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Vigorous Exercise Leads to Lower Mortality for Women


Reproduced from original article:
https://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2020/01/10/vigorous-exercise-benefits.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked image
January 10, 2020

health benefits of vigorous exercise

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Heart disease and cancer are the two top reasons people die in the U.S.; data show women who can exercise vigorously have a reduced risk of mortality from heart disease, cancer and other causes
  • Women who have high cardiovascular fitness also enjoy a reduced risk of dementia, which may be related to higher levels of a protein responsible for improving mitochondrial biogenesis
  • Combining intermittent fasting with the ketogenic diet plan may boost the health benefits and improve mitochondrial health. This includes not eating within three hours of going to bed to reduce free radical damage
  • Lack of exercise is globally responsible for nearly 5 million deaths each year; the more you move and exercise the lower the potential rate of death. Aim to sit as little as possible during the day

Heart disease and cancer are the top two reasons people die in the U.S. The term heart disease is used to identify several types of conditions, including cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease and heart attack. While many think of this as a man’s disease, the CDC1 reports almost as many women will die each year from it.

The most common type, coronary heart disease, affects 6.2% of women 20 and older. Many women report having no symptoms before experiencing a heart attack, but others may have symptoms of angina, nausea or fatigue. Diabetesobesity, an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are all lifestyle choices that increase your risk for heart disease.

Each of these same factors increase your risk of cancer. Some of the types of cancer that more frequently affect women include breast, cervical, lung, colorectal and skin.2 Most cancers strike women after menopause, but gynecological cancers may happen at any time.

Every year 90,000 women are diagnosed with one form of gynecological cancer and 242,000 with breast cancer. The signs of gynecological cancers may be vague and mimic symptoms of other conditions, such as unexplained weight loss, constant fatigue, loss of appetite or feeling full, pain in the pelvis or a change in bowel habits.

Fitness Protects Women Against Risk of Premature Death

New data recently presented at the European Society of Cardiology3 strongly suggest that women who can exercise vigorously experience a significantly lower risk of mortality from heart disease, cancer and other causes. Although there have been multiple studies using male participants or mixed groups, the researchers proposed that information specific to women was scarce.

The study used data from 4,714 adult females who had undergone echocardiograms for known or suspected coronary artery disease. Treadmill stress tests were used with increasing intensity to measure fitness, which the researchers defined as a maximum workload of 10 metabolic equivalents (METs).

Women who were able to achieve 10 METs or more were compared to those who achieved less. A measurement of 10 METs is equivalent to walking up four flights of stairs fast without stopping or going up three flights quickly.

The researchers followed the participants for a median 4.6 years and found there were 345 deaths from cardiovascular disease, 164 from cancer and 203 from other causes. After adjusting for influencing factors, the findings revealed that women in the higher MET group had a lower risk of death from all measured causes.

By comparison, women in the lower fitness group experienced an annual rate of death nearly four times higher and the annual cancer death rate doubled. One researcher, Dr. Jesus Peteiro, noted the average age of participants was 64 years and 80% were from 50 to 75 years. He went on to comment:4

“Good exercise capacity predicted lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes. Looking at both examinations together, women whose heart works normally during exercise are unlikely to have a cardiovascular event.

But if their exercise capacity is poor, they are still at risk of death from cancer or other causes. The best situation is to have normal heart performance during exercise and good exercise capacity.”

The women underwent imaging of their heart during the treadmill test to assess function. Those with poor function during the test were more likely to succumb to cardiovascular disease during the follow-up period, but it was not predictive of death from other causes.5 Peteiro said: “The results were the same for women over 60 and less than 60, although the group under 50 was small.”

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Cardiovascular Fitness Also Reduces Risk of Dementia

Staying fit is key to reducing your potential risk for many chronic diseases, including those affecting the central nervous system. Across the world there are 47 million who are living with dementia, and this is expected to increase to 75 million by 2030. You may be able to significantly slash this risk by taking simple steps to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

A study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden showed women with the highest cardiovascular fitness had an 88% reduced risk of dementia as compared to those with moderate fitness. Even maintaining some fitness proved to have benefit as those with the lowest level experienced a 41% greater risk of dementia than those with average fitness.

The researchers did not assess how much exercise the participants engaged in but used an ergometer cycling test during which additional resistance was added as the women continued to cycle until they were exhausted. The authors wrote:

“These results suggest that cardiovascular fitness is associated with the sparing of brain tissue in aging humans. Furthermore, these results suggest a strong biological basis for the role of aerobic fitness in maintaining and enhancing central nervous system health and cognitive functioning in older adults.”

A second way fitness may protect neurological health is by increasing levels of PGC-1alpha responsible for improving mitochondrial biogenesis. Data reveal that those with Alzheimer’s have less PGC-1alpha in their brain. Cells containing more produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Participants diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s were enrolled in a four-month supervised exercise program. The results demonstrated they had fewer neuropsychiatric symptoms from the disease than the control group who did not exercise.

A progressive walking program in those with early Alzheimer’s disease led to improvements in cardiovascular fitness and functional ability. This in turn led to improved memory and increases in the size of the brain’s hippocampus.

Mitochondrial Function Linked to Reducing Risk of Disease

Your mitochondria are minute powerhouses in your cells producing a majority of the energy your body generates, as well as coordinating apoptosis, or programmed cell death, important in the prevention of malfunctioning cells that may turn into cancer.

Your brain is the most energy-dependent organ and therefore is particularly susceptible to impaired energy production. This process may then make the brain more susceptible to age-related disease.

As you age, the genes controlling mitochondrial energy generation may be turned down, and mitochondria are noted to be less dense and more fragmented. With insufficient energy and dysfunctional mitochondria, defective cells can survive and multiply.

There are several ways your mitochondria may be damaged, but much of it may result from superoxide free radicals. Although the production of superoxide is part of a normal process, when produced at higher than normal levels it damages the DNA in your mitochondria. This damage increases when you are not metabolically flexible.

That means you burn a higher percentage of carbohydrates for fuel than you do fat. The process of burning carbs leaks more electrons that combine with oxygen to form superoxide. High-carbohydrate processed foods prevent you from burning fat efficiently, which produces less oxidative stress than carbs. Your nutrition is also foundational to protecting your mitochondrial health.

Combining Nutritional Plan With Fitness Boosts Benefits

When you combine a strong nutritional plan to boost metabolic flexibility with cardiovascular fitness you build on the health benefits of both. For many years the standard dietary recommendations were three square meals a day with small snacks in between.

The most obvious risk of this eating plan is the potential of overeating. But, the less obvious risk is metabolic dysfunction, raising your risk of cancer, heart disease and dementia.

For a number of years, I have strongly advised against eating within three hours of going to bed. The authors of one study found that eating an early dinner, or skipping it entirely, changes the way the body metabolizes fat and carbohydrates. This improves fat burning and reduces hunger. The key in the study was eating the last meal of the day by the middle of the afternoon.

The only changes made to the participants’ meals was timing. The total number and types of calories remained the same. Results showed the participants were less hungry and experienced increased fat burning during the evening hours, along with improved metabolic flexibility. It appears that late night eating will boost free radical damage, negatively impacting mitochondrial function.

By taking advantage of your circadian rhythm you optimize your metabolism. During sleep your body requires less energy. Thus, if you eat right before bed, mitochondria produce excessive amounts of free radicals. In one study of 1,800 people with prostate and breast cancer, researchers found that meal timing reduced the risk of cancer.

They also found that those who awakened early had a higher risk of cancer when they ate dinner late in the evening compared to those who were more energetic at night. A very effective option is to combine intermittent fasting, extend the amount of time you go without food and follow a ketogenic diet.

Fasting upregulates autophagy and mitochondrial health, activating stem cells and stimulating mitochondrial biosynthesis. What many don’t realize is that many of these benefits happen during the refeeding phase, making what you eat foods that are essential to your optimal health.

In one study participants lost 3% of their body weight while practicing time restricted eating even though they didn’t change their nutritional choices. While they lost weight, they did not improve important disease parameters, including visceral fat, diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, fasting glucose or fasting insulin.

When intermittent fasting is combined with a ketogenic diet it provides many of the same benefits of fasting, in addition to improvements in health such as increased muscle mass, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, reduced risk of cancer and increased longevity.

Lack of Exercise May Be Worse Than Smoking

Exercise and nutrition are two of the best preventive strategies against many common health conditions. In one study scientists found that the lack of physical activity came with a global price tag of $67.5 billion in 2013 and that it causes more than 5 million deaths each year, while smoking kills 6 million.

Another group of researchers analyzed data on more than 120,000 people and found that cardiovascular fitness had a greater impact on risk of death than smoking, diabetes or heart disease. However, as important as cardiovascular fitness is, you’ll find you can’t out-exercise the number of hours you sit down.

The average U.S. adult will sit nine to 12 hours each day. While sitting is not inherently dangerous, the cumulative effects on your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system can seriously impact your health and shorten your life.

In a four-year evaluation of 8,000 Americans over the age of 45, researchers found that those who moved more were healthier. There was also a correlation between death rate and the number of hours the participants spent sitting each day. The bare minimum of movement is 10 minutes for every hour of sitting. However, it is wiser to strive to sit as little as possible.

Sitting correctly requires greater muscle activation and will reduce your potential risk of lower back pain and strain. For specific instructions on how to sit right and for a list of some of the negative side effects of sitting for long periods, see “The Importance of Standing More, Sitting Less.”

Sources and References

TMG Benefits

TMG (Trimethylglycine) is a powerful nutrient, much like a vitamin, functioning as methyl donor, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, energy booster, toxin remover, immune booster and more.
Also called betaine (first isolated from sugar beets) but different from Betaine Hydrochloride.

