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“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” ~ Hippocrates.
Doctors should be taught this in medical school, as well as “First, do no harm”.

 

5 Top Foods for Eye Health

© 7th August 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:
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Posted on: Wednesday, August 5th 2020 at 1:45 pm
Written By: GreenMedInfo Research Group
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020

Do you find yourself squinting and straining to read the daily news and wondering why the writing on menus has become so small? Are you interested in keeping your vision sharp no matter what your age? If so, these five best foods for eye health are a natural way to give your vision a boost from the inside out!

Maintaining eye health becomes increasingly important as you age. Followers of natural health know that nutrition is your best defense against degeneration associated with aging and eye health is no exception.

We have compiled five of the best foods for eye health so that you can include these power-packed nutrients in your diet. Eating these vital foods and maintaining good overall health practices can help your eyes stay strong and your vision remain clear well into your golden years.

1. Ginkgo Biloba

Extracted from one of the oldest species of tree in the world, ginkgo is a nutritional supplement that has been used as traditional herbal medicine in China for hundreds of years. Derived from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree, some of which are believed to be more than 2,500 years old, ginkgo is available as a tea, capsule, tablet or tincture and has gained acclaim for a wide array of health benefits.

Ginkgo leaves contain natural flavonoids imbued with antioxidants that are believed to improve eye health by boosting circulation and protecting against damaging free radicals.[i] Studies have shown ginkgo may help reduce age-related macular degeneration and may be useful in the treatment of peripheral vascular disease.[ii]

Ginkgo has been shown to increase ocular blood, making it potentially effective in treating glaucoma[iii] and other eye diseases. Adding this potent supplement to your regimen may provide an added layer of protection against age-related memory loss and heart disease.[iv]

Ginkgo is generally well-tolerated but does have some contraindications and should not be combined with other drugs. The maximum recommended dose for ginkgo extract is 240 milligrams (mg) a day.[v]

2. Goji Berry

Another traditional Chinese medicine that has relevance to modern lifestyles is goji berries. This nutrient-dense superfood contains all eight essential amino acids and a healthy dose of protein, which is unusual for a fruit. Goji berries are also unusually good for eye health.

A study from 2017 found that a low dose of goji berry extract (between 250 and 350 mg per kilogram (kg) of body weight) helped ameliorate the symptoms of dry eye disease.[vi] Researchers attributed these actions to increased antioxidant and plasma zeaxanthin levels, a common carotenoid that has been associated with a significantly reduced risk of age-related maculopathy and cataract.[vii]

Maculopathy is any disease of the macula, the part of the eye associated with accurate vision. Cataract is the clouding of the eye associated with aging that blurs vision and affects sensitivity to light,[viii] which may be positively impacted by proper nutrition.

Zeaxanthin is one of 600 carotenoids found in nature, but one of only two that are deposited in high quantities in the retina (macula) of the eye.[ix] Antioxidant nutrients like zeaxanthin neutralize unstable free radical molecules that are associated with the oxidative stress that causes retinal damage.

Goji berries’ high antioxidant profile may further help protect against macular degeneration. A study published in the journal Optometry and Vision Science found that the boost in antioxidant and plasma zeaxanthin levels provided by daily dietary supplementation with goji berry for a period of 90 days protected elderly subjects’ eyes from hypopigmentation and soft drusen accumulation in the macula,[x] tiny deposits of protein and fat that get deposited under the retina.

The study also found that goji berries helped filter harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light to protect and maintain healthy cells in the eyes.[xi] Gojis, also called wolfberries, are available fresh in some locations, dried and as a juice or extract. Goji berry is generally well-tolerated and associated with more than 20 beneficial pharmacological actions.

3. Carrots

Carrots are widely known to be beneficial for eye health. Loaded with beneficial vitamins and micronutrients, it’s no wonder that eating carrots is associated with strong eyesight.

Nutrient deficiency is a serious problem in developing countries where malnutrition is more common and can be a precursor to disease. While malnutrition is less frequent in first-world nations, bariatric surgeries, which are performed to achieve weight loss, or surgeries to remove diseased sections of the bowel can create malabsorption syndrome, the body’s failure to absorb nutrients from food.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Optometry examined the case of a 55-year-old woman who presented to doctors with a two-year period of progressive night blindness. Initial treatment with oral vitamin A supplementation was ineffective, suggesting that the deficiency was related to malabsorption rather than dietary insufficiency.

The patient had a medical history of Crohn’s disease and had undergone three previous bowel resections, which subsequently led to the malabsorptive state associated with short bowel syndrome. Injections of vitamin A once per month over an 18-month period led to significant improvements in the patient’s night vision, including remission of symptoms and vision tests that returned to normal ranges.[xii]

Carrots are also a good source of the carotenoids beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, a class of antioxidant micronutrients that are believed to protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.[xiii]

A 2008 study examined the relationship between dietary intake of carotenoids and the risk of cataract in women and found that higher dietary intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin are associated with significantly decreased risk of cataract.[xiv] Green leafy vegetables and egg yolks are also good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study, sponsored by the U.S. government’s National Eye Institute, found that vitamin supplementation that included beta carotene at levels well above the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) reduced the risk of developing advanced macular degeneration by a whopping 25%.[xv]

4. Coconut Oil

The GreenMedInfo.com research database has 80 scientific abstracts on coconut oil’s many healthiful properties. Despite all the favorable press in recent years, you may not know that one of coconut oil’s benefits to health is retina protection.

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S., affecting more than 10 million Americans, which is more than cataracts and glaucoma combined.[xvi] Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is diagnosed when an eye doctor detects drusen, yellow plaque-like deposits, under the surface of the retina. Over time, these deposits can blur the central field of vision and, if left untreated, vision loss can become severe and debilitating.[xvii]

One of the prime risk factors for developing AMD is exposure to ultraviolet light. A 1966 study found that rats who were fed a diet of coconut oil and exposed to bright light had significantly better retinal morphologies than rats in control groups, something researchers attributed to reduced caspase-3 activity.[xviii]

Caspase-3 is a family of protease enzymes that plays an essential role in inflammation and apoptosis, or programmed cellular death. Benefits to the retina increased when the dosage of coconut oil was doubled, suggesting that coconut oil was the significant factor behind these potent eye health benefits.[xix]

5. Oily Fish

Many fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish are fish that have oil in their gut and body tissue, so eating them offers higher levels of omega-3-rich fish oil. The fish that contain the most beneficial levels of omega-3s include:

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Herring

Some studies have found that fish oil can reverse dry eye, including dry eye caused by spending too much time on a computer.

Your retinas need two types of omega-3 fatty acids to work right: DHA and EPA. You can find both in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna and trout, as well as other seafood. Omega-3s also seem to protect your eyes from AMD and glaucoma. Low levels of these fatty acids have been linked to dry eyes. Be sure to choose fish sourced from non-polluted waters.


References

[i] Tian J, Liu Y, Chen K. Ginkgo biloba Extract in Vascular Protection: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications. Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2017;15(6):532‐548. doi: 10.2174/1570161115666170713095545

[ii] Evans JR. Ginkgo biloba extract for age-related macular degeneration. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;2013(1):CD001775. Published 2013 Jan 31. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001775.pub2

[iii] Kang JM, Lin S. Ginkgo biloba and its potential role in glaucoma. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2018;29(2):116‐120. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000000459

[iv] Nguyen T, Alzahrani T. Ginkgo Biloba. [Updated 2020 Feb 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541024/

[v] Nguyen T, Alzahrani T. Ginkgo Biloba. [Updated 2020 Feb 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541024/

[vi] Chien KJ, Horng CT, Huang YS, et al. Effects of Lycium barbarum (goji berry) on dry eye disease in rats. Mol Med Rep. 2018;17(1):809‐818. doi:10.3892/mmr.2017.7947

[vii] Delcourt C, Carrière I, Delage M, Barberger-Gateau P, Schalch W; POLA Study Group. Plasma lutein and zeaxanthin and other carotenoids as modifiable risk factors for age-related maculopathy and cataract: the POLA Study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006;47(6):2329‐2335. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-1235

[viii] American Academy of Opthamology, Eye Health, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-cataracts

[ix] American Optometric Association, Patients & Public, Caring for Your Vision, Diet & Nutrition, Lutein & Zeaxanthin. https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/lutein

[x] APA Bucheli, Peter*; Vidal, Karine*; Shen, Lisong†; Gu, Zhencheng*; Zhang, Charlie‡; Miller, Larry E.*; Wang, Junkuan* Goji Berry Effects on Macular Characteristics and Plasma Antioxidant Levels, Optometry and Vision Science: February 2011 – Volume 88 – Issue 2 – p 257-262. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e318205a18f

[xi] APA Bucheli, Peter*; Vidal, Karine*; Shen, Lisong†; Gu, Zhencheng*; Zhang, Charlie‡; Miller, Larry E.*; Wang, Junkuan* Goji Berry Effects on Macular Characteristics and Plasma Antioxidant Levels, Optometry and Vision Science: February 2011 – Volume 88 – Issue 2 – p 257-262. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e318205a18f

[xii] Clifford LJ, Turnbull AMJ, Denning AM. Reversible night blindness – A reminder of the increasing importance of vitamin A deficiency in the developed world [Ceguera nocturna reversible – recordatorio de la importancia creciente de la deficiencia de vitamina A en el mundo desarrollado]. J Optom. 2013;6(3):173‐174. doi: 10.1016/j.optom.2013.01.002

[xiii] Rasmussen HM, Johnson EJ. Nutrients for the aging eye. Clin Interv Aging. 2013;8:741‐748. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S45399

[xiv] Christen, Liu, Glynn, Gaziano, Buring. Dietary carotenoids, vitamins C and E, and risk of cataract in women: a prospective study. Arch Ophthalmol. 2008 Jan;126(1):102-9. PMID: 18195226

[xv] Rasmussen HM, Johnson EJ. Nutrients for the aging eye. Clin Interv Aging. 2013;8:741‐748. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S45399

[xvi] American Macular Degeneration Foundation, What is Macular Degeneration? https://www.macular.org/what-macular-degeneration

[xvii] American Macular Degeneration Foundation, What is Macular Degeneration? https://www.macular.org/what-macular-degeneration

[xviii] Noell WK, Walker VS, Kang BS, Berman S. Retinal damage by light in rats. Invest Ophthalmol. 1966;5(5):450‐473.

[xix] Noell WK, Walker VS, Kang BS, Berman S. Retinal damage by light in rats. Invest Ophthalmol. 1966;5(5):450‐473.

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

The Spice That Prevents Fluoride From Destroying Your Brain

© 31st July 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:
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Posted on: Thursday, July 30th 2020 at 7:00 am
Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020

The Spice That Prevents Fluoride From Destroying Your Brain

Fluoride is found everywhere today, from antibiotics to drinking water, no stick pans to toothpaste, making exposure inevitable. All the more reason why research proving this common spice can prevent fluoride damage is so promising…

Fluoride’s neurotoxicity has been the subject of academic debate for decades, and now a matter of increasingly impassioned controversy among the general public, as well. From ‘conspiracy theories’ about it being first used in drinking water in Russian and Nazi concentration camps to chemically lobotomize captives, to its now well-known IQ lowering properties, to its ability to enhance the calcification of the pineal gland — the traditional ‘seat of the soul’ — many around the world, and increasingly in the heavily fluoridated regions of the United States, are starting to organize at the local and statewide level to oust this ubiquitous toxicant from municipal drinking water.

A compelling study published in the Pharmacognosy Magazine titled, “Curcumin attenuates neurotoxicity induced by fluoride: An in vivo evidence,” adds experimental support to the suspicion that fluoride is indeed a brain-damaging substance, also revealing that a natural spice-derived protective agent against the various health effects associated with this compound is available.

The study was authored by researchers from the Department of Zoology, University College of Science, M.L. Sukhadia University, Udaipur, India, who have spent the past decade investigating the mechanisms through which fluoride induces severe neurodegenerative changes in the mammalian brain, particularly in cells of the hippocampus and cerebral cortex.[i] [ii]

The study opens by describing the historical backdrop for concern about fluoride’s significant and wide ranging toxicity:

“Fluoride (F) is probably the first inorganic ion which drew attention of the scientific world for its toxic effects and now the F toxicity through drinking water is well-recognized as a global problem. Health effect reports on F exposure also include various cancers, adverse reproductive activities, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases.[1,2]”

The study focused on fluoride induced neurotoxicity, identifying excitoxicity (stimulation of the neuron to the point of death) and oxidative stress as the two main drivers of neurodegeneration.  It has been observed that subjects with the condition known as fluorosis, a mottling of tooth enamel caused by excessive exposure to fluoride during tooth development, also have neurodegenerative changes associated with a form of oxidative stress known as lipid peroxidation (rancidity). Excess lipid peroxidation in the brain can lead to a decrease in total brain phospholipid content. Owing to these well-known mechanisms of fluoride associated neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration, the researchers identified the primary polyphenol in the spice turmeric — known as curcumin — as an ideal agent worth testing as a neuroprotective substance. Previous research on curcumin indicates that it is capable of activing as an antioxidant in 3 distinct ways by protecting against: 1) singlet oxygen 2) hyrodxyl radicals and 3) superoxide radical damage. Also, curcumin appears to raise endogenous glutathione production in the brain, a major antioxidant defense system.

