Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lutein boosts eye health, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration

Fruits and vegetables have yet another disease-fighting weapon to offer you: Lutein. Studies show this carotenoid prevents and, to some extent, reverses vision loss, immune system problems, cancer and cardiovascular disease. With that in mind, load up your plate with foods high in lutein -- carrots, corn, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard, mustard greens, red peppers, dill, parsley, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes and red, blue and purple fruits -- and read all about what this amazing plant nutrient will do for your body.

Is your vision blurry? I know mine is after sitting in front of the computer for a while. In that case, you and I need to eat more lutein-rich foods, according to Drs. Michael R. and Marc R. Rose. In their book, Save Your Sight, they write, "A few weeks after consuming more lutein-rich foods or lutein supplements, some normal-sighted people report less glare, improved color vision and sharper vision." Theory suggests that lutein and its companion carotenoid zeaxanthin may save our sight by acting "as a shield or filter that helps to absorb harmful UVB light and dangerous free-radical molecules, both of which threaten the retinal tissue," according to Life Extension Foundation's Disease Prevention and Treatment.

Though everyone's sight could benefit from a diet high in lutein, it can literally save the sight of those who have family histories of macular degeneration and other vision loss problems. If someone in your family has experienced loss of sight in old age, then your high-lutein diet should start long before you reach middle age. In a Harvard University-based study, women with diets high in lutein and zeaxanthin experienced a 22 percent reduced risk of cataracts, while men reduced their risk by 19 percent, according to Reader's Digest's Fight Back with Food.

Based on a study described by Laurie Deutsch Mozian in her book, Foods that Fight Disease, a dietary intake of only six milligrams of lutein per day decreases your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration by 43 percent. For that reason, in Bill Gottlieb's Alternative Cures, Dr. Mark Grossman of the Integral Health Center in Rye and New Paltz, New York, advises, "Everyone over the age of 50 should be taking lutein supplements." However, if you are already experiencing macular degeneration or other vision problems, a high-lutein diet can still help you save your sight by increasing the density of your macular pigment. "Macular degeneration may be stabilized or reversed with nutritional intervention," says Dr. Grossman. He later goes on to say, "By far, it's (lutein) the number one nutritional treatment for the disease."

Not only will lutein save your sight, it may also boost your immune system and, accordingly, prevent cancer. "Healthy people seeking to boost overall immune function should consider consuming 5,000 IU of beta-carotene daily, along with other carotenoids, such as lycopene and lutein," writes the Life Extension Foundation. By boosting your immunity, lutein decreases your chances of getting cancer, since development of cancer as a disease is associated with immune system impairment. I know you've probably heard this a million times, but just in case you haven't, I'll say it again: We all have cancer cells. Cancer cells develop in our bodies all the time, but our immune systems normally remove the malignant cells before they can develop into the symptoms we call cancer. In addition to boosting your immune system, lutein may also fight cancer by both protecting your cells from free radical damage and increasing cell-to-cell communication, thus preventing them from turning malignant.

However lutein prevents cancer, we know it works. According to Professor Ralph Moss' book, Antioxidants against Cancer, more than 250 scientific papers demonstrate lutein's potential as an anti-cancer agent. In a study described in Mark Stengler's Natural Physician's Healing Therapies, people with high-lutein diets at any age decreased their chances of developing colon cancer by 17 percent; furthermore, young people with high-lutein diets decreased their chances by 34 percent. Studies show that a diet high in lutein will also decrease your chances of other cancers, including cancers of the lung and breast. According to a study reported in Disease Prevention and Treatment, women who have low levels of lutein have a 2.08-fold increased risk of breast cancer, so not eating enough lutein-rich foods can actually harm you.

In this age of fast food and junk food, cardiovascular disease is more prevalent than ever. Instead of eating french fries as our vegetables, we should be eating more lutein-rich foods. The Life Extension Foundation reports the results in one study, in which participants with the highest blood levels of lutein showed virtually no arterial wall thickening. "This was a good sign that the bad LDL cholesterol had not oxidized inside them and formed the dangerous plaque that can lead to heart attacks," the editors of FC&A Medical Publishing conclude from the results of the same study. High-lutein diets can even decrease smokers' odds of developing cardiovascular disease, according to a study Selena Yeager describes in her book, New Foods For Healing. In this study of 1,900 men, smokers with high lutein levels in their blood experienced 25 percent fewer heart attacks than those with low lutein levels.

It's easy to add more lutein to your diet because it's found in so many foods. Just refer back to the list you read above. Moreover, "lutein is five times more readily available from vegetables than beta-carotene," writes Professor Moss. Just adding a few more fruits and vegetables to your plate each day may save your sight, boost your immune system, prevent you from developing cancer and reduce your chances of having a heart attack. It's so easy to be so healthy.

