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Could Mouthwash Be an Ally in Fighting COVID-19?


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/06/11/can-mouthwash-prevent-covid-19.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola      Fact Checked

June 11, 2020

can mouthwash prevent covid 19

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Research shows many dental mouthwashes destroy the lipid layer of coronaviruses and reduce the replication of the virus in the throat and salivary glands, making mouthwash a potentially useful prophylactic against COVID-19
  • Mouthwashes that include ethanol, chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, hydrogen peroxide or povidone-iodine are especially effective and may even work against any new coronavirus strains that emerge
  • Certain mouthwashes, particularly povidone-iodine containing ones, have been shown to minimize the risk of viral infections and upper respiratory tract infections
  • While mouthwash may lower your risk of COVID-19 infection, their “scorched earth” impact can also create an imbalance in your oral microbiome. An alternative is to use oil pulling with coconut oil or MCT oil
  • Nebulized hydrogen peroxide may also help prevent and treat early signs of COVID-19 and other viral infections

New research1,2,3 shows many dental mouthwashes destroy the lipid layer of coronaviruses and reduces the replication of the virus in the throat and salivary glands, making mouthwash a potentially useful prophylactic against COVID-19. As noted by the authors:4

“Emerging studies increasingly demonstrate the importance of the throat and salivary glands as sites of virus replication and transmission in early COVID-19 disease. SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus, characterized by an outer lipid membrane derived from the host cell from which it buds.”

Mouthwashes that include ethanol, chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, hydrogen peroxide or povidone-iodine are especially effective and may even work against any new coronavirus strains that emerge, as the virus’ lipid envelope remains unchanged even when it mutates into new strains.

Previous research5 has also pointed out that certain mouthwashes, particularly povidone-iodine containing ones, may help minimize the risk of viral infections and upper respiratory tract infections. Listerine and 3% hydrogen peroxide have also been shown to eliminate bacteria from toothbrushes with 100% efficacy.6

Hydrogen Peroxide Has Multiple Uses

Unfortunately, extended lockdowns have prevented many from seeing their dentist for regular cleanings and other dental work. Social distancing rules and depression may also have contributed to relaxed dental hygiene among many. This is a grave mistake, as your oral health plays an important part in your overall health.

While mouthwash may lower your risk of COVID-19 infection, their “scorched earth” impact can also create an imbalance in your oral microbiome. Twice-daily use of mouthwash has also been linked to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, so, it may be a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of this strategy.

In “For Optimal Health, Mind Your Oral Microbiome,” Dr. Gerry Curatola discusses the drawbacks of mouthwash and fluoride and the importance of maintaining a healthy oral microbiome. That said, hydrogen peroxide may indeed be an excellent prophylactic and remedy against COVID-19 and other viral illnesses, not just as a mouthwash but also as a nebulized treatment.

Dr. Thomas Levy7 has issued guidance8 on how to use nebulized hydrogen peroxide for the prevention and treatment of viral respiratory infections. Dentists are also advised to use 0.5% to 2% peroxide to destroy the SARS-CoV-2 virus as they return to practice,9 and this includes using it as a preprocedural rinse.

How Hydrogen Peroxide Works Against Viruses

To inactivate viruses with hydrogen peroxide, all you need is a nebulizer with a face mask that covers your mouth and nose that emits a fine mist, and food grade hydrogen peroxide that is diluted to 1% or less if you have any irritation. The microscopic mist, similar to smoke or vapor, can be comfortably inhaled deep into your nostrils, sinuses and lungs.

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) consists of a water molecule (H2O) with an extra oxygen atom, and it is the additional oxygen atom that allows it to inactivate viral pathogens. Viruses are not “alive” per se. They need a live host in which they can infect live cells that then replicate the viral DNA and RNA. Once a cell is infected, newly replicated viruses exit the cell and move on to the next cell to duplicate the process.

So, when we talk about “killing” a virus, we’re really talking about inactivating it by breaking down its structure. This is how mouthwash can inactivate viruses, and why soap works so well. Coronaviruses are held together by a lipid (fatty) coating. Soap, being amphipathic10 — meaning it can dissolve most molecules — dissolves this fat membrane, causing the virus to fall apart and become harmless.

Hydrogen peroxide works in a similar way. Some of your immune cells actually produce hydrogen peroxide to destroy pathogens. By killing the infected cell, viral reproduction is stopped. So, hydrogen peroxide therapy is in essence only aiding your immune cells to perform their natural function more effectively.

