Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Fortunately, a unique form of vitamin B1, known as benfotiamine, has been found in multiple studies to protect against the effects of elevated blood sugar. "Regular" B1, known as thiamine, also prevents the formation of glycation molecules, but it is quickly used up and excreted partially because it is water soluble. Benfotiamine is fat soluble, which boosts absorption and makes it more difficult to excrete. In one study, benfotiamine increased thiamine uptake into the liver and heart by 10-40%; and in the muscles and brain, it was increased 5-25 times over! (Arzneimittelforschung). Supplementation has also been shown to reduce the formation of AGEs in blood cells by 40%. In a study on human subjects taking 1,050mg of benfotiamine for three days, it completely prevented endothelial blood flow impairment after a meal rich in AGEs (Diabetes Care).
Benfotiamine has several mechanisms of action that reduce damage from sugar. It can activate an enzyme known as transketolase, which converts dangerous glucose-induced metabolites into safe compounds. It inhibits nuclear factor-kappaB activation, which is a major inflammatory molecule. Additionally, a study from 2012 showed that benfotiamine increases glucose breakdown by 70% in hyperglycaemia, and up to 49% in normal glucose conditions (Genes Nutr). It is also superior to thiamine alone in reducing neurodegenerative diseases and cancer (Clin Lab), as well as kidney and nerve damage seen in diabetic patients (Biochem Soc Trans).
Conventional "wisdom" says that you cannot reverse the damage caused by sugar. However, when benfotiamine was given to mice with Alzheimer's disease for eight weeks, it reduced both amyloid plaque and phosphorylated tau proteins, alongside a dose-dependent memory improvement (Brain). It was then determined that a reduction in glycation end products was behind the reversals in Alzheimer's pathophysiology (Mol Cell Neurosci). In another animal study, benfotiamine was found to reverse the accumulation of AGEs in the retina, as well as increasing their excretion! (Diabetologia) So there is hope for the already-aged, but benfotiamine really should become more widely available! B vitamins are commonly thrown into magnesium and iron supplements, because they are often needed together, so maybe at least some of the thiamine should be replaced with benfotiamine.
Monday, 28 December 2015
Tuesday, 22 December 2015
What do I see? I see people quietly shrinking their children's tumours back into nothing with full strength oil but being chased by "the law", I see people almost reaching "remission" and then running out of money to buy supplies to make the oil because of prohibition prices. There is even a case study of a girl who was almost saved, but "the standard of care" killed her. This is not good enough. Take your bald-heads-and-brave-hearts discourse and shove it where it will no longer see the light of day.
When I was in high school, I didn't see any "sloths", I saw kids whose lives had been ruined by pharmaceutical medications for epilepsy and Crohn's disease. If I knew about a certain natural alternative, twice as powerful as hydrocortisone (but without a list of side effects that literally make me almost vomit just by thinking about them too much), I would have been more optimistic about life, but I may have been expelled for not towing the line.
You, New South Wales government, do not speak for me. Give us Colorado-style legalisation with provision for up to two plants for personal use. I want to live, I want to be in control over my life, none of this "medicated and mighty" thing that went around social media recently. If years of food intolerance-induced damage are yet to catch up with me, I do not want the pharmaceuticals for IBD, I want what may be the best natural alternative available. By the way, the method of administration used in the study I just linked to is the weakest.
Sunday, 20 December 2015
In Australia, comfrey is only "allowed" for topical and cosmetic use, but grows very well so many people have it in their backyards for personal use regardless of whether they are going to make a face cream with it or eat it. This also makes the above study especially relevant, as comfrey is much more accessible than the prescription drugs that have been found in this and other research to have antiaging effects (do you have a rapamycin tree?). Comfrey has been clinically proven to relieve pain and inflammation in muscles and joints, such as in arthritis, sprains and strains. For example, a study of 120 patients with acute back pain found that a cream containing comfrey root fluid extract reduced pain during "active standardised movement" by 95%, compared to 37% with placebo. The comfrey cream was also superior in all secondary outcomes compared to the placebo, and began to work within one hour! Using the same preparation, another double-blind trial was conducted on 220 people with knee osteoarthritis. Scores of pain and pain on movement decreased by 54.7% in the treatment group and 10.7% in the placebo group, while scores in an osteoarthritis index score dropped by 58% in the treatment group and 14.1% for placebo. Quality of life and joint movement also improved more in the comfrey patients. Additionally, comfrey was found to be superior to diclofenac in another trial. Comfrey root has also been used for knee joint injuries and non-active gonarthrosis, as well as in the treatment of tendinitis syndrome, insect bites, mastitis, fractures, skin inflammation, multiple abscesses of sweat glands, gangrenous ecthymas, furuncles, dicubital ulcers and chronic varicose ulceration, in both trials and individual case reports. Reports of "liver damage" from comfrey use, which is why we cannot legally prescribe it internally, were based on baby rats being given doses far exceeding what is humanly possible, and possibly reports from people who already had liver conditions and were therefore more vulnerable to any possible adverse effects. But it seems to work best in a cream anyway.
