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10 Natural Substances That Could Help Cure Type 1 Diabetes

© 26th January 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/10-natural-substances-may-help-cure-type-1-diabetes

Posted on:  Wednesday, June 26th 2013 at 9:00 am

Could the long-sought after cure for type 1 diabetes be as close as your kitchen cupboard? An accumulating body of scientific research appears to point in exactly that direction

One so-called ‘incurable disease’ that afflicts millions of people around the world is type 1 diabetes. Unlike type 2 diabetes, where the body becomes resistant to its own insulin, type 1 is characterized by the inability of the body to produce enough insulin, as the beta cells within the pancreas which are responsible for the production of insulin (and the proinsulin from which it is made) are either destroyed or seriously impaired. This can happen due to autoimmune issues, bacterial or viral infections, incompatible foods in the diet and chemical exposures  (or a combination of any one or more of these factors), to name but a few major triggers.

And yet, plenty of peer-reviewed and published research now indicates that plant compounds, including many found within commonly consumed foods, are capable of stimulating beta cell regeneration within the pancreas, and as a result may be potentially provide a cure – truly a four letter word, as far as the profit-based model of medicine goes, which thrives on the concept of the incurability of the disease-afflicted human body in favor of symptom management.

The discovery of the beta cell regenerative potential of various food and compounds is bound to upset a burgeoning diabetes industry, with millions of dollars of public and private money continually being poured into fund-raising efforts for a future “cure”; A cure that will presumably be delivered through the prohibitively expensive pharmaceutical,vaccine or biologic (e.g. stem cells, islet cell xenotransplantation) pipeline, which by the very nature of the FDA drug approval process requires the promotion of synthetic (and therefore patentable) compounds over natural ones.

Let’s take a look at the latest preclinical study on the topic, published last month in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology[1]An active fraction of flaxseed, which researchers named Linun usitassimum active fraction (LU6), was found to generate a wide range of benefits in a type 1 diabetes animal model, including the following:

  • Improved glucose utilization in the liver
  • Supported normalized glycogenesis (glucose forming activity) in the liver and muscle tissue
  • Reduced pancreatic and intestinal glucosidase inhibitory activity, which translates into lower post-meal blood sugar elevations

Even more remarkable was the observation that this flaxseed compound normalized plasma insulin and C-peptide levels (C peptide is not C-reactive protein, rather it is a direct indicator of how much insulin is being produced by the beta cells in the body. Learn more), an indication that beta cell function was effectively restored. The researchers described the truly amazing results as follows:

Normalization of plasma insulin and C-peptide levels were observed in diabetic mice, indicating endogenous insulin secretion after the treatment with LU6. The histochemical and immunohistochemical analysis on pancreatic islets suggests the role of LU6 fraction in islet regeneration and insulin secretion as evident in increase functional pancreatic islets producing insulin. Furthermore, significant insulin producing islet formation was also observed in in vitro PANC-1 cells after LU6 treatment, indicating the cellular aggregates to be newly formed islets. This suggests the potential of LU6 fraction in the formation of new islets in vitro, as well as in vivo. Thus, LU6 can be used as a nutraceutical-based first-line treatment for diabetes. [emphasis added]

Keep in mind that this is not the first time that flaxseed has been found to improve blood sugar disorders. We have a few studies on GreenMedInfo.com already indexed on the topic that you can view here: Flaxseed and Diabetes.

Furthermore, we have found a broad range of natural substances experimentally confirmed to stimulate beta cell regeneration, 10 of  which are listed below:

  • Arginine: a 2007 study found that the amino acid L-arginine is capable of stimulating the genesis of beta cells in an animal model of alloxan-induced diabetes.[2]
  • Avocado: A 2007 study found that avocado seed extract reduced blood sugar in diabetic rats. Researchers observed a restorative and protective effect on pancreatic islet cells in the treated group.[3]
  • Berberine: A 2009 study found that this plant compound, commonly found in herbs such as barberry and goldenseal, induces beta cell regeneration in diabetic rats, which lends explanation for why it has been used for 1400 years in China to treat diabetes.[4]
  • Chard: A 2000 study found that chard extract given to diabetic rats stimulates the recovery of injured beta cells.[5]
  • Corn Silk: A 2009 study found that corn silk reduces blood sugar and stimulates beta cell regeneration in type 1 diabetic rats.[6]
  • Curcumin (from Turmeric): A 2010 study found that curcumin stimulates beta cell regeneration in  type 1 diabetic rats.[7] Additionally, a 2008 study found that curcumin preserves pancreatic islet cell survival and transplantation efficiency.[8]
  • Genistein (from soy, red clover): A  2010 study found that genistein induces pancreatic beta-cell proliferation through activation of multiple signaling pathways and prevents insulin-deficient diabetes in mice.[9]
  • Honey: A 2010 human study found that long-term consumption of honey might have positive effects on the metabolic derangements of type 1 diabetes, including possible beta cell regeneration as indicating by increases in fasting C-peptide levels.[10]
  • Nigella Sativa (black seed): A 2003 animal study found that black seed consumption lead to partial regeneration/proliferation of the beta-cells.[11] A 2010 human study also found that the consumption of one gram of black seed a day for up to 12 weeks had a broad range of beneficial effects in diabetics, including increasing beta cell function.[12]
  • Stevia: A 2011 human study found that stevia has anti-diabetic properties, including revitalizing damaged beta cells, and compares favorably with the drug glibenclamide but without the adverse effects.[13] 

For a full list of beta cell regenerating substances, view our page on the topic. The data is also available to download as a PDF, which members can acquire by using their membership tokens without paying the nominal fee.

For additional research on the topic of regenerative medicine and diabetes you can consult the articles 6 Bodily Tissues that Can Be Regenerated Through Nutrition and Diabetes: An Entirely Preventable and Reversible Disease. Or,  visit our Health Guide on Blood Sugar Disorders.


References

[1] Menakshi Bhat Dusane, Bimba N Joshi. Beneficial effect of flax seeds in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic mice: isolation of active fraction having islet regenerative and glucosidase inhibitory properties. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2013 May ;91(5):325-31. Epub 2013 Jan 16. PMID: 23656171

[2] Ana Vasilijevic, Biljana Buzadzic, Aleksandra Korac, Vesna Petrovic, Aleksandra Jankovic, Bato Korac.Beneficial effects of L-arginine nitric oxide-producing pathway in rats treated with alloxan. J Physiol. 2007 Nov 1;584(Pt 3):921-33. Epub 2007 Aug 23. PMID: 17717015

[3] Do Edem, Is Ekanem, Pe Ebong. Effect of aqueous extracts of alligator pear seed (Persea americana mill) on blood glucose and histopathology of pancreas in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Transplantation. 2007 Jul 27;84(2):173-9. PMID: 19553173

[4] Jiyin Zhou, Shiwen Zhou, Jianlin Tang, Kebin Zhang, Lixia Guang, Yongping Huang, Ying Xu, Yi Ying, Le Zhang, Dandan Li. Protective effect of berberine on beta cells in streptozotocin- and high-carbohydrate/high-fat diet-induced diabetic rats. Eur J Pharmacol. 2009 Mar 15;606(1-3):262-8. Epub 2009 Jan 19. PMID: 19374872