Hydrogen peroxide is also a key redox signaling agent that creates oxidative eustress.11 Contrary to oxidative stress or oxidative distress, oxidative eustress denotes an oxidative challenge that has positive or beneficial effects and is essential in redox signaling.

If you’re already presenting with runny nose or sore throat, Levy recommends using the nebulizer for 10 to 15 minutes four times a day until your symptoms are relieved. You can also use nebulized hydrogen peroxide for prevention and maintenance, which may be advisable during flu season, or while the COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing. Levy notes:12

“As it is a completely non-toxic therapy, nebulization can be administered as often as desired. If done on a daily basis at least once, a very positive impact on bowel and gut function will often be realized as killing the chronic pathogen colonization present in most noses and throats stops the 24/7 swallowing of these pathogens and their associated toxins.

If daily prevention is not a practical option, the effectiveness of this treatment is optimized when somebody sneezes in your face or you finally get off of the plane after a trans-Atlantic flight. Don’t wait for initial symptoms. Just nebulize at your first opportunity.”

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Oil Pulling Also Breaks Down Lipid Membranes

Oil pulling is another way to promote and maintain good oral hygiene. It’s ability to break down fat-soluble membranes could potentially render it useful against viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 as well, although there are no studies that I am aware of that have looked into this.

Mouth rinsing and gargling with warm oils is mentioned, however, in a May 11, 2020, paper13 reviewing Ayurvedic approaches that might be helpful for COVID-19 prophylaxis.

Oil pulling has been scientifically verified to help eliminate unhealthy biofilm, debris and harmful bacteria from your teeth,14 much like mouthwash. It basically acts as a safe and natural detergent, without the adverse effects. According to one review paper, oil pulling has been shown to:15

  • Reduce bacterial count by 20% after 40 days of pulling using sesame oil
  • Reduce the severity of dental caries
  • Reduce plaque and gingival indices by 50% after 30 days of oil pulling (which is comparatively similar to results produced by chlorhexidine)
  • Reduce plaque induced gingivitis

One of the reasons it works so well for cleansing your teeth and gums is because bacteria have fat-soluble membranes that break down with the mechanical action of swishing and pulling the oil through your teeth.16

Coconut oil, which is an excellent option, has the added advantage of inhibiting Streptococcus mutans, the chief bacteria responsible for cavities.17 Another alternative is to use MCT oil, which also has antibacterial properties. To whichever oil you use, you can also add a drop or two of oregano oil or olive leaf oil, both of which have both antibacterial and antiviral18,19 activity.

Basic Oil Pulling Instructions

Here are the basic instructions for how to do oil pulling:

  • Measure out about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or MCT oil. You may find this is too much or not enough, but it’s a good place to start.
  • Swish the oil around your mouth, using your tongue and cheeks to pull the oil through your teeth. Coconut oil is solid below 76 degrees F (24.4 degrees C) but will quickly liquefy once you start moving it around your mouth. Try to relax your jaw muscles to avoid muscle fatigue.
  • Although you’re using it like you would a mouthwash, avoid gargling and be careful not to swallow the oil. If you feel the urge to swallow, spit it out and start again.
  • After several minutes, the oil begins to thicken, becoming milky white. After five to 10 minutes of pulling, spit the oil into your garbage can or outdoors. Spitting it into the sink may cause your drain to clog.

Increasing the pH in your mouth after pulling may reduce bacterial growth even further. To do that, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda or potassium bicarbonate in 6 ounces of water and gargle. This will alkalize the pH of your mouth, and since bacteria thrive in an acidic environment, the increased pH will discourage growth.

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.

7 Amazing Healing Powers of Aloe Vera

© 30th October 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/7-amazing-healing-powers-aloe-vera
Posted on: Wednesday, October 30th 2019

7 Amazing Healing Powers of Aloe Vera

Around 1750 BC Hannibal waged war to control the areas in North Africa where aloe vera flourished. It’s no wonder when you understand the powerful medicine contained in this plant

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that belongs to the lily family. There are more than 300 species of the aloe plant, but the Aloe barbadensis species exhibits the most proven medicinal properties.

To date, there have been 75 nutrients identified in the gel of the aloe plant. It contains vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6, choline, folic acid, alpha-tocopherol, and beta-carotene. In addition, aloe gel and whole leaf extracts improve absorption of both vitamin C and vitamin E.

Aloe vera also provides 19 of the 20 required amino acids and seven of the eight essential ones. And it contains digestive enzymes like amylase to break down starch and sugar, and lipase to help break down fats.