TMG the Methyl Donor

The TMG molecule comprises three methyl groups (CH3) joined to one molecule of glycine (C2H5NO2). The benefit of TMG is that it releases easily one, two, or all three of the methyl groups.
Releasing one methyl group then leaves behind DMG (Dimethylglycine) which is just TMG with only two methyl groups. Releasing all methyl groups leaves just Glycine, which is the smallest molecule of all of the amino acids, which allows it to go almost anywhere in the body, including crossing the blood-brain barrier.
DMG is considered a B-complex vitamin, shown to help:

  • Behaviour and speech in autistic children and adults
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Neurological function
  • Reducing seizures
  • Stress tolerance
  • Oxygen utilisation
  • Liver activity
  • Athletic performance
  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-viral and anti-bacterial
  • Immune boosting
  • Shrinking tumours
  • Allergies
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Alcoholism, drug addiction.
  • Cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood glucose

Although DMG has all of these benefits, and is available as a supplement, LeanMachine recommends that people supplement with TMG as we then receive all of the benefits of DMG plus the benefit of 50% better methylation.

Methyl groups (CH3) are essential for millions of biochemical reactions every second in the body, these are a few examples:

  • Lowering homocysteine, an amino acid, which inflames arteries when levels rise, leading to “hardening of the arteries”. Homocysteine levels are a much better indicator of cardiovascular disease than cholesterol. High homocysteine is commonly caused by insufficient methyl groups. The body gets methyl groups from TMGActive FolateActive Vitamin B-12, SAM-eDMAEMethionineTaurine, Cysteine and Vitamin B-6.
    Other causes are mercury and copper toxicity. High homocysteine also causes methionine deficiency, in turn causing SAM-e (S-Adenosyl Methionine) deficiency which can lead to depression. Methionine is required for protein synthesis
  • Excess homocysteine also leads to osteoporosis, birth defects, cancer, ageing and free radicals, all helped by TMG
  • Methyl groups are required for the Phase 2, P450 liver detoxification pathway, a critical biochemical sequence of events. Fat-soluble toxins are joined to a methyl group, enabling a greater water solubility, then allowing the liver to remove them from the body. For toxins unable to be removed, methylation helps render them less toxic
  • TMG increases production of SAM-e, helping to reduce depression
  • TMG reduces risk of diabetes, as insulin release and insulin activity rely on methyl group donation
  • TMG donates methyl groups for protein synthesis (biosynthesis), the copying of genetic code from DNA to RNA (genetic transcription), then to the synthesis (formation) of every chemical in the body
  • TMG insufficiency causes biosynthesis slowing, telomeres shortening, and genetic errors (transcription errors) raises cancer risk from DNA mutations

The Methylation Process

This is a vital and most common chemical process in hundreds of essential chemical reactions, including:

  • Methylation is essential for manufacture of all the chemicals for the body
  • Stops certain viruses that could damage DNA
  • Stops the production of trophoblast (fast-growing cells that may lead to cancer)
  • Suppresses replication of DNA in areas where the body does not want it replicated
  • Important for neurological chemicals and blood chemicals
  • Corrects timing problems of the X chromosome in cell replication
  • Causea a genetic trait to come from only one parent, and not both
  • Prevents some genetic diseases
  • Helps prevent shortening of gene telomeres
  • Methylation is a primary method of removing toxins in the phase 2 liver detoxification system
  • Methylation converts toxins of all kinds from insoluble, less soluble or fat-soluble compounds into water-soluble compounds to allow excretion. Larger molecules are eliminated through the bile, smaller ones are excreted in the urine
  • Methylation is required for synthesis of dopamine and serotonin, improving mood, energy, wellbeing, alertness, concentration, and visual clarity
  • Methylation helps with liver detoxification
  • Methylation is required for conversion of homocysteine to methionine, which converts to other amino acids by various pathways
  • Methylation helps balance hormones such as estrogens, reducing risk of estrogen-related cancers
  • Reduces inflammation by removing toxins, balancing hormones, synthesising neurotransmitters and other methods
  • Methylation protects the mitochondria and adaptive energy production to stop us from becoming very tired
  • Restores SAM-e in spinal fluid, working as a methyl donor when restored by methyl groups
  • Methylation is required for the body to make CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10), vital for heart health and energy production in the mitochondria
  • Methylation increases muscle mass, important in cancer and other wasting diseases, and for general health
  • Methylation may improve libido in some people

Who needs TMG?

Almost everyone needs supplemental TMG, even healthy people with a healthy diet, to provide enough methylation for modern life. Those subject to stress, toxins, cardiovascular disease, mental illness, depression, fatigue, exhaustion or almost any other medical condition, almost certainly need extra TMG.

Other benefits of TMG

The Parasympathetic System

TMG can improve the parasympathetic system, helping balance the autonomic nervous system. Hair mineral analyses show about half the population has an autonomic nervous system imbalance (sympathetic dominance), where the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system is “switched on” too often and too long, usually due to stress, causing many chronic health conditions. TMG may help reverse any imbalance, contributing to healing. Some doctors use “sympathetic dominance” in a different context such as “a sympathetic state of body chemistry” which is different from “sympathetic dominance” used here.

The MTHFR Defect

Almost half the people on Earth have the abnormal MTHFR gene expression, where the biosynthesis of folate is reduced, sometimes marginally, sometimes largely.
Often incorrectly called a “genetic defect” when it is actually a transcription error, polymorphism or abnormal gene expression where errors occur in copying the DNA code rather than a problem with the actual DNA code.
This is why Active Folate has benefits, as it is already in the (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate form required by the body, while regular folate must be converted in the body to this form.
TMG can help supply the methyl groups where insufficent folate cannot. Active folate can be up to 700% more useful in the body, compared to regular folic acid. Note that folic acid is a cheap folate substitute used in many foods claiming to be “folate enriched” but folic acid may prevent absorption of real folate in foods or active folate supplements, and LeanMachine advises total avoidance of foods or supplements containing folic acid.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

There are not many reports on these properties, but they do exist, possibly as a result of methyl group donation

Effects on the Brain

TMG has a positive effect on the brain, likely due to methylation and SAM-e production. Recommended for those at high risk for Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinsons, depression, anxiety, seizures, migraine headache, ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder), MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and other brain conditions.

SAM-e Benefits

1. Heart Disease

SAM-e is used for heart disease, also for fibromyalgia, abdominal pain, osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, chronic lower back pain, ageing, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), improving mental performance, liver disease, spinal cord injury, lead poisoning, to break down bilirubin or porphyrin (or precursors).

2. PMS

SAM-e is often taken for PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and a more severe form PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder).

IV use of SAM-e

IV (Intravenous) use of SAM-e is used for depression, osteoarthritis, AIDS-related nervous system disorders, fibromyalgia, liver disease, cirrhosis, and intrahepatic cholestasis (a liver disorder in pregnant women)

SAM-e Injections

SAM-e is often injected for fibromyalgia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Effects on Digestion

TMG aids digestion, again likely because of positive methylation throughout the body.

Glycine

Glycine is the component left over when all three methyl groups have been donated from TMG.
Glycine is the smallest of the amino acids and very important for collagen formation and many other functions. Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is used for connective tissue: Tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, nails, arteries, veins, etc. Without collagen, we could not stand up, our body would be a pile of mush on the floor!
Glycine, in large doses (up to 3000 mg daily), has been found helpful for sleep and alertness. Although not recommended as a first-line supplement for sleep, it may help if other supplements like Valerian fail to work. This may explain why TMG helps induce restful sleep in some individuals.

Natural sources of TMG

TMG is normally made in the body, but not enough when there are toxins present or the diet is poor or absorption of nutrients is a problem.
TMG can come from the diet. Foods high in TMG include broccoli, quinoa, spinach, lamb, chicken, and beets. A vegetarian or vegan diet tends to be very low in TMG. Foods high in TMG are usually also high in folate, and both are methyl donors.
However, most people do not eat enough of these foods, and even eating large amounts will not provide enough TMG for optimum health.

Risk factors for low TMG

Generally, the body cannot make enough, the modern diet is poor in TMG, and the number of pesticides, chemicals, heavy metal contamination uses up all TMG available.

  • Mercury is a poison that lowers TMG production in the body, and at the same time increases the need for TMG in the body. Almost everyone is mercury toxic now, as mercury is everywhere in the environment, especially in seafood and in dental amalgam fillings
  • Copper toxicity also interferes with TMG, and most people today are toxic from copper pipes, tapware, cookware even if blood or urine tests are negative. While copper is essential for the body to build hemoglobin in blood, we need Chelated Copper from food or supplements, not metallic copper from copper pipes and cookware. Zinc deficiencies cause accumulation of copper in the body, and women have a higher risk than men. Causes headaches, female organ problems, depression, anxiety, skin conditions. Too much zinc (and/or magnesium) competes with copper for absorption, often leading to a copper deficiency.

Supplements

Supplementary TMG is helpful for most people because of low body production, low in the diet, and higher requirements in our toxic world.
TMG 1000mg 100 tablets (most popular, best value).

Stress

Stress, inflammation, inflammation and some diseases increase our need for more TMG.