In order to assess the neurotoxic effects of fluoride and prove curcumin’s protective role against it, researchers randomly divided up mice into four groups, for 30 days:

  1. Control (no fluoride)
  2. Fluoride (120 ppm): fluoride was given in distilled water drinking water without restriction.
  3. Fluoride (120 ppm/30 mg/kg body weight) + Curcumin: Oral dose of curcumin dissolved in olive oil along with fluoride in drinking water
  4. Curcumin: (30 mg/kg body weight)

In order to ascertain the effect of treatment, the researchers measured the malondialdehyde (MDA) content in the brains of the different treated mice. MDA is a well-known marker of oxidative stress/damage.

As was expected, the fluoride (F) only treatment group showed significantly elevated MDA levels vs. the non-fluoride treated control. The F + Curcumin group saw reduced MDA levels vs. the fluoride only group, demonstrating curcumin’s neuroprotective activity against fluoride associated neurotoxicity.

The study concluded,

“Our study thus demonstrate that daily single dose of 120 ppm F result in highly significant increases in the LPO [lipid peroxidation, i.e. brain rancidity] as well as neurodegenerative changes in neuron cell bodies of selected hippocampal regions. Supplementation with curcumin significantly reduce the toxic effect of F to near normal level by augmenting the antioxidant defense through its scavenging property and provide an evidence of having therapeutic role against oxidative stress mediated neurodegeneration.”

Discussion

This is far from the first study to demonstrate curcumin’s remarkable brain-saving properties. From the perspective of the primary research alone, there are over two hundred peer-reviewed published studies indicating that curcumin is a neuroprotective agent. On our own turmeric database we have 115 articles proving this statement: Turmeric Protects The Brain.  We have also featured studies on turmeric’s ability to protect and restore the brain:

Considering the many chemical insults we face on a daily basis in the post-industrial world, turmeric may very well be the world’s most important herb, with over 800 evidence-based health applications. Visit our Turmeric Research database — the world’s largest, open access turmeric resource of its kind — to view the first hand published research on the topic.


References

[i] Bhatnagar M, Rao P, Saxena A, Bhatnagar R, Meena P, Barbar S. Biochemical changes in brain and other tissues of young adult female mice from fluoride in their drinking water. Fluoride. 2006;39:280–4. [Ref list]

[ii] Bhatnagar M, Sukhwal P, Suhalka P, Jain A, Joshi C, Sharma D. Effects of fluoride in drinking water on NADPH-diaphorase neurons in the forebrain of mice: A possible mechanism of fluoride neurotoxicity. Fluoride. 2011;44:195–9. [Ref list]

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.

Magnesium-Rich Foods and Why You Need Them

© 30th July 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:
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Posted on: Thursday, July 23rd 2020 at 3:45 pm
Written By: Dr. Diane Fulton
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020

You may have a low level of magnesium in your diet that is preventing you from reaping important health benefits

Magnesium (Mg) is considered a healthy mineral essential to your body, but it is estimated that 75% of Americans and people around the world are well below the recommended daily intake of Mg.[i] Luckily, there is an easy fix, since magnesium is bountiful in many foods.

Bright leafy greens/veggies (magnesium gives them that rich green color) top the magnesium-dense list including spinach, chard, broccoli and kale, followed closely by legumes such as lima beans, black beans, peas and edamame (soybean).[ii] When it comes to snacks, seeds[iii] (pumpkin and flax), nuts[iv] (almonds, cashews, peanut butter) and dark chocolate[v] pack a high magnesium punch.

Healthy omega-3 fats and magnesium are also abundant in salmon, tuna and avocado.[vi] Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, buckwheat and even wild rice (technically a grass) are filled with magnesium.[vii] For a list of the top 25 magnesium-rich foods, see Table 1.

Table 1

25 Foods Rich in Magnesium

Portions

Magnesium (100% Daily Value = 420 mg)

Spinach

1 cup cooked

157 mg (37%)

Chard

1 cup

157 mg (37%)

Seeds (Pumpkin and Squash)

1 ounce

156 mg (37%)

Lima Beans

1 cup cooked

126 mg (30%)

Black Beans

1 cup cooked

120 mg (29%)

Quinoa

1 cup

118 mg (28%)

Tuna

6 oz fillet (high in mercury)

109 mg (26%)

Almonds

¼ cup

105 mg (25%)

Cashews

¼ cup

90 mg (21%)

Brown Rice

1 cup

86 mg (20%)

Buckwheat

1 cup or 1 ounce dry

65 mg (15%)

Dark Chocolate

1 ounce square (70% cocoa)

64 mg (15%)

Oatmeal

1 cup

60 mg (14%)

Avocado

medium

58 mg (14%)

Salmon

½ fillet (178 grams)

53 mg (13%)

Wild Rice

1 cup

52 mg (12%)

Edamame (Soybean)

½ cup

50 mg (12%)

Broccoli

½ cup (don’t overcook)

50 mg (12%)

Figs

½ cup

50 mg (12%)

Peas

1 cup cooked

50 mg (12%)

Peanut Butter

2 Tablespoons

49 mg (12%)

Yogurt

1 cup

47 mg (11%)

Flaxseed Oil or Flaxseed

1 Tablespoon or ½ Tablespoon

42 mg (10%)

Banana

1 cup sliced

41 mg (10%)

Kale

1 cup (raw)

37 mg (8%)

Benefits of Eating Magnesium-Rich Foods

Magnesium in your diet helps to prevent diseases and lessen the harshness of some diseases if you get them. Magnesium has neuroprotective, cardio-protective, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity and hypoglycemic properties.

A magnesium deficiency or low level of magnesium in your food creates an out of balance condition in your body linked to many diseases from diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome to depression and neurological disorders.

Diabetes

Magnesium has many protective properties, such as glucose or blood sugar moderating and insulin regulating, lowering risk for Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and improving outcomes for Type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Magnesium intake significantly improved glucose parameters in people with diabetes and also improved insulin-sensitivity parameters in those at high risk of diabetes in a review of 18 randomized clinical trials, including a total of 670 diabetic and 453 at risk for diabetes patients.[viii]

In another meta-analysis of 637,922 individuals, the risk of T2D was reduced by 17% across all the studies; 19% in women and 16% in men when magnesium was increased in their diet.[ix]

A magnesium deficiency is seen as a contributing factor in insulin resistance for T2D patients.[x] In a 2017 study of 71 children with T1D, magnesium supplementation improved glycemic control and lipid profiles while decreasing complications such as hypomagnesaemia (clinical magnesium deficiency).[xi] For the 52,684 without known diabetes, dietary magnesium was found to lower fasting glucose and insulin, two risk factors for diabetes.[xii]

Heart Disease

Because of chronic diseases, medications, decreases in food crop magnesium contents, and higher availability of refined and processed foods, the vast majority of people in modern societies are at risk for magnesium deficiency (often undiagnosed) and magnesium dietary supplementation is an easy and low cost way to lower the risks for a variety of heart diseases.[xiii]

In a meta-analysis of 532,979 participants from 19 studies, the greatest risk reduction for cardiovascular disease (CVD) occurred when magnesium intake increased from 150 to 400 milligrams (mg) per day.[xiv] In a meta-analysis of 48 genetic studies with a total of 60,801 coronary artery disease (CAD) cases and 123,504 non-cases, researchers found that serum magnesium levels are inversely associated with risk of heart disease.[xv]

Magnesium supplementation is also seen as a successful preventative mechanism (by improving lipid profiles, fasting glucose and blood pressure)[xvi] to heart disease complications (a leading cause of death from T2 diabetes).[xvii],[xviii]

Metabolic Syndrome

Generally, the triad of obesity, high blood pressure and impaired glucose tolerance, as in T2D (insulin resistance), is referred to as metabolic syndrome.[xix] In a meta-analysis of six studies, including a total of 24,473 individuals and 6,311 cases of metabolic syndrome, a higher dietary magnesium level lowered the risk of metabolic syndrome by 17%.[xx]

Magnesium supplementation has also been shown to lower blood pressure measures significantly in those with high blood pressure taking anti-hypertensive medication (135 subjects); systolic blood pressure decreased by 18.7 points and diastolic blood pressure dropped by an average of 10.9 points.

In a 2018 study of obesity and diabetes of over 1,500 Mexican subjects, increased dietary magnesium reduced body mass index, waist circumference and serum glucose levels, and is likely to prevent co-morbidities.[xxi] High blood pressure is associated with vascular failure and can increase arterial stiffness.[xxii] In a 2016 randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study, a daily dose (350 mg) of magnesium decreased arterial stiffness in 52 obese and overweight subjects.[xxiii]

Obesity, inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin resistance are thought to be the common pathways to the overlap in high blood pressure and diabetes.[xxiv] Increasing magnesium intake has been shown to reduce C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, which indicate the amount of inflammation in the body,[xxv] among individuals with low-grade chronic systemic inflammation in a meta-analysis of 17 studies. Overall, a lower level of magnesium is seen in those having metabolic syndrome.[xxvi]

Neurological Disorders

Magnesium is often called the “mind mineral,” as it is abundant in the central nervous system and contributes to a balanced brain, influencing serotonin, dopamine and neuro-transmissions.[xxvii] Recent research has linked magnesium deficiency and low magnesium levels with many neurological disorders, such as cerebral vasospasm, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression,[xxviii] stroke and migraine.[xxix] Daily consumption of 500 mg magnesium oxide tablets for over eight weeks by 30 depressed patients suffering from magnesium deficiency in 2017 led to significant improvements in depression status compared to the placebo group.[xxx]

A lower level of magnesium has been statistically associated with Alzheimer’s disease.[xxxi],[xxxii] Higher magnesium intake showed neuroprotection and lower risk for Parkinson’s disease in a study of 49 Japanese patients.[xxxiii] There is also strong evidence that magnesium deficiency is much more prevalent in migraine sufferers than in healthy controls[xxxiv] and oral magnesium could help to alleviate migraine symptoms.[xxxv]

Magnesium-Rich Diet Tied to Improved Health

Don’t miss out on the health benefits of magnesium-rich foods (i.e., dark chocolate, nuts/seeds, leafy greens, legumes, fatty fish and whole grains) in your diet. Recent research has confirmed links between magnesium and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and neuro-related diseases, both as a preventative and a moderator for disease severity. You can find further scientific evidence at GreenMedInfo.com under magnesium and magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium’s Esoteric Role in Biotransforming Light into Matter! 

Also, if you are interested in going deeper down the rabbit hole into the topic, read Chapter 3 of Sayer Ji, founder of Greenmedinfo’s new book REGENERATE, which discusses the role of magnesium-ATP chelate in producing a nano-particle accelerator type effect that has profound new implications for nutrition, biology, and medicine: The New Biophysics: A Deep Dive into the Quantum Rabbit Hole of Esoteric Physiology


References

[i] Guerrera MP, Volpe SL, Mao JJ. Therapeutic uses of magnesiumAm Fam Physician. 2009;80(2):157‐162. PMID: 19621856

[ii] My Food Data, Magnesium Rich Foods List. https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/foods-high-in-magnesium.php#magnesium-rich-foods-list

[iii] Simply Health. Today. 21 Foods High In Magnesium. https://simplyhealth.today/21-foods-high-magnesium/4/

[iv] Medical News Today, Almonds https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318595#4-almonds

[v] Medical News Today, Dark Chocolate. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318595#5-dark-chocolate

[vi] Healthline.com, 10 Foods High in Magnesium. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-foods-high-in-magnesium

[vii] Tools. My Food Data.com, Nutrient Ranking, Magnesium and Food Group. https://tools.myfooddata.com/nutrient-ranking tool.php?nutrient=Magnesium&foodgroup=All&sortby=Highest&servsize=Common&list=Simple

[viii] N Veronese, S F Watutantrige, C Luchini, M Solmi, G Sartore, G Sergi, E Manzato, M Barbagallo, S Maggi, B Stubbs. Effect of magnesium supplementation on glucose metabolism in people with or at risk of diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of double-blind randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Aug 17. Epub 2016 Aug 17. PMID: 27530471

[ix] Xin Fang, Hedong Han, Mei Li, Chun Liang, Zhongjie Fan, Jan Aaseth, Jia He, Scott Montgomery, Yang Cao. Correction of hypomagnesemia in type 1 diabetic children with oral magnesium supplements is associated with optimization of glycemic control. Nutrients. 2016 Nov 19 ;8(11). Epub 2016 Aug 19. PMID: 27869762

[x] Krasimir Kostov. Effects of Magnesium Deficiency on Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetes: Focusing on the Processes of Insulin Secretion and Signaling. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Mar 18 ;20(6). Epub 2019 Mar 18. PMID: 30889804