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Of course I wanted to research these outside of our meeting. Castor oil packs were popularised by Edgar Cayce, and then later researched by the physician William McGarey, author of The Oil That Heals. He wrote that when used correctly, castor oil packs can improve the function of the immune system, specifically, in two separate studies, patients saw significant increases in lymphocyte production (a category of immune cell) compared to those using placebo packs. This was repeated in a 1999 animal study, where the average number of T-11 lymphocytes significantly increased over seven hours after a two-hour treatment with castor oil packs. Increased lymphocyte levels speed the removal of toxins and cellular garbage from tissues, which also promotes healing. In one study on rats, the main compound in castor oil was more effective in relieving and preventing inflammation than the capsaicin in chilli, with inflammation peaking earlier and then later falling to lower levels than both capsaicin and control. On day eight, the inflammation had gone in both capsaicin and castor oil. When testing a subchronic model of inflammation (I would say this is very relevant to the real world), the lowest levels of inflammation during all weeks in both tests were found in the group treated with castor oil. In a study on humans with knee osteoarthritis, the 50 patients given just 0.9mL of castor oil, three times daily for 4 weeks, while the other 50 were prescribed 50mg of diclofenac sodium three times daily for 4 weeks. After being evaluated by clinical, radiographic and laboratory tests, it was found that both treatments were effective, but castor oil had no negative side effects whereas the drug had a high rate of adverse effects.
Besides castor oil packs, you can simply rub the oil in to wherever the affected area is or apply it to a Band-Aid. Basically a castor oil pack involves soaking a large enough (often folded, depending on the size) piece of cloth, preferably flannel, in room-temperature castor oil; covering this over with a sheet of plastic and then placing a heat pack or heating pad on top. This is meant to be left on for 45-60 minutes, and it is recommended to wash your skin with soap afterwards and wash the cloth separately. For best results it is said you should apply castor oil packs for four consecutive days a week, for one month. However, the brand of castor oil is very important as much of what is currently commercially available has been sprayed with pesticide and chemically treated. (since my bob style first appeared in 1923, can it take me back to that year so I can shop chemical-free much easier? :-D ) Unless you want a powerful laxative, I don't recommend you use castor oil orally either, just topically, and, only if you know you are not allergic to the oil. Fortunately, the highly toxic ricin found in castor beans is not present in the oil, but still don't go overboard. Castor oil may also have anticancer and contraceptive effects, but these need more research before any conclusions can be drawn.
Saturday, 12 December 2015
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
One of the benefits of selenium is of course increasing longevity. For example, a study of 446 people in China, 208 of which were centenarians (those 100 years old or over), found that the highest levels of selenium and zinc were in the oldest participants. In a nine-year study of older adults in France, those with the highest blood levels of selenium had lower death rates. Compared to those with the highest selenium levels, people with the lowest levels had a 54% higher risk of dying during the study period, and a 79% higher risk of dying from cancer.
Yes, selenium has been shown in many studies to help protect against cancer. Nine randomised controlled trials involving over 152,000 people in total show that selenium supplementation reduced the risk for all cancers by an average of 24%; this rose to 36% in people with low starting levels of selenium. More specific studies have found protective effects against prostate, colorectal, liver, stomach, bladder, oesophagus and lung cancers. However, there are three specific forms of selenium that are most effective in cancer prevention; which are sodium selenite, L-selenomethionine and selenium-methyl L-selenocysteine. These each have their own mechanisms of action, and so each is better at fighting certain cancers than others. The first boosts the natural immune response against cancer cells, killing them off before they develop into noticeable issues. The second makes cancer cells kill themselves in the very early stages, before they lose the "suicide genes", while the third can kill abnormal cells that have lost those genes.