Dosage of TMG

  • Women: Up to 1000 mg daily
  • Men: Up to 3000 mg daily
  • Children: Less than adults, in proportion to body weight

There are no reliable guides or tests to determine TMG dosage, but the figures above should be a good starting point.
If the sodium/potassium ratio is low, extra TMG may help.
Do not overdose, as too much TMG may lead to over-methylation, causing fatigue, nausea, hair loss, dizziness or other symptoms.
Most people have no side effects from TMG apart from feeling better, getting better sleep and having more energy.
Cautions:
Do not continue a high dose for extended periods.
Children need proportionately less TMG than adults, depending on their size and weight, but babies generally do not need TMG. Older children may need about 250 to 500 mg daily.
TMG is available as tablets, liquid capsules or crystals. Some children and the elderly may have problems with swallowing tablets. TMG has a sweet taste, so TMG crystals can be simply added to food.
Some people have problems tolerating TMG, so they may need a smaller dose. Try reducing the dose until any symptoms disappear.
People who have unresolved resentments seem to have more problems taking TMG, as an enzyme is activated which can cause anger, fear, depression or anxiety symptoms. These symptoms disappear if the dose is reduced or eliminated, but if one can tolerate the symptoms, TMG may help the person resolve their issues of conflict.
Some reports suggest that too much TMG may cause diarrhea and nausea, and may raise cholesterol levels, so those with high cholesterol should keep the level monitored.

Poor Methylation

Several factors affect poor methylation, such as:

  • Raw vegetables are considered healthy, but cooked vegetables provide more dietary methyl groups
  • Sugars in any form appear to harm correct methylation, and are bad for our health anyway
  • Fermented foods are healthy, but are problem for methylation because:
    • Some contain aldehydes (toxic to the liver), including kombucha tea, kimchi, and most fermented grains
    • They contain ferments, which are bacteria or yeasts

    Safer fermented foods, eaten in moderation, include yogurt, kefir, miso and most good quality cheeses

  • Too much animal protein in the diet can cause high methionine and reduce methylation
  • Fighting inflammation or infections consumes methyl groups, requiring more methylation
  • Heavy metal toxicity, especially copper and mercury, interfere with methyl group formation
  • High-dose niacin or niacinamide cause the body to use up methyl groups to detoxify and excrete niacin through the liver. Doses less than 50 mg daily are generally tolerated well
  • Any liver toxins will reduce formation of methyl donors, also liver detoxification pathways require methyl groups, using up more methyl groups
  • Methyl donor production seems to decrease with age, so seniors need more TMG
  • Women of child-bearing age have much better methylation than men. Men always need more TMG than women

Methylation and Cancer

Cancer increases the need for methylating agents like TMG. People often die with cancer because they cannot eliminate their toxic metals and chemicals because of poor liver methylation, so toxins accumulate until death occurs.

Hair Mineral Analysis

More TMG may be required if a hair mineral test reveals:

  • High zinc level, which may indicate presence of hidden toxic metals
  • “Four lows pattern” meaning all four electrolyte minerals low: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium. Indicates impaired methylation
  • High mercury, becoming more common
  • High copper
  • High levels of the other toxic metals

These results indicate long-term toxic metal exposure.

LeanMachine online supplemments

Disclaimer

LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010 and has completed many relevant studies including:
Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the World
University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging Populations
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics II
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain
LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.

Updated 9th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601287

‘Sunshine Vitamin’ Regenerates and Detoxifies Your Hormones

© 17th December 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/sunshine-vitamin-regenerates-and-detoxifies-your-hormones
Posted on: Tuesday, December 17th 2019 at 10:00 am
Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2019

Sunshine Vitamin Regenerates and Detoxifies Your Hormones

Sometimes called the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because it is found in high levels in citrus fruits, vitamin C has a uniquely regenerative role in hormone health and cancer prevention that has been overlooked for over twenty years!

Truly groundbreaking research on the regenerative potential of vitamin C therapy for hormone health as well as cancer prevention was performed over twenty years ago, and yet still today it has received little to no attention.

Published in 1993 in the journal Radiation Physics and Chemistry and titled, “Photo-induced regeneration of hormones by electron transfer processes: Potential biological and medical consequences,” Austrian researchers explored the role that vitamin C plays in preventing the degradation of steroid hormones into toxic and cancer-promoting metabolites known as “hormone transients.”  Their stated goal was “to investigate if hormone transients resulting by e.g. electron emission can be regenerated.”

The molecular structure of progesterone, estrone (a form of estrogen) and testosterone is such that when exposed to differing biological and/or environmental conditions, e.g. UV light, pH, temperature, they lose electrons, becoming toxic and often carcinogenic metabolites that represent a burden on the body’s eliminative capabilities. Vitamin C is a well-known electron donor, which is to say a substance that donates electrons to another compound (i.e. a ‘reducing agent’). Vitamin C’s ability to donate electrons can have an antioxidant effect as far as neutralizing free radicals, or as is the case with transient hormone metabolites, a structurally regenerative one.

The study’s design and results were summarized as follows:

“Investigations were performed using progesterone (PRG), testosterone (TES) and estrone (E1) as representatives of hormones. By irradiation with monochromatic UV light (λ=254 nm) in a media of 40% water and 60% ethanol, the degradation as well as the regeneration of the hormones was studied with each hormone individually and in the mixture with VitC as a function of the absorbed UV dose, using HPLC. Calculated from the obtained initial yields, the determined regeneration of PRG amounted to 52.7%, for TES to 58.6% and for E1 to 90.9%.”

Remarkably, vitamin C was capable of almost complete regeneration of estrone and quite significant regeneration of both progesterone (52.7%) and testosterone (58.6%).

These experimental results have profound implications if they prove to carry over to human physiology. For instance, vitamin C may offer an alternative (or at least adjuvant and/or ‘drug sparing’ effect) to hormone replacement therapy, which suffers from the problem of ‘feeding the deficiency,’ i.e. negative feedback loops operative within our endocrine system can result in the down-regulation of endogenous steroid hormone production when exogenous forms are supplied.

The researchers noted that this was (at the time) the first scientific evidence proving:

“[H]ormone transients originating by the electron emission process can be successfully regenerated by the transfer of electrons from a potent electron donor, such as vitamin C (VitC).”

While a preliminary study, the researchers identified two possible implications of their research to human medicine:

  • Cancer Prevention/Treatment: “The regeneration of hormones by electron transfer process using a potent electron donor, such as VitC, might offer a new pathway for an efficient reduction in the formation of metabolites, also such initiating cancer among others.”
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy: “The reported results concerning the ability of VitC to act as electron donor in the regeneration of hormone transients might also be of benefit in the clinical application of hormones (e.g. contraceptive, HRT).”

Vitamin C, of course, is exceptionally safe at high doses and has hundreds of proven health benefits (view our Vitamin C health benefit database), whereas conventional chemopreventive agents for cancer, e.g. Tamoxifen, and hormone replacement therapy using animal derived and/or synthetic hormone analogs, cause a wide range of adverse health effects, including at times increased mortality.

For additional related research you can read two previous on vitamin C’s role in cancer treatment in intravenous form and vitamin C rich foods like pomegranate as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy.

Originally published: 2018-08-20

Article updated: 2019-12-17

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Mighty Broccoli Sprouts Rapidly Detox Pollutants

© 6th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
https://www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/mighty-broccoli-sprouts-rapidly-detox-pollutants

Air pollution is associated with a long list of health problems including cardio-respiratory deaths, pulmonary disease, and chronic respiratory conditions. And the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified air pollution as carcinogenic to humans.

But clinical trial finds that tiny broccoli sprouts can help neutralize this very big problem.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and several other institutions in the U.S. and China tested the power of broccoli sprouts to protect people from air pollutants.[i]

They conducted a 12-week randomized, placebo-controlled study of 291 Chinese adults in the Jiangsu province of China. The province has very high levels of air pollution. China itself is the world’s largest emitter of air pollution.

In the study half of the participants were asked to consume about half a cup of a broccoli sprout drink every day. The control group drank pineapple and lime juice.

The results were published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. They found that throughout the 12-week period the participants taking the broccoli sprout drink increased their rate of excretion of benzene by 61%.

Benzene is a known carcinogen. In the U.S. benzene exposure comes predominantly from car and truck exhaust, emissions from coal and oil combustion, evaporation from industrial sites, and gas stations. Smoking is another source of benzene exposure.

In addition, the study participants taking the broccoli sprout drink increased their excretion of acrolein by 23%. Smoking and second hand smoke is also a source of acrolein. Burning fuel like gasoline and oil is another source. Acrolein is toxic to humans and inhalation exposure may result in upper respiratory tract irritation and congestion.

How do broccoli sprouts defeat these toxins?

Science has known for some time that cruciferous vegetables like kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts contain a compound called glucoraphanin.

Animal studies show when glucoraphanin is chewed or swallowed it produces a cancer-protective compound called sulphoraphane. Sulphoraphane activates enzymes that take up the pollutants and flush them out in the urine.

In this study, the researchers were pleasantly surprised at the rapid rate sulphoraphane cleared toxins from the body. They also noted the effects of the broccoli sprouts did not wane. They retained their high level of effectiveness throughout the 12 weeks.

The researchers concluded that broccoli sprouts enhance detoxification of some airborne pollutants and “may provide a frugal means to attenuate their associated long-term health risks.”

They also indicated that sulphoraphane works best on toxins you’ve been recently exposed to. They don’t know if their results hold for toxins that have already been stored in fat cells like pesticides, DDT, or dioxin.

Vegetables like broccoli are known to fight cancer. The sulphoraphane improves the liver’s ability to detoxify carcinogens. In fact, broccoli has been shown to kill the stem cells that make cancer immortal.

But broccoli sprouts are much more powerful. At 5 to 6 days old, the sprouts contain over one hundred times more sulphoraphane per gram than the mature plant.

Broccoli sprouts are also known to have a beneficial effect on breast cancer.