[xi] Doaaa Shahbah, Tamer Hassan, Saeed Morsy, Hosam El Saadany, Manar Fathy, Ashgan Al-Ghobashy, Nahla Elsamad, Ahmed Emam, Ahmed Elhewala, Boshra Ibrahim, Sherief El Gebaly, Hany El Sayed, Hanan Ahmed. Correction of hypomagnesemia in type 1 diabetic children with oral magnesium supplements is associated with optimization of glycemic control. Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Mar ;96(11):e6352. PMID: 28296769

[xii] Adela Hruby, Julius S Ngwa, Frida Renström, Mary K Wojczynski, Andrea Ganna, Göran Hallmans, Denise K Houston, Paul F Jacques, Stavroula Kanoni, Terho Lehtimäki, et al., Higher magnesium intake is associated with lower fasting glucose and insulin, with no evidence of interaction with select genetic loci, in a meta-analysis of 15 CHARGE Consortium Studies. J Nutr. 2013 Mar ;143(3):345-53. Epub 2013 Jan 23. PMID: 23343670

[xiii] James J DiNicolantonio, James H O’Keefe, William Wilson. Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis. Open Heart2018 ;5(1):e000668. Epub 2018 Jan 13. PMID: 29387426

[xiv] Xinhua Qu, Fangchun Jin, Yongqiang Hao, Huiwu Li, Tingting Tang, Hao Wang, Weili Yan, Kerong Dai. Dietary magnesium intake and serum magnesium concentrations are inversely associated with the risk of total CVD events. PLoS One. 2013 ;8(3):e57720. Epub 2013 Mar 8. PMID: 23520480

[xv] Susanna C Larsson, Stephen Burgess, Karl Michaëlsson. Serum magnesium levels are inversely associated with risk of coronary artery disease. BMC Med. 2018 May 17 ;16(1):68. Epub 2018 May 17. PMID: 29769070

[xvi] H Verma, R Garg. Effect of magnesium supplementation on type 2 diabetes associated cardiovascular risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2017 Feb 2. Epub 2017 Feb 2. PMID: 28150351

[xvii] Liana C Del Gobbo, Fumiaki Imamura, Jason H Y Wu, Marcia C de Oliveira Otto, Stephanie E Chiuve, Dariush Mozaffarian. Circulating and dietary magnesium and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jul ;98(1):160-73. Epub 2013 May 29. PMID: 23719551

[xviii] Christina M Gant, Sabita S Soedamah-Muthu, S Heleen Binnenmars, Stephan J L Bakker, Gerjan Navis, Gozewijn D Laverman. Higher Dietary Magnesium Intake and Higher Magnesium Status Are Associated with Lower Prevalence of Coronary Heart Disease in Patients with Type 2 DiabetesNutrients. 2018 Mar 5 ;10(3). Epub 2018 Mar 5. PMID: 29510564

[xix] Helmut Geiger, Christoph Wanner, Magnesium in disease, Clinical Kidney Journal, Volume 5, Issue Suppl_1, 1 February 2012, Pages i25-i38, https://doi.org/10.1093/ndtplus/sfr165

[xx] D T Dibaba, P Xun, A D Fly, K Yokota, K He. The present meta-analysis suggests that dietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Diabet Med. 2014 Nov ;31(11):1301-9. PMID: 24975384

[xxi] Analí Castellanos-Gutiérrez, Tania G Sánchez-Pimienta, Alicia Carriquiry, Teresa H M da Costa, Ana Carolina Ariza. Higher dietary magnesium intake is associated with lower body mass index, waist circumference and serum glucose in Mexican adults. Nutr J. 2018 12 5 ;17(1):114. Epub 2018 Dec 5. PMID: 30518394

[xxii] Maruhashi, T., Kinoshita, Y., Kajikawa, M. et al. Relationship between home blood pressure and vascular function in patients receiving antihypertensive drug treatment. Hypertens Res 42, 1175-1185 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41440-019-0240-8

[xxiii] Peter J Joris, Jogchum Plat, Stephan Jl Bakker, Ronald P Mensink. Daily magnesium supplement of 350 mg for 24 wk in overweight and obese adults reduces arterial stiffnessAm J Clin Nutr. 2016 May ;103(5):1260-6. Epub 2016 Apr 6. PMID: 27053384

[xxiv] Bernard M. Y. Cheung and Chao Li. Diabetes and Hypertension: Is There a Common Metabolic Pathway? Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2012 Apr; 14(2): 160-166. Published online 2012 Jan 27. doi: 10.1007/s11883-012-0227-2, PMCID: PMC3314178, PMID: 22281657

[xxv] WebMD, C Reactive Protein Test. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/c-reactive-protein-test#1

[xxvi] Iwona Rotter, Danuta Kosik-Bogacka, Barbara Dołęgowska, Krzysztof Safranow, Beata Karakiewicz, Maria Laszczyńska. Lower serum Mg level may be conducive to the development of total testosterone deficiency, arterial hypertension, diabetes, and therefore metabolic syndrome. Magnes Res. 2015 Aug 1 ;28(3):99-107. PMID: 26507751

[xxvii] James Greenblatt. Magnesium: The Missing Link In Mental Health? November 17, 2016 , Mental Health, Cal + Mag Resources, DBH Resources. https://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/articles-1/2016/11/17/magnesium-the-missing-link-in-mental-health

[xxviii] Cheungpasitporn W, Thongprayoon C, Mao MA, et al. Hypomagnesaemia linked to depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Intern Med J. 2015;45(4):436‐440. PMID: 25827510 doi:10.1111/imj.12682

[xxix] Wenwen Xue, Jing You, Yingchao Su, Qinglu Wang. Magnesium has effects on neurological disorders. Iran J Public Health. 2019 Mar ;48(3):379-387. PMID: 31223564

[xxx] Afsaneh Rajizadeh, Hassan Mozaffari-Khosravi, Mojtaba Yassini-Ardakani, Ali Dehghani. Effect of magnesium supplementation on depression status in depressed patients with magnesium deficiency: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition. 2017 Mar ;35:56-60. Epub 2016 Nov 9. PMID: 28241991

[xxxi] Barbagallo M, Belvedere M, Di Bella G, Dominguez LJ. Altered ionized magnesium levels in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Magnes Res. 2011;24:S115-21 PMID: 21951617

[xxxii] Nicola Veronese, Anna Zurlo, Marco Solmi, Claudio Luchini, Caterina Trevisan, Giulia Bano, Enzo Manzato, Giuseppe Sergi, Ragnar Rylander. Magnesium Status in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2015 Sep 7. Epub 2015 Sep 7. PMID: 26351088

[xxxiii] Miyake Y, Tanaka K, Fukushima W, Sasaki S, Kiyohara C, Tsuboi Y, Yamada T, Oeda T, Miki T, Kawamura N, Sakae N, Fukuyama H, Hirota Y, Nagai M; Fukuoka Kinki. Dietary Intake of Metals and Risk of Parkinson’s Disease: A Case-Control Study in Japan. J Neurol Sci. 2011 Jul 15;306(1-2):98-102. Epub 2011 Apr 16. PMID: 21497832, DOI: 10.1016/j.jns.2011.03.035

[xxxiv] Afshin Samaie, Nabiollah Asghari, Raheb Ghorbani, Jafar Arda. Blood Magnesium levels in migraineurs within and between the headache attacks: a case control study. Pan Afr Med J2012 ;11:46. Epub 2012 Mar 15. PMID: 22593782

[xxxv] Alexander Mauskop, Jasmine Varughese. Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium. J Neural Transm. 2012 May ;119(5):575-9. Epub 2012 Mar 18. PMID: 22426836

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.

Are Seed Oils Behind the Majority of Diseases This Century?


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/07/18/chris-knobbe-macular-degeneration.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked
July 18, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Ophthalmologist Dr. Chris Knobbe says most chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration are linked to the consumption of processed seed oils
  • Knobbe says the large consumption of omega-6 seed oil in everyday Western diets is so dangerous it is “a global human experiment … without informed consent”
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids, also called PUFAs, found in vegetable oils, edible oils, seed oils, trans fat and plant oils, owe their existence to “roller mill technology,” which replaced stone mill technology and removed their nutrients
  • Many people now consume 80 grams of PUFAs a day, which amounts to 720 calories and one-third of their caloric intake
  • Results from studies of tribal peoples and animals have demonstrated the deleterious effects of PUFAs in the diet

What do heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and other chronic health conditions of modern society have in common? They all have increased by shocking amounts in the last decades. And, they are all linked to the consumption of seed oils.

In a recent speech at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, titled “Diseases of Civilization: Are Seed Oil Excesses the Unifying Mechanism?,” Dr. Chris Knobbe reveals startling evidence that seed oils, so prevalent in modern diets, are the reason for most of today’s chronic diseases.1

Knobbe, an ophthalmologist, is the founder of the nonprofit Cure AMD Foundation, dedicated to the prevention of vision loss from age-related macular degeneration (AMD).2 He is a former associate clinical professor emeritus of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.3

His research indicts the high consumption of omega-6 seed oil in everyday diets as the major unifying driver of the chronic degenerative diseases of modern civilization. He calls the inundation of Western diets with harmful seeds oils “a global human experiment … without informed consent.”

The Rise of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs)

Trans fats and polyunsaturated fatty acids, also called PUFAs, found in vegetable oils, edible oils, seed oils and plant oils, are a fairly recent invention and include cottonseed, rapeseed, sunflower, safflower, rice bran, soybean, corn and other popular oils. PUFAs owe their existence to “roller mill technology,” which around 1880 replaced stone mill technology that was used to grind wheat into flour.4

Roller mill technology facilitated the entire removal of the bran and the germ of a grain, leaving only the endosperm, a refined product with its nutrients removed.5 According to Knobbe, writing on the Cure AMD Foundation website:6

“The first of these [PUFAs] was cottonseed oil. This was soon followed by the hydrogenation and partial hydrogenation of cottonseed oil, producing the first ever artificially created trans-fat. The latter was introduced by Proctor & Gamble in 1911 under the name ‘Crisco,’ which was marketed as ‘the healthier alternative to lard … and more economical than butter.'”

Crisco, the grandfather of commercially produced PUFAs or trans fats, is still widely sold today. The plan of vegetable oil producers, says Knobbe, was to undersell and therefore replace animal fats, which were priced higher.7 The plan was successful.

PUFAs became so popular that they now make up 63% of the American diet, form the basis of USDA food recommendations and are found in 600,000 processed foods sold in the U.S. today.8 In 1909, Americans ate 2 grams a day of vegetable oil, says Knobbe, and by 2010 they were eating an astounding 80 grams of vegetable oil a day.9

There are several reasons PUFAs are harmful, says Knobbe. Unlike animal fats, they lack vitamins A, D and K, so they are nutrient deficient. They contribute to most of the chronic diseases associated with modern civilization. And PUFAs also contribute to the epidemic of obesity. The 80 grams of PUFAs a day that Americans are now consuming amount to 720 calories, says Knobbe, which means that one-third of most people’s calories are “coming out of factories.”10

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Chronic Diseases Rose With PUFAs

Many people are aware that diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and other conditions were less common in the first part of the 20th century than they are today. But the rise in the incidence of these conditions is more dramatic than many realize. According to Knobbe:11

  • In 1900, 12.5% percent of the U.S. population died of heart-related disease; in 2010, that figure was 32%
  • In 1811, 1 person in 118 died of cancer; in 2010, 1 in 3 died of cancer
  • In 80 years, the incidence of Type 2 diabetes has increased 25-fold
  • In the 19th century, 1.2% of Americans were obese; in 2015, 39.8% were obese
  • In 1930, there were no more than 50 cases of macular degeneration; in 2020, there are 196 million cases

Are the rises in these chronic conditions correlated with the rise in the dietary consumption of PUFAs? Absolutely, says Knobbe in his lecture. He gives the following explanation:12

“These disorders from heart disease to atherosclerosis to type-2 diabetes to macular degeneration and cancer all have the same thing. They all have mitochondrial dysfunction …The very first thing that happens when the electron transport chain fails … is that it starts shooting out reactive oxygen species — these are hydroxyl radicals and superoxide …

These free radicals lead to nuclear mitochondrial DNA mutations … which contribute to heart failure … macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s … a catastrophic lipid peroxidation cascade [that] leads to toxic aldehydes.”

At the root of the harmful biochemical reactions enacted by seed oils is linoleic acid, says Knobbe, which is an 18-carbon omega-6 fat. Linoleic acid is the primary fatty acid found in PUFAs and accounts for about 80% of total vegetable oils. Omega-6 fats must be balanced with omega-3 fats in order not to be harmful.

“Most of this linoleic acid, when it oxidizes, it develops lipid hydroperoxides and then these rapidly degenerate into … oxidized linoleic acid metabolites,” says Knobbe.13

The oxidized linoleic acid metabolites are a perfect storm. They are cytotoxic, genotoxic, mutagenic, carcinogenic, atherogenic and thrombogenic, says Knobbe. Their atherosclerosis and thrombogenic actions are especially concerning because they can produce strokes and clots.

