This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020
Natural remedies can do wonders in treating painful mouth ulcers, stomach inflammation, wounds and infections. When it comes to dealing with these cases, honey is a time-tested treatment to alleviate symptoms and provide relief for patients, whether young or old
Consuming honey often has a soothing effect and this sweet treat also has several notable health benefits. Its medicinal properties include being used as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent, as well as acting as a natural cough remedy.[i] At the same time, this celebrated ingredient is applied for chronic wound management and as a therapy for certain infections.
1. Honey forPainful Mouth Blisters and Ulcers
Research suggests that honey can help reduce painful mouth blisters among children with herpes simplex gingivostomatitis.[ii]Caused by the herpes virus, herpes simplex gingivostomatitis is an inflammation of the gums and lips, damaging the skin and resulting in mouth ulcers.
One of the earliest signs of herpes simplex gingivostomatitis is when your child refuses to eat because chewing has become too painful. While this disease is common among kids, there is a risk of dehydration since the patient often will not drink or eat.
Once your child has been found to have these mouth blisters and ulcers, using honey as a mouthwash is highly suggested because it can significantly improve children’s drinking and eating abilities.[iii]
2. Honey Treats Radiation-Induced Mucositis
Patients with head and neck cancers may experience mucositis as an adverse effect of radiotherapy. Mucositis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes in the stomach, which causes stomach ulcers. Numerous studies have shown that using honey as an oral treatment can alleviate the adverse effects of radiation-induced mucositis.[iv]
Research suggests honey can delay the onset of oral mucositis, as well as significantly reduce the severity of the pain associated with the condition.[v] Patients received 20 milliliters (mL) of honey three times a day during the course of radiotherapy to achieve the desired outcomes.[vi]
3. Honey Fights Stomach Infections
When paired with green or black tea, honey can help treat other types of stomach conditions, such as infections caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). This bacterial infection often causes gastritis or stomach inflammation, peptic ulcer disease and certain types of stomach cancers. A 2015 study revealed that consuminghoney or green or black tea daily can decrease the prevalence of H. pylori infection.[vii]
4. Honey for Infections Associated With Burns
Honey can also be used in treating wounds and burns. Compared to boiled potato peel, honey dressing is more effective in covering fresh partial-thickness burns among patients. In fact, the burns healed 100% within two weeks after being treated with honey, compared to 50% when treated with boiled potato peel.[viii]
Honey is also effective in treating second-degree burns compared to anti-infective creams. Research suggests that honey dressing can heal burns by 84% within the first week of treatment and 100% after two weeks.[ix]
5. Therapeutic Effects for Bowel Resection
Oral intake of honey has potential therapeutic effects on patients who underwent massive bowel resection. A 2008 study revealed that animal subjects that had small bowel resection showed significant increase in their gross residual bowel length.[x]Researchers believe the results can be replicated among human patients.
These studies provide evidence that honey can be a sound natural remedy to be explored by people with inflammations, burns and infections. For further information, check out the GreenMedInfo..com Honey Research Database to learn honey’s versatility as a solution for various common illnesses.
The GMI Research Group (GMIRG) is dedicated to investigating the most important health and environmental issues of the day. Special emphasis will be placed on environmental health. Our focused and deep research will explore the many ways in which the present condition of the human body directly reflects the true state of the ambient environment.
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.
Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body. Sulfur-containing amino acids increase your levels of glutathione and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which play important roles in health and fitness
Glutathione metabolism influences the control of epigenetic mechanisms at several levels, including substrate availability, enzymatic activity for DNA methylation and the expression of microRNAs
NAC supplementation may be useful for the prevention of cardiovascular problems in older people by lowering oxidative stress and improving mitochondrial function
Glutathione deficiency can induce epigenetic changes in genes that regulate vitamin D metabolism in the liver, and research suggests glutathione supplementation could help reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency in obese individuals
Glutathione and NAC also ameliorate exercise-induced stress and reduce muscle fatigue. Glutathione may also play a central role in chronic fatigue syndrome
As explained in “The Health Benefits of MSM,” sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body and plays important roles in a variety of bodily processes, including metabolism and detoxification, and for maintaining the proper shape and structure of proteins and enzymes.
Sulfur-containing amino acids increase your levels of glutathione and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), and these two play important roles in health and fitness.
Glutathione comprises three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate and glycine. It’s commonly referred to as “the master antioxidant,” as it is your body’s most powerful antioxidant, and is found inside every cell in your body.
Antioxidants combat free radicals — highly reactive particles that bounce around the cell, damaging everything they touch. Most originate during the process of metabolism but they can also arise during exercise, and from exposure to toxins, irradiation and toxic metals.
Because free radicals are so destructive, cells have a network of defenses designed to neutralize them. This antioxidant network is composed of numerous components that include vitamins, minerals and special chemicals called thiols (glutathione and alpha-lipoic acid).
Glutathione differs from other antioxidants in that it is intracellular, and has the unique ability of maximizing the activity of all the other antioxidants, including (but not limited to) vitamins C and E, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid. It also removes toxins from your cells and protects you from the damaging effects of radiation, chemicals and environmental pollutants.
NAC is a precursor to and rate-limiting nutrient for the formation of glutathione.1 Glutathione is poorly absorbed so, in many cases, it’s easier to raise your glutathione by taking NAC instead.
In emergency medicine, NAC is used as an antidote for acetaminophen toxicity resulting from an overdose.2 Mortality due to acetaminophen toxicity has been shown to be virtually eliminated when NAC is promptly administered.
It is believed the liver damage acetaminophen causes is largely due to the fact that it can deplete glutathione, which is secreted by your liver in response to toxic exposure.
On a side note, NAC supplementation can also help “pre-tox” your body when taken before alcohol, thereby minimizing the damage associated with alcohol consumption — a tidbit that may be useful to know in light of approaching New Year’s celebrations.
Taking NAC (at least 200 milligrams) 30 minutes before you drink can help lessen the alcohol’s toxic effects. Vitamin B6 may also help to lessen hangover symptoms.