The drink used in the China study was made with broccoli sprouts developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. They are sold under the brand name BroccoSprouts. They are widely available in supermarkets or you can sprout your own from seeds.

Broccoli sprouts can be eaten raw. They are great on sandwiches, in wraps or as a salad topping. You can also add some to smoothies.

And try serving them with broccoli. Studies show combining the two makes the anti-cancer effect almost twice as powerful.


Reference

[i] Egner PA et al, “Rapid and sustainable detoxication of airborne pollutants by broccoli sprout beverage: results of a randomized clinical trial in china.” Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Aug;7(8):813-23.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Glutathione and NAC Play Crucial Roles in Health and Fitness


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/30/glutathione-nac-for-health-and-fitness.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked image
glutathione nac for health and fitness

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body. Sulfur-containing amino acids increase your levels of glutathione and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which play important roles in health and fitness
  • Glutathione metabolism influences the control of epigenetic mechanisms at several levels, including substrate availability, enzymatic activity for DNA methylation and the expression of microRNAs
  • NAC supplementation may be useful for the prevention of cardiovascular problems in older people by lowering oxidative stress and improving mitochondrial function
  • Glutathione deficiency can induce epigenetic changes in genes that regulate vitamin D metabolism in the liver, and research suggests glutathione supplementation could help reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency in obese individuals
  • Glutathione and NAC also ameliorate exercise-induced stress and reduce muscle fatigue. Glutathione may also play a central role in chronic fatigue syndrome

As explained in “The Health Benefits of MSM,” sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body and plays important roles in a variety of bodily processes, including metabolism and detoxification, and for maintaining the proper shape and structure of proteins and enzymes.

Sulfur-containing amino acids increase your levels of glutathione and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), and these two play important roles in health and fitness.

Glutathione Basics

Glutathione comprises three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate and glycine. It’s commonly referred to as “the master antioxidant,” as it is your body’s most powerful antioxidant, and is found inside every cell in your body.

Antioxidants combat free radicals — highly reactive particles that bounce around the cell, damaging everything they touch. Most originate during the process of metabolism but they can also arise during exercise, and from exposure to toxins, irradiation and toxic metals.

Because free radicals are so destructive, cells have a network of defenses designed to neutralize them. This antioxidant network is composed of numerous components that include vitamins, minerals and special chemicals called thiols (glutathione and alpha-lipoic acid).

Glutathione differs from other antioxidants in that it is intracellular, and has the unique ability of maximizing the activity of all the other antioxidants, including (but not limited to) vitamins C and E, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid. It also removes toxins from your cells and protects you from the damaging effects of radiation, chemicals and environmental pollutants.

NAC Basics

NAC is a precursor to and rate-limiting nutrient for the formation of glutathione.1 Glutathione is poorly absorbed so, in many cases, it’s easier to raise your glutathione by taking NAC instead.

In emergency medicine, NAC is used as an antidote for acetaminophen toxicity resulting from an overdose.2 Mortality due to acetaminophen toxicity has been shown to be virtually eliminated when NAC is promptly administered.

It is believed the liver damage acetaminophen causes is largely due to the fact that it can deplete glutathione, which is secreted by your liver in response to toxic exposure.

On a side note, NAC supplementation can also help “pre-tox” your body when taken before alcohol, thereby minimizing the damage associated with alcohol consumption — a tidbit that may be useful to know in light of approaching New Year’s celebrations.

Taking NAC (at least 200 milligrams) 30 minutes before you drink can help lessen the alcohol’s toxic effects. Vitamin B6 may also help to lessen hangover symptoms.

While the most common use of NAC is for liver support, it’s also showing promise as a neuroprotectant.3 Scientists are currently investigating it as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, which has been linked to glutathione deficiency in the substantia nigra, a region that houses dopamine neurons.4

Research looking at autopsied brains suggests Parkinson’s patients have barely detectable levels of glutathione in this brain region. Subsequent studies have found glutathione deficiency in the substantia nigra is common in a number of other neurodegenerative conditions as well, including Alzheimer’s disease.5

Another area where NAC shows particular promise is in the treatment of mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder,6 depression7 and substance use disorders.8 Dozens of additional health benefits are also reviewed in a November 29, 2019, SelfHacked article.9

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Glutathione Helps Regulate Epigenetic Disease Mechanisms

One factor that can help explain the wide-ranging benefits of NAC and glutathione is glutathione’s role in the regulation of epigenetic disease mechanisms.10 As noted in a November 2017 paper in Free Radical Biology and Medicine:11

“Epigenetics is a rapidly growing field that studies gene expression modifications not involving changes in the DNA sequence.

Histone H3, one of the basic proteins in the nucleosomes that make up chromatin, is S-glutathionylated in mammalian cells and tissues, making Gamma-L-glutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine, glutathione (GSH), a physiological antioxidant and second messenger in cells, a new post-translational modifier of the histone code that alters the structure of the nucleosome.

However, the role of GSH in the epigenetic mechanisms likely goes beyond a mere structural function. Evidence supports the hypothesis that there is a link between GSH metabolism and the control of epigenetic mechanisms at different levels (i.e., substrate availability, enzymatic activity for DNA methylation, changes in the expression of microRNAs, and participation in the histone code).”

The following graphic12 illustrates how glutathione influences pathological changes in gene expression.

glutathione influences pathological changes in gene expression

NAC Improves Cardiovascular and Mitochondrial Function

According to a 2018 study,13 NAC supplementation may be useful for the prevention of cardiovascular problems in older people. As you might expect, oxidative stress can over time induce metabolic and functional changes that speed cardiovascular aging and dysfunction, and your glutathione levels declines with age, putting you at greater risk.

In this study, aging mice received either NAC or a combination of NAC and glycine. After seven weeks, their cardiac function was assessed, showing those receiving NAC plus glycine had improved several parameters of their cardiovascular function, including:

  • Improved diastolic function
  • Increased peak early filling velocity
  • Reduced relaxation time
  • Reduced left atrial volume
  • Reduced left ventricle end diastolic pressure

NAC alone did not impart these cardiovascular benefits, although both groups had decreased levels of inflammatory mediators. The NAC and glycine combination also improved mitochondrial function and upregulated mitochondrial genes in the heart that are normally downregulated with age.

According to the authors, “Our data indicate that NAC+Gly supplementation can improve diastolic function in the old mouse and may have potential to prevent important morbidities for older people.”

Glutathione Deficiency Lowers Vitamin D Levels in the Obese

Other recent research14 published in Scientific Reports shows that glutathione deficiency can induce epigenetic changes in genes that regulate vitamin D metabolism in the liver. Emerging evidence also suggests glutathione metabolism plays a role in the epigenetic regulation of oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions, the authors note.

According to this paper,15 obesity has been correlated with low levels of glutathione and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 — especially in Type 2 diabetics and the obese16 — and when obese mice were fed a glutathione-deficient diet, it downregulated vitamin D metabolism genes and vitamin D receptors in the liver. As a result, oxidative stress increased.

According to the authors, their findings suggest glutathione supplementation could help reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency in obese individuals. Supplementation with L-cysteine, a rate-limiting precursor to glutathione, has also been shown to increase vitamin D levels and reduce oxidative stress, the paper notes, which supports the link between glutathione and vitamin D.

Glutathione and NAC Ameliorate Exercise-Induced Stress

As mentioned earlier, exercise is one of the ways through which free radical production increases and, with it, oxidative stress. Provided you get enough rest between bouts, this oxidative stress is actually part of what makes exercise so beneficial.

That said, as noted in a 2005 paper,17 “Effective regulation of the cellular balance between oxidation and antioxidation is important when considering cellular function and DNA integrity as well as the signal transduction of gene expression.” In other words, excessive exercise can cause more harm than good. As explained by the authors:18

Exercise enthusiasts and researchers have become interested in recent years to identify any means to help minimize the detrimental effects of oxidative stress that are commonly associated with intense and unaccustomed exercise. It is possible that a decrease in the amount of oxidative stress a cell is exposed to could increase health and performance …

To protect against the deleterious effects of ROS [reactive oxygen species], our bodies have a complex system of endogenous antioxidant protection in the form of enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. Under normal, resting conditions reactive oxygen species are removed from the cell preventing any subsequent damage.

However, under more extreme conditions such as: 1) inadequate intake of foodstuffs containing the antioxidants, 2) excessive intake of pro-oxidants, 3) exposure to noxious chemicals or ultraviolet light, 4) injury/wounds, and/or 5) intense exercise, especially eccentric exercise, the body’s endogenous antioxidant system is not able to effectively remove excessive ROS production.

In situations such as the ones listed above in which the production of pro-oxidant molecules increase to a point where the antioxidant system cannot effectively remove them is when oxidative stress is known to occur.

Oxidative stress has been implicated in a number of diseases which include atherosclerosis, pulmonary fibrosis, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and aging. Research on oxidative stress during exercise has begun to indicate that regular training enhances the ability of these mechanisms to effective respond to the increase of oxidative product.”

Exercise Boosts Your Glutathione Level

The 2005 paper above goes on to explain how exercise affects your glutathione level, and thus your health, fitness and risk of disease. In short, when you engage in intense exercise, your blood level of glutathione significantly decreases while circulating levels of oxidized glutathione increases, indicating that it’s been used inside the muscle to quench free radicals produced during the exertion.19

Considering the importance of glutathione to counteract free radicals, effective regulation of glutathione levels when exercising is a significant concern. The good news is that the more you exercise, the higher your base levels of glutathione get.

This adaptation allows your body to effectively deal with the increase in free radicals that the exercise brings about. While exercise itself will boost your glutathione level over time, raising glutathione through supplementation is an oft-used strategy among athletes.