PUFAs Create Insulin Resistance

Diabetes, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome have become epidemic since the U.S. diet has been based on PUFAs. It is estimated that nearly 70% of Americans are now overweight or obese and a substantial amount are metabolically unhealthy.14

This puts people at risk for Type 2 diabetes as well as the many chronic diseases associated with insulin resistance, from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. In his lecture, Knobbe explains how these conditions develop:15

“When you consume omega-6 to excess … it combines with reactive oxygen species like hydroxyl radicals … so this begins catastrophic lipid peroxidation cascade — these polyunsaturated fats are accumulating [in] your cells, accumulate in your membranes, accumulate in your mitochondria and they cause a peroxidation reaction.”

Because there’s so many reactive oxygen species it leads to developing insulin resistance at the cellular level and the production of lipid droplets in your liver, continues Knobbe:

” … that creates a catastrophic lipid part or it feeds back to the lipid peroxidation … so now you’re not burning fat for fuel properly so the person gaining weight and getting sick in this regard is now carb dependent — their glycolysis is working but … [they] start storing the fat … so this leads to obesity.”

Linoleic acid is especially a culprit in this harmful process, agrees Dr. Paul Saladino, a physician journalist, in a podcast. Linoleic acid “breaks the sensitivity for insulin at the level of your fat cells” — it makes them more insulin sensitive — and, since your fat cells control the insulin sensitivity of the rest of your body by releasing free fatty acids, you end up with insulin resistance.

Rat Studies and Indigenous People Show PUFA Harm

Animal studies have dramatically demonstrated the deleterious effects of PUFAs. In one study Knobbe cites, two sets of rats were put on identical diets except one group received 5% cottonseed oil and the other received 1.5% butterfat.16 The result of the study was that:17

” … the rats on the cottonseed oil grow to sixty percent of normal size and live[d] 555 days on average; they’re, weak, fragile, sickly little rats. The rats on the butterfat they are healthy; they grow to normal size and they live 1020 days so they grow to almost twice the size [of the cottonseed oil-fed rats], live twice as long and are infinitely more healthy.”

While it’s suggested that the American Heart Association and other medical groups might discount such studies, potentially calling them paradoxical, there are also examples of the positive effects from saturated and animal-based fats upon human health, says Knobbe.

For example, the Tokelau people who live on islands in the South Pacific between Hawaii and Australia eat a diet almost exclusively of coconut, fish, starchy tubers and fruit.18 Between 54% and 62% of their calories come from coconut oil, which contains saturated fat, Knobbe points out.

Nevertheless, a study of Tokelau men between 40 and 69 years found that they had no heart attacks, no obesity and no diabetes.19 They were “fantastically healthy,” says Knobbe.

Whether we’re talking about animal studies or studies of non-Westernized people, at least 80% of obesity and chronic diseases in Westernized countries come from processed foods, Knobbe concludes. “It is driven by vegetable oils and trans-fats … fast food restaurants almost all cook in soybean oil and canola oil.”

Other Experts Agree With Knobbe

In a previous newsletter with the Saldino podcast mentioned above, I discussed how Saladino and journalist Nina Teicholz decry the popularity and ubiquity of PUFAs in the modern food system and believe in the healthful benefits of saturated fat.

In the podcast, Saladino and Teicholz review the history of the demonization of saturated fat and cholesterol, which began, they say, with the flawed hypothesis in 1960 to 1961 that saturated fat causes heart disease.

The hypothesis was buttressed by the first Dietary Guidelines for Americans, introduced in 1980, which told people to limit their saturated fat and cholesterol, all the while exonerating carbs, which were increasingly made with PUFAs. It should be no surprise that the hypothesis and dietary guidelines were linked to a rapid rise in obesity and chronic diseases such as heart disease.

In the podcast, Saladino and Teicholz discuss the reasons why this myth has been allowed to persist, despite the scientific evidence against it.

If saturated animal fats were acknowledged to be healthy and processed industrial vegetable oils and grains were exposed as unhealthy, it would decimate the major processed food and fast food industries, which rely on vegetable oils and grains. Moreover, statin sales and other Big Pharma profit areas would suffer. Big Food and Big Pharma have financial motives for keeping the health benefits of real food hidden.

Like Knobbe, the experts are convinced that the massive increase in linoleic acid consumption because of its ubiquity in industrial vegetable oils and processed foods is a key metabolic driver of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other chronic disease.

They stress that the belief that high low-density lipoproteins (LDL) — the so-called “bad” cholesterol — are a risk factor for heart disease and that by lowering your LDL you lower your risk of a heart attack, is incorrect. The science simply doesn’t bear this out, they say. The reason for this is because not all LDL particles are the same.

Cutting down on red meat and saturated fat and eating more vegetable oil may cause LDL to go down, Saladino explains, but those LDLs will not be oxidized. It is the effect of LDL oxidation that triggers insulin resistance and related problems, including heart disease — something the LDL tests don’t detect.

Eating saturated fat, on the other hand, may raise your LDL, but those LDL particles will be large and fluffy and do not cause arterial damage, says Saladino.

The take-home message from both doctors Knobbe and Saladino is that seed oils are responsible for the vast majority of modern diseases and the best thing you can do for your health is renounce them.

– Sources and References

Top 10 Natural Cough and Lung Remedies

© 16th July 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:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/top-10-natural-cough-and-lung-remedies
Posted on:  Thursday, July 16th 2020
Written By:  GreenMedInfo Research Group
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020


If you’re feeling a tell-tale tickle in your throat that signifies a cough may be coming on, it’s time to stock up on the top 10 natural cough and lung remedies. You don’t need narcotic syrups or prescription medicines to start breathing easier today

For decades, the conventional way of managing a low-grade cough has been to take a medicated cough syrup. Whether obtained through a doctor’s prescription or purchased over the counter (OTC), cough syrups can contain potentially habit-forming ingredients that come with strong contraindications for many individuals.

Prescription cough syrups may contain the opiate narcotic codeine, known for its potential for abuse, while OTC cough medicines often use dextromethorphan (DXM) or promethazine as active ingredients, both potentially addictive sedative drugs.[i]

Medicated cough syrups must carry warnings to minors and pregnant or breastfeeding women. In addition, cough syrup labels warn of the dangers of overdose, which can require urgent medical attention.[ii]

As if that weren’t enough reason for pause, a total of 270 drugs are known to interact with dextromethorphan,[iii] and a whopping 683 drugs are known to interact with codeine/promethazine.[iv]

If you’re seeking a safer way to mitigate a scratchy throat and low-grade cough, look no further. We have compiled 10 of the top natural cough remedies that are safe (and even enjoyable) for young and old and everyone in between.

1. Ginger

Ginger root is a traditional medicinal herb that has been widely researched in modern times for treating more than 240 diseases. With natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is known for its ability to soothe nausea. It is also widely used in tribal herbal therapies for treatment of severe cough and cold symptoms.

There are many natural benefits of ginger: it flushes toxins from the body, improves the immune system and boosts energy with more than a dozen vitamins and trace minerals. Research into asthma cures found that ginger “significantly attenuated airway resistance,”[v] illustrating why upping your ginger intake may help you breathe easier.

Another benefit for improving coughs may come from ginger’s effectiveness at reducing stomach acid, a lesser-known precipitating factor in some coughs.

2. Moisture

Symptoms of a dry cough can onset when the weather turns cold and indoor heaters kick on, reducing humidity in the air. Coughs can be precipitated by this drier air as well as by trapped indoor dust particles causing irritation to the lungs.

Those living in warm, arid climates may experience cough symptoms such as these year-round. Rapid relief can come by reintroducing moisture back into your nose and throat through one or more of the following practices:

  • Use a humidifier. There are many sizes and styles of misters and humidifiers for the home, and it’s particularly useful to use one by your bed while you sleep. Moisture helps to open sinuses, allowing you to breathe easier while you rest.

Whether you choose warm steam or cool mist may depend on your climate, the time of year or season, as well as whether your cough is dry (no mucus) or productive (with phlegm). Dry coughs respond to cool or room temperature air, while congestion is often eased with warm steam.

Some misters allow use with essential oil drops, which can provide additional lung and sinus support. Herbs such as thyme, eucalyptus, peppermint and even oil blends specifically for sinuses can be readily obtained at most health food stores and herbal apothecaries.

  • Gargle with salt water. A dry, red throat will be much relieved after a soak with mild salt water. Stir between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon of natural mineral salt into warm, purified water. Gargle gently for up to 30 seconds and spit. Repeat two to three times in a session.
  • Steam bath. Place your head over a steaming bowl of water with a towel covering your head and trapping the steam inside. Inhale deeply for five or six breaths. Uncover your head and sit quietly, breathing normally for a minute or so. Repeat until the water cools down. You can add a few drops of therapeutic essential oils to the water for added support.

Finally, don’t neglect your direct water intake while recuperating. Drinking around 2 liters of purified water each day is a good rule of thumb to follow.

3. Thyme

Besides being a fragrant addition to many kitchen recipes, thyme is a potent aromatic herb that has many useful healing properties. Antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal, thyme has been studied as a therapeutic substance for more than 70 diseases, including bronchitis and asthma.

Thyme is considered a superhero in the world of gut health, but it’s thyme’s antispasmodic effects that make it useful as a cough suppressant.[vi] Studies show that treatment with thyme extract is more effective than placebo at reducing coughing fits due to bronchitis.[vii]

Available as an extract and often blended with oregano, thyme can be added to your regimen by taking it as a supplement or in a tea. Simply crush 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme into a cup, add 6 to 8 ounces of hot water and steep for two to three minutes. Strain and enjoy with raw honey, another wonderful way to soothe a sore throat and cough.

4. Honey

Honey is an ancient healing panacea that is also one of nature’s most perfect foods. When in its raw state, honey has high nutritional value and immense health benefits. Great for feeding beneficial bacteria as well as killing bad bacteria, honey is not only delicious, it’s full of amazing healing properties. And there’s a good chance you have some in your pantry right now.

During cough and flu season, honey is particularly useful to have around. In a double-blind controlled trial, a paste made of honey and coffee was more effective than steroids at treating persistent post-infectious cough, a cough that remains for weeks or months after a cold or upper respiratory infection.

In this study, honey out-performed prednisolone, a common cough prescription, and guaifenesin, the active ingredient in many cough syrup formulas such as Mucinex, Wal-Tussin and Geri-Tussin, among other brands.

If you’re all-in on honey, simply dissolve 1 to 2 tablespoons in hot (but not boiling) water and add your herbs and spices of choice. Coffee, tea and other fresh or dried herbs such as ginger, mint or chamomile can boost honey’s healing effects, not to mention the taste. Don’t forget a squeeze of lemon juice for a boost of vitamin C and extra anti-inflammatory effects.

Procuring local honey is best if you’re using honey to boost resistance to allergies and seasonal pollens. Honey can even boost your immunity to influenza, especially important during flu season. Always purchase honey in its raw state, as some brands contain added glycerin and heating honey can kill the active enzymes that are a vital part of honey’s healing properties.

5. Neti Pot

A neti pot is another useful tool from the traditional medicine cabinet. A neti pot refers to a specific type of container used to cleanse the sinus passages with warm saline solution. Popular in the Far East, the tradition of the neti pot has not been widely adopted in the U.S., although rising rates of seasonal allergy and the resultant irritated nose and throat may encourage more people to try this gentle, hygienic practice.

Neti pots can be purchased online and at most local pharmacies and they generally come with saline packs to add to distilled water (it’s important not to use tap water due to potentially dangerous contaminants). You can also make your own saline solution using around 16 ounces of water to 1 teaspoon of mineral salt.

Per the Mayo Clinic, “To use the neti pot, tilt your head sideways over the sink and place the spout of the neti pot in the upper nostril. Breathing through your open mouth, gently pour the saltwater solution into your upper nostril so that the liquid drains through the lower nostril. Repeat on the other side.”[viii]

6. Marshmallow Root

Marshmallow root, which comes from the plant Althaea officinalis, is a lesser known medicinal herb that has a lot of beneficial uses. Both the root and leaf of this perennial herb are used by traditional healers and herbalists to treat wounds and reduce infection, thanks to potent antibacterial properties.

When marshmallow root is processed, a thick, gummy substance called mucilage exudes from the plant, which, when mixed with water, creates a slick gel that has been used for centuries to coat the throat, stomach and skin to soothe irritation.

This sticky gum is also used in, you guessed it — marshmallows. At least, that’s how they were made before modern manufacturers substituted gelatin and other less wholesome substances.

Consumed as a tea, tincture or extract, marshmallow root has been used effectively to treat asthma, bronchitis, colds, sore throats and coughs.[ix] Marshmallow may be the herbal supplement that helps you slide right through cough season without a scratch.

7. Turmeric

One of the most therapeutic herbs available today is the golden-orange powdered spice turmeric. Explored for uses in treating more than 850 disease conditions, turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, are natural medicine’s golden child.

Turmeric has shown promise in treating lung disease and controlling asthma in children,[x] while curcumin has proven effective at attenuating inflamed airways and improving breathing function in both human[xi] and animal studies.[xii]

Besides taking turmeric or curcumin in supplement form, you can prepare a therapeutic beverage called golden milk that’s as delicious as it is soothing for dry, scratchy throats. Simply warm your milk of choice until it’s just below boiling and add a heaping tablespoon of turmeric and honey.