The experts speak on lutein and its health benefits:

Other useful nutrients for ensuring vision health are the carotenoids lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin. Food sources of lutein: kale, collard and mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, red peppers, parsley, romaine lettuce, dill, celery, carrots, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, and red, blue, and purple fruits...
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 946

… Even though cooking any food reduces the amount of lutein … will absorb more of that protective substance if you add a little bit of fat when cooking. … use olive oil instead of animal fats.
Eat and Heal by the Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing, page 229
Lutein and vision-health benefits

A few weeks after consuming more lutein-rich foods or lutein supplements, some normal-sighted people report less glare, improved color vision, and sharper vision.
Save Your Sight by Marc R Rose MD and Michael R Rose MD, page 73

A study conducted by researchers at Harvard University showed that women with the highest intake of dietary lutein (and its companion carotenoid, zeaxanthin) had a 22% reduced risk for cataracts, while men reduced their risk by 19%.
Fight Back With Food by Readers Digest, page 73

… The study showed that a daily intake of 6 milligrams of lutein was associated with a 43-percent lower incidence of age-related macular degeneration.
Foods That Fight Disease by Laurie Deutsch Mozian MS RD, page 122

"Everyone over the age of 50 should be taking lutein supplements," Dr. Grossman says. That's because many scientific studies have shown that regular intake of the nutrient, which is a pigment found in leafy green vegetables such as kale, collard greens, and spinach, can prevent macular degeneration, he says.
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb, page 428

… "Macular degeneration may be stabilized or reversed with nutritional intervention," says Marc Grossman, O.D., an optometrist, licensed acupuncturist, and codirector of the Integral Health Center in Rye and New Paltz, New York. And the single most important nutrient to prevent or treat it is lutein.
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb, page 428

Besides preventing the condition, lutein may be able to stop or even reverse existing macular degeneration by increasing the density of the macula pigment. "By far, it's the number one nutritional treatment for the disease," Dr. Grossman says.
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb, page 428

lutein … WithZeaxanthin forms eye macular pigment in the retina cavity, protects against Aging Macular Degeneration of the eye (AMD), the main cause of blindness after age 40 (usewithBilberry).
Anti-Aging Manual by Joseph B Marion, page 50

… lutein … zeaxanthin … Together, these two carotenoids help protect various delicate tissues from free radical damage. lutein even beats beta-carotene at protecting fats inside eye cells from such damage.
Antioxidants Against Cancer by Ralph Moss PhD, page 36

… The fact that lutein and zeaxanthin are particularly concentrated in these parts of the eye suggests that they may act as a shield or filter that helps to absorb harmful UVB light and dangerous free-radical molecules, both of which threaten the retinal tissue …
Disease Prevention And Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 1368
Lutein and immune system function in general

… Healthy people seeking to boost overall immune function should consider consuming 5000 IU of beta-carotene daily, along with other carotenoids, such as lycopene and lutein.
Disease Prevention And Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 901

… When plasma levels were measured for all antioxidant micronutrients in persons with HIV and in controls, it was observed that these patients showed a significant depletion of all carotenoids (lutein, lycopene, alpha-carotene, etc.) and vitamin C. …
Disease Prevention And Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 901
Lutein as an anti-cancer agent

… A family of nutrients called lutein and zeaxanthin…. They're antioxidants, which means that they have the ability to neutralize harmful free radicals. In this way, antioxidants safeguard the maculae against free-radical damage.
Blended Medicine by Michael Castleman, page 19

… lutein in spinach prevents normal cells from converting to abnormal cells by improving cell-to-cell communication. …
The Origin Diet by Elizabeth Somer, page 71

"Lutein and lycopene possess exceptionally high antioxidant capacity compared to other carotenoids and may be useful in preventing cancer," said Dr. Fred Khachik, a chemist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. lutein promotes healthy immunity and decreases the growth of cancer. There are already over 250 scientific papers referring to lutein's potential as an anticancer agent. And lutein is five times more readily available from vegetables than beta-carotene.
Antioxidants Against Cancer by Ralph Moss PhD, page 36

A recent study showed that high-lutein diets were associated with a 17 percent decrease in colon cancer risk, and young people with a diet high in lutein had a 34 percent lower risk of colon cancer.
Natural Physicians Healing Therapies by Mark Stengler ND, page 91

… Eating a lutein-rich diet cut colon cancer risk by 17%. …Theory: lutein protects colon cells from damage caused by highly reactive compounds called free radicals. Good sources of lutein include tomatoes, carrots, oranges, broccoli, kale, Romaine lettuce and spinach.
Bottom Line Yearbook 2002 by Bottom Line Personnel, page 305

At Japan's National Cancer Center Research Institute in Tokyo, scientists showed that lutein protects against the formation of colon cancer, as measured by the number of pre-cancers per mouse. (203,308)
Antioxidants Against Cancer by Ralph Moss PhD, page 36

…Selenium, lycopene, lutein, and glutathione have been associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer. …
Prescription For Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A Balch CNC and James F Balch MD, page 258

… The risk of breast cancer associated with low levels of other carotenoids was similar, that is, a 2.08-fold increased risk if lutein is deficient … Analysis showed that lycopene was associated with decreased breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women, but in premenopausal women, lutein offered greater protection (Hulten et al. 2001).
Disease Prevention And Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 220

Lutein has many beneficial effects in experimental animals. It increases the time until the tumor appears, suppresses the growth of breast tumors, and also enhances the growth of normal white blood cells. (340) What was particularly exciting was that very low amounts of lutein, comprising no more than two-thousands of the overall diet by weight, "can efficiently decrease mammary [breast] tumor development and growth in mice." (341)
Antioxidants Against Cancer by Ralph Moss PhD, page 36
Lutein and cardiovascular health

