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Curcumin Effectively Reduces Pain in Osteoarthritis Patients

© 9th January 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/curcumin-effectively-reduces-pain-osteoarthritis-patients

Posted on:  Thursday, January 9th 2020 at 11:30 am

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

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

Current Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis

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

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

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

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

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

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

Study Results: Curcumin for Safer and More Effective Pain Management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Curcumin With Increased Bioavailability Is Important

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

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

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

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


References

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

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

[iii] BMJ. 2018; 362: k3426.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can glutathione help combat fatty liver disease?

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/glutathione-liver-disease-3311.html

glutathione-detox(NaturalHealth365) Glutathione – a powerful antioxidant that’s found within every cell of the body – is made up of amino acids. This antioxidant contributes to a variety of important bodily functions, including vitamin regeneration, breaking down free radicals, immune system support, helping the liver to handle fats, making DNA, and even the creation of sperm cells.  But, unlike many other antioxidants, the body is actually able to make this substance in your liver.

Researchers have previously found links between certain diseases and low glutathione levels.  Since the antioxidant plays an important role in the antioxidant and detoxification systems of cells, scientists hypothesized that glutathione supplementation would help combat fatty liver disease.  And in a fairly recent study, researchers investigated oral supplementation in individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) with positive results.

The proper amount of glutathione proves to be beneficial for people with fatty liver disease

The study involved 34 patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, all of whom had been diagnosed via ultrasonography. First, patients underwent lifestyle interventions, such as diet and exercise changes for a period of three months.

Then, patients were treated with 300 mg per day of glutathione. Clinical parameters like liver fat, liver fibrosis, and alanine aminotransferase (ALT – a blood test that checks for liver damage) levels were all checked both before and after treatment with glutathione.

Among the patients who finished this protocol, a significant decrease in ALT levels were seen after treatment with glutathione.  Patients also so decreases in ferritin, triglyceride, and non-esterified fatty acid levels.

Overall, the study demonstrated that oral supplementation of glutathione does offer some significant potential therapeutic effects for patients with fatty liver disease, although study authors note that larger-scale clinical trials should be done for verification.

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Powerful antioxidant offers additional health benefits

Beyond this new study showing the benefits of glutathione for individuals with liver disease, the powerful antioxidant offers a number of additional health benefits as well.

Benefits include:

  • Counteracting free radicals: As an antioxidant, it helps fight free radicals, protecting your body from their damaging and aging effects.
  • Improves insulin sensitivity: One study showed that individuals who have insulin resistance often have low glutathione levels.
  • Combating cancer: Some research shows glutathione may help prevent cancer progression as well.
  • Alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s: Research shows that maintaining healthy levels of glutathione may help alleviate or at least reduce symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Boosting the immune system: By protecting cell mitochondria and reducing inflammation, glutathione helps boost the immune system.

Although glutathione offers a number of proven health benefits, as you grow older, levels of glutathione decrease.  Injury, stress, and illness can all affect glutathione stores, as well.

Therefore, eating an organic diet, reducing or eliminating smoking and alcohol consumption, and avoiding exposure to environmental toxins can help prevent glutathione depletion.  Naturally, adding a glutathione supplement to your diet in the amount of 200 – 500 mg per day may also prove helpful, although you should always talk to your integrative physician before making any changes to your diet or supplement routine.

Sources for this article include:

NIH.gov
NaturalHealth365.com
MedicalNewsToday.com

Moringa Contains All Essential Amino Acids Your Body Needs


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/03/02/moringa-amino-acid-composition.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola      March 02, 2020
moringa amino acid composition

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • There are 20 basic amino acids that make up the proteins in your body. Nine of them — histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, threonine and valine — are considered “essential” as none of them are made by your body and therefore must be obtained from your diet
  • Moringa (Moringa oleifera), also known as horseradish tree or drumstick tree, is an excellent protein source, containing 30.3% crude protein and 19 amino acids in total, including all nine essential amino acids
  • Virtually every part of the Moringa plant is edible and has medicinal qualities, and most parts can be consumed either raw or cooked. You can also harvest the plant as a microgreen
  • Moringa leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit and flowers have antitumor, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, cholesterol lowering, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial and antiviral activities
  • Moringa has potent antibiotic activity against a wide variety of pathogens, including Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Candida and Helicobacter pylori

There are 20 basic amino acids that make up the proteins in your body.1,2 In other words, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Conversely, when your body breaks down or digests proteins, amino acids are what’s left behind.

Nine of these — histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, threonine and valine — are considered “essential” as none of them are made by your body and therefore must be obtained from your diet.

Three of these essential amino acids — leucine, isoleucine and valine — are known as branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) because they have a branched molecular structure. While most amino acids are broken down in your liver, BCAAs are broken down primarily in your muscle. As such, they help improve exercise performance and reduce the breakdown of muscle.

Beef is one dietary protein source, containing 18 different amino acids, including the nine essential ones.3 Eggs are another excellent source of all nine essential amino acids, plus another nine nonessential amino acids.4

However, protein is also found in plant foods. Moringa (Moringa oleifera), also known as horseradish tree or drumstick tree, is an excellent protein source, containing 30.3% crude protein and, according to the African Journal of Biotechnology, 19 amino acids,5 including all nine essential amino acids.6

Moringa also contains beneficial fatty acids (44.57% being a-linolenic acid7), beta-carotene, phenolics, zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, kaempferol,8 flavonoids and isothiocyanates.9

Many of the health benefits of Moringa — which include the prevention and treatment of inflammatory diseases, neurodysfunctional diseases, diabetes and cancer — are attributed to its glucosinolate10 and isothiocyanate11 content. The isothiocyanate moringin,12 for example, has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective effects.13

Health Effects of Essential Amino Acids

As detailed in several research articles including the journal Amino Acids, the nine essential amino acids — all of which are found in Moringa — have important biological roles, including the following:14

Isoleucine15 — Helps stabilize your blood sugar and is required, along with leucine and valine, for muscle synthesis, repair, energy and endurance.
Leucine16 — Helps lower blood sugar that is elevated and triggers the production of growth hormone. Along with isoleucine and valine, leucine promotes the growth of muscle, bone and skin.
Valine17 — Helps maintain muscle metabolism and nitrogen balance. It’s also used in tissue repair and energy production.
Lysine18 — Is needed in the production of hormones, collagen, enzymes and antibodies. It also helps combat viruses and plays a role in calcium assimilation and protein construction in bones and muscle.
Methionine19 — Is converted into cysteine and vice versa, based on the needs of your body. It’s also a primary source of sulfur in your body, which is required for healthy hair, skin and nails.
Tryptophan20 — Aids in the production of niacin (vitamin B3), which is required for serotonin and melatonin production.
Phenylalanine21 — Plays a role in memory formation and nervous system function, and helps reduce inflammation.
Threonine22,23 — Important for healthy cardiovascular system, central nervous system, immune system and liver function. It also plays a role in the digestion of fats, and promotes healthy collagen, muscle tissue, skin and bones.
Histidine24 — Required for red and white blood cell production, and aids in tissue repair. Importantly, histidine helps protect your nerves by maintaining the myelin sheath around them.

