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COVID Warning: The importance of avoiding a zinc deficiency

Reproduced from original article:

zinc-immunity-news(NaturalHealth365) As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across Europe and the United States, accompanied by more and more deaths, the need for optimal immune system defense has never been more urgent. Now, a new review in Advances in Nutrition highlights the ability of zinc to improve immune function, while acting against a wide variety of dangerous viruses including hepatitis C, HIV and more.

Editor’s note: Dr. Vladmir Zelenko, a New York physician has been using zinc – as part of a highly successful (inexpensive) treatment protocol.  Stay tuned … because I will be reporting on this more – in the near future.

Of course, scientists have long known that zinc can reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms. But now it appears zinc can act against more serious viral diseases as well.  So, today, let’s take a closer look at how this all works.

Zinc is antiviral on two different levels

Zinc, an essential mineral, is indispensable for cell division, growth and development. It also helps to produce hormones, break down carbohydrates from foods, and maintain the immune system.

A strong anti-inflammatory agent, zinc is also antioxidant – meaning that it has the power to scavenge and neutralize disease-causing free radicals.  Research has shown that zinc fights viruses in two ways … by not only being a direct antiviral, but it stimulates antiviral activity.

A widespread nutritional problem among older Americans

According to Dr. Emily Ho, a professor at the College of Public Health and Human Services at Oregon State University, 12 percent of all Americans – a significant chunk of the population – fail to obtain adequate zinc.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

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And, in those 65 and older – incidentally, the age group most susceptible to severe complications and poor outcomes from COVID-19 – the number vaults to a disturbing 40 percent!

Research has shown that zinc-deficient individuals are most at risk of developing viral infections. This is bad news at any time, of course – but is particularly dangerous in light of the current global coronavirus pandemic.

In a review published in Journal of Nutrition, researchers noted that zinc deficiency quickly diminishes cell-mediated responses, leading to increased opportunistic infections and mortality rates.  In fact, in one study, 30 days of suboptimal zinc intake led to losses of 30 to 80 percent in defense capacity, including tumor defense and antibody-mediated responses.

People most at risk for zinc deficiency include the elderly, and those with IBD, leaky gut, or other digestive disorders.  In addition, excessive alcohol use and certain medications – such as oral contraceptives – can deplete zinc levels as well.

Signs of zinc deficiency include frequent infections, fatigue, poor concentration, infertility and slow wound healing. Changes in sense of taste or smell, food cravings and hair loss can also be a warning sign.

Researchers discover a natural way to hinder viral replication

The good news: studies support the ability of zinc supplementation to boost immune status.  Short periods of zinc supplementation have been shown to substantially improve immune defense in individuals with HIV and chronic gastrointestinal disorders.

Even more impressive, however, is zinc’s activity against specific viruses – and its ability to interfere with viral replication cycle and genome transcription.  In other words, zinc inhibits the ability of viruses to reproduce and spread.

In an extensive review of studies published in Advances in Nutrition, the authors reported that zinc caused a reduction in viral load in cases of respiratory syncytial virus – and inhibited viral RNA and protein synthesis in a gastroenteritis virus.

This virus-fighting micronutrient was also shown in clinical trials to reduce the duration and severity of herpes simplex outbreaks, to decrease markers of inflammation in hepatitis C, and to reduce infection and increase CD4 T cell count in HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

Clearly, zinc is effective against some viral “heavy hitters!”  By the way, zinc has also been shown to inhibit SARS, a virus closely related to COVID-19.

And, in trial after trial, zinc reduced the severity, frequency and duration of symptoms of the common cold.

In a landmark study published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, zinc gluconate lozenges were taken every two hours by participants suffering from the common cold. After a week, 86 percent of the 37 zinc-treated subjects were free of cold symptoms, compared with only 46 percent of the placebo-treated participants.

A powerful way to BOOST the immune defense of elderly people

While declining immune system strength is a consequence of advancing age, studies show that zinc supplementation may be able to help “recharge” the body’s defenses.  In one double-blind placebo-controlled trial, 53 participants over age 65 with low zinc status were given either 30 mg of zinc or a placebo containing only 5 mg of zinc for three months.

The team found that the group that received the 30-mg dosage of zinc displayed a significant increase in their levels of infection-fighting T cells.  The scientists concluded that “zinc supplementation could play an important role in improving immunity and preventing infectious diseases, such as pneumonia, in the elderly.”

Don’t forget how “optimal levels” can help you AVOID chronic illness

The Office of Dietary Supplements advises that men should get 11 mg of zinc a day, while women should get 8 mg.  You can boost your dietary intake of zinc with grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, organic chickpeas, cage-free eggs, cashews and pumpkin seeds.

Zinc is available as a supplement in lozenges, capsules, syrups, tablets or (even better) liposomal form.  Of course, we suggest you consult with your integrative healthcare provider before adding zinc to your daily routine.

Keep in mind: excessive amounts of zinc can cause unwanted side effects like nausea, diarrhea and a copper deficiency.

The bottom line: healthy levels of zinc are crucial for proper immune function – and for all-important defense against dangerous viral infections.  We just have to be smart about getting the right amount.

Sources for this article include:


So Where Are the Bodies THIS Year?

© 1st February 2020 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:


Written by Brenton Wight, Health Researcher, LeanMachine
Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight, LeanMachine
Updated 8th February 2020

Over 60 million people in the world have glaucoma, but only 30 million know they have it as there are no warning signs.
High intra-ocular pressure causes destruction of retinal ganglion cells, leading to vision loss.
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness and Glaucoma is second.
There is no cure for glaucoma. Treatments focus on reducing intra-ocular pressure, but this does not always prevent further degradation.
High risk groups:

  • Those over 60
  • Those with a family history
  • Diabetics
  • Those who are severely nearsighted
  • Those with light colored eyes. Grey or blue eyes have the highest risk, brown the least
  • Those with increased IOP (intra-ocular pressure)
  • Those with compromised blood flow to the optic nerve
  • Those living with air pollution

What is Glaucoma?

In wide angle glaucoma, the most common form, changes in the trabecular meshwork prevent the aqueous liquid from draining correctly, resulting in an increase in the pressure (inta-ocular pressure) inside the eye.
image trabecular meshwork
The trabecular meshwork is an area around the base of the cornea, responsible for draining the aqueous humor (the liquid in the eye).
The increase in pressure causes destruction of retinal ganglion cells that form part of the optic nerve, resulting in peripheral vision loss, i.e. less vision in the extreme left, right, high and low fields, while the central vision remains relatively intact until the progression of vision loss in the extremities slowly creeps toward the centre of vision.
As glaucoma is more common as we age, and AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) is also more common as we age, and affects the central vision, we must look after the health of our eyes to retain as much vision as possible.
In my upcoming article on Macular eye disease, I will discuss the fact that Age-related Macular Degeneration has NOTHING to do with age, but many other factors such as taking aspirin, which increases the effect of blood leakage in the macular area of the retina, compounding the degeneration.
We must look at both conditions, as if we lose central as well as extremities vision, hope for retaining any eyesight is poor.

Cause of Glacoma

Doctors cannot explain why some people get glaucoma and others do not, even if their intra-ocular pressure is raised.
Mitochrondrial dysfunction appears to be the main cause, according to recent studies on glaucoma-prone mice, where glaucoma progression was halted by high doses of Niacin (Vitamin B3), or in particular, by NAD+ which is a derivative of B3. NAD (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) exists in the body in two forms, the oxidized form NAD+ and reduced form NADH. As we age, we produce less and less NAD, which explains increasing risk for glaucoma as well as many other age-related conditions. Seniors have only half the mitochondria of young people.
The mouse studies used a very high dose of Vitamin B3, equivalent to a human taking 40 grams. A typical high-dose Niacin is low in cost and good insurance, improving cardiovascular health as well.
Even better is NADH which is more expensive, but many times more effective.
Also, mitochondrial function can be improved with PQQ, (Pyrroloquinoline Quinine).
A recent study on air pollution:
“The more polluted the air, the higher the risk is that those who live in that area will develop glaucoma”, claims a new study from the UK, published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Researchers found that when the amount of fine particulate matter (FPM, particles 2.5 microns or less in diameter, also called PM 2.5) was higher, the rate of self-reported glaucoma was increased by at least 6%, in contrast to the areas with the least air pollution.

If we ask our Optometrist if there is any food or supplement that can help ward off glaucoma, they will usually say “There is nothing you can do. Take your eye drops, and prepare for surgery.”
Yet, their own web site contains the study info:www.optometry.org.au/blog-news/2017/3/6/vitamin-could-stop-glaucoma/
Could it be that they do not want to lose patients? Why not advise everyone that a daily dose of Vitamin B3 has no side effects and may just stop us from going blind!

See studies below on NADH.

This is not surprising to LeanMachine. I have been advising people for years that most age and lifestyle diseases are caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. Cancer research has all been about genetics, but it is the mitochondria that produces a chemical that produces apoptosis, the programmed cell death of an unhealthy cell. Without healthy mitochondria, we are at a higher risk for cancer, as we need the mitochondria to destroy sick cells before the cancer gets a foothold.
Mitochondria are the energy-producing organelles inside the cytoplasm of every living cell, producing ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which we need for everything we do.
As babies, each cell in our body has over 2,000 mitochondria, inherited only from our mother. Some cells requiring more energy have more mitochondria, like heart muscle cells, having around 5,000 mitochondria. At senior age, we only have a few hundred. Exercise increases mitochondria, there is a good reason to get off the couch.

Types of Glaucoma

  • Open Angle (chronic) Glaucoma – the most common type where aqueous fluid drains too slowly from aging of the drainage channel, causing pressure to build inside the eye. Younger people can also get this type. People do not notice vision changes at first because the sharpness of central vision is retained until late stages
  • Normal Tension Glaucoma – also called Low Tension or Normal Pressure Glaucoma. Not related to high pressure, but where the optic nerve is damaged even at normal pressure, or reduced blood supply to the optic nerve. Symptoms include migraine headaches, cold hands and feet, low blood pressure or other blood vessel problems. Those of Japanese descent have a higher risk
  • Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma – where the eye drainage becomes blocked, resulting in a sudden rise in pressure requiring emergency medical care. Symptoms can include blurred vision, severe headaches, eye pain, nausea, vomiting, rainbow-like halos seen around bright lights. Sometimes there are no symptoms. Higher risk for those of Asian or Native American descent
  • Angle Recession Glaucoma – Caused by trauma (injury) to the eye, which allows debris in the eye to gradually block drainage channels, raising the pressure. If treated early, vision can be saved
  • Primary Congenital Glaucoma – 1 in 10,000 babies are born with this hereditary condition. Family history with both parents increases likelihood, but often there is no family history on either side. If the first and second child have it, later children have very high risk. Boys have double the risk as girls. Sometimes affects one eye, but most often affects both. Untreated, this is a major cause of blindness in children. When treated before age 3, eyesight is normally saved. Symptoms include:
    1. Baby closes eyelids as if trying to protect the eye
    2. Baby seems overly sensitive to light
    3. Baby tears up more than normal
    It is imperative to check these warning signs in all infants
  • Secondary Glaucoma – Result of another eye condition such as inflammation, trauma, tumour, uveitis