Have there been human clinical trials to back these up? Yes! In one of these, patients with head and neck cancers took either 200ug of sodium selenite or placebo, with the treated patients showing a better ability to destroy tumour cells. In another, patients with precancerous damage to the oesophagus were prescribed 200ug of L-selenomethionine. This not only slowed progression of some abnormal cells, but also caused the regression of precancerous cells back to normal states! Clinical trials have even shown risk reductions in BRCA gene-related breast cancers. Strikingly, L-selenomethionine was found to lower prostate cancer risk by 63% in men with a history of this disease.
Selenium can also increase efficacy of immune cells to fight infections, thus reversing age-related immune decline. One example of its immune-boosting properties is a study of people with type one diabetes, where the hepatitis B vaccine was 74% effective with 200ug of selenium, as opposed to 48% in the placebo group. With these benefits, as well as protective effects against cognitive decline, stroke-induced brain damage and cardiovascular disease, it is surprising that selenium is so overlooked. The main mechanism behind these, by the way, is the requirement of selenium for glutathione to function as an antioxidant.
Derived from "How To Obtain Optimal Benefits from Selenium", Life Extension Magazine, November 2015.
Sunday, 6 December 2015
One treatment for shingles that should be more available is vitamin C injections, however I have heard of people achieving similar results with liposome-coated vitamin C as this apparently aids absorption. In one study, Dr Frederick Klenner gave 2,000-3,000mg of vitamin C by injection every 12 hours, as well as 1,000mg by mouth in fruit juice every two hours to eight patients with shingles. In seven of these eight, complete pain relief was observed within two hours of the first injection! Those lucky little - Anyway, their blisters also healed very quickly, with complete resolution in 72 hours (three days)! However treatment must go on for a few more days in order to prevent recurrence, according to Dr Klenner, who saw similar results with chickenpox (caused by the same virus as shingles, chicken pox is the original infection, shingles is the recurrence). Another study from 1950 showed complete resolution of shingles again within 72 hours in all 327 patients! These results are amazing, and with all of the other studies and case reports of viral infections being wiped out by vitamin C injections or intravenous administration, I am surprised that research and use did not continue.
Despite all of this success, upon describing the study with 327 patients to a teacher, he asked me, "is it right?" in terms of naturopathic philosophy. Well...it's natural, safe and effective so I would say YES! We are treating the cause (by also boosting immunity); using the power of nature; teaching patients of vitamin C's benefits; and doing no harm! I would much rather have this than another vaccination (I know very damaged young men), and if I did get chickenpox or shingles, I would seek out vitamin C injections or highly bioavailable oral supplements. I am not, nor will I ever be, another "wellness warrior" who makes her money off martyrdom and does not use the best natural therapies available because they do not fit in with narrow, arbitrary principles! I do not care if it appears to be "green allopathy" from a distance, as long as it works and I am not poisoning myself/giving myself another disease in the process then I'm for it. That is why I still mentioned chilli/capsaicin in another post on neuropathy. And also why I am linking to this study here, showing that reishi mushrooms, among other things, can reduce pain associated with this infection. Capsaicin can help with post-herpetic neuralgia too, but because these are symptomatic treatments only, I would recommend them alongside things to actually boost immunity and kill off as much virus as possible.
Friday, 4 December 2015
Inspired by the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP), rates of all-cause and cardiovascular related mortality in 4,203 patients were analysed in relation to magnesium levels. The mean follow-up duration was 10 years. Among people with magnesium levels of 0.73mmol/L or less, the all-cause mortality rate was 10.95 deaths per 1,000 person-years, and the death rate for cardiovascular disease was 3.44 per 1,000 person-years. However, this was 1.45 per 1,000 and 1.53 per 1,000 in participants with magnesium levels of over 0.73mmol/L. This is a reduction in all-cause mortality rates by over 85%, and of approximately 55% in cardiovascular mortality rates!
So what do the results of this study mean? One could argue that the massive drop in death rates is due to the patient’s diets and lifestyles as a whole, with a high magnesium intake just being another effect. This is a possibility because the authors excluded those taking magnesium in supplement form, meaning that only dietary intake of magnesium through foods such as green vegetables was responsible for the aforementioned health benefits. However, the inverse association between magnesium intake and dying was independent of cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension and antihypertensive drug therapy. In addition, multiple studies have found that magnesium deficiency is associated with increased inflammation, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, colon cancer, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, meaning that the mineral itself is likely to be of particular importance.