Certain amino acids also help improve the antioxidant properties of peptides.25 Peptides are strings of amino acids that are shorter than those making up proteins. Due to their smaller size, peptides are broken down more easily than proteins, and have been shown to have antioxidant activity.26,27

As described in the paper “Amino acid composition and antioxidant properties of Moringa oleifera seed protein isolate and enzymatic hydrolysates:”28

“Some of these amino acids, especially Tyr [tyrosine], Met [methionine], His [histidine] and Lys [lysine] have been shown to play specific roles in improving antioxidant properties of peptides.

Besides, aromatic amino acids with a large side group such as His … and Trp [tryptophan] … contribute to the antioxidant potency of peptides because they act as hydrogen donors.

According to Sarmadi, the interaction of peptides with lipids or entry into target organs can be enhanced by the hydrophobic properties, which helps in promoting the antioxidant effects of peptides.”

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Regenerative Food & Farming Week 2020


Moringa — A Powerful Multipurpose Plant

Moringa may be one of the most important yet vastly underutilized plants available. Virtually every part of it is edible and has medicinal qualities, and most parts can be consumed either raw or cooked. Globally, the leaves, roots, pods and flowers are most typically consumed.29

You can also harvest the plant as a microgreen. As noted in the mini-review “Health Benefits of Moringa Oleifera,” published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention (APJCP) in 2014:30

“Moringa oleifera is a multi-purpose herbal plant used as human food and an alternative for medicinal purposes worldwide. It has been identified by researchers as a plant with numerous health benefits including nutritional and medicinal advantages.

Moringa oleifera contains essential amino acids, carotenoids in leaves, and components with nutraceutical properties … An important factor that accounts for the medicinal uses of Moringa oleifera is its very wide range of vital antioxidants, antibiotics and nutrients including vitamins and minerals. Almost all parts from Moringa can be used as a source for nutrition with other useful values.”

Health Benefits of Moringa

According to a 2011 paper31 on the nutritional composition of Moringa leaves, “The values of amino acids, fatty acids, minerals and vitamin profiles reflect a desirable nutritional balance.” A 2007 paper in Phytotherapy Research also describes Moringa’s benefits, noting that:32

“… [T]he leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit, flowers and immature pods act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants, possess antitumor, antipyretic, antiepileptic, antiinflammatory, antiulcer, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, cholesterol lowering, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial and antifungal activities, and are being employed for the treatment of different ailments in the indigenous system of medicine …”

Other studies report Moringa:

Helps protect liver, kidney, heart, testes and lung health33
Has analgesic properties34
Has antiulcer activity35
Helps lower blood pressure36
Protects against radiation37
Helps modulate immune function38
Has potent antibiotic activity against a wide variety of pathogens, including Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Candida albicans and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)39,40
Has anti-inflammatory41 and antiviral activity, thanks to quercetin42,43,44

Moringa Is an Inexpensive Way to Optimize Your Nutrition

Moringa offers many of the same medicinal benefits as broccoli. Both also contain all the essential amino acids. Moringa, however, is far more economical to grow. It’s extremely hardy and drought resistant, making it an attractive alternative — particularly in underserved populations worldwide where health care and Western medicines are hard to come by.45

The fact that you can eat more or less the whole tree in a variety of different ways also makes it an attractive option. The long seed pods, colloquially known as Moringa drumsticks, are a common staple in Indian cuisine. For information and a few sample recipes, see NDTV Food’s website.46

You can also harvest these seeds, sow them, and harvest them like microgreens, i.e., while they’re small like sprouts. For a quick review of how to do this, see the video above. For guidance on how to grow Moringa trees in general, see my previous article, “How to Grow Moringa Tree.”

Last but not least, research has confirmed Moringa has a very high degree of safety,47 although high doses of seed extracts, specifically, may have toxic effects.48

– Sources and References

Three Intravenous Vitamin C Research Studies Approved for Treating COVID-19

© 26th February 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/three-intravenous-vitamin-c-research-studies-approved-treating-covid-19-1

Posted on: Wednesday, February 26th 2020 at 3:00 pm


Originally published on www.orthomolecular.org

by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

Intravenous vitamin C is already being employed in China against COVID-19 coronavirus. I am receiving regular updates because I am part of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board to the International Intravenous Vitamin C China Epidemic Medical Support Team. Its director is Richard Z. Cheng, MD, PhD; associate director is Hong Zhang, PhD. Among other team members are Qi Chen, PhD (Associate Professor, Kansas University Medical School); Jeanne Drisko, MD (Professor, University of Kansas Medical School); Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD; and Atsuo Yanagisawa, MD, PhD. (Professor, Kyorin University, Tokyo). To read the treatment protocol information in English: https://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n07.shtml (Protocol in Chinese at https://www.doctoryourself.com/Coronavirus_Chinese_IV_C_Protocol.pdf

 

Direct report from China

OMNS Chinese edition editor Dr. Richard Cheng is reporting from China about the first approved study of 12,000 to 24,000 mg/day of vitamin C by IV. The doctor also specifically calls for immediate use of vitamin C for prevention of coronavirus (COVID-19). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC0SO9KDG7U

A second clinical trial of intravenous vitamin C was announced in China on Feb. 13th. In this second study, says Dr. Cheng, “They plan to give 6,000 mg/day and 12,000 mg/day per day for moderate and severe cases. We are also communicating with other hospitals about starting more intravenous vitamin C clinical studies. We would like to see oral vitamin C included in these studies, as the oral forms can be applied to more patients and at home.” Additional information at https://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n11.shtml

And on Feb 21, 2020, announcement has been made of a third research trial now approved for intravenous vitamin C for COVID-19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMDX0RSDp1k&feature=youtu.be

Dr. Cheng, who is a US board-certified specialist in anti-aging medicine, adds: “Vitamin C is very promising for prevention, and especially important to treat dying patients when there is no better treatment. Over 2,000 people have died of the COIV-19 outbreak and yet I have not seen or heard large dose intravenous vitamin C being used in any of the cases. The current sole focus on vaccine and specific antiviral drugs for epidemics is misplaced.”

He adds that: “Early and sufficiently large doses of intravenous vitamin C are critical. Vitamin C is not only a prototypical antioxidant, but also involved in virus killing and prevention of viral replication. The significance of large dose intravenous vitamin C is not just at antiviral level. It is acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that kills most people from coronaviral pandemics (SARS, MERS and now NCP). ARDS is a common final pathway leading to death.

“We therefore call for a worldwide discussion and debate on this topic.”

News of vitamin C research for COVID-19 is being actively suppressed

Anyone saying that vitamin therapy can stop coronavirus is already being labeled as “promoting false information” and promulgating “fake news.” Even the sharing of verifiable news, and direct quotes from credentialed medical professionals, is being restricted or blocked on social media. You can see sequential examples of this phenomenon at my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/themegavitaminman .

Indeed, the World Health Organization (WHO) has, literally, met with Google and Facebook and other media giants to stop the spread of what they declare to be wrong information. https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/02/14/facebook-google-amazon-met-with-who-to-talk-coronavirus-misinformation.html?__twitter_impression=true

Physician-directed, hospital-based administration of intravenous vitamin C has been marginalized or discredited. Scientific debate over COVID-19 appears to not be allowed.