Aloe vera has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Hannibal is said to have waged war in order to control its growing area in North Africa around 1750 BC. It has been used to traditionally to treat burns, hair loss, acne, skin infections, hemorrhoids, sinusitis, and gastrointestinal pain. It also heals bruises, x-ray burns, and insect bites.

In modern times, aloe vera has become a home remedy for dry skin, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. Its amazing pharmacological actions include anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral, and antifungal.

GreenMedInfo’s research database contains 39 studies on the benefits of aloe vera. Here are just seven conditions it is proven to heal.

1. Skin Aging

Aloe is an established topical remedy for skin. But a 2009 study found taking aloe orally reduces facial wrinkles. In the study, 30 healthy women over the age of 45 took aloe vera gel as a supplement. One group took a low dose (1,200 mg/day) and a second group took a high-dose (3,600 mg/day).

The researchers measured signs of skin aging at the beginning and end of the study. After just 90 days, the researchers found that facial wrinkles improved significantly in both groups. But in the lower dose group facial elasticity also improved.

How does it work? The researchers found that the aloe increased collagen production leading to better structural support of the skin and fewer wrinkles. They also found aloe decreased gene activity that causes collagen to become damaged in the first place.

2. Psoriasis

Swedish researchers found that a cream containing aloe vera is effective for the treatment of psoriasis. They conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 60 patients with psoriasis. Patients were given either an aloe vera extract (0.5%) cream or placebo cream to apply three times a day for five consecutive days per week. The study went on for 16 weeks but with only four weeks of active treatment and 12 months of follow-up. By the end of the study, the aloe vera cream cured 25 of 30 psoriasis patients or 83.3%. Only two out of 30 patients in the placebo group were cured or 6.6%.

3. Cancer

Consistent with its other skin benefits, aloe vera may also prevent and treat skin cancer. A study from the University of Belgrade School of Medicine found that aloe vera and its constituents inhibit the skin cell proliferation that accompanies skin cancer. The researchers radiated human skin cells to simulate sun damage and trigger the process of proliferation that leads to skin tumors. They found that treating the cells with aloe-emodin, a constituent of aloe, significantly stopped the proliferation process. This confirmed aloe’s benefit in halting the progression of tumor formation after sun exposure.

But its cancer effects aren’t limited to skin. Studies also show that aloe vera may help prevent cervical cancer. A study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention found that a cream containing aloe vera, curcumin, reetha, and amla (brand name “Basant”) is an effective and safe therapy for the clearance of cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Researchers studied a group of women with HPV that had not yet progressed to high grade cervical neoplasias (i.e. cervical pre-cancer). Of the women who used the Basant vaginal cream for 30 consecutive days, 87.7% cleared the HPV infection compared to 73.3% of the placebo group.

In addition, aloe improves treatment outcomes for cancer patients. In one study 240 patients with metastatic tumors were randomized to receive chemotherapy alone or chemo accompanied by 10 ml of aloe given orally three times a day. The aloe group had significantly better regression of their tumors and better 3-year survival rates.

4. Periodontal Disease

Aloe vera has been found effective when added to toothpaste and mouthwash. In one study 15 patients with periodontitis (an infectious inflammatory disease of the gums) received injections of aloe vera gel in the gums around certain teeth. All of the patients had improvements in plaque build-up and their periodontal condition.

Using aloe vera juice as a mouthwash also reduces plaque buildup on the teeth. In a study of 300 people in India, researchers compared 100% aloe vera juice with a placebo and the chemical mouthwash chlorhexidine. Chemical mouthwashes cannot be used long-term because of side-effects like altered taste sensation, staining of the tongue, hypersensitivity reactions, and toxicity. For four days the 300 subjects were randomly assigned to either use the chlorhexidine, aloe vera, or placebo mouthwash. At the end of the study aloe vera juice worked just as well to reduce plaque buildup as the chemical mouthwash but without any side effects. It also worked significantly better than the placebo.

Aloe vera juice is also effective for a range of other dental problems including gingivitis, mouth sores from radiation therapy, and oral lichen planus (OLP). OLP is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects mucous membranes inside your mouth. It shows up as white, lacy patches, red, swollen tissues, or open sores that can cause burning and pain.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 54 patients with OLP in Thailand subjects were given either aloe vera gel or placebo. After eight weeks 81% of the aloe group had a good response compared to only 4% of the placebo group. And 7% of the aloe group had complete clinical remission while 33% had complete resolution of burning pain.

Topical aloe vera also improves the quality of life for patients with OLP. In a Spanish study 64 patients with OLP were randomized in a double-blind study to either aloe vera or placebo. The aloe vera group received a topical dose of 0.4 ml (70% concentration) three times a day. In the aloe group, 31.2% of patients had complete pain remission after 6 weeks compared to only 17.2% of the placebo group.

5. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Taking oral aloe vera gel improves irritable bowel symptoms in just four weeks. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial 44 patients with mild to moderate active ulcerative colitis were given 100 ml of aloe vera gel or placebo twice a day. Various measures of the disease improved 30 to 47% with the aloe vera compared to only 7 to 14% for the placebo.

6. Diabetes

Aloe vera helps lower blood glucose levels. In one study of five patients with non-insulin diabetes, subjects were given half a teaspoon of the dried sap of the aloe plant (aloes) per day for 4 to 14 weeks. Fasting blood glucose levels fell an average of 122 points in every patient with no change in body weight. The researchers concluded that aloes contains a hypoglycemic agent that lowers blood glucose.

7. Wound Healing

Dressing cesarean section incisions with aloe vera gel increased healing within 24 hours of surgery according to one study of 90 women in Iran.

And a preliminary study of 30 patients in Nigeria found that aloe vera gel was just as effective as benzyl benzoate lotion to treat scabies.

Aloe vera gel has also been found to be a safe and effective treatment for patients with vulval lichen planus.

For more information, visit GreenMedInfo’s page on aloe vera.

Originally published: 2016-04-26

Article updated: 2019-10-30

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.

The link between gum disease, hypertension and heart attacks

By:  

Reproduced from original article:

(NaturalHealth365) Did you know that nearly half of all people over the age of 30 have some degree of gum disease?  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this means many Americans either already have poor oral health or are well on their way to developing it.

This may come as surprise, but bad teeth and foul breath aren’t the only problems gum disease causes. A September 2019 meta-analysis and systematic review published in Cardiovascular Research finds that having periodontitis – an advanced form of gum disease – increases your chances of having hypertension, a major heart attack risk factor.

3 shocking ways poor oral health affects heart health

The scientific and medical communities overwhelmingly agree – poor oral health can damage your heart and increase your risk for:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Heart attacks
  3. Strokes

But how?

In the new Cardiovascular Research paper, researchers analyzed 81 studies of the link between gum disease and hypertension (high blood pressure).  Based on this large collection of data, they found that moderate to severe gum disease increased a person’s risk of hypertension by 22%.

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Severe gum disease increased a person’s risk by as much as 49%!

In other words: poor oral health can significantly increase your risk for hypertension, which we know is a major stroke and heart attack risk factor.  Investigators believe the increased inflammation caused by gum disease and oral bacteria are major phenomenons behind this link.

Their findings have major implications.  They note that even just a modest rise in blood pressure (say, +5 mmHg) may increase a person’s risk of death from heart attack or stroke by as much as 25%!

And as if this isn’t – pardon the pun – heartbreaking enough, poor oral health can also increase a person’s risk for diabetes, cancer, and (in pregnant women) low birth weight and premature delivery.

Now for the good news: Proper oral healthcare can improve your lifespan

A 2011 cohort study published in Journal of Aging Research found that brushing teeth every night, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly were associated with increased longevity in older adults.

And, even though this study has some flaws, the findings make sense: by keeping your teeth and gums healthy, you can reduce your risk of the many health problems associated with poor health, and thus increase your life expectancy.

Plus, it’s reasonable to say that a person who is committed enough to practice daily healthy teeth habits is also likely to practice other healthy habits, too, like exercising, avoiding sugary drinks and foods, and not smoking.

What’s the takeaway?  Be the kind of person who brushes and flosses daily – it could save your life!

Understand the top warning signs of gum disease

You might assume that if you have gum disease, you’d know it.  True, most of the signs and symptoms of gum disease are fairly noticeable, but some – like a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down or persistent bad breath – are easy to miss.

Here are the other top warning signs to look out for:

  • Gums that bleed while brushing, eating hard foods, and flossing
  • Red, tender, and swollen gums
  • Gums that recede from the teeth, which makes the teeth look longer
  • Pain, tenderness, or sores in your mouth
  • Loose teeth

Even if you think your teeth and gums are perfectly healthy, you should still visit a qualified, biological (or holistic) dentist at least once or twice per year.  Naturally, if you have serious oral health issues, you may need to see a dentist more often for check ups.

At home: oil pulling, sea salt rinses, the use of a hydrofloss and herbal mouthwashes can also be quite helpful.

Editor’s noteClick here for access to the Holistic Oral Health Summit, hosted by yours truly, Jonathan Landsman – featuring the best ways to avoid cavities, gum disease plus much more!