As mentioned, glutathione supplementation is ineffective due to its poor absorption, so NAC is generally considered a much better choice. According to the authors of the 2005 paper cited above:20

“In addition to the role glutathione and other thiols have on maintaining the cellular redox state, many studies have begun to explore if NAC supplementation can actually improve performance due to its ability to promote a more favorable cellular environment to achieve higher levels of performance …

One of the first studies to utilize NAC to determine its role in improving muscle performance was conducted by Reid and colleagues. They pretreated subjects with n-acetyl-cysteine infusion (150 mg/kg) or a 5% dextrose placebo while undergoing an extended fatiguing bout of electrical stimulation of the ankle dorsiflexors.

N-acetyl-cysteine was found to have no impact over the nonfatigued muscle, but a significantly increased force output of approximately 15% was found after 3 minutes of repetitive contractions which persisted throughout the 30-minute protocol. The authors concluded that NAC resulted in improved performance suggestive of oxidative stress having a causal role in the fatigue process.”

Other studies have also confirmed that NAC supplementation helps delay muscle fatigue during exercise, thereby improving endurance. In one study,21 NAC infusion increased the time to exhaustion by 26.3%.

NAC’s ability to reduce fatigue and improve cellular redox (oxidation reduction) also hints at its potential benefit for those struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

The Glutathione Depletion Theory of CFS

As explained by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CFS, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME, is characterized by “overwhelming fatigue that is not improved by rest.”22 The fatigue is frequently such that it challenges your ability to perform even the most common of daily life tasks, such as showering or preparing a meal.

The role of glutathione in this condition is addressed in “A Simple Explanation of the Glutathione/Methylation Depletion Theory of ME/CFS”23 by the late Rich Van Konynenburg, Ph.D., developer of the methylation protocol used by many in the CFS community.24,25

According to Van Konynenburg, oxidative stress “is probably the best-proven biochemical aspect of chronic fatigue syndrome,” and in order for your oxidative stress to overwhelm your system, something must be placing excessive demands on your glutathione supply.

Several examples were already listed above, such as inadequate antioxidant and/or excessive pro-oxidant intake, toxic exposures and physical injuries. Long-term emotional stress can also be a factor. As noted in Van Konynenburg’s article:

“All people experience a variety of stressors all the time, and a healthy person’s body is able to keep up with the demands for glutathione by recycling used glutathione molecules and by making new ones as needed.

However, if a person’s body cannot keep up, either because of extra-high demands or inherited genetic polymorphisms that interfere with recycling or making glutathione, or both, the levels of glutathione in the cells can go too low …

One of the jobs that glutathione normally does is to protect your supply of vitamin B12 from reacting with toxins … When your glutathione level goes too low, your B12 becomes naked and vulnerable, and is hijacked by toxins.

Also, the levels of toxins rise in the body when there isn’t enough glutathione to take them out, so there are two unfortunate things that work together to sabotage your B12 when glutathione goes too low.”

The B12-Glutathione Connection

Vitamin B12 helps your body convert food into glucose for energy, and fatigue is one of the symptoms of low B12 levels.26 Interestingly, many with CFS have elevated B12 levels. Their bodies simply cannot use it properly, and one potential culprit is low glutathione.

“The best test to reveal this is a urine organic acids test that includes methylmalonic acid. It will be high if the B12 is being sidetracked, and this is commonly seen in people with CFS,” Van Konynenburg states, adding:27

“The most important job that B12 has in the body is to form methylcobalamin, which is one of the two active forms of B12. This form is needed by the enzyme methionine synthase, to do its job. An enzyme is a substance that catalyzes, or encourages, a certain biochemical reaction.

When there isn’t enough methylcobalamin, methionine synthase has to slow down its reaction. Its reaction lies at the junction of the methylation cycle and the folate cycle, so when this reaction slows down, it affects both these cycles …

The methylation cycle has some important jobs to do. First, it acts as a little factory to supply methyl (CH3) groups to a large number of reactions in the body. Some of these reactions make things like creatine, carnitine, coenzyme Q10, phosphatidylcholine, melatonin, and lots of other important substances for the body.

It is not a coincidence that these substances are found to be low in CFS … Not enough of them is being made because of the partial block in the methylation cycle.

The methylation cycle also supplies methyl groups to be attached to DNA molecules, and this helps to determine whether the blueprints in the DNA will be used to make certain proteins according to their patterns.

The ‘reading’ of DNA is referred to as ‘gene expression.’ Methyl groups prevent or ‘silence’ gene expression. Overexpression of genes has been observed in CFS patients, and I suspect this is at least partly due to lack of sufficient methylation to silence gene expression.”

The Basic Biochemical Mechanism of CFS

The methylation cycle also regulates your body’s use of sulfur, and the production of sulfur-containing substances, including glutathione. CFS patients often have abnormal levels of sulfur metabolites. Once you understand the interconnectedness of glutathione, B12 and the methylation cycle, it becomes easier to see how chronic CFS arises. As explained by Van Konynenburg:28

“When glutathione goes too low, the effect on vitamin B12 slows down the methylation cycle too much. The sulfur metabolites are then dumped into the transsulfuration pathway (which is connected to the methylation cycle) too much, are oxidized to form cystine, pass through hydrogen sulfide, and are eventually converted to thiosulfate and sulfate and are excreted in the urine.

This lowers the production of glutathione, which requires cysteine rather than cystine, and now there is a vicious circle mechanism that preserves this malfunction and keeps you sick … That’s the basic biochemical mechanism of CFS … everything else flows from this …

Here’s how I believe the fatigue occurs: The cells have little powerplants in them, called mitochondria. Their job is to use food as fuel to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP acts as a source of energy to drive a very large number of reactions in the cells.

For examples, it drives the contraction of the muscle fibers, and it provides the energy to send nerve impulses. It also supplies the energy to make stomach acid and digestive enzymes to digest our food, and many, many other things.

When glutathione goes too low in the muscle cells, the levels of oxidizing free radicals rise, and these react with parts of the ‘machinery’ in the little powerplants, lowering their output of ATP.

So the muscle cells then experience an energy crisis, and that’s what causes the fatigue. Over time, because of the lack of enough glutathione, more problems accumulate in the mitochondria, including toxins, viral DNA, and mineral imbalances.”

All of these factors will ultimately decimate your immune function as well, allowing pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi to take over. CFS patients will frequently have several infections ongoing at the same time. Low glutathione also impedes your body’s natural detoxification pathways, allowing toxicity to build over time, thereby causing ever-increasing dysfunction.

The Answer for CFS

So, how do you turn this chain of events around? As noted in Van Konynenburg’s article:29

“The main key to turning this process around is to help the methionine synthase enzyme to operate more normally, so that the partial block in the methylation cycle and the folate cycle are lifted, and glutathione is brought back up to normal. That is what the simplified treatment approach is designed to do, and so far, the evidence is that it does do these things in most people who have CFS.

I recommend that people with CFS have the Vitamin Diagnostics methylation pathways panel run to find out if they do in fact have a partial methylation cycle block and glutathione depletion before deciding, with their doctors, whether to try this treatment.

This also provides a baseline so that progress can be judged later on by repeating it every few months during the treatment. Symptoms may not be a good guide to judge progress during treatment, because detoxing and die-off can make the symptoms worse, while in fact they are exactly what is needed to move the person toward recovery.”

An outline of Van Konynenburg’s simplified methylation treatment plan for CFS can be found in HealthRising.org.30 At the core of this treatment is the use of specific supplements, including folate, B12, a multivitamin, SAMe and phosphatidyl serine.

In his protocol, he explains the theory behind the use of each of these supplements, how they impact the methylation cycle, and their interactions with other supplements.

My take-home message here is that glutathione and NAC supplementation may not always be the ideal way to go. People with CFS may be better supported by a customized assessment by an experienced clinician that may also include methyl folate and methyl vitamin B12.

General Dosing and Safety Guidelines for NAC

For many others, however, NAC can be safely used to boost glutathione levels. For more information about how NAC can benefit your health, see “The Many Benefits of NAC.” It’s widely available as an oral dietary supplement and is relatively inexpensive. Unfortunately, like glutathione, NAC is poorly absorbed when taken orally, although it’s better than glutathione.

According to some studies,31,32 NAC’s oral bioavailability may range between 4% and 10%, which is why the recommended dosage can go as high as 1,800 milligrams (mg) per day. Its half-life is also in the neighborhood of two hours, which is why most study subjects take it two or three times a day.

No maximum safe dose has yet been determined, but as a general rule, it’s well-tolerated, although some do experience gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, diarrhea or constipation. Should this occur, reduce your dosage. It’s also best taken in combination with food, to reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal effects.

Also keep in mind that since NAC boosts glutathione, which is a powerful detox agent, you may experience debilitating detox symptoms if you start with too high a dose. To avoid this, start low, with say 400 to 600 mg once a day, and work your way up.

Also, if you are currently taking an antidepressant or undergoing cancer treatment, be sure to discuss the use of NAC with your physician, as it may interact with some antidepressants and chemotherapy.

 Sources and References

Five Benefits of Cardamom for the Health Conscious

© 7th December 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/five-benefits-cardamom-health-conscious
Posted on: Saturday, December 7th 2019 at 4:15 pm

It may not be as popular worldwide as ginger, cinnamon and the other heavyweights of the spice world, but cardamom has earned a special place in diet and wellness for its wonderful benefits. In fact, this spice — a staple in Indian cuisine — is often regarded as the “queen of spices” where it’s widely used. Here are five astounding benefits of cardamom for easily maintaining your health and well-being

Scientifically known as Elettaria cardamomum, cardamom is a spice taking the form of a tiny pod containing black seeds.[i] It’s an extremely sweet and savory spice, both the pod and its seeds giving off a rich aroma. Cardamom was originally cultivated in India, Nepal and Bhutan, where it’s traditionally used in Ayurveda, India’s medicinal system.