Ironically, Facebook, blocking any significant users’ sharing of the news of approved vitamin therapy research, is itself blocked in China by the Chinese government. As for the internet, yes, China has it. And yes, it is censored. But, significantly, the Chinese government has not blocked this real news on how intravenous vitamin C will save lives in the COVID-19 epidemic. Here is the protocol as published in Chinese: https://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n11-chi.shtml

Medical orthodoxy obsessively focuses on searching for a vaccine and/or drug for coronavirus COVID-19). While they are looking for what would be fabulously profitable approaches, we have with vitamin C an existing, plausible, clinically demonstrated method to treat what coronavirus patients die from: severe acute respiratory syndrome, or pneumonia.

And it is available right now.

To read all Orthomolecular Medicine News Service Reports on COVID coronavirus and intravenous vitamin C:

Vol. 16, No. 04 January 26, 2020 Vitamin C Protects Against Coronavirus
Vol. 16, No. 06 January 30, 2020 Nutritional Treatment of Coronavirus
Vol. 16, No. 07 February 2, 2020 Hospital-based Intravenous Vitamin C Treatment for Coronavirus and Related Illnesses
Vol. 16, No. 09 February 10, 2020 VITAMIN C AND ITS APPLICATION TO THE TREATMENT OF nCoV CORONAVIRUS: How Vitamin C Reduces Severity and Deaths from Serious Viral Respiratory Diseases
Vol. 16, No. 10 February 13, 2020 Coronavirus Patients in China to be Treated with High-Dose Vitamin C
Vol. 16, No. 11 February 16, 2020 Early Large Dose Intravenous Vitamin C is the Treatment of Choice for 2019-nCov Pneumonia

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: https://www.orthomolecular.org

Find a Doctor

To locate an orthomolecular physician near you: https://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n09.shtml

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:

Ilyès Baghli, M.D. (Algeria)
Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Prof. Gilbert Henri Crussol (Spain)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael J. Gonzalez, N.M.D., D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Tonya S. Heyman, M.D. (USA)
Suzanne Humphries, M.D. (USA)
Ron Hunninghake, M.D. (USA)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Jeffrey J. Kotulski, D.O. (USA)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Homer Lim, M.D. (Philippines)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Victor A. Marcial-Vega, M.D. (Puerto Rico)
Charles C. Mary, Jr., M.D. (USA)
Mignonne Mary, M.D. (USA)
Jun Matsuyama, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)
Dave McCarthy, M.D. (USA)
Joseph Mercola, D.O. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Tahar Naili, M.D. (Algeria)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Dag Viljen Poleszynski, Ph.D. (Norway)
Datuk Selvam Rengasamy, MBBS (Malaysia)
Jeffrey A. Ruterbusch, D.O. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Thomas L. Taxman, M.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Garry Vickar, MD (USA)
Ken Walker, M.D. (Canada)
Anne Zauderer, D.C. (USA)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor-In-Chief
Editor, Japanese Edition: Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)
Editor, Chinese Edition: Richard Cheng, M.D., Ph.D. (USA)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA), Associate Editor
Helen Saul Case, M.S. (USA), Assistant Editor
Michael S. Stewart, B.Sc.C.S. (USA), Technology Editor
Jason M. Saul, JD (USA), Legal Consultant

Comments and media contact: drsaul@doctoryourself.com OMNS welcomes but is unable to respond to individual reader emails. Reader comments become the property of OMNS and may or may not be used for publication.

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.

Endometriosis

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

What is Endometriosis?

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

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

Symptoms

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

Research and Risk Factors

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

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

Reproductive disorder

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

Traditional Treatment

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

Natural Treatment

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

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

Estrogen Dominance (not just Women)

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

Excess estrogens

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

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

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

Aromatase Inhibitors

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

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

Plastics

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

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

    HRT – Hormone Replacement Therapy

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

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

    Doing the Detox

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

    Toxic Water

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

    Toxic Food

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

    Foods which can help with Endometriosis

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

    Supplements which can help Endometriosis

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

    Avoid Chronic Stress

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

    Meditation

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

    Nature

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

    Hobbies

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

    Avoid Loneliness

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

    Shrink

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

    Yoga or Tai-Chi

    Gentle exercise can also help deal with stress.

    Hydrotherapy – running Hot and Cold

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

    Prescription Medication

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

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

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

Breaking NEWS: Vaccine-like injection touted as better than statins for “preventing” heart disease

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/heart-disease-injection-3276.html
by:  | 2nd February 2020

heart-disease-shot(NaturalHealth365) We’ve reported on the dangers of statins many times on NaturalHealth365.  From mood dysfunction to memory loss, the world’s top-selling drug – prescribed to lower blood cholesterol in the hopes of managing or preventing heart disease – comes with many questionable side effects. Now, doctors in the United Kingdom are rushing to test a new cholesterol-lowering drug – only this one is a pricey injection.The new “heart jab” is supposed to work like a vaccine. It contains a drug called inclisiran, and the National Health Service (NHS) of Britain seems extremely hopeful about its potential impact on patients’ heart health. But is it safe long-term?

So-called “wonder jab” alleged to slash cholesterol levels is expensive and lacks support from long-term data

Inclisiran is from a class of drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors. PCSK9 inhibitors – including alirocumab (Praluent) and evolocumab (Repatha) – are very new to the British health market. They allegedly work by blocking the action of an enzyme called PCSK9; by inhibiting this enzyme, the liver can remove “lousy” LDL cholesterol from the blood more quickly.

Unlike alirocumab and evolocumab, however – which require a once or bi-monthly injection – inclisiran reportedly only needs to be injected once or twice per year. The drug works by turning off genes which normally make the PCSK9 enzyme. Reported side effects include back pain, aching muscles, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue.

Prior research on the drug revealed that inclisiran can decrease cholesterol by as much as 50 percent. Now, researchers, drug manufacturers, and the NHS seem so excited about this “wonder jab” that the NHS gave the green light for a new trial in Britain involving 40,000 middle-aged men and women who are taking statins and still have high cholesterol.

The very hopeful researchers claim that rolling out this drug onto the market could prevent as many as 55,000 heart attacks and strokes in the coming decade. Unfortunately, there are several valid points of contention with this new drug, and with the new trial that’s been shuttled so quickly down the pipeline:

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  • No one knows whether inclisiran and the other PCSK9 inhibitors are safe long-term.
  • Inclisiran is about 100 times as expensive as statin drugs.
  • The PCSK9 enzyme is involved in multiple bodily processes – and nobody yet knows what kind of widespread consequences there will be, if any, of shutting the enzyme down.
  • Inclisiran does appear to reduce cholesterol levels – but there’s no proof it reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • It’s not entirely clear that improving your cholesterol levels is the key to improving heart health anyway! Several recent papers provide evidence which challenges the long-held belief that high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. In fact, the true culprit appears to be chronic inflammation – which is something that inclisiran doesn’t influence.

Prevent heart disease and improve your heart health with these 5 nutrients

Does the world really need another expensive drug, anyway? If you’re of the millions of people around the world diagnosed with or at risk for heart disease, then be sure you’re getting these five nutrients into your diet regularly:

As we’ve previously reported, these and other nutrients work synergistically to optimize heart health. Studies show that these nutrients (from both food and supplements) decrease many risk factors associated with heart disease, including systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, heart failure, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure.

So before asking your doctor about the latest and “greatest” drugs, try evaluating your plate, first – a move that many health experts are urging the public to do.

Sources for this article include:

Yahoo.com
CDC.gov
Dailymail.co.uk
AJMC.com
BMJ.com
NaturalHealth365.com
NIH.gov

Vitamin C Works for Sepsis. Will It Work for Coronavirus?