[5] S Bolkent, R Yanardağ, A Tabakoğlu-Oğuz, O Ozsoy-Saçan. Effects of chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. Cicla) extract on pancreatic B cells in streptozotocin-diabetic rats: a morphological and biochemical study. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Nov;73(1-2):251-9. PMID: 11025163

[6] Jianyou Guo, Tongjun Liu, Linna Han, Yongmei Liu. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Nutr Metab (Lond).2009 Nov 23;6:47. PMID: 19930631

[7] Malee Chanpoo, Hattaya Petchpiboonthai, Busaba Panyarachun, Vipavee Anupunpisit. Effect of curcumin in the amelioration of pancreatic islets in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. J Med Assoc Thai. 2010 Nov;93 Suppl 6:S152-9. PMID: 21280528

[8] Meghana Kanitkar, Ramesh R Bhonde. Curcumin treatment enhances islet recovery by induction of heat shock response proteins, Hsp70 and heme oxygenase-1, during cryopreservation.Life Sci. 2008 Jan 16;82(3-4):182-9. Epub 2007 Nov 21. PMID: 18093618

[9] Zhuo Fu, Wen Zhang, Wei Zhen, Hazel Lum, Jerry Nadler, Josep Bassaganya-Riera, Zhenquan Jia, Yanwen Wang, Hara Misra, Dongmin Liu. Genistein induces pancreatic beta-cell proliferation through activation of multiple signaling pathways and prevents insulin-deficient diabetes in mice. Endocrinology. 2010 Jul ;151(7):3026-37. Epub 2010 May 19. PMID: 20484465

[10] Mamdouh M Abdulrhman, Mohamed H El-Hefnawy, Rasha H Aly, Rania H Shatla, Rasha M Mamdouh, Doaa M Mahmoud, Waheed S Mohamed. Metabolic Effects of Honey in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized Crossover Pilot Study. J Med Food. 2012 Dec 20. Epub 2012 Dec 20. PMID: 23256446

[11] Mehmet Kanter, Ismail Meral, Zabit Yener, Hanefi Ozbek, Halit Demir. Partial regeneration/proliferation of the beta-cells in the islets of Langerhans by Nigella sativa L. in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2003 Dec;201(4):213-9. PMID: 14690013

[12] Abdullah O Bamosa, Huda Kaatabi, Fatma M Lebdaa, Abdul-Muhssen Al Elq, Ali Al-Sultanb. Effect of Nigella sativa seeds on the glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Oct-Dec;54(4):344-54. PMID: 21675032

[13] Himanshu Misra, Manish Soni, Narendra Silawat, Darshana Mehta, B K Mehta, D C Jain. Antidiabetic activity of medium-polar extract from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bert. (Bertoni) on alloxan-induced diabetic rats. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011 Apr ;3(2):242-8. PMID: 21687353

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.

Ditch Pharmaceuticals, Get Aspirin From Your Food


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/01/06/aspirin-health-effects.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked image
aspirin health effects

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Recommendations for once-a-day aspirin were pulled by the FDA when the risks of major bleeding far outweighed the benefits of preventing a heart attack. Salicylic acid, the active ingredient, is found in high concentrations in cumin
  • Eating one teaspoon of cumin in well-spiced foods spikes blood levels of salicylic acid as if you took a baby aspirin. Data show those eating foods high in salicylic acid may help lower their risk of developing certain cancers
  • Consider stimulating the vagus nerve, or 10th cranial nerve, to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and protect your heart
  • Nattokinase and lumbrokinase are two aspirin alternatives without high side effect profiles, which demonstrate the ability to improve circulation and reduce the risk of serious clotting

Aspirin has a long history, dating back nearly 4,000 years when Sumerians wrote of using willow bark for pain relief.1 The ancient Egyptians used willow bark to reduce body temperature and inflammation, and the Greek physician Hippocrates used it to help relieve pain and fever. By the early 1800s Europeans were researching the effects of salicylic acid and how to determine a correct dosage of it.2

In 1899, Bayer begin distributing the powder, and it was sold as tablets over the counter in 1915. Doctors gave aspirin to Alexi Nicholaevich Romanov of Russia, who had hemophilia. The aspirin likely made the bleeding worse. When the family’s mystic Grigori Rasputin advised the family to stop modern treatments and rely on spiritual healing, the bleeding improved.

In an article published in 2010 in CNN, one physician from Harvard Medical School recommended reducing the risk of stomach bleeding associated with aspirin by taking a second medication — Prilosec.

By 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reversed their recommendation, concluding data did not support aspirin as a preventive medication for those who had not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems.3 In this population, not only had benefit not been established, but “dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach” was a significant risk.

Salicylates Found Naturally in Some Foods

In the same year the FDA withdrew their recommendation for daily aspirin intake to reduce cardiovascular risk, one meta-analysis was published showing a reduction and cancer mortality in those taking daily low-dose aspirin.4 The researchers hypothesized the effect was the result of inhibition “of cox-2 in preneoplastic lesions.”

Their results were supported by a second meta-analysis5 published in the same year finding a reduction in nonvascular deaths and cancer with low dose aspirin. In another study published in 2018,6 researchers found data suggesting aspirin is associated with a lower risk of developing several types of cancer, including colorectal, esophageal, pancreatic, ovarian and endometrial.

As New York Times best seller author and nutrition expert Dr. Michael Greger writes,7 animal products made up 5% or less of their diet before Japanese citizens began adopting a Western diet.8 During the same period, there was a vast difference in cancer deaths between the U.S. and Japan.

The age-adjusted death rates for colon, breast, ovary and prostate were five to 10 times lower in Japan, and leukemia, lymphoma and pancreatic cancer death rates were three to four times lower. In part, this protection may have been the result of phytonutrients found in the plant-based diet, including salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin.

The highest concentrations in plants is found in herbs and spices with the greatest amount in cumin. Researchers have found eating a teaspoon of cumin will spike your blood levels of salicylic acid to the same degree that taking a baby aspirin does. Greger9 quotes one study describing the lower incidence of colorectal cancer in areas where people eat diets rich in salicylic acid:10

“The population of rural India, with an incidence of colorectal cancer which is one of the lowest in the world, has a diet that could be extremely rich in salicylic acid. It contains substantial amounts of fruits, vegetables, and cereals flavored with large quantities of herbs and spices.”

In another analysis11 comparing organic versus nonorganic vegetables, scientists found soup made with organic vegetables contained more salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is produced by plants in response to stress, such as when they’re being bitten by bugs. Plants treated with pesticides do not undergo this type of stress, and studies show they contain six times less salicylic acid than those grown organically.

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Is Aspirin Overrated?