Other Eye Disease

Many other conditions affect sight, and I will discuss these later in separate articles. Of course, it is quite possible to have more than one condition, so early diagnosis is essential so we are more likely to be dealing with the first condition without confusing treatment with two or more conditions.
Here are a few of the most common:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy affects blood vessels in the retina, and is the most common cause of vision loss among diabetics.
  • Macular Degeneration affects blood vessels in the visual centre (Macula) of the eye. There are wet and dry types.
  • Cataracts where the lens gradually becomes opaque
  • CMV Retinitis an infection of the retina, often affecting thise with poor immunity or with AIDS
  • Diabetic Macular Oedema caused by fluid accumulation in the macula causing severe blurred vision
  • Retinal Detachment the retina separates from the nerve tissue and blood supply underneath it
  • Uveitis is inflammation of one or more of the uvea, the nerve tissue, and/or blood supply underneath. Common with Sarcoidosis


Typical Eye ChartEveryone should get an annual eye check. In some people, an astute eye doctor can see by the shape of the eye if a person is at high risk, even before they have high pressure or symptoms.
Most people are first checked by an optometrist, and when a problem is found they are normally referred to an ophthalmologist.
The Standard Eye Test: First, after a quick eye chart test, with and without glasses, amblyopia (“lazy eye”) is tested by covering one eye and looking for movement in the other eye, also ocular motility testing to determine how well the eyes follow a moving object, and stereopsis or depth perception.
Then a refraction test checks the degree of hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia to determine a prescription of any eye-glasses required.
Eye drops are then used to enlarge the pupils and allow better scrutiny of the inner eye.
Warning: These drops can last 4 to 6 hours, and when the patient ventures out into bright light, the pupils cannot respond immediately by reducing the pupil size, so glare and blurred vision can make driving or other activities dangerous, but everyone has a different reaction, and sun glasses are a must.
The doctor uses a “slit lamp” and checks the eyelids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, and lens. Conditions are checked for retinal detachment, dry eye, blocked tear ducts, drainage problems, cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal ulcers, diabetic retinopathy and other eye disease.
The retina is examined and usually retina photographs are taken for reference in future tests to check for any change.
Typical Retina Photograph
The glaucoma tests:
Eye stain drops are used to check drainage.
Eye pressure is tested using either:
1. NCT (non-contact tonometry) or “puff-of-air” test which measures pressure.
2. Yellow numbing drops are usually used which glow when exposed to blue light. An applanation tonometer then touches the eye surface to measure the intra-ocular pressure.
These procedures are painless, the only feeling may be the machine tickling the eyelashes. Results can vary between these methods and different calibration of instruments, so it is advised to go to the same practice every time, and ask which type of equipmemt is being used, and note the results. A statement such as “Your pressures are fine” is not enough. We need actual numbers so we can compare results over time, and take dietary and other steps to halt any rising pressures before having to resort to surgical treatment.
visual field test is used to determine the field of vision. The patient sits in front of a dished screen with one eye covered, and the other eye focused on a black dot in the centre. The patient then clicks a button when a light spot is repeatedly presented in different areas of peripheral vision.
Typical Field Test
The results are plotted on a graph for each eye which shows areas of lost vision such as the black areas in this plotted image of advanced glaucoma:
Typical Advanced Glaucoma Eye Plot
See actual improvement capable in Glaucoma patients near the bottom of this article.

Colour blindness is normally checked using the Ishihara Color Vision Test booklet, each page containing a circular pattern comprising many dots of various colors, brightness and sizes, making up a single digit number. The full test contains 38 fifferent pages, but a basic test will only involve 14 or 24 different pages. A colour-blind person will see no number, or a different number in this test. Any problems in colour blindness may indicate a health problem such as glaucoma, MS (multiple sclerosis), diabetic retinopathy, macular edema and other disorders, as well as color vision issues caused by long-term use of some prescription medications.
For colour-blind people, specially tinted glasses can improve the distinguishment and vividness of various colours as a vision aid.
The retina has cone photoreceptors, and the red and green cones are often most affected, causing “red-green colour blindness”.


Medication helps by either reducing the production and inflow of aqueous fluid into the eye, or by increasing the outflow pathways to allow aqueous fluid to drain more effectively.
Sometimes oral medication is used, but is generally limited in effectiveness, and any improvement is lost in a short time.
Eye drops are usually the first line of treatment in newly diagnosed glaucoma.
Hint: When instilling eye drops, tilt the head backward. Use a finger placed just below the lower lid, pulling down to form a pocket. Look up and squeeze one drop into the pocket in your lower lid. Do not blink. Press on the inside corner of your closed eyes using the index finger and thumb for 2 or 3 minutes to prevent drops from draining into the throat. Wipe excess from the eye. Do not touch the tip of the bottle onto the eye or face. If hands shake, approach the eye from the side, resting the hand on the face to steady the bottle.
Commonly prescribed eye drops for glaucoma:
1. Prostaglandin analogs such as Xalatan® (latanoprost), Lumigan® (bimatoprost), Travatan Z® (Travoprost), and Zioptan™ (tafluprost) and Vyzulta™ (latanoprostene bunod) are typically used. They are used for increasing the outflow of eye fluid.
Side effects include stinging, burning, feeling as if something is in the eye, dry eyes, watering eyes, temporary unstable vision, dizziness, droopy eyelids, sunken eyes, change in the colour of the iris, eyelid, or white of the eye, vision changes, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), sensitivity to light and lengthening and curling of the eyelashes.
Often prescribed as Azarga (combination of brinzolamide and timolol) but can cause corneal erosion long-term as well as other side effects as above.

2. Beta-blockers such as Timolol (Timoptic XE, Istalol) and Betoptic S work by decreasing aqueous fluid production in the eye. Beta-blockers were once the first-line treatment of glaucoma, but just like Beta-blockers prescribed for blood pressure, have nasty side effects but are still sometimes prescribed in combination with prostaglandins.
Side effects include slowing of heart rate, heart problems, lung problems such as emphysema, diabetes, depression, stinging or discomfort of the eye, watery, dry, itchy or red eyes, blurred vision, feeling as if something is in the eye, crusting of eyelashes, headache, trouble sleeping or dizziness.

3. Alpha adrenergic agonists such as brimonidine tartrate (Alphagan®P), Iopidine®, Apraclonidine) work by decreasing production of aqueous fluid and increase drainage. Alphagan P includes a purite preservative, breaking down into natural components of tears, so may be better tolerated in those allergic to preservatives in other eye drops.
Side effects include fast or pounding heartbeats, persistent headache, eye pain, puffiness or swelling, extreme sensitivity to light, vision changes, itching, redness, burning, stinging, feeling like something is in the eye, blurred vision, redness of the eye or eyelid, nausea, upset stomach, dizziness, muscle pain, dry nose or mouth, drowsiness, insomnia or unusual or unpleasant taste in the mouth.

4. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAI’s) such as dorzolamide (Trusopt®) and brinzolamide (Azopt®) eye drops, as well as pills acetazolamide (Diamox) and methazolamide (Neptazane®). They reduce eye pressure by lowering production of aqueous fluid.
Side effects include shortness of breath, trouble breathing, unusual tiredness or weakness, blood in urine, difficult urination, depression, lower back pain, pain or burning while urinating, sudden decrease in amount of urine, bloody or black, tarry stools, clumsiness or unsteadiness, convulsions (seizures), darkening of urine, fever, hives, skin itching, skin rash, skin sores, pale stools, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears), sore throat, trembling, unusual bruising or bleeding, yellow eyes or skin.

5. Rho-Kinase (ROCK) inhibitors such as netarsudil (Rhopressa®) increase drainage of intra-ocular fluid. Originally studied for anti-erectile dysfunction, anti-hypertension, and tumor metastasis inhibition, using the same pathway as statins (with potentially similar side effects). Recently approved by the FDA as a glaucoma drug, available in USA since April 2018.
Side effects include conjunctival hyperemia, cornea verticillata and small conjunctival hemorrhages. More side effects will probably be known as it becomes more widely used.

Various combinations of all of the above are available under many different brand names. All have side effects, but there must be a balance between saving sight and dealing with sometimes serious side effects.

Various forms of laser surgery and/or surgery to create a “bleb” or artificial drainage system are used to replace the trabecular meshwork, reducing intra-ocular pressure.
Doctors say that even with surgical intervention, there is no permanent cure, and surgical procedures at best only slow down the progression of the disease.

One way to prevent or delay glaucoma is to reduce blood pressure naturally by consuming a healthy diet and reducing any extra body fat.
Low blood pressure sometimes (but not always) relates to lower intra-ocular pressure.
The same things that cause high blood pressure – trans fats (margarine, canola oil etc), sugar and high GI carbohydrates, will often also cause high eye pressure.
Do NOT be taken in by statin drugs – designed to lower cholesterol. Cholesterol is NOT the evil it is made out to be, in fact we would die without it. Treating 100 people with statins may prevent one heart attack in one person. Changing to a healthy diet will prevent almost all of the 100 from heart attacks.

Glaucoma NO list

Bad fats
1. Margarine – do not be fooled by unscrupulous advertising from margarine manufacturers who claim that margarine reduces cholesterol. Maybe it does, but cholesterol is not our enemy, only OXIDISED Very Low LDL is bad, and that is the dangerous ingredient in margarine. Alternative: Coconut oil, butter, cold olive oil.
2. Canola oil – heat processed in the manufacture oxidises this fat. Cooking with canola oil oxidises the fat even more. NEVER use canola oil for anything.
Alternative: Coconut oil.
3. Sunflower Oil. Flaxseed oil is a much healthier alternative.
4. Hydrogenated oils of any kind. Common in many low-fat baked goods and other processed foods.

Bad drugs
1. Paracetamol, panadol, acetaminophen, tylenol – different names for the same drug marketed as “safe and effective” but it destroys L-Glutathione, the body’s own master antioxidant. Alternatives for pain:
(a) MSM – primarily for joint pain but helps reduce the sensation of any pain.
(b) Bacopa – primarily for slight blood thinning and higher brain function, but also helps with pain.
2. Statins – cholesterol lowering drugs that increase risk of diabetes, clobber our Vitamin D, cause muscle pain and kidney disease, and on average will slightly reduce risk of a heart attack but increase death risk from all other causes, so most people taking statins will not live one day longer, and have a poor quality of life.