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/02/24/iv-vitamin-c.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

February 24, 2020
iv vitamin c

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Sepsis is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide each year, killing 11 million out of 56 million people in 2017 alone. Sepsis is also one of the leading causes for influenza deaths
  • An IV protocol has been shown to dramatically improve chances of survival in septic patients. Giving adult patients 200 mg of thiamine every 12 hours, 1,500 mg of ascorbic acid every six hours, and 50 mg of hydrocortisone every six hours for two days reduced mortality from 40% to 8.5%
  • Recent research has demonstrated the vitamin C-hydrocortisone-thiamine protocol lowers mortality in pediatric patients as well, from 28% to 9% in the first 30 days
  • In 2009, IV vitamin C was shown to be a potentially lifesaving treatment against severe swine flu. Even before that, many studies had demonstrated the usefulness of vitamin C against infections of various kinds
  • A randomized double-blind study published in 1994 found elderly patients given 200 milligrams of vitamin C per day while hospitalized for acute respiratory infection fared significantly better than those receiving a placebo

According to the most comprehensive global analysis1,2,3 done to date, sepsis is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide each year, killing 11 million out of 56 million people in 2017 alone. The researchers call the finding “alarming,” as their updated figures are double that of previous estimates.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition triggered by a systemic infection that causes your body to overreact and launch an excessive and highly damaging immune response.

Unless promptly diagnosed and treated, it can rapidly progress to multiple-organ failure and death, so it’s crucial to be on the lookout for its signs and symptoms4,5,6 whenever you’re ill or in the hospital.

This includes cases of suspected influenza, as sepsis can mimic many of the signs and symptoms of flu. In fact, as discussed in “The Alarming Reason Some People Die From the Flu,” sepsis is one of the leading causes for influenza deaths.7

Vitamin C Protocol Lowers Sepsis Mortality

The good news is, a protocol of intravenous (IV) vitamin C with hydrocortisone and thiamine (vitamin B1) has been shown to dramatically improve chances of survival.8

This sepsis treatment protocol was developed Dr. Paul Marik, a critical care doctor at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in East Virginia. His retrospective before-after clinical study9,10 showed giving patients 200 mg of thiamine every 12 hours, 1,500 mg of ascorbic acid every six hours, and 50 mg of hydrocortisone every six hours for two days reduced mortality from 40% to 8.5%.

Importantly, the treatment has no side effects and is inexpensive, readily available and simple to administer, so there’s virtually no risk involved. More recent research,11,12 published online January 9, 2020, found Marik’s sepsis protocol lowered mortality in pediatric patients as well.

The study was performed at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and as noted by Science Daily,13 the preliminary data from this study “supports the promising outcomes seen in adults.” Between January 2014 and February 2019, 557 pediatric patients with septic shock met the criteria for inclusion in the study.

Forty-three received Mariks’s vitamin C-B1-hydrocortisone protocol, 181 received hydrocortisone-only therapy, and 333 received neither of these treatments. The 43 patients receiving the vitamin C treatment were matched based on clinical status with 43 untreated controls and 43 hydrocortisone-only patients.

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

As noted by the authors, “Our results suggest that HAT [hydrocortisone, ascorbic acid and thiamine] therapy, when administered early in the clinical course, reduces mortality in children with septic shock.”

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Vitamin C Put to the Test Against Coronavirus

In 2009, IV vitamin C was shown to be a potentially lifesaving treatment against severe swine flu. Even before that, many studies had demonstrated the usefulness of vitamin C against infections of various kinds.

For example, a randomized double-blind study15 published in 1994 found elderly patients given 200 milligrams of vitamin C per day while hospitalized for acute respiratory infection fared significantly better than those receiving a placebo.

According to the authors, “This was particularly the case for those commencing the trial most severely ill, many of whom had very low plasma and white cell vitamin C concentrations on admission.”

Now, vitamin C will be put to the test against coronavirus as well. The study,16 “Vitamin C Infusion for the Treatment of Severe 2019-nCoV Infected Pneumonia” was posted to ClinicalTrials.gov February 11, 2020, and has not yet started recruiting patients. According to the study description:17

“At the end of 2019, patients with unexplained pneumonia appeared in Wuhan, China … Subsequently, the World Health Organization officially named the new coronavirus that caused the pneumonia epidemic in Wuhan as 2019 new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and the pneumonia was named severe acute respiratory infection (SARI).

Up to February 4, 2020, over 20,000 cases have been diagnosed in China, 406 of which have died, and 154 cases have been discovered in other countries around the world. Most of the deaths were elderly patients or patients with severe underlying diseases …

Statistics of the 41 patients with SARI published in JAMA initially showed that 13 patients were transferred into the ICU, of which 11 (85%) had ARDS and 3 (23%) had shock. Of these, 10 (77%) required mechanical ventilation support, and 2 (15%) required ECMO support. Of the above 13 patients, 5 (38%) eventually died and 7 (38%) were transferred out of the ICU.

Viral pneumonia is a dangerous condition with a poor clinical prognosis … Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has antioxidant properties. When sepsis happens, the cytokine surge caused by sepsis is activated, and neutrophils in the lungs accumulate in the lungs, destroying alveolar capillaries. Early clinical studies have shown that vitamin C can effectively prevent this process.

In addition, vitamin C can help to eliminate alveolar fluid by preventing the activation and accumulation of neutrophils, and reducing alveolar epithelial water channel damage. At the same time, vitamin C can prevent the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps, which is a biological event of vascular injury caused by neutrophil activation.”

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

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

Time will tell what the outcome will be, but chances are it will be favorable. Back in 2003 during the SARS pandemic, a Finnish researcher called for an investigation into the use of vitamin C, stating:18

“Recently, a new coronavirus was identified as the cause of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). In the absence of a specific treatment for SARS, the possibility that vitamin C may show nonspecific effects on several viral respiratory tract infections should be considered.

There are numerous reports indicating that vitamin C may affect the immune system, for example the function of phagocytes, transformation of T lymphocytes and production of interferon. In particular, vitamin C increased the resistance of chick embryo tracheal organ cultures to infection caused by an avian coronavirus.19

He goes on to cite research showing vitamin C also protects broiler chicks against avian coronavirus, cuts the duration and severity of common cold in humans and significantly lowers susceptibility to pneumonia. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as though vitamin C was ever studied in relation to SARS, but it’s encouraging that China is now investigating its use against 2019-nCoV.

Health Benefits of Vitamin C Are Vastly Underappreciated

Vitamin C has two major functions that help explain its potent health benefits. First, it acts as a powerful antioxidant. It also acts as a cofactor for enzymatic processes. One of the most famous forerunners of high dose vitamin C treatment for colds and other disease was Linus Carl Pauling (1901-1994), a biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1954.

Despite that, many felt he was too far out of his field of expertise with his research into nutrition, and his advocacy for vitamin C was largely ignored or mocked by mainstream medicine and nutritional science — with medical bloggers leading the pack as self-appointed judges of Pauling’s findings.20

Others, however, have picked up on what Pauling was trying to point out, and are now trying to awaken the world to just how important vitamin C is for good health and vitality.21 As explained by the Linus Pauling Institute:22

“Vitamin C is the primary water-soluble, non-enzymatic antioxidant in plasma and tissues. Even in small amounts vitamin C can protect indispensable molecules in the body, such as proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), from damage by free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are generated during normal metabolism, by active immune cells, and through exposure to toxins and pollutants …”

According to Dr. Ronald Hunninghake, an internationally recognized expert on vitamin C who has personally supervised tens of thousands of IV vitamin C administrations, vitamin C is “definitely a very underutilized modality in infectious disease,” considering “it’s really a premiere treatment” for infections.