Unfortunately, most people are deficient in magnesium, but symptoms such as fatigue, muscle cramps and headache are so generalised and common that many never have any idea of the true cause of these problems. One of my teachers (If I remember correctly he works at Herbs on the Hill) says that sugar cravings are often just a craving for the nutrients usually paired with sugar in nature, such as magnesium. However, most of us are raised to reach for lollies or soft drink, which leave you with persistent cravings because they aren't really what you want. This is part of my theory that whether or not someone is making a good decision for themselves is totally relative, because even if it's physically harming them, then it's an attempt at self-medicating that society/corporations/dealers have hijacked. Besides dietary inadequacies, stress, fluoride and prescription drugs such as diuretics can also deplete magnesium from the body.
For those wishing to increase their magnesium intake, there are many foods that contain this vital mineral, such as hemp seeds. Some others, that are legal in all countries (what do you think my position on government is after the previous paragraph? Very negative) are:
- Oat bran, which has 96mg per ½ cup
- Brown rice, which contains 86mg per cup
- Mackerel, a fish that has 82mg for every three ounces
- Spinach, which contains 78mg per ½ cup
- Almonds (77mg per ounce)
- Lima beans (63mg per ½ cup)
- Bananas (32mg per banana)
- Peanuts and blackstrap molasses (both 48mg per ounce)
Wednesday, 2 December 2015
French maritime pine bark is high in bioflavonoids, especially the oligometric procyanidins (OPCs). These are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and so target two main drivers of aging, and are also found in a wide range of foods such as chocolate. In one study, 112 women with age spots and other symptoms of skin aging such as wrinkles, roughness and uneven pigmentation were given either a 100mg supplement of pine bark extract for 12 weeks, or one of 40mg for 24 weeks. Objectively, there was a significant decrease in the pigmentation of age spots over the course of 12 weeks in the high dose group, and also the 24 weeks in the low dose group. Additionally, corneocyte size significantly decreased, which suggests an ability to repair existing skin damage, since these are "supposed" to increase in size with aging. In the photographs included, you can see that skin firmness visibly improved and wrinkles were beginning to fade. Once again, this was achieved by taking something internally, which still had noticeable effects on skin despite being transported to other areas of the body. So, particularly if you were otherwise very healthy on the inside, maybe a cream would have an even greater effect using less extract? Pine bark extract can prevent skin aging too, especially that caused by UV radiation, as it has been found to protect against sunburn when taken as an oral supplement. Sunburn involves a lot of oxidative stress and inflammation.
In other research, 20 post-menopausal women were given pine bark extract for 12 weeks in order to compare both their outward appearance and expression of certain molecular markers. Especially in women with dry skin conditions, hydration and elasticity significantly improved after the 12 weeks. There were increases in the enzyme hyaluronic acid synthase-1, which helps to produce hyaluronic acid, as well as upregulation of the expression of some genes involved in collagen synthesis. So you can have your cake and eat it too - have youthful beauty, but no inconveniences of menstruation or threat of pregnancy if those looks lead to meeting someone! Another study, this time on 62 women taking a supplement that included maritime pine bark as part of the formulation, found an improvement in skin elasticity by 9% after 6 weeks, and an improvement in elasticity by 6% after 12 weeks, when compared to placebo.
Maritime pine bark extract has also been found to be effective in treating venous insufficiency and retinal microhaemorrhages, which may also be a mechanism behind its antiaging effects as oxygen and nutrient delivery is preserved. So how does it do all of these things? Pine bark extract acts as an antioxidant by increasing production of your cells' own antioxidant enzymes, and by regenerating vitamins C and E, as well as its own direct effects. This is why it has even been found to improve lung function in asthmatics, modulate the immune system and reduce premenstrual symptoms. Overall maritime pine bark extract could be another alternative to toxic Botox injections, as these have beneficial side effects and target the causes of aging as opposed to just masking the symptoms.
