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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”.

 

Breaking NEWS: Can quercetin help us to avoid the threat of coronavirus infection?

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/quercetin-covid-19-studies-3337.html
by:  
quercetin-research(NaturalHealth365) As COVID-19 continues its march across the globe – and officials warn of a “tsunami” of newly-diagnosed cases and continuing fatalities in the U.S. – a team of Canadian researchers is basing their hopes on quercetin, a flavonoid from plants.

At the center of this flurry of optimism is research helmed by Dr. Michael Chrétien, a renowned scientist at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal. Along with his co-researcher, Congolese scientist Majambu Mbikay, Dr. Chrétien is currently awaiting approval to send the drug (derived from plants) to China for clinical trials that will test it against the novel coronavirus.

While this would be the first clinical study to test quercetin against COVID-19, natural health experts have long credited this natural plant pigment with the ability to deal with a variety of viruses. In fact, Dr. Chrétien describes quercetin as a “broad spectrum antiviral” that has been shown in studies to be effective against such formidable diseases as SARS, the Ebola virus, and the Zika virus.

Incoming data from quercetin trial will be monitored minute-by-minute from Montreal

In a series of interviews and articles, Dr. Chrétien has released details of the imminent study.  Once the team is granted approval to send the quercetin to China, samples will be delivered to the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan.

Canadian and Chinese scientists will then collaborate on the trials, which will involve about 1,000 test patients.  Drs. Chretien and Mbikay will join colleagues from the non-profit International Consortium of Antivirals (which Chrétien helped to found in 2004 as a response to the SARS epidemic) in maintaining a round-the-clock communications center.

From there, they will be able monitor patients’ progress in Wuhan, including viewing patients’ charts and X-rays.  According to Dr. Chrétien, it may be possible to have results on quercetin’s ability to treat COVID within 60 days of the beginning of the trial.

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“Bingo! It works!” Groundbreaking researcher’s earlier studies on SARS and Ebola laid the groundwork for current COVID research

Since the 2003 SARS outbreak – which infected over 8,000 patients in 26 countries – Dr. Chrétien has been studying potential treatments (including quercetin) for the virus, in the event that it resurfaces.  And, while clinical trials haven’t yet been performed, quercetin has shown great promise in combating SARS (severe acute respiratory distress) in animal models.

This is very significant, because COVID-19 is structurally similar to SARS.  In fact, the new coronavirus is also known as SARS-CoV-2.  And, earlier research has given cause for hope.

In a 2014 study published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Drs. Chrétien and Mbikay concluded that a glucosylated form of quercetin (Quercetin 3-B-O-D glucoside) targeted various steps of viral entry and protected mice against the Ebola virus.

The team also learned that pre-treatment with quercetin, rather than post-treatment, offered the best protection.  In a recent interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News Network, Dr. Chrétien offered a more informal reaction to the Ebola study’s encouraging results.

“Bingo! It worked!” he recalled.

Dr. Chrétien, who is generally recognized as one of the most renowned scientists and medical researchers in the world, has a strong emotional and professional connection with China.

He received training under noted Chinese researcher Dr. C.H. Li, and served as an honorary professor at both the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College.

This therapy is non-toxic, safe and pre-approved for use by humans

The good news: the FDA has already approved quercetin as safe for human consumption – meaning that no animal testing is necessary.  This also means that if the treatment works, it should be available quickly.

The quercetin will be in the form of easily-administered oral supplements.  And, Dr. Chrétien asserts that quercetin is so safe that even the high doses used in the study will not cause side effects.

Co-researcher Dr. Mbikay notes that quercetin would cost a mere $2 a day – a negligible amount that stands in stark contrast to the $1,000-per- injection cost of existing COVID-19 treatments.  “It (quercetin) doesn’t even compare in price,” Dr. Mbikay pointed out.

He added that he is particularly hopeful that quercetin could eventually be used to ease outbreaks in African countries – which he says lack the infrastructure for treating COVID-19.

A natural way to inhibit viral replication and defeat influenza

Quercetin, a plant pigment found in fruits and vegetables, is currently used to treat inflammatory diseases, reduce allergy symptoms and lower cholesterol.

But what is particularly relevant – especially now – is quercetin’s ability to boost the immune system and interfere with viral replication.  In a review published in Viruses, the authors concluded that quercetin inhibited viral infections in the early stages – particularly during viral attachment and viral-cell fusion.

Quercetin has already shown the ability to inhibit both the A and B types of influenza, along with the H1N1 and the H3N2 viruses. Some forward-thinking physicians in the US already credit quercetin with being both safer and more effective than Tamiflu, the “gold standard” of medical therapies for influenza.

And, researchers are reporting that viruses seem to be incapable of developing immunity to quercetin – another huge plus.

To boost your own intake of dietary quercetin, opt for healthy amounts of organic unpeeled apples, dark cherries, cocoa, dark leafy greens, green tea and onions.

Quercetin is also available as a supplement, with natural healers advising typical dosages of 500 mg twice a day. As always, consult your own integrative healthcare provider before adding quercetin to your immune-boosting routine.

Discover a safe way to improve quercetin bioavailability and “supercharge” its therapeutic potential

It’s simple: be sure to consume vitamin C!  Natural health experts already know that vitamin C has antioxidant, immune system-boosting and antiviral effects.

As reported previously in NaturalHealth365, high-dose IV vitamin C is already being used throughout China to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak – with three different new studies winning approval.  On March 3, the government of Shanghai, China, announced its official recommendation that COVID-19 should be treated with high amounts of IV vitamin C.

Chinese scientists and physicians are reporting that high-dose vitamin C is achieving “good results in clinical applications.” They credit the nutrient with improving endothelial function and treating acute lung injury and respiratory distress.

In addition, vitamin C helps to regenerate quercetin and maintain its antioxidant properties – leading researchers to believe that combining the two could pack a double virus-fighting punch.  And preliminary research seems to back this up!

In a study published in Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, researchers found that a combination of 500 mg of quercetin and 250 mg of vitamin C lessened cell damage and caused a marker of inflammation to decrease by 62 percent.

Natural health experts are currently recommending dosages of 3,000 to 6,000 mg of vitamin C a day to fight viral infection. However, consult your own integrative doctor before supplementing, because you may need much more – depending on the intensity of your infection.

Naturally, a strong immune system is of premier importance – especially in times such as these. Staying well hydrated, getting good quality sleep, keeping physically active, and eating organic fresh food can pay off in terms of maintaining a strong immune system.

No doubt, the question of whether quercetin is effective against COVID-19 remains to be seen in clinical studies. Dr. Chrétien, himself, is careful to warn against “false hope.”  But, given the encouraging results of earlier studies, the hopes for quercetin may, indeed, be based in reality.

Sources for this article include:

TheCurrent
Naturalhealthresearch.org
Macleans.ca

Time-Restricted Eating — A Powerful Way to Prevent Dementia


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/03/12/time-restricted-eating-autophagy-alzheimers.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola
March 12, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Time-restricted eating is a powerful approach that facilitates weight loss and helps reduce your risk of chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases
  • Among the many benefits of time-restricted eating is the upregulation of autophagy and mitophagy — natural cleansing processes necessary for optimal cellular renewal and function
  • Research strongly suggests caloric restriction and time-restricted eating help combat Alzheimer’s through these autophagy pathways
  • The pathology hallmarks of Alzheimer’s include amyloid beta plaques and tau tangles. Other pathological events frequently seen in Alzheimer’s patients include synaptic deficits, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation
  • Many of these are the result of insufficient autophagy, and one of the simplest ways to upregulate autophagy is by implementing time-restricted eating

Research overwhelmingly supports the notion that ditching the “three square meals a day” approach in favor of time-restricted eating (also referred to as intermittent fasting) can do wonders for your health, as your body simply cannot function optimally when there’s a continuous supply of calories coming in.

The cycling of feasting (feeding) and famine (fasting) mimics the eating habits of our ancestors and restores your body to a more natural state that allows a whole host of biochemical benefits to occur.

It’s a powerful approach that not only facilitates weight loss, but also helps reduce your risk of chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s.

While there are many variations, time-restricted eating typically involves not eating for at least 14 consecutive hours a day. However, not eating for 16 to 20 hours is likely closer to a metabolic ideal. This means you eat all of your meals for the day within a four- to eight-hour window.

Among the many benefits of time-restricted eating is the upregulation of autophagy and mitophagy — natural cleansing processes necessary for optimal cellular renewal and function. In a January 2020 review paper,1 researchers explain how caloric restriction helps combat Alzheimer’s specifically, through these autophagy pathways.

Preventing Alzheimer’s Through Time-Restricted Eating

As explained in “The Effects of Caloric Restriction and Its Mimetics in Alzheimer’s Disease Through Autophagy Pathways,”2 two of the pathology hallmarks of Alzheimer’s are amyloid beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles formed by aggregates of tau protein.

“The aberrant accumulation of these misfolded and aggregated proteins results in neurotoxicity, and AD is therefore recognized as a proteinopathy,” the paper states. Other pathological events frequently seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients include:3

  • Synaptic deficits and axonal degeneration
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Abnormal metal homeostasis
  • Oxidative stress
  • Neuroinflammation

Many of these occur as a result of “insufficient elimination of neurotoxic proteins or damaged intracellular organelles,” the paper notes. In other words, they occur when there’s insufficient autophagy occurring in your body. The good news is you can upregulate autophagy, and one of the simplest ways is by implementing time-restricted eating. As explained in this review:4

“Autophagy is a catabolic mechanism that ensures the removal of misfolded or aggregated proteins and maintains the turnover of cytoplasmic components.

Under conditions of starvation or energy deficiency, phagophores are synthesized de novo in the cytoplasm from newly synthesized lipids or from intracellular organelles with membrane structures, such as the endoplasmic reticulum.

Phagophores elongate and curve to form double-membrane autophagosomes, which then encapsulate cytosolic materials, misfolded proteins, or long-lived proteins.

After fusion with lysosomes, any cargo is degraded by lysosomal enzymes. The autophagic process provides a strategy for clearing misfolded or aggregated proteins in proteinopathic disorders. Failure of autophagy leads to the accumulation of aggregates, which results in neurotoxicity and disease progression.”

Autophagy Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Disorders

Autophagy dysfunction has been identified in several neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders and diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s disease, ischemic stroke, schizophrenia and even drug addiction.5

Hence, it is believed that autophagy activation has an important role to play in the prevention and treatment of these conditions. Importantly though, using autophagy stimulators such as drugs, gene therapy or supplements can have undesirable side effects in some people, and may not be ideal.

Time-restricted eating, or calorie restriction, the authors note, is a safer and likely more effective strategy for most. So, just how does calorie restriction or intermittent fasting induce autophagy?

There are several mechanisms at play, but two important ones are activation of monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway.6

Calorie restriction also helps ameliorate Alzheimer’s and other degenerative conditions by lowering inflammation and improving insulin sensitivity, mitochondrial function and oxidative stress.

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The Benefits of AMPK Activation

AMPK is an enzyme essential for maintaining energy balance. It consists of three proteins (called sub-units) that together create a functional enzyme. AMPK is expressed in various tissues, including the brain, liver, skeletal muscle and fat cells, and is essential for activating autophagy.

It’s sometimes referred to as a “metabolic master switch” because it plays an important role in regulating metabolism.7 It shifts energy toward cellular repair and maintenance, thus helping your body return to homeostasis (balance).