In my interview with him, Hunninghake suggested one of the reasons why conventional medicine has been so slow to recognize the importance of vitamin C has to do with the fact that they’ve been looking at it as a mere vitamin, when in fact it’s a potent oxidizing agent that can help eliminate pathogens when given in high doses.

There are also financial factors. In short, it’s too inexpensive. Conventional medicine, as a general rule, is notoriously uninterested in solutions that cannot produce significant profits.

However, considering sepsis is now the most expensive condition treated in the U.S., costing $23.6 billion annually,23,24 the need for an affordable solution is becoming critical. This is particularly true for lower income nations, where an estimated 85% of sepsis-related deaths occur.25 Global pandemics like the coronavirus also call for lower-cost treatments that actually work.

Recognize the Symptoms of Sepsis

When it comes to sepsis, which can result from just about any infection, time is of the essence. It’s really important to familiarize yourself with its signs and symptoms, and to take immediate action if you suspect sepsis.

While the signs can be subtle at first, sepsis typically produces the following signs and symptoms:26,27,28 Many of these symptoms may be confused with a bad cold or flu. However, they tend to develop quicker than you would normally expect.

A high fever with chills and shivering Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
Rapid breathing (tachypnea) Unusual level of sweating (diaphoresis)
Dizziness Confusion or disorientation
Slurred speech Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath Severe muscle pain
Low urine output Cold and clammy skin and/or skin rash

The Sepsis Alliance recommends using the acronym TIME to remember some of the more common symptoms:29

  • T — Temperature higher or lower than normal?
  • I — Have you now or recently had any signs of an infection?
  • M — Are there any changes in mental status, such as confusion or excessive sleepiness?
  • E — Are you experiencing any extreme pain or illness; do you have a “feeling you may die?”

Another acronym you could use to memorize the signs and symptoms is SEPSIS, described in the video above:

  • S — Shivering (fever, cold)
  • E — Extreme pain
  • P — Pale, clammy skin
  • S — Shortness of breath
  • I — “I feel like I might die”
  • S — Sleepy (confused)

Educational Resources for Your Doctor

Marik’s sepsis protocol can be a lifesaver, so you’d be wise to discuss it with your doctor any time you’re hospitalized. Remember, sepsis is often the result of a secondary infection contracted while in the hospital, so it’s prudent to be prepared.

This way, should you develop sepsis while you’re admitted, your medical team already knows your wishes and can act swiftly. According to Marik, the best results are obtained when the concoction is administered within the first six hours of presentation of symptoms.30 The longer you delay treatment, the less likely it will be successful.

If your doctor refuses to consider it offhand, convince him or her to review the studies cited here.31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39 While there are certain situations in which the hospital may still deny this treatment, if you are an adult who is sick, you will usually have the right to insist on it. I will actually be interviewing Marik shortly and hope to work with him on developing a process to make it easier for patients to implement this strategy in their local hospital.

In most cases, you’d probably just need to sign an “Against Medical Advice — Acknowledgment and Waiver” form (samples of which can be found in the references40), which states you’ve elected to not follow the standard of care recommended by your doctor.

Contraindication for IV Vitamin C Treatment

The only contraindication to high-dose vitamin C treatments such as Marik’s sepsis protocol is if you are glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient, which is a genetic disorder.41 G6PD is required for your body to produce NADPH, which is a cousin of NAD+ and necessary to transfer reductive potential to keep your antioxidants, like glutathione and vitamin C, functional.

Because your red blood cells do not contain any mitochondria, the only way it can provide reduced glutathione is through NADPH, and since G6PD eliminates this, it causes red blood cells to rupture due to inability to compensate for oxidative stress.

Fortunately, G6PD deficiency is relatively uncommon, and can be tested for. People of Mediterranean and African decent are at greater risk of being G6PD deficient. Worldwide, G6PD deficiency is thought to affect 400 million individuals, and in the U.S., an estimated 1 in 10 African-American males has it. 42

– Sources and References

Protect your heart health with quercetin

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/heart-health-blood-pressure-3300.html

heart-health(NaturalHealth365) Flavonoids – compounds found in certain fruits and vegetables – are known for their ability to protect us from toxins, environmental radiation and (ultimately) the oxidative damage that causes disease.  Over the past decade, one flavonoid in particular has been studied for its immune-boosting, heart health and anti-aging benefits, with multiple studies showing quercetin’s ability to increase life span.Recently, a new meta-analysis dug into the incredible heart benefits of quercetin, finding that supplementation was effective at lowering blood pressure.  But, beyond that, it also offers a number of other health benefits that lower the risk of heart disease, such as reducing excessive amounts of cholesterol and reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.

Why quercetin is crucial to heart health

Evidence continues to accumulate showing that eating more foods that contain quercetin or adding a quality supplement to your diet can offer a wide range of health benefits.

In a meta-analysis published in Nutrition Reviews, researchers concluded that quercetin is effective at lowering blood pressure. After pooling results, they found that taking quercetin was associated with an average 2.86 mmHG reduction in patients’ diastolic blood pressure and a 3.09 mmHG reduction in their systolic blood pressure. Not only did it help reduce blood pressure across pooled results, it did so without causing unwanted side effects, as well.

In addition, other studies have backed up this recent conclusion.  While some studies found that taking high amounts of quercetin helped reduce blood pressure, others discovered that even taking lower levels of its supplemental form could result in improved blood pressure numbers.

Researchers believe that it works by reducing the “stickiness” of platelets and helping artery linings stay healthy, keeping them relaxed to reduce pressure and improve overall blood flow.

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More great news about the health benefits of quercetin

One study showed that in men between the ages of 65 and 84, those who had the highest intake of flavonoids like quercetin were 68% less likely to die from heart disease than those who had the lowest intake. Similar studies have backed up the idea that quercetin offers dramatic cardiovascular protection.

One study on quercetin’s impact on cholesterol found that taking 100 mg of the supplement daily significantly improved cholesterol levels, and it also improved blood sugar – which is another risk factor for heart disease. A larger study found that quercetin not only reduce “bad” cholesterol, it increased the levels of “good” (HDL) cholesterol.

To reap the heart health benefits of quercetin, you can add more foods to your diet that contain this flavonoid or take a supplement. Foods that contain quercetin include deeply colored vegetables, dark leafy greens, legumes, cocoa, green tea, olive oil, deeply colored berries, and beans.

However, if you’re considering a quercetin supplement and you’re already on blood thinners, it’s essential to discuss this with your integrative physician.

Sources for this article include:

LifeExtension.com
LifeExtension.com
NaturalHealth365.com

Daily Aspirin — Healthy or Harmful?