You can boost the flavor and potency of your cup by adding additional anti-inflammatory spices such as ginger, cardamom and black pepper.  We recommend avoiding dairy milk if you have a wet cough; try rice, almond, oat or coconut milk for a delicious plant-based alternative.

8. Eucalyptus

Known for its nose-clearing smell, eucalyptus is revered for its ability to soothe irritated sinuses and ease the lungs. Researched for healing properties such as the ability to reduce inflammation and pain, eucalyptus’s antibacterial properties may be one reason it’s used to treat upper respiratory infections.

A 2011 study tested a throat spray made with aromatic essential oils from five plants, including two types of eucalyptus. Results demonstrated that the eucalyptus spray brought about significant and immediate improvement in symptoms of upper respiratory ailment, including sore throat, hoarseness and cough.

Another great way to benefit from this soothing plant is to add drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a steam bath or home humidifier and breathe in the healing vapors while you sleep. If you have access to fresh eucalyptus leaves, consider crushing a few handfuls and adding them to a warm bath with magnesium-rich Epsom salts. Pure healing luxury!

9. Bromelain

Pineapple is an enzyme-rich tropical fruit with amazing healing properties, many of which are attributed to bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme found in high concentration in pineapples. Extracts of bromelain are available in supplement form and may be highly effective at relieving a dry cough.

A potent anti-inflammatory, bromelain was shown to produce beneficial effects on asthma[xiii] in mice in multiple studies.[xiv] It was also used to good effect in a trial on children with acute sinusitis, with participants receiving bromelain experiencing a “statistically significant” faster rate of recovery from symptoms.

If you prefer the fruit to a supplement, pineapple is anti-mucogenic, which may have a positive effect on coughing symptoms.

10. Spiced Tea

Chai tea has become a popular drink in recent years, something that comes as no surprise to Ayurvedic medicine practitioners. Tea spiced with aromatic herbs and sweetened with honey is a traditional cough and sore throat remedy in India, and it’s a relaxing and delicious way to get relief and comfort no matter where you are.

You can formulate your own spiced tea by starting with a base of green, black or herbal tea, and including any of the following spices that are appealing to you. They all have anti-inflammatory properties, and several of these herbs, such as cloves, ginger and cayenne, have expectorant properties, which can help reduce phlegm associated with a productive cough.

For an extra kick, try adding a dash of cayenne pepper, especially if you want to treat a wet cough. Capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers, has been shown to reduce chronic coughing. Don’t forget to add honey for the extra throat coat as well as to soothe the bite off this ultra-spicy therapeutic potion.


References

[i] American Addiction Centers, Codeine Addiction, Cough Syrup, https://americanaddictioncenters.org/codeine-addiction/cough-syrup

[ii] Drugs.com, Treatment Options, Cough, https://www.drugs.com/sfx/cough-syrup-dm-side-effects.html

[iii] Drugs.com, Treatment Options, Cough, https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/dextromethorphan,cough-syrup-dm.html

[iv] Drugs.com, Treatment Options, Cough, codeine/promethazine, https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/codeine-promethazine.html

[v] Effects of Ginger and Its Constituents on Airway Smooth Muscle Relaxation and Calcium Regulation, Townsend et al, Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013 Feb; 48(2): 157-163. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2012-0231OC. PMID: 23065130

[vi] Jonas Engelbertz, Tatjana Schwenk, Ute Kinzinger, Detlef Schierstedt, Eugen J Verspohl. Thyme extract, but not thymol, inhibits endothelin-induced contractions of isolated rat trachea. Zentralbl Gynakol. 2000;122(11):561-5. PMID: 18729040

[vii] Kemmerich B. Evaluation of efficacy and tolerability of a fixed combination of dry extracts of thyme herb and primrose root in adults suffering from acute bronchitis with productive cough. A prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre clinical trial. Arzneimittelforschung. 2007;57(9):607‐615. doi:10.1055/s-0031-1296656. PMID: 17966760

[viii] Mayo Clinic, Diseases and Conditions, Common Cold, Expert Answers, Neti Pot, Can it clear your nose? https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/expert-answers/neti-pot/faq-20058305

[ix] Penn State Hershey, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Health Information Library, Marshmallow, https://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productid=107&pid=33&gid=000265

[x] J Ethnopharmacol. 2019 Jun 28 ;238:111882. Epub 2019 Apr 13. PMID: 30991137 www.greenmedinfo.com/article/turmeric-ameliorates-asthma-control-children-and-adolescents

[xi] J Clin Diagn Res. 2014 Aug ;8(8):HC19-24. Epub 2014 Aug 20. PMID: 25302215 www.greenmedinfo.com/article/curcumin-has-value-addon-therapy-patients-bronchial-asthma

[xii] Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2015 May ;42(5):520-9. PMID: 25739561 www.greenmedinfo.com/article/curcumin-ameliorates-asthmatic-airway-inflammation

[xiii] Cell Immunol. 2005 Sep;237(1):68-75. Epub 2005 Dec 6. PMID: 16337164 www.greenmedinfo.com/article/bromelain-exerts-anti-inflammatory-effects-ovalbumin-induced-murine-model-alle

[xiv] Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008 Mar;5(1):61-9. PMID: 18317550 www.greenmedinfo.com/article/bromelain-attenuates-inflammation-experimental-mouse-model-asthma

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

The Role of Magnesium for Cognitive Function in Older Adults


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/07/16/magnesium-cognitive-function.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola  Fact Checked    July 16, 2020

magnesium cognitive function

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Vitamin D protects neuronal structures, plays a role in neuronal calcium regulation, and can lower your risk for age-related neurodegeneration and COVID-19
  • Magnesium is required for converting vitamin D to its active form and improves brain plasticity. Magnesium deficiency has been implicated in several neurological disorders, including cognitive dysfunction
  • Research has shown higher vitamin D levels are associated with reduced risk of low cognitive function in older adults, and this association appears to be modified by the level of magnesium intake
  • You need 146% more vitamin D to achieve a blood level of 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) if you do not take supplemental magnesium, compared to taking your vitamin D with at least 400 mg of magnesium per day
  • Combined intake of both supplemental magnesium and vitamin K2 has a greater effect on vitamin D levels than either individually. You need 244% more oral vitamin D if you’re not concomitantly taking magnesium and vitamin K2

I’ve previously discussed the synergy between magnesium and vitamin D, and the importance of vitamin D for optimal immune function and overall health — especially as it pertains to lowering your risk of COVID-19. Previous studies have also highlighted the role this duo plays in cognitive function among older adults, as well as overall mortality.

Vitamin D and Magnesium Protect Cognitive Health

One such study,1 “Association of Vitamin D and Magnesium Status with Cognitive Function in Older Adults: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011 to 2014,” points out that vitamin D not only protects neuronal structures and plays a role in neuronal calcium regulation, but also appears to impact your risk for neurodegeneration as you grow older.

Magnesium, meanwhile, aside from being required for converting vitamin D to its active form,2,3,4 also plays a role in cognitive health, and magnesium deficiency has been implicated in several neurological disorders.

Using NHANES data from 2,984 participants over the age of 60, the researchers compared serum vitamin D status and dietary magnesium intake against cognitive function scores.

After adjusting for confounding factors, including total calorie consumption and magnesium intake, higher blood levels of vitamin D positively correlated with decreased odds of having a low cognitive function score on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test.

The same trend was found when they looked at vitamin D intake, rather than blood level. The correlation of higher vitamin D levels and better cognitive function was particularly strong among those whose magnesium intake was equal to or greater than 375 mg per day. According to the authors:5

“We found that higher serum 25(OH)D levels were associated with reduced risk of low cognitive function in older adults, and this association appeared to be modified by the intake level of magnesium.”

Magnesium Improves Brain Plasticity

While magnesium intake by itself did not appear to have an impact on cognitive function in the study above, other research has highlighted its role in healthy cognition.

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:6

“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.”

A specific form of magnesium called magnesium threonate was in 2010 found to enhance “learning abilities, working memory, and short- and long-term memory in rats.”7 According to the authors, “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.”

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COVID-19 Can Deprive Brain of Oxygen

While we’re on the topic of the brain, a July 1, 2020, article8 in The Washington Post reviewed findings from autopsies of COVID-19 patients. Surprisingly, Chinese researchers have reported9 that COVID-19 patients can exhibit a range of neurological manifestations.

A June 12, 2020, letter to the editor10 published in The New England Journal of Medicine also discusses the neuropathological features of COVID-19. As reported by The Washington Post:11

“Patients have reported a host of neurological impairments, including reduced ability to smell or taste, altered mental status, stroke, seizures — even delirium … In June, researchers in France reported that 84% of patients in intensive care had neurological problems, and a third were confused or disoriented at discharge.

… Also this month, those in the United Kingdom found that 57 of 125 coronavirus patients with a new neurological or psychiatric diagnosis had experienced a stroke due to a blood clot in the brain, and 39 had an altered mental state.

Based on such data and anecdotal reports, Isaac Solomon, a neuropathologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, set out to systematically investigate where the virus might be embedding itself in the brain.

He conducted autopsies of 18 consecutive deaths, taking slices of key areas: the cerebral cortex (the gray matter responsible for information processing), thalamus (modulates sensory inputs), basal ganglia (responsible for motor control) and others …”

Interestingly, while doctors and researchers initially suspected that brain inflammation was causing the neurological problems seen in some patients, Solomon’s autopsies found very little inflammation. Instead, these neurological manifestations appear to be the result of brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation.

Signs of oxygen deprivation were present both in patients who had spent a significant amount of time in intensive care, and those who died suddenly after a short but severe bout of illness. I believe this is likely due to increases in clotting in the brain microvasculature.

Solomon told The Washington Post he was “very surprised,” by the finding. It makes sense, though, considering COVID-19 patients have been found to be starved for oxygen. As reported by The Washington Post:12

“When the brain does not get enough oxygen, individual neurons die … To a certain extent, people’s brains can compensate, but at some point, the damage is so extensive that different functions start to degrade … The findings underscore the importance of getting people on supplementary oxygen quickly to prevent irreversible damage.”

Magnesium and Vitamin D Impact Mortality

Getting back to magnesium and vitamin D, previous research13 using NHANES data from 2001 through 2006 found the duo has a positive impact on overall mortality rates. This study also pointed out that magnesium “substantially reversed the resistance to vitamin D treatment in patients with magnesium-dependent vitamin-D-resistant rickets.”

The researchers hypothesized that magnesium supplementation increases your vitamin D level by activating more of it, and that your mortality risk might therefore be lowered by increasing magnesium intake. That is indeed what they found. According to the authors:

“High intake of total, dietary or supplemental magnesium was independently associated with significantly reduced risks of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency respectively. Intake of magnesium significantly interacted with intake of vitamin D in relation to risk of both vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency.

Additionally, the inverse association between total magnesium intake and vitamin D insufficiency primarily appeared among populations at high risk of vitamin insufficiency.

Furthermore, the associations of serum 25(OH)D with mortality, particularly due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and colorectal cancer, were modified by magnesium intake, and the inverse associations were primarily present among those with magnesium intake above the median.

Our preliminary findings indicate it is possible that magnesium intake alone or its interaction with vitamin D intake may contribute to vitamin D status. The associations between serum 25(OH)D and risk of mortality may be modified by the intake level of magnesium.”

Magnesium Lowers Vitamin D Requirement by 146%

According to a scientific review14,15 published in 2018, as many as 50% of Americans taking vitamin D supplements may not get significant benefit as the vitamin D simply gets stored in its inactive form, and the reason for this is because they have insufficient magnesium levels.

Research published in 2013 also highlighted this issue, concluding that higher magnesium intake helps reduce your risk of vitamin D deficiency by activating more of it. As noted by the authors:16

“High intake of total, dietary or supplemental magnesium was independently associated with significantly reduced risks of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency respectively.

Intake of magnesium significantly interacted with intake of vitamin D in relation to risk of both vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency … Our preliminary findings indicate it is possible that magnesium intake alone or its interaction with vitamin D intake may contribute to vitamin D status.”

More recently, GrassrootsHealth concluded17 you need 146% more vitamin D to achieve a blood level of 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) if you do not take supplemental magnesium, compared to taking your vitamin D with at least 400 mg of magnesium per day.

Vitamin D Dose-Response by Supplemental Magnesium Intake

The interplay between magnesium and vitamin D isn’t a one-way street, though. It goes both ways. Interestingly, while vitamin D improves magnesium absorption,18 taking large doses of vitamin D can also deplete magnesium.19 Again, the reason for that is because magnesium is required in the conversion of vitamin D into its active form.

Magnesium + Vitamin K Lowers Vitamin D Requirement Even More

Magnesium isn’t the only nutrient that can have a significant impact on your vitamin D status. GrassrootsHealth data further reveal you can lower your oral vitamin D requirement by a whopping 244% simply by adding magnesium and vitamin K2. As reported by GrassrootsHealth:20

“… 244% more supplemental vitamin D was needed for 50% of the population to achieve 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) for those not taking supplemental magnesium or vitamin K2 compared to those who usually took both supplemental magnesium and vitamin K2.”