Monday, 30 November 2015
Several months ago I wrote an article for another site on ovarian cancer prevention, but it went unpublished (fortunately I still got paid) because all the more time-sensitive pieces cam first. So eat your vegetables and drink your coffee, don't depend on the hope offered by charities (mediaeval churches?) *if* you give them your money :-) (I am referring to the origins of Lutheranism)
Sunday, 22 November 2015
One of these actual treatments for diabetic neuropathy is acetyl-l-carnitine (ACL). One study, on 333 patients, involved injections of either 1000mg of ACL or a placebo for 10 days, and then being prescribed either 2000mg of ACL or a placebo for another 355 days. After the 12 months were up, the treated patients showed significant improvements in nerve conduction velocity and amplitude, as well as a 39% reduction in pain severity! The greatest average changes in nerve conduction velocity were in the sensory sural nerve at +7 metres/second, the sensory ulnar nerve at +2.9m/second, and the motor peroneal nerve at +2.7m/second. The greatest improvement in amplitude was in the motor peroneal nerve, at +2.2mV. This should be common knowledge, considering that the study was published in 2002.
Another promising treatment may be vitamin B12 injections. These were compared to the drug nortriptyline in 50 patients, and it was found that the vitamin was more effective than the drug! Pain scores dropped 3.66 points on the Visual Analogue Scale as opposed to 0.84 points; paraesthesia dropped by 2.98 units instead of 1.06; and tingling scores fell by 3.48 instead of 1.02 points! As nerve conduction did not improve, perhaps vitamin B12 and ACL could complement each other very well. Sure, you're using two interventions, but they could substitute multiple pharmaceutical prescriptions.
On top of these, a 2003 review titled Botanicals and Dietary Supplements in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy examined the evidence behind evening primrose oil, alpha-lipoic acid and capsaicin in the treatment of neuropathy. Capsaicin is more of a symptomatic treatment, relieving pain but not healing nerve damage, but it is safe unlike opioids and anti-epileptics. Evening primrose oil, however, was found to increase arm muscle strength by 4.9 points instead of a deterioration of 7.4 points; while arm and leg sensation improved by 6.9 and 15 points as opposed to a deterioration of 7.3 and 8.4 points respectively. Median conduction velocity improved by 1.4-2.4 points instead of decreasing by around 2 points. The most significant improvement was an increase in leg tendon reflex function by 17.7 points! Alpha-lipoic acid is valued for its antioxidant abilities, capable of regenerating vitamins C and E, and can also improve energy metabolism. The research evaluated described reductions in pain and disability scores and improvement in sensory and nerve conduction velocities, with the sural sensory NCV improving by 3-3.8m/second.
So diabetic neuropathy is treatable in more ways than just dealing with the symptoms, you just have to know where to look.
Thursday, 19 November 2015
The authors state that "social threat" and high levels of adversity increase inflammation through the stress response, which then can initiate symptoms of depression such as low mood, inability to find pleasure and social withdrawal. While this is necessary when faced with acute physical stress (my teachers love to mention the example of a sabre-tooth tiger), any threat regardless of how imagined or non-physical it is can activate this same response.
Why did this jump out at me? Well it's because the mainstream media and many alternative sources just love to paint the illusion of an ever-worsening world. Whether it is to increase sales or to achieve social control through learned helplessness (probably both), I usually have to deliberately look for positive news that few journalists seem to care about. So was I surprised when I read this new theory? Am I surprised that mental health is an ever-increasing problem in this culture of pessimism? No! So maybe, besides increasing intake of anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, and nutrients such as essential fatty acids, helping to make a positive difference in the world and surrounding yourself with positive people could aid mental health. Especially if you already have a mental illness, you don't owe pessimists anything; just because many of them call themselves reeeeealiiiistiiiic doesn't mean you have to have anything to do with them in order to get taken seriously. They're health hazards, just like smokers. I deleted a couple of not-so-friends off of Facebook for this type of behaviour and I'm not sorry. Often I would rather be cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or building a Rajasthani girl's school from the ground up than listen to this variety of people. My health comes first. I also support Camfed, which is doing some amazing work in Africa to help girls get the education and careers they deserve (much better than a typical alternative of early marriage and seven children).
I shouldn't feel like I am rebelling against the dominant culture by supporting them, but I do.
It is time to change the conversation about mental health, which is currently all about pharmaceutical drugs, to one of not only diet but also our mainstream society and media.