Evidence supports the assertion that a plant-rich diet offers protection against certain cancers. Aspirin used to be recommended to reduce clotting time and the risk of heart attack and ischemic stroke, triggered by a clot to the brain. However, long-term use of aspirin has been associated with harmful effects, including hemorrhagic stroke, or bleeding in the brain when a clot doesn’t form.

In addition to aspirin side effects, results from a trio of studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated daily low-dose aspirin had no measurably significant health benefits for healthy older adults. Instead, the data demonstrated it did not prolong disability-free survival and contributed to the risk of major bleeding.

In one study the authors found those with helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection who used low dose aspirin had a higher risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding then those who took aspirin without the infection.

In another study12 researchers found those who used aspirin regularly, which they defined as at least once a week for one year, experienced an increased risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Results from a separate study13 also point to a connection between frequent aspirin use and AMD, linking increasing frequency of use to higher risk.

Nattokinase: Aspirin Alternative Without the Side-Effects

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death14 in people of most racial and ethnic groups in America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports one person dies every 37 seconds from heart disease and cardiovascular deaths account for 25% of all deaths reported.

Using aspirin to reduce the risk of clot formation comes with significant risk. A better alternative is nattokinase, produced by the bacteria bacillus subtilis when soybeans are being fermented to produce natto. This is a fermented soybean product that has been a traditional food in Japan for thousands of years.

Without using conventional drugs, nattokinase has demonstrated the ability to reduce chronic rhinosinusitis and dissolve excess fibrin in blood vessels, which improves circulation and reduces the risk of serious clotting. Another benefit is the ability to decrease blood viscosity and improve flow, which consequently lowers blood pressure.

Data also showed consuming nattokinase decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure and demonstrated effectiveness in reducing deep vein thrombosis in those who were on long-haul flights or vehicle travel. Studies have demonstrated administration of a single-dose can enhance clot breakdown and anticoagulation.

Each of these factors affects your long-term cardiovascular health and risk for heart disease. In one study,15 researchers wrote nattokinase is a “unique natural compound that possesses several key cardiovascular beneficial effects for patients with CVD and is therefore an ideal drug candidate for the prevention and treatment of CVD.”

Could Earthworms Hold One Key to Heart Health?

One of the drawbacks of pharmaceutical interventions, including thrombolytics, antiplatelets and anticoagulants, is that they interfere with the anticoagulation system and carry a risk of major bleeding.16 Lumbrokinase is a secondary option that works as a fibrinolytic enzyme, activating the plasminogen system and direct fibrinolysis.

The compound also indirectly achieves anticoagulation through inhibition of platelet function. Additionally, lumbrokinase has an enzyme opposing the coagulation system. Research has demonstrated it promotes fibrinolysis but also fibrinogenesis, meaning it may have a built-in balance system that contributes to the safety record.

Interestingly, this complex enzyme is extracted from earthworms and is sometimes referred to as earthworm powder enzymes. Eastern medicine has used earthworms for thousands of years, and Chinese medicine practitioners believe they possess properties to “invigorate blood, resolve stasis and unblock the body’s meridians and channels.”

They are commonly found in a traditional herbal formula used to treat ischemic or thromboembolic conditions. To date, those producing lumbrokinase cannot make any therapeutic claims. Available studies have demonstrated safety and effectiveness in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke and impressive results in the treatment of coronary arterial disease including those with unstable angina.

Lumbrokinase has also been evaluated as an antimetastatic and antitumor agent, with evidence demonstrating a potential use in anticoagulation to limit cancer growth and metastasis. The authors of two review papers found adverse rates to be 0.7% to 3% with most symptoms being a mild headache, nausea, dizziness and constipation, which resolved when the enzyme was discontinued.

Neither of the reviews found the enzyme triggered bleeding or adverse effects in the kidney or liver. Both nattokinase and lumbrokinase have a lower side effect profile than aspirin and provide much of the same benefits to the cardiovascular system. While aspirin is no longer universally recommended, consider speaking with your physician to include nattokinase or lumbrokinase in your heart health regimen.

Fibromyalgia

What is Fibromyalgia?

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

Testing

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

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

Treatment

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

Therapeutic options

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

Diet

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

Things to avoid

Exposures to toxins definitely increase fibromyalgia risk:

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

Prescription Medications increase risk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ferritin and Iron

What is Ferritin?

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

Why do we need Iron?

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


Healthy red blood cells.

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

How is Iron absorbed?

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

Haemoglobin, Hemoglobin or Hbg

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

Anaemia, Anemia

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

Blood Tests

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

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

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

Types of dietary Iron

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

Factors affecting ferritin/iron levels

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

Genetics

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

Sickle Cell Anaemia

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

Thalassemia

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

Haemochromatosis (inherited iron overload disorder)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Symptoms of Low Ferritin/Iron

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

Symptoms – High Ferritin/Iron

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

How Much Iron do we Need?

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

To INCREASE Ferritin/Iron

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

Iron Overload

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

To DECREASE Ferritin/Iron

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

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

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

The Low-Iron Diet

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

Disclaimer

LeanMachine is a health researchere, not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010 and has completed many relevant studies including:
Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the World
University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging Populations
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics II
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain
LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.

Updated 13th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285

Ginger Improves Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis, Enhances Quality of Life

© 18th December 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/ginger-improves-symptoms-ulcerative-colitis-enhances-quality-life

Posted on: Wednesday, December 18th 2019 at 1:30 pm

Bowel and digestive problems like ulcerative colitis can be among the most discomforting and disruptive affronts to a person’s lifestyle and overall well-being. What if adding a healthy dose of ginger to your diet could prevent indigestion, inflamed insides and even protect you from colon and rectal cancers? The evidence says, it can

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory bowel condition affecting more than 750,000 people in North America.[i] The disorder, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), causes open sores or ulcers to develop in the lining of the large intestine. Unlike Crohn’s, another form of IBD that can affect the entire digestive tract, colitis affects only the inner surface of the large intestine.[ii]

UC is considered to be incurable, however patients must seek to manage their symptoms. Untreated UC can cause long-term damage to the colon and increases risks of colon and anal cancers.[iii] Fortunately, natural options such as ginger may help.

Ginger: An Antidote to Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress reflects an imbalance between the body’s antioxidant defense mechanisms and the activity of free radicals, errant electrons that are known to cause damage to healthy cells and tissues.[iv] Oxidative stress is believed to play an essential role in the initiation and severity of ulcerative colitis (UC).

Researchers at Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, explored the use of ginger (scientific name: Zingiber officinale), a well-known antioxidant plant root, on the quality of life, disease activity and oxidative stress of patients with UC.

Published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine,[v] researchers assembled 46 patients with active cases of mild to moderate UC. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either ginger or a placebo, with ginger group subjects consuming 2,000 milligrams (mg) per day of dried ginger powder in four capsules, and the placebo group receiving similar, non-active capsules.

The trial was conducted for a period of 12 weeks, with measurements taken before, at midpoint, and at the end of intervention, using valid and reliable quality of life and disease activity questionnaires and blood sampling.