Vitamin D Dose-Response

How to Boost Your Magnesium Level

The recommended daily allowance for magnesium is around 310 mg to 420 mg per day depending on your age and sex,21 but many experts believe you may need anywhere from 600 mg to 900 mg per day.22

Personally, I believe many may benefit from amounts as high as 1 to 2 grams (1,000 to 2,000 mg) of elemental magnesium per day, as most of us have EMF exposures that simply cannot be mitigated, and the extra magnesium may help lower the damage from that exposure.

My personal recommendation is that unless you have kidney disease and are on dialysis, continually increase your magnesium dose until you have loose stools and then cut it back. You want the highest dose you can tolerate and still have normal bowel movements.

When it comes to oral supplementation, 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. But I am also fond of magnesium malate, magnesium citrate, and ionic magnesium from molecular hydrogen as each tablet has 80 mg of elemental magnesium.

Eat More Magnesium-Rich Foods

Last but not least, while you may still need magnesium supplementation (due to denatured soils), it would certainly be wise to try to get as much magnesium from your diet as possible. Dark-green leafy vegetables lead the pack when it comes to magnesium content, and juicing your greens is an excellent way to boost your intake. Foods with high magnesium levels include:23

Avocados Swiss chard
Turnip greens Beet greens
Herbs and spices such as coriander, chives, cumin seed, parsley, mustard seeds, fennel, basil and cloves Broccoli
Brussel sprouts Organic, raw grass fed yogurt and natto
Bok Choy Romaine lettuce

Fingernails Tell a Story

Written by Brenton Wight, Health Researcher, LeanMachine
Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight, LeanMachine
Updated 13th July 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine

We can tell much about a person’s health by examining the fingernails, which can show defects in nutrition or changes in health over recent weeks or months.
Nail abnormalities may involve shape, texture, colour, thickness, brittleness and more.
This article mainly discusses ridges – vertical and horizontal.
Other issues with fingernails are briefly discussed in this document. The same information usually also applies to toenails, but fingernails are more easily observed.

Anatomy of a Nail
Fingernails and toenails have the same anatomy. The nail itself is called the nail plate, normally bound tightly to the nail bed under the plate.
Because the nail is partly transparent, the colour of blood in vessels in the bed show through as a light pink.
The Lunula is the white half-moon shape at the base of the nail marks the start of the nail matrix begins, which is where the nail growth occurs.

Loose Nails (Onycholysis)
There are generally only two causes for loose nails: Infection or Trauma.
Toenails are more susceptible to trauma if we trip on something, or if something falls on the foot, causing damage to the nail matrix and separation of the nail.
Sometimes nail trauma causes excess bleeding under the nail, exerting pressure to loosen the nail, sometimes resulting in total nail loss.
The Distal Phalanx (bone at the fingertip or toetip) is very close to the nail and the trauma may cause a bone fracture.
Running, endurance sport, hiking or other “repeated trauma” can cause a subungual hematoma, leading to loosening of the nail, typically on the big toe,
sometimes called “black toenail” where built-up blood causes a red, purple, or black colour. Sometimes continual pressure from a shoe will loosen the nail with no bleeding.
Seek medical assistance for heavy nail trauma, especially with bleeding under the nail.
Fungal infections (Onychomycosis) are more common in toenails, but any nail can be affected, especially where the nails have continued water exposure.
Onychomycosis grows slowly, and can cause loosening, thickening, discolouration, and debris under the nail.
Loosening normally occurs on part of the nail, shown by a whitish colour where it has separated from the bed.
Some infections, fungal and bacterial, cause a dark brown or greenish colour and/or nail loosening.
Bacterial infections generally progress faster and are more severe than fungal infections.
Always seek medical assistance to reduce risk of complications of a bacterial infection.
Other reasons for loosening of a nail include Psoriasis, Photosensitizing reaction to medication, Hyperthyroidism, Anemia, or an allergic reaction to manicure or pedicure treatments.
Generally, loose nails will re-grow successfully over several months, but if the matrix is damaged, the new nail may be thicker or bumpy.
Always best to get medical advice to prevent further injury, damage or infection.
Treatment may be debriding (cutting away loose nail parts), and sometimes anti-fungal medications.

Vertical Ridges
Many parallel lines running vertically from the cuticle to the tip.
Horizontal Ridges
horizontal-lines-fingernailsUsually one or more horizontal lines running across the nail.
Many ridges can be buffed away, but will reoccur unless we note their warning and take appropriate action!

Some reasons why we get ridges:

  • Poor thyroid function, poor hydration or ageing
  • Malnutrition, especially deficiencies in proteins, essential oils, minerals, vitamins, Zinc deficiency, Iron deficiency, Anaemia
  • Poor absorption of nutrients (Celiac Disease, Grains or Dairy foods, or low stomach acid)
  • Inflammatory arthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Poor liver function, liver disease, kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease, lung or heart disease
  • Fungal infections (Lichen planus)
  • Smoking (depletes zinc in the body)
  • Over-zealous attention to the cuticles, excess alcohol, stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise
  • Fever, illness, Eczema or Psoriasis
  • Lupus or Alopecia areata (autoimmune diseases)
  • Arsenic or Silver poisoning
  • Raynaud’s disease, Yellow nail syndrome, Darier disease, Langerhans cell Histiocytosis, Graft-versus-host disease
  • Periungual warts pressing on the nail
  • Sickle cell anaemia patients on hydroxyurea treatment
  • Antacids or medication such as Nexium and other PPI’s (Proton Pump Inhibitors), which kill stomach acid, preventing absorption of nutrients
  • Trauma to the nail

Fingernail Structure
Nails are comprised of tough laminated layers of keratin (a protein). Most of the nail plate is actually dead keratin, the living component being the growing section under the cuticle.
The structure of nails closely resembles claws and horns of other animal species.
Keratin itself is comprised of calcium, magnesium, collagen, boron, iron, water and many other components, which must all come from the diet.

Toxin Absorption
The water component of nails is around 10% of the nail structure, making the nail very permeable, so toxins are absorbed into the body faster through the nails than through the skin.
Obviously, it is essential to avoid cosmetic treatment of nails. Most nail polishes have harmful chemicals, and under current laws, manufacturers have no legal requirement to disclose these toxins!
Selecting well-known brands of cosmetics is no guarantee of safety.
The practice of painting nails goes back at least 3000 years, but in past times there were none of the toxic chemicals we have now, and natural colours such as beetroot were used.

Growth Rate
The nails grow at around 3mm per month, with the longest fingers (the middle) producing the fastest growth, and the shortest (thumbs) the slowest.
Because of better circulation, nails of the dominant hand will grow faster than the other hand.
Nail growth speed is also dependent on age, overall health, climate, adequate sleep, diet, and many other factors.
We need to pay attention to the growing part of the nail which is not visible, existing below the cuticle line and underneath the nail surface.
We can increase circulation in hands by keeping them warm (gloved in cold climate), regular hand massage, typing, playing musical instruments, or other activities involving hands.
When the problems are rectified, changes will not happen overnight, as it will take months for visible improvement when new nails completely cover the nail plate.

Dietary Essentials
Healthy nails require essential fatty acids, oils, vitamins, minerals and protein in the diet.
Oily fish (small, cold saltwater fish best)
Cold-pressed virgin Coconut or Olive Oil (NEVER Canola, Sunflower, Safflower or Corn Oil)
Walnuts, Avocados, nuts
Red meat, chicken breast (never processed meats)
Sunflower Seeds (much healthier than processed sunflower oil)

Supplements which can help:
Biotin (most essential for skin, hair and nails)
B-complex vitamins, plus additional Active B12
Vitamin C (essential for immunity and collagen production)
Vitamins A, D3, and E
Silica
Zinc
Chelated Iron (only if blood test reveals deficiency)
Fish oil or Krill oil
Boron
Vitamin K2 MK7

Treatment applied direct to the nail:
Vitamin E creams are available, but breaking open a Vitamin E capsule is just as effective
Jojoba oil is similar to human sebum, the oily substance produced in the skin to keep it hydrated and healthy.
The body assumes that Jojoba oil is the natural sebum, helping to restore the moisture level of nails, hair and skin.
Massage the oil or Vitamin E into the cuticle and base area of the nail – this is where the new nail is growing.

Vegetarians and vegans
Individual medical advice is recommended for all vegans, as deficiency in B-group and especially B-12 is common.
Vegetarians are also at risk of B12 deficiency unless there is a regular intake of eggs and/or fish.
Vegetarians and vegans may have anaemic conditions due to iron deficiency (blood test required).
Iron supplementation should never begin without a ferritin study to ascertain the iron stores in the body.
Low iron is a problem, but high iron is deadly, so we need just the right amount, and a ferritin study is the only way to tell.
Natural iron intake can be increased with iron-rich foods like brewer’s yeast, blackstrap molasses, wheatgerm, egg yolks and whole grain cereals (but LeanMachine does not recommend cereals or grains in any shape or form).
Eggs contain nearly 1 mg of iron, but also contain other components which restrict iron absorption.
Iron supplements are not recommended by LeanMachine unless Chelated Iron is used, as the regular Ferrous Sulfate supplements usually cause stomach upsets, pain, constipation, and increase risk of cardiovascular damage.
Iron comes in two forms in food: Heme iron (iron attached to heme proteins, from meat, poultry, fish) and non-heme iron (not attached to heme proteins, from plant foods).
Heme iron is better absorbed than non-heme iron, but can cause more cardiovascular damage.
If taken with Vitamin C, absorption is increased 3 to 6 times, but many other factors affect absorption.
To increase iron absorption even more, Lactoferrin has 300 times the ability of transferrin to bind iron, promote healthy bacteria, and strengthen the immune system.
When the body needs iron, it will absorb more, when there is plenty, it will absorb less.
For more information on iron, see my Ferritin article.

Vertical Ridges – the most common condition
These ridges are not unusual, and tend to become more prominent with age, especially with inadequate nutrition and dehydration.
Doctors do not generally associate vertical ridges with any serious disease, but they can be a cause for concern, especially when paired with colour changes in the nail.
Heavy ridge lines may be caused by:
Iron deficiency, or Inflammatory arthritis, or Lupus (with red lines at the base of the nails).
Sometimes caused by a deficiency in vitamin A, and B Complex vitamins.
More attention should be paid to the diet and supplements, as no-one wants a hastening of old age symptoms and associated illnesses.

Treatment of Vertical Ridges
Hydrate – drink plenty of water.
Alkalise – eat more green leafy vegetables and lemons.
Take Biotin and Active B12 supplements – essential for strong, healthy nails, hair and skin.
Take Vitamin C – essential for collagen production in the body as well as immune function and many other benefits. Smokers especially have low vitamin C and low collagen (which is why their skin is usually wrinkly). All smokers reading this: QUIT NOW!
Take vitamins A and B Complex.
Take Vitamin E supplements – approx 1000IU daily taken orally.
Take another vitamin E capsule, break open and massage the oil into the base of each nail. Jojoba oil can also be used.
Low-cost Vitamin E should be fine for external use, but for internal use, Vitamin E with all 8 alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols and tocotrienols is a complete and natural vitamin E.
Increase consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, walnuts, avocados, or supplement with fish oil or Krill oil.
Eating gelatin may also improve the nails.
Iron supplementation may help, but ONLY after a blood test determines iron deficiency.
Too much iron is very damaging to health. Read more in my Ferritin and Iron article.

Horizontal ridges or Beau’s lines (sometimes called “Beauty Lines”)
horizontal-lines-fingernails Horizontal ridges extend from one side of the nail to the other side horizontally.
Sometimes deeply grooved, often a corrugated appearance.
They are more serious than vertical, and may indicate illness or nutritional problems, chemotherapy agents, uncontrolled diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, metabolism disorders,
high fever (e.g. scarlet fever, pneumonia, measles, mumps), zinc deficiency or changes in diet causing halts or changes in nail growth.
Rounds of heavy chemotherapy are often quite visible as the nail stops growing during this period. Chemotherapy drugs which can cause fingernail problems:

  • Taxanes (Taxol, Taxotere, Docetaxel)
  • Doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
  • 5-fluorouracil (5Fu)
  • Bleomycin

There may not always be a health problem, but medical advice should always be sought to rule out anything sinister.
The doctor should start with blood tests and looking at nutrition issues.
If only one nail is affected, it may be simply from trauma (physical damage).

Mee’s Lines – horizontal whitish/discoloured lines, often a third to half the way up from the base.
Caused by Arsenic poisoning, Carbon monoxide poisoning, Hodgkin’s disease, Malaria, Leprosy, or other systemic problems.

Ageing
As we age, we lose natural moisture in our skin and nails. Brittle nails or vertical ridges are often the first signs of age-related dehydration.

Discoloured nails
Healthy fingernails should be pink with a touch of pinkish white (moons) near the base. Nails of dull colour or streaked with other colours, may indicate a possible serious health issue.