For example, individuals participating in the Toulouse study who had higher blood levels of lutein also had a lower incidence of coronary artery disease … Participants with the highest blood levels of lutein showed virtually no artery wall thickening, while those with the lowest lutein levels showed increased arterial thickness. In addition, lutein reduces the oxidation of LDL cholesterol…
Disease Prevention And Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 466

The study followed 480 middle-aged men and women for 18 months. During that time, those who had the most lutein in their bloodstream had almost no increase in the thickness of their carotid (neck) arteries. This was a good sign that the bad LDL cholesterol had not oxidized inside them and formed the dangerous plaque that can lead to heart attacks. Results of two other parts of the study, one done in the lab with human tissue and the other with mice, supported the findings of the first.
The Folk Remedy Encyclopedia by the Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing, page 184

In a study of almost 1,900 men, Dr. Morris and his colleagues found that men who had the most carotenoids in their blood—not just beta-carotene but also such things as lutein and zeaxanthin—had 72 percent fewer heart attacks than those with the lowest levels. Even smokers, …who got the most of these protective compounds had 25 percent fewer heart attacks than those who got the least.
New Foods For Healing by Selene Yeager, page 517

Dr. James Dwyer, who led this research, recommends eating plenty of lutein-rich foods to keep your arteries clear. "A diet rich in vegetables, including the dark green leafy variety," he says, "will provide sufficient lutein to achieve the levels of persons in our study."
The Folk Remedy Encyclopedia by the Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing, page 184

Lutein may also offer protection against lung infections and osteoarthritis

… Thirdly, certain plant alcohols in the leaves (notably xanthophyll or lutein) disinfect the lungs, making it much harder for the bacilli to remain there.
Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Juices by John Heinerman, page 117

Other antioxidants — beta cryptoxanthine, lutein, and lycopene — appeared to lower the chances of getting OA of the knee by 30 to 40 percent, Jordan says. These phytochemicals, which are common in orange and green vegetables and tomatoes, put you ahead of the game when it comes to arthritis protection.
The Folk Remedy Encyclopedia by the Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing, page 256

Most Recommeded Lutein Products:

Jarrow Formulas, Lutein, 20 mg, 60 Softgels

Doctor's Best, Best Free Lutein, 20 mg, 60 Softgels

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Digestive enzymes enhance nutrient absorption, gut health and longevity

A survey of holistic practitioners by Ed McCabe, author of Flood Your Body with Oxygen, for the order of nutrients' importance consensus was: Oxygen, water, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.

Jon Barron, author of Lessons from the Miracle Doctors, presented the essence of the late Dr. Edward Howell's message: "A person's life span is directly related to the exhaustion of their enzyme potential. The use of food enzymes decreases that rate of exhaustion, and thus results in a longer, healthier, and more vital life."

That's a clear and important concept. But it's not widely appreciated. Enzymes are energized, active protein compounds that are involved with every aspect of digestion and all cellular metabolism throughout our bodies. Without enzymes, food, minerals, and vitamins are useless.

In fact, every activity in our body from creating cellular energy to building bone and muscle to hormonal production and distribution, and even thinking are governed by enzymes.

How enzyme potential is exhausted

There are three basic types of enzymes: Metabolic, digestive, and food. Metabolic enzymes patrol the blood stream to perform all the processes of cellular metabolism needed for life. Some come in with raw food, while most are created in the pancreas.

Organic raw foods contain the enzymes necessary for their digestion. The more raw foods eaten, the less one overworks the pancreas, which produces enzymes that are injected into the small intestines to extract food nutrients.

Before that, chewing releases enzymes in our saliva that begin the digestive process. If our food is not cooked and its enzymes are intact, this process of pre-digestion accounts for more than half of breaking down consumed food into absorbable nutrients.

That process is interrupted when the acid digestive juices of our stomach are initiated, usually in around an hour, but picked up again in the small intestines where the pancreas comes into action.

The pancreas gets overworked if not enough enzymes come in with our food. Many enzymes are eliminated from cooking and processing foods. Not chewing food well minimizes saliva enzymatic production.

This forces the body to depend more on pancreatic proteolytic enzymes for digestion. The pancreas' proteolytic enzymes are needed to break down waste products and inflammatory scar tissue from immune system activities in our bloodstream.

This increases the burden on the pancreas and depletes or inflames the pancreas, resulting in lower protease or proteolytic enzymes, triggering a cascade of disease and aging symptoms. This is what is meant by exhausting our enzyme potential.

How to recover maximum enzyme potential

Chew food more than usual. Increase your consumption of raw, unprocessed foods. Try to enjoy your meals without stressing.

Even if you eat organically produced meats, the complete proteins of cooked meat are harder to break down, forcing the pancreas to work harder producing proteolytic enzymes.

Supplement enzymes with each meal. Enzyme supplements should contain papain for breaking down complete proteins, amylase for starches and carbohydrates, lipase for fats, lactase for dairy, and cellulose for fibers.

But there are enzyme supplements that should be taken away from meals to go directly into the bloodstream and eat up normally resistive waste products, scar tissue, and even cancer cells. Bromelain and serrapeptase are two such easily purchased proteolytic enzymes.

