
Today’s fluoride is a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry. Air filtration vents, called “Wet-Scrubbers,” trap fluoride, which is a gaseous by-product of manufacturing. For many years, the gas was vented into the sky, where it caused lawsuits by farmers for burnt crops and sickened animals. Now, the fluoride is sold to American communities as well as developing countries, Dr. Hirzy calculates the fertilizer industry makes about 100 million a year from their toxic by-product.
Fluoride’s Tainted History
Fluoride’s effect upon teeth was first observed in children who were overexposed to ingested fluoride. Their teeth turned pitted and brown, a condition recognized as dental fluorosis. According to the American Dental Association, fluoride damages only the body’s tooth-forming cells, buy many scientists are concerned that other cells are damaged as well.
According to Phyllis Mullenix, Ph.D., a prominent toxicologist, animal research shows that fluoride crosses the blood-brain barrier, causing defects in the brain region devoted to memory and learning. In humans, the behavior evidenced in rats would qualify as motor dysfunction, deficits or learning disabilities.
Is Fluoride Good for Poor People?
Many argue that fluoridation is needed by economically disadvantaged populations with inadequate access to dental care. In fact, these are the people at greatest risk from fluoride, which wreaks its most hazardous effects on those who are malnourished. Calcium deficiency, in particular, is linked with fluorosis.
Is It Good For Anything?
Ironically, many dental authorities acknowledge that ingested fluoride has little to no effect on preventing cavities in the pits and fissures of the teeth, where most cavities occur. Many researchers acknowledge that only topical fluoride can stop cavities. The largest nation wide study, conducted in 1989 by the national institute of Dental Research, showed that children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities have approximately the same cavity rate.
Fluoridation and the Wellness Revolution
The Fluoridation controversy is another example of our health care system’s approach of throwing chemicals at problems, rather than solving them through improved public hygiene and better nutrition. In addition, calcium and vitamin D supplementation can help build strong teeth, while vitamin C is essential for healthy gums.
Source: www. Fluoridealert .org, www. Fluoridedebate .org, www. Nteu280 .org/issues/fluoride/fluoridesummary.htm
Echinacea: why does it work in real life but not in trials?
February 04, 2006 09:54 AM
The Wellness Revolution
Why clinical trials must take into account real dosage amounts!
You took it, and it worked. You’re one of legions of people all over the world who have found the little purple coneflower called Echinacea to be wonderfully effective in fighting colds. Echinacea is among the most popular herbal supplements in North America, accounting for 10% of herbal sales in the U.S.
So why are some in the scientific community saying it doesn’t work?
How Controversy Over a Little Flower
It was a July 2005 study done at the University of Edmonton in Canada, published in the pages of the New England Journal of Medicine, that fueled the fire of controversy. On one side, there’s the community of people who take Echinacea to ward off colds and other respiratory tract infections (staying well or getting better quickly tends to make enthusiastic and loyal followers). On the other side is a spate of studies, culminating in the July 2005, giving the thumbs down to the flower’s healing powers.
The much-touted study was a placebo-controlled trial and was double-blinded (neither test group knew what they were taking). Healthy college students were given a dose of a rhinovirus infection, and were then sent to individual dorm rooms to take either an extract of Echinacea or a placebo. The results were disappointing to those of us expecting the scientific community’s “proof” to match ours—based on what our bodies and senses tell us. The study found no statistically significant difference between severity of symptoms or duration of the rhinovirus between the Echinacea and the control group. Why didn’t the study results match those of so many individuals?
What went wrong?
Noted herbalist and author Roy Upton states, [“The studies which found] positive results had dosages which were consistent with herbalist recommendations.”]
The University of Edmonton study didn’t.
Two oft-cited clinical trials in which positive results were found in the use of Echinacea for the common cold, both in vivo and in human volunteers, have been conducted by researchers Vinti Goel.