Glaucoma Diet

Diet will not cure Glaucoma, but will reduce risk, slow degradation and delay surgery.
Natural methods aim to reduce IOP, increase blood flow to the eye, and lower oxidative stress, just like traditional drug methods.
We can lower glaucoma risk by eating more fresh vegetables and fruits containing Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Lutein, foods high in carotenoid antioxidants such as green leafy vegetables and other green or yellow vegetables. Cooked kale and cooked spinach are best, also egg yolks.
A study showed that women who ate 3 or more daily servings of fruits and fruit juices reduced glaucoma risk by 79% compared to those who consumed less than 1 serving per day.
Those people with high intake of vitamin C levels reduced risk by 70%, while high vitamin A reduced risk by 63%, and alpha-carotene by 54%.
However, not every vegetable or fruit works as well. These foods are proven to cut glaucoma risk:

  • Kale, Cabbage, Broccoli, Collard Greens
    The NIH study showed that 3 or more daily servings of general vegetables had little effect on glaucoma risk, but one serving of kale or collard greens per week reduced glaucoma risk by 57%, and a Harvard study suggested that the benefit is in the high nitrate levels, a precursor for nitric oxide which promotes health of blood vessels. This study (Nurses’ Health Study of 63,893 women, 1984-2012 and Health Professionals Follow-up Study 41,094 men, 1986-2012) found that high dietary leafy greens (= more nitrates) meant 20% to 30% reduction of glaucoma risk. For glaucoma linked to poor blood flow, nitrates reduced risk by 40% to 50%
  • Oranges and Peaches
    The NIH study found that women who consumed more than two servings per week of fresh oranges reduced their risk by 82% while peaches cut their risk by 70%. Whole fresh fruit was best. Juice only gave less benefit, even if they drank it every day. LeanMachine concludes this is due to heat and sugar processing of juice. Fresh peaches were protective, while canned peaches were not. LeanMachine concludes this is due to sugary syrups and heated processing for canned fruit
  • Wild-Caught Salmon
    A British study of glaucoma patients and their healthy siblings, glaucoma patients had lower levels of EPA (eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (docosahexaenoic) fatty acids and total omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, suggesting that EPA and DHA could improve microcirculation, ocular blood flow and optic neuropathy, which are all associated with glaucoma. Other good sources of EPA and DHA include fatty cold-water fish, e.g. sardines, mackerel, herring and tuna
  • Healthy Fats
    Healthy fats are essential to change the body’s carbohydrate-fueled system into a fat-fueled system where ketones are the primary fuel.
    Best fats are coconut oil, avocados, walnuts, fish oil, krill oil, macadamia oil, butter. Cold-pressed virgin olive oil is healthy when cold (i.e. on a salad) but oxidises when heated
  • Green Tea, Cocoa, Red Wine
    Another study found that flavonoids improved vision and slowed progression of visual field loss in patients with glaucoma and high eye pressure. Read more about flavonoids in my Flavonoids article. Flavonoids are neuroprotective and antioxidant polyphenol compounds found in plants, highest in green tea, red wine and cocoa. LeanMachine says that Cocao (less processing) should be more beneficial than Cocoa
  • Black Currants
    A 24-month trial showed that black currant anthocyanins slowed the visual field deterioration, probably because the black currants improve blood flow in the eye
  • Goji Berries
    An animal study of the goji plant Lycium barbarum L. found it prevented the loss of retinal ganglion cells and neurodegeneration. Benefits found were independent of eye pressure. Animals fed a goji extract nearly totally escaped from pressure-induced loss of retinal ganglion cells. LeanMachine suggests that other high antioxidant foods such as blueberries may also have beneficial effects
  • Eggplant
    In a study of male volunteers, they ate 10 grams of eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) and showed a 25% reduction of intra-ocular pressure, suggesting that eggplant would be beneficial to glaucoma patients

Cooking Methods

Heating food over around 50 degrees Celcius (about the temperature of hot water at the kitchen sink) destroys most of the beneficial enzymes, so salads, fruit or other cold foods should be consumed at at least one meal every day. An organic apple a day definitely keeps the eye doctor away…
When cooking, the safest way is steaming (100 degrees Centigrade). Other cooking methods heat food well over the safety limit of 120 degrees Centigrade. Over 120 degrees, AGEs form (Advanced Glycation End-products) which damage the mitochondria and many other body systems.

Supplements for Glaucoma

While healthy foods will help delay glaucoma, as well as reducing risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers, obesity and more, there is often not enough healthy content available due to intensive farming practices, combined with chemical additives in the soil, to give the glaucoma patient enough of the correct nutrition.
Lean Machine recommends a combination of a healthy diet, supplements and sun exposure for optimum nutrition.
Oxidative stress is a major factor in progression of glaucoma, so antioxidants are important.
Various vitamins and minerals have been proven to reduce glaucoma symptoms, but eye doctors seldom pass on this information.
Supplements do not make up for a bad diet. Supplements often only supply a single important extract, but whole, natural foods contain fibre, enzymes and many other important compounds, so LeanMachine recommends a combination of both.
The following are the main supplements LeanMachine recommends for glaucoma patients:

In addition, foods improving mitochondria are:
1. Proteins such as fish, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, eggs that support glutathione and other amino acids which protect the mitochondria.
2. Antioxidants – colourful vegetables, fresh fruit, herbs, spices. Best spices are cloves and turmeric.

Supplements for Glutathione include:

Glaucoma can get better

Mrs LeanMachine was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Glaucoma at age 48, which is much younger than most, and blindness often follows in 5 to 10 years. However, due to a reasonably healthy lifestyle, degradation was slow, but consistent.
Right Eye scan. Black areas represent loss of vision, grey represent partial loss.

Right eye scan, January 2014
Right Scan January 2014, age 68 Right Scan January 2020, age 74

Her Opthalmologist has never seen improvement, especially this much improvement in any Glaucoma patient.
The main change in the last few years has been an array of Vitamins, Minerals and Nutrients, and a healthy diet, free from all hydrogenated oils and bad fats (e.g. Margarine, Canola Oil).
Another victory for LeanMachine! In addition, Mrs LeanMachine is now free from diabetes, blood pressure, never gets a cold or flu, has no prescription medication, no eye drops, no vaccinations. In fact, the biggest improvement was seen since she stopped taking the prescribed eye drops (because of side effects).

NADH Studies
Declining NAD+ Induces a Pseudohypoxic State Disrupting Nuclear-Mitochondrial Communication during Aging (2013) – http://jmp.sh/s1CKUez – this article (more technical/scientific) was the catalyst for the NAD+ research momentum which presently exists

NAD – Long-Term Administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Mitigates Age-Associated Physiological Decline in Mice (2016) http://jmp.sh/6GZMwPq – the infographic on the cover page pretty much sums up the effects in humans too

NAD – Short-term administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide preserves cardiac mitochondrial homeostasis and prevents heart failure (2017) http://jmp.sh/yHKH355

NAD – Nicotinamide mononucleotide supplementation reverses vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress with aging in mice (2016) http://jmp.sh/B4OET23

NAD+ repletion improves mitochondrial and stem cell function and enhances life span in mice (2016) http://jmp.sh/IlxzSUx

NAD – Loss of NAD Homeostasis Leads to Progressive and Reversible Degeneration of Skeletal Muscle (2016) http://jmp.sh/XjlgLOV

NAD – Nicotinamide mononucleotide improves energy activity and survival rate in an in vitro model of Parkinson’s disease (2014) http://jmp.sh/gnAHrz3

NAD – Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, a Key NAD+ Intermediate, Treats the Pathophysiology of Diet- and Age-Induced Diabetes in Mice (2011) http://jmp.sh/UlRkYGD

NAD+ in aging, metabolism, and neurodegeneration (2015) http://jmp.sh/pkSKzz3

NAD – Exogenous NAD+ administration significantly protects against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in rat model (2016) http://jmp.sh/ufBDDWA

NAD – Prevention of Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Neuron Death by Intranasal Delivery of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (2012) http://jmp.sh/iGqzbgo

NAD+ controls neural stem cell fate in the aging brain (2014) http://jmp.sh/tlIvnhg

NAD+ Deficiency in Age-Related Mitochondrial Dysfunction (2014) http://jmp.sh/DGwKD45

NAD – The NAD+ Precursor Nicotinamide Riboside Enhances Oxidative Metabolism and Protects against High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity (2012) http://jmp.sh/vTHsM1r

NAD – Nicotinamide mononucleotide inhibits post-ischemic NAD+ degradation and dramatically ameliorates brain damage following global cerebral ischemia (2016) http://jmp.sh/iqJczKC

NAD – Effect of nicotinamide mononucleotide on brain mitochondrial respiratory deficits in an Alzheimer’s disease-relevant murine model (2015) http://jmp.sh/8oIdCfo

NAD – Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, an Intermediate of NAD+ Synthesis, Protects the Heart from Ischemia and Reperfusion (2014) http://jmp.sh/WwBFWdR

NAD – Restoration of Mitochondrial NAD+ Levels Delays Stem Cell Senescence and Facilitates Reprogramming of Aged Somatic Cells (2016) http://jmp.sh/L3dXEm1

NAD – Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, an NAD+ Precursor, Rescues Age-Associated Susceptibility to Acute Kidney Injury [was ‘AKI’] in a Sirtuin 1–Dependent Manner (2017) http://jmp.sh/cWda60C

NAD – NAD replenishment with nicotinamide mononucleotide protects blood–brain barrier integrity and attenuates delayed tissue plasminogen activator-induced haemorrhagic transformation after cerebral ischaemia (2017) http://jmp.sh/mkmiXxP

NAD – Nicotinamide mononucleotide inhibits JNK activation to reverse Alzheimer disease [2017] http://jmp.sh/GhDCkte

LeanMachine Health Supplements


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.

Updated 29th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285

Why your vitamin D levels are dependent on magnesium

Reproduced from original article:

vitamin-d-levels(NaturalHealth365) The number of Americans with nutrient deficiencies or even “subclinical insufficiencies” is high, ranging from 10 to 90 percent depending on the study and nutrient in question.  This is exactly why adding high quality nutritional supplements to a balanced diet can help correct these deficits, especially when it comes to low vitamin D levels in the body.

In terms of improving your vitamin D status, it’s important to understand that certain nutrients like magnesium, can greatly improve the absorption of vitamin D.  In fact, research shows that to enjoy optimal bone (and heart) health, you’ll definitely want to consider this critical mineral.

Are you at risk?  Research reveals that your vitamin D levels greatly depend on magnesium

Multiple studies, including a paper from The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, have found that vitamin D deficiency is linked to low magnesium levels. This evidence clearly suggests that magnesium is essential for the proper digestion and assimilation of vitamin D.

“All of the enzymes that metabolize vitamin D seem to require magnesium,” say the authors of the March 2018 paper, called “Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function.”  Magnesium, they add, functions “as a cofactor in the enzymatic reactions in the liver and kidneys.”

The authors also remind readers that a deficiency in either vitamin D, magnesium, or both is linked to a range of conditions including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and bone health impairments.  In addition, a vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, depression, psoriasis, and breast, colon, and prostate cancers!

It seems that increasing your magnesium intake can really pay off, by the way. A 2013 study found that people who regularly consumed foods rich in magnesium were less likely to be deficient in vitamin D compared to people who didn’t consume a lot of magnesium in their diet. And other research shows that people with high levels of magnesium are also less likely to have low bone mineral density (something that vitamin D normally plays a critical role in).

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These two nutrients are so closely linked that it may be time to start thinking about them as a pair – you can’t worry about one without worrying about the other.

10 rich sources of magnesium designed to boost your overall well-being

As you probably know, healthy (direct) sun exposure is one of the best ways to ensure you produce enough vitamin D within your body.  But, you can also consume vitamin D via supplements or in certain foods such as whole eggs and liver.