Ginger Improves Quality of Life for Ulcerative Colitis Patients

Results of this study were highly favorable towards the use of ginger in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. After just six weeks of supplementation, blood tests showed that levels of malondialdehyde, an organic compound that is a marker of oxidative stress, were significantly reduced. After 12 weeks, this marker was barely detectable.

Scores for severity of disease activity were also significantly improved after 12 weeks of ginger supplementation versus placebo. Perhaps the most encouraging marker of success for ginger supplementation is that it significantly increased patients’ quality of life at the 12-week mark.

Researchers concluded that ginger supplementation can improve outcomes for patients with UC. They requested further clinical trials utilizing different dosages and duration of supplementation to obtain firm conclusion of ginger’s efficacy when treating UC.

Ginger: A Disease-Prevention Powerhouse

GreenMedinfo has more than 300 scientific abstracts on the powerful, disease-prohibiting effects of ginger, one of the world’s most powerful natural-healing substances. It’s undoubtedly one of the best plants to include in your herbal apothecary, having proven to be effective against the most prevalent diseases of the modern era, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.

Ginger’s protective effect against cancer may be among it’s most potent attributes. Zerumbone, one of ginger’s isolated active compounds, has been shown to inhibit colon and lung carcinogenesis in mice. Another active compound that has been isolated in ginger — zingerone — has “massive pharmacological properties” and has been validated in studies as a promising treatment against colorectal cancer.[vi]

Ulcerative Colitis Has Many Causes and Symptoms

While the exact cause of ulcerative colitis (UC) is unclear, factors such as poor dietary habits and periods of extreme stress are often predicators. Characterized as an overactive immune response, the body may be reacting to food sensitivities, imbalanced bacteria in the gut or exposure to viruses that cause inflammation.

Individuals with at least one diagnosed autoimmune condition may be at higher risk for developing UC. Signs that an individual might have ulcerative colitis include:

  • Persistent changes in bowel habits
  • Frequent or severe abdominal pain
  • Blood in the stool
  • Recurring or urgent diarrhea
  • A low-grade fever lasting more than two days

Ulcerative colitis can cause significant discomfort. Patients typically experience frequent diarrhea, which can be accompanied by mucus and blood. If the patient develops chronic bleeding, anemia (low red blood cell count) can develop along with accompanying chronic fatigue.

Some patients experience an inability to eat or move their bowels normally, which can be accompanied by severe weight loss and dehydration, further disrupting normal life activities.

Ulcerative Colitis Is a Life-Changing Diagnosis

Ulcerative colitis is diagnosed via an array of tests, some or all of which may be ordered by your doctor. These tests include stool samples, blood tests to detect anemia, X-rays and CT scans. In addition to these tests, when a patient complains of abdominal pain or “bathroom issues,” the doctor may order imaging to examine the lining of the digestive tract.

The most common imaging procedures used to diagnose IBD are endoscopy and colonoscopy. Endoscopy can be done on the upper and lower digestive tract, with upper endoscopy performed by inserting a thin, flexible camera called an endoscope down the throat. Lower endoscopy, or colonoscopy, is performed by inserting the endoscope into the rectum to explore the lower intestine. Both procedures are done under light sedation.

Patients who undergo colonoscopies will be checked for polyps, small growths inside the colon or rectum. If polyps are detected, a biopsy is typically performed to detect if cancer cells are present.[vii] By ruling out colon cancer, a more definitive diagnosis of UC can be made.

Ulcerative Colitis Can Lead to Severe Bowel Disease

UC can present across the spectrum of severity, from infrequent, acute episodes to a debilitating chronic condition. What is common to all sufferers is the potential for severe complications if left untreated and unmanaged. Possible complications of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Serious bleeding and anemia
  • Holes in the colon
  • Severe dehydration
  • Bone loss
  • Inflammation of skin, joints and eyes
  • Increased risk of bowel cancers
  • Rapid swelling of the colon (toxic megacolon)
  • Increased risk of blood clots[viii]

Don’t ignore the warning signs: consult your doctor if you experience symptoms of colitis. While UC is rarely fatal, it is important to begin treatment as soon as possible upon diagnosis to prevent serious, potentially life-threatening complications from developing.

With Proper Treatment, Ulcerative Colitis Is a Manageable Condition

Much like the disease symptoms that can present across a spectrum of severity, treatments for UC range widely in scope and intensity. At early stages of UC, lifestyle changes such as dietary modification and proper stress management may prove sufficient to remediate the condition.

UC patients are frequently prescribed immunosuppressant drugs in an attempt to cease the abnormal immune system response that is believed to be attacking the colon from within.

In more severe and persistent cases of UC, treatment options can escalate to include full or partial removal of the lower colon (a colectomy), inclusive of the rectum in a proctocolectomy. In such cases, patients may require an ostomy, a surgery in which a new body opening is created and attached to a stoma and collection bag, effectively rerouting bodily waste.[ix]

Explore the natural health benefits of ginger and add this delicious and nutritious plant root to your shopping list today!


References

[i] U.S. National Library of Medicine, Genetics Home Reference, Ulcerative Colitis.

[ii] U.S. National Library of Medicine, Genetics Home Reference, Ulcerative Colitis.

[iii] Mayo Clinic, Patient Care & Health Information, Diseases & Conditions, Ulcerative Colitis.

[iv] Metabolism. 2000 Feb;49(2 Suppl 1):3-8. Betteridge DJ. PMID: 10693912. DOI: 10.1016/s0026-0495(00)80077-3.

[v] Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Volume 43, April 2019, Pages 1-6. PMID: 30935515. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.12.021.

[vi] Environ Toxicol. 2019 May;34(5):610-625. Ganaie MA, Al Saeedan A, Madhkali H, Jan BL, Khatlani T, Sheikh IA, Rehman MU, Wani K. PMID: 30720227. doi: 10.1002/tox.22727.

[vii] Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Colonoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound, Colonoscopy and endoscopic procedures.

[viii] Mayo Clinic, Patient Care & Health Information, Diseases & Conditions, Ulcerative Colitis.

[ix] United Ostomy Association of America, What Is an Ostomy?

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.

TMG Benefits

TMG (Trimethylglycine) is a powerful nutrient, much like a vitamin, functioning as methyl donor, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, energy booster, toxin remover, immune booster and more.
Also called betaine (first isolated from sugar beets) but different from Betaine Hydrochloride.

TMG the Methyl Donor

The TMG molecule comprises three methyl groups (CH3) joined to one molecule of glycine (C2H5NO2). The benefit of TMG is that it releases easily one, two, or all three of the methyl groups.
Releasing one methyl group then leaves behind DMG (Dimethylglycine) which is just TMG with only two methyl groups. Releasing all methyl groups leaves just Glycine, which is the smallest molecule of all of the amino acids, which allows it to go almost anywhere in the body, including crossing the blood-brain barrier.
DMG is considered a B-complex vitamin, shown to help:

  • Behaviour and speech in autistic children and adults
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Neurological function
  • Reducing seizures
  • Stress tolerance
  • Oxygen utilisation
  • Liver activity
  • Athletic performance
  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-viral and anti-bacterial
  • Immune boosting
  • Shrinking tumours
  • Allergies
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Alcoholism, drug addiction.
  • Cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood glucose

Although DMG has all of these benefits, and is available as a supplement, LeanMachine recommends that people supplement with TMG as we then receive all of the benefits of DMG plus the benefit of 50% better methylation.