Tiny Doses, Minuscule Amounts of Active Herb
It is widely agreed among herbalists that the trial—also conducted by the team at the University of Alberta, Canada—published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July 2005 used radically smaller doses than those traditionally taken, doses so small they couldn’t possibly have worked. In the Turner trial, Echinacea extracts were given in doses of 1.5 ml tid, equivalent to 900mg daily, if the conductors of trial had consulted the real-life herbalist, say the natural health care community, they could have run a test that would have, well, tested something. The usual prescription dose for Echinacea taken by mouth ranges from 500 to 1,000 milligrams per day, and is taken three to five times a day, for seven days. This creates a range of 1500 to 5,000 mg per day. Most studies have shown Echinacea to have the greatest effectiveness when one starts taking it immediately upon feeling the early symptoms of coming down with a cold or virus.
Importantly, Echinacea has been proven in many tests, including those by Bauer and Wagner, Foster, and Hobbs, to have a supportive effect upon the immune system. That Echinacea stimulates macrophages and killer cells is proven.
Turner RB et al. New England Journal of Medicine, 2005 jul 28;353(4):341-8.
Upton R et al. Echinacea purpurea root: standards of analysis, Quality control, and therapeutics, American herbal pharmacopoeia, 2004
Goel v et al. Efficacy of standardized Echinacea preparation (echinilin) for the treatment of common cold: a randomized, double-blind, placebo- controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Pharmaceutical Therapy 2004: Feb,29(1):75-83.
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.
Natural Progesterone and Menopause
July 25, 2005 10:15 PM
Natural Progesterone and Menopause
During the thirties and forties of a woman’s lifetime, progesterone production can decrease resulting in shorter intervals between periods. For example, when the ovaries produce progesterone for only 9 days rather than the normal 14, menstruation may occur every 24 days rather than the usual 28 days. In addition, low levels of progesterone coupled with an estrogen dominance can cause the lining of the uterus to build up leading to abnormally heavy menstrual flows or even spotting between periods. Many women who are in perimenopause (the years just prior to the onset of menopause) experience these symptoms in combination with intensified PMS. Weight gain, bloating, headaches, irritability, depression, and anxiety are common complaints for women in their late thirties and throughout the forties. Frequently, these women had no cycle-related problems in their earlier years and suddenly become all to aware of a whole host of troubling symptoms. More often than not, a drop in progesterone and an estrogen overload are to blame.
Just because a woman no longer ovulates or has a menstrual cycle does not mean that she no longer needs to achieve a proper ratio of hormones. On the contrary, it is during these years that the right kind of hormonal supplementation needs to be implemented or menopausal symptoms and diseases like osteoporosis may develop. Today, estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) is recommended for many postmenopausal women with the assumption that it can help pre vent heart disease, osteoporosis and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately much controversy surrounds the prescription of synthetic hormones due to their potentially dangerous side effects. Ideally, a far better solution would be to supply the body with the proper natural biochemical building blocks to prompt the production of natural hormones. This is where phytoestrogens or plant-based compounds such as dioscorea (wild yam) can play a profoundly important role in managing menopausal disorders such as osteoporosis.
Progesterone: Ignorance Is Not Bliss
July 25, 2005 09:42 PM
Progesterone: Ignorance Is Not Bliss
Has anyone ever asked you if you might be suffering from a progesterone deficiency? Women ranging in age from 12 to 100 may be subject to low progesterone levels and as a result, can suffer from a whole host of mysterious ills related to a hormonal imbalance. While most women are fairly informed about birth control pills and estrogen replacement therapy with all of its controversy, few of us understand the very profound role progesterone plays in determining our overall health. Moreover, the therapeutic effects of natural progesterone remain relatively unknown and untapped. Of even more significance is that a growing number of women seem to be suffering from progesterone depletion and estrogen dominance. If you’re like I was, this notion struck me as a completely new concept. I can say now, in retrospect, that this bit of knowledge is clearly one of the most important pieces of information I have had the opportunity to research. So many symptoms that women have to endure are readily branded as just part of inevitable PMS or worse yet, products of an overactive imagination or emerging psychosis. It is has been through my own personal experience with terrible mood swings, horrendous periods and all sorts of miserable hormonal demons that I have come to write this booklet. Make no mistake however, the information contained herein is based on scientific fact and is backed by the experience of medical doctors. More than any other physician or scientist, Dr. John R. Lee, M.D. has pioneered and documented his remarkable results using natural progesterone from wild yam for his female patients. To say the very least, his findings have profound health implications for all women.