Green nails
Often indicates a bacterial infection. Seek medical advice.

Red Streaks
Red streaks in the nail bed may indicate a heart valve infection or problem. Seek medical advice.

Dark Streaks
Dark streaks under the nail may indicate melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. Seek medical advice.

Blue or Purple Nails
Signals low blood oxygen levels. Often caused by lung infections, pulmonary problems or cardiovascular disease.
Can also be a sign of silver poisoning, sometimes as a eresult of excessive consumption of colloidal silver medication. Seek medical advice.

Dull nails
Usually indicates a vitamin deficiency. Seek nutritional advice.

White or Pale Nails
Pale or white nails may indicate anaemia, congestive heart disease, liver disease (such as hepatitis) or malnutrition. Hepatitis or other liver disease often causes extremely white nails.
Injury can cause lifting of the nail from the bed, or reduced blood flow to the finger or toe. Either can cause white appearance.
White nails can also be caused by infection or psoriasis. Always seek medical advice.

Dark stripes at the top (also known as Terry’s nails)
White nails, often with a dark line, sometimes curved, at the tip.
May mean liver disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, hyperthyroidism or malnutrition.
Generally worsens with age, and some elderly people have this condition with no other apparent symptoms.

Thick nails
Normal nails are not supposed to be thick.
Unusually thick nails that are otherwise normal may indicate lung disease or a circulation problem. Seek medical advice.
Nails which thicken very quickly may be the result of an allergic reaction to recently prescribed medication or change in the diet or other health problems. Seek medical advice.
Thick nails combined with a rough texture may mean a fungal infection, especially if there is any evidence of yellow colour. Seek medical advice.
Thick nails with separation can indicate Thyroid disease or Psoriasis. Seek medical advice.

Thin Nails
See “Vitamin B12 deficiency” and “Concave Nails with Thinning”

Nail Separation
If the nail separates (loosens) from the nail bed, the cause may be Thyroid disease, Hyperthyroidism, Psoriasis, some medications, nail hardeners, adhesives, injury or infection.

Cracked, Flaking or Split Nails
Nails which can flake away in layers may mean a deficiency in
Active Folate, Vitamin C, or Protein.
Split nails combined with pitting of the nail bed may indicate Psoriasis.
About 10% of Poriasis patients have split and/or pitting nails, often showing as the first symptom.
Split nails may be the result of chronic malnutrition, poor digestion (unable to absorb nutrients from food), fungal infection or thyroid disease. Seek medical advice.

Concave Nails (Spooned Nails or koilonychia)
Concave fingernails are usually soft and curve up, forming a dip, and may also be thin and brittle.
May indicate iron-deficiency anaemia, and medical advice should be sought.
Chelated Iron supplements should never be taken without a prior blood test to determine if there is a real iron deficiency.
A simple blood test for iron is not enough, a complete ferritin/iron study is best, as there are many causes of iron problems. Ferritin is the protein that transports iron through the body.
See LeanMachine’s article on Ferritin and Iron.
May also indicate Heart disease, Hypothyroidism, or Hemachromatosis (too much iron accumulated due to an inherited liver disorder).
Medical advice should always be sought, as too little and too much iron are both serious problems.

Concave Nails with Thinning
Often appears in healthy infants, disappearing as the child grows.
May also be due to an inherited genetic condition nail-patella syndrome which results in small, poorly developed nails and kneecaps, often also affecting elbows and other areas of the body.
Also known as Iliac Horn syndrome, Hood syndrome, Hereditary Onychoosteodysplasia, Fong disease, Turner-Kieser syndrome.
May also be caused by type 1 or 2 Diabetes.

Pitted Nails
Small holes or dips can be simply a result of injury to the nails, but can also signal:
Psoriasis, Connective tissue disorder, Alopecia Areata (autoimmune disease typically causing temporary hair loss), malnutrition, lung or respiratory disease.
Zinc deficiency may be indicated, especially if the pit seems to form a line across the middle of the nail.
Medical advice should be sought.

Pitted Nails with white blotches and/or a pitted line across the centre
Zinc deficiency.
Zinc supplements are inexpensive and readily available.
Pits cased by physical damage to nails clears up quickly, but pits linked to disease last longer.

Brittle Nails
Brittle nails can be caused by Kidney disease, Hypothyroidism, Iron deficiency anaemia, or Ageing.
Seek medical advice.

Ridge lines associated with with dry, brittle nails
Hormone problems, Bacterial infection or Thyroid disease. Medical advice should be sought.

Carotenosis
Yellow or orange nails with accompanying yellow or orange toning of the skin may indicate Carotenosis, or too much Carotene in the diet.
Caused by eating too many carrots or pumpkin (or other red, yellow, orange or green fruits and vegetables), or taking too many multivitamins.
In some cases, the inability to flush excess carotenes from the body causes a buildup.
Fair-skinned people are affected by this colour staining the most.
Carotenes are essential for health, but too much can be toxic, especially when Vitamin D3 levels are low. When the problem is rectified, the staining will gradually disappear as the carotenes are slowly converted to retinal, a form of Vitamin A.
Note:
Not to be confused with yellowing caused by liver problems leading to jaundice, where the skin and also the whites of the eyes turn yellow, also fungal infections that turn nails yellow.
Medical advice should be sought immediately in this case.

Dry or Crumbly Nails
Thyroid problems can cause brittle, dry fingernails which may easily crack or split.
Fungal infections can cause dry or even crumbly nails, said to affect a tenth of the population, more so as we age.
Medical advice should be sought. Lotions or cuticle oils are probably not going to help.
Thyroid and fungal issues take time to heal, so the benefits will not be apparent for a full growth cycle (several months).

Clubbed Nails
Symptoms are plump skin that seems to swollen or puffed around the nail behind the tips of toes or fingers.
The tips of fingers or toes may become enlarged, and the nail may curve downward around the tip and may also seem to “float” in the nail bed.
Sometimes the cause is unknown, and can be inherited, but medical advice should be sought.
More common in toes, but clubbed fingers are also common.
May be a sign of lung disease, lung cancer, heart or lung conditions, chronic lung infections, endocarditis (infection of the lining of the heart chambers and/or valves),
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Liver disease or AIDS.

Red lines at the nail base
May indicate Lupus (an autoimmune disease). Seek medical advice.

Yellow Nails
May indicate bronchitis or some other lung or respiratory problem.
May also indicate a Fungal infection, especially if the nails are also thick and crumbling.
Other but rare causes of yellow nails include Thyroid disease, Diabetes or Psoriasis.
See also the “Carotenosis” section.

Nails with spots, streaks or cracks
Chronic renal (kidney) disease, or Leukonychia, causes white streaks and spots, sometimes also cracks. Seek medical advice.

Half and Half Nails (Lindsay’s Nails)
If the bottom half (proximal) of the nail is white and the top half (distal) pink or brown, it may indicate kidney disease or kidney failure.
A buildup of nitrogen waste products in the body causes swelling of the nail bed, turning that section white. Seek medical advice NOW.

Splinter Haemorrhage
Tiny blood clots under the nails, often appearing as small vertical red lines and looking like a splinter, may indicate Rheumatoid arthritis, Peptic ulcers, Malignancies, Bacterial endocarditis, Psoriasis or damage to the nail.
Pregnancy or oral contraceptives can also cause this condition.

Hormones
Many hormones can upset normal growth and appearance of nails, especially the Pituitary and Thyroid hormones. Seek medical advice.

Black Nails – Vitamin B12 deficiency causing Nail Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation of nails, usually brown or black, is usually caused by vitamin B12 deficiency as a result of pernicious anaemia (an autoimmune disease).
Caused by the substance IF (Intrinsic Factor, also GIF – Gastric Intrinsic Factor) missing from the body.
The elderly generally suffer from low IF and subsequent low B12 levels.
IF is essential for the body to absorb Vitamin B12.
Bariatric surgery patients have a high risk factor for developing pernicious anaemia.
If B12 malabsorption is treated, allowing B12 levels to rise, the fingernail hyperpigmentation should eventually return to normal.
Hyperpigmentation is also caused by drugs such as Indinavir, a HIV protease inhibitor used to treat HIV infections (also causes hyperpigmentation of hair and skin as well).
An alkylating agent called Cyclophosphamide is also known to cause nail hyperpigmentation in some cases, sometimes extending to folds of skin between the fingers and/or thumbs.
Diabetics on Metformin (Diabex) medication also have trouble absorbing Vitamin B12.

Notes on Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 is essential for protein and DNA synthesis.
B12 is also the only water soluble vitamin that the body can store, by binding to protein.
If we have enough B12, it can last a long time, but dietary or nutritional problems may mean we do not consume enough B12, or cannot absorb enough B12, particularly vegetarians and especially vegans.
Apart from mushrooms, only animal foods contain B12, so vegans or vegetarians often need supplementation.
B12 supplies the methyl groups we need to synthesise protein, which is the main component of the keratin in fingernails.
Low vitamin B12 levels mean low keratin production and poor nails, typically brittle.
B12 supplements can help. Babies to 6 months old need about 0.4 mcg of vitamin B12 daily.
Infants 6 to 12 months need about 0.5 mcg, children between 1 and 3 years need 0.9 mcg, between 4 and 13, 1.8 mcg, 14 to adults need 2.4 mcg, pregnant females need 2.6 mcg and breastfeeding women need 2.8 mcg per day.
Note that these amounts are bare minimums to avoid deficiency. LeanMachine recommends much more, and supplements daily on 1500mcg of B12 every day, and this is our recommended dose for seniors, vegans, anaemia sufferers or for anyone with a B12 deficiency.

B12 Testing:
Blood tests for B12 are readily available, however low levels of Folate and/or Vitamin B1 may mask a B12 deficiency. Always test Folate at the same time as B12. A deficiency of one can mask a deficiency of the other.
B12 Overdose:
Generally non-toxic in very large doses, but too much may cause tingling or numbing sensations in fingers and/or toes.
B12 Warnings:
Leber’s disease (an inheredited condition) causes atrophy (shrinkage) of the optic nerve. In these patients, excess Vitamin B12 can cause severe and sudden optic nerve degeneration.

Disclaimer
LeanMachine is a researcher, 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 studying 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 & 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 1
    & 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

Disclaimer: Any information here is for educational purposes, and the needs of each individual varies, so everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure that there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010, and has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.

Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285

Curcumin Inhibits Virus-Induced Cytokine Storm


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/07/06/curcumin-cytokine-storm.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked
July 06, 2020

curcumin cytokine storm

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Curcumin inhibits COVID-19 main protease, a potential drug target
  • Curcumin also has an inhibitory effect on virus-induced cytokine storms, which occur as a result of an overproduction of immune cells and pro-inflammatory cytokines, and modulates immune responses, meaning it can both upregulate and downregulate immune responses as needed
  • According to a scientific review, curcumin can be used as a therapeutic agent against pneumonia, acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome resulting from coronavirus infection
  • Curcumin also has direct antiviral activity against many viruses, including SARS-CoV (the coronavirus responsible for SARS)
  • Other beneficial effects that suggest curcumin may be suitable in the treatment of COVID-19 include alleviating exudation and edema, attenuating lung injury, reducing airway inflammation, inhibiting proliferation of bronchial epithelial cells, improving pneumonia, alleviating fibrosis and improving lung index

Curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, has a solid foundation in science with numerous studies vouching for its anti-inflammatory effects.1 As noted in a 2017 review in the journal Foods:2

“[Curcumin] aids in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia … Most of these benefits can be attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.”

Along with several other supplements, curcumin has also been identified as having particular benefit against COVID-19.

According to the paper,3 “Potential Inhibitor of COVID-19 Main Protease (Mpro) From Several Medicinal Plant Compounds by Molecular Docking Study,” posted March 13, 2020, on preprints.org, curcumin and demethoxycurcumin were two compounds among several that were found to inhibit COVID-19 Mpro.

As noted in “Designing of Improved Drugs for COVID-19,”4 COVID-19 Mpro is a potential drug target because “the crystal structure of Mpro provides a basis for designing of a potent inhibitor to the protease with a marked tropism to the lung.”

Studies have also shown curcumin has an inhibitory effect on virus-induced cytokine storms, which occur as a result of an overproduction of immune cells and pro-inflammatory cytokines. This too suggests it may be of particular use against COVID-19, considering the cytokine storm triggered in severe and critical COVID-19 infection is what ends up killing these patients.

Curcumin Is a Potential Therapeutic Against COVID-19

Most recently, a scientific review5 in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, published June 12, 2020, reports curcumin might be useful in cases of severe viral pneumonia such as COVID-19. According to the authors:

“Coronavirus infection, including SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV2, causes daunting diseases that can be fatal because of lung failure and systemic cytokine storm.

The development of coronavirus-evoked pneumonia is associated with excessive inflammatory responses in the lung, known as ‘cytokine storms,’ which results in pulmonary edema, atelectasis, and acute lung injury (ALI) or fatal acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

No drugs are available to suppress overly immune response-mediated lung injury effectively. In light of the low toxicity and its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral activity, it is plausible to speculate that curcumin could be used as a therapeutic drug for viral pneumonia and ALI/ARDS.