Sources for this article include:

Medicalnewstoday.com
Medicalnewstoday.com
Academic.oup.com
Perio.org
NIH.gov
Healthypeople.gov

From Tomb To Table: Cumin’s Health Benefits Rediscovered

© 20th September 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.com/blog/tomb-table-cumins-health-benefits-rediscovered

Posted on: Sunday, September 22nd 2019 at 8:30 am
Written By:  Sayer Ji, Founder

Traded along spice routes separating ancient cultures by vast distances, spices like cumin were once worth their weight in gold. Has modern science now revealed why, beyond their remarkable aesthetic value, they were so highly prized?

Many spices are perfectly happy living a charmed life as seasonings, peppering things generously with flavor, and without ever arousing the suspicion that they may be capable of profound acts of healing as well.

Meet cumin, a member of the parsley family, which is to say from a well-known family of healers native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Algeria and Tunisia).

Cumin’s traditional use stretches back into prehistory, as evidenced by its presence in Egyptian tombs.  The Greeks actually used it much like we use pepper today, keeping cumin at the dining table in its own container, which is still practiced by Moroccans to this day.  It is also been used for millennia in India as a traditional ingredient of curry.

An accumulating body of research now indicates that these ancient “culinary” uses, once considered primarily aesthetic in nature, may have served more fundamental medicinal roles in these cultures.  Modern scientific investigation has revealed that cumin has a broad range of potential healing properties that, when properly applied, could profoundly alleviate human suffering by providing natural alternatives to often highly toxic pharmaceutical interventions.

For instance, research published in the journal Food Chemistry and Toxicology demonstrated that cumin has blood sugar lowering properties comparable to the drug glibenclamide (known in the US as glyburide), with the additional benefit (not conferred by pharmaceutical intervention) that it also lowered oxidative stress and inhibited the advanced glycated end products (AGE), which are implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic microvascular complications.[i]

Remarkably, this is only the tip of cumin’s medicinal potential. There are at least 10 other potential medicinal properties of cumin now confirmed in the experimental literature:

  • Bacterial Infections:  Cumin oil has been shown effective at killing Klebsiella penumoniae bacteria, including decreasing biofilm formation (a defense mechanism of bacteria against antibiotics), as well as enhancing the antimicrobial activity of conventional antibiotic drugs like ciprofloxacin.[ii]  Even more impressive, perhaps, cumin oil has been shown to have anti-MRSA properties.[iii]
  • Candida (Yeast) Infection: Unlike conventional antibiotics which contribute to opportunistic fungal overgrowth, cumin has been shown to have considerable inhibitory activity against 3 different Candida albicans strains of yeast.[iv] It has also been studied to be effective against a wide range of other fungi and yeasts, including Aspergilli and dermatophytes (fungi that cause skin diseases).[v]
  • Cataracts: Cumin has been shown to delay the formation of diabetes-associated cataracts primarily through its anti-glycating properties, i.e. it prevents elevated blood sugar from getting “sticky” (i.e. caramelization) and subsequently damaging tissues in the body.[vi]
  • Cancers: Cumin has been shown in preclinical research to have inhibitory activity against cervical cancer[vii] and colon cancer. [viii]
  • Dental Plaque: Cumin oil has been shown effective as an anti-gingival agent alternative to the chemical chlorhexidine commonly used in mouthwashes.[ix]
  • Diabetes: As mentioned in our opening, cumin has significant anti-diabetic properties. Another 2002 study found that the treatment of diabetic rats with cumin was more effective than the drug glibenclamide, resulting in reductions in inflammation, fatty changes, tissue cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids, blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin – all positive indicators. [x]
  • Food-borne Pathogens – Cumin oil has been found to work synergistically with other food preservation agents to inhibit the growth of food-borne pathogens.[xi]
  • Immune Function: Cumin has been found to effectively stimulate immune function in a way that may benefit immune-compromised individuals.[xii]
  • Fertility (Reversible Contraceptive): Cumin has been found to have potent contraceptive activities in male rats without apparent toxicity.[xiii]
  • Memory Disorders: Cumin has been found to reduce stress-induced oxidative changes in the brain, as well as improving cognition, as determined by acquisition, retention and recovery in rats, in a dose-dependent manner.[xiv]
  • Morphine Dependence/Tolerance: Cumin reduces morphine tolerance and dependence. [xv] [xvi]
  • Osteoporosis: Cumin extract has been shown effective at reversing bone loss associated with the loss of ovarian function at least as well as estradiol.[xvii]
  • Thrombosis (Clot): Cumin seed has been demonstrated to inhibit platelet aggregation, indicating it may prevent pathological blood clotting.[xviii]  [Note: of course this means that it could interact adversely with blood thinners].