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Coconut oil is one of several oils recommended for hair by Ayurvedic medicine, but it is more specifically indicated for people with a Pitta dominance. Hair of Pitta-dominant people tends to be fair or red, oily, silky and/or prone to hair loss and early greying, which seems to be very common in the West. In fact, there are many anecdotal reports that describe coconut oil use as able to reverse hair loss and greying. So maybe the fat-phobic West can learn something from a culture that often associates hair with strength and beauty.
More recently, a study in The Journal of Cosmetic Science has shown that out of coconut, mineral and sunflower oils, only coconut oil had the ability to reduce protein loss in hair as a pre- and post-wash treatment. The reason behind this is that coconut oil is high in lauric acid, which can penetrate the hair shaft and therefore protect hair proteins because it is a shorter, straight chained fatty acid. Mineral oil was too large, while sunflower oil was too bulky because of its double bonds, which are present in all unsaturated fats. Fatty acids are chains of carbon, and saturated fats, like lauric acid, are those with all spare carbon bonds being occupied by hydrogen atoms, and so are straight. If not all carbon bonds are occupied, the carbons will compensate by creating double bonds with each other, which bends the fatty acids. Another reason behind coconut oil's superiority may be that it is a more polarised molecule than mineral oil (one end has a more positive charge, the other end more negative), which may aid penetration. Coconut oil's penetration ability has also been found to reduce damage during combing by reducing the swelling that can damage hair, particularly if you are combing wet hair. On top of this, the lauric acid in coconut oil can also decrease levels of DHT, the much more potent form of testosterone that is implicated in "male", or hormonal, hair loss. DHT is also associated with acne, and yes, even women can suffer from hair loss or acne caused by DHT. The oil's antioxidant properties may be behind the claims of increased hair colour. Therefore, coconut oil may also benefit hair among other things if it is included in the diet, such as by using it as a replacement for other cooking oils. As coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is stable and will not oxidise like olive oil, peanut oil etc. will, which removes the threat of oxidative damage.
Friday, 13 November 2015
One of these health benefits is an overall reduced risk of dying. A meta-analysis (often deemed the highest quality of evidence) involving a grand total of 997, 464 participants across the studies analysed found that four cups of coffee daily reduced the all-cause mortality rate by 16%! Three cups per day reduced the cardiovascular disease mortality rates by an average of 21%. This means that out of 100 people who would have all died in a given year, 16 get to live at least another year.
Coffee may also be protective against certain types of cancers. For example, a study in the journal Gastroenterology found that increasing coffee consumption by 2 cups per day can reduce the risk of liver cancer by 43%. A meta-analysis once again showed that regular coffee intake may cut the risk of liver cancer, this time by 50%, with men enjoying a 62% risk reduction. This may be because of coffee's influence on liver detoxification, with its diuretic effect possibly helping to flush out toxins and their metabolites. It is not just liver cancer either: other research has found that four or more cups of coffee daily can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 59%, and five can cut breast cancer risk by 29% overall, but by 59% for oestrogen receptor negative types. This seems like a lot of coffee, but one of my friends once drank about ten cups every day, and cup size does not seem to be specified.
On top of this, research from the University of Illinois has shown that caffeine may block the brain-based inflammation implicated in conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. It can inhibit an enzyme known as caspase-1, which triggers production of interleukin-1beta, a pro-inflammatory chemical. Caffeine's ability to block adenosine receptors is associated with cognitive improvement and protection against Alzheimer's disease. Would Alice Still be Alice? I don't know, that movie is far too depressing for my tastes. Additionally, drinking at least two cups of coffee daily can cut your risk of death from liver cirrhosis by 66%, but tea, soft drinks and fruit juice have no effect on cirrhosis mortality rates. For best results in any of these benefits, do not drink coffee with an excess of milk and sugar. All of the studies discussed here can be accessed on GreenMedInfo.
Sunday, 8 November 2015
In many cases, it is not the food you are eating, but how it is cooked that has an effect on your risk of certain diseases and the rate of aging. For example, eating ocean fish reduces the risk of heart attacks, but only eating fried fish increases risk of heart disease. This is because heating food to temperatures of over 300 degrees Fahrenheit causes cell damaging chemical changes. Some of the chemicals formed are glycotoxins.....the AGEs that I discussed in a previous post on wheat. Because of these among others, a study from 2012 showed that men who consumed 1-2 servings of pan-fried meat weekly increased their risk of advanced prostate cancer by 35%. Men who ate over 2-3 servings weekly increased their risk by 40%. In other research, women who ate "well done" hamburgers increased breast cancer risk by 50% compared to women who preferred rare or medium hamburgers. Additionally, women who ate well done hamburgers, steak and bacon on a very regular basis had a 462% increased risk of breast cancer in the Women's Health Study!