Methyl groups (CH3) are essential for millions of biochemical reactions every second in the body, these are a few examples:

  • Lowering homocysteine, an amino acid, which inflames arteries when levels rise, leading to “hardening of the arteries”. Homocysteine levels are a much better indicator of cardiovascular disease than cholesterol. High homocysteine is commonly caused by insufficient methyl groups. The body gets methyl groups from TMGActive FolateActive Vitamin B-12, SAM-eDMAEMethionineTaurine, Cysteine and Vitamin B-6.
    Other causes are mercury and copper toxicity. High homocysteine also causes methionine deficiency, in turn causing SAM-e (S-Adenosyl Methionine) deficiency which can lead to depression. Methionine is required for protein synthesis
  • Excess homocysteine also leads to osteoporosis, birth defects, cancer, ageing and free radicals, all helped by TMG
  • Methyl groups are required for the Phase 2, P450 liver detoxification pathway, a critical biochemical sequence of events. Fat-soluble toxins are joined to a methyl group, enabling a greater water solubility, then allowing the liver to remove them from the body. For toxins unable to be removed, methylation helps render them less toxic
  • TMG increases production of SAM-e, helping to reduce depression
  • TMG reduces risk of diabetes, as insulin release and insulin activity rely on methyl group donation
  • TMG donates methyl groups for protein synthesis (biosynthesis), the copying of genetic code from DNA to RNA (genetic transcription), then to the synthesis (formation) of every chemical in the body
  • TMG insufficiency causes biosynthesis slowing, telomeres shortening, and genetic errors (transcription errors) raises cancer risk from DNA mutations

The Methylation Process

This is a vital and most common chemical process in hundreds of essential chemical reactions, including:

  • Methylation is essential for manufacture of all the chemicals for the body
  • Stops certain viruses that could damage DNA
  • Stops the production of trophoblast (fast-growing cells that may lead to cancer)
  • Suppresses replication of DNA in areas where the body does not want it replicated
  • Important for neurological chemicals and blood chemicals
  • Corrects timing problems of the X chromosome in cell replication
  • Causea a genetic trait to come from only one parent, and not both
  • Prevents some genetic diseases
  • Helps prevent shortening of gene telomeres
  • Methylation is a primary method of removing toxins in the phase 2 liver detoxification system
  • Methylation converts toxins of all kinds from insoluble, less soluble or fat-soluble compounds into water-soluble compounds to allow excretion. Larger molecules are eliminated through the bile, smaller ones are excreted in the urine
  • Methylation is required for synthesis of dopamine and serotonin, improving mood, energy, wellbeing, alertness, concentration, and visual clarity
  • Methylation helps with liver detoxification
  • Methylation is required for conversion of homocysteine to methionine, which converts to other amino acids by various pathways
  • Methylation helps balance hormones such as estrogens, reducing risk of estrogen-related cancers
  • Reduces inflammation by removing toxins, balancing hormones, synthesising neurotransmitters and other methods
  • Methylation protects the mitochondria and adaptive energy production to stop us from becoming very tired
  • Restores SAM-e in spinal fluid, working as a methyl donor when restored by methyl groups
  • Methylation is required for the body to make CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10), vital for heart health and energy production in the mitochondria
  • Methylation increases muscle mass, important in cancer and other wasting diseases, and for general health
  • Methylation may improve libido in some people

Who needs TMG?

Almost everyone needs supplemental TMG, even healthy people with a healthy diet, to provide enough methylation for modern life. Those subject to stress, toxins, cardiovascular disease, mental illness, depression, fatigue, exhaustion or almost any other medical condition, almost certainly need extra TMG.

Other benefits of TMG

The Parasympathetic System

TMG can improve the parasympathetic system, helping balance the autonomic nervous system. Hair mineral analyses show about half the population has an autonomic nervous system imbalance (sympathetic dominance), where the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system is “switched on” too often and too long, usually due to stress, causing many chronic health conditions. TMG may help reverse any imbalance, contributing to healing. Some doctors use “sympathetic dominance” in a different context such as “a sympathetic state of body chemistry” which is different from “sympathetic dominance” used here.

The MTHFR Defect

Almost half the people on Earth have the abnormal MTHFR gene expression, where the biosynthesis of folate is reduced, sometimes marginally, sometimes largely.
Often incorrectly called a “genetic defect” when it is actually a transcription error, polymorphism or abnormal gene expression where errors occur in copying the DNA code rather than a problem with the actual DNA code.
This is why Active Folate has benefits, as it is already in the (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate form required by the body, while regular folate must be converted in the body to this form.
TMG can help supply the methyl groups where insufficent folate cannot. Active folate can be up to 700% more useful in the body, compared to regular folic acid. Note that folic acid is a cheap folate substitute used in many foods claiming to be “folate enriched” but folic acid may prevent absorption of real folate in foods or active folate supplements, and LeanMachine advises total avoidance of foods or supplements containing folic acid.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

There are not many reports on these properties, but they do exist, possibly as a result of methyl group donation

Effects on the Brain

TMG has a positive effect on the brain, likely due to methylation and SAM-e production. Recommended for those at high risk for Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinsons, depression, anxiety, seizures, migraine headache, ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder), MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and other brain conditions.

SAM-e Benefits

1. Heart Disease

SAM-e is used for heart disease, also for fibromyalgia, abdominal pain, osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, chronic lower back pain, ageing, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), improving mental performance, liver disease, spinal cord injury, lead poisoning, to break down bilirubin or porphyrin (or precursors).

2. PMS

SAM-e is often taken for PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and a more severe form PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder).

IV use of SAM-e

IV (Intravenous) use of SAM-e is used for depression, osteoarthritis, AIDS-related nervous system disorders, fibromyalgia, liver disease, cirrhosis, and intrahepatic cholestasis (a liver disorder in pregnant women)

SAM-e Injections

SAM-e is often injected for fibromyalgia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Effects on Digestion

TMG aids digestion, again likely because of positive methylation throughout the body.

Glycine

Glycine is the component left over when all three methyl groups have been donated from TMG.
Glycine is the smallest of the amino acids and very important for collagen formation and many other functions. Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is used for connective tissue: Tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, nails, arteries, veins, etc. Without collagen, we could not stand up, our body would be a pile of mush on the floor!
Glycine, in large doses (up to 3000 mg daily), has been found helpful for sleep and alertness. Although not recommended as a first-line supplement for sleep, it may help if other supplements like Valerian fail to work. This may explain why TMG helps induce restful sleep in some individuals.