Texas dentist William Donald Kelley cured his terminal pancreatic cancer with powerful, hybrid pancreatic juice protease, and then he proceeded to cure several other cancer patients before running into problems with the Medical Mafia.

Now MD Nicholas Gonzalez in NYC courageously continues refining Dr. Kelley's pancreatic juice breakthrough. Karen DeFelice, author of three books on enzyme therapy, helped her autistic son with enzymes. She offers a pdf report (below) on treating neurological issues with enzymes.

Sources for this article include:

Karen DeFelice pdf Report

Most Recommended Enzyme Products:

Natural Factors, Multi Enzyme High Potency, Vegetarian Formula, 120 Capsules

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Four reasons to add chlorella to your diet today

Chlorella is a green algae that is considered to be one of the most powerful superfoods known to man. Chlorella contains vasts amount of chlorophyll within its cell walls. The cell walls of chlorella are tough and indigestible, so many chlorella producers break the cell walls before selling the product. Broken cell chlorella releases the nutrients inside the cell walls so the human body can use them. Besides being possibly the richest source of chlorophyll on Earth, chlorella is also very high in plant protein. Chlorella contains fifty-eight grams of protein per one hundred grams of weight. By comparison, beef and chicken have twenty-four to twenty-eight grams of protein per one hundred grams of weight. Chlorella is a pain reliever, reduces hypertension, enhances the immune system in some cases, and chelates heavy metals.

Chlorella has been found to reduce pain

In 2000, a pilot study was conducted in which fibromyalgia patients consumed 10g of a commercially available chlorella tablet and 100mL of chlorella in liquid form. Symptoms were measured at the beginning of the trial, and again after one and two months of treatment with chlorella. After two months on chlorella, the fibromyalgia patients reported a significant 22% reduction in pain and tenderness. One-third of the patients believed their health was better after taking chlorella. Scientists involved with this study stated that a full double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was warranted.

Chlorella reduces or stabilizes blood pressure, even when medication is stopped

In another clinical study, patients with hypertension were given 10g chlorella tablets and 100 mL chlorella extract for two months. Patients were taken off all blood pressure medications, then treated with chlorella. One-fourth of the patients saw a decrease in blood pressure after taking chlorella for two months. The other three-fourths did not see a rise in blood pressure, despite being taken off their blood pressure medication.

Chlorella enhances the immune system after flu shots in some adults

In a clinical trial performed in 2003, patients who had received flu shots were given chlorella to see if the algae improved immune system function. The subjects, all over the age of fifty, took either a placebo or chlorella for three weeks before being injected with a flu vaccine. At one week and three weeks after receiving the flu shots, patients between the ages of fifty and fifty-five who had been taking chlorella had two to four times more antibodies than the placebo group. Results were insignificant for older adults in the study.

Chlorella has potential as a heavy metal chelator

A study involving rats showed the potential chlorella has for counteracting heavy metal poisoning in humans. Male rats were given cadmium chloride, a toxic metal compound used in yellow dye and photocopying. Some rats were also fed chlorella powder, while other rats were used as the control group. Cadmium was found in the bloodstream, liver, kidneys, and small intestines of the rats. However, there was a remarkable increase in cadmium in the urine and feces of the chlorella-fed rats. In addition, tissue damage was less in the chlorella group. The research group concluded that chlorella can be considered an appropriate counteragent for heavy metal poisoning.

Sources for this article include: "Nutritional Supplementation With Chlorella pyrenoidosa for Patients With Fibromyalgia Syndrome: a Pilot Study," R.E. Merchant, et al. Phytotherapy Research: PTR May 2000 14(3); 167-73. "Nutritional Supplementation With Chlorella pyrenoidosa for Mild to Moderate Hypertension," R.E. Merchant, et al. Journal of Medicinal Food Fall 2002 5(3); 141-52. "Safety and Immunoenhancing Effect of a Chlorella-derived Dietary Supplement in Healthy Adults Undergoing Influenza Vaccination: Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial," S.A. Halperin, et al. CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal July 22, 2003 169(2); 111-7. "Effect of Chlorella Intake on Cadmium Metabolism in Rats," J.A. Shim, et al. Nutrition Research and Practice Spring 2009 3(1); 15-22.

Most Recommended Chlorella Products:

Jarrow Formulas, Yaeyama Chlorella, 1 Kilogram Powder (1000 g)

Source Naturals, Yaeyama Chlorella, 200 mg, 600 Tablets

Monday, June 24, 2013

Elderberry Flu Protection

News reports about the H1N1 and seasonal flu rarely mention alternative remedies that may shield one from influenza or possibly hasten recovery from it. The official reason for this is because such natural options rarely have sufficient proof of efficacy and safety data. The trouble with that explanation is that when new studies on alternative remedies are published, they frequently go unnoticed by conventional physicians and media outlets.

A brand new study on a “proprietary elderberry extract” was just published in the Online Journal of Pharmacology and PharmacoKinetics. It involved 64 participants during the spring 2009 flu season. The common link among all of the study volunteers was that they were diagnosed with the flu and began treatment with elderberry (or a placebo) within 24 hours of the illness. The men and women, ages ranging from 16 – 60, exhibited at least three of the following symptoms: coughing, fever, headache, muscle ache, nasal congestion and discharge. Each patient filled out a standardized questionnaire (“Visual Analogue Scale”) that measured the severity of these symptoms.