But there is one major health concern: If you’re not consuming enough magnesium, then your efforts to get enough of the “sunshine vitamin” will be ineffective, at best.  So, be sure to add in these ten magnesium-rich foods into your weekly diet (and maybe add a high quality magnesium supplement, too):

  1. Bananas
  2. Spinach
  3. Avocado
  4. Cashews
  5. Almonds
  6. Pumpkin seeds
  7. Oily fish
  8. Lima beans
  9. Sesame seeds
  10. Peanut butter

Men, aim for around 400 to 420 milligrams (mg) of magnesium per day. Women, strive for 310 to 320, and if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding consult with your integrative healthcare provider, since you may need more.

Editor’s note: The NaturalHealth365 Store offers the most complete, easy-to-absorb vitamin D3/K2/Magnesium formula on the market.  Click here to order today!

Sources for this article include:


Yoga Therapy Can Help Alleviate Tinnitus-Linked Distress

© 28th 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:

Tinnitus is a buzzing or ringing in the ears that has become a chronic nightmare for millions of Americans, causing undue stress, trouble working and even sleeplessness. Research explores yoga — an age-old practice proven as a stress buster — as a sound option to help address the stress-related psychological symptoms that come with tinnitus

Researchers in Poland examined the beneficial effects of 12 weeks of yoga training on 25 patients with chronic tinnitus.[i] Affecting over 50 million adults in the U.S.,[ii] tinnitus can affect one or both ears and can stem from exposure to loud noises, ear and sinus infections, hearing loss in the elderly, heart or blood vessel problems, and Meniere’s disease.

Ten of the subjects underwent MRI before and after yoga training, while all participants were assessed using the Tinnitus Functional Index. A control group was made up of 13 persons reporting chronic tinnitus.

Following the 12-week yoga course, the researchers identified several areas that benefited most from yoga therapy, namely a sense of control of tinnitus, sleep, quality of life and intrusiveness. The MRI results also revealed that connections in the white matter of the brain appeared stronger as a result of the training.

“Yoga training has good potential to improve the daily functioning of patients with chronic tinnitus and can be considered a promising supporting method for tinnitus treatment,” reported the researchers writing in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.[iii]

What Remedies Can Make a Difference in Tinnitus?

Tinnitus treatment varies depending on the cause, yet there are patients who have found no lasting relief from hearing aids, sound-masking devices and medication.

Acupuncture, both in manual and electrical forms, has been shown to have therapeutic value in treating tinnitus. In a 2010 study,[iv] 50 patients who suffered from the disorder were investigated and assigned to either a manual acupuncture group, electrical acupuncture group or a placebo group.

After six treatments, the frequency of tinnitus occurrence as well as loudness appeared to be significantly reduced in the electrical acupuncture group, while quality of life improved at two post-treatment periods in both manual and electrical groups.

Improving levels of coenzyme Q10zinc, and vitamin B12 has also been linked with the improvement of tinnitus.[v],[vi],[vii]

Stress Management in Chronic Tinnitus Sufferers

Depending on its severity, chronic tinnitus can lead to distress and anxiety from trouble hearing, working or even catching sleep at night. Not everyone affected has successfully learned how to cope with the noise, which can come in the form of roaring, hissing, clicking or other common sounds.

Yoga, an ancient wellness practice, can help immensely in managing stress, whether from conditions like tinnitus or everyday stresses that you encounter. There’s mounting evidence that vouches for its favorable effects against stress and diseases — GreenMedInfo.com has an exhaustive list of studies vouching for yoga’s therapeutic actions. Other natural remedies against stress, which act as mental wellness tools, include:

  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Simple exercises such as getting outside for a walk
  • Solid support system composed of family, friends
  • Professional counseling, if necessary

Integrating yoga and other natural approaches with additional lifestyle and environmental changes can make a radical difference in your tinnitus experience — even more so in the lasting, life-disrupting distress that can come with it.


[i] Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2019 Aug;36:7-11. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

[ii] American Tinnitus Association, Understanding the Facts

[iii] Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2019 Aug;36:7-11. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

[iv] Complement Ther Med. 2010 Dec;18(6):249-55. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

[v] Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Jan;136(1):72-7.

[vi] Otol Neurotol. 2003 Jan;24(1):86-9.

[vii] Am J Otolaryngol. 1993 Mar-Apr;14(2):94-9.

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.

Five Evidence-Based Ways to Boost Testosterone

© 27th 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:

Posted on: Friday, December 27th 2019 at 3:15 pm

Low levels of testosterone can come with glaring symptoms such as erectile dysfunction and reduced bone mass. Before opting for hormone replacement therapy and facing the risk of serious side effects, here are five science-backed ways to optimize your testosterone levels naturally

In the face of aging and the treatment’s increasing popularity, many men around the world immediately opt for testosterone replacement therapy. While significant results may manifest in no time, there can be serious consequences down the road, particularly if the underlying cause of low testosterone isn’t addressed properly. Here are five things that you can explore for a natural testosterone boost:

1. Zinc

deficiency in zinc, an essential dietary mineral, has long been associated with testicular suppression, including suppression of testosterone levels. A 1996 study found a significant reduction in the blood testosterone of healthy young men after 20 weeks of zinc restriction.[i] It also revealed that six-month zinc supplementation in marginally deficient elderly men translated to a testosterone boost.

While research demonstrates that poor zinc levels in the diet can adversely affect testicular function, it is a reversible process and can be corrected via proper supplementation.[ii]

The exact mechanism behind how zinc deficiency exactly affects testosterone levels is yet to be fully understood, but the mineral may affect the cells in the testes that produce testosterone.[iii] Zinc helps your immune system function properly, plays a role in cell division and helps enzymes break down nutrients.

2. Magnesium

Studies have shown that magnesium intake affects testosterone and total insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).[iv] The age-related decline in these anabolic hormones is deemed a strong predictor of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, as well as mortality in elderly men.

One proposed mechanism behind this mineral’s testosterone-enhancing role is its ability to inhibit the binding of testosterone to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), resulting in an enhancement of bioavailable testosterone.[v]

3. Weight Management

Weight gain and related chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, have been strongly tied to a reduction in testosterone, especially in middle-aged and elderly men.[vi],[vii] Here’s how it works: as you gain weight as fat, your testosterone production drops. However, this can be reversed through weight loss via adjustments in diet and lifestyle.

4. Vitamin D

A dose of sunshine can be a handy solution to low testosterone levels, with studies vouching for vitamin D‘s impact on regulating testosterone levels.[viii] Ideally, you would be able to get all the vitamin D your body needs through optimal sun exposure. This, however, may not be the case for those who live far from the equator, are dark skinned or spend most of their time indoors. Here’s GreenMedInfo.health’s review and recommendations for vitamin D.

5. Adequate Quality Sleep

One of the insidious effects of regular lack of high-quality sleep is decreased testosterone production. A 2013 study probed the effects of 33 hours of sleep loss on endocrine function as well as reactive aggression in 24 young men and 25 women, and found that sleep deprivation lowered testosterone in the male subjects.[ix]

There’s a double whammy here, as sleeplessness also facilitates fat gain, which, as mentioned earlier, is linked  to impaired testosterone production.[x]

Scientific findings are quick to show that correcting a mineral or nutrient deficiency or insufficiency may raise low testosterone levels. For further information, check out the GreenMedInfo.com testosterone database to better learn how to increase testosterone naturally.


[i] Nutrition. 1996 May;12(5):344-8.

[ii] J Lab Clin Med. 1980 Sep;96(3):544-50.

[iii] J Nutr. 2011 Mar; 141(3): 359-365.

[iv] Int J Androl. 2011 Dec;34(6 Pt 2):e594-600. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2605.2011.01193.x. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

[v] J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2009 Feb 20;49(2):175-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2008.10.041. Epub 2008 Nov 5.

[vi] J Clin Endocrinol Metab.  2011 Aug;96(8):2341-53. Epub 2011 Jun 6.

[vii] J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Apr;95(4):1810-8. Epub 2010 Feb 19.

[viii] Horm Metab Res. 2011 Mar;43(3):223-5. Epub 2010 Dec 10.

[ix] Psychol. 2013 Feb;92(2):249-56. Epub 2012 Oct 6.

[x] Ann Intern Med. 2010 Oct 5;153(7):435-41. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-153-7-201010050-00006.

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.

300+ Evidence-Based Longevity Promoting Natural Substances

© 16th January 2020 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:

Posted on: Thursday, January 16th 2020 at 1:15 pm

Written By: GreenMedInfo Research Group

This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020

Research has concluded that a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory natural substances can increase longevity and improve the aging process by reducing the risk of age-related diseases

As you age, you may feel increased pressure to reduce the effects of aging through topical creams or pharmaceutical drugs. However, researchers have concluded that the dietary intake of several natural substances can successfully promote longevity.

You aren’t a victim to the passage of time — it’s possible to improve your health and longevity through daily activity and dietary interventions. This meme humorously illustrates your ability to mediate your body’s natural changes using diet and exercise:

Old Women

13 Substances for Healthier Aging

How you age is largely a matter of choice. Here are 13 top natural substances proven to promote healthier aging and longevity and get you feeling your best, and keep reading for a link to hundreds more:

1. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative stress. Vitamin E supplementation is proven to reduce the rate of cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, arthritis, cancer and other age-related illnesses.[i],[ii]

Further research has uncovered additional benefits of vitamin E unrelated to its high antioxidant content and determined that vitamin E may play a role in the therapy and prevention of age-related cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.[iii]

2. Green Tea

Green tea, which originated in China, is extremely high in antioxidants and is well-known for its anti-aging properties. The phytochemicals in green tea are highly reactive, making it a potent neutralizer of free radicals.[iv]

Results from several studies suggest that green tea delays the process of collagen-aging, the fibrous protein that keeps skin looking young by reducing the formation of wrinkles and decreasing skin pentosidine levels.[v]

3. Zinc

Zinc, a powerful micronutrient found in shellfish, dark chocolate and meat, is commonly known as a natural remedy to reduce the duration of the cold and flu.

Zinc works to regulate the immune system and reinforce antioxidant performance, and zinc deficiency in older adults can lead to increased susceptibility to infections and a higher risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Zinc deficiency has also been linked to depression, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.[vi]

4. Melatonin

Your skin is your largest organ, and as you age, it reflects the damages from air pollution, excess ultraviolet (UV) light exposure and smoke. Over time, these pollutants cause oxidative damage and provoke the skin to wrinkle, sag and become rough. Melatonin, a radical scavenger produced in the skin, protects cells from oxidative damage but gradually decreases as the body ages.[vii]

To counteract this decrease, melatonin-infused topical creams can improve skin tonicity and hydration levels, improving the skin’s appearance.[viii] Eggs, fish, and nuts contain large amounts of melatonin, which also boasts anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and neuroprotective properties, making it a potent anti-aging substance.[ix]

5. Curcumin

Low-grade inflammatory processes are believed to contribute to the aging process, and the anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin could be the anti-aging remedy researchers are searching for.[x]

Curcumin, the yellow compound found in turmeric root, has been extensively studied as a potential anti-aging substance, but its main drawback is lack of bioavailability.[xi] To harness the anti-aging benefits of curcumin, look for supplements that also contain black pepper, which is known to improve the absorption rate of curcumin [xii]

6. Vitamin C

Healthy, young-looking skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C, and many manufacturers tout the addition of vitamin C to topical formulations as a way to improve skin’s appearance and counteract skin aging.[xiii]

While there is some evidence that topical application is successful, dietary intake of vitamin C is just as important, if not more so, for inhibiting wrinkles and preventing collagen loss in skin cells.[xiv],[xv] For effective topical application, look for serums or creams that contain both vitamin C and vitamin E.[xvi]

7. Magnesium

Magnesium, the fourth most prevalent mineral in the human body, has been extensively studied for its anti-aging properties. Magnesium supplementation can decrease the prevalence of multiple sclerosis in older adults and increases physical performance in healthy elderly patients.[xvii]

Magnesium also plays a role in the prevention of age-related diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.[xviii] Older adults wishing to reap these benefits should eat a diet of food rich in magnesium, including green vegetables, avocados, nuts and seeds..