Today, cardamom is widely used in native Indian delicacies, as a garnish on desserts and has found its way into “milk tea” — a broad term for the many varieties of tea with milk enjoyed in multiple cultures — as an extra source of flavor.[ii]

Cardamom, however, is impressive not just in the kitchen but as part of a complete arsenal of therapeutic herbs and spices. It is also used in traditional Chinese medicine, believed to be a useful remedy for colic, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, high blood pressure and epilepsy, as well as for cardiovascular disorders such as poor blood circulation. The spice can be used in the following forms:

  • Whole seed pods with seeds intact
  • Pre-ground cardamom spice powder
  • Herbal supplement, typically in capsule form
  • Essential oil

Five Benefits of Cardamom

Here are five cardamom benefits that likely stand out for anyone who believes in the singular power of therapeutic herbs and spices for wellness.

1. Cardiovascular Protection

Research has linked cardamom with a favorable boost in heart health, although further studies in humans can bolster the findings. A group of researchers in India studied the cholesterol-lowering effect of cardamom in rats with high cholesterol.[iii] The rats were given cardamom powder or cardamom oil administered orally.

The scientists found that total cholesterol was reduced by 31% while low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was slashed by 44% in the rats given cardamom oil. They also saw a notable reduction in serum triglycerides by 42% and liver triglycerides by 33%. GreenMedinfo has extensively covered cholesterol-lowering agents in our database.

Other animal experiments found that antioxidant enzymes from the spice potentially protected the heart from oxidation and controlled cholesterol levels amid a high-fat or high-cholesterol diet. Cardamom also appeared to address obesity due to a high-carb diet, helping reduce weight gain and the metabolic damage associated with it.[iv]

2. Antibacterial Effects

Research strengthens the role of cardamom in inhibiting pathogenic bacteria that live in the intestines, while leaving beneficial bacteria unharmed.[v] This surfaces as an important benefit in light of the exceedingly fast development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, mainly due to inappropriate or excessive use of modern, conventional antibiotics in agriculture and health care settings.

3. Gastrointestinal Health

Time-tested healing modalities such as Ayurveda and Chinese medicine commonly use cardamom for digestive issues, as the spice’s methanolic extract has been shown to help relieve acidity, flatulence and stomach cramps, among various other gastrointestinal discomforts.

In a study, methanolic extract proved to actively reduce gastric lesions by around 70% in animal subjects.[vi] Cardamom also appears to help protect against H. pylori, which is implicated in stomach ulcers and related cancers.[vii] Here’s a peek at GreenMedinfo’s rich repository of studies on natural gastrointestinal agents.

4. Dental Health

Cardamom may assist in the fight against cavities, gum disease and bad breath – and more than just because of its fresh flavor. A study pointed to the seeds and fruits for their anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties, which can help stop gum disease-causing bacteria in their tracks.[viii]

5. Cancer-Fighting Potential

Scientific research has long attributed anti-cancer potential to cardamom along with its active components. Phytochemicals in the spice – from indole-3-carbinol to diindolylmethane – have been explored for chemopreventive properties through affecting cells during oxidative stress.[ix]

In addition, cardamom and cinnamon combined demonstrated potential benefit in reducing colorectal cancer risk by 48%, again through enhancing the body’s antioxidant action.

Cardamom’s uses and benefits are numerous, including as a remedy for sore throat and hiccups, a potential urinary disorder treatment, a natural aphrodisiac and even as a mind and relaxation booster. In fact, its essential oil is often incorporated into stress-fighting aromatherapy to help people handle stress effectively.

Beyond cardamom, at GreenMedinfo, you can find a wide range of studies on culinary herbs and spices here.


References

[i] Organic Facts. Accessed November 3, 2019

[ii] Times Now News. Accessed November 3, 2019 from https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/the-many-health-benefits-of-the-indian-spice-green-cardamom-or-elaichi/470142

[iii] Shamarao Nagashree et al “Anti-hypercholesterolemic influence of the spice cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) in experimental rats” J Sci Food Agric. 2016 Nov 26. Epub 2016 Nov 26.

[iv] Organic Facts. Accessed November 3, 2019

[v] Organic Facts. Accessed November 3, 2019

[vi] A Jamal et al. “Gastroprotective effect of cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum Maton. fruits in rats” J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Jan 16;103(2):149-53. Epub 2005 Nov 17.

[vii] Organic Facts. Accessed November 3, 2019

[viii] Anaerobe August 17, 2019

[ix] Asha Acharya et al. “Chemopreventive properties of indole-3-carbinol, diindolylmethane and other constituents of cardamom against carcinogenesis” Recent Pat Food Nutr Agric. 2010 Jun;2(2):166-77.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Does Vitamin D Supplementation Prevent Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease?


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/17/vitamin-d-supplements-disease-prevention.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked
vitamin d supplements disease prevention

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Recent research claims “high dose” vitamin D supplementation did not result in a lower incidence of cancer or cardiovascular events than placebo
  • The “high dose” given in this trial was a mere 2,000 international units (IUs) a day, which is still only a quarter or less of what many need to raise their blood level into a protective range
  • The study did not test and track participants’ vitamin D blood levels, which is the only way to ensure sufficiency and adherence to the protocol
  • Cancer is a slow-growing disease and effects of nutritional intervention typically only become evident after several years. When the first two years of follow-up data were excluded, people who took 2,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day had a 25 percent lower risk of cancer in the years following (years three through five)
  • Many need upward of 10,000 IUs a day in order to achieve a blood level of 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L) or higher, which is the bottom cutoff for health and disease prevention. Ideally, you’ll want a level between 60 and 80 ng/mL (150 and 200 nmol/L)

The effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation has again been questioned with negative headlines1,2 trumpeting its failure to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. What most researchers and journalists fail to address, however, is the fact that:

  • The “high dose” given in this trial was a mere 2,000 international units (IUs) a day, which is still only a quarter or less of what many need to raise their blood level into a protective range
  • They did not test and track participants’ vitamin D blood levels, which is the only way to ensure sufficiency

Based on those two factors alone, a negative result is precisely what one would predict. Still, despite such limitations, the study actually found some rather remarkable benefits that were simply glossed over.

In fact, had it been a drug trial, vitamin D would likely have been declared a miracle drug against both cancer and cardiovascular disease, based on the findings. This is the kind of perversion of science and selective reporting that shackles public health.

VITAL Study Conclusions

The study3,4 in question, which was in part funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, was published in the January 2019 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). (A second study5 compared omega-3 supplementation against placebo for the same endpoints.) As detailed in the vitamin D paper, the study was:

“[A] nationwide, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, with a two-by-two factorial design, of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) at a dose of 2000 IU per day6 and marine n−3 (also called omega-3) fatty acids at a dose of 1 gram per day7 for the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease among men 50 years of age or older and women 55 years of age or older in the United States.

Primary end points were invasive cancer of any type and major cardiovascular events (a composite of myocardial infarction, stroke or death from cardiovascular causes). Secondary end points included site-specific cancers, death from cancer and additional cardiovascular events.”

In conclusion, the authors determined that “Supplementation with vitamin D did not result in a lower incidence of invasive cancer or cardiovascular events than placebo.”

What the VITAL Data Actually Reveals

However, as noted by GrassrootsHealth,8 a nonprofit public health research organization dedicated to moving public health messages regarding vitamin D and omega-3 from research into practice, “when the separate types of heart disease or death from cancer were analyzed, there were 30 different very significant results,” summarized in the graph9 below.

risk reduction vitamin d omega-3

Importantly, when the researchers excluded data from the first two years of supplementation, cancer mortality “was significantly lower with vitamin D than with placebo.”10 The reason this is important is because cancer is a slow-growing disease and effects of nutritional intervention typically only become evident after several years. It’s unreasonable to think you can take a supplement and within weeks or months see a drastic difference in health outcomes. The paper states that clearly, and adds:

“Supplemental vitamin D also did not reduce the occurrence of breast, prostate or colorectal cancers. However, there was a suggestive 17 percent reduction in cancer deaths, which became a 25 percent reduction in analyses that excluded the first two years of follow-up.”

Let me repeat those two points for clarity:

  1. While incidence of breast, prostate and colorectal cancers were unaffected, those who took a non-ideal dose of vitamin D3 supplements still had a 17 percent lower risk of actually dying from those cancers
  2. When the first two years of follow-up data were excluded, people who took a mere 2,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day had a 25 percent lower risk of cancer in the years following (years three through five)

How is this not good news? Again, let’s remember that 2,000 IUs is really insufficient for most people, yet even at this insufficient dosage, the risk of cancer was cut by 25 percent.

For Most, 2,000 IUs a Day Is Suboptimal for Cancer Prevention

In years past, it was widely believed that 4,000 IUs was the upper safe limit, above which you risked vitamin D toxicity, but studies have since refuted this, showing there’s no risk of toxicity until you hit 30,000 IUs a day, or a blood level of 200 ng/ml (500 nmol/L).11 Still, the misconception persists.

A significant body of research shows many need upward of 10,000 IUs a day in order to achieve a blood level of 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L) or higher, which is the bottom cutoff for health and disease prevention. Ideally, you’ll want a level between 60 and 80 ng/mL (150 and 200 nmol/L). This is where the majority of health benefits become really apparent.