Studies that show an association between glycation and disease are not all there is. A six week study on diabetic patients involved splitting them into two groups: one consuming food cooked at high temperatures, and the other on the same diet cooked at lower temperatures. The high temperature group saw their levels of glycated LDL "cholesterol" increase by 32%, but the low temperature group both lost weight and reduced their glycated LDL by 33%! While eating the same foods!
Another study on mice eating diets high in methylgloxyl (an AGE) found that AGEs contribute to weight gain, insulin resistance and eventually diabetes. The fat that these mice gained then produced more pro-inflammatory chemicals that made their problems even worse.
So what can we do about this? Chemicals such as indole-3-carbinol and chlorophyllin are known to prevent AGE induced DNA damage; cooking with moisture e.g steaming or stir frying; or marinating foods in lemon juice, olive oil, mustard or garlic can also reduce AGE formation. So as always, there is hope.
Friday, 6 November 2015
I am really looking forward to earning more than just enough to get me out of the pocket money-zone, being my own boss is what is best for me.....and probably the vast majority of people! According to Self Determination Theory, the three universal needs are Autonomy, Competency and Relatedness. A teacher I had in my first year of university was really into it, and then I found that it is not the only area of psychology that acknowledges the fact that we all need to be in control over our lives. Actually when another first year subject went through the major psychological schools of thought, they seemed to be on one evolutionary line towards Self Determination Theory. Sure working for someone else is better than nothing, but it is less secure and autonomous.
My username is AlexandraSpring so my URL is:
Thursday, 5 November 2015
Finally! A rational response to cancer prevention research! I know it was posted two months before the WHO's bacon-unfriendly announcement, but I am getting sick and tired of all the "everything causes cancer so let's eat trash and use poison" nonsense. I love this woman! Welcome to "the dark side" (well really the light side) Ann, and congratulations on your new job!
My added take on it is, because of the importance of mental and emotional health, if you never partake in any naughtiness is the resulting stress/lack of enjoyment more damaging than transient exposure to something harmful?
Tuesday, 3 November 2015
In a study in the Annals of Dermatology, volume 21, thirty women over the age of 45 took either 1.2 or 3.6 grams of aloe vera gel for 90 days, using their appearance on day 1 as the control. After the 90 days, wrinkles and skin elasticity was significantly improved, and collagen production increased. Collagen is a key protein in the skin's connective tissue, hence collagen injections to erase wrinkles. There was also a decrease in an enzyme known as matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), which increases in aging skin and is activated by UV light, damaging collagen and causing yet additional wrinkles.
Aloe vera has also been studied for its wound healing and immune boosting properties, which give some idea of why it has antiaging benefits. In fact, it may also speed healing of surgical wounds, and could possibly improve wound healing in diabetics. Superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant, could be present in aloe vera gel too. This is important in the fight against skin aging because ultraviolet light's aging effects work by generating oxygen-based pro-oxidative chemicals. These create a nasty chain reaction resulting in degraded collagen, inflammation, increased MMP, cell damage and cell death.
The researchers found that there was no real difference between the effects of aloe vera at 1.2 or 3.6 grams, so you don't need too much to get a therapeutic benefit, but anything containing aloe vera gel is so refreshing during summer anyway! Just remember, if you are taking aloe gel straight from a plant, only use the clear inner gel, as the yellow sap is a laxative.
Friday, 30 October 2015
What is this plant?
It is a mystery.
It is native to North Queensland.
It has been used by many people, at least one of whom I personally know, to get rid of a skin cancer.
It does not leave a scar, unlike surgery.
At least on the people I know.
But don't get any sap onto healthy skin or it will burn.
But I don't know its name.
That's why I am not making claims.
Sunday, 25 October 2015
Is wheat bad for everyone, not just those with coeliac disease or NCGS?
Conventional dietary advice instructs the world to increase consumption of "complex carbohydrates", or "whole grains", and then champions wholegrain bread and other wheat products as a solution to many health problems.