Low AMPK has been linked to insulin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction, obesity, neurodegeneration and chronic inflammation. Activating AMPK produces many of the same benefits as exercise, dieting and weight loss,8 all of which are known to benefit a range of chronic diseases and ill health.

AMPK is also an important neuroprotector,9 thus making it particularly relevant in Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment. In addition, AMPK stimulates cellular and mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) and mitochondrial biogenesis, as well as five other critically important pathways:

  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • mTOR
  • Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)
  • Proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1-alpha (PGC-1α)

Benefits of mTOR Inhibition

MTOR is also an important pathway responsible for controlling autophagy. When you inhibit mTOR — which you can do through time-restricted eating — you activate autophagy. MTOR is basically a nutrient sensor. While insulin primarily senses your intake of carbohydrates, mTOR primarily senses protein.

That said, other nutrients can also activate or inhibit mTOR. Nutrients that activate mTOR include branched-chain amino acids, glutamine, methyl folate and vitamin B12.

Nutrients that inhibit mTOR include polyphenols like curcumin, fisetin, quercetin, resveratrol (found in wine) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG, found in green tea). Organic coffee and dark chocolate also contain high amounts of mTOR inhibiting polyphenols.

Why Cycling in and Out of Autophagy Is so Important

One of the reasons time-restricted eating works so well is because you’re cycling through autophagy on a daily basis (opposed to only occasionally, were you to do longer fasts once a month or quarterly, for example).

This cycling is really crucial. You don’t want to inhibit mTOR and activate autophagy all the time. There needs to be a balance between breaking down and building back up.

When you eat, your insulin goes up, mTOR is activated and autophagy is inhibited, thus allowing for cellular rebuilding and growth. Then, when you fast, insulin goes down, mTOR is inhibited and autophagy activated, thus allowing for the breakdown and elimination of dysfunctional cellular components. The next time you eat, the cycle of rebuilding begins anew, and so on.

When you’re continuously eating, autophagy will be severely inhibited. As a result, damage continues to build up as damaged cells cannot be efficiently eliminated and regenerated. Many hormonal shifts also occur during fasting, including growth hormone.

Opinions about how long one should fast each day varies. As a general rule, the recommended range is between 12 and 18 hours of fasting each day. I’m of the opinion that 16 to 18 hours of fasting might be the sweet spot, as this allows your body to deplete the glycogen stores in your liver more and suppress mTOR and activate autophagy better.

Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Brain Function

As noted in “The Effects of Caloric Restriction and Its Mimetics in Alzheimer’s Disease Through Autophagy Pathways,” a number of animal studies have demonstrated that time-restricted eating helps prevent memory loss and improve cognition. The authors state, in part:10

“[Intermittent fasting] has been reported to optimize brain function and increase neuronal resistance to injury and disease … Behavioral improvements in AD mice that undergo IF might occur because of the effects of IF on balancing hippocampal excitability.

In addition, IF prevents memory loss in ovariectomized rats infused with amyloid beta in hippocampal regions … short-term fasting (24 or 48 hours) was capable of enhancing neuronal autophagy in 5xFAD mice, which is a severe AD model …”

The Case for Eating Less, Period

Both animal and human studies also suggest people with a low calorie intake overall have a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s compared to those eating a high-calorie diet.11

In one animal study, animals whose diet was 30% lower in calories than normal restored memory performance after 10 months. High-calorie diets were also shown to result in autophagic failure in the hippocampus.12

Animal studies have further demonstrated that low-calorie diets reduce the amount of amyloid beta and tau in the brain, while high-calorie diets increase them.13

The beautiful characteristic of time-restricted eating is that it appears to replicate most of the metabolic benefits of calorie restriction without actually restricting calories. Additionally, because it is such a restricted eating window and a person’s appetite is reduced, they typically wind up eating fewer calories anyway without any feeling of deprivation.

Siim Land does a great job on expanding on the differences between these two as they relate to longevity in the video at the top of the article. Even though the comparison is to longevity, the same pathways are also active in Alzheimer’s, such as sirtuins, AMPK and NAD+.

Calorie Restriction Mimetics

“The Effects of Caloric Restriction and Its Mimetics in Alzheimer’s Disease Through Autophagy Pathways” also addresses the use of calorie restriction mimetics, compounds that mimic the effects of calorie restriction. The most thoroughly studied and well-recognized mimetic is resveratrol, a polyphenol found in grape skins and certain berries, including blueberries and cranberries. According to the authors:14

“Several studies have revealed the potential efficacy of resveratrol supplementation for the prevention and treatment of AD. For example, treatment with resveratrol prevents neurotoxicity in cultured cells exposed to amyloid beta.

In addition, in a rodent model of AD, resveratrol alleviated memory deficits, maintained the integrity of the blood-brain-barrier, ameliorated the plaque burden, in habited tau pathology, and suppressed microglial activation …

The anti-amyloidogenic and neuroprotective effects of resveratrol in AD appear to be strongly associated with enhanced autophagic activity. Resveratrol activates SIRT1-dependent autophagy, which contributes to an attenuation of the neurotoxicity caused by amyloid beta. Moreover, resveratrol represses mTOR signaling and induces autophagy by activating the AMPK signaling pathway.”

Other Alzheimer’s Prevention Guidelines

Aside from time-restricted eating, there are many other strategies that will help prevent (and in some cases, treat) Alzheimer’s. Here’s a rundown of what I believe are some of the most important:

Avoid trans fat and industrially processed vegetable oils — While diets high in healthy fats and antioxidants can go a long way toward warding off dementia, diets high in trans fats and processed omega-6 oils will promote it.

Research15 published in the October 2019 issue of Neurology found a strong link between trans fat consumption and incidence of dementia and its various subtypes, including Alzheimer’s. The worst dietary culprits were pastries, margarine, candy, caramels, croissants, nondairy creamers, ice cream and rice crackers.16 Similarly, the oxidized omega-6 fat found in processed vegetable oils can cause significant harm to your brain when consumed in excess.

Avoid sugar and refined fructose — Ideally, you’ll want to keep your sugar levels to a minimum and your total fructose below 25 grams per day, or as low as 15 grams per day if you have insulin resistance or any related disorders.
Increase consumption of healthy fats, including marine-based omega-3 — Beneficial health-promoting fats that your brain needs for optimal function include coconut oil, organic butter from raw milk, ghee, grass fed raw butter, olives, organic virgin olive oil, nuts like pecans and macadamia, free-range eggs, wild Alaskan salmon and avocado.

Also make sure you’re getting enough animal-based omega-3 fats from small fatty fish such as anchovies and sardines, or take a phospholipid-based supplement such as krill oil. High intake of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA help prevent cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder.

Avoid gluten and casein (primarily wheat and pasteurized dairy, but not dairy fat, such as butter) — Research shows your blood-brain barrier is negatively affected by gluten.17 Gluten also makes your gut more permeable, which allows proteins to get into your bloodstream, where they don’t belong. That then sensitizes your immune system and promotes inflammation and autoimmunity, both of which play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s.
Optimize your gut flora by regularly eating fermented foods or taking a high potency and high quality probiotic supplement.
Improve your magnesium level — Magnesium threonate appears promising for supporting cognition and may be superior to other forms. To learn more, see “Cognitive Benefits of Magnesium L-Threonate.”
Optimize your vitamin D levels with safe sun exposure — Researchers believe optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important chemicals in your brain and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of the glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health.

Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Sufficient vitamin D is imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation that is also associated with Alzheimer’s. For more information, see “Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Dementia Confirmed.”

Avoid and eliminate mercury from your body — Dental amalgam fillings, which are 50% mercury by weight, are one of the major sources of heavy metal toxicity. However, you should be healthy before having them removed. Once you have adjusted to following the diet described in my optimized nutrition plan, you can follow the mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to have your amalgams removed.

Also avoid flu vaccinations as most contain mercury, aka thimerosal, a well-known neurotoxic and immunotoxic agent.

Avoid and eliminate aluminum from your body — Sources of aluminum include antiperspirants, nonstick cookware and vaccine adjuvants. For detox guidance, see “The Three Pillars of Heavy Metal Detoxification.”
Exercise regularly — It’s been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized,18 thus slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Exercise also increases levels of the protein PGC-1alpha. Research has shown that people with Alzheimer’s have less PGC-1alpha in their brains and cells that contain more of the protein produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s.
Avoid anticholinergics and statin drugs — As detailed in “Common OTC Drugs Can Cause Dementia,” drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain nighttime pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers.
Statin drugs are also problematic as they suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, deplete your brain of coenzyme Q10 and neurotransmitter precursors, and prevent adequate delivery of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble antioxidants to your brain by inhibiting the production of the indispensable carrier biomolecule known as low-density lipoprotein.

Essential Nutrition to Protect Yourself From Coronavirus


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/03/09/coronavirus-prevention.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola     
March 09, 2020

coronavirus prevention

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • According to bioweapons expert Francis Boyle, evidence suggests COVID-19 is a weaponized coronavirus originating from the Biosafety Level 4 facility in Wuhan City, China
  • COVID-19 appears to be a chimera consisting of SARS (an already weaponized coronavirus), HIV genetic material and influenza virus, designed with gain of function properties that allow it to spread a greater distance than normal
  • Others have suggested COVID-19 may involve Prevotella, a bacterium known to cause respiratory tract infections, and that this may explain some of the observed symptoms and how it can spread through feces
  • RNA sequencing data from Wuhan show millions of Prevotella proteins amid a few thousand COVID-19 viruses. Prevotella bacteria was also found in six COVID-19 patients from the same family in Hong Kong
  • Supplements thought to be useful in the prevention of coronavirus infection include NAC, elderberry, spirulina, beta-glucan, glucosamine, selenium, zinc, lipoic acid, sulforaphane, resveratrol, vitamin D, Bifidobacterium bifidum strain probiotics and sporebiotics

As of March 5, 2020, there were 98,067 reported cases of novel coronavirus infections affecting 88 countries and territories, 80,430 of which were in China. Worldometer.info provides an easy overview of confirmed cases and deaths that you can check for the latest statistics.1 Also, as of March 5, 2020, there were 11 deaths reported in the U.S., 10 in Washington state and one in California.2

As of March 5, 2020, of the 3,356 reported deaths, 3,013 were in China, predominantly in the Hubei Province in and around Wuhan City, which is ground zero for the outbreak. The virus was initially labeled 2019-nCOV before being renamed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization.3

COVID-19 — An Escaped Bioweapon?

According to bioweapons expert Francis Boyle, whom I recently interviewed on this topic, the evidence suggests COVID-19 is a weaponized coronavirus4 originating from the Biosafety Level 4 facility in Wuhan City. It’s the first BSL-4 facility in China, and was set up specifically to research coronavirus and SARS.

He describes COVID-19 as a chimera consisting of SARS (an already weaponized coronavirus), HIV genetic material and influenza virus, designed with so-called “gain of function” properties that allow it to spread a greater distance than normal.

It can travel 6 to 7 feet through the air, and some reports suggest the virus can shed that distance from contaminated human feces as well. Others have suggested COVID-19 may involve Prevotella,5,6,7 a bacterium known to cause respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia, and that this may explain some of the observed symptoms and how it can spread through feces.

The Bacteriophage Hypothesis

Bacteriophages — viruses that infect and reproduce inside bacteria, like a parasite — have been implicated “in the progression and maintenance of at least some pathologies, including those associated with protein misfolding,” according to one 2018 paper, which further notes:8

“Here, for the first time, we propose the concept of bacteriophages as human pathogens. We suggest that bacterial viruses have different ways to directly and indirectly interact with eukaryotic cells and proteins, leading to human diseases.”