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/02/17/daily-aspirin.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola     Fact Checked

daily aspirin

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Prophylactic aspirin use in adults over the age of 70 is potentially harmful, primarily due to the increased risk of bleeding in this age group. Long-term low-dose aspirin therapy nearly doubles your risk for gastrointestinal bleeding
  • In adults younger than 40, there is insufficient evidence to judge the risk-benefit ratio of routine aspirin for the primary prevention of heart disease
  • While daily aspirin is still recommended for people with heart disease to lower the risk of another heart attack or stroke, previous studies have cast doubt on the effectiveness of this approach as well
  • You may be able to achieve the same kind of cardiovascular protection by donating blood. The bleeding caused by aspirin may be part of why it lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke, as bleeding will lower your iron level. People taking seven aspirins per week have been shown to have 25% lower mean serum ferritin than nonusers
  • Other aspirin alternatives include nattokinase and lumbrokinase, both of which are potent thrombolytics, comparable to aspirin without the serious side effects. They break down blood clots and reduce the risk of serious clotting by dissolving excess fibrin, improving circulation and decreasing blood viscosity

In decades past, a daily low-dose aspirin regimen was frequently recommended as a primary prevention strategy against heart disease. However, the evidence in support of it was rather weak, and kept getting weaker as time went on.

I stopped recommending daily “baby aspirin” use for the prevention of heart disease over two decades ago, due to the growing evidence of harmful side effects.

The primary justification for a daily aspirin regimen has been that it inhibits prostaglandin production,1 thereby decreasing your blood’s ability to form dangerous clots. However, in more recent years, most public health authorities have reversed their stance on the practice of using aspirin for primary prevention.

‘Baby’ Aspirin No Longer Recommended as Primary Prevention

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reversed its position on daily low-dose aspirin as primary prevention for heart disease in 2014,2 citing clearly established side effects — including dangerous brain and stomach bleeding — and a lack of clear benefit for patients who have never had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular disease.

In 2019, the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology updated their clinical guidelines on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease,3 spelling out many of the controversial findings on prophylactic aspirin use.

Importantly, studies have found that prophylactic aspirin use in adults over the age of 70 is potentially harmful, primarily due to the increased risk of bleeding in this age group. As noted in one 2009 paper,4 long-term low-dose aspirin therapy nearly doubles your risk for gastrointestinal bleeding.

Older people are, of course, more likely to be at high risk for heart disease, and thus more likely to be put on aspirin therapy. In younger adults, the risks are less clear-cut.

As noted in the AHA guideline, in adults younger than 40, “there is insufficient evidence to judge the risk-benefit ratio of routine aspirin for the primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.”5

That said, the conventional recommendation to avoid a daily aspirin regimen only applies to primary prevention of heart disease in those with no history of heart problems, or those with low or moderate risk for heart disease. As reported by the AHA:6

“The new recommendation doesn’t apply to people who already have had a stroke or heart attack, or who have undergone bypass surgery or a procedure to insert a stent in their coronary arteries.

These individuals already have cardiovascular disease and should continue to take low-dose aspirin daily, or as recommended by their health care provider, to prevent another occurrence …”

Is Aspirin Regimen Safe for Heart Disease Patients?

While daily low-dose aspirin continues to be recommended for patients who already have heart disease, there’s evidence suggesting it may not be an ideal solution for them either.

For example, the WASH (warfarin/aspirin study in heart failure) study7 published in 2004 — which assessed the risks and benefits of aspirin and the blood thinner warfarin in heart failure patients — found those who received aspirin treatment (300 mg/day) actually had the worst cardiac outcomes, including worsening heart failure. According to the authors, there was “no evidence that aspirin is effective or safe in patients with heart failure.”

Similarly, a 2010 study8 found older heart disease patients who had a prior history of aspirin use had more comorbidities and a higher risk of recurrent heart attack than those who had not been on aspirin therapy.

Aspirin has also not been proven safe or effective for diabetics, who are at increased risk for heart disease and therefore likely to be put on an aspirin regimen.

For example, a 2009 meta-analysis9 of six studies found no clear evidence that aspirin is effective in preventing cardiovascular events in people with diabetes, although men may derive some benefit.

Another 2009 study10 that examined the effects of aspirin therapy in diabetic patients found it “significantly increased mortality in diabetic patients without cardiovascular disease from 17% at age 50 years to 29% at age 85 years.”

On the other hand, it did lower mortality in elderly diabetic patients who also had cardiovascular disease. A meta-analysis11 published in 2010 also concluded aspirin did not reduce the heart attack risk in diabetic individuals.

 

Why Phlebotomy May Be a Better Option Than Aspirin Therapy

While the benefits of low-dose aspirin may outweigh the risks for some people, I believe you may be able to achieve similar cardiovascular protection by doing therapeutic phlebotomies.

There’s evidence to suggest that the bleeding caused by aspirin may in fact be part of why it lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke, as bleeding will lower your iron level. Aspirin’s ability to lower inflammation may be another factor at play.

As shown in a 2001 study,12 people taking seven aspirins per week had 25% lower mean serum ferritin than nonusers. The effect was most marked in diseased subjects, compared to healthy ones. As explained by the authors:

“Atherosclerosis, a primary cause of myocardial infarction (MI), is an inflammatory disease. Aspirin use lowers risk of MI, probably through antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Because serum ferritin (SF) can be elevated spuriously by inflammation, reported associations between elevated SF, used as an indicator of iron stores, and heart disease could be confounded by occult inflammation and aspirin use if they affect SF independently of iron status …

Aspirin use is associated with lower SF. We suggest this effect results from possible increased occult blood loss and a cytokine-mediated effect on SF in subjects with inflammation, infection, or liver disease.”

Most people, physicians included, fail to appreciate that — aside from blood loss, including menstruation — the body has no significant way to excrete excess iron. There are very minor amounts lost through normal bodily processes, but not enough to move the needle on overall iron levels.

Between supplementation, fortification and the iron that occurs naturally in foods, it’s very easy to end up with excessive levels. In fact, most adult men and postmenopausal women are at risk for excess iron and need regular blood testing for ferritin.

Excessive iron causes significant oxidative stress, catalyzing the formation of excessive free radicals that damage your cellular and mitochondrial membranes, proteins and DNA. It is a potent contributor to increased risks of cancers, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases. You can learn more about the ins and outs of excess iron in “Why Managing Your Iron Level Is Crucial to Your Health.”

While dangerous, iron overload is easy and inexpensive to treat. All you really need to do is monitor your serum ferritin and/or gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) levels, avoid iron supplements, and be sure to donate blood on a regular basis.

By doing this, you can avoid serious health problems, and donating blood is a far safer way to lower your iron stores than taking aspirin and losing blood via internal bleeding.

Aspirin Linked to Lower Risk of Death

Interestingly, a 2019 study13 found prophylactic aspirin use may lower the risk of all-cause cancer, gastrointestinal (GI) cancer and colorectal cancer mortality among older adults.

The study included 146,152 individuals with a mean age of 66.3 years who participated in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. The median follow-up time was 12.5 years. Those taking aspirin at least three times a week had a:

  • 19% lower risk of death from all causes
  • 15% lower risk of death from any cancer
  • 25% lower risk of death from GI cancer
  • 29% lower risk of death from colorectal cancer

Having a higher body mass index (BMI between 25 and 29.9) lowered these percentages by 1%, with the exception of colorectal cancer. In this group, colorectal cancer death decreased by 34%.

No observable benefit of aspirin use was found in underweight individuals (BMI below 20), which led the researchers to hypothesize that “the efficacy of aspirin as a cancer preventive agent may be associated with BMI,”14 although this theory needs to be confirmed in future studies. The authors also warn that prophylactic aspirin therapy for cancer prevention would need to be weighed against the increased risk of bleeding.