8. Olive Oil

Olive oil consumption, especially within the context of the Mediterranean diet, has been extensively studied for its potential prevention of cardiovascular disease and antioxidant properties.[xix] Oxidative stress is believed to correlate with cognitive decline, a precursor for dementia in the elderly, and the high antioxidant content of extra virgin olive oil has been shown to improve cognitive function in older populations.[xx]

9. Acai

Acai, a reddish-purple berry native to South America, has long been touted for its potent antioxidant properties.[xxi] However, recent studies indicate that acai may also exhibit cardiovascular, antidiabetic, antiobesity and metabolic effects, making acai berries and supplements potential longevity-promoting substances.[xxii]

10. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and dietary intake are well known. In one study, researchers measured the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and the rate of telomere shortening, concluding that there is an inverse relationship between baseline levels of omega-3s and the rate of telomere shortening.[xxiii]

Telomeres, located at the end of chromosomes, limit the proliferation of cells and can suppress the regeneration of organs during aging, as well as increase the risk of cancer as they shorten.[xxiv] For this reason, increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids could increase longevity, especially in older adults with coronary heart disease.[xxv]

11. Ginseng

Both red and American ginseng varieties have been studied for their potential anti-aging properties, and research indicates that consumption of American and red ginseng may reduce age-associated oxidative stress and correct amino-acid metabolic disorders.[xxvi],[xxvii] Additional studies concluded that red or black ginseng may decrease cognitive deficits related to aging.[xxviii]

12. Flaxseed

Flaxseeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, both of which have numerous longevity-promoting benefits. Consumption of dietary flaxseed is linked to a decrease in cardiovascular disease and cancer risk, as well as improved cognitive function.[xxix]

However, flaxseed is not very bioavailable in seed form and needs to be milled to increase bioavailability. Since crushing or milling the seeds can cause oxidation, it’s best to wait to grind seeds until right before consumption.[xxx] To further extend the shelf life of flaxseed, store flaxseed in a cool dark place until ready to grind and consume.

13. Dark Chocolate

The antioxidant benefits of dark chocolate are well studied, but researchers have also determined that chocolate consumption is associated with better psychological health and increased optimism in older adults.[xxxi]

Furthermore, recent studies have found a correlation between chocolate consumption and longer telomere length, which is thought to inhibit the incidence of cardiovascular and infectious diseases.[xxxii],[xxxiii] To incorporate healthy chocolate into your diet, look for dark chocolate products that are organic and ethically sourced and avoid excess sugar and filler ingredients, as well as milk chocolate or white chocolate.

300 More Natural Substances That Promote Longevity

Aging is inevitable, but research backs these 13 substances as natural and effective ways to increase longevity and mediate the aging process. For a wider dataset on these and other anti-aging remedies, visit the GreenMedInfo.com Aging Research Dashboard, where we’ve compiled over 750 studies related to more than 300 longevity-promoting natural substances, including:




Ginkgo biloba

Aloe vera


Grape seed extract


Horse chestnut

Fish extract

Black tea







Amla fruit

Reishi mushroom




[i] Antioxidants (Basel). 2018 Mar; 7(3): 44

[ii] Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2014 May; 14(2): e157-e165.

[iii] Biofactors. 2012 Mar-Apr;38(2):90-7.

[iv] J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Jun;52(6):1049-59.

[v] Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2003 Nov; 73(6): 453-460.

[vi] Pathobiol Aging Age Relat Dis. 2015; 5: 10.3402/pba.v5.25592

[vii] J Drugs Dermatol. 2018 Sep 1;17(9):966-969.

[viii] Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018; 11: 51-57.

[ix] Nutrients. 2017 Apr; 9(4): 367.

[x] Curr Pharm Des. 2010;16(7):884-92

[xi] Immun Ageing. 2010; 7: 1.

[xii] Cancer Res Treat. 2014 Jan; 46(1): 2-18.

[xiii] Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 866.

[xiv] Food Sci Biotechnol. 2018 Apr; 27(2): 555-564.

[xv] Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015; 8: 463-470.

[xvi] Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 866.

[xvii] Eur J Nutr. 2008 Jun;47(4):210-6.

[xviii] Int J Endocrinol. 2018; 2018: 9041694

[xix] Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2018;18(1):4-13.

[xx] JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Jul;175(7):1094-1103.

[xxi] J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 1;54(22):8604-10.

[xxii] J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2016 Jul;68(1):19-26

[xxiii] JAMA. 2010 Jan 20;303(3):250-7.

[xxiv] Jiang, H., Ju, Z. & Rudolph, K.L. Z Gerontol Geriat. (2007) 40: 314.

[xxv] JAMA. 2010 Jan 20;303(3):250-7.

[xxvi] Phytochem Anal. 2018 Jul;29(4):387-397

[xxvii] J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11):3603-9.

[xxviii] Food Sci Biotechnol. 2017 Oct 16;26(6):1743-1747

[xxix] Nutrients. 2019 May; 11(5): 1171.

[xxx] Nutrients. 2019 May; 11(5): 1171.

[xxxi] Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Feb;62(2):247-53. Epub 2007 Feb 28.

[xxxii] Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 Jun 8.

[xxxiii] Pediatr Res. 2019 Oct 1

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.

Why Hard Water Decreases Heart Attacks

Reproduced from original article:

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola     Fact Checked image


  • Magnesium insufficiency has been linked to a higher risk for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, stroke and sudden cardiac death
  • Research has shown people drinking soft water on a regular basis are more susceptible to lethal arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) than those drinking hard water. One hypothesis that can account for this is magnesium deficiency, as hard water contains higher levels of magnesium than soft water
  • Magnesium supports heart health by combating inflammation (which helps prevent high blood pressure and hardening of your arteries) and improving blood flow by relaxing your arteries and preventing your blood from thickening
  • Magnesium also plays a role in the creation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of your body. Being a heavy energy user, your heart needs sufficient amounts of ATP to function properly
  • Magnesium also affects your mitochondrial function and health, as it’s required both for increasing the number of mitochondria in your cells and increasing mitochondrial efficiency

When it comes to heart health, one of the most influential nutrients is magnesium. While required for the healthy function of most cells in your body, magnesium is particularly important for your heart, kidneys and muscles.

As far back as 1937, researchers warned that low magnesium levels pose serious risks to the heart, and that it may actually be the most significant predictor of heart disease.1 More recent research suggests even subclinical magnesium deficiency can compromise your cardiovascular health.2

Importantly, your mitochondria require magnesium to produce ATP. It’s also required for the metabolic function of your cells and the activation of vitamin D.3,4 All of these are important for healthy heart function.

It also supports heart health by relaxing your blood vessels, normalizing blood pressure, lowering inflammation and supporting endothelial function (the cells’ lining the interior of your blood vessels).5

Hard Water Linked to Better Heart Health

To celebrate its 175th anniversary, Scientific American recently took a look back into its archives, publishing a short summary of research presented in its June 1969 issue:6

“Several studies in the past decade have suggested that the death rate from coronary disease is inversely correlated with the hardness of the local water supply: the harder the water, the lower the coronary rate.

A study7 recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports evidence that the excess coronary deaths in soft-water areas are almost entirely sudden deaths …”

By reviewing the death certificates of 55,000 individuals who died from heart-related issues in Ontario during 1967, and then correlating the deaths according to the hardness of the local water supply, the Canadian researchers were able to conclude that people drinking soft water on a regular basis were more susceptible to lethal arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat). What might explain this curious correlation?

One theory has focused on the magnesium level found in the water.8 Soft water is lower in magnesium than hard water, thus making you more prone to magnesium deficiency. (The very definition of hard water is that it contains a high concentration of dissolved metals — calcium and magnesium in particular.9,10)

According to a 2002 study,11 magnesium-rich mineral water can contribute between 6% and 17% of your total daily magnesium intake. That said, a 2013 paper12 in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine points out that the exact mechanisms responsible for the relationship often found between harder water and lower cardiovascular risk has yet to be ascertained.

The higher magnesium level in hard water appears to be a promising hypothesis, though, and several studies point to magnesium-rich water being an important factor. As noted in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, which cites a number of such studies (as well as some in which this relationship was not found):13

In a Swedish study, the skeletal muscle magnesium levels were a significantly higher in persons living in an area with a higher water magnesium.”


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Even Subclinical Magnesium Deficiency Can Be Problematic

As mentioned, magnesium supports heart health through a number of different mechanisms.14 For starters, it combats inflammation, which helps prevent high blood pressure and hardening of your arteries. It also improves blood flow by relaxing your arteries and preventing your blood from thickening.

Magnesium also plays a role in the creation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of your body.15,16 Needless to say, without sufficient energy, cellular functions throughout your body will suffer, creating a cascade of dysfunction. Your heart in particular, being a very heavy energy user, needs sufficient amounts of ATP to function properly.

Magnesium also affects your mitochondrial function and health, as it’s required both for increasing the number of mitochondria in your cells and for increasing mitochondrial efficiency.

Basic effects such as these can account for why magnesium insufficiency has been linked to a higher risk for high blood pressure,17 cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, stroke18 and sudden cardiac death.19

A 2018 paper20 in the Open Heart journal also warns that even subclinical deficiency can result in heart problems, and that most people need at least 300 milligrams more magnesium per day than the current recommended dietary allowance prescribes. According to the authors:

“… While the recommended … dietary allowance for magnesium (between 300 and 420 mg /day for most people) may prevent frank magnesium deficiency, it is unlikely to provide optimal health and longevity, which should be the ultimate goal.”

The theory that we may need more magnesium than is currently recognized is also supported by a 2016 meta-analysis,21 in which all-cause mortality was lowered by 10% simply by increasing magnesium intake by 100 mg per day.

Magnesium Is Important for Brain Health Too

Magnesium is also important for brain health and the prevention of dementia. Memory impairment occurs when the connections (synapses) between brain cells diminish. While many factors can come into play, magnesium is an important one. As noted by Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist and fellow of the American College of Nutrition:22

“It has now been discovered that magnesium is a critical player in the activation of nerve channels that are involved in synaptic plasticity. That means that magnesium is critical for the physiological events that are fundamental to the processes of learning and memory.