Natural sources of TMG

TMG is normally made in the body, but not enough when there are toxins present or the diet is poor or absorption of nutrients is a problem.
TMG can come from the diet. Foods high in TMG include broccoli, quinoa, spinach, lamb, chicken, and beets. A vegetarian or vegan diet tends to be very low in TMG. Foods high in TMG are usually also high in folate, and both are methyl donors.
However, most people do not eat enough of these foods, and even eating large amounts will not provide enough TMG for optimum health.

Risk factors for low TMG

Generally, the body cannot make enough, the modern diet is poor in TMG, and the number of pesticides, chemicals, heavy metal contamination uses up all TMG available.

  • Mercury is a poison that lowers TMG production in the body, and at the same time increases the need for TMG in the body. Almost everyone is mercury toxic now, as mercury is everywhere in the environment, especially in seafood and in dental amalgam fillings
  • Copper toxicity also interferes with TMG, and most people today are toxic from copper pipes, tapware, cookware even if blood or urine tests are negative. While copper is essential for the body to build hemoglobin in blood, we need Chelated Copper from food or supplements, not metallic copper from copper pipes and cookware. Zinc deficiencies cause accumulation of copper in the body, and women have a higher risk than men. Causes headaches, female organ problems, depression, anxiety, skin conditions. Too much zinc (and/or magnesium) competes with copper for absorption, often leading to a copper deficiency.

Supplements

Supplementary TMG is helpful for most people because of low body production, low in the diet, and higher requirements in our toxic world.
TMG 1000mg 100 tablets (most popular, best value).

Stress

Stress, inflammation, inflammation and some diseases increase our need for more TMG.

Dosage of TMG

  • Women: Up to 1000 mg daily
  • Men: Up to 3000 mg daily
  • Children: Less than adults, in proportion to body weight

There are no reliable guides or tests to determine TMG dosage, but the figures above should be a good starting point.
If the sodium/potassium ratio is low, extra TMG may help.
Do not overdose, as too much TMG may lead to over-methylation, causing fatigue, nausea, hair loss, dizziness or other symptoms.
Most people have no side effects from TMG apart from feeling better, getting better sleep and having more energy.
Cautions:
Do not continue a high dose for extended periods.
Children need proportionately less TMG than adults, depending on their size and weight, but babies generally do not need TMG. Older children may need about 250 to 500 mg daily.
TMG is available as tablets, liquid capsules or crystals. Some children and the elderly may have problems with swallowing tablets. TMG has a sweet taste, so TMG crystals can be simply added to food.
Some people have problems tolerating TMG, so they may need a smaller dose. Try reducing the dose until any symptoms disappear.
People who have unresolved resentments seem to have more problems taking TMG, as an enzyme is activated which can cause anger, fear, depression or anxiety symptoms. These symptoms disappear if the dose is reduced or eliminated, but if one can tolerate the symptoms, TMG may help the person resolve their issues of conflict.
Some reports suggest that too much TMG may cause diarrhea and nausea, and may raise cholesterol levels, so those with high cholesterol should keep the level monitored.

Poor Methylation

Several factors affect poor methylation, such as:

  • Raw vegetables are considered healthy, but cooked vegetables provide more dietary methyl groups
  • Sugars in any form appear to harm correct methylation, and are bad for our health anyway
  • Fermented foods are healthy, but are problem for methylation because:
    • Some contain aldehydes (toxic to the liver), including kombucha tea, kimchi, and most fermented grains
    • They contain ferments, which are bacteria or yeasts

    Safer fermented foods, eaten in moderation, include yogurt, kefir, miso and most good quality cheeses

  • Too much animal protein in the diet can cause high methionine and reduce methylation
  • Fighting inflammation or infections consumes methyl groups, requiring more methylation
  • Heavy metal toxicity, especially copper and mercury, interfere with methyl group formation
  • High-dose niacin or niacinamide cause the body to use up methyl groups to detoxify and excrete niacin through the liver. Doses less than 50 mg daily are generally tolerated well
  • Any liver toxins will reduce formation of methyl donors, also liver detoxification pathways require methyl groups, using up more methyl groups
  • Methyl donor production seems to decrease with age, so seniors need more TMG
  • Women of child-bearing age have much better methylation than men. Men always need more TMG than women

Methylation and Cancer

Cancer increases the need for methylating agents like TMG. People often die with cancer because they cannot eliminate their toxic metals and chemicals because of poor liver methylation, so toxins accumulate until death occurs.

Hair Mineral Analysis

More TMG may be required if a hair mineral test reveals:

  • High zinc level, which may indicate presence of hidden toxic metals
  • “Four lows pattern” meaning all four electrolyte minerals low: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium. Indicates impaired methylation
  • High mercury, becoming more common
  • High copper
  • High levels of the other toxic metals

These results indicate long-term toxic metal exposure.

LeanMachine online supplemments

Disclaimer

LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010 and has completed many relevant studies including:
Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the World
University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging Populations
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics II
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain
LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.

Updated 9th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601287

Protect yourself from liver damage with phosphatidylcholine

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/phosphatidylcholine-liver-damage-3239.html
by: | December 31, 2019
liver-damage
(NaturalHealth365)  Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease – defined as excess fat in the liver in the absence of chronic alcohol abuse – is fast becoming a pandemic in the United States. According to recent research, the national prevalence of NAFLD has soared from 18 percent of the population (in 1991) to an astounding 31 percent in 2012 – and death rates from chronic liver disease are on the rise as well.Fortunately, a natural nutrient known as phosphatidylcholine is showing the potential to slow and even reverse fatty liver damage, while protecting against damage from a variety of toxins.

In spite of decades of clinical trials demonstrating phosphatidylcholine’s protective effects, this lecithin-like nutrient still seems to be relatively little-known – and underappreciated – by most people.

Essential NEWS: Phosphatidylcholine makes up 65 percent of all cell membranes

In addition to functioning as the body’s major detoxifying organ, the liver also stores vitamins, assists in the absorption of nutrients, secretes hormones and metabolizes body waste and toxins into water-soluble compounds to be eliminated.

Researchers have learned that most of the life-sustaining activities performed by the liver actually occur on the membranes of the parenchymal cells (known as the “workhorses of the liver”).

Phosphatidylcholine – which is produced by the liver – is absolutely essential for the structure and function of these cells.  Although the parenchymal cells are normally protected by antioxidants such as glutathione and cysteine, exposure to environmental toxins, viruses and bacteria can deplete these protective enzymes and jeopardize levels of phosphatidylcholine (PC).

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And that’s where the trouble really begins.  Protective cell membranes lose their integrity and develop holes, leading to leakage of vital enzymes and, eventually, cell death – which in turn causes inflammatory and necrotic damage to liver tissue.

In order to avoid this scenario, and to continue to carry out its life-sustaining duties, the liver must create new cell membranes – for which PC is a key ingredient.

In a groundbreaking German study conducted in 1973, researchers began to evaluate PC’s therapeutic effects on liver disease in humans – and evidence of PC’s benefits has continued to accumulate ever since.

Phosphatidylcholine can reverse alcoholic liver damage, study says

To conduct the five-year study, the team gave PC daily to 650 subjects with varying degrees of liver damage, then regularly assessed them through biopsies, blood analysis and clinical tests.