The flu sufferers were then split into two groups. Half were given 2 lozenges containing 175 mg elderberry extract daily for two days. The remainder were asked to take an identical looking placebo in the exact same manner. Here are the results reported after 48 hours of treatment:

  • 28% of the elderberry group was symptom free after two days.
  • 60% of those on the elderberry lozenges showed significant symptomatic improvement with only 1-2 mild symptoms remaining.
  • 16% demonstrated “symptom improvement to a lesser degree”. No prolongation of disease or worsening of flu characteristics were noted.

None of the patients in the placebo group achieved “complete recovery” during the treatment period. Only 16% of the placebo participants reported reductions in one or more flu symptoms. The majority of those receiving the placebo rated their symptoms as being the same or worse than at the start of the trial. No side effects were found in the elderberry or placebo groups. (1)

Another trial was recently presented in the September 30th issue of the Journal of Nutrition. It addresses the issue of safety in long term elderberry use in humans. 52 women (26 receiving elderberry and 26 given a placebo) took part in the experiment. A relatively high dose of elderberry anthocyanins (500 mg daily) was used to establish any changes in cardiovascular, kidney or liver health over the course of 12 weeks. No significant alterations in heart, kidney or liver function were detected. The authors of the trial concluded that “chronic consumption of 500mg/d of elderberry extract for 12 wk is apparently safe”. (2)

As a side note, it’s recently been established that black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) can bind to and prevent infection from the H1N1 virus in a laboratory setting. It’s important to point out that this is highly preliminary evidence. This experiment was conducted in test tubes and not in the human body. However, it’s still encouraging because the results suggest that “elderberry flavonoids compare favorably to the known anti-influenza activities of Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Amantadine“. This leaves the door open to the possibility that elderberry components may day be useful as an alternative to conventional antiviral drugs. (3)

H1N1 and Seasonal Flu Guidelines

The current research on black elderberry was likely prompted by encouraging studies that span over the last 15 years. Some of those pilot trials indicate that S. nigra can reduce the duration of flu symptoms by up to 4 days. The mechanism by which elderberry combats influenza has also been examined. The mode of action appears to be quite complex and involves a selective anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory effect that ultimately stimulates the immune system. In addition, components within elderberry (lectins) seem to directly bind to the surface of virus cells and thereby render them inactive. (4,5,6,7)

Elderberry isn’t so much a natural medicine but, rather, a medicinal food. It’s reputation continues to grow and may one day be associated with flu protection much like cranberry is linked to the management of urinary tract infections. But in order for that to happen, we need to spread the word about these new scientific findings. In most doctors’ offices around the world, food is simply not considered medicine. That’s why at this time, your physician is unlikely to write a prescription for elderberry during the flu season. However, that may change if we take the time to share some of the more obscure studies that our medical team may not even know about. This is one significant way in which we can all contribute to the betterment of modern medicine.

Most Recommended Elderberry Products:

Nature's Way, Sambucus, Black Elderberry, Original Syrup, 8 fl oz (240 ml)

Nature's Way, Sambucus Black Elderberry, Original Lozenges, 30 Lozenges

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Noni Juice - The Fruit of Life?

Morinda citrifolia, or Noni, is a knobbly fruit widespread in tropical countries from Tahiti through Asia and back to Hawaii. In the Caribbean it is called ´dog dumpling´, but this sounds a lot less appetising! It can be eaten as the natural fruit but is more widely consumed in liquid form.

Noni contains a number of enzymes and alkaloids in quite large quantities. It would appear from several research studies to have four possible benefits:

Firstly, it directly stimulates the immune system increasing the production of both B - and T-lymphocytes. Furthermore, Noni contains pro-Xeronine, which can be converted to Xeronine by natural enzymatic action in the body´s tissues. Xeronine, produces a strong immune response to cancer cells in laboratory experiments.

Secondly, it appears to inhibit tumour development. Research conducted by Drs. Hirazumi and Furasawa at the Department of Pharmacology in the University of Hawaii, showed conclusively that the high polysaccharide content of Noni inhibits tumours in mice. Bromelain, an alkaloid and enzyme also found in pineapples and used in some dietary cancer therapies, is found in high levels in Noni and it is known to weaken the walls of cancer cells. The undoubted strength of Noni lies in this multi-polysaccharide, alkaloid and high phytochemical content. Dr DL. Davis, the senior science advisor to the US Public Health Service is very clear that, "phytochemicals can take tumours and diffuse them". Thirdly, Noni helps regulate cell function and cell regeneration. Dr Neil Solomon MD, PhD. conducted research with mice and showed that those fed Noni live live 123% longer than normal.

Noni is a knobbly fruit widespread in tropical countries

He believes this is due to Noni enhancing the body´s natural healing processes and balancing the body´s pH. Noni, in its concentrated form, provides a strong residue of alkaline ash in the body when consumed. This would serve most people well as their normal Western lifestyle and diet produces an acid body. A slightly alkaline pH is essential for the peak efficiency of the cellular biochemistry, and for the effective functioning of the immune system.