While the most common use of NAC is for liver support, it’s also showing promise as a neuroprotectant.3 Scientists are currently investigating it as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, which has been linked to glutathione deficiency in the substantia nigra, a region that houses dopamine neurons.4
Research looking at autopsied brains suggests Parkinson’s patients have barely detectable levels of glutathione in this brain region. Subsequent studies have found glutathione deficiency in the substantia nigra is common in a number of other neurodegenerative conditions as well, including Alzheimer’s disease.5
Another area where NAC shows particular promise is in the treatment of mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder,6depression7 and substance use disorders.8 Dozens of additional health benefits are also reviewed in a November 29, 2019, SelfHacked article.9
One factor that can help explain the wide-ranging benefits of NAC and glutathione is glutathione’s role in the regulation of epigenetic disease mechanisms.10 As noted in a November 2017 paper in Free Radical Biology and Medicine:11
“Epigenetics is a rapidly growing field that studies gene expression modifications not involving changes in the DNA sequence.
Histone H3, one of the basic proteins in the nucleosomes that make up chromatin, is S-glutathionylated in mammalian cells and tissues, making Gamma-L-glutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine, glutathione (GSH), a physiological antioxidant and second messenger in cells, a new post-translational modifier of the histone code that alters the structure of the nucleosome.
However, the role of GSH in the epigenetic mechanisms likely goes beyond a mere structural function. Evidence supports the hypothesis that there is a link between GSH metabolism and the control of epigenetic mechanisms at different levels (i.e., substrate availability, enzymatic activity for DNA methylation, changes in the expression of microRNAs, and participation in the histone code).”
The following graphic12 illustrates how glutathione influences pathological changes in gene expression.
NAC Improves Cardiovascular and Mitochondrial Function
According to a 2018 study,13 NAC supplementation may be useful for the prevention of cardiovascular problems in older people. As you might expect, oxidative stress can over time induce metabolic and functional changes that speed cardiovascular aging and dysfunction, and your glutathione levels declines with age, putting you at greater risk.
In this study, aging mice received either NAC or a combination of NAC and glycine. After seven weeks, their cardiac function was assessed, showing those receiving NAC plus glycine had improved several parameters of their cardiovascular function, including:
Improved diastolic function
Increased peak early filling velocity
Reduced relaxation time
Reduced left atrial volume
Reduced left ventricle end diastolic pressure
NAC alone did not impart these cardiovascular benefits, although both groups had decreased levels of inflammatory mediators. The NAC and glycine combination also improved mitochondrial function and upregulated mitochondrial genes in the heart that are normally downregulated with age.
According to the authors, “Our data indicate that NAC+Gly supplementation can improve diastolic function in the old mouse and may have potential to prevent important morbidities for older people.”
Glutathione Deficiency Lowers Vitamin D Levels in the Obese
Other recent research14 published in Scientific Reports shows that glutathione deficiency can induce epigenetic changes in genes that regulate vitamin D metabolism in the liver. Emerging evidence also suggests glutathione metabolism plays a role in the epigenetic regulation of oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions, the authors note.
According to this paper,15 obesity has been correlated with low levels of glutathione and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 — especially in Type 2 diabetics and the obese16 — and when obese mice were fed a glutathione-deficient diet, it downregulated vitamin D metabolism genes and vitamin D receptors in the liver. As a result, oxidative stress increased.
According to the authors, their findings suggest glutathione supplementation could help reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency in obese individuals. Supplementation with L-cysteine, a rate-limiting precursor to glutathione, has also been shown to increase vitamin D levels and reduce oxidative stress, the paper notes, which supports the link between glutathione and vitamin D.
Glutathione and NAC Ameliorate Exercise-Induced Stress
As mentioned earlier, exercise is one of the ways through which free radical production increases and, with it, oxidative stress. Provided you get enough rest between bouts, this oxidative stress is actually part of what makes exercise so beneficial.
That said, as noted in a 2005 paper,17 “Effective regulation of the cellular balance between oxidation and antioxidation is important when considering cellular function and DNA integrity as well as the signal transduction of gene expression.” In other words, excessive exercise can cause more harm than good. As explained by the authors:18
“Exercise enthusiasts and researchers have become interested in recent years to identify any means to help minimize the detrimental effects of oxidative stress that are commonly associated with intense and unaccustomed exercise. It is possible that a decrease in the amount of oxidative stress a cell is exposed to could increase health and performance …
To protect against the deleterious effects of ROS [reactive oxygen species], our bodies have a complex system of endogenous antioxidant protection in the form of enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. Under normal, resting conditions reactive oxygen species are removed from the cell preventing any subsequent damage.
However, under more extreme conditions such as: 1) inadequate intake of foodstuffs containing the antioxidants, 2) excessive intake of pro-oxidants, 3) exposure to noxious chemicals or ultraviolet light, 4) injury/wounds, and/or 5) intense exercise, especially eccentric exercise, the body’s endogenous antioxidant system is not able to effectively remove excessive ROS production.
In situations such as the ones listed above in which the production of pro-oxidant molecules increase to a point where the antioxidant system cannot effectively remove them is when oxidative stress is known to occur.
Oxidative stress has been implicated in a number of diseases which include atherosclerosis, pulmonary fibrosis, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and aging. Research on oxidative stress during exercise has begun to indicate that regular training enhances the ability of these mechanisms to effective respond to the increase of oxidative product.”
Exercise Boosts Your Glutathione Level
The 2005 paper above goes on to explain how exercise affects your glutathione level, and thus your health, fitness and risk of disease. In short, when you engage in intense exercise, your blood level of glutathione significantly decreases while circulating levels of oxidized glutathione increases, indicating that it’s been used inside the muscle to quench free radicals produced during the exertion.19
Considering the importance of glutathione to counteract free radicals, effective regulation of glutathione levels when exercising is a significant concern. The good news is that the more you exercise, the higher your base levels of glutathione get.
This adaptation allows your body to effectively deal with the increase in free radicals that the exercise brings about. While exercise itself will boost your glutathione level over time, raising glutathione through supplementation is an oft-used strategy among athletes.