Participants’ liver disease ranged from mild to severe – and included fatty degeneration, aggressive inflammation and advanced fibrotic damage.

The subjects were first given PC both orally and intravenously – then were switched to oral supplementation at 450 to 700 mg a day.  The results were striking!

Over 50 percent of participants with mild liver damage showed “excellent” improvement – and even experienced reversal of fatty deposits.

In participants with persistent inflammation, PC returned enzyme parameters to normal after 30 days.  And, of those with the most severe and aggressive chronic inflammation, more than one-third experienced a benefit.

PC supplementation even benefited 17 percent of those with advanced liver scarring – an impressive finding in light of the fact that some of the participants had failed to benefit in the past from other treatments, including steroid drugs and milk thistle extract.

The impressed researchers concluded that PC was the “best single means” for managing liver damage – quite an endorsement!

Warning: Alcohol strips much-needed PC from cell membranes and triggers the development of a fatty liver

PC seems custom-designed to help protect the body from the harmful effects of ethyl alcohol (the type found in beer, wine and liquor).  These damaging effects include damage to mitochondria – the “power centers” of the cells – oxidative stress, antioxidant depletion and inhibition of the liver’s detoxification system.

In addition, alcohol molecules are metabolized to become acetaldehyde (the harmful toxin that is responsible for hangover misery).

Perhaps most alarmingly, alcohol dissolves phosphatidylcholine from the parenchymal cell membranes – jeopardizing their ability to metabolize triglycerides (fat) and setting the stage for inflammation and deposits of fat in the liver.

In fact, so effective is PC at metabolizing lipids that it is used in cosmetic injections to dissolve fat.  Clearly, supplementation with PC is a valuable tool in addressing liver dysfunction.

In an article published in Alternative Medicine Review, the author notes that extensive animal studies have shown that PC slows the progression of fatty liver disease and helps reduce liver fibrosis, or scarring.  And, the German study is one of many showing that PC’s fat-burning and liver-restoring effects translate into therapeutic benefits for human patients with fatty livers.

Additional studies have shown that 1,000 to 3,000 mg a day of phosphatidylcholine can protect the liver by reducing the leakage of enzymes, decreasing the harmful oxidation of fats, slowing membrane damage and preserving membrane integrity.

A liver “MVP,” phosphatidylcholine also protects against damage from medications, pollutants and viruses

Of course, alcohol is far from the only threat to liver health.

Over-the-counter and prescribed medications – including acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, antibiotics and benzodiazepines – also take a toll on the liver, as does exposure to herbicides, pesticides and electromagnetic radiation from smart phones and laptops.

Animal and clinical studies have shown that PC defends the liver against these, as well.  In one study, PC was even found to be effective against Amanita phalloides, the notorious “deathcap” mushroom.

In other research, PC helped to resolve liver damage from hepatitis A and B, while improving general well-being.  Note: In 20 percent of the PC-treated patients, the virus was found to be “inactive” – a truly encouraging result!

Support liver health with phosphatidylcholine supplementation

Phosphatidylcholine is produced in the liver, and is also found in some foods – including cage-free eggs, organic soybeans, mustard and sunflower seeds.

Clearly, supplementation could be a wise move for those dealing with fatty liver disease.

Natural healers may recommend dosages in the area of 500 mg to 3,000 mg of phosphatidylcholine a day. Of course, check first with your integrative doctor before supplementing with PC.

As a “bonus tip:” PC is not only highly bioavailable – with about 90 percent absorption over 24 hours – but it also enhances the bioavailability of other nutrients, such as flavonoids, that are taken along with it.

No doubt, researchers are hailing PC as an “effective and safe nutrient for liver damage of all levels of severity.”  And, with fatty liver disease becoming rampant in the United States, PC’s ability to reduce and prevent fatty deposits and fibrosis is certainly good news.

Editor’s note: LuvByNature Liposomal LiverLuv is my number ONE pick for supporting liver health, detoxification and glutathione levels.  Click here to order today!

Sources for this article include:

Semanticscholar.org
Naturalhealth365.com

Glutathione and NAC Play Crucial Roles in Health and Fitness


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/30/glutathione-nac-for-health-and-fitness.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked image
glutathione nac for health and fitness

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • 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 Basics

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 Basics

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,6 depression7 and substance use disorders.8 Dozens of additional health benefits are also reviewed in a November 29, 2019, SelfHacked article.9

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Glutathione Helps Regulate Epigenetic Disease Mechanisms

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.

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.

 Sources and References

10 Ways to Live Longer


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/24/10-ways-to-live-longer.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked image

December 24, 2019

10 ways to live longer

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Researchers from Arizona and Texas have made a breakthrough discovery in plant DNA that could lead to stopping cancer cold, as well as slowing the aging process
  • Centenarians are optimistic and have low rates of depression and other psychiatric problems
  • Good quality sleep, in the right amount, can improve how you think and adapt to life’s circumstances
  • Eating well and avoiding toxins also factor into your overall well-being

Youthfulness, vitality and a long, prosperous life have been sought after throughout human history. And now, it seems scientists may have discovered one of the keys to turning back the hands of time.

Researchers from Arizona State University and Texas A&M University have made a breakthrough discovery in plant DNA that could lead to stopping cancer cold and slowing the aging process, ABC affiliate News 15 Arizona reports.1

The research involves telomerase, an enzyme that produces the DNA of telomeres, which have been shown to play a role in the aging process. As your telomeres lengthen, they protect your cells from aging.

Take It From the Experts: Centenarians Share Their Secrets

While direct applications from the study to human health are distant, there are a number of things you can do now to improve your health span, according to one of the co-authors. In interviews and surveys with centenarians, certain themes came up time and time again when they explained why they’ve lived so long. The 10 most common reasons they gave for their long lives were:

Keeping a positive attitude Eating good food
Participating in moderate exercise like walking, gardening swimming, etc. Living clean (not smoking or drinking excessively)
Living independently Having family to interact with
Having a circle of friends Being born with “good” genes
Having faith/spirituality Staying mentally active and continually learning

Centenarians are the fastest growing segment of the U.S population, with numbers doubling every decade; by the year 2050, the number of people who will have reached the century mark is expected to pass 1 million.

Centenarians have 60% lower rates of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, yet scientific explanations for their health and longevity remain elusive. As a group, they are happy and optimistic and have extremely low rates of depression and other psychiatric problems, suggesting you may live longer by maintaining the right attitude.

Hopefulness and Positivity Affect the Heart

There are compelling links between cardiac health and mental health. For example, having untreated depression or anxiety disorder increases your odds of having a heart attack or developing heart disease. Stress hormones are again a primary culprit.

According to Julia Boehm, author of earlier Harvard studies looking at optimism and cardiovascular disease (CVD):2

“The absence of the negative is not the same thing as the presence of the positive. We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction and happiness are associated with reduced risk of CVD regardless of such factors as a person’s age, socioeconomic status, smoking status or body weight.”