At CANCERactive, do we believe Noni is a cancer ´cure´? No. We believe it may have some polysaccharide benefits, may improve the immune system and so on. But, how much of the fruit´s natural ingredients remain once it has been pasteurised and put in a bottle we cannot tell.

If you are thinking of buying Noni juice you might like to look at the Natural Selection Product of Choice. You can do this by  clicking here.

Next, in a paper ´The Pharmacologically Active Ingredient of Noni´, R.M. Heinicke of the University of Hawaii concludes that Xeronine protects and keeps the shape of protein molecules, which after passage into the cell, can be better used to make healthy tissue. Xeronine may also help protein molecules pass into cells by enlarging the membrane pores and, so the theory runs, the bigger the pores, the larger the protein molecules ´feeding´ the cells and so the healthier they become. The juice must be drunk on an empty stomach as the pepsin and acid of the stomach will destroy Xeronine and pro-Xeronine. In fact, you should not eat anything for about two hours before and about half an hour after taking Noni.

Finally, Noni acts as an analgesic for headaches and as a healing agent for open wounds. Researchers in France have found that it is 75% as effective as morphine sulphate without the addictive side effects. In South East Asia, Noni is drunk to aid digestion and neutralise foreign bacteria in the stomach. And it is also used to put on cuts and wounds to speed up the healing process.

As an aside, there is a marketing war going on between Tahitian and Hawaiian
Noni products! For example, "Hawaiian Noni is 100% pure Noni while Tahitian is a juice, not 100% pure, and made from concentrate" (Hawaiian Noni web-site). To give the reader some feeling for the marketing fervour surrounding this product, there are almost 43,000 web sites for Noni!

One suspects the decision may have already been taken to ´disapprove´ Noni

There is one cloud on the horizon. The European Union, who only recently decided to halt the sale of vitamins and minerals beyond those on a prescribed, agreed list of just 20 or so (and even those in small doses), is also looking to cut a plethora of ´health products´, one of which is Noni. The EEC wants to categorise these products as speciality foods´ and these can only be sold if the producers give evidence on their benefits by submitting copious documentation. Even then, one suspects the decision may have already been taken to ´disapprove´ Noni.

Most Recommended Noni Products:

Life Time, Noni Mangosteen Goji & Acai Blend, 32 fl oz

Doctor's Best, Best Noni Concentrate, 650 mg, 150 Veggie Caps

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lower cancer risk found in green tea drinkers

In case you haven't noticed, some of the most recent breakthroughs in terms of battling cancer have come from natural, not traditional medicinal, sources.

That trend is continuing, according to the results of a large new study which found that older women who regularly drink green tea may have less risk of developing colon, stomach and throat cancers, compared to women who don't consume tea at all.

Researchers discovered that of more than 69,000 Chinese women who they followed for more than 10 years, those who drank green tea at least three times per week were 14 percent less likely to develop a cancer afflicting the digestive system, Reuters reported, citing the scientists' work.

Generally speaking, that meant those women had less of a chance of developing esophageal, stomach and colon cancers.

'Strong evidence' that green tea works to some extent

Scientists involved in this study were unsure if the green tea itself was responsible for the lower rates of cancer, but noted that those who drink it are very often more health conscious. However, several previous studies have suggested green tea helps prevent certain kinds of cancer, through its powerful antioxidant action.

Nevertheless, this most recent study attempted to account for the health-conscious aspect, according to Dr. Wei Zheng, head of epidemiology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, who led the study. None of those involved in the study smoked or drank alcohol on a regular basis. In addition, researchers gathered information on their diets, exercise habits, medical history and weight.

Even with all of those factors added to the equation, women's tea habits remained linked to their risk of developing cancer, noted Zheng, adding that nevertheless, this type of study can't prove cause-and-effect.

And he said that past studies revealed conflicting findings on whether consumers of green tea honestly have lower cancer risks (though the anecdotal evidence, at least, is very strong, as we have shown in our coverage of this topic).

"All of those studies," Reuters reported, "are hampered by the fact that it's hard to isolate the effect of a single food in a person's diet on the risk of cancer."

Clinical trials are just about the only types of studies that are able to reveal evidence of cause-and-effect, where people are randomly selected to drink green tea in some form - or not at all. According to the National Cancer Institute, there have been few such studies.

Zheng and his team, referencing his own study, said that "strong evidence" from lab research in animals and human cells suggested that green tea has some potential as an anti-cancer agent in a report on their findings in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Nearly 30 percent improvement in cancer rates

As in previous studies examining a link between green tea and a reduction in cancer risk, they revealed that the beverage contains key antioxidant chemicals - particularly a substance known as EGCG - that may act to thwart the body-cell damage which can ultimately lead to cancer and other disease processes.

For their study, Zheng and his team used data from an 11-year running study of 69,000 middle-aged and older Chinese women. More than 19,000 of them were considered regular consumers of green tea, in that they drank it at least three times a week.

Over the time period, 1,255 women developed some form of cancer of the digestive system. But the data show that generally speaking, risks for developing disease were somewhat lower when a woman drank green tea often and over a long time.

For instance, women who told researchers they'd had green tea regularly for at least 20 years were 27 percent less likely than non-green tea drinkers to develop a cancer of the digestive system. Also, they were 29 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer.