As it turns out, one form of magnesium, magnesium threonate, has the unique ability to permeate the brain and enhance the receptors that are involved in this process.”

The specific brain benefits of magnesium threonate were demonstrated in a 2010 study23 published in the journal Neuron, which found this form of magnesium enhanced “learning abilities, working memory, and short- and long-term memory in rats.” According to the authors:24

Our findings suggest that an increase in brain magnesium enhances both short-term synaptic facilitation and long-term potentiation and improves learning and memory functions.”

Magnesium is also a well-recognized stress reliever,25 and by catalyzing mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin, it helps prevent anxiety and depression.26

Research27 published in 2015 found a significant association between very low magnesium intake and depression, especially in younger adults. A study28 published in PLOS ONE demonstrated magnesium supplementation improved mild-to-moderate depression in adults, with beneficial effects occurring within two weeks of treatment.

How to Assess Your Magnesium Status

When it comes to measuring your magnesium level, your best bet is an RBC magnesium test, which measures the amount of magnesium in your red blood cells. Tracking any symptoms of magnesium deficiency is also recommended, as your need may be higher or lower depending on your lifestyle and health status.

Common signs and symptoms of magnesium insufficiency include but are not limited to the following.29,30 A more exhaustive symptom’s list can be found in Dr. Carolyn Dean’s blog post, “Gauging Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms.”31

  • Seizures, muscle spasms (especially “charley horses” or spasms in your calf muscle that happen when you stretch your leg), eye twitches and or numbness or tingling in your extremities
  • Insulin resistance
  • High blood pressure, heart arrhythmias and/or coronary spasms
  • Increased number of headaches and/or migraines
  • Low energy, fatigue and/or loss of appetite

The “Trousseau sign”32 can also be used to assess your magnesium status. To check for this sign, a blood pressure cuff is inflated around your arm. The pressure should be greater than your systolic blood pressure and maintained for three minutes.

By occluding the brachial artery in your arm, spasms in your hand and forearm muscles are induced. If you are magnesium deficient, the lack of blood flow will cause your wrist and metacarpophalangeal joint to flex and your fingers to adduct. For a picture of this hand/wrist position, see Figure 1 in the paper “Trousseau Sign in Hypocalcemia.”33

Would You Benefit From Magnesium Supplementation?

A number of studies suggest magnesium insufficiency or deficiency are extremely common, both among adults34 and teens,35 in part due to the fact that most people eat a plant-deficient diet. Magnesium is actually part of the chlorophyll molecule responsible for the plant’s green color.

However, even if you eat plenty of greens, you may still not get enough, thanks to most soils being so depleted of minerals. Your body’s ability to absorb magnesium is also dependent on having sufficient amounts of selenium, parathyroid hormone and vitamins B6 and D.

Absorption is further hindered by excess ethanol, salt, coffee and phosphoric acid in soda, and things like sweating, stress, lack of sleep, excessive menstruation, certain drugs (especially diuretics and proton-pump inhibitors), insulin resistance and intense exercise can deplete your body of magnesium.36,37

Research shows just six to 12 weeks of strenuous physical activity can result in magnesium deficiency,38 likely due to increased magnesium demand in your skeletal muscle.

For all of these reasons, most people probably need to take supplemental magnesium. The RDA for magnesium is around 310 to 420 mg per day depending on your age and sex,39 but many experts believe you may need a minimum of 600 mg per day.40

I suspect many may benefit from amounts as high as 1 to 2 grams (1,000 to 2,000 mg) of elemental magnesium per day, as the extra magnesium may also help mitigate unavoidable exposures to electromagnetic fields (thanks to its calcium channel blocking effect). To learn more about this, see my previous article on how to reduce EMF exposure.

You can easily improve your magnesium status with an oral magnesium supplement. My personal preference is magnesium threonate, as it appears to be the most efficient at penetrating cell membranes, including your mitochondria and blood-brain barrier. You can learn more about this in “Cognitive Benefits of Magnesium L-Threonate.”

Magnesium Testing Is a Valuable Health Screen

Considering the importance of magnesium for good health — including cognition and heart health — it’s a good idea to measure your level. GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, which has spearheaded research into vitamin D and omega-3, now also offers low-cost testing for magnesium.

Join Magnesium* Plus Focus Project today!

Like its vitamin D and omega-3 projects, the Magnesium*PLUS Focus Project41 aims to identify the ideal dosage and level, the specific health outcomes associated with magnesium deficiency and sufficiency, the dose-response relationships and much more. As noted by GrassrootsHealth:42

“Measuring your nutrient status, adjusting intake as needed, and re-testing is the only way to tell if your nutrient intake is helping you achieve sufficient or desired nutrient status which is tied to particular health outcomes.

We will analyze the collected data and give participants feedback on how the magnesium could be working for them; we will publish scientific papers on key results, the first after meeting an enrollment target of 1,000 participants. There will be preliminary analyses and interim newsletters available for all during the enrollment phase.”

Adding the “Plus Elements” test to this magnesium test will also measure your selenium, zinc and copper levels, important trace elements that interact with magnesium, as well as three toxic heavy metals (lead, cadmium and mercury) that can interfere with and block availability of these essential elements.

Magnesium* Plus Elements Project


What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, typically very painful, especially in response to pressure, and sometimes patients have symptoms like stiff muscles, joints and connective tissues.
Other symptoms often include depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, difficulty swallowing, bowel and bladder problems, numbness and tingling, muscle spasms or twitching, weakness, nerve pain, palpitations,
cognitive dysfunction (“foggy thinking”).
Around 2% of the population are affected, usually between the ages of 20 and 50, although not all patients have all symptoms.
Women are nine times more likely than men to suffer from the condition, giving weight to the theory that hormones play a big part in the cause and treatment.
Diagnosis is difficult because there is no formal test. Symptoms are vague and similar to many other conditions.
Often patients with celiac disease are mistakenly diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and do better on a gluten-free diet.
In fact, nearly everyone will do better on a gluten-free diet, or even better, a diet free from all grains, flour and any other product of grains, regardless of refined, wholemeal or any other form.
Some medical specialists say it is “all in the head” but few patients would agree with this!


Although there is no formal testing for fibromyalgia, the following tests should be arranged by the doctor to eliminate some factors that may indicate or aggravate Fibromyalgia:

  • Ferritin (Iron Study) – A serum ferritin level under 50 ng/ml means a 650% increased risk for Fibromyalgia
  • Thyroid Function – If autoimmune hypothyroidism is present, it should be treated first to see if Fibromyalgia symptoms subside
  • Other autoimmune conditions – Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and others can resemble Fibromyalgia symptoms and should be treated first
  • CRP (C-Reactive Protein) – An inflammation marker. Source of any inflammation should be treated first
  • The FM/a blood test (plasma and PBMC (Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells) – Tests cytokine concentration. Low cytokines may indicate Fibromyalgia


Doctors say there is no known cause or cure. However, some approaches can be very effective in reducing symptoms, including:

Therapeutic options

  • Mindfulness Training reduces psychological distress and depression
  • Yoga, Tai-Chi and other stretching exercises are helpful as they stimulate the lymph glands, increasing our HDL (good cholesterol), improving waste product and toxin removal, also reducing pain, fatigue, mood, cortisol levels and improves coping ability


  • Raw Food has been shown in studies to significantly improve the majority of fibromyalgia patients
  • Vitamin C and Broccoli consumption in a study found that the combination of 100mg of vitamin C from food, plus a 400mg broccoli supplement reduced pain by 20% and decreased 17% in Fibromyalgia impact scores

Things to avoid

Exposures to toxins definitely increase fibromyalgia risk:

  • Breast Implants have been linked to cancer, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia and chronic pain
  • Aspartame (an artificial sweetener) should be eliminated from the diet, as it turns into formaldehyde in the body, which can aggravate fibromyalgia.
    Natural sweeteners such as Erythritol, Xylitol and pure Stevia are healthy alternatives
  • MSG (MonoSodium Glutamate) should be eliminated from the diet. Known to cause headaches and fibromyalgia
  • Vaccine Adjuvants containing mercury or aluminium have been shown to cause musculoskeletal pain conditions like fibromyalgia
  • Fluoride comes from fluoridated tap water, foods irrigated with fluoridated water, toothpaste, dental treatments and antibiotics, and must be avoided. A fluoridated water supply should be switched to rainwater and/or install a Reverse Osmosis water system for all drinking and cooking. Ordinary water filters do not remove fluoride, and even boiling water makes little difference

Prescription Medications increase risk

Many prescription medications increase risk of fibromyalgia, or actually cause it.

  • Statin Drugs reduce CoQ10 and vitamin D3, causing hundreds of health problems, including fibromyalgia and muscle pain, vastly outweighing any benefit in many cases
  • Prescription antidepressants like Celexa (Citalopram), Paxil (Paroxetine) and Prozac (Fluoxetine) include fluoride which makes fibromyalgia even worse, and causes weight gain.
    Antidepressants increase risk of cancer by over 40%, and most of the time do not work any better than a placebo
  • Many drugs contain bromide, which is even worse than fluoride, and more easily displaces iodine from the thyroid gland
  • Antibiotics destroy many bad bacteria, but also much of the good bacteria as well, compromising our immune system, which can take up to two years to rebuild
  • Paracetamol, Panadol, Tylenol and other names for acetaminophen should be avoided as studies show them to start causing liver issues even at the recommended dose two 500 mg tablets four times a day (4000 mg) for a few days. Unfortunately, patients who experience a lot of pain invariably over-dose, and just a 50% increase starts causing severe liver damage. The advertising slogan “safe and effective” is one of the biggest lies of the drug industry, and the most common cause of liver poisoning in the Western world. The majority of all patients on the liver transplant waiting list are there because of Panadol overdose. Panadol also reacts with an enzyme in the body to destroy our natural glutathione, which is one of the body’s main defenses against pathogens, often called the “master antioxidant”. Less glutathione means more Fibromyalgia

Here is a list of some drugs commonly prescribed that contain Fluoride or Bromide, two halogens that displace iodine from the thyroid and cause hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, depression, weight gain, hair loss, cancer, and will aggravate Fibromyalgia:

  • Advair (fluticasone) – fluoride
  • Alphagen (brimonidine) – bromide
  • Atrovent (Ipratropium) – bromide
  • Avelox (moxifloxacin) – fluoride
  • Adovart (dulasteride) – fluoride
  • Celebrex (celecoxib) – fluoride
  • Celexa (citalopram) – fluoride and bromide
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin) – fluoride
  • Clinoril (sulindac) – fluoride
  • Combivent (from the ipratropium) – bromide
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin) – fluoride
  • Diflucan (fluconazole) – fluoride
  • DuoNeb (nebulized Combivent) – fluoride
  • Enablex (darifenacin) – bromide
  • Flonase (fluticasone) – fluoride
  • Flovent (fluticasone) – fluoride
  • Guaifenex DM (dextromethorphan) – bromide
  • Lescol (fluvastatin) – fluoride
  • Levaquin (levofloxacin) – fluoride
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) – fluoride
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin) – fluoride
  • Lotrisone topical cream – fluoride
  • Paxil (paroxetine) – fluoride
  • Prevacid (lansoprazole) – fluoride
  • Protonix (pantoprazole) – fluoride
  • Prozac (fluoxetine) – fluoride
  • Pulmicort (budesonide) – fluoride
  • Razadyne (galantamine) – bromide
  • Risperdal (risperidone) – fluoride
  • Spiriva (tiotropium) – bromide
  • Tobra Dex (from dexamethasone) – fluoride
  • Travatan (travoprost) – fluoride
  • Triamcinolone – fluoride
  • Vigamox (moxifloxacin) – fluoride
  • Vytorin (from eztimibe) – fluoride
  • Zetia (eztimibe) – fluoride

An immune response to intestinal bacteria may cause some symptoms, so an alkaline diet with plenty of enzyme-rich raw vegetables and fresh fruit may help, along with a little cheese, yogurt, whey, fermented vegetables such as Sauerkraut, and/or supplemental probiotics such as Acidophilus
to build up beneficial intestinal bacteria. 75% of our immune system is in the gut, and this is where the immune system often first breaks down.