In a February 2020 paper,9 Sandeep Chakraborty, a bioinformatics core member at UC Davis,10 notes that Prevotella “is present (sometimes in huge amounts) in patients from two studies in China and one in Hong Kong.”

He goes on to cite RNA sequencing data11 from Wuhan, China, published January 25, 2020, showing “millions of reads of Prevotella proteins” amid a few thousand COVID-19 viruses. Yet the researchers make no mention of the Prevotella in their paper. Prevotella bacteria was also found in six COVID-19 patients from the same family in Hong Kong.12

“These are the three studies I could find,” Chakraborty writes.13 “But the clinching evidence is the presence of the same integration point of nCov and Prevotella in Study 1 and Study 2.

Moreover, detection of the nCoV can be made very spec[f]ic by looking for a 500bp in the spike protein, which would be a good candidate for vaccine development, protein-inhibition and diagnosis (which was non-specific for SARS in many cases, including the CDC test). And, since this is now DNA, the standard detection tests using RT-PCR, which looks for RNA is having large false negatives.”

While this connection needs further verification and validation, it’s an interesting finding that could be significant if true. From a treatment standpoint, it could indicate that antibiotic drugs might be useful, and for prevention, probiotics, prebiotics and/or sporebiotics might play an important role.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about COVID-19, and if it did escape from Wuhan City’s BSL-4 facility, they’re not giving out any details about it that might help health care workers figure out an effective treatment plan.

While vitamin C treatment is one avenue under investigation, and wearing medical-grade face masks is the route many have taken to avoid infection, taking steps to strengthen your immune function is likely one of your most important prevention strategies. I review several of these strategies below.

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Vitamin C Treatment for Coronavirus Under Investigation

February 4, 2020, researchers at Zhongnan Hospital in China announced they will investigate the effectiveness of vitamin C infusion for the treatment of severe COVID-19 infected pneumonia.14

Many of the deaths associated with this viral pneumonia appear to be due to septic shock,15 and studies suggest high-dose vitamin C infusions can improve outcomes in cases of sepsis16 and respiratory infections.17 As noted in the Zhongnan Hospital’s study description:18

“Viral pneumonia is a dangerous condition with a poor clinical prognosis … Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has antioxidant properties. When sepsis happens, the cytokine surge caused by sepsis is activated, and neutrophils in the lungs accumulate in the lungs, destroying alveolar capillaries.

Early clinical studies have shown that vitamin C can effectively prevent this process. In addition, vitamin C can help to eliminate alveolar fluid by preventing the activation and accumulation of neutrophils, and reducing alveolar epithelial water channel damage.

At the same time, vitamin C can prevent the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps, which is a biological event of vascular injury caused by neutrophil activation.”

The researchers intend to treat patients with 24 grams of IV vitamin C per day for seven days at a speed of 7 milliliters per hour. The placebo group will receive an IV of normal saline.

The primary outcome measure will be the number of days without ventilation support during 28 days of hospitalization. Secondary outcome measures will include mortality, ICU length of stay, the rate of CPR required, vasopressor use, respiratory function, sepsis-related organ failure and more.

Dr. Marik’s Sepsis Treatment Protocol May Be a Good Option

Time will tell what the outcome of that Zhongnan Hospital study will be. Chances are vitamin C will impart some benefit, although Dr. Paul Marik’s sepsis treatment protocol might be an even better option.

One initial retrospective before-after clinical study19,20 showed giving patients 200 mg of thiamine every 12 hours, 1,500 mg of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) every six hours, and 50 mg of hydrocortisone every six hours for two days reduced sepsis mortality from 40% to 8.5%.

Research,21,22 published online January 9, 2020, found Marik’s intravenous sepsis protocol lowered mortality in pediatric patients as well. The study was performed at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and as noted by Science Daily,23 the preliminary data from this study “supports the promising outcomes seen in adults.”

Between January 2014 and February 2019, 557 pediatric patients with septic shock met the criteria for inclusion in the study. Forty-three received Marik’s vitamin C-B1-hydrocortisone protocol, 181 received hydrocortisone-only therapy, and 333 received neither of these treatments. The 43 patients receiving the vitamin C treatment were matched based on clinical status with 43 untreated controls and 43 hydrocortisone-only patients.

At the 30-day mark, controls and the hydrocortisone-only groups had a mortality rate of 28% while the treatment group had a mortality rate of just 9%. At 90 days, 35% of the controls and 33% of those receiving hydrocortisone-only had died, compared to just 14% of the treatment group.24

Essential Nutrition to Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus

As for prevention, nutrition plays a crucial role and several nutrients are known for their immune-boosting properties and ability to ward against viral infections. As reported in a February 24, 2020 press release:25,26

“In a compelling article27 in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases … Mark McCarty of the Catalytic Longevity Foundation, San Diego, CA, USA, and James DiNicolantonio, PharmD, a cardiovascular research scientist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, MO, propose that certain nutraceuticals may help provide relief to people infected with encapsulated RNA viruses such as influenza and coronavirus …

COVID-19 is around 30 to 60 times more lethal than the typical annual flu. Both influenza and coronavirus cause an inflammatory storm in the lungs and it is this inflammatory storm that leads to acute respiratory distress, organ failure, and death.

Certain nutraceuticals may help to reduce the inflammation in the lungs from RNA viruses and others may also help boost type 1 interferon response to these viruses, which is the body’s primary way to help create antiviral antibodies to fight off viral infections.”

McCarty and DiNicolantonio list several nutrients available in supplement form that may be of particular benefit against COVID-19, including the following (below). For more details about each, see the full-text paper28 published in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases:

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) — Encourages glutathione production, thins mucus, lowers your chances of influenza infection and reduces your risk of developing severe bronchitis
Elderberry extract — Known to shorten influenza duration by two to four days and reduce the severity of the flu. According to the authors:29

“Given that elderberry is a very rich source of anthocyanins, there is reason to suspect that its impact on viruses might be mediated, at least in part, by ferulic acid, a prominent metabolite that appears in plasma following anthocyanin ingestion.”

Spirulina — Reduces severity of influenza infection and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies. In a human trial, spirulina significantly lowered the viral load in patients with HIV infection
Beta-glucan — Reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies
Glucosamine — Upregulates mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS), reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies
Selenium — “Since selenium is an essential cofactor for certain peroxidases, and selenium deficiency has been endemic in certain regions of China and other parts of the world, insuring adequacy of selenium nutrition might also be appropriate in this context,” McCarty and DiNicolantonio note, adding:30

“Selenium deficiency also increases the rate at which viruses can mutate, promoting the evolution of strains that are more pathogenic and capable of evading immune surveillance.”

Zinc — Supports “effective function and proliferation of various immune cells,” lowering mortality in the elderly by 27%
Lipoic acid — Helps boost type 1 interferon response. As explained in a 2014 paper:31

“Type I interferons (IFNs) activate intracellular antimicrobial programs and influence the development of innate and adaptive immune responses … (IFNs) are polypeptides that are secreted by infected cells and have three major functions.

First, they induce cell-intrinsic antimicrobial states in infected and neighboring cells that limit the spread of infectious agents, particularly viral pathogens. Second, they modulate innate immune responses in a balanced manner that promotes antigen presentation and natural killer cell functions while restraining pro-inflammatory pathways and cytokine production.

Third, they activate the adaptive immune system, thus promoting the development of high-affinity antigen-specific T and B cell responses and immunological memory. Type I IFNs are protective in acute viral infections but can have either protective or deleterious roles in bacterial infections and autoimmune diseases.”

Sulforaphane — Helps boost type 1 interferon response

A 2005 study32 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases also found resveratrol has the power to inhibit the replication of influenza A virus, significantly improving survival in influenza-infected mice. According to the authors, resveratrol “acts by inhibiting a cellular, rather than a viral, function,” which suggests it “could be a particularly valuable anti-influenza drug.”

Suggested Daily Dosages

The provisional daily dosage suggestions offered by McCarty and DiNicolantonio to help control RNA viruses, including influenza and coronavirus infection, are as follows:33

Nutraceutical Daily dosage
Ferulic acid 500 to 1,000 milligrams (mg)
Lipoic acid 1,200 to 1,800 mg (in place of ferulic acid)
Spirulina 15 grams
NAC 1,200 to 1,800 mg
Selenium 50 to 100 micrograms (mcg)
Glucosamine 3,000 mg or more
Zinc 30 to 50 mg
Yeast beta-glucan 250 to 500 mg
Elderberry extract 600 to 1,500 mg

The Importance of Vitamin D Optimization

Solar ultraviolet-B radiation and supplemental vitamin D have also been shown to reduce pandemic fatality rates, which makes sense considering how important vitamin D is for controlling infections and lowering your risk for influenza and the common cold.

As detailed in “Vitamin D Prevents Infections,” research shows high-dose vitamin D supplementation lowers the risk of respiratory illnesses and lung infections in the elderly by 40%. As noted by an author of that study, “Vitamin D can improve the immune system’s ability to fight infections because it bolsters the first line of defense of the immune system.”

Research34 published in 2009 pointed suggests fatality rates during the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic were influenced by season, with greater numbers of people dying during the winter than the summer. According to the authors:35

“Deaths during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic have been linked to both the influenza virus and secondary bacterial lung infections. Case fatality rates and percentage of influenza cases complicated by pneumonia were available from survey data for twelve United States locations in the 1918–1919 pandemic.

This study analyzes case fatality rates and cases complicated by pneumonia with respect to estimated summertime and wintertime solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) doses as indicators of population mean vitamin D status.

Substantial correlations were found for associations of July UVB dose with case fatality rates and rates of pneumonia as a complication of influenza. Similar results were found for wintertime UVB. Vitamin D upregulates production of human cathelicidin, LL-37, which has both antimicrobial and antiendotoxin activities.

Vitamin D also reduces the production of proinflammatory cytokines, which could also explain some of the benefit of vitamin D since H1N1 infection gives rise to a cytokine storm.”

As a general guideline, get your vitamin D level tested twice a year, in the winter and summer, to make sure you’re in a healthy range of 60 ng/mL to 80 ng/mL year-round. (A compelling body of research suggests 40 ng/mL is the cutoff for sufficiency.)

Pre-, Pro- and Sporebiotics May Be Useful Against Prevotella

Last but not least, should the inclusion of Prevotella bacteria in COVID-19 turn out to be accurate, prebiotics, probiotics and sporebiotics may be of significant use. A number of studies36 have shown Bifidobacterium bifidum strain probiotics can help reduce Prevotella, while Lactobacillus strains tend to increase it.

Sporebiotics may be particularly beneficial. As explained in “How Spore Probiotics Can Help You,” which features an interview with Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, spore-based probiotics consist of the cell wall of bacillus spores — the protective shell around the DNA and the working mechanism of that DNA — not the whole, live bacterium.

Bacillus spores have been shown to dramatically increase immune tolerance, which means they help repair damage in your intestinal barrier. Since they’re not “live,” they’re also unaffected by antibiotics.

The bacillus very effectively modulates cytokines — anti-inflammatory cytokines are upregulated while inflammatory cytokines are downregulated, thereby restoring balance between the two.

Research has also shown that sporebiotics massively increase reproduction of acidophilus, bifidus and other microbes in your gut via the electromagnetic messages they send out. This is entirely unique. When you take a regular probiotic, they primarily take care of themselves. Bacillus spores, on the other hand, actually enhance many of the other beneficial microbes.