Most Recommended Green Tea Products:

AriZona, Green Tea, with Pomegranate & Acai, 20 Tea Bags, 1.37 oz (38 g)

Now Foods, EGCg, Green Tea Extract, 400 mg, 180 Vcaps

Friday, June 21, 2013

Aloe Vera and cancer - A Mesopotamian Folk Remedy

Aloe Vera is a natural plant. The form you buy may be nearly 100 per cent natural. This natural compound was used in Egyptian times to fight skin problems and even skin cancer, and one of its major benefits is its ability to soothe. It contains at least 6 natural ingredients which act as ´anti-inflammatory agents´, reducing inflammation, one of the precursors to cancer.

So can Aloe vera can cancer?

Let´s be clear: At CANCERactive we think no single compound is a ´cure´ for cancer.

However, Dr Lawrence Plaskett, vice-chair of the Nutritional Council in the UK has stated that, "It is amazing in view of all the positive indications which exist for all the anti-cancer effects of Aloe Vera that no medical studies have been initiated in human cancer".

The US Department of Agriculture has however approved Aloe for the treatment of soft tissue cancers in animals (1992) as well as feline leukaemia; and Aloe is approved as an important component in European AIDS therapy where it has a powerful effect on the immune system and complements certain drug therapies.


Aloes first recorded use was in Mesopotamia in about 1500 BC. It was then favoured by both Egyptians and Greeks for the immediate treatment of burns, cuts, wounds, infections and even "parasites".

Aloe is a member of the lily family belonging to the group Xeroids, and grows in dry regions of Africa, Asia, Europe and America. There are 200 varieties of which four have nutritional value, the most common variety being Aloe Barbendis Miller.

It was favoured for the immediate treatment of burns, cuts, wounds, infections and even parasites

The usual debate is about the relative merits of the whole leaf or the gel. Some companies claim the inner leaf has the most benefits whilst others claim the outer leaf and rind are the crucial elements. Whatever the debate, Aloe is very well researched. In fact it has almost so many benefits it is easy to feel many of these are overclaims - but they are not!

People in the West started drinking Aloe gel in the late 70s as brands became available, with claims for nutritional, skin care and even weight loss benefits, It can also alkalise the body. However, recent years have seen biochemistry explain the various benefits of Aloe.

Active Compounds

What doesnt Aloe have? Over 200 active compounds have been recorded including vitamins, amino acids, minerals, enzymes, polysaccharides, fatty acids and more. For example:

Polysaccharides and Glycoproteins - We have covered this group of compounds previously in ICON. In 1994 Gilman and Rodbell won a Nobel Prize for showing how G-proteins help cells send messages inside them. By 1999 Blobel had won one for showing how messages pass round the body and in 2001 Hartwell, Hunt and Nurse won one for showing how cell messages operate in growth, division and mistakes. Such signals can clean membranes and receptor site like the diabetes receptor site whilst others pass across membranes. Of particular importance is the way bacteria and viruses, for example bond to locations on membranes. The latter is inhibited by glycoproteins and polysaccharides.

Aloe vera fights inflammation, and may thus fight cancer

If you are thinking of buying Aloe Vera, you might like to look at the Natural selection Product of Choice. You can do this by clicking here  

The most potent potysaccharide in Aloe is Acetylated Mannose or Acemannan, which is used in European AIDS treatment, Dr Akira Yagi and team at Fukuyama have isolated a number of these polysaccharide, phenolic and chromone compounds and these are at the core of Aloes anti-viral, anti-bacterial and immune boosting powers. Large polysaccharide molecules from Aloe have been shown to produce Tumour Necrosis Factor in the body, shutting off the blood supply to tumours. Others increase Interferon and macrophage production and T-cell quantity. But in cancer patients T-cells look for clear distinguishing areas on cells to sort the good from the bad and normally only one in a thousand T-cells can actively spot a rogue cell. Aloe polysaccharides also appear to dramatically improve this ratio.

So it is quality, not just quantity, that improves!

Anti-inflammatory benefits - There are a number of active compounds which reduce inflammation and can thus help in conditions from arthritis to wound repair, acne and insect bites. Fatty Acids, like gamma-linoleic acid, reduce inflammation, allergic reactions, blood platelet aggregation and improve wound healing. Salicylic acid is commonly found as aspirin and since 1982 Nobel Prize winner Sir John Vanes work on cellular environments we have known this can control excess prostaglandin production along with other negative factors. Gibberlin, sterols and the amino acids phenylalanine and tryptophan are also involved in anti-inflammatory processes and wound healing.

Aloe can help blood and lymph circulation

Other Benefits - Certain enzymes (Bradykininases) break down Bradykinin, which is a peptide substance causing increased vascular permeability. Aloe can help blood and lymph circulation. In wound healing Aloe doesnt just inhibit acute inflammation (like steroids) but stimulates fibroblast growth to improve wound healing and block the spread of infection (Dr Robert Davis, University of Pennsylvania). Its content of vitamin C. E and zinc will help this process. Lignins can help detoxify the blood and intestine by binding chemically to fats, and finally anthraquinones (aloin, aloe-emodin, barbaloin) are cathartic.