Other Health Risks Associated With Long-Term Aspirin Use

Overall, there’s a lot of evidence against long-term daily aspirin therapy. The risk of internal bleeding is one significant concern, which is further magnified if you’re taking antidepressants or blood thinning medications such as Plavix.

Using aspirin in combination with SSRI antidepressants has been shown to increase your risk of abnormal bleeding by 42%, compared to those taking aspirin alone,15 and taking aspirin (325 mg/day) with Plavix has been shown to nearly double your risk of major hemorrhage and significantly increase your risk of death, while not affecting your risk of recurrent stroke to any significant degree.16

Aside from damaging your gastrointestinal tract,17,18 routine aspirin use has also been linked to an increased risk for cataracts,19 neovascular (wet) macular degeneration,20 tinnitus21 and hearing loss in men.22

Nattokinase Reduces Clot Formation Without Side Effects

Aside from donating blood to lower your iron level (provided it’s elevated), nattokinase is another far safer alternative to a daily aspirin regimen. Nattokinase, produced by the bacteria Bacillus subtilis during the fermentation of soybeans to produce natto,23 is a strong thrombolytic,24 comparable to aspirin without the serious side effects.

It’s been shown to break down blood clots and reduce the risk of serious clotting25 by dissolving excess fibrin in your blood vessels,26 improving circulation and decreasing blood viscosity. These effects can also help reduce high blood pressure.27

As noted in a 2018 paper,28 nattokinase appears to be a promising alternative in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, and has been linked to a reduction in cardiovascular disease mortality.

Lumbrokinase Is Even Better Than Nattokinase

Yet another alternative is lumbrokinase, a complex fibrinolytic enzyme extracted from earthworms. Like nattokinase, lumbrokinase boosts circulatory health by reducing blood viscosity, reducing blood clotting factor activity and degrading fibrin, which is a key factor in clot formation.29,30

Some researchers have suggested lumbrokinase could be used “as secondary prevention after acute thrombosis,” such as heart attacks and stroke.31 A 2008 study32 that explored “the mechanisms involved in the anti-ischemic action of lumbrokinase (LK) in the brain,” found it protected against cerebral ischemia via several mechanisms and pathways. As explained by the authors:

“These data indicated that the anti-ischemic activity of LK was due to its anti-platelet activity by elevating cAMP level and attenuating the calcium release from calcium stores, the anti-thrombosis action due to inhibiting of ICAM-1 expression, and the anti-apoptotic effect due to the activation of JAK1/STAT1 pathway.”

A 2009 pilot study33 that used lumbrokinase in patients with coronary artery disease and stable angina found it improved angina symptoms in 40% of patients and lowered the summed stress score by 29% (the summed stress score is a risk indicator for a cardiac event over the next 12 months34). According to the authors, “Oral lumbrokinase improves regional myocardial perfusion in patients with stable angina.”

The Importance of Lutein for Eye and Brain Health


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/02/10/lutein-eye-health.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola     

February 10, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Lutein is well-known for its vision-enhancing properties. Research also suggests it has neuroprotective qualities, improving memory and boosting intelligence
  • There’s an inverse association between lutein levels in the eyes and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the primary cause of blindness in the elderly, as well as cataracts
  • Lutein has also been shown to prevent cell death caused by retinal detachment when administered in a timely manner, and can help improve night vision
  • Lutein may help prevent neurodegenerative diseases by preventing DNA damage, the depletion of BDNF and the degradation of a synaptic vesicle protein involved in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It’s also been shown to help maintain the integrity of your brain’s white matter
  • Your body cannot manufacture lutein, so you need to get it from your diet. Lutein is a carotenoid found in egg yolks, avocados, cruciferous vegetables and dark, leafy greens, especially kale and spinach

Lutein — a carotenoid found in egg yolks, avocados, cruciferous vegetables and dark, leafy greens — is well-known for its vision-enhancing properties.1 Research also suggests it has neuroprotective qualities,2 improving memory3 and boosting intelligence.4 As reported in the Senior Resource Guide:5

“Lutein belongs in the subclass of xanthophylls, which have polar molecular structures that possess unique membrane properties, such as fluidity, communication between brain cells, ion exchange, diffusion of oxygen, membrane stability, and the prevention of oxidation and inflammation.

Like other xanthophylls, lutein accumulates in neural tissue. In fact, lutein accounts for most of the carotenoid accumulation in the human brain, and this high concentration of lutein in the brain may indicate its neuroprotective value.

Lutein accumulates in the brain and embeds in cell membranes. There, lutein protects the neuronal structure and function of brain cells. While lutein is distributed in the gray matter of the brain, researchers have detected its presence in the temporal cortex, the prefrontal cortex, and the hippocampus. Lutein accumulates in the brain over a person’s lifespan and may therefore provide lifelong benefits to brain health.”

Your body cannot manufacture lutein, so you need to get it from your diet. Unfortunately, many do not get enough lutein simply because they don’t eat enough vegetables and/or eggs.

How Lutein Protects Your Vision

As its name implies, lutein is found in high concentrations in your macula lutea,6 the small central part of your retina responsible for detailed central vision. It’s also found in your macular pigment (it’s responsible for the yellow hue of the macula7) and the lens of your eye.

Epidemiological research has found an inverse association between lutein and zeaxanthin levels in the eyes and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the primary cause of blindness in the elderly, and cataracts.8,9

As explained in the 2013 paper,10 “The Role of Lutein in Eye-Related Disease,” lutein and zeaxanthin (another carotenoid present in high concentration in the eyes) help prevent age-related eye degeneration by ameliorating the damage caused by blue light and oxygen free radicals. Blue light is responsible for a majority of the damage to the eye, and lutein selectively absorbs blue light.

According to this paper, “Dietary concentrations between 6 and 20 mg per day of lutein have been associated with a reduced risk of ocular disorders such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.”

A more recent scientific review,11 published in 2019 in PLOS ONE, found people who took 10 mg or 20 mg of lutein per day had greater macular pigment optical density (MPOD), and better visual acuity and contrast sensitivity than those who did not supplement.

Macular pigment, the yellow pigmented area found in the center of your retina, acts as “internal sunglasses,” protecting your macula from harmful blue light. The denser your macular pigment, the lower your risk of developing AMD. Greater MPOD is also associated with better visual performance overall.12

According to the authors of the 2019 PLOS ONE review, “The available evidence suggests that dietary lutein may be beneficial to AMD patients and the higher dose could make MPOD increase in a shorter time.” Lutein has also been shown to prevent cell death caused by retinal detachment, when administered in a timely manner,13 and can help improve night vision.14,15

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Lutein’s Role in Brain Health and Cognition

More recent research has also found lutein plays an important role in brain health, and may even help prevent neurodegenerative diseases.16 As noted in the 2012 paper,17 “Neuroprotective Effects of Lutein in the Retina,” lutein benefits your brain and cognition by preventing:

  • DNA damage
  • Depletion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is important for brain health
  • Degradation of synaptophysin, a synaptic vesicle protein involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease

Lutein and zeaxanthin have also been shown to help maintain the integrity of your brain’s white matter,18 and this too can lower your risk of age-related decline.

Lutein Benefits Both the Old and the Young

In one 2017 study,19,20,21 which involved 60 adults between the ages of 25 and 45, those with higher levels of lutein in middle-age had more youthful neural responses than those with lower levels.