The so-called “evidence-based” approach of modern medical science to understanding cumin’s medicinal value is relatively new. Only in the past two decades, but especially in the past ten years, scientific research on spices and culinary herbs has virtually exploded. While enlightening, we must remember that the approach is limited in a number of ways. For one, it relies on animal research, which is both inherently cruel (vivisection) and conveys only approximate data, as these substances often have very different effects in animals than humans.

Also, spices like cumin should not be considered in isolation, as traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation contained a vast storehouse of medically relevant information pertaining to the synergies inherent in combinations of ingredients, modes of preparation, seasonal harvesting, etc. In other words, cumin does not lend itself well to the pharmacological, drug-based model of medicine, which presumes there are monochemical “magic bullets” within complex herbs or spices that must be identified and isolated into megadoses, and which are primarily responsible for their beneficial effects.

Nonetheless, it is welcoming that increasingly science confirms traditional herbalism and culinary practice. Perhaps, as the scientific evidence continues to pour in, we will be more willing to give ourselves permission to appreciate once again the wondrous superfluity of nature, its ceaseless benevolence, and the the fact that issuing directly from her fecund soil, are powerful healing gifts, that we can enjoy sensually, viscerally and now intellectually with greater abandon.


References

  • [iv] Juergen Wanner, Stefanie Bail, Leopold Jirovetz, Gerhard Buchbauer, Erich Schmidt, Velizar Gochev, Tanya Girova, Teodora Atanasova, Albena Stoyanova. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of cumin oil (Cuminum cyminum, Apiaceae). Nat Prod Commun. 2010 Sep ;5(9):1355-8. PMID: 20922990

Originally published: 2012-12-04

Article published: 2019-09-22

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.

Children used as poison detection devices

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked July 17, 2019
environmental toxic exposures children

Story at-a-glance

  • Children are being used as guinea pigs and virtual poison detection devices. Oftentimes, it’s only after decades of toxic exposure that effects become apparent, at which point countless children have already paid the price with their health
  • Research has shown elevated fluoride exposure from drinking fluoridated water can contribute to a seven-point drop in a child’s IQ score, on average, and that’s just one of the thousands of chemicals children are exposed to on any given day
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates as many as 24 million U.S. residences built before 1978 still contain lead, a potent neurotoxin known to cause cognitive and behavioral deficits
  • Our food supply has become a notorious source for toxic exposures, ranging from herbicides and pesticides to antibiotics and food additives of questionable safety
  • Other common sources of toxic exposures include cosmetics and personal care products, furniture and other household items treated with flame-retardant chemicals, nonorganic clothing, toys, car seats, household cleaning products, sunscreen and nonorganic diapers and tampons

Children experience greater exposure to chemicals pound-for-pound than adults and have an immature and porous blood-brain barrier, which allows greater chemical exposures to reach their developing brain. As a result, early exposures can have devastating, lifelong ramifications.

For example, as noted in the scientific review,1 “Neurobehavioral Effects of Developmental Toxicity,” published in the March 2014 issue of The Lancet, elevated fluoride exposure from drinking fluoridated water can contribute to a seven-point drop in a child’s IQ score,2 on average, and that’s just one of the thousands of chemicals children are exposed to on any given day.

As reported by c&en in 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists more than 85,000 chemicals found in the marketplace,3 and the list keeps getting longer. Of those, a mere 1% have been tested for safety.4

The Lancet paper identified 11 industrial chemicals known to disrupt brain development and cause brain damage, neurological abnormalities, reduced IQ and aggressiveness in children and, according to the authors:5

“We postulate that even more neurotoxicants remain undiscovered. To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy.

Untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity. To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse.”

Despite legislation, EPA weakens stance on toxic chemicals

Alas, to this day, a truly comprehensive global prevention strategy to protect children from toxic chemicals has yet to be implemented. Ditto for efforts to increase protections within the U.S. In 2010, then-U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg announced he would introduce a safer chemicals bill to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).6 As reported by Safer Chemicals at the time:7

“In opening remarks, Senator Frank Lautenberg said ‘the American public is a living breathing repository for chemical substances,’ and that as a result of inadequate testing of toxic chemicals, children have become test subjects.

‘Our children should not be used as guinea pigs,’ said Senator Lautenberg … Senator Lautenberg said his new bill would give the EPA the tools it needs to protect the public from unsafe chemicals by requiring testing of all chemicals in commerce and collecting data about harm to human health before chemicals can be added to consumer products.”