However, in the original 1981 study from The University of Toronto, that which began the concept of Glycaemic Index, paints a much more negative picture. This original study showed that the GI of sucrose (table sugar) was 59, while the GIs of white bread and wholegrain bread respectively were 69 and 72. A Mars Bar has a GI of 68, and a Snickers bar has a GI of 41, also beating bread. A dramatic rise in blood sugar levels will also trigger a dramatic rise in insulin, which encourages energy storage: first to glycogen (stored sugar) in the liver, then to fat if glycogen stores are plentiful. Excessive fat can also lead to chronic inflammation, as fat tissue produces pro-inflammatory cytokines known as adipokines, as well as tumour necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukins1, 1-RA, 6, 8 and 10. One adipokine, called adiponectin, can be anti-inflammatory in the blood vessels, but is pro-inflammatory in the skeletal joints and is associated with rheumatoid arthritis and degradation.
This inflammation contributes to the pancreatic injury described in the main source of this post. Even if consistently high blood sugar levels do not cause insulin resistance and then diabetes, you do not want them. It is the consistently high blood sugar levels in diabetic people that is the cause of retinopathy (eye damage), neuropathy (nerve damage) and nephropathy (kidney damage); in fact it is said that diabetes is a model for accelerated aging, with the "age-related diseases" often appearing years earlier than "expected" in non-diabetics! Unabsorbed blood sugar has a tendency towards getting tangled in cells and tissues and forming advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. These are useless, disrupt normal functions and have no currently known method of removal. Their only "function" is to cause even more oxidation and inflammation, adding to the already existent tissue damage, with the most visible result being wrinkling and sagging of the skin! (then you age and die, and I am expected to have babies to replace you. Ain't the "circle of life" wonderful(!?))
Fortunately, there are now known substances that can impair AGE formation, and a way to clear them may be discovered. AGE levels in the red blood cells do have the ability to decrease because these are recycled every 120 days; this is what gets measured in the HbA1c blood tests that are recommended for diabetics. Also fortunately, gluten-free and blood sugar-friendly recipes (such as those from the Palaeo diets) taste great and can encourage you to be creative in cooking.
Wednesday, 21 October 2015
One of the things that caught my attention on her website was the article "Autoimmune Disease - New Therapy Approaches". Of course I want to use her ideas. Part of this article is a case study of a man on the edge of autoimmune disease, with prediabetes and a chronic high viral load. Besides prescribing coenzyme Q10 (which is great for energy) and mineral supplementation, as a specific treatment for inflammation and immune dysregulation he was also given.....fermented soybean extract. Soy has a very mixed reputation, as different soy products can be beneficial or harmful depending on whether it is fermented, chemically processed etc etc, so confusion often ensues and soy has been rarely mentioned in my nutritional medicine subjects. Despite some views on soy, this patient did not spontaneously combust. Instead, his levels of interleukin-6 and -8; tumour necrosis factor-alpha and C-reactive protein, which are markers of inflammation, all decreased to healthy levels. His count of natural killer cells, a type of immune cell, nearly doubled into the healthy range. Dr Jacob also wrote that there were no side effects and that his levels of anti-nuclear antibodies also fell.
Fermented soy, this time as miso soup, has also been the only thing to solve my dysmenorrhoea, when nothing else worked. Turmeric is partially effective, but only miso soup has fully eliminated my need for painkillers. So I declare that the potential benefits of fermented soy must be known to all, not hidden from those who may need it by the problems surrounding chemically processed soy.
Note: this is not a sponsored post, I wanted to work with Dr Jacob but couldn't, and she is just so nice!
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
I am a student of naturopathy beginning her career, and eventually I want to go into the field of antiaging. In fact, I have been following the Life Extension Foundation since I was 15 :-) I tutor for students of natural health (both in person and Skype), proofread assignments and I want to go into editing and writing publications and presentations for other natural health practitioners.
I am also a semi-professional belly dancer, and last month I had the privilege of being taught by the wonderful Marta Korzun from Ukraine :-)
So this is my blogging debut.....
My Facebook: www.facebook.com/springchickenhealth
My Lulu page: www.lulu.com/spotlight/alexandra_preston/
My Doterra page: www.mydoterra.com/alexandrapreston/