As mentioned, glutathione supplementation is ineffective due to its poor absorption, so NAC is generally considered a much better choice. According to the authors of the 2005 paper cited above:20
“In addition to the role glutathione and other thiols have on maintaining the cellular redox state, many studies have begun to explore if NAC supplementation can actually improve performance due to its ability to promote a more favorable cellular environment to achieve higher levels of performance …
One of the first studies to utilize NAC to determine its role in improving muscle performance was conducted by Reid and colleagues. They pretreated subjects with n-acetyl-cysteine infusion (150 mg/kg) or a 5% dextrose placebo while undergoing an extended fatiguing bout of electrical stimulation of the ankle dorsiflexors.
N-acetyl-cysteine was found to have no impact over the nonfatigued muscle, but a significantly increased force output of approximately 15% was found after 3 minutes of repetitive contractions which persisted throughout the 30-minute protocol. The authors concluded that NAC resulted in improved performance suggestive of oxidative stress having a causal role in the fatigue process.”
Other studies have also confirmed that NAC supplementation helps delay muscle fatigue during exercise, thereby improving endurance. In one study,21 NAC infusion increased the time to exhaustion by 26.3%.
NAC’s ability to reduce fatigue and improve cellular redox (oxidation reduction) also hints at its potential benefit for those struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
The Glutathione Depletion Theory of CFS
As explained by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CFS, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME, is characterized by “overwhelming fatigue that is not improved by rest.”22 The fatigue is frequently such that it challenges your ability to perform even the most common of daily life tasks, such as showering or preparing a meal.
The role of glutathione in this condition is addressed in “A Simple Explanation of the Glutathione/Methylation Depletion Theory of ME/CFS”23 by the late Rich Van Konynenburg, Ph.D., developer of the methylation protocol used by many in the CFS community.24,25
According to Van Konynenburg, oxidative stress “is probably the best-proven biochemical aspect of chronic fatigue syndrome,” and in order for your oxidative stress to overwhelm your system, something must be placing excessive demands on your glutathione supply.
Several examples were already listed above, such as inadequate antioxidant and/or excessive pro-oxidant intake, toxic exposures and physical injuries. Long-term emotional stress can also be a factor. As noted in Van Konynenburg’s article:
“All people experience a variety of stressors all the time, and a healthy person’s body is able to keep up with the demands for glutathione by recycling used glutathione molecules and by making new ones as needed.
However, if a person’s body cannot keep up, either because of extra-high demands or inherited genetic polymorphisms that interfere with recycling or making glutathione, or both, the levels of glutathione in the cells can go too low …
One of the jobs that glutathione normally does is to protect your supply of vitamin B12 from reacting with toxins …When your glutathione level goes too low, your B12 becomes naked and vulnerable, and is hijacked by toxins.
Also, the levels of toxins rise in the body when there isn’t enough glutathione to take them out, so there are two unfortunate things that work together to sabotage your B12 when glutathione goes too low.”
The B12-Glutathione Connection
Vitamin B12 helps your body convert food into glucose for energy, and fatigue is one of the symptoms of low B12 levels.26 Interestingly, many with CFS have elevated B12 levels. Their bodies simply cannot use it properly, and one potential culprit is low glutathione.
“The best test to reveal this is a urine organic acids test that includes methylmalonic acid. It will be high if the B12 is being sidetracked, and this is commonly seen in people with CFS,” Van Konynenburg states, adding:27
“The most important job that B12 has in the body is to form methylcobalamin, which is one of the two active forms of B12. This form is needed by the enzyme methionine synthase, to do its job. An enzyme is a substance that catalyzes, or encourages, a certain biochemical reaction.
When there isn’t enough methylcobalamin, methionine synthase has to slow down its reaction. Its reaction lies at the junction of the methylation cycle and the folate cycle, so when this reaction slows down, it affects both these cycles …
The methylation cycle has some important jobs to do. First, it acts as a little factory to supply methyl (CH3) groups to a large number of reactions in the body. Some of these reactions make things like creatine, carnitine, coenzyme Q10, phosphatidylcholine, melatonin, and lots of other important substances for the body.
It is not a coincidence that these substances are found to be low in CFS … Not enough of them is being made because of the partial block in the methylation cycle.
The methylation cycle also supplies methyl groups to be attached to DNA molecules, and this helps to determine whether the blueprints in the DNA will be used to make certain proteins according to their patterns.
The ‘reading’ of DNA is referred to as ‘gene expression.’ Methyl groups prevent or ‘silence’ gene expression. Overexpression of genes has been observed in CFS patients, and I suspect this is at least partly due to lack of sufficient methylation to silence gene expression.”
The Basic Biochemical Mechanism of CFS
The methylation cycle also regulates your body’s use of sulfur, and the production of sulfur-containing substances, including glutathione. CFS patients often have abnormal levels of sulfur metabolites. Once you understand the interconnectedness of glutathione, B12 and the methylation cycle, it becomes easier to see how chronic CFS arises. As explained by Van Konynenburg:28
“When glutathione goes too low, the effect on vitamin B12 slows down the methylation cycle too much. The sulfur metabolites are then dumped into the transsulfuration pathway (which is connected to the methylation cycle) too much, are oxidized to form cystine, pass through hydrogen sulfide, and are eventually converted to thiosulfate and sulfate and are excreted in the urine.
This lowers the production of glutathione, which requires cysteine rather than cystine, and now there is a vicious circle mechanism that preserves this malfunction and keeps you sick … That’s the basic biochemical mechanism of CFS … everything else flows from this …
Here’s how I believe the fatigue occurs: The cells have little powerplants in them, called mitochondria. Their job is to use food as fuel to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP acts as a source of energy to drive a very large number of reactions in the cells.
For examples, it drives the contraction of the muscle fibers, and it provides the energy to send nerve impulses. It also supplies the energy to make stomach acid and digestive enzymes to digest our food, and many, many other things.
When glutathione goes too low in the muscle cells, the levels of oxidizing free radicals rise, and these react with parts of the ‘machinery’ in the little powerplants, lowering their output of ATP.
So the muscle cells then experience an energy crisis, and that’s what causes the fatigue. Over time, because of the lack of enough glutathione, more problems accumulate in the mitochondria, including toxins, viral DNA, and mineral imbalances.”