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act8 was signed into law June 22, 2016,9 thereby amending the TSCA. It requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to perform risk-based chemical assessments and “evaluate existing chemicals with clear and enforceable deadlines.”

EPA is not protecting you and your family

Alas, by the time 2018 rolled around, it became clear the updated TSCA had accomplished nothing. As reported in an Environmental Defense Fund blog post, dated February 5, 2018:10

Last August, Scott Pruitt announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would reverse course in its conduct of risk reviews of new chemicals under the reforms made in 2016 to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by the Lautenberg Act. 

The changes will effectively return the program to its pre-Lautenberg state — under which few chemicals were subject to any conditions and even fewer to any testing requirements — or make it even weaker.”

The blog describes some of the political wranglings that led the EPA to reverse course under the influence of the American Chemistry Council. A December 19, 2017, article in The New York Times also reported on the rollback, stating:11

“The Environmental Protection Agency will indefinitely postpone bans on certain uses of three toxic chemicals found in consumer products, according to an update of the Trump administration’s regulatory plans.

Critics said the reversal demonstrated the agency’s increasing reluctance to use enforcement powers granted to it last year by Congress under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

E.P.A. Administrator Scott Pruitt is ‘blatantly ignoring Congress’s clear directive to the agency to better protect the health and safety of millions of Americans by more effectively regulating some of the most dangerous chemicals known to man,’ said Senator Tom Carper, Democrat of Delaware and the ranking minority member on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee.”

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Neurotoxicity remains overlooked

Unfortunately, neurotoxicity tends to be largely overlooked because the effects are not as readily and visibly demonstrable as birth defects, for example. As noted in The Lancet paper:12

“David P Rall, former Director of the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, once noted that ‘if thalidomide had caused a ten-point loss of intelligence quotient (IQ) instead of obvious birth defects of the limbs, it would probably still be on the market.’

Many industrial chemicals marketed at present probably cause IQ deficits of far fewer than ten points and have therefore eluded detection so far, but their combined effects could have enormous consequences.”

To put it bluntly, children are being used as guinea pigs and virtual poison detection devices. Oftentimes, it’s only after decades of exposure that the effects become apparent, at which point countless children have already paid the price with their health.

While some sources of toxic exposure may be readily apparent, a vast majority is not. Most parents don’t consider the possibility of children’s toys, nursing pillows or car seats being a source of continuous toxic exposure, for example. Just how pervasive are the toxic exposures to our children? Read on to find out.

Lead exposure still rampant

Most recently, a June 26, 2019, article13 in The Guardian reports that “hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. remain at risk of exposure to lead, which causes cognitive and behavioral deficits.” Of the 31 states that have reported statistics on the percentage of children with elevated lead levels, Louisiana and Kentucky are among the worst.14

As noted in this article, many older homes still contain lead-based paint. Anna Almendrala tells the story of a young mother whose 2-year-old son developed the habit of gumming the window sills.

Initial blood testing revealed her son, who was already diagnosed with autism, had a lead level of 24 micrograms per one-tenth liter of blood, “almost five times higher than the reference point the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses to recommend a lead intervention,” Almendrala writes.15

Further testing revealed his blood level was 49 mcg, nearly 10 times higher than the recommended intervention threshold. Lead abatement inside the home revealed “lead hotspots on the door frames, window sills, and in her son’s bedroom closet.”

This story may sound like an anomaly, as lead-based paint was banned for use in housing in 1978.16 However, there are many older homes, and few families ever consider it might contain toxic remnants from years past.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates as many as 24 million U.S. residences built before 1978 still contain lead hazards, and in June 2019 announced $330 million in grants will be distributed to clean up lead and other safety hazards in low-income housing communities.17 Almendrala writes:18

“When it comes to lead exposure in America, we still don’t have a clear picture of how many children are being exposed to the neurotoxin and where they are.

This leaves hundreds of thousands of children vulnerable to the dangers of lead, and compounds inequality in the form of cognitive and behavioral deficits that can hamper communities for generations. Experts say that it’s possible to eradicate lead from American infrastructure, but that we don’t prioritize it.

‘We are currently doing things backwards [by] using children’s blood as detectors of environmental contamination,’ said Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who famously uncovered elevated levels of lead in her pediatric patients and linked it to a new water source in Flint, Michigan. ‘The screening that needs to happen is in the environment before children are ever exposed.’”