Bacillus spores also create 24 different substances that have strong antimicrobial properties. However, they do not kill indiscriminately like antibiotics do. They specifically suppress pathogens that do make a valuable contribution to the whole.

As COVID-19 continues to take its toll, taking measures to strengthen your immune system would be a wise strategy as a strong immune system is your No. 1 defense against all types of infections, both viral and bacterial, and the nutraceuticals discussed in this article can all aid you in that effort.

Shocking admission: How the coronavirus is affecting our children

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/coronavirus-children-3321.html

coronavirus-kids

(NaturalHealth365) People continue to worry about the effect the coronavirus will have on more vulnerable populations as it continues to spread in countries across the world. First detected in China, scientists continue to learn about this new strain of coronavirus.

When viruses hit, it’s often the youngest among us and the elderly who suffer the most. But recent news reports have noted that kids who are infected with the coronavirus seem to have very mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all. Recently, MSN reported a case of a newborn baby who was infected with the coronavirus and then recovered on her own without the need for medication – a promising insight into the virus that’s worried so many parents around the world.

What happened to a baby infected with the coronavirus?

Xiao Xiao, a baby girl in Wuhan, China is reportedly the youngest child to have contracted the disease at this point.  Her mother had coronavirus while pregnant, although it’s unclear whether the baby contracted this virus due to close proximity to the mother or by blood.

The baby was diagnosed with mild heart disease, and while they found that she was infected with the coronavirus, doctors decided not to treat the virus because she didn’t exhibit symptoms. She had no cough, no fever, and no obvious problems breathing.  Within two weeks, tests showed that the baby girl had recovered fully from the coronavirus and she was discharged from the hospital.

Earlier news reports have noted that babies and children who are infected with coronavirus seem to display milder symptoms than adults do, likely because the immune system begins to deteriorate with age. And it’s been aging adults who have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus. However, while children may get a milder form of the virus, it’s still essential to take preventive measures and take steps to boost your child’s immune system to avoid the coronavirus.

Reduce the risk: Strategies to support a healthy immune system

When it comes to reducing the threat of bacterial or viral infections, you can take some simple steps to give your child’s immune system the support it deserves.  Check out these 5 simple tips:

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

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

  • “Power up” by eating more fruits and vegetables: Adding more servings of fruits and veggies to your child’s diet will help to ensure they get all the vitamins and minerals they need.
  • Breastfeeding: If possible, breastfeed your baby.  Breast milk is packed with immunity-enhancing white blood cells and antibodies.
  • Add Probiotics: Make sure your kids are getting enough probiotics from fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso soup or a good quality supplement.  Remember, the strength of the immune system depends (largely) on a strong digestive system.
  • Vitamin C supplementation:  Vitamin C, particularly in higher amounts when feeling bad, has already proven to be useful in dealing with the coronavirus.
  • Zinc Supplementation: Zinc helps boost the production of white blood cells to kill viruses.  In some cases, it may be necessary to supplement your child’s diet with zinc – to help boost immunity.

Of course, we always suggest you consult with an integrative physician before making any changes to lifestyle habits.  But, let’s not forget – when it comes to reducing the risk of bacterial and viral infections – use common sense.

In addition, it’s always a good idea to be more aware of our surroundings and be vigilant about maintaining healthy personal hygiene habits.  Stay well hydrated, get an adequate amount of sleep and stay physically active.  All of these tips will prove to be invaluable in maintaining great health.

Sources for this article include:

MSN.com
Metro.co.uk
SmartParenting.com
Parents.com
USNews.com

Improve cholesterol levels and blood vessel function by eating the right amount of blueberries

Reproduced from original article:
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by:  

blueberries(NaturalHealth365) Metabolic syndrome makes the “who’s who list” of bad health conditions, yet most people remain uneducated about its details.  This “syndrome” significantly increases your risk of potentially serious chronic health problems like cardiovascular disease, including a heart attack or stroke.

Fortunately, as is usually the case with good nutrition, it turns out that reducing the impact of metabolic syndrome is just one of the many benefits of eating the right amount of blueberries, on a regular basis.

For example, a 2019 study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition offers great incentive to eat more of this delicious fruit if you or anyone you know wants to improve heart health or is living with metabolic syndrome risk factors, including a large waist circumference, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.

Can you really defeat metabolic syndrome by eating more blueberries?

Researchers of the study split 115 overweight and obese adults with metabolic syndrome (mostly older males) into one of three groups: Group 1 ate 1 cup (150 g) of blueberries per day, Group 2 ate 1/2 a cup (75 g) of blueberries per day, and group three had a placebo. There was an impressive 94.1% compliance with the food intake over the course of 6 months.

The “dietarily achievable” servings of blueberries actually came in a freeze-dried and powdered form, but the authors were so hopeful about their findings they still advised “blueberries should be included in dietary strategies to reduce individual and population [cardiovascular disease] risk.”

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

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

Here’s why…
While just half a cup per day didn’t correlate with any beneficial biomarker improvements, the researchers found that eating 1 cup of blueberries per day yielded significant improvements in cholesterol levels, blood vessel function, and underlying nitric oxide activity – which helps blood vessels relax and plays a big role in regulating blood pressure.

All of these correlated with improvements in underlying metabolic syndrome and a predicted 12 to 15 reduction in cardiovascular risk.

This is consistent with other research pointing to beneficial health effects correlated with blueberries, including improved heart and brain health and better blood sugar control (although in this study, the insulin resistance for these participants remained unchanged – maybe not surprising, since the authors didn’t impose many limits on the participants’ diets overall, but only prior to baseline, interim, and 6-month assessments).

Wow!  Discover the impressive nutrient profile of just one serving of this delicious fruit

1 cup of blueberries (about 148 grams) boasts 3.6 grams of fiber and tons of other nutrients like vitamin K1 (28 mcg per cup), vitamin C (14.1 mcg per cup), manganese, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin B6.

Blueberries are also a potent source of flavanoids – plant nutrients with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers believe flavanoids are one of the major heart healthy benefits of blueberries.

Blueberries are especially rich in a type of flavanoid called anthocyanin, which give blueberries its dark purplish blue color.  Just 1 cup of blueberries contains an impressive 400 mg of flavonoids.  Of course, always choose organic varieties to avoid the consumption of unwanted chemicals.

So, sprinkle some on salads, yogurt, or oatmeal, eat by the handful, or pair with nuts and dark chocolate. The choices are endless! If you can, opt for wild and/or locally sourced blueberries whenever possible, as these have a higher flavanoids profile than conventionally grown versions.

Sources for this article include:

Healthline.com
NYTimes.com
Academic.oup.com
NIH.gov
Livescience.com
NIH.gov

Curcumin Effectively Reduces Pain in Osteoarthritis Patients

© 9th January 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
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Posted on:  Thursday, January 9th 2020 at 11:30 am

Curcumin has proven anti-inflammatory effects, and new research confirms that curcumin supplementation is an effective tool for pain management in patients with knee osteoarthritis

Research from the City Care Accident Hospital in Parli Vaijnath, Maharashtra, India, indicates that curcumin, a polyphenolic curcuminoid found in turmeric, is a safe and effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis.[i] Specifically, researchers determined that curcumin was equally effective as, but better tolerated than, diclofenac, a popular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) often used to treat knee osteoarthritis.

Current Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a degeneration of joint cartilage that affects the bones, cartilage and thin synovium membrane surrounding the knee joint, characterized by stiffness, pain and immobility.

Knee osteoarthritis is the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide, and is especially prevalent in older adults and those who are obese.[ii] The prevalent nature of the disease makes researchers eager to find pain management therapies that are safe and effective.

Current conventional pain management recommendations for knee OA include the NSAID diclofenac. Diclofenac is often used to treat mild to moderate pain associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis but offers only temporary pain relief.

Additionally, diclofenac is an ineffective and unsafe long-term treatment for chronic pain associated with knee OA, as continual use of diclofenac can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, gastrointestinal ulcer formation, and increase cardiovascular risk.[iii] [iv]

For this reason, researchers are eager to find a natural, effective treatment for knee OA that doesn’t present such serious health implications. Curcumin, long studied for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects, is a logical substitute. Questions about the efficacy of curcumin included its lack of bioavailability and gastrointestinal effects compared to NSAIDS like diclofenac.

This is not the first study to test the efficacy of curcuminoids compared to standard pain medication. GreenMedinfo has compiled over 2,500 abstracts on the use of curcumin, including for pain relief. Previously, we’ve also researched the dangers of medications for pain management of arthritis and the viability of turmeric as an anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing supplement.

Study Results: Curcumin for Safer and More Effective Pain Management

To test the efficacy of curcumin as a pain prevention method, patients were evaluated every two weeks for improvement in pain intensity using a visual analog scale (VAS), a standardized and clinically validated test for measuring acute and chronic pain.[v] Patients in the first group were given 500-milligram (mg) doses of curcumin three times daily, while the second group was given 50 mg of diclofenac twice daily.

At the end of the study, both treatment groups showed improvement in VAS pain scores, but patients receiving curcumin experienced fewer gastrointestinal effects and other benefits compared to those receiving diclofenac — specifically, patients experienced less flatulence, an anti-ulcer effect and greater weight loss while taking curcumin.

Those receiving curcumin needed no H2 blockers during the study, while diclofenac patients did. H2 blockers are a type of medication that works to reduce stomach acid and prevent the formation of gastric ulcers. This is of significance because it indicates the anti-ulcer effects of curcumin.

Because NSAIDS, including diclofenac, are known to have gastrointestinal side effects such as intestinal bleeding, ulcers and flatulence, curcumin is a favorable alternative to commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs.[vi] [vii]

Curcumin’s ability to support weight loss may also present an additional benefit to knee OA patients. Obesity is a concern among knee OA patients and causes excess strain on joints, but it can be difficult for OA patients to lose weight when pain restricts their mobility or ability to exercise.

This vicious cycle could be alleviated by curcumin supplementation, which could help reduce weight while improving pain and allowing patients greater movement.

Overall, researchers determined that curcumin supplementation has a similar effect on pain relief in patients with knee OA as does diclofenac, with curcumin presenting additional benefits that could further its efficacy.

Curcumin With Increased Bioavailability Is Important

One challenge surrounding the use of curcumin is its poor bioavailability (absorption rate), but this can be increased via a number of mechanisms.

In this study, researchers used capsules that contained curcumin and essential oil of turmeric, which increased bioavailability. Using only the most bioavailable forms of curcumin is an important step in its viability as a pain management treatment. Researchers concluded:

“Our findings suggest that curcumin three times daily has similar efficacy to but a better safety profile than diclofenac two times daily among patients with knee OA. Our study results suggest that curcumin with increased bioavailability (BCM-95) can be a good alternative treatment option in patients with knee OA who are intolerant to the side effects of NSAIDS.”[viii]

To learn more about the potential positive effects curcumin can have on your health, visit the GreenMedInfo database on the subject.


References

[i] Trials volume 20, Article number: 214 (2019)

[ii] Trials volume 20, Article number: 214 (2019)

[iii] BMJ. 2018; 362: k3426.

[iv] National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Database. DICLOFENAC

[v] J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev. 2018 Mar; 2(3): e088.

[vi] J Orthop Sci. 2014; 19(6): 933–939.

[vii] J Med Food. 2016 Aug 1; 19(8): 717–729.

[viii] Trials volume 20, Article number: 214 (2019)

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.