All of these factors will ultimately decimate your immune function as well, allowing pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi to take over. CFS patients will frequently have several infections ongoing at the same time. Low glutathione also impedes your body’s natural detoxification pathways, allowing toxicity to build over time, thereby causing ever-increasing dysfunction.
The Answer for CFS
So, how do you turn this chain of events around? As noted in Van Konynenburg’s article:29
“The main key to turning this process around is to help the methionine synthase enzyme to operate more normally, so that the partial block in the methylation cycle and the folate cycle are lifted, and glutathione is brought back up to normal. That is what the simplified treatment approach is designed to do, and so far, the evidence is that it does do these things in most people who have CFS.
I recommend that people with CFS have the Vitamin Diagnostics methylation pathways panel run to find out if they do in fact have a partial methylation cycle block and glutathione depletion before deciding, with their doctors, whether to try this treatment.
This also provides a baseline so that progress can be judged later on by repeating it every few months during the treatment. Symptoms may not be a good guide to judge progress during treatment, because detoxing and die-off can make the symptoms worse, while in fact they are exactly what is needed to move the person toward recovery.”
An outline of Van Konynenburg’s simplified methylation treatment plan for CFS can be found in HealthRising.org.30 At the core of this treatment is the use of specific supplements, including folate, B12, a multivitamin, SAMe and phosphatidyl serine.
In his protocol, he explains the theory behind the use of each of these supplements, how they impact the methylation cycle, and their interactions with other supplements.
My take-home message here is that glutathione and NAC supplementation may not always be the ideal way to go. People with CFS may be better supported by a customized assessment by an experienced clinician that may also include methyl folate and methyl vitamin B12.
General Dosing and Safety Guidelines for NAC
For many others, however, NAC can be safely used to boost glutathione levels. For more information about how NAC can benefit your health, see “The Many Benefits of NAC.” It’s widely available as an oral dietary supplement and is relatively inexpensive. Unfortunately, like glutathione, NAC is poorly absorbed when taken orally, although it’s better than glutathione.
According to some studies,31,32 NAC’s oral bioavailability may range between 4% and 10%, which is why the recommended dosage can go as high as 1,800 milligrams (mg) per day. Its half-life is also in the neighborhood of two hours, which is why most study subjects take it two or three times a day.
No maximum safe dose has yet been determined, but as a general rule, it’s well-tolerated, although some do experience gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, diarrhea or constipation. Should this occur, reduce your dosage. It’s also best taken in combination with food, to reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal effects.
Also keep in mind that since NAC boosts glutathione, which is a powerful detox agent, you may experience debilitating detox symptoms if you start with too high a dose. To avoid this, start low, with say 400 to 600 mg once a day, and work your way up.
Also, if you are currently taking an antidepressant or undergoing cancer treatment, be sure to discuss the use of NAC with your physician, as it may interact with some antidepressants and chemotherapy.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing air or oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The pressure allows your body to absorb a higher percentage of oxygen
There’s a wide range of conditions for which HBOT can be beneficial, including autoimmune conditions, neurological conditions, musculoskeletal injuries, mitochondrial dysfunction-driven conditions, ailments involving damaged microcirculation, chronic infections, subacute infections and cancer co-management
Hyperbaric oxygen improves mitochondrial function, helps with detoxification, inhibits and controls inflammation and optimizes your body’s energy production and healing capacity
HBOT also activates stem cell production, and can help optimize results when doing stem cell therapy
While HBOT can speed healing of any inflammatory condition, in the U.S., there are only 14 conditions for which insurance will pay, one of which is diabetic neuropathy, and typically only after other conventional treatments have failed. There are over 100 internationally recognized indications for hyperbaric use
In this interview, Dr. Jason Sonners discusses hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), which is a tremendously beneficial and widely underutilized therapy. Sonners, a chiropractor, also has a degree in applied kinesiology,1 and has worked with HBOT for over 12 years.
Even if you’re not trying to treat a specific condition and are generally healthy, HBOT can have significant benefits for longevity.
“On its most basic premise, hyperbaric oxygen [therapy] is literally the breathing of either air or oxygen under pressure. You’re inside some type of pressurized device or hyperbaric chamber. Due to the pressure, you’re exposing the body to a higher percentage of oxygen.
You could also increase that oxygen by piping oxygen into the chambers. As a result of that environment, you’re increasing the body’s capacity to absorb more oxygen than what you and I can get here at 1 atmosphere (atm),” Sonners explains.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Basics
Most healthy individuals have somewhere between 96% and 98% oxygen in their hemoglobin, which means your capacity to increase your oxygen level is between 2% and 4%, were you to breathe medical-grade oxygen, for example. That’s it; there’s no way to raise your oxygen level beyond that. The exception is if your body is under pressure.
“Two main laws govern how that works,” Sonners says. “Boyle’s Law and Henry’s Law. Basically, as you take a gas and exert pressure on it, you make the size of that gas take up less space. As a result of that pressure, you can then dissolve that gas into a liquid.
An easy example is a can of seltzer. They’re using carbon dioxide and water. But basically, you can pressurize that can, so you can put carbon dioxide into that can. As a result of that pressurization, you can dissolve molecules of carbon dioxide into the water.
In the hyperbaric version of that, we’re using oxygen, and the can is the chamber. But as a result of dumping excess oxygen inside that chamber, you can dissolve that into the liquid of your body … directly into the tissue and the plasma of your blood.
Normally your blood does not carry oxygen. We rely wholly on red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity. But inside the chamber, you could literally bypass the red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity altogether, and you can absorb oxygen directly into the plasma and tissue of the body.”
Your Body Needs All the Oxygen It Can Get
Sonners, who has a lot of experience with functional medicine and nutrition, views oxygen primarily as a nutrient.
“We need about 100% of the oxygen that we’re capable of carrying every minute of every day just to perform normal functions,” he says, “so there’s very little room for creating an excess of oxygen for the sake of healing or helping some of the conditions that we’ll talk about later on …
In nutrition, there’s deficiency, which has consequences. There’s optimum range, which is allowing us to do what we need to do every day. And then there are periods where we need a surplus of that nutrient to help us deal with some issue that we’re having in our health or in our life.