MSG (monosodium glutamate) has been shown to aggravate symptoms, so most processed food, which contains MSG, often hidden in the ingredients list by being called other names or chemicals, should be eliminated.

Eliminating yeast from the diet may also help. Yeast is a raising agent found in most breads and other flour-based baked foods, also Vegemite. Changing to a fresh food diet of vegetables and fruit can eliminate yeast, lose excess weight, build immunity and improve general health.

Casein from milk and other milk products may also help, although some people are sensitive to dairy products and do better with no milk or other dairy products.

Food allergies can be a problem and I would start by eliminating wheat, flour, bread, cakes, anything made from flour, sugar, soy, milk, corn, eggs and nuts for at least a week or two.
If that helps, introduce them back into the diet one at a time (except sugar, which should be omitted forever, and all flour products), until the culprit is found.

If that is not enough, see my Vaccinations article and read about the relationship between Panadol, Vaccinations, Glutathione and Autism.

Many Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and SLE or Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), but the above treatments can improve all of these conditions.
While these natural alternatives may not work for everyone, nearly all patients report improvement in their condition, and of course, these are all good for weight loss, fighting diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, better sleep, improved mood, reduced pain, better pain tolerance, building muscle and reduced cancer risk. Many patients are deficient in GH (growth hormone) so high-intensity exercise and weight loss will help by increasing natural production of Growth Hormone.

LeanMachine online supplements

Updated 24th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ&HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285

Ferritin and Iron

What is Ferritin?

Ferritin is an intracellular (inside the cell) protein, in the shape of a hollow sphere. Ferritin stores iron by allowing entry of iron as ferric hydroxide phosphate complexes, and when the body needs iron, releases it as required.
Ferritin is produced by almost every living organism, from bacteria to plants, animals and humans.
In humans, ferritin is a buffer against iron deficiency and iron overload, and is found in most tissues as a cytosolic protein, which means it is inside the cytoplasm, the fluid inside each cell between the outer shell wall and the nucleus (The nucleus contains our DNA).
However, small amounts of ferritin are secreted into the serum (blood) where it works as a carrier of iron.
Plasma ferritin (in the blood) is also an indirect marker of the total amount of iron stored in the body. Serum ferritin levels are used to determine iron deficiency (anaemia) or iron overload.
Ferritin keeps iron in a soluble, non-toxic form. Free ferritin (not combined with iron) is called apoferritin.
Iron is the central atom of haemoglobin, which gives blood it’s red colour. 75% of the body’s iron is stored in haemoglobin, 10 to 20% in the protein ferritin, and the rest in the protein transferrin (the iron transport protein). Small amounts are found in myoglobin, cytochromes, as unbound serum iron and in body tissues.
Excess iron is usually stored in the Liver, Spleen and Bone Marrow, but also in the Pancreas, Joints, Skin, Pituitary, Adrenals, Thyroid, Heart and other organs.
The haemoglobin molecule is a very large molecule, almost identical to the Chlorophyll molecule in plants. Chlorophyll has a central atom of Magnesium, giving grass the green colour. Haemoglobin has Iron as the central atom, giving blood the red colour.
Chlorophyll is commonly best known for “cleansing of the blood”. Best sources are green leafy vegetables and wheatgrass.

Why do we need Iron?

If we have too little iron, we cannot make enough red blood cells, reducing our ability to carry oxygen to all parts of the body.
If we have too much iron, it can damage organs and contribute to cancer, heart disease, the entire cardiovascular system, especially the endothelial cells (the inside lining of all blood vessels), the kidneys and the liver.
Red blood cells are made in the bone marrow, and have a lifespan of around 4 months, when they die (the process called Necrosis).
The body makes around 200 billion new red blood cells every day, along with around 10 billion white cells and about 400 billion platelets every day, and around the same amount die every day.
Dead red blood cells are then broken down by Macrophages (special white blood cells) in the spleen. Some are disposed of in the digestive tract (which makes our poo brown) and parts of other cells are re-used. Haemoglobin is further broken down to salvage the iron, and excess iron is then stored in the liver.
Too much iron in the liver can cause Cirrhosis (Scar tissue replacing healthy cells).
We can have too much iron in some cases because the body does not know how to get rid of excess iron, it only knows how absorb it and to store it (using the transferrin protein).

Healthy red blood cells.

As red blood cells approach death, or are infected with a parasite or bacteria, or have a genetic defect, or are cancerous, the shape, size, smoothness and colour may be different.

How is Iron absorbed?

Iron in food is processed in the high-acid stomach, where it is changed into a form that allows it to be absorbed.
Absorption takes place mainly in the duodenum (part of the small intestine) and also to a lesser extent near the end of the small intestinal tract.
After absorption, iron is transported by the transferrin protein. A healthy body has the ability to absorb more iron when it is required, and absorb less when it is not required.

Haemoglobin, Hemoglobin or Hbg

Haemoglobin is a protein contained in red blood cells.
The job of haemoglobin is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all of the tissue in the body, then return carbon dioxide back to the lungs.
Haemoglobin is composed of four globulin chains (protein molecules) which are connected together, and in adults, haemoglobin contains two alpha-globulin chains and two beta-globulin chains.
In foetuses and infants, haemoglobin contains two alpha chains and two gamma chains, and during growth to an adult, gamma chains are slowly removed, replaced by beta chains to form adult haemoglobin.
Every globulin chain contains the heme molecule as the central structure, and iron is embedded in the heme molecule, essential for the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Haemoglobin is also essential to help maintain the shape of every red blood cells, which resemble a donut with a dished centre rather than a hole. Any abnormal shape can cause poor flow through blood vessels.

Anaemia, Anemia

Anaemia is a condition where we do not have enough haemoglobin, which is usually, but not always, related to iron deficiency. It can be related to blood loss, from donating blood, from heavy menstrual bleeding, internal bleeding, blood loss from an injury, or insufficient iron in the diet (such as vegans or vegetarians).
IDA (Iron Deficiency Anaemia)
In most cases of anaemia, a blood test will reveal low haemoglobin and low ferritin, a result of iron deficiency, and the doctor will normally recommend iron supplementation or dietary changes or both.
ACD (Anaemia of Chronic Disease)
The body has a safety mechanism against harmful invaders such as cancer or bacteria. When sensing an invader, the body will move all iron it can from red blood cells back to ferritin, because all invaders need iron to thrive, and so does cancer. The body will leave just enough iron in haemoglobin for the cells to survive, but not enough to feed the invader.
We must NEVER take extra iron in cases of Chronic Disease, as we are only feeding the invader and doing more harm to our body.
ACD can be diagnosed by blood tests where we have low haemoglobin, but high ferritin. A C-Reactive Protein test (indicator of inflammation) is advised as well as ferritin if ACD is suspected.
When the disease clears up, the body will automatically return iron levels to normal.
Many doctors do not order ferritin tests when iron is low, resulting in the patient taking iron supplements which can cause damage or even death, so an accurate diagnosis of IDA or ACD is essential.
In some cases, IDA and ACD can occur at the same time, making diagnosis more difficult. One traditional test is Bone Marrow Aspiration with Iron Staining, but the Serum Transferrin Receptor test can help differentiate between IDA and ACD.
The Serum Transferrin Receptor test is significantly less affected by inflammation than the Serum Ferritin test. Results can be high in IDA and usually low in ACD, and the ratio of Serum Transferrin Receptor to the logarithim of Serum Ferritin Concentration is more helpful to distinguish ACD from IDA than is either individual test.
Kidney Damage
If the patient has any kidney damage (sometimes as a result of high iron) then it is possible to have high iron in the body tissues, while regular iron and ferritin tests results are normal or even low. In these cases, a specialist should supervise all testing.

Blood Tests

Normally, the doctor will organise a “Ferritin Study”.
This includes the following tests:

  • Serum Iron – how much iron is circulating in the blood, but this varies considerably and does not always mean a lot without also looking at the TIBC test below.
  • Serum Transferrin – or TIBC (Total Iron Binding Capacity) or Transferrin Saturation. Iron is bound to transferrin (which is produced by the liver), and TIBC is a direct measure of transferrin. Iron overload is indicated with levels over 55% for males and 50% for females. Fasting is preferred for accuracy. Note that inflammation causes reduced transferrin levels
  • Serum Ferritin – Indicates body iron stores. Typical lab results: Normal range 15 to 350 ug/L for men (some labs say up to 500ug/L), 15 – 300 ug/L for women, and varies depending on the lab and the method used, however LeanMachine says that these upper limits are way too high, and that anything over 80 ug/L indicates a possible iron overload condition, and anything below 20 ug/L indicates a possible iron deficiency. A healthy range is 20 to 80 ug/L, and the desirable range is 40 to 60 ug/L, but note that levels over 80 ug/L may be also be caused by liver disease, inflammation or cancer
  • Soluble Transferrin Receptors – Transferrin receptors present on cell surfaces are responsible for internalization of transferrin resulting in intracellular release or iron. With low iron stores, expression of transferrin receptors increases, so the level of soluble transferrin receptors inversely reflects iron stores, and is unaffected by any inflammation, however high soluble transferrin receptors may also mean haemolysis (premature red cell death)
  • A complete blood examination is also required to check Haemoglobin and other factors related to red blood cells, also liver and kidney function. Typical haemoglobin blood results 130g/L to 170g/L for adult males, 120g/L to 150g/L for adult females. For more info on these tests, see my article Blood Tests – How to read the results
  • Further tests may include a Liver Biopsy, SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device), or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), but these are generally not required except for extreme cases

Note that these are Australian tests. In the USA, the results are in ng/ml (nanograms per millilitre), which is exactly the same as ug/L (micrograms per litre), with upper and lower numbers both divided by 1000, giving the same numerical result.

Types of dietary Iron

There are two main types of dietary iron, heme iron found in meat and other animal products, and non-heme iron found in plant products.
Generally, heme iron is better absorbed than non-heme iron, leaving vegans more at risk for iron insufficiency, however heme iron is also more dangerous for the body in high levels.
A healthy body self-regulates iron levels, by absorbing more iron when we need it, and absorbing less iron when we do not need it, but sometimes this regulation is upset or overloaded.