As noted in a 2009 study12 on athletic performance and vitamin D, “At levels below 40 to 50 ng/mL the body diverts most or all of the ingested or sun-derived vitamin D to immediate metabolic needs, signifying chronic substrate starvation (deficiency).”

As noted earlier, the VITAL study did not use vitamin D blood levels as the marker for deficiency or sufficiency, and this is perhaps the most significant problem with this study. Blood levels were only measured in a subgroup of 1,644 participants (out of 25,871) after the first year of daily supplementation.

In this group, the mean vitamin D blood level increased from 29.8 ng/mL (74 nmol/L) at baseline to 41.8 ng/mL (104 nmol/L). In other words, most of those taking vitamin D supplements had barely adequate vitamin D levels, and were still significantly short of having ideal blood levels — levels at which research shows the risk of cancer is cut up to 80 percent.

Why You Cannot Trust Studies That Base Results on Dosage Rather Than Blood Measurement

This certainly is not the first time studies have claimed vitamin D supplementation is useless. Last year, a meta-analysis13 concluded once-a-month high-dose vitamin D supplementation had no impact on cancer risk. Here, participants received an initial bolus dose of 200,000 IUs of vitamin D, followed by a monthly dose of 100,000 IUs (so-called pulsed or pulsatile dosing) for a median of three years.

While the media played this up as a finding contradicting recommendations to optimize your vitamin D to lower your cancer risk, it really only made a case against once-a-month mega-dosing. As noted by GrassrootsHealth scientists, for optimal results, you need to supplement frequently (ideally daily) and focus on the achieved serum level, not the dosage.

What’s more, 100,000 IUs per month actually only comes out to about 3,000 IUs per day, which again is far below what most adults need to raise their vitamin D serum level into the protective range of 60 to 80 ng/mL, with 40 ng/mL being the low-end cutoff for sufficiency.

Indeed, this analysis noted the mean baseline vitamin D concentration was just over 26 ng/mL, and the mean follow-up level was just 20 ng/mL higher in the supplement group than the placebo group that received no vitamin D.

As in the current NEJM study, participants’ vitamin D levels were also not measured regularly throughout the study, and the association with cancer was not analyzed by serum level but by daily dosage.

This point really cannot be stressed enough: The key factor is not how much vitamin D you take but whether or not your blood level of vitamin D is within the “Goldilocks’ zone” of 60 to 80 ng/mL, and the only way to ascertain that is through blood testing.

How to Assess Study Quality

GrassrootsHealth scientists have also argued that pulsatile dosing at intervals greater than two weeks may actually cause a form of vitamin D deficiency at the cellular level.

According to GrassrootsHealth, to accurately ascertain the benefit of vitamin D in any given trial, researchers must track not only the baseline and final vitamin D serum level plus the dose given, but also the form (vitamin D2 versus D3) and the dosing interval.

Adherence to protocol is also measured by blood level. If a participant’s blood level doesn’t change, you know that individual was probably not taking the supplement as instructed, rendering their result null and void.

All of these factors can influence the results, and it’s important to get them all right. Identifying the ideal parameters are all part of what GrassrootsHealth is doing. Another study, published in 2017, claimed it found “no case” for vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy.14

In reality, it found seven positive outcomes,15 including increased birth weight, a 40 percent reduction in gestational diabetes, an 18 percent reduction in preeclampsia and a 17 percent reduction in gestational hypertension.

What this study failed to find was a reduction in preterm birth, and this was ultimately translated into headlines that made it appear as though pregnant women have no need for vitamin D supplementation! In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.16,17

So, in summary, when evaluating vitamin D research, the following parameters are what you’re looking for in a high-quality study, as without these, the results are likely to be significantly flawed and likely negative:

Supplementation should be frequent, ideally daily — Bolus doses given at intervals greater than two weeks are likely to be ineffective. According to Carole Baggerly, director and founder of GrassrootsHealth, pulsatile dosing at intervals greater than two weeks may actually cause a form of vitamin D deficiency at the cellular level.

Dosage, baseline and final vitamin D serum level must all be tracked — Most studies fail in this regard, as most only track dosage and not serum level, which is the most crucial parameter of all.

In short, it doesn’t matter how large or small the dose is, as long as it gets the participants into a specific blood level range, as the individual response to any given dose varies widely, depending on several different factors, including intake of other nutrients (such as magnesium), age, ethnicity, body weight and amount of sun exposure.

The form of vitamin D must be identified — Are they using vitamin D2 or D3? And are they tracking sun exposure, which is the primary way your body produces vitamin D?

There’s Strong Evidence Vitamin D Lowers Your Chronic Disease Risk

Vitamin D, a steroid hormone, is vital for the prevention of many chronic diseases, including but not limited to:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Heart disease
  • Well over a dozen different types of cancer, including skin cancer — the very cause of concern that has led so many to avoid the sun exposure necessary for vitamin D production

In the case of heart disease, vitamin D plays a vital role in protecting and repairing damage to your endothelium.18 It also helps trigger production of nitric oxide — which improves blood flow and prevents blood clot formation — and significantly reduces oxidative stress in your vascular system, all of which are important to help prevent the development and/or progression of cardiovascular disease.

Just last year, a Norwegian study19 published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found “a normal intake of vitamin D” significantly reduces your risk of death if you have cardiovascular disease.20

According to vitamin D researcher Dr. Michael Holick, vitamin D deficiency — defined as a level below 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L) — can also raise your risk of heart attack by 50 percent, and if you have a heart attack while vitamin D deficient, your risk of dying is nearly guaranteed.

Vitamin D also has powerful infection-fighting abilities, making it a useful aid in the treatment of tuberculosis, pneumoniacolds and flu, while maintaining a healthy vitamin D level will typically prevent such infections from taking root in the first place. Studies have also linked higher vitamin D levels with lowered mortality from all causes.21,22,23

A Majority of Breast Cancer Cases Could Be Avoided by Raising Vitamin D Levels Among the General Public

Importantly, the ongoing research by GrassrootsHealth has firmly established that 20 ng/mL, which is conventionally considered the cutoff for sufficiency, is nowhere near sufficient for optimal health and disease prevention.

As mentioned, 40 ng/mL (100 nm/L) appears to be at the low end of optimal, and most participants in the featured NEJM study were likely hovering right around this low-end blood level (based on measurements from a very limited subgroup).

Still, recall the risk of cancer in Years 3 through 5 among those who supplemented with 2,000 IUs a day (thereby reaching a mean blood level of just under 42 ng/mL) went down by 25 percent. GrassrootsHealth research shows the ideal protective range is between 60 and 80 ng/mL (150 to 200 nm/L), and the higher the better within this range.

Research has actually demonstrated that most cancers occur in people with a vitamin D blood level between 10 and 40 ng/mL.24,25 Meanwhile, research shows women with vitamin D levels above 60 ng/mL have an 83 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with levels below 20 ng/mL.26 Data from GrassrootsHealth ongoing D*Action study actually suggests 80 percent of breast cancer incidences could be prevented simply by optimizing vitamin D and nothing else!

breast cancer rates vitamin d level

The key, however, is to achieve the proper blood level, which has nothing to do with dosage. And the reason this correlation has never been elucidated before is because no one was using high-enough dosage to actually get participants vitamin D levels above 60 ng/mL, which is where you really start seeing these dramatic reductions in disease.

Optimizing Your Vitamin D Is a Key Disease Prevention Strategy

The evidence in support of vitamin D optimization is overwhelming, and becomes all the more compelling when the blood level is the primary parameter being measured and tracked. The key take-home message here is that 2,000 IUs is insufficient for most people, although it may still cut the risk of cancer by about 25 percent.

Overall, research supports the idea that higher levels offer greater cancer protection, and even levels as high as 100 ng/mL appear safe and beneficial. Importantly, having a serum vitamin D level of 60 ng/mL has been shown to positively impact anyone with breast cancer or Type 1 diabetes, as well as pregnant women and lactating mothers.

It’s a shame that so many researchers still have not grasped the importance of measuring blood levels rather than simply going by dosage, and relatively low dosages at that. In reality, what this NEJM study (and others like it) show is that insufficient vitamin D dosage fails to achieve optimal results. It’s not that vitamin D itself is useless. GrassrootsHealth D*Action study is clearly leading the pack here, revealing what’s required.

It’s an ongoing study that relies on public participation, and you can join at any time. To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)

As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year study, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every six months for your sponsorship of this research project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress.

You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you “it’s time for your next test and health survey.” By participating in this project, you help move vitamin D research forward so that, hopefully, one day we can end this nonsensical debate about whether vitamin D optimization is worth pursuing or not.

– Sources and References

The cancer fighting benefits of Coenzyme Q10

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/benefits-of-coq10-3221.html

by:  

benefits-of-coq10

(NaturalHealth365) Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a substance found in every cell of our body. It is in a variety of foods, and healthy people are not likely to develop a deficiency of this nutrient. But, you might want to think about taking in some extra CoQ10 – especially if you’re taking a statin to lower your cholesterol levels.

CoQ10 has many potential health benefits, including possibly lowering the risk of certain cancers. Women, especially, should take note, since recent research points to links between breast cancer risk and lower levels of CoQ10 in the blood.

Clearing up the confusion about CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 is technically not a vitamin because your body can synthesize it, so you do not need to get it from food. However, its structure is similar to that of vitamins. Also like vitamins, it acts as a coenzyme functions in your body’s metabolic reactions.

CoQ10 also has powerful antioxidant properties. For example, it helps prevent harmful oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and it supplements the work of vitamin E, or tocopherol. When your blood levels of CoQ10 are lower, your body needs more vitamin E from the diet to carry out heart-healthy antioxidant reactions.