I look at oxygen the same way. If you’re not getting enough oxygen, whether that’s globally because of a lung or heart issue or if that’s locally because of a trauma … or some type of injury or inflammation, you could have an area of your body that has oxygen deficiency. We call that hypoxia.
There’s an optimum range of oxygen, which for us is virtually almost 100% of our oxygen-carrying capacity, every minute of every day. And then periodically, we might choose that we want to create a surplus of oxygen because oxygen … helps us detoxify, it controls inflammation, it runs our energy production and helps us to heal …
Once you expose the body to increased levels of oxygen … the whole oxidative phosphorylation [process], the whole ATP and energy production system of our body increases its capacity to produce ATP and to produce energy …
Sometimes, we might need more than the optimum range to help us get over some sort of health issue, or … from a quality of life, longevity, regenerative medicine-type standpoint …”
Conditions That Can Benefit From HBOT
Considering the importance of oxygen, there’s a long list of conditions for which HBOT is recommended. Insurance will pay for some, but not anywhere near all of them.
While HBOT can be used to help speed healing of any inflammatory condition, in the U.S., there are only 14 conditions for which insurance will pay, whereas there are up to 100 approved indications for HBOT internationally.
“In the States, we reserve it for pretty tough cases: really bad infections like gangrene, osteomyelitis, radiation burns … diabetic neuropathy … chronic wounds that are not healing with traditional attempts at antibiotics and things like that,” Sonners says.
From my perspective, it’s medically reprehensible and inexcusable for a doctor to not treat patients with diabetic neuropathy, infections in the distal extremities or peripheral vascular disease with HBOT, as it will in most cases prevent the need for amputation.
That the U.S. limits the use of HBOT to a last resort for only a few hard-to-treat conditions is truly unfortunate, as there’s a wide range of other conditions for which HBOT can be beneficial. This includes:
Any condition involving damaged microcirculation or that can benefit from capillary growth
Chronic infections such as Lyme disease, and subacute infections that cause damage over time — As noted by Sonners, “When you go into these pressurized hyperbaric chambers and you’re breathing and absorbing these higher levels of oxygen, they literally act as a natural antibiotic.”
The hyperbaric oxygen kills anaerobic bacteria and helps break down the biofilm that many anaerobic bacteria produce to protect themselves. At the same time, it’s boosting your immune system through increased neutrophil-macrophage stimulation and by feeding healthy bacteria.
Hyperbaric oxygen also combats viral and fungal infections, in part by stimulating neutrophil and macrophage activation. “You literally stimulate an increased production of white blood cells,” Sonners says, “and that’s what your body uses to fight infections”
Cancer co-management — As noted by Sonners, researchers are looking at HBOT in cancer treatments in a number of different ways. For example, doing it may allow you to use less radiation or chemo and still get the same outcome. Or, it may allow the patient to tolerate higher amounts of radiation by speeding the healing between sessions. A third avenue of investigation is the use of HBOT in isolation.
“Some of them are using it as a method to help with or augment the cancer treatment itself. Some are using it as a way to heal,” Sonners says. “There are consequences of chemotherapy. There are consequences of radiation.
The idea with most cancer treatments is we’re trying to kill cells. Hopefully, the person survives that process. If you’re augmenting with hyperbaric oxygen simultaneously, the idea is that you’re also helping to heal the tissue so that the healthy tissue can still survive or even thrive …”
HBOT Improves Mitochondrial Function
“If the idea is that we need to control inflammation, if we need to improve the rate of healing, if we need to improve mitochondrial function — all of these are going to be very solid indications of people who would respond very positively to hyperbaric treatment,” Sonners says.
One of the reasons I’m fascinated by HBOT is because of its ability to improve mitochondrial function. As noted by Sonners, longer term hyperbaric exposures will result in larger mitochondria and a greater density of mitochondria.
“Just to give you an idea, [after] 20 or 40 hours of exposure, what you’re going to end up getting [are] more efficient, bigger mitochondria, and you’re going to get a lot more of them,” he says.
“Even if you’re stuck at like 80% efficiency, if you had twice as many mitochondria, producing 80% efficiency, you’re still going to get a much better output for the patient. I think the capacity there for improving these chronic illnesses is really tremendous.”
HBOT Boosts Stem Cell Production
HBOT also activates stem cell production. Conventional stem cell therapy can cost $10,000 to $20,000 and isn’t covered by insurance. HBOT costs far less, may be covered by insurance (depending on your condition), is completely safe and has a whole host of other beneficial effects as well.
Even if you decide to get stem cell therapy, using HBOT before and after can significantly improve your end results, as the hyperbaric oxygen will help optimize your internal environment to make it more conducive to the newly injected stem cells.
Sonners suggests 10 to 20 hours of HBOT before your stem cell treatment, as that’s when your body will start upregulating its own stem cells. If you’re extracting the stem cells from your own body, you will now also have much higher amounts. After the stem cell injection, Sonners suggests doing 20 to 40 hours of HBOT to make sure the new stem cells will thrive.
Difference Between HBOT and EWOT
On a side note, there’s a similar therapy that many people confuse with HBOT. EWOT is an acronym for “exercise with oxygen therapy,” which usually involves using an oxygen concentrator and a large oxygen-filled bag that you then breathe from while exercising.
While EWOT certainly has its benefits, it’s not interchangeable with HBOT. They’re really very distinct therapies and accomplish different things. For starters, while EWOT is an active process, hyperbaric oxygen is a passive process.
With hyperbaric oxygen, you’re typically sitting or lying down and simply breathing normally. “Especially in some patient populations, you can’t even express the level of exercise you would need to in order to gain some of those benefits. That’s one difference,” Sonners says.
The primary difference, however, is that with EWOT, you’re basically increasing demand through exercise, and then you’re increasing supply through the oxygen concentrator. However, you’re still relying on your red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity.
“If you have an issue that is trauma-related — chronic inflammation, damage to the microcirculation — there’s nothing about that excess oxygen that you’re creating through supply and demand that’s ultimately ever going to change that. So long as you are relying on red blood cells carrying, you will not get oxygen to the damaged site.