Therefore, in this review, we summarize the mounting evidence obtained from preclinical studies using animal models of lethal pneumonia where curcumin exerts protective effects by regulating the expression of both pro- and anti-inflammatory factors … promoting the apoptosis of PMN cells, and scavenging the reactive oxygen species (ROS), which exacerbates the inflammatory response.

These studies provide a rationale that curcumin can be used as a therapeutic agent against pneumonia and ALI/ARDS in humans resulting from coronaviral infection.”

Curcumin Inhibits Cytokine Storm

As discussed in that Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology review,6 curcumin has a long history of medicinal use, without overt side effects. Studies have demonstrated it has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antidiabetic activity, and clinical trials have shown efficacy in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes and infectious diseases — especially viral infections.

One important mechanism behind curcumin’s beneficial effects is its ability to modulate immune responses, meaning it can both upregulate and downregulate immune responses as needed. According to the authors, at least four studies, published between 2018 and 2020, suggest curcumin inhibits virus-induced cytokine storms. These include:

  • A 2018 study7 in the International Immunopharmacology journal, which showed curcumin inhibits influenza A virus replication and influenza-induced pneumonia. It also activates the Nrf2 signaling pathway, inhibits oxidative stress and improves influenza-induced ALI in vivo.
  • A 2018 study8 in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, which found curcumin effectively inhibits influenza A infection.
  • A 2019 study9 in Frontiers in Microbiology, which highlighted curcumin’s antiviral activity against the influenza virus, hepatitis C virus and HIV.
  • A 2020 study10 in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences that reported curcumin has the ability to block herpes simplex virus Type 2 (HSV-2) infection and inhibit production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in vitro.
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Curcumin’s Mechanisms of Action

As for how curcumin inhibits the cytokine storm and modulates immune function, the Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology review explains:11

“There is clear evidence from coronavirus infected patients with both high cytokine levels and pathological changes in the lung. For example, in plasma of COVID-19 patients, high concentrations of IL-2, IL-6, and IL-7 have been observed.

In particular, IL-6 was significantly elevated in critically ill patients with ARDS compared to patients without ARDS and was statistically significantly correlated with death …

Numerous in vivo and in vitro studies have been shown that curcumin and its analogs markedly inhibit the production and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α …

Curcumin also decreases expression of many other inflammatory mediators … which regulate the activity of immune cells and inflammatory responses and promote fibrosis in the lung after infection.

The mechanism underlying curcumin modulation of inflammation has been extensively investigated and engages diverse signaling pathways, among which NF-κB plays an essential role. It was reported that curcumin effectively regulates NF-κB signaling through multiple mechanisms (Figure 2):

First, curcumin inhibits activation of IKKβ … Second, curcumin enhances the expression or stability of IκBα … Third, curcumin activates AMPK. It has been documented that curcumin blocks NF-κB signaling upon infection with Influenza A virus (IAV) as a consequence of AMPK activation. Fourth, curcumin acts on p65 to disturb the NF-κB pathway.

Infection with IAV led to a decrease of p65 in the cytosol of macrophages and a corresponding increase in the nucleus, where it forms a functional complex with NF-κB, ultimately upregulating transcription of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In contrast, the use of curcumin blocks the nuclear translocation of NF-κB and p65, downregulating transcription of the cytokine genes …

In contrast to its negative effect on pro-inflammatory molecules, curcumin has been shown to regulate anti-inflammatory cytokines positively, in particular IL-10. The latter is an essential negative regulator for inflammatory responses …

IL-10 acts on inflammatory monocytes to reduce the release of TNF-α, IL-6, and ROS, thereby alleviating tissue damage caused by the continuous inflammatory response … Curcumin noticeably attenuates lung injury by inducing the differentiation of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and upregulating IL-10 production.”

Figure 2.

curcumin multiple mechanisms

Curcumin Has Antiviral Activity

Curcumin also has direct antiviral activity — including against SARS-CoV (the coronavirus responsible for SARS), as demonstrated in a 2007 study.12 Several studies have elaborated on its antiviral mechanisms, which Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology lists as:13

  • Directly targeting viral proteins
  • Inhibiting particle production and gene expression
  • Blocking viral attachment to cells (possibly by disrupting the fluidity of the viral envelope)
  • Blocking viral entry into the cell
  • Blocking viral replication

Curcumin binds strongly to hemagglutinin (HA), a glycoprotein that allows the influenza virus to attach to the cell. Research has shown curcumin interacts with HA, thus disturbing the integrity of the viral membrane. This is what blocks viral binding to the host cell and prevents the virus from entering the cell. Curcumin has also been shown to directly inactivate certain strains of influenza virus.

Other Pulmonary Benefits of Curcumin

Other beneficial effects that suggest curcumin may be suitable in the treatment of COVID-19 include:14

Alleviating exudation of proteins to alveoli spaces Alleviating lung edema triggered by inflammation
Attenuating lung injury Reducing the degree of airway inflammation
Disrupting airway remodeling by inhibiting the proliferation of bronchial epithelial cells Improving pneumonia and preventing development of severe pneumonia
Alleviating ALI-induced pulmonary fibrosis Improving lung index

According to the Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology review,15 the available research “suggest that curcumin administration could have both prophylactic and therapeutic effects on virus-induced pneumonia and mortality.” Furthermore, while human trials on curcumin for coronaviruses are still lacking:

“… in light of and its preventative and therapeutic role in viral infection and cytokine storms common to all viral infections, curcumin could conceivably be considered as an attractive agent for the management of coronavirus infections.”

Research published in 2015 further supports the conclusions in the Cell and Developmental Biology review. That study,16 “Curcumin Suppression of Cytokine Release and Cytokine Storm,” found curcumin could be a potential therapy for patients infected with Ebola and other dangerous viruses. According to the authors:17

“The activity of curcumin in suppressing multiple cytokines, and its activity in experimental models of diseases and conditions associated with cytokine storm, suggest it may be useful in the treatment of patients with Ebola and cytokine storm.

Curcumin is poorly absorbed from the intestinal tract; however, intravenous formulations may allow therapeutic blood levels of curcumin to be achieved in patients diagnosed with cytokine storm.”

How to Get the Most Out of Your Curcumin Supplement

If you want to use curcumin, be aware that its poor absorption rate is one of its greatest drawbacks. While IV formulations may solve the problem in clinical settings, that would be rather impractical for home use.

Researchers have investigated a variety of different delivery methods, including oral, intravenous, subcutaneous and intraperitoneal delivery, as well as a variety of formulations, to optimize bioavailability. The following methods were all found to improve the absorption rate of curcumin:18

  • When delivered as a nanoparticle
  • Combined with polylactic-co-glycolic acid
  • Liposomal encapsulation

Since curcumin is fat-soluble, you might be able to further increase absorption by making a microemulsion. To do that, combine 1 tablespoon of curcumin powder with one or two egg yolks and 1 to 2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil, then use a hand blender on high speed to emulsify the powder.

Timing is another important variable. One of the ways curcumin works is to activate AMPK and autophagy. Both of these occur during the fasted state. So, it would best to take curcumin at least three hours after a meal and/or right before you go to bed. This would be similar for another powerful anti-COVID supplement, quercetin, which should also be taken while fasting and preferably with zinc.

Foods to ALWAYS buy Organic

Written by Brenton Wight, LeanMachine – Health Researcher, updated 3rd July 2020

The latest results from the EWG (Envirinmental Working Group) are now published as the Clean Fifteen Foods, and the Dirty Dozen that we should buy only as Organic:

Dirty Dozen List – always buy as Organic

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Potatoes

The Clean Fifteen foods have the lowest levels of pesticides, even when conventionally grown.
If  organic foods are unavailable, select foods from this list to reduce harmful chemical exposure.

Clean Fifteen List – safer foods less likely to be toxic

  • Avocados
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapple
  • Onions
  • Papaya
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Eggplants
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Cantaloupe
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi

The EWG uses lab reports and studies that measure pesticides and other chemicals excreted from the urine of people eating particular foods.

Higher intake of organic foods has been shown to improve fertility, birth outcomes, and reduce risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and obesity.

The only way to prevent contaminating food crops is to not buy those products unless they are organic.
A few years ago, organic foods were very expensive, but these days, as the demand increases, organic foods are much more affordable, and will be cheaper again as conventional growers go broke when no one buys their products, and the additional volume of organic foods brings the price down yet again.

Copyright © 1999-2020 BJ Wight and LeanMachine abn 55293601285

Daily dose of baking soda may help combat autoimmune disease

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/autoimmune-disease-baking-soda-3415.html

by:  | May 25, 2020

autoimmune-disease(NaturalHealth365) According to the National Institutes of Health, over 23 million Americans currently live with some type of autoimmune disease – which can encompass such potentially debilitating conditions as rheumatic arthritis, lupus, irritable bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Autoimmune diseases – which arise when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own organs, tissues and cells – are notoriously complex and difficult to treat.

But encouraging research shows that a common, familiar household staple – baking soda – can function as a potent weapon against them.

A recent study not only revealed baking soda’s ability to fight autoimmune disease – but showcased its ability to work at the cellular and molecular level.  For a lowly cooking ingredient, baking soda seems to have some highly sophisticated and powerful effects!

Can baking soda help those suffering with autoimmune disease?

Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda, has a variety of household and medical uses.

It has long been used as a natural toothpaste, a non-toxic deodorant and a cheap, quick-acting antacid to treat heartburn. In addition, some nephrologists advise small daily doses of baking soda to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease.

After clinical studies affirmed baking soda’s beneficial effects on chronic kidney disease, researchers wondered what other conditions it could improve.  And they soon had their answer.

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In a study conducted by scientists at Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and published in April 2018 in Journal of Immunology, the team found that drinking baking soda in water every day for two weeks helped to reduce the destructive inflammation of autoimmune disorders.

The key to baking soda’s action was the way it affected mesothelial cells on the exterior of the spleen. These specialized immune cells have microvilli that sense the environment and warn when an immune response is needed in order to defend against invading pathogens.

But in autoimmune disorders, this response can be inappropriate, excessive and damaging.

Baking soda helped the cells to convey the message that a protective immune response need not be triggered. In the words of study co-author Dr. Paul O’Connor, the compound helped reassure the immune system that there was no pathogen to be fought. “It’s most likely a hamburger, not a bacterial infection,” explained Dr. O’Connor.

It’s official: Baking soda reduces the inflammatory actions of cells

Bicarbonate of soda also affects the population of immune cells called macrophages, which engulf and destroy pathogens.  The scientists found that it shifted the macrophage population to a higher percentage of anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages, while decreasing pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages.

Although the initial research was conducted on rats, the researchers studied healthy human volunteers as well.  And these human participants also experienced an anti-inflammatory response from the baking soda.

In addition, the group who took baking soda had more inflammation-regulating T cells, which discourage the immune system from attacking tissue.

The researchers concluded that baking soda was a “cheap, relatively safe, effective and … noninvasive method to activate cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathways, which may be of benefit to patients suffering from a multitude of inflammatory disease states.”

In a separate study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that baking soda could specifically benefit rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune condition. The scientists concluded that baking soda and water helped reduce inflammation and disease severity.

Baking soda’s antiviral effects are currently being studied

Scientists have found that certain pH-dependent viruses – which happen to include some influenza viruses and coronaviruses – are most able to replicate and spread under acid conditions (pH6.0) and are deactivated completely at pH 8.0.

Baking soda raises acidic pH to higher alkaline levels – a fact with exciting implications for possibly slowing the spread of COVID-19 and other viral infections. While clinical studies have yet to be performed, cell and animal studies attest to the effects of alkalinity on viruses.

In fact, baking soda has been used to fight a pandemic in the past.  In 1918 and 1919, Dr. Edward R. Hays – a physician with the U.S. Health Department – utilized baking soda against the Spanish flu, claiming that it could lead to a resolution of symptoms within 36 hours.

In addition to antiviral and inflammation-fighting effects, baking soda can improve general health in myriad other ways.  According to noted doctor and author Dr. Eddy Bettermann, baking soda increases bicarbonates in the blood – in turn increasing carbon dioxide and helping with oxygenation of body organs.

And Dr. Lynda Frassetto of the University of California notes that baking soda can reduce acidic wastes in the body – which show up as cholesterol, fatty acids, uric acid, phosphate and kidney stones.

How much baking soda should I take?

While the University of Georgia scientists did not reveal the daily amount of baking soda used in the study, many natural health experts recommend half a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup or two of water a day.

Of course, check with your doctor before using baking soda to treat kidney disease, autoimmune disorders or any other medical condition. It is especially important to seek your physician’s guidance if you have high blood pressure, as baking soda is very high in sodium.

Health warning: To avoid possible gastric rupture, don’t take baking soda when your stomach is excessively full – such as after a huge meal.

While autoimmune disease can be a formidable foe, the simple, old-fashioned remedy of baking soda in water may emerge as a front-line defense against it.

Sources for this article include:

Jagwire.Augusta.Edu
DrEddyMD.com
Sciencedaily.com