Honey Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

© 30th January 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
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Got a sweet tooth that you just can’t squash? Relax! Nature has provided a healthy way to satisfy your sugar cravings. Put down the toxic white stuff and pick up a jar of pure, raw honey. Your heart will thank you for it

In a cooperative effort between researchers at the medical sciences departments of Iran’s Isfahan University and Mashhad University, honey has been shown to aid the body in healthy processing of fats by decreasing the overall amount of cholesterol and fats in the bloodstream.[i] The study was published in August 2018 in the journal of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN), Clinical Nutrition ESPEN.

Researchers were inspired by previous studies that demonstrated honey’s beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease symptoms. Their chief aim was to investigate whether the effect of honey consumption on overall lipids in the blood was markedly different than the effects of sucrose, or table sugar, on the blood lipid profiles of 60 young, healthy male subjects.

Good Fats Are Key to Heart Health

A lipid profile, also called a coronary risk panel, is a blood test that measures total blood triglycerides including high-density lipoproteins (HDL), often referred to as “good cholesterol,” and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), commonly known as “bad cholesterol.” In truth, there is only one “type” of cholesterol, a molecule that is incapable of dissolving in blood. In order to transport cholesterol to the various cells throughout the body, lipoproteins such as LDLs and HDLs act as cholesterol carriers.

LDLs may have earned their bad reputation due to the fact that, once they have deposited their cholesterol load, they become small enough to burrow into the linings of arteries where they can oxidize, resulting in damaging inflammation. Conversely, one of HDLs functions is to carry anti-oxidative enzymes to cells where they may help neutralize potential harm done by depleted LDLs’ oxidation.

The blood lipid profile is a primary screening tool for assessing an individual’s risk of developing coronary heart disease. The word “lipids” refers to fats and fat-like substances that are key regulators of cellular activity, such as the energetic functions of your body.[ii]

The effectiveness of this cellular transport system is dependent on having the right amount of healthy fats in your bloodstream. If an imbalance occurs, excess cholesterol may get deposited into the walls of blood vessels, eventually leading to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, that can cause heart attack and stroke due to blocked blood flow to the heart and brain.[iii]

In the focus study, 60 male subjects between the ages of 18 and 30 were randomly recruited and assigned into one of two groups: honey (experimental) and sucrose (control). Participants were included in the study if they were healthy, non-athletic and a non-smoker. Participants were excluded if they already consumed a large amount of honey in their daily life, took any sort of medication or had recently undergone major diet and lifestyle changes.

Body mass index (BMI) was measured and participants’ physical activity was self-reported via the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), a survey that assesses walking time, moderate and vigorous physical activities and time spent sitting throughout a typical week.

The experimental group received 70 grams of natural honey per day, while the control group received 70 grams of sucrose per day for a period of six weeks. Fasting lipid profile, including total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL and triacylglycerol, was determined for each subject at the beginning of the trial (baseline) via a 5-milliliter blood sample, which was collected in the morning after a 12-hour fasting period.

The lab tests were repeated after the six-week intervention period was complete. All 60 participants successfully completed the trial, and in the final analysis confounding variables including age, physical activity and some nutrient intake were adjusted.

Honey Improves Cholesterol While Table Sugar Is Toxic

Participants’ baseline measurements for fasting blood sugar, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were not different between the honey and sucrose groups, indicating that there were no significant pre-existing differences between the groups at the beginning of the study. After the final blood lipid profiles were produced, researchers compiled the following findings:

  • Consumption of honey decreased total cholesterol and LDL and increased the presence of HDL in the blood.
  • Consumption of sucrose had the inverse effect, increasing total cholesterol and significantly raising LDL levels, while decreasing HDL in the blood.

In summary, total cholesterol significantly decreased in the honey group compared with the beginning of the trial, while total cholesterol increased in sucrose group. LDL cholesterol was decreased by honey consumption and increased by sugar intake. Honey also increased HDL cholesterol in the blood, while sucrose decreased the presence of this healthy fat.

The main finding of this study, noted researchers, was “the ability of natural honey to modulate some of the risk factors of cardiovascular disease.” According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. with one person dying from cardiovascular disease every 37 seconds.[iv] Researchers called for further clinical trials to confirm their promising results.

Honey: Nature’s Oldest Health Food

Honey has an unprecedented history of use as a food and medicament, stemming back as far as recorded history. It has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, still perfectly preserved, and in cave art dating back some 8,000 years.[v] Honey contains many active biological constituents including polyphenols, nutritionally dense phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties.[vi]

Many studies have confirmed that polyphenols provide a protective effect against diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arterial diseases and more.[vii] There are over 200 abstracts on GreenMedInfo.com extolling the numerous health benefits of consuming pure, raw honeyBecome a member today to access our in-depth research tools and learn more about how honey is one of nature’s most miraculous foods.


References

[i] The effect of honey consumption compared with sucrose on lipid profile in young healthy subjects (randomized clinical trial). Rasad H, Entezari MH, Ghadiri E, Mahaki B, Pahlavani N. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018 Aug;26:8-12. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2018.04.016. PMID: 29908688

[ii] American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Lab Tests Online.org, Tests, Lipid panel https://labtestsonline.org/tests/lipid-panel

[iii] American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Lab Tests Online.org, Tests, Lipid panel https://labtestsonline.org/tests/lipid-panel

[iv] CDC, Heart disease, Facts https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

[v] Heathmont Honey, Bees, Honey history, https://www.heathmonthoney.com.au/bees/HoneyHistory.htm

[vi] Beneficial roles of honey polyphenols against some human degenerative diseases: A review.  Md Sakib Hossen, Pharmacol Rep. 2017 Dec;69(6):1194-1205. Epub 2017 Jul 4. PMID: 29128800

[vii] Beneficial roles of honey polyphenols against some human degenerative diseases: A review.  Md Sakib Hossen, Pharmacol Rep. 2017 Dec;69(6):1194-1205. Epub 2017 Jul 4. PMID: 29128800

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.

Coronavirus solution: Shanghai government recommends vitamin C for COVID-19

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/shanghai-government-covid-19.3315.html

shanghai-government-news(NaturalHealth365) Remember the other day, we reported on three clinical trials being done in China to see how vitamin C would affect coronavirus patients?  Well, it’s official: the government of Shanghai, China is openly admitting that vitamin C is helping to reduce the symptoms experienced by coronavirus patients. Naturally, we all know that pharmaceutical interests – here in the United States – will never popularize this “action step” in the face of a growing (viral) health crisis.  They would rather focus on the possibility of greater restrictions on personal freedom, quarantines, and (of course) the need for vaccine development. Fear mongering and maintaining a strong support of (toxic) drug usage seems to be the only areas of interest for conventionally-trained sick care “professionals.”

But, today, we release an official announcement from the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service that we hope will be shared far and wide.

Shanghai Government Officially Recommends Vitamin C for COVID-19

Written by Andrew W. Saul

(OMNS Mar 3, 2020) The government of Shanghai, China has announced its official recommendation that COVID-19 should be treated with high amounts of intravenous vitamin C. (1) Dosage recommendations vary with severity of illness, from 50 to 200 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day to as much as 200 mg/kg/day.

These dosages are approximately 4,000 to 16,000 mg for an adult, administered by IV.  This specific method of administration is important, says intravenous therapy expert Atsuo Yanagisawa, MD, PhD, because vitamin C’s effect is at least ten times more powerful by IV than if taken orally. Dr. Yanagisawa is president of the Tokyo-based Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy. He says, “Intravenous vitamin C is a safe, effective, and broad-spectrum antiviral.”

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

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

Richard Z. Cheng, MD, PhD, a Chinese-American specialist physician, has been working closely with medical and governmental authorities throughout China. He has been instrumental in facilitating at least three Chinese clinical IV vitamin C studies now underway. Dr. Cheng is presently in Shanghai continuing his efforts to encourage still more Chinese hospitals to implement vitamin C therapy incorporating high oral doses as well as C by IV.

Dr. Cheng and Dr. Yanagisawa both recommend oral vitamin C for prevention of COVID-19 infection.

An official statement from Xi’an Jiaotong University Second Hospital (2) reads:

“On the afternoon of February 20, 2020, another 4 patients with severe new coronaviral pneumonia recovered from the C10 West Ward of Tongji Hospital. In the past 8 patients have been discharged from hospital. . . [H]igh-dose vitamin C achieved good results in clinical applications. We believe that for patients with severe neonatal pneumonia and critically ill patients, vitamin C treatment should be initiated as soon as possible after admission. . .[E]arly application of large doses of vitamin C can have a strong antioxidant effect, reduce inflammatory responses, and improve endothelial function. . . Numerous studies have shown that the dose of vitamin C has a lot to do with the effect of treatment. . . [H]gh-dose vitamin C can not only improve antiviral levels, but more importantly, can prevent and treat acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress (ARDS).”

Why do U.S. media outlets continue to ignore the positive effects of vitamin C?

The answer is obvious.  Time and again, whenever a safe and effective (natural) remedy is presented for a particular illness or condition – it’s immediately marginalized or “discredited.”  And, we’re always reminded to “follow the (drug) advice” of our doctors.  This is all about pharmaceutical industry control over our sick care system.

But, instead of getting angry, we – at NaturalHealth365 – strongly encourage all of our readers to seek out more information that will empower you to make informed decisions about your own health.

By the way, I (personally) do not routinely get IV vitamin C treatments.  But, if I were infected with the coronavirus – I would immediately get it done.

My “normal” routine is to mix vitamin C powder with water or my greens drink – every morning and some more C throughout the day, depending on how I feel.  In addition, as an added immune system boost, I take 1 – 2 teaspoons of liposomal vitamin C for increased absorption into my cells.

Please note: this is just my personal routine.  Everyone has a unique situation and, if you’re not feeling well, you should always seek out the guidance of a well-trained, experienced (integrative) healthcare provider.

Don’t forget, a strong immune system is the ultimate defense against any dis-ease – especially the threat of bacterial or viral infections.  Stay well hydrated, get a good amount of rest, keep physically active, eat well (organic fresh food, as much as possible) and be sure to take plenty of vitamin C – every day.

Stay tuned to NaturalHealth365 for more updates on the coronavirus, as more information becomes available.

Sources for this article include:

Orthomolecular.org

Junk Foods Promote Hunger and Overeating


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/03/04/junk-food-addiction.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola      March 04, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • While the food industry has become notorious for funding anti-obesity programs that focus on physical activity, research clearly shows that processed foods, sugary beverages and high-carbohydrate diets are a primary concern
  • Processed vegetable oils, which are a staple ingredient in processed foods, also promote obesity and ill health. Soybean oil, the most widely consumed fat in the U.S., upregulates genes involved in obesity and is more obesogenic than fructose
  • Sugar-rich diets generate excessive reward signals in your brain that can override normal self-control mechanisms and lead to addiction and overeating
  • Recent research found a single week of bingeing on fast foods impaired appetite control, making the volunteers more likely to desire more junk food, even if they’d just eaten
  • The more added sugar your diet contains, the lower your intake of important micronutrients such as calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc

The struggle with weight gain and obesity is a common and costly health issue, leading to an increase in risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer, just to name a few.1

Obese individuals also have substantially higher medical expenses and indirect costs associated with lost productivity, transportation and premature mortality, and obesity is the reason why 1 in 3 fail to qualify for military service in the U.S.2

According to the 2019 State of Obesity report,3 18.5% of American children (ages 2 to 19) and 39.6% of adults are now obese, not just overweight. Between the 1988-1994 and 2015-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, the adult obesity rate rose over 70% and the childhood obesity rate rose by 85%, and there are no signs of this trend slowing or reversing.4

While the food industry has become notorious for funding anti-obesity programs that focus on physical activity, research clearly shows that processed foods, sugary beverages and high-carbohydrate diets are a primary concern. Sure, inactivity certainly contributes to the problem, but you cannot exercise your way out of a poor diet.