The only way you’re going to change that environmental issue, and especially the microcirculation … [and stem cells, is through] exposures to oxygen [under] pressure. This is where oxygen will be absorbed directly into the plasma and tissues along the hypoxic tissue gain access to the oxygen.
What we’re finding is that it’s not just the level of oxygen absorption. Some of our epigenome is pressure-sensitive. Pressure alone increases the response to oxygen and stimulates some of these healing responses.
The biggest difference is that one is active and one is passive. One is still relying on red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity; one is basically bypassing red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity.
To some degree, they’re both increasing oxygen, but I don’t think you could really compare it. I mean hyperbaric is definitely increasing oxygen capacity to a degree that is significantly higher than anything else that exists.”
So, to recap, your red blood cells (if you are healthy) are typically already saturated with oxygen at 98% to 99%, and breathing pure oxygen at normal pressures will not significantly change that. But if you breathe oxygen under pressure, it will diffuse into your cellular fluids and provide a greater delivery of oxygen to your tissues, especially if they have compromised microcirculation.
Soft Versus Hard Shell Chambers
There are two primary types of HBOT chambers: hard shell and soft shell. Hard-shell versions are available in two types — the kind you find in hospitals and the kind you typically find in private clinics or can purchase for home use.
•Hard shell 100% oxygen hospital chambers are capable of the highest pressures, which in some cases can be important, especially in cases of nonhealing wounds. In this kind of chamber, the pressurization is done with 100% oxygen. While oxygen is not really flammable, it’s an accelerant, so you have to be very careful not to create sparks. You’re wearing cotton scrubs and you can’t bring anything inside the chamber.
•Hard chambers are the next step down. Instead of filling the whole hard chamber with oxygen, air is used to create pressure, and then oxygen is being piped in separately for you to breathe.
In this type of chamber, you can wear whatever clothing you want as you don’t have the same safety concerns. You can even bring certain electronics into the chamber. In many situations, this is an ideal choice, as the safety is higher while the effectiveness of the treatment is identical, especially for most internal issues. These types of chambers are often found in private clinics.
•Soft chambers are limited in terms of the pressure you can achieve. “In the U.S., you’re only allowed to go to 1.3 atmospheres (ATA), which is about a relative 9 feet underwater. It’s considered mild HBOT. It’s about 4 to 4.25 pounds of force per square inch (psi),” Sonners says.
Still, it will allow you to absorb quite a bit more oxygen than you could normally, so it still offers very meaningful benefits. You may need to use it more frequently, and for longer duration though.
While treatments involving hard shell chambers with 100% oxygen are quite costly, typically running around $2,000 per treatment (which may or may not be covered by insurance), hard and soft chambers found in private clinics are much more affordable, typically ranging between $90 to $180 per session. While this may still sound like a lot, it could well turn out to be one of your less expensive options in the long run.
“Clinically, we used to do our typical protocols. When people weren’t responding the way we expected them to, we would introduce hyperbaric oxygen.
At this point, it’s become literally one of the first things that we do, because if we do [HBOT] early on, so many of the other therapies that we used to have to do, we don’t need to do anymore,” Sonners says.
HBOT Treatment Suggestions
Typically, you’d want to start out getting about 10 hours of treatment at a local facility to see if and how your condition responds. If you’re trying to address trauma, an injury or a condition that has a beginning and end, then whatever benefits you get from the therapy, you will keep as you heal.
Progressive and degenerative conditions, on the other hand, and/or if you’re using it for longevity purposes, treatment will need to be ongoing for long periods of time. This is a case in which you may want to consider buying your own chamber.
“Somewhere between 10 and 20 hours, you kind of know if it’s a good fit for you. From that point, with guidance of the practitioner, you should be able to figure out a baseline of what your protocol should look like,” Sonners says. “Ultimately, if you’re going to be using this thing for years and years, then you’re better off, in most cases, just to have your own.”
Unfortunately, it can be tricky finding a local HBOT facility. Usually, online search results tend to focus on hospitals, and hospitals will not provide you with HBOT unless you have one of the 14 approved indications.
“To find a center, you’re just going to be looking up hyperbaric oxygen [centers]. You’re going to be looking in the private sector, because those are the only people outside the hospital who are going to treat these other indications,” Sonners says.
One alternative is to contact either the International Hyperbaric Association2 (IHA) or Hyperbaric Medical International3 (HMI). These are the two organizations focused on educating the public on the use of HBOT in the U.S., especially for indications that aren’t FDA-approved.
“They have a tremendous amount of resources,” Sonners says. “They also probably help direct people … to centers that might be more local … That’s probably the best. Otherwise, you’d be looking at different manufacturers that produce chambers and how to get those into your home.”
If you’re in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you can visit one of Sonner’s clinics — New Jersey HBOT Center, or HBOT PA. You can also learn more on HBOTusa.com, which is Sonner’s primary education website. There you can find a list of treated conditions, research, the benefits of HBOT in athletics, testimonials and much more. Sonners has also written a book, “Under Pressure: How One Unexpected Tool Is Revolutionizing Health,” which you can preorder here.
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2019
Is the next generation of wireless the last? While industry says 5G is the promised land, concerned citizens say it’s an impending global catastrophe
Spend two minutes on any telecommunications website, and you’ll quickly discover (in blazing fast speed, if you’re lucky) that 5G is poised to save humanity from impending doom, while ushering us all into a symbiotic, utopian society.
Or so they’d like you to think.
Qualcomm, a global leader in technology innovation, claims that 5G, or fifth-generation wireless technology, “will elevate the mobile network to not only interconnect people, but also interconnect and control machines, objects, and devices.” With promises of 100% faster data rates, 10-year battery life, and network latency reduced to 1-10ms, industry’s expansive vision of a 5G world is seamless, boundless, and sci-fi chic. This pristinely sleek interconnected matrix will purportedly power a burgeoning digital economy, integrate humanity and artificial intelligence, and ultimately, transform our lives for the greater good.
It’s amazing that the next generation of wireless technology could hold these magical keys to unlock universal bliss, collective prosperity, and world peace. 4G certainly didn’t promise such riches. I guess we’ve come a long way in a single “G.”
But grandiose prophecies aside, just how pristine and sleek is our 5G reality?