Nonorganic food supplies daily dose of poison

Our food supply has also become a notorious source for toxic exposures, ranging from herbicides and pesticides to antibiotics and food additives of questionable safety (having never undergone safety testing). For a list of some of the most common food additives to avoid, see “What Chemical Cocktail Is in Your Food?

Tests have indeed confirmed that those who eat nonorganic foods as a general rule have far higher levels of toxins in their system.19 In 2015, Joseph E. Pizzorno, founding president of Bastyr University, told The Sydney Morning Herald that toxins appear to be a primary culprit in most chronic diseases, and that “Pesticides used on the food people eat are a better predictor of Type 2 diabetes than any other factor we have today.”20

David Bellinger, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, has expressed similar concerns. According to his estimates, published in 2012, based on a population of 25.5 million American children, 16,899,488 IQ points have been lost due to exposure to organophosphate pesticides. Another 22,947,450 IQ points have been lost to lead exposure, and an additional 284,580 IQ points have been lost from methylmercury exposure.21,22

Of these, pesticides and methylmercury are both found in our diet (fish and seafood being the primary route of exposure for mercury23), while drinking water is an increasingly common source of lead.

In 2015, a report24 by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics25 warned that mounting chemical exposures now represent a major threat to human health and reproduction, stating that “prenatal exposure to chemicals and poor health outcomes are increasingly evident.”

The CHAMACOS Study26,27 is among those showing that very small amounts of pesticides may be harmful, in this case to children’s brains. It followed hundreds of pregnant women living in Salinas Valley, California, an agricultural mecca that has had up to a half-million pounds of organophosphates sprayed in the region per year.

The children were followed through age 12 to assess the impact the pesticides had on their development. It turns out the impact was quite dramatic. Mothers’ exposure to organophosphates during pregnancy was associated with:28

  • Shorter duration of pregnancy
  • Poorer neonatal reflexes
  • Lower IQ and poorer cognitive functioning in children
  • Increased risk of attention problems in children

Brenda Eskenazi, chief investigator of the CHAMACOS study, also noted that the effects of combined chemical exposures need further attention, as we still know very little about the synergistic effects of different chemicals.29

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are everywhere

In 2015, an Endocrine Society task force also issued its second scientific statement30 on endocrine-disrupting chemicals, noting that the health effects of hormone-disrupting chemicals are such that everyone needs to take proactive steps to avoid them. The statement also calls for improved safety testing to determine which chemicals may cause problems.

As far back as 2002, a paper31 in Environmental Science & Technology warned that endocrine disrupting 4-nonylphenols (NPs) “are ubiquitous in food,” but that’s certainly not the only source. As noted by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences:32

“A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT and other pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A. Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products — including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides.” 

One class of endocrine disrupting chemicals, per- and poly- fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS),33 commonly used in a wide variety of products, including nonstick food wrappers and containers, are also pervasive in the U.S. food supply, and at levels far exceeding the advisory limit for PFOA and PFAS in drinking water (there are currently no limits in food).

The testing, conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was performed in 2017 as part of its Total Diet Study34 and presented35 at the 2019 meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. PBS reported the findings, noting:36

“The levels in nearly half of the meat and fish tested were double or more the only currently existing federal advisory level for any kind of … PFAS. The level in the chocolate cake was higher: more than 250 times the only federal guidelines, which are for some PFAS in drinking water …

PFOS, an older form of PFAS no longer made in the U.S., turned up at levels ranging from 134 parts per trillion to 865 parts per trillion in tilapia, chicken, turkey, beef, cod, salmon, shrimp, lamb, catfish and hot dogs. Prepared chocolate cake tested at 17,640 parts per trillion of a kind of PFAS called PFPeA.

The FDA presentation also included what appeared to be previously unreported findings of PFAS levels — one spiking over 1,000 parts per trillion — in leafy green vegetables grown within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of an unspecified eastern U.S. PFAS plant and sold at a farmer’s market.”

Other common sources of daily toxic exposures

In truth, to create a comprehensive list of common toxic exposures, let alone a listing of all potential ones, would require far more space than can be afforded here. That said, here’s a sampling of toxic exposure routes you may not have thought of before.

To protect yourself and your family — especially your little ones — consider addressing some of these exposures; replacing them with nontoxic alternatives. You can read more by following the hyperlinks to previous articles, where I also provide suggestions for replacements.

Cosmetics and personal care products Household cleaning products
Furniture, mattresses and upholstery containing flame-retardant chemicals Nonorganic diapers, menstrual pads and tampons
Nonorganic clothing Sunscreen
Toys Car seats
Sources and References