Natural plant-based progesterone may well be the most important breakthrough therapy for women to come out of the latter twentieth century. Ironically, its use from botanical sources has a long tried and true history. Like so many valuable natural treatments, the value of plant-based progesterones have been virtually ignored by modern medical practices.
Unfortunately, most physicians focus on the use of synthetic estrogen or artificial progestins to manage female disorders such as osteoporosis when, in reality, progesterone may be the key hormone. Ironically, natural progesterone, unlike its pharmaceutical counterparts, offers an impressive array of therapeutic actions with complete safety and efficacy. As previously mentioned, mainstream medicine continues to overlook the use of natural phytoestrogens which can offer practical treatment of hormonally-related disorders without negative side effects.
These simple plant-based medicinals have been used for generations by women of almost every culture and for good reason. These botanicals have been able to support the special health needs of both pre-and post-menopausal women with little or no side effects. Progesterone plays a profoundly more critical role in the maintenance of female health than previously assumed. Too little of this vital female hormone can lead to all kinds of menstrual disorders, infertility, miscarriages, osteoporosis and even cancer. Progesterone deficiencies are much more common that most of us would assume, even in younger women. Replenishing progesterone in its natural form is a safe and effective way of relieving a whole host of female symptoms ranging from the mildly annoying to the seriously debilitating. Simply stated: there are viable alternatives to popping synthetic hormones for problems like PMS or menopausal distress. In many cases, specific plant-based hormone creams can achieve better results without the significant health risks associated with synthetic hormonal analogues.
Today, the use of natural progesterone is dramatically growing as women and health practitioners alike become disillusioned with synthetic hormonal therapies. Using pharmaceutical estrogen has proven to be rather disappointing in treating osteoporosis.1 In addition, the controversy over the safety of birth control pills and estrogen replacement therapy for post-menopause rages on. In the midst of much misinformation concerning artificial hormonal drugs, plants like wild yam are being reconsidered and reevaluated for their intrinsic value.
Ironically, modern technological manipulations of these natural phytochemicals has resulted in more potency and more risk to the human body which was not designed to cope with artificial compounds. It turns out that ancient civilizations who turned to botanicals for female ills understood the value of natural therapies. In the face of high-tech pharmaceutical imitations, it turns out that Mother Nature knew what she was doing after all.
July 15, 2005 12:56 PM
If you fall into the category of a consumer who is searching for an excellent natural sweetening agent which is safe, powerful, and calorie-free, stevia extracts should be first on your list. Ironically, while enormous quantities of aspartame and saccharine continue to be consumed in this country, a sweetening substance that poses less risk and is more effective continues to be rigorously regulated. Fortunately, restrictions are easing and it is now possible to purchase stevia as a supplement. Both xylitol and saccharine have been linked to tumor development and aspartame continues to prompt controversy in its reported wide range of negative side effects, yet all of these products enjoy unrestricted marketability. It is rather ironic that chemical compounds that have the capability of wreaking all kinds of havoc with human physiology have the advantage over natural substances that are certainly much more benign. It’s hard to imagine that a safe, natural herb which offers concentrated sweetening power and may also actually normalize blood sugar and pre vent tooth decay remains relatively unknown.
Stevia will inevitably emerge as one of the best non-caloric sweeteners available. It’s just a matter of time before American consumers discover its extraordinary attributes. In the meantime, learning to use stevia dietary supplements can provide us with the ability to “sweeten” our lives without compromising our health. (NOTE: Linda Bonvie, Bill Bonvie and Donna Gates have written a comprehensive and engaging book on stevia called The Stevia Story. They have done extensive research and have put together a well written treatise on the subject. In addition, there are over fourteen current clinical studies on stevia listed in Medline which discuss various biochemical attributes of the herb’s glycosides.)