Ericsson, a key player in setting the 5G requirements and standards for this new eco-system, forecasts by 2023, we will see 9 billion mobile subscriptions, 1 billion 5G subscriptions, 20 billion connected IoT devices; with 75% of all mobile data traffic dedicated to video, and 20% of the global population covered by 5G. But all of this requires a massive infrastructure buildout of what industry terms “small cells” to be installed on street lights, utility poles, building facades, bus stops, and trash cans in neighborhoods and cities around the world. The CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) projects that 80% of all future infrastructure deployments will be small cells, reaching 800,000 small cells in the U.S. by the year 2026 (there are 154,000 cell towers today).
At the local, state, and federal level, new legislation and new zoning laws aim to streamline the installation of these 5G “small cell” antennas in public rights-of-way. The FCC’s 5G Fast plan overrules community authority at almost every level, requiring cities and states to approve new 5G antennas within 60 or 90 days, while setting limits on the siting fees that localities may charge carriers. In response, the U.S. Conference of Mayors issued a statement strongly opposing the federal usurpation of local and state government property rights. Two dozen cities, including San Jose CA; Huntington Beach, CA; and Seattle, WA, have filed law suits against the FCC, over these controversial rules.
So how’s all this 5G romanticism really going down in cities and towns across the nation?
Miami: On the Frontlines of the Grotesque 5G Rollout
In Miami, Florida, the scene is less than ideal. According to a report in the Miami Herald, residents have been spotting unsightly and clunky three-foot long black cylinders and cables hanging from trees, haphazardly strapped to utility poles with caution tape, resting on front lawns, and sitting on sidewalks. With new concrete poles going up around the city; black splice cases strewn about on the ground or attached to trees; and stray wires and cables dangling from powerlines and out into public walkways, it appears to be a blundering state of disarray.
These random containers, along with nests of wires and cables, present more than just an aesthetic blight to the community. It’s really a question of safety. Does this half-installed equipment represent an electrical danger? Can residents be certain that these exposed wires are not yet live? What about the safety of children and animals at play? Or the potential for unsuspecting residents to trip and injure themselves on this obstacle course? Or ensuring accessible sidewalks for those in wheelchairs and walking baby strollers? And this is all toward the goal of … what exactly? Strapping on a VR visor for an immersive shopping experience at your favorite downtown retailer?
In a follow-up September 5, 2019 Miami Heraldarticle, Miami-Dade Commissioner Eileen Higgins is quoted as saying, “It’s a 5G fiasco… Downtown is the epicenter of a land grab by the telecommunications companies… There’s no respect for residents, businesses, art in public places or our history… It’s a mess and it’s coming to your neighborhood next. Get in front of every building you can.”
On May 7, 2019, Miami county commissioners voted unanimously to permit AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Crown Castle Fiber to attach small cell antennas to county property on public rights-of-way, including wood and metal poles, utility cables and streetlights. Their goal is to bring 5G wireless to Miami in time for Super Bowl LIV in February 2020.
An article in Miami Today cites, ‘Because they transmit at shorter distances than the larger traditional cell towers, small cells must be no more than 300 feet apart to work properly. That means many will have to be installed over the next 10 months to meet the Super Bowl deadline.” In order to accomplish this, the Miami Transportation and Public Works department has been working with the telecoms in “an ongoing process probably for about four years” to streamline and expedite the review processes.
Miami is not the only locale with augmented kick-off dreams. In September 2019, Verizon announced its new 5G network launch in NFL stadiums across the U.S., with 13 stadiums to be live by the start of the 2019-20 football season, including: Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers), Empower Field at Mile High (Denver Broncos), CenturyLink Field (Seattle Seahawks), Ford Field (Detroit Lions), Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots), Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Dolphins), Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts), MetLife Stadium (New York Giants and New York Jets), M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore Ravens), NRG Stadium (Houston Texans), Soldier Field (Chicago Bears), and U.S. Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings).
According to CNet, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg called the project “a key moment in our partnership with the NFL.” But the NFL’s football fantasies are just one niche in the exponentially growing list of industries that will profit from 5G and IoT. No wonder Qualcomm cites 5G as a $12.3 trillion opportunity in economic growth.
But what about public health? Should caution and science be thrown to the wind simply so fans can interact with a life-size, digitized Tom Brady as he throws his 577th touchdown pass?
On April 3, 2019, the commissioners of Hallandale Beach, Florida passed a resolution urging the state legislature and federal government to initiate a study of the health effects of small cell towers built to accommodate 5G technology and to develop installation guidelines protecting the health and welfare of residents. This is the first such resolution passed in the state of Florida addressing 5G.
Carolina Lavayen, founder of Stop 5G Florida, worked with Commissioner Michele Lazarow once she noticed new cell towers were being installed in residential areas as well as city streets without public consent or notice to residents. Lavayen explains,
“We are being bombarded with electromagnetic frequencies and radiation that we cannot see with the naked eye. Already 4G is causing major biological havoc on all life including humans, animals, insects, trees and our crops. Man-made frequencies disturb our cells’ natural electrical communication system. The planned 5G world-wide wireless network is pushing this issue to a whole new level of saturation with cell towers approximately every 300 feet, and with everyone eventually upgrading to 5G-compatible devices. 5G is a wake-up call to take action: stand up for our basic human rights and learn how to best thrive in our ever-developing, telecom-controlled, electro-polluted ecosystem.”
In Marin County, California, several communities are actively engaged in encouraging elected officials to pass ordinances that protect cities and towns from the adverse effects of 5G technology and to help maintain local control and decision making. A safe technology activist in Marin explains,
“It’s important to build relationships with your local government. Find out who is in charge of decision making on this issue, whether that’s the mayor, staff, or the town council. Meet with them one-on-one. Talk to them about your concerns, and share that they can easily create strong legislation that is legally defensible, focused on many factors in addition to health, and they do not have to be afraid of the FCC. Their ability to maintain local control and represent the interests of the public is critical. Tell them that there are precedents and examples of protective ordinances in other communities and provide examples. Remind your elected officials that have taken an oath to uphold the U.S. and State Constitutions, and in doing so, protect the health, well-being, and privacy of the community. Ask them how they are going to protect you.”