What are the health benefits associated with CoQ10?

Can a Coenzyme Q10 deficiency increase the risk of cancer?

Since the 1960s, researchers have noted associations between lower blood levels of CoQ10 and cancer. People with lymphoma, myeloma, and lung, head, neck, and prostate cancers tend to have lower levels of CoQ10.

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A recent study looking into links between CoQ10 and breast cancer examined data from nearly 1,000 women aged 40 to 70 in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study. Those who had serum levels of CoQ10 in the bottom fifth of participants had a 90 percent greater chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer than those whose levels were in the middle fifth.

“The current Shanghai Women’s Health Study, with relatively larger sample size and longer follow-up time suggests an inverse association for plasma CoQ10 levels with breast cancer risk in Chinese women,” according to study authors Robert V. Cooney of the University of Hawaii and colleagues. Based on these results, future research should investigate potential effects of supplementation on the risk of breast cancer.

The study also confirmed the association between low CoQ10 and higher risk of cervical cancer, myeloma, and melanoma. This makes the results relevant to men as well as women. This study is far from definitive, but it seems likely that there is a link between healthy CoQ10 levels and reduction in cancer risk.

CoQ10 is in a variety of foods, including meat, fish, and eggs, and organ meats, such as heart, kidney, and liver, are especially rich sources. You can also find CoQ10 in plant-based foods, such as cauliflower, peanuts, soybean oil, and strawberries.

Obviously, you can obtain additional benefits, with ease, by supplementing your diet with a high quality CoQ10 supplement.

Sources for this article include:

Healthline.com
NaturalHealth365.com

Black Cohosh Better Than Prozac for Menopause

© 27th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
https://www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/black-cohosh-better-prozac-menopause

Posted on: Wednesday, November 27th 2019 at 4:45 pm

Do you feel fear or worry regarding the onset of menopause, either for yourself or someone you love? Antidepressants and hormone treatments may be the popular prescriptions, but before you take medications with serious risks, learn about the incredible results of black cohosh for those pesky, sweaty, hot flashy nights

Even in the modern day, there are abundant myths and mysteries surrounding menopause, the period in a woman’s life that occurs 12 months after her last menstrual cycle.[1] Perimenopause, the transition period before menopause, is marked by hormonal changes leading to the cessation of menses.[2]

Both phases, hereafter collectively referred to as menopause, are characterized by physical and psycho-social changes that lend to the stories surrounding women’s behaviors, thoughts, and feelings during this time of transition.

Menopause can range from a few months to several years in duration and is spurred by decreased estrogen production in the ovaries. These hormonal shifts can have associated and, at times, unpleasant side-effects, which may be managed through holistic or pharmacological interventions, or a combination of the two modalities.

Historically, some have prescribed to the belief that “the change” brings about an unwelcome and inevitable reality, both for women and the men in their lives. Is it any wonder that the “fix” has become to prescribe mood-altering drugs, or to attempt to “put back” the hormones that the passage of time is depleting? In truth, this natural cessation of fertility need not be synonymous with a distressing or unpleasant experience.

Antidepressants are widely prescribed for menopause symptoms ranging from depression and low libido, to anxiety and social isolation. Instead of directly addressing the emotional aspects of aging, empty-nesting, and our physiological need for strong social bonds, modern medical dogma is to simply prescribe a “magic pill” in hopes that these uncomfortable feelings will disappear.

Beyond the emotional and psychological impacts, vasomotor symptoms are commonly experienced during perimenopause up to full menopause. Changes in body temperature such as flushing and night sweats are frequently reported, and the condition known as “hot flashes” can onset. According to a 2008 study,[3] nearly 80% of peri- and postmenopausal women reported experiencing some or all of these symptoms.

Medicating Menopause: A Risky Prescription

A popular treatment administered to menopausal women in the U.S. is ERT, or estrogen replacement therapy. While it may seem natural to replace fading endogenous hormones with an exogenous supply,  warning bell has been sounded regarding potentially harmful side effects.[4] ERT has been linked to cancercardiovascular disease and stroke, among other concerning outcomes.[5]

Another prescribed treatment for vasomotor symptoms is gabapentin, known by the brand name Neurontin, an anti-seizure drug used to treat nerve pain and conditions such as restless leg syndrome. Also prescribed for anxiety, gabapentin has a high potential for addiction and misuse,[6] and can have undesirable side effects such as slurred speech, blurred vision and impaired motor function.[7] Even worse, Neurontin has been linked to cases of suicidal ideation[8] and respiratory failure,[9] among other serious side effects.[10]

Another option frequently prescribed are the broad spectrum of mood-altering and antidepressant drugs. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs, and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, SNRIs are often the first course of treatment when a menopausal patient complains of depression, lethargy, or hormonal issues.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are 2.5 times more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant than men.[11] Nearly 23% of woman ages 40 to 59 are taking antidepressant medication in the U.S., more than any other age-sex group.[12]

Validated by Science: Natural Options for Hormonal Balance

While natural options for managing menopause may not be routinely prescribed by allopathic physicians, science has validated that black cohosh is a viable treatment for several discomforting symptoms of this life-changing transition.

This double-blind placebo-controlled study, found that black cohosh (scientific name: Cimicifuga Racemosa) was “equipotent” to mixed-estrogen drugs for relief from vasomotor symptoms, and for improving markers of bone metabolism, a factor related to osteoporosis.

What’s not equal when comparing most plant medicines to pharmaceuticals are potential adverse effects. Premarin®, a popular mixed-estrogen drug, has a warning label that cites increased risks of heart attack, cancer, blood clots and stroke,[13] while studies involving a 12-month course of treatment with black cohosh root (the part of the plant used in herbal formulations) show it was administered with no known adverse effects.[14]

Another impressive study pitting black cohosh against a popular prescription involves Prozac® for treatment of postmenopausal symptoms. The 2007 study, published in Advances in Therapy, compared questionnaires from 120 healthy women with menopausal symptoms who rated such factors as quality of life, depression scores, and frequency and severity of vasomotor symptoms like flushing and night sweats.[15]

Women in this study were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups, with one group receiving fluoxetine (generic form of Prozac®) and the other group receiving black cohosh. The women were surveyed before, during and after the study, for a period of six months. They kept daily diaries recording the number and intensity of hot flashes and night sweats, as well as completing several standardized questionnaires.

Results of this study showed that black cohosh reduced overall scores for hot flushes and night sweats better than Prozac®. At the end of the sixth month of treatment, black cohosh reduced the hot flush score by 85%, compared with a 62% result for fluoxetine.

By the study’s end, 40 women taking the prescription drug had discontinued the study, while only 20 women in the black cohosh group discontinued, potentially speaking to benefits gained from long-term use of herbs, the reverse of which is true for many pharmaceutical drugs, which are contraindicated for longer periods of use.

Managing Change Gracefully

Placebo effect dictates that the beliefs we hold about our health and treatment options have significant impact on our experiences. Be aware of any negative beliefs you might hold about menopause; despite popular opinions and superstitions,[1] there is no mandate that this phase of life must be a difficult one.

With improved psycho-social awareness of the stressors women experience mid-life, and better understanding of naturally effective treatment options, we can begin to view menopause as a celebration of life rather than the death of fertility. It’s the dawning of a new cycle, a time ripe for giving of your experience and wisdom. Protect your vitality with naturally effective plant medicine and enjoy all the seasons of your life.

To learn more about black cohosh and other natural treatment options for menopause, explore the 79 abstracts and 38 natural substances that are compiled on GreenMedInfo’s Research Database.


References

[1] Menopause and Hormone Replacement February 25, 2015 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279050/

[2] The North American Menopause Society, Menopause 101 https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/menopause-101-a-primer-for-the-perimenopausal

[3] Frequency and severity of vasomotor symptoms among peri- and postmenopausal women in the United States. Williams RE, Kalilani L, DiBenedetti DB, Zhou X, Granger AL, Fehnel SE, Levine KB, Jordan J, Clark RV. Climacteric. 2008 Feb; 11(1):32-43. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18202963/

[4] Project Aware https://www.project-aware.org/Managing/Hrt/benefits-risks.shtml

[5] Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Sep;173(3 Pt 2):982-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7573295

[6] J Exp Pharmacol. 2017; 9: 13-21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5308580/

[7] Toxnet, Gabapentin https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+7364

[8] Pregabalin-induced self-harm behavior. Tandon VR, Mahajan V, Gillani ZH, Mahajan A. Indian J Pharmacol. 2013 Nov-Dec; 45(6):638-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24347781/

[9] Recurrent hypoventilation and respiratory failure during gabapentin therapy. Batoon SB, Vela AT, Dave D, Wahid Z, Conetta R, Iakovou C, Banzuela M. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2001 Apr; 49(4):498. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11347805/

[10] Pfizer, Neurontin https://www.pfizermedicalinformation.com/en-us/neurontin/adverse-reactions

[11] U.S. CDC, NCHS Data Brief No. 76, October 2011 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db76.htm

[12] U.S. CDC, NCHS Data Brief No. 76, October 2011 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db76.htm

[13] Pfizer, Premarin https://www.pfizermedicalinformation.com/en-us/patient/premarin

[14] National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Black Cohosh https://nccih.nih.gov/health/blackcohosh/ataglance.htm

[15] Adv Ther. 2007 Mar-Apr;24(2):448-61.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17565936

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

An Avocado a Day Boosts Your Brain

© 27th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/avocado-day-boosts-your-brain

LeanMachine Note: Lutein with Zeaxanthin is available as a supplement.