Processed vegetable oils, which are high in damaged omega-6 fats, are yet another reason why processed food diets are associated with higher rates of heart disease and other diseases.

Soybean oil, which is the most widely consumed fat in the U.S.,5 has been shown to play a significant role in obesity and diabetes, actually upregulating genes involved in obesity.6 Remarkably, soybean oil was found to be more obesogenic than fructose. It’s also been shown to cause neurological changes in the brain.7,8

Junk Foods Addiction Is Real

Processed junk food destroys your metabolism and promotes obesity through a variety of mechanisms. Among them is the way these kinds of foods affect your appetite control. Several studies have also demonstrated that processed foods are addictive.

As detailed in “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food,” your body is designed to naturally regulate how much you eat and the energy you burn. Food manufacturers have figured out how to override these intrinsic regulators, engineering processed foods that are “hyper-rewarding.”

According to the food reward hypothesis of obesity, processed foods stimulate such a strong reward response in our brains that it becomes very easy to overeat. One of the guiding principles for the processed food industry is known as “sensory-specific satiety.”

In a 2013 New York Times article, investigative reporter Michael Moss described this as “the tendency for big, distinct flavors to overwhelm your brain.”9 The greatest successes, whether beverages or foods, owe their “craveability” to complex formulas that pique your taste buds without overwhelming them, thereby overriding your brain’s satiety signals.

Potato chips are among the most addictive junk foods on the market, containing all three “bliss-inducing” ingredients: sugar (from the potato), salt and fat. And while food companies abhor the word “addiction” in reference to their products, scientists have discovered that sugar, in particular, is just that. In fact, sugar has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine.

Research10 published in 2007 showed 94% of rats allowed to choose between sugar water and cocaine chose sugar. Even cocaine addicted rats quickly switched their preference to sugar once it was offered as an alternative. The rats were also more willing to work for sugar than for cocaine.

The researchers speculate that the sweet receptors (two protein receptors located on your tongue), which evolved in ancestral times when the diet was very low in sugar, have not adapted to modern times’ high-sugar consumption.

As a result, the abnormally high stimulation created by sugar-rich diets generates excessive reward signals in your brain, which have the potential to override normal self-control mechanisms and thus lead to addiction and overeating.

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Junk Foods Interfere With Appetite Control

Most recently, Australian researchers found a single week of bingeing on fast foods impaired appetite control, making the volunteers more likely to desire more junk food, even if they’d just eaten.11 They also scored lower on memory tests, thus confirming previous findings12 showing a Western-style diet impairs learning and memory. As reported by Science Alert:13

“The findings suggest something is amiss in the hippocampus — a region of the brain that supports memory and helps to regulate appetite. When we are full, the hippocampus is thought to quieten down our memories of delicious food, thereby reducing our appetite. When it’s disrupted, this control can be seriously undermined.”

For this eight-day experiment, healthy volunteers between the ages of 17 and 35 with a body mass index14 between 17 and 26 (slightly underweight to mildly overweight) were instructed to eat:

  • Two Belgian waffles on four days
  • A main meal and a drink or dessert from a popular fast food chain on two days

On days 1 and 8, the volunteers were given a toasted sandwich and milkshake for breakfast at the lab. The control group were given the same breakfast at the start and end of the study, but were instructed to eat normally during the remainder of the week.

On days 1 and 8, participants also completed pre- and post-breakfast “wanting and liking tests,” in which they were first presented with six sugary breakfast foods and asked to rate how strong their desire to eat the food right now was. Next, they were instructed to consume the samples and rate how much they liked it, and how much more of it they thought they would be able to eat right then. As reported by the authors:15

“One week’s exposure to a WS-diet [Western-style diet] caused a measurable weakening of appetitive control, as measured by the two key ratings on the wanting and liking test.

Prior to the intervention, participants viewed palatable breakfast foods and judged how much they wanted to eat them, and then how much they liked their actual taste. This test was repeated after participants had eaten to satiety.

Across these pre- and post-meal tests, wanting ratings declined far more than ratings of taste liking. This manifestation of appetitive control — that is the expectation that food is less desirable than it actually tastes — changed in participants following the Western-style dietary intervention.”

High-Sugar Diets Lower Nutrient Absorption

If you eat a fast-food burger, you can easily take in close to half your daily caloric requirements. Add in fries and a soda and you may be nearing an entire day’s worth of required calories. However, you have not received the vitamins and minerals, the live enzymes and micronutrients, the healthy fats or high-quality protein that your body needs to function, let alone thrive.

This was recently demonstrated in a Swedish study,16,17 which found that the more added sugar your diet contains, the lower your micronutrient intake (i.e., vitamins and minerals).

To examine this relationship, the researchers examined dietary data collected in two Swedish population based studies (the National Swedish Food Survey and the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study).

Each individual’s added sugar intake was estimated by subtracting naturally-occurring fructose from the total sugar content of the diet as a whole. Energy intake for added sugar was then stratified into six groups:

Less than 5% of energy intake from added sugar 5% to 7.5%
7.5% to 10% 10% to 15%
15% to 20% Greater than 20%

They also calculated the intake of calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc, finding an inverse relationship between added sugar intake and intakes of all nine micronutrients. According to the authors:18

“These findings suggest that in two Swedish populations the higher the intake of added sugar in the diet, the more likely it is that the intake of micronutrients will be compromised …

However, although the trends are significant and consistent with those obtained in other studies on the subject, future studies are needed in order to build the necessary scientific knowledge to establish a threshold of added sugar intake based on micronutrient dilution.”

When fast food meals are consumed day in and day out, for months and years on end, weight gain is virtually guaranteed, yet your body may still be starving and malfunctioning for lack of essential nutrients.

Depression Is a Junk Food State of Mind

Aside from promoting obesity, processed food and fast food diets have also been strongly linked to depression, especially in teens. In a 2019 study,19 researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham looked into the role diet plays in symptoms of depression.

To do that, they analyzed the excretion of sodium and potassium in the urine of 84 urban, low‐income adolescents. Higher levels of sodium in the urine can be an indication of a diet high in sodium, such as processed foods and salty snacks. A low level of potassium, meanwhile, is indicative of a diet lacking in fruits, vegetables and other healthy potassium-rich foods.

As expected, higher sodium and lower potassium excretion rates were associated with more frequent symptoms of depression at follow up 1.5 years later. “This study was the first to demonstrate relationships between objective indicators of unhealthy diet and subsequent changes in depressive symptoms in youth,” the authors wrote.20

It’s possible that eating foods high in sodium and low in potassium may lead to depression by negatively influencing neurotransmitters and neural function during a time that is particularly vulnerable.

“Given the substantial brain development that occurs during adolescence, individuals in this developmental period may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of diet on the neural mechanisms underlying emotion regulation and depression,” the researchers said.

In addition, poor diet could influence depression by disturbing the gut microbiome, which could further influence brain function. Past studies have also confirmed the diet-depression link among children and teens.

For example, a systematic review21 of 12 studies involving children and adolescents also found an association between unhealthy diet and poorer mental health. Conversely, those with healthier diets had better mental health. The consumption of junk food has also been linked to a higher risk for psychiatric distress and violent behaviors in children and adolescents.22

Adults may also suffer mentally from a diet based on unhealthy foods. A 2016 study23 found women who ate a pro-inflammatory diet (which can include one high in processed foods), were more likely to have recurring depressive symptoms, and a 2018 systematic review and meta-analysis,24 which looked at data from 101,950 participants, also found an association between a pro-inflammatory diet and risk of depression.

The Scourge of Ultraprocessed Food

Unfortunately, Americans not only eat a preponderance of processed food, but 60% of it is ultraprocessed25 — products at the far end of the “significantly altered” spectrum, or what you could typically purchase at a gas station.

Any food that isn’t directly from the vine, ground, bush or tree, is considered processed. Depending on the amount of change the food undergoes, processing may be minimal or significant. For instance, frozen fruit is usually minimally processed, while pizza, soda, chips and microwave meals are ultra-processed foods.

The difference in the amount of sugar between foods that are ultraprocessed and minimally processed is dramatic. Research26 has shown 21.1% of calories in ultraprocessed foods come from added sugar, compared to just 2.4% of the calories in processed food and none in unprocessed foods.

In addition to obesity, depression and other chronic health problems, ultra-processed foods will also shorten your life span. French researchers found that for each 10% increase in the amount of ultraprocessed food an individual consumed, the risk of death rose by 14%.27

This link remained even after taking confounding factors such as smoking, obesity and low educational background into account. The primary factors driving the increased death rate was chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

In my view, eating a diet consisting of 90% real food and only 10% or less processed foods is an achievable goal for most that could make a significant difference in your weight and overall health.

Ultraprocessed foods should be kept to an absolute minimum and consumed only rarely. As noted in a 2016 study,28 “Decreasing the consumption of ultraprocessed foods could be an effective way of reducing the excessive intake of added sugars in the USA.” To get started, consider the following basics. For more detailed guidance, see my nutrition plan:

Focus on fresh foods, ideally organic, and avoid as many processed foods as possible (if it comes in a can, bottle or package and has a list of ingredients, it’s processed).

Severely restrict carbohydrates from refined sugars, fructose and processed grains, and increase healthy fat consumption. Examples of healthy fats include grass fed butter, ghee, lard, coconut oil and coconuts, avocados, nuts and seeds, raw cacao butter, extra virgin olive oil, organic pastured eggs.

You can eat an unlimited amount of nonstarchy vegetables. Because they are so low in calories, the majority of the food on your plate should be vegetables.

Replace sodas and other sweetened beverages, including fruit juices, with pure, filtered water.

Gradually reduce your eating window to six to eight hours with your last food intake at least three hours before bedtime.

Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store where most of the whole foods reside, such as meat, fruits, vegetables, eggs and cheese. Not everything around the perimeter is healthy, but you’ll avoid many of the ultra-processed foods this way.

Stress creates a physical craving for fats and sugar that may drive your addictive, stress-eating behavior. If you can recognize when you’re getting stressed and find another means of relieving the emotion, your eating habits will likely improve.

The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can help reduce your perceived stress, change your eating habits around stress and help you create new, healthier eating habits that support your long-term health. To discover more about EFT, how to do it and how it may help reduce your stress and develop new habits, see my previous article, “EFT is an Effective Tool for Anxiety.”

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a chronic condition where endometrial-like cells proliferate outside the uterus causing pain and disability. Limited treatments are available, but symptom management is essential for social and economic participation.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic and usually painful condition where the endometrium (uterus lining) escapes the uterus, and adheres to the surroundings, forming adhesions. These adhesions can thicken and bleed as they would in the uterus. They can form on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, other organs, pelvic lining, and can sometimes spread outside the pelvic area.
It is fairly common, affecting some 5 million women in North America alone, most diagnosed their 20 to 35 age group.

In one study of 46 women, 12 GP’s, and 1 gynecologist, women reported that healthcare providers may dismiss symptoms, lack essential knowledge and provide inconsistent advice, and treatments are seldom successful or without adverse side-effects. GP’s admitted limitations in expertise and challenges in achieving best practice.

Symptoms

Painful periods, pelvic pain, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, bloating, cramping and/or excessive bleeding during menstruation, sometimes for days before and after a period, sometimes even between periods, and sometimes during ovulation, intercourse, urination or bowel movements.
Pain can sometimes occur in the lower abdomen and/or the lower back, occasionally also causing sciatica (shooting or burning nerve pain in the legs).
It is also associated with infertility – see below.