Globally, international actions are also underway, with a spotlight thrown to Brussels, the first major city to halt the deployment of 5G due to health effects. As of September 2019, more than 240 scientists from 42 nations have signed The 5G Appeal which calls for a moratorium on the rollout of 5G. The Appeal asserts that, “5G will substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc. for telecommunications already in place. RF-EMF has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment.” In addition, international protests have been held from Israel to Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Ireland, the UK and Australia.
While on the surface 5G appears to be a flashy new technology capable of rendering obsolete any vestiges of disconnection, inefficiency, and boredom, what nonetheless lurks beneath is a battleground between local versus federal governance, an epic corporate power grab, and a culture of surveillance capitalism. Add to this the overarching violation of human rights, along with blatant disregard for both public health and environmental protection… and sure, let’s pretend lightning-speed video streaming is tantamount to all existential concerns.
Before we get lost daydreaming about a fantastical 5G future, perhaps we should take a long hard look at the harsh reality of our flawed pre-5G present. The fifth generation of wireless technology hasn’t come to full fruition yet. The question is: should it?
Visit the GreenMedInfo database on Electromagnetic Fields to see how emerging wireless technology can negatively impact health.
Alison Main is a writer and journalist covering the dynamic interplay between environmental health and public health, as well as the convergence of digital and artificial technologies with the evolution of humanity. She has been published in Southern Living Magazine, Craftsmanship Magazine, Paleo Magazine, Best Self Magazine, Notre Dame Magazine, and other print and digital media. Also a published nonfiction essayist, Alison explores topics of existential interest through personal memoir. Her website is www.alisonmain.com.
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.
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2019
Photo credit: Ginkgo tree with therapod dinosaurs and several extinct birds from various periods within the Mesozoic era. (John Agnew)
Those interested in learning how to enhance their longevity may want to look to Gingko Biloba, whose very existence today as a “living fossil” speaks volumes to its ability to survive conditions that would otherwise kill or dramatically shorten the lifespan of most other species
There is a thread of biological immortality woven into all things that are living. Anything that breathes or pulsates with life today contains within its germline genetic information that originated from a last universal common ancestor (LUCA), and from which all living things — plants, bacteria, fungi and animal included — descended about 3.4 billion years ago. While somatic cells within multicellular organisms perish, their germline stem cells are capable of infinite self-replication, which in the case of gingko biloba’s meristematic stem cells, has been going on for at least a quarter of a billion years.
Ginkgo biloba is the world’s oldest living plant, and is known as a “living fossil” because it has no close living relatives, and appears to be the same as a plant species dating back 270 million years (Permian) in the fossil record. It is also one of a rare few (6%) dioecious flowering plants, meaning it has distinct male and female organisms.
Not only has this exceptionally hardy species survived three mass extinction events over the past quarter of a billion years, but it was found to be the only surviving plant species near the epicenter of the August 6th, 1945 Hiroshima atomic bomb blast. In September 1945, the area around the blast center was examined and six Gingko biloba trees were found standing. They budded shortly after the blast without major deformations and are still alive to this day. To learn more about the Hiroshima Ginkgo trees visit The Ginkgo Pages, and view this video of the A-bombed tree only 910 meters from the location of impact:
Interestingly, the same plant that survived exposure to a wide range of radioisotopes released by nuclear blast, including radioiodine-131, is capable of conferring radioprotective properties to humans exposed to at least one of the same elements. Graves’ disease patients receiving radioiodine-131 therapy, which is known to cause chromosomal damage, have been found to benefit from receiving a gingko biloba supplement before treatment by experiencing reduced damage to their DNA. You can view the study published in 2007 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism here.
Ginkgo not only has a reputation for longevity, with some plants living to over 1,000 years, but it appears willing to confer longevity to those who use consume it extracts of it.”
Indeed, a solid body of preclinical and clinical research indicates that it is useful in age-associated cognitive decline, e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, as well as age-associated visual disturbances such as glaucoma. There is also indication that it may slow the aging process within the mitochondria of cells by reducing oxidative stress and enhancing mitochondrial respiration,[i] and this mitochondrial anti-aging effect is not limited to neurons, but extends to other cell lineages such as blood platelets,[ii] and fibroblasts,[iii] liver cells,[iv]endothelial cells,[v] heart cells[vi] and likely many others yet to be investigated.
One of the most encouraging studies on gingko biloba, which we explored in a previous article, Declaring Chemical Warfare Against Alzheimer’s, showed that it was more effective than the blockbuster alzheimer’s drug donepezil for treating symptoms of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
What is even more remarkable is that this plant has been shown capable of articulating over 30 different beneficial physiological actions that may be of therapeutic value in over 100 health conditions. Those conditions in the “A” group are listed below:
Allergic Airway Diseases
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Attention Deficit Disorder
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Autism Spectrum Disorder
To view the list of all 100+ potential medical applications, from A-Z, visit our Ginkgo Biloba research page. Or, to acquire our entire downloadable document, including over 100 hyperlinks to the National Library of Medicine’s original citation location, go here: Downloadable Document – Ginkgo Biloba. [Remember, as a pro member you can download this PDF along with 100,000+ others]
A word of caution for those who wish to use ginkgo biloba. Its seeds contains physiologically significant levels of a naturally occurring neurotoxin known as ginkgotoxin (4′-O-methylpyridoxine), which as an antivitamin is structurally related to vitamin B6 (pyroxidine) and can cause neurological problems in those who are susceptible, may be deficient in B6, and/or who consume high amounts. The leaves are generally considered harmless, but it never hurts to be careful, especially if there is a history of seizures.
Also, many herbs are subject to “cold pasteurization” with gamma radiation, indicating that they could contain formaldehyde and formic acid, as well as unique radiolytic byproducts which may be toxic. Ask the manufacturer if they have tested their raw material for such exposure, or opt for a certified organic brand if accessible.
Finally, remember that accelerated aging and cognitive decline is not caused by a lack of herbs like gingko biloba, and therefore it is always best to first embark on significant lifestyle and dietary changes, including gentle detoxification strategies, than to fall prey to the allure of “magic bullets,” even natural ones.