With a later study,3 author Eric Kim told The Harvard Gazette:

“While most medical and public health efforts today focus on reducing risk factors for diseases, evidence has been mounting that enhancing psychological resilience may also make a difference.

Our new findings suggest that we should make efforts to boost optimism, which has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviors and healthier ways of coping with life challenges.”

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The Significance of Sound Sleep

Getting adequate sleep is an important part of both mental and physical health. Too much or too little can lead to metabolic issues, as well as changes in mood and your ability to focus. Your circadian rhythm, which affects your sleep/wake cycle, holds implications for your brain, body temperature, hormones and cell regeneration among other things.4

“Irregular rhythms have been linked to various chronic health conditions, such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder,” say scientists from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.5

Italian researchers found that deletion of a specific gene related to aging also affects glucose homeostasis. According to their article, published in the journal Glia, “Disruption of the circadian cycle is strongly associated with metabolic imbalance and reduced longevity in humans.”6

Telomeres and telomerase activity are also controlled by your circadian rhythm,7 making proper sleep an important part of longevity. In a 2007 study involving 21,268 adult twins, Finnish researchers found that adults who slept more than eight hours per night, or less than seven, showed increased risk of death.8

Of course, the quality of your sleep is also important, not just the quantity. Good quality sleep, in the appropriate amount, can improve how you think and adapt to the demands on your time and changes throughout your day. There is evidence suggesting that a calm mind and active body are two important ingredients for longevity.

The meditative technique known as “mindfulness” has even been shown to have a beneficial effect on genetic expression. According to a 2018 article in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity,9 meditation has also been found to affect the enzyme telomerase, which some researchers believe is actively involved with the process of aging.

After Resting, Be Sure to Refuel

Additionally, there are many other strategies you can implement to improve your health and extend your life span. To live longer, you need to counteract the progressive loss of muscle mass by increasing your protein intake as you age. The elderly, bodybuilders and endurance athletes typically have higher than normal protein requirements for their age group.

It’s also important to cycle high and low protein intake. Ideally, combine protein restriction with time-restricted eating, followed by increased protein intake on strength training days.

Fasting 16 to 20 hours each day is likely ideal, as this allows your body to more thoroughly deplete the glycogen stores in your liver. Benefits of fasting include the suppression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and the activation of autophagy, both of which play decisive roles in disease prevention and longevity.

You’d also be wise to avoid eating two to three hours before bed, as late-night eating will decrease your nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) level, which is crucial for health and longevity. Late-night eating will also make you pack on unwanted pounds, as the excess calories will not be burned but stored as fat.

Preventing Cognitive Decline

Naturally, if you’re going to live longer, you’ll want to be healthy for the remainder, and that includes maintaining your cognitive function. Specific nutrients that can help prevent dementia and cognitive decline include vitamin D, DHA, folate and magnesium. Additional nutrients of notable interest, which are readily available in supplement form, include:

  • Astaxanthin — Commonly called “king of the carotenoids,” is a potent anti-inflammatory from specific types of microalgae and may be useful for treating joint and muscle pain. It also supports healthy vision and can be used as an “internal sunscreen.”
  • Ergothioneine — Found in porcini mushrooms, ergothioneine appears to play a specific role in protecting your DNA from oxidative damage. Along with glutathione, it may offer protection against age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and heart disease.
  • PQQ — Particularly important for the health and protection of your mitochondria, PQQ has been shown to help protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It also works synergistically with CoQ10, producing better results than when either one is used alone. Celery, parsley and kiwi are dietary sources of PQQ.

Kick the Chemicals to the Curb

Naturally, there’s also the issue of toxic exposures, which can take a toll on your health, so avoiding toxins is a given, right along with eating a wholesome diet of organic, unprocessed foods.

This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with nontoxic alternatives.

A group of scientists from Southeast University and Changzhou No. 7 People’s Hospital in China recently published a study10 about the role of plastics in our environment and how long-term exposure affects our health. They found that high concentrations of nanoplastic particles reduced the life span of roundworms.

They believe that different levels of exposure may have effects on locomotion and immune response, indicating that nanopolystyrene is likely toxic to all types of organisms.

“Our results highlight the potential of long-term nanopolystyrene exposure in reducing longevity and in affecting health state during the aging process in environmental organisms,” they wrote. Next week I will post my interview with leading researcher James Clement on his book, “The Switch,” that will go into far more fascinating details on this topic.

Sources and References

The cancer fighting benefits of Coenzyme Q10

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/benefits-of-coq10-3221.html

by:  

benefits-of-coq10

(NaturalHealth365) Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a substance found in every cell of our body. It is in a variety of foods, and healthy people are not likely to develop a deficiency of this nutrient. But, you might want to think about taking in some extra CoQ10 – especially if you’re taking a statin to lower your cholesterol levels.

CoQ10 has many potential health benefits, including possibly lowering the risk of certain cancers. Women, especially, should take note, since recent research points to links between breast cancer risk and lower levels of CoQ10 in the blood.

Clearing up the confusion about CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 is technically not a vitamin because your body can synthesize it, so you do not need to get it from food. However, its structure is similar to that of vitamins. Also like vitamins, it acts as a coenzyme functions in your body’s metabolic reactions.

CoQ10 also has powerful antioxidant properties. For example, it helps prevent harmful oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and it supplements the work of vitamin E, or tocopherol. When your blood levels of CoQ10 are lower, your body needs more vitamin E from the diet to carry out heart-healthy antioxidant reactions.

What are the health benefits associated with CoQ10?

Can a Coenzyme Q10 deficiency increase the risk of cancer?

Since the 1960s, researchers have noted associations between lower blood levels of CoQ10 and cancer. People with lymphoma, myeloma, and lung, head, neck, and prostate cancers tend to have lower levels of CoQ10.

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A recent study looking into links between CoQ10 and breast cancer examined data from nearly 1,000 women aged 40 to 70 in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study. Those who had serum levels of CoQ10 in the bottom fifth of participants had a 90 percent greater chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer than those whose levels were in the middle fifth.

“The current Shanghai Women’s Health Study, with relatively larger sample size and longer follow-up time suggests an inverse association for plasma CoQ10 levels with breast cancer risk in Chinese women,” according to study authors Robert V. Cooney of the University of Hawaii and colleagues. Based on these results, future research should investigate potential effects of supplementation on the risk of breast cancer.

The study also confirmed the association between low CoQ10 and higher risk of cervical cancer, myeloma, and melanoma. This makes the results relevant to men as well as women. This study is far from definitive, but it seems likely that there is a link between healthy CoQ10 levels and reduction in cancer risk.

CoQ10 is in a variety of foods, including meat, fish, and eggs, and organ meats, such as heart, kidney, and liver, are especially rich sources. You can also find CoQ10 in plant-based foods, such as cauliflower, peanuts, soybean oil, and strawberries.

Obviously, you can obtain additional benefits, with ease, by supplementing your diet with a high quality CoQ10 supplement.

Sources for this article include:

Healthline.com
NaturalHealth365.com