Research and Risk Factors

Excess body fat is linked to an increase in estrogen. Estrogen is mainly produced in the ovaries, but also in every fat cell in the body. Overweight or obese women have a much higher risk of infertility, endometriosis, diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular events, kidney disease, and cancer. These are all diseases that were almost non-existent a hundred years ago, but now becoming rampant, all more than likely caused by inflammation, which itself is caused by processed foods and toxins in the diet, water and the environment.

Recent research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, shows that those with endometriosis may have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in women under 40. 120,000 women were tracked for 20 years, and almost 12,000 (or 10%) were diagnosed with endometriosis. Heart disease rate for all patients under 40 was 21 per 100,000 women, but for the group with endometriosis, heart disease tripled to 65 per 100,000 women.
Endometriosis patients had a 52% higher risk of heart attack, 91% higher risk of angina (chest pain related to heart disease), and 35% higher risk of requiring a stent surgically placed to clear blocked arteries. A Brazilian study showed that a hallmark of endometriosis is systemic inflammation, which is a factor in heart disease development. However, it is not clear if one condition develops first, increasing the risk of the other disease, or if inflammation starts first, leading to the development of both endometriosis and cardiovascular disease. LeanMachine strongly believes that scrapping junk food and eating real, natural, unprocessed food, is the first step in avoiding inflammation and all of the “modern” diseases that follow.

Reproductive disorder

Women with endometriosis can have reproductive problems as well as issues during and after pregnancy. The adhesions formed can trap the egg, preventing the normal passage. These women are three times more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy, where a fertilized egg implants itself outside of the uterine wall, and develops unsustainably. It is vital that ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed and treated early to avoid physical damage to the fallopian tubes. Any subsequent pregnancy requires close monitoring, as the risk of another ectopic pregnancy is higher.
There is also a higher risk of miscarriage, pre-term births, problems relating to the successful implantation and development of the placenta, and hemorrhaging before or after birth, requiring closer monitoring throughout the pregnancy.
Women with endometriosis and these risks should be under the care of a Gynecologist from start to finish of the pregnancy.
Being overweight is also an important risk factor for reproduction.

Traditional Treatment

There is no “medical” cure for endometriosis.
Doctors may recommend surgery to remove uterine growths that have migrated to other parts of the pelvic region (and sometimes beyond). Although normally performed with a laparoscopic procedure, (through small incisions), still a major procedure requiring anesthesia, with risks such as infection, bleeding, scar tissue and organ damage. Surgery may relieve some endometriosis symptoms, but does not address the cause, so recurrence and further surgery is likely.
Doctors will also offer pain relief, with the first option invariably Paracetamol (Panadol) in Australia, called Acetimophen (Tylenol) in the USA. This is a dangerous practice. Not only does Paracetamol damage the liver, even at the recommended dose, but an enzyme in the body works with Paracetamol to destroy the body’s reserves of L-Glutathione, which is the body’s most powerful agent to fight inflammation and disease.

Natural Treatment

There is no natural cure either, but medical examination should be the first step to rule out other possibilities.
Once diagnosed, usually after an ultrasound examination, there are things which can help reduce symptoms, which will also reduce risk of cardiovascular disease:

  • Reduce excess weight
  • Exercise more
  • Eat only healthy, natural food
  • Avoid environmental estrogens – see below
  • Remove BPA and other toxins from the environment
  • Avoid Canola oil, margarine and other bad fats
  • Avoid trans fats (hydrogenated vegetable oil – most things fried in canola oil)
  • Consume healthy fats such as coconut, walnut, avocado, flaxseed oils
  • Avoid sugar, replace with Xylitol or preferably Stevia, or lose the sweet-tooth
  • Avoid refined grains – bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits
  • Avoid MSG (in nearly all processed foods)

Estrogen Dominance (not just Women)

Exposure to fake estrogen chemicals is a significant factor in endometriosis as well as cancers, fibrocystic breast disease and many other “modern” diseases which were almost non-existent a hundred years ago. Fake estrogens also cause food cravings, bloating, weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, mood swings, depression, migraine headaches, poor libido, and menstrual issues such as cramps, short cycles, heavy bleeding and fibroids.
Fake estrogens are found in herbicides, pesticides, and petrochemicals and include dioxins, BPA (bisphenol A), and PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyl’s), and are used in cosmetics, glue, plastics, upholstery, carpets, and thousands more products.
Food containers should always be glass where possible. BPA-free plastic sounds good, but these containers usually have BPS instead. BPS is not absorbed by the body as readily as BPA, but once absorbed, it is much harder for the body to eliminate, so is capable of building up to even higher concentrations, so “BPA-free” products are no better. Go for Glass.

Excess estrogens

Estrogens come in over 15 forms naturally created in a woman’s body, including the three main types:

  • E1 (Estrone)
  • E2 (Estradiol)
  • E3 (Estriol)

We also have metabolites of estrogen including 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone which can aggravate endometriosis as
well as many types of cancer, especially breast cancers and endometrial cancers, while other estrogens such as the 2-hydroxyestrone metabolites actually prevent cancers and may improve endometriosis.
One supplement known to help this estrogen ratio is Calcium D-Glucarate (tetrahydrate form), which helps the body excrete cancer-causing 16-alpha-hydroxyestrones and other toxins, and promote liver, prostate, and breast health, while retaining and promoting the cancer-preventing 2-hydroxy-estrones.

Aromatase Inhibitors

Aromatase is an enzyme required to make estrogen, part of a complex manufacturing process in the body where hormones are built from other hormones in a long conversion series. Aromatase converts androgens (testosterone) to estrogen, and exists at high levels in breast cancer tissue compared to healthy tissue. Fat Cells contain the aromatase enzyme, so we should strive to reduce fat cells. The leaner we become, the less aromatase we have to deal with, and the less our risk of endometriosis, cancers and other diseases. For men, the same applies for prostate cancer which is generally estrogen-driven, and men too can develop breast cancer, so weight loss and aromatase inhibitors are vital for good health.
Insulin promotes weight gain, fat accumulation, and the aromatase enzyme, and the best thing we can do to prevent excess insulin is to eliminate all sugar, all refined carbohydrate, and all MSG (monosodium glucomate) from the diet.
There are prescription (synthetic) aromatase inhibitors, which bring their own side-effects (like impotency for men) but we can also reduce aromatase naturally, with chrysin, flavonoids, flavones, flavanones, isoflavones, resveratrol, oleuropein and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), all beneficial for breast and other cancers as well as other hormone-sensitive conditions. Generally, colourful foods are great, so “eating the rainbow” is a healthy decision.

Foods containing natural aromatase inhibitors are:
Flavones (plant chemicals which can inhibit aromatase), like celery, parsley, fenugreek.
Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, all contain indoles, which improve estrogen metabolism and reduce cancer risk. DIM (diindolylmethane) is derived in the body from indoles. This product also contains Calcium D-Glucarate and Chlorophyll, both beneficial. Just one DIM capsule a day gives us the same cancer-fighting benefit as a kilogram of cabbage, so this is one of LeanMachine’s preferred supplements. It’s not that I don’t like cabbage – I just think I would have trouble eating a kilogram every day…

Plastics

Plastics usually contain many chemicals, usually derived from petro-chemicals. Many plastic containers have a number on them signifying some of the main ingredients:

  • #1 is PET (or sometimes PETE, actually polyethylene terephthalate)
    PET is mostly used for water and other drink bottles, and containers for TV dinners and many other food items. PET uses antimony (a toxic metal) in manufacturing, which leaches into food, especially when storing food for a long time, exposing to sunlight, heating to high temperatures such as a microwave, which causes much greater leaching. The pH (acidity level) of the contents also affects the leaching. Microwaved TV dinners leach 100 times more antimony and other chemicals. Antimony in the body can cause pneumoconiosis, gastrointestinal problems, antimony spots on skin, respiratory irritation, depression, dizziness, headaches, vomiting, kidney or liver damage, and Adams-Stokes syndrome. Antimony trioxide is believed to be carcinogenic (causes cancer).
    Brominated compounds can leach into PET containers, displacing iodine, causing paranoia from depression of the CNS (Central Nervous System). PET is considered safe by Government agencies, but it is NOT safe
  • #2 is HDPE (high-density polyethylene)
    HDPE is used in shampoo bottles, food box liners, grocery bags and many food containers. Shown to release estrogenic chemicals, but still considered a low-toxin plastic. One study showed that 95% of every plastic product tested positive for estrogenic activity, meaning they disrupt hormones and change cell development, so children have even higher risk. PET is NOT safe
  • #3 is PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
    Used in bottles, wrappers, shrink wrap, sandwich baggies, plastic toys, lunch boxes, table cloths, blister packs for medications, shoes, jackets, furniture, vinyl flooring, water pipes. Contains lead and phthalates. Phthalates cause males to become more female in humans, animals, fish, etc by disruption of the endocrine system, causing testicular cancer, allergies, asthma, autism, genital deformation, low sperm counts and infertility. Possibly the worst health and environmental offender, but still considered safe by Government Health Agencies. PVC is NOT safe!
  • #4 is LDPE (low-density polyethylene)
    Used in food bags, squeezable bottles, coated paper milk cartons, beverage cups. Does not contain BPA but will leach estrogenic chemicals. Take-away coffee cups are often styrofoam, with a paper lining coated with polyethylene that makes the paper water-tight. Next time you order a coffee to go, forget that LDPE container, as the very hot water will leach a hundred times more LDPE into the coffee. Instead, sit down in the Cafe and have your coffee in a regular porcelain cup. Relax and enjoy it
  • #5 is PP (polypropylene)
    Used in straws, food containers, and medicine bottles. A study found that polypropylene plastic products leached at least two chemicals, but is considered a low-toxin plastic, tolerant of heat, and safe. Again, it is NOT safe!
  • #6 is PS (polystyrene)
    Commonly known as Styrofoam. Used in many disposable plates, cups, bowls, take-away containers, coffee cups, meat trays, packing materials. Polystyrene leaches styrene and other toxins when heated, so never use them in the microwave. Styrene is a probable nerve toxin and carcinogen, and NOT safe
  • #7 is Other – all other plastics
    Products made from other plastics not listed above, or those being a combination of plastics. There are many types of #7 plastics, commonly used for very large water bottles, baby bottles and other polycarbonate plastics. Number 7 plastics vary considerably, but mostly they are polycarbonates containing BPA (Bisphenol-A) or BPS (Bisphenol-S). BPA and BPS both disrupt hormones, affecting growth, development, metabolism, mood, sexual function and reproductive ability. More than 2.6 million tons of BPA are manufactured every year, and studies show that 93% of American people over the age of 6 have BPA in their urine and bloodstream, and this exposure may lead to chromosomal errors, spontaneous miscarriages, genetic damage, decreased sperm quality, early puberty, stimulation of mammary gland development in males as well as females, disrupted reproductive cycles and ovarian dysfunction, cancer, heart disease, obesity, insulin resistance, and other chronic diseases
  • BPA Free plastics? Manufacturers are heeding the growing public concern about BPA in food and drink containers, so they are now marketing their products as “BPA Free”. However, when they take out BPA, they replace it with BPS. True, BPS is not absorbed by the body as much as BPA, but when BPS is absorbed, the body has trouble excreting it, so keeps building up in the body, eventually reaching toxic levels. The only way to be safe from plastics is:
    • Buy fresh food, nothing processed. This avoids plastics and a host of chemicals added to processed foods
    • Grow your own veggies
    • Use glass containers to store food

    HRT – Hormone Replacement Therapy

    HRT causes estrogen dominance and endometriosis. The hormones used are not natural human hormones. HRT Estrogen is made from the urine of pregnant horses. Progesterone is an incomplete synthetic copy, doing more harm than good, and typically testosterone, the most important, is missing altogether. Women need testosterone as much as men, but are more sensitive to it and do not need as much.
    HRT got such a bad name, it is now called HT (Hormone Therapy) which is an attempt to fool people into thinking it is something new, but it is the same thing.

    Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy is a different case. These hormones are normally prescribed by a doctor conversant with hormones. These doctors are very rare, but if you search hard enough, you will find them in most cities. Bio-Identical hormones are just that – hormones absolutely identical to those found in the human body, and normally individually adjusted after blood and/or saliva tests and consultation with the patient. Bio-identical hormones are normally made to order by compounding chemists and not available from regular chemists.

    Doing the Detox

    Detoxing receives a lot of publicity and advertising, but it is not something to once a year like spring cleaning the house. We must detox all the time by eating non-toxic foods, drinking non-toxic water, and living in a non-toxic environment. The body has an amazing ability to get rid of toxic elements, except when our overworked liver and kidneys eventually give up due to toxic overload.

    Toxic Water

    In Adelaide, Australia, and most other Australian cities, we are forced by stupid Governments to drink water where toxic Fluoride has been added. Fluoride gets in the way of Iodine absorption, which is essential for correct Thyroid function. Other halides such as Chlorine and Bromides are also toxic. Chlorine is added to water to destroy pathogens, but it can react with organic matter in the water to form dangerous, carcinogenic Trihalomethanes. Drinking water should always be from a reverse-osmosis system, which can remove most fluoride, chlorine, arsenic, lead, aluminium and parasites.

    Toxic Food

    Many toxins are fat-soluble and accumulate in animal fat, and eating animal fats can cause significant exposure. Studies prove the animal fat link, and also show that fruit and vegetables have a reduced risk. Dioxons are prevalent in some oceans, contaminating fish. Where I live in South Australia, we are fortunate in having relatively clean water from the Southern Ocean. Be careful of fish coming from the polluted Northern Oceans of the world, and from fish farms, where fish are fed grains instead of natural food from the ocean.

    Foods which can help with Endometriosis

    • Lignans and fibre from flaxseeds also benefit estrogen conditions.
    • Foods to limit estrogens: cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, onions and garlic, apples, parsley, tea, olives, olive oil, grapes, black currants, cranberries, all dark berries like blueberries, blackberries, bilberries, raspberries and cherries, and red wine (in moderation).
    • Naringenin helps, and comes from all citrus fruits: lemon, orange, lime, tangerine. Also in grapefruit, but this is NOT recommended as it inhibits the cytochrome P450 isoform, an enzyme which we need to break down excess estrogens and remove toxins.
    • Apigenin helps, and comes from chamomile, thyme, parsley, celery, artichokes, basil, peppermint, gingo biloba, horsetail herb, lemon balm herb, perilla herb, vervain herb, and yarrow.
    • Genistein helps, and is an isoflavone from red clover, parsley, sage, green vegetables, fruits and especially legumes like chick peas, beans, and soy, BUT the fake estrogens (phytoestrogens) in soy compete with our natural estrogens, messing up our endocrine system. We should never consume soy, especially the GMO kind, although the fermented kinds consumed in Asian countries is not as bad. Soy is used as a cheap “filler” ingredient in thousands of processed foods, so fresh, real, unprocessed food is the only way we can eliminate it from the diet.
    • Diadzein is another isoflavone from soy foods, but the dangers from soy outweigh any benefit of diadzein.
    • Oleuropein is helpful, and comes from olive oil and the leaves of the olive tree.
    • Resveratrol is from the seeds and skin of red grapes and all black and red berries.
    • Linolenic and Linoleic Acid comes in multiple forms, all helpful:
      • GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid) in Borage Oil, an omega-6 fatty acid, found in mushrooms, vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, seeds, oils of safflower, sunflower, corn, soya, evening primrose, pumpkin, olives and wheat germ
      • ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid), an omega-3 fatty acid. Chia seed is an excellent source. The body cannot easily make these fatty acids, so they must come from the diet. Suppresses the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, reducing excess estrogens.
      • CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) comes from red meat (grass fed, preferably wild such as kangaroo), eggs (free range, not grain fed) and dairy, so supplementation is even more important for vegetarians and vegans. Reduces fat, increases muscle, fights cancer, and excretes bad estrogens

    Supplements which can help Endometriosis

    • Calcium D-Glucarate helps the liver eliminate harmful toxins and cancer-causing 16-alpha-hydroxyestrones
    • DIM (Diindolyl Methane) helps flush toxins and bad estrogen metabolites from the body
    • Quercetin and Bromelain. Quercetin works even better in conjunction with the digestive enzyme bromelain, found in pineapples
    • Chrysin is a flavonoid from passion flower, bee pollen and raw honey. Best used as a cream rubbed into the skin, available from compounding chemists in Australia. Oral supplements have less bioavailability, but this can be improved with piperine (from black pepper, preferably freshly ground)
    • Resveratrol Complex supplements provide the most benefit. Eating red grapes also gives the complete polyphenol group, with improved function working together. We could also drink red wine, but we would have to drink 15 glasses of wine every day to receive benefit from resveratrol, and this would obviously not benefit our health, so supplements or grapes are a preferred option. Eat the grape skin as well, that contains the most resveratrol
    • Zinc is nature’s best mineral, involved in many enzymatic reactions, the immune system and fertility. Most of the zinc in a woman is in the ovaries, and in men, the testicles. Foods containing zinc include oysters, liver, meat, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecan nuts, brazil nuts, spinach, mushrooms and other vegetables
    • Omega-3 from Fish Oil, or much better from Krill oil with extra DHA. Studies show benefits of omega-3 for endometriosis sufferers, as growth of endometrioal tissue is reduced, and omega 3’s can reduce prostaglandin E2, an inflammatory chemical in the body. Good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, most deep-sea cold-water fish, walnuts, avocados and coconut oil
    • Astaxanthin is up to 550 times stronger than vitamin E and 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C. Shown to protect skin from sun damage without blocking vitamin D absorption, and helps prevent other hormones from converting to bad estrogens
    • Ginger can sometimes help to ease nausea, which is a common symptom of endometriosis

    Avoid Chronic Stress

    Stress is good for us from time to time. A body in stress produces the hormone Cortisol, also known as the “fight or flight” hormone. High cortisol increases blood flow to the muscles so we can fight well or run fast, reduces blood flow to the extremities in case of wounding, and affects organs and other areas. This is fine for short bursts of energy when we need it, but chronic stress will kill us. Cortisol levels are typically much higher in women with severe endometriosis compared to healthy women. Modern society is full of stress. A nasty boss, traffic lights, running late, deadlines, family issues, money problems, screaming children, noise, scary movies, terrorism, spiders, all can cause stress, and the stress triggers can be different for each of us. The danger is that CHRONIC STRESS, or continual stress with no relief, causes many problems in the body due to the permanently high cortisol levels. Too much cortisol reduces progesterone, causing a hormonal imbalance, and increasing the risk of endometriosis.
    The first thing to do is de-stress the mind and the body. Meditation for a few minutes a day in a quiet, dimly lit corner can be of great benefit, as can a Yoga or Tai-Chi class, or reading a book instead of watching TV.
    Supplements can also help with stress reduction:

    Meditation

    Meditation, deep breathing through the diaphragm, relaxation, all can help.

    Nature

    Spending trime in nature – a park or other green area, can reduce stress levels, even if only for a few minutes a day.

    Hobbies

    Spend some time doing things you like – hobbies, sport, dancing, volunteering, community groups, any activity away from the stress triggers.

    Avoid Loneliness

    Feeling lonesome? Join a group, go out and meet people, call an old friend to meet for a coffee.

    Shrink

    Many people resist going to a Psychologist, Counselor, etc, but often talking to a professional can help us use mental tools to ease our problems.

    Yoga or Tai-Chi

    Gentle exercise can also help deal with stress.

    Hydrotherapy – running Hot and Cold

    Some therapists recommend a “contrast sitz bath”, although this may help relieve pain rather than treat the actual condition. A similar method using hot and cold showers is often used to relieve migraine headaches, very successfully for some people. Contrast Sitz treatment involves sitting in a bath of hot water for three minutes, then sitting in a cold-water bath for one minute, then repeating the process three times. Usually not carried out during menstruation. The method for migraines is to shower in the hottest water we can stand for two minutes, then turn off the hot tap and stand in cold water for two minutes, repeating the process several times. I think the shower method is the simplest, as not many people have two bathtubs handy. In both cases, I thought originally that the benefit may be that it is so uncomfortable that one forgets about the original pain, but it seems to work, presumably by de-sensitising our nerves, reducing our reaction to pain, as well as perhaps alternately stimulating and reducing blood flow to our extremities, and inversely to our internal organs.

    Prescription Medication

    Progesterone is an excellent aromatase inhibitor, so can be very beneficial for Endometriosis, and can also inhibit growth and even cause cell death of breast cancer tissue, by affecting p53 and Bcl-2 gene expression, but ONLY natural bio-identical progesterone should be used. High doses of progestin (synthetic progesterone) is an incomplete artificial copy of real progesterone, and can have the reverse effect by stimulating breast cancer cells. This is the main reason why conventional HRT causes increased cancer. Progesterone can sometimes slow abnormal growth of endometrial tissue, and although not a cure, may help relieve period pain and pelvic pain. Seek a supplier of bio-identical hormones. In Australia you will still need a prescription for a compounding pharmacy. Many doctors have no understanding of the difference, so always seek a specialist in hormones. Some naturopaths recommend wild yam cream, which is similar to natural Progesterone, but unless processed in a laboratory, the body cannot convert it to true progesterone. Bio-Identical Progesterone is normally supplied as a cream, which is rubbed into thin areas of skin, where it is absorbed into the blood directly. It cannot be taken orally, as it will not survive past the stomach acid, enzymes, etc. Avoid other methods, like surgically implanting a pill just below the skin, as this gives a varying amount over several months as the pill breaks down at different rates, and the dose cannot be controlled without surgical removal. Patches and injections are other methods, but the cream is generally easier and more acceptable for most people. Progesterone levels should be monitored with regular blood tests. Too much may cause depression, fluid retention, weight gain, mood changes, abnormal (or sometimes absent) menstrual bleeding.

    Many doctors prescribe Tamoxifen to reduce estrogens, but this has nasty side effects including stroke, blood clots, uterine cancer, and cataracts. A better natural alternative is Calcium D-Glucarate which one study showed that is just as effective as Tamoxifen, and was able to reduce the number of estrogen receptors by 48%, and to lower serum estrogen levels by 23%.
    This works for men as well, helping to reduce man-boobs (Gynecomastia), excess body fat and risk of prostate cancer by reducing estrogen.

    Many doctors will recommend anti-depressants, even if we are not suffering from stress!
    This is a big mistake, as the disadvantages (like double the risk of suicide) far outweigh any benefits, and the benefits are poor anyway. Some say that the feel-good benefit of an extra teaspoon of sugar is about equal to that of taking an anti-depressant. I am not saying we need sugar, far from it, I am simply illustrating the poor benefit of anti-depressants. For more info, read my article on Antidepressants