Carotenoid status was assessed by measuring MPOD, which is also highly correlated with the lutein status in your brain. Most studies have focused on the effects of diet after cognitive decline has already set in.

Here, they wanted to evaluate whether lutein might have a preventive effect, as the process of cognitive decline has been shown to begin far earlier than typically expected. According to the researchers, you can start seeing cognitive deterioration as early as your 30s.

Indeed, the results suggest your diet, and in this case lutein-rich foods, does help keep your brain young. As noted by co-author Naiman Khan, professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois:22

“Now there’s an additional reason to eat nutrient-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, eggs and avocados. We know these foods are related to other health benefits, but these data indicate that there may be cognitive benefits as well.”

Lutein has also been shown to benefit younger people. In one such study,23 healthy 18- to 30-year-olds exhibited better brain function after taking lutein and zeaxanthin supplements for a year. Significant improvements were seen spatial memory, reasoning ability and complex attention.

Cognitive Benefits Associated With Higher Lutein Levels

Several other studies support these findings. For example, in one University of Georgia study,24 older adults (mean age 72) taking 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin daily for one year were able to maintain their brain function, whereas the placebo group’s verbal learning ability and word recall deteriorated over the course of the study.

The mechanism thought to be responsible for this protective effect was enhanced blood flow through the brain. A number of other studies looking at lutein’s influence on cognition have shown that higher lutein and zeaxanthin levels in the macula are associated with improved:25,26,27

Verbal learning and fluency

Word recall

Executive function such as sorting and prioritizing information and the ability to take action

“Crystallized intelligence”28 — the ability to use learned knowledge and experience (opposed to the ability to logically reason your way through a new situation or problem, which is known as “fluid intelligence”29)

Relational memory performance30,31 — the ability to remember a person’s name when seeing their face, or to retell a story

Other Health Benefits of Lutein

Lutein has also been found to promote health in other ways, beside optimizing vision and cognition. For example, studies have found:

Diets rich in the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene resulted in greater resistance against oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Higher plasma concentration of carotenoids was also associated with lower DNA damage.32
Lutein and zeaxanthin in combination with vitamin E appears to improve lung function and respiratory health.33
Plasma levels of antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are inversely correlated with congestive heart failure severity.34
Plasma carotenoid levels are also inversely correlated with prostate cancer.35
Lutein and lycopene enhance eye health by reducing your risk for oxidative stress-induced loss of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, and inhibiting the cell growth in undifferentiated RPE cells.36
Lutein has been shown to induce autophagy and may help shield your body against certain stresses.37
Lutein and zeaxanthin have also been shown to increase bone density in young, healthy adults.38 Lutein appears to stimulate bone mineralization and formation by suppressing bone resorption.

Lutein-Rich Foods

Lutein is primarily found in green leafy vegetables, with kale and spinach topping the list of lutein-rich foods. You’ll also find it in orange- and yellow-colored fruits and vegetables. The word lutein actually comes from the Latin word “luteus,” which means “yellow.”

As a general rule, anywhere from 15% 47% of the total carotenoid content in dark green leafy vegetables is lutein.39 Following is a list of foods that are particularly rich in lutein.40,41,42 Most of these also contain zeaxanthin, albeit in lesser quantities than lutein.

  • Egg yolks
  • Kale and spinach
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Green, red and yellow peppers

Ideally, you’ll want to buy the whole food and consume these foods as close to raw as possible, as the lutein (and other carotenoids such as zeaxanthin) are easily damaged by heat. Accessory micronutrients in the foods that enhance their action also tend to get easily damaged.

While there’s no recommended daily intake for lutein or zeaxanthin, studies have found health benefits for lutein at a dose of 10 milligrams (mg) per day and at 2 mg/day for zeaxanthin.

How to Optimize Lutein Absorption

Lutein and other carotenoids are fat-soluble, so to optimize absorption, be sure to add a little bit of healthy fat to your meal. For example, research43,44 shows that adding a couple of eggs — which contain both lutein and healthy fats — to your salad can increase the carotenoid absorption from the whole meal as much as ninefold.

Ideally, opt for organically-raised, free-range pastured eggs. Not only do they tend to have a better nutritional profile, by opting for pastured eggs you’ll also avoid pesticide exposure and genetically modified organisms. I raise six chickens and typically eat five eggs a day — the yolks raw in my smoothie and the whites cooked with my meat.

The vast majority of commercially available eggs come from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where the hens are not permitted to forage on pasture. Instead, they’re typically fed a diet of corn and soy, the vast majority of which are genetically engineered. CAFO eggs are also far more prone to cause foodborne illness caused by salmonella contamination

If you live in an urban area, visiting a local health food store is typically the quickest route to finding high-quality local egg sources. Your local farmers market is another source for fresh free-range eggs. Cornucopia.org also offers a helpful organic egg scorecard45 that rates egg manufacturers based on 22 criteria that are important for organic consumers.

You can often tell the eggs are free-range by the color of the egg yolk. Foraged hens produce eggs with bright orange yolks, indicative of higher amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. Another way to boost absorption of lutein from your vegetables is to add some raw organic butter or healthy oil such as olive or coconut oil to your salad.

Eat Right to Avoid AMD

To protect your vision over the long haul, aside from making sure you’re eating plenty of lutein-rich foods, you’ll also want to avoid a high-glycemic diet. As reported by Tufts University in 2017:46

“Sheldon Rowan, a scientist in the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts, said there are plenty of indications that the types of carbohydrates we eat play a role in the development of AMD.

People who eat lots of simple carbohydrates, like those in white bread and sweetened beverages, are more likely to get the disease. This could be because simple carbs break down rapidly during digestion, creating a spike in blood sugar that can lead to widespread inflammation, a condition linked to AMD … If … blood glucose stays low over a long period of time, Rowan said, it can lower incidence of AMD.

To understand why, Rowan tested the two diets on laboratory mice. Over the course of a year, he fed one group of mice ‘high-glycemic’ foods — ones with lots of simple starches. A second group got a ‘low-glycemic’ diet, rich in complex carbs, but otherwise identical in calories and nutrients. In a third group, Rowan switched the mice’s diet from high- to low-glycemic foods halfway through the study.

Sure enough, mice with the low-glycemic diet did not develop AMD, while mice fed the high-glycemic diet almost all came down with the disease … In the mice that switched diets, though, Rowan saw something completely unexpected. Not only did they avoid AMD, but the existing damage to their retinas was reversed.

‘No one had ever seen that before,’ Rowan said of the findings, which were reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.47 ‘The most common form of AMD doesn’t really have a treatment right now — but this suggests that just changing to a healthier eating pattern could have a huge impact.’”

Further exploration revealed that high-glycemic diets led to higher levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which Rowan points out are “toxic end products of sugars” that “can damage the proteins and lipids that a cell needs to function.”

In the retina, the damaged proteins accumulate forming drusen, yellow deposits that damage your retinal cells.48 Elevated insulin levels also affect the development of your eyeball, making it abnormally long, thereby causing near-sightedness.49

Following my nutrition plan will help normalize your insulin level by reducing, or eliminating, excess sugar and processed grains from your diet. To learn more about which foods can help safeguard your vision, please see my previous articles, “Eat Right to Protect Your Eyesight,” and “The Best Foods for Healthy Eyes.”

– Sources and References