Factors affecting ferritin/iron levels

Menopausal women often (but not always) have low iron, especially if periods are heavy, while post-menopausal women usually have normal iron.
Pregnancy increases iron requirements, as the body needs to make around 30% more blood to support the developing foetus, requiring 30% more iron. The body will use the body’s stored iron, but if stored iron is insufficient, anaemia will occur. All pregnant women should get their iron and haemoglobin tests done at each trimester, especially if diet or other factors place them at risk.
Blood donors will often have low iron. Red Cross blood donation centres always test haemoglobin levels, and if too low (or even too high), that person cannot donate blood.
For an adult male, the normal range is 125g/L to 185g/L
For an adult woman, the normal range is 115g/L to 165g/L.
For donations of whole blood for males, the acceptable range is 120 to 165g/L for women, and 130 to 185g/L for men.
For donations of plasma and platelets, the acceptable range is 115 to 165g/L for women, and 125 to 185g/L for men.
If below 130 (male) or 120 (female), that person should build up their iron reserves and seek medical advice.
Bleeding in the GI (Gastro-Intestinal) tract can cause low iron, as in any other form of blood loss.
Bleeding because of haemorrhoids or anal fissures, or bleeding from cancer or inflammation in the small intestine, colon or stomach will cause low iron. If stools are dark, or blood in urine, or any unexplained abdomen pain, see your doctor.
Various foods and vitamins can increase or decrease iron absorption – see below.
Foods high in iron are also generally high in Vitamin B12, and both are required for correct ferritin/iron metabolism and healthy Red Blood Cells.
Vegetarians and vegans in particular are susceptible to low iron and B12, as both come mainly from animal products.
As we age, we tend to have reduced stomach acid, resulting in less B12 absorption, and to a lesser extent, reduced absorption of all other minerals, vitamins and other nutrients.
If we take supplemental iron, the body will absorb less iron from the diet.
If we have a low-iron diet, the body responds by absorbing more iron from anything available in food.


Sickle cell disease, thalassemia and haemochromatosis can all be inherited, and genetic testing for these and other genes affecting ferritin/iron is available.

Sickle Cell Anaemia

An inherited condition, mainly descendants of African people. A problem with the haemoglobin beta gene causes some red blood cells to become sickle-shaped, especially in hot, dry and intense exercise conditions.
25% of the population in West Africa have the sicklemia trait, also high in South and Central Americans, especially in Panama. Sometimes appears in Mediterranean countries like Italy, Greece, and Spain. Malaria may be a factor, as Indians, Middle Easterners (e.g. Arabs and Iranians), Native Americans, North Africans, and Turks have small but significant cases.
People with Sickle Cell Anemia actually have an advantage in some countries, as they are able to survive better if infected with Malaria. The “sickleing” of the red blood cells is promoted when the Malaria parasite enters, and the body’s own immune system is then able to identify and destroy the cell, along with the malaria parasite.


An inherited condition, originating in Mediterranean countries, causing weakening and destruction of red blood cells by mutant genes, affecting haemoglobin production. Similar to Sickle-Cell Anaemia.

Haemochromatosis (inherited iron overload disorder)

There is a genetic test for Haemochromatosis.
The test gives results for mutations C282Y and/or H63D of the HFE gene:

  • Mutation not found (No Haemochromatosis)
  • Heterozygous (which means one faulty gene) – Generally no or mild symptoms, bu bay be a “carrier” for children
  • Homozygous (which means two faulty genes)

Children of a Mother and Father who are both carriers of one faulty gene have:

  • 50% risk of inheriting one mutated HFE gene (and becoming a carrier)
  • 25% risk of inheriting both mutated HFE genes (and at risk of excess iron absorption and symptoms of haemochromatosis)
  • 25% risk of inheriting two normal genes, and will not be a carrier

Around 1 in 188 Australians have the HFE genotype C282Y mutation, the most dangerous kind, although 1 in 8 people are carriers for this gene. There are many primary (inherited) types, including:

  • Type 1 – Classical haemochromatosis – Gene Mutation – HFE Genes C282Y and H63D, often with variations. C282Y is more serious.
  • Type 2A – Juvenile haemochromatosis – HJV (Haemojuvelin), also known as RGMc and HFE2 Genes
  • Type 2B – Hepcidin antimicrobial peptide (HAMP) or HFE2B Gene
  • Type 3 – Gene Mutation – Transferrin receptor-2 (TFR2 or HFE3 Genes)
  • Type 4 – African Iron Overload – Ferroportin (SLC11A3/SLC40A1 Genes)
  • Neonatal haemochromatosis – unknown cause
  • Acaeruloplasminaemia (very rare) – Caeruloplasmin
  • Congenital atransferrinaemia (very rare) – Transferrin
  • GRACILE syndrome (very rare) – BCS1L Gene

Also secondary types, which are not inherited, but acquired, especially if the patient has received many repeated blood transfusions.

  • Severe chronic haemolysis – either intravascular haemolysis or ineffective erythropoiesis (haemolysis within the bone marrow)
  • Excess iron from the diet
  • Excess iron from supplements. Any supplements must be kept away from children. This is a common cause of childhood poisoning

Conditions may involve mutant genes inherited from both parents, so patients may have widely differing symptoms.
1 in 700 people with haemochromatosis have no mutation in the HFE gene. This is called Non-HFE haemochromatosis, due to mutations in other genes.

Symptoms of Low Ferritin/Iron

  • Brittle Nails and/or spoon-shaped fingernails
  • Intolerance to Cold
  • Craving or Eating Non-Foods – dirt, hair, coins, etc (Pica)
  • Irritibility, Loss of Concentration, Dizziness
  • Pale appearance, especially membranes – inside of mouth and eyelids
  • Headache
  • Increased infections
  • RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome)
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Dry Mouth and/or Sore Tongue
  • Tachycardia (faster than normal heartbeat
  • Arrhythmia (irregular heart beat)
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of Consciousness (Syncope)
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Vitamin D3 deficiency

Symptoms – High Ferritin/Iron

  • Chronic fatigue, tiredness, weakness
  • Low levels of L-Glutathione
  • Low levels of antioxidants
  • Joint pain or aches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diabetes mellitus (Type 2)
  • Arrhythmia (irregular heart beat)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Changes in skin colour to bronze, ashen-grey or green
  • Period is irregular or stops (women)
  • Low Libido
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hair loss
  • Enlarged liver or spleen
  • Impotence (men)
  • Infertility
  • Hypogonadism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Low adrenal function
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • High blood glucose
  • High liver enzymes – ALT, AST, GGT
  • High serum iron and serum ferritin
  • Higher risk of cancer
  • Weight Loss

How Much Iron do we Need?

Depends on who we are.
For post-menopausal women and healthy men, 8mg daily.
For menopausal women or blood donors, 18mg daily to replace iron in lost blood.
For pregnant women, 27mg daily for rapid growth and development.
Many breakfast cereals give all of menopausal women’s iron requirement, two-thirds the amount required for pregnancy, but double the amount for men and post-menopausal women, not counting intake from other meals.
Typically, there is a total of 3 to 4 grams of iron in the body. A normal diet should give most people enough iron, but vgans and vegetarians and blood donors will oten be lacking. People consuming large quantities of meat, especially liver meats, can reach iron overload withour knowing.

To INCREASE Ferritin/Iron

  • Some breakfast cereals are fortified with extra iron
  • Red meat – beef, lamb, kangaroo and organ meats, especially liver are rich in iron
  • Low alcohol consumption (one drink daily with food) is fine, but overdoing it will cause liver damage
  • Vitamin C (orange juice, fruit, supplements) will increase absorption of iron from food, up to 6 times greater absorption
  • Avoid donating blood too often, or not at all if haemoglobin is less than 130 (men) or 120 (women)
  • Build testosterone, by diet and exercise and/or supplementation to help build new red blood cells
  • If vitamin B-12 and/or Folate is low, supplement or change diet

Iron Overload

This is a dangerous condition, and if iron overload is suspected, a ferritin study is required. See above under “Blood Tests”.

To DECREASE Ferritin/Iron

Blood donation (therapeutic venesection) is usually the best method, and helps save lives of others.
If ineligible for Red Cross donations, private organisations can do this. Usually a ferritin reading of several hundred can be brought down to the normal range after half a dozen or so blood donations.
The only down side is that donations must be spread out over many months to allow the body to build new blood.
Next best option is using IP6 (Inositol Hexaphosphate) which can chelate excess iron from the body.
IP6 can help when the body cannot excrete excess ferritin/iron on it’s own, which can often happen. The body has limited capacity to remove iron, as it tries to always recycle iron.
Also the best alternative when blood donation is impossible, impracticable or ruled out for religious reasons.
IP6 has the added benefit of improving immunity.

More serious cases of iron overload can be treated with:
Deferoxamine (Desferal®) – administered via a needle from a pump attached to the body for 8 to 10 hours a day.
Deferasirox (Exjade®) – a tablet dissolved in a glass of water or juice, taken once a day.
Both methods can have undesirable side-effects, including hearing and vision loss, nausea, diarrhea, rash, kidney or liver injury, so LeanMachine recommends first using blood donation, IP6 and diet measures first.

  • Donate Blood at the Red Cross. Reduces old blood recycling, leading to reduced iron stores which are used up in making new blood. May take several sessions over several months
  • Take IP6 (Inositol Hexaphosphate)
  • Eat cabbage every day (cooked, not raw). No scientific studies have been carried out with cabbage, but plenty of anecdotal evidence suggest it works, possibly by filling up on cabbage, the patient may not feel like red meat…
  • Avoid red meat, and especially liver and other organ meats
  • Drink green tea, black tea, oolong tea or coffee, and/or take a Green Tea Extract. The tannins in tea reduce iron absorption
  • Take Vitamin EVitamin B-6Curcumin
  • Avoid taking too much Vitamin C, as this can increase iron absorption
  • Do not cook in iron pots or pans, even if you have low iron, as metallic iron is bad for the body, regardless of the Ferritin status
  • Avoid alcohol, especially wine with steak
  • Never take iron supplements. If you take a multivitamin, or a “women’s health” or “men’s health” supplement, ensure it has no iron
  • Never drink well water or bore water unless it has been tested free from iron (and other harmful metals)
  • Take Astaxanthin – an extremely powerful antioxidant, 550 times better than Vitamin E. Will not chelate iron, but will help repair the damage

The Low-Iron Diet

Green Tea, black tea, oolong tea and coffee all contain tannins which inhibit iron absorption, so drinking these with a meal can help lower ferritin and iron levels.
Drinking milk with a meal also helps reduce iron absorption because of the calcium in milk that competes with iron for absorption.
Eat an egg every day, as eggs contain a compound that impairs absorption of iron. Avoid red meats, chicken and fish are better choices, much lower in iron than red meat. Better still, go vegetarian or vegan.
Calcium supplements can reduce iron absorption, but can also cause increased plaque in arteries, especially the Calcium Carbonate (ground limestone) used in cheap supplements, so should be avoided.
Breakfast cereals with whole grains contain some iron, but many are fortified with extra iron and should be avoided. Try an apple for breakfast instead and help keep the doctor away.
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LeanMachine is a health researchere, 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 13th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285