Most Recommended Aloe Vera Products:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Echinacea Revelations

Echinacea is widely known as an immune boosting herb that is used at the onset of cold and influenza infections. But, if you’re only using it when your nose starts to “run” and throat gets scratchy, you’re missing out. According to a new publication in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, in addition to Echinacea’s immune-modulating activity, this traditional Native American treasure also possesses antioxidant and antimicrobial properties which may address conditions ranging from fungal and parasitic infections to poor wound healing.

A current study in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine indicates that Echinacea is, in fact, useful in protecting against upper respiratory infections. In the trial, 175 adult travelers were asked to take an Echinacea root extract (standardized to 4.4 mg alkylamides/day) or a placebo for up to 9 weeks. The study participants were given the respective treatments beginning two-weeks prior to travel and continuing until the end of their flight exposure. They were then surveyed before, immediately after and 4 weeks after their airplane travel. Those receiving the Echinacea extract demonstrated “lower respiratory symptom scores” than the placebo group. The specific findings reveal that, the Echicacea users were approximately 50% less likely to experience severe respiratory symptoms that would necessitate medical treatment. The authors of this double blind, randomized trial concluded that, “Supplementation with standardized Echinacea tablets, if taken before and during travel, may have preventive effects against the development of respiratory symptoms during travel involving long-haul flights”.

Colds and flus aside, the next chapter in the book of echinacea may well focus on a decidedly unexpected bodily organ: the skin. Scientists are particularly interested in the potential of Echinacea for: a) controlling the growth of bacteria associated with acne; b) protecting against nerve damage induced by excessive sun exposure; c) use as an adjunct to the conventional treatment of viral warts. In practical terms, this may mean that you’ll see more products on the market that include Echinacea in creams, lotions and oral supplements directed at consumers with viral conditions such as cutaneous warts.

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – Applications of the Phytomedicine Echinacea Purpurea (link)

Study 2 - Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Echinacea (link)

Study 3 - The Potential Use of Echinacea in Acne: Control of Propionibacterium (link)

Study 4 - Neuroprotective Effects of a New Skin Care Formulation Following (link)

Study 5 - Oral Supplementation with a Nutraceutical Containing Echinacea (link)

Standardized Echinacea Extract May Reduce Travel-Related Illness

Source: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:417267. (link)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Herbal Rhodiola Extract Found to Increase Lifespan

Rhodiola rosea is now, according to recent research, becoming more widely accepted in the U.S. as a powerful anti-aging, anti-stress formula. In today's culture with stress coming from every direction, this comes as good news and a possible natural stress-relief treatment.

The herbal extract of a yellow-flowered mountain plant indigenous to the Arctic regions of Europe and Asia increased the lifespan of fruit fly populations, according to a University of California, Irvine study.

Flies that ate a diet rich with Rhodiola rosea, an herbal supplement long used for its purported stress-relief effects, lived an average of 10 percent longer than fly groups that didn't eat the herb. Study results appear in the online education news release from the University of California, Irvine

"Although this study does not present clinical evidence that Rhodiola can extend human life, the finding that it does extend the lifespan of a model organism, combined with its known health benefits in humans, make this herb a promising candidate for further anti-aging research," said Mahtab Jafari, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences and study leader. "Our results reveal that Rhodiola is worthy of continued study, and we are now investigating why this herb works to increase lifespan."

In their study, the UC Irvine researchers fed adult fruit fly populations diets supplemented at different dose levels with four herbs known for their anti-aging properties. The herbs were mixed into a yeast paste, which adult flies ate for the duration of their lives. Three of the herbs – known by their Chinese names as Lu Duo Wei, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang and San Zhi Pian – had no effect on fruit fly longevity, while Rhodiola was found to significantly reduce mortality. On average, Rhodiola increased survival for 3.5 days in males and 3.2 days in females.

Rhodiola rosea, also known as the golden root, grows in cold climates at high altitudes and has been used by Scandinavians and Russians for centuries for its anti-stress qualities. The herb is thought to have anti-oxidative properties and has been widely studied.

Soviet researchers have been studying Rhodiola since the 1940s on athletes and cosmonauts, finding that the herb boosts the body's response to stress. And earlier this year, a Nordic Journal of Psychiatry study on people with mild-to-moderate depression showed that patients taking a Rhodiola extract called SHR-5 reported fewer symptoms of depression than did those who took a placebo.

Jafari said she is evaluating the molecular mechanism of Rhodiola by measuring its impact on energy metabolism, oxidative stress and anti-oxidant defenses in fruit flies. She is also beginning studies in mice and in mouse and human cell cultures. These latter studies should help understand the benefits of Rhodiola seen in human trials.

Past Herbal Uses of Rhodiola Rosea as a Treatment for Depression by Herbalist

Rhodiola rosea is classified as an adaptogen herb, which means it increase the body's ability to cope with internal and external stress factors, and normalize the functions of the organism. Adaptogen herbs help maintain the stable internal environment inside the organism known as homeostasis.

Russia has used Rhodiola rosea for years to enhance mental and physical performance. It has been widely used by Russian athletes and cosmonauts to increase energy. In addition, Russian medicine has also traditionally given Rhodiola rosea to its soldiers, sportsmen and aging political leaders as an effective anti-aging medicine. Rhodiola rosea helped them to improve cognitive functions and physical performance.

Rhodiola rosea also has extraordinary pharmacological properties as an anti-depressive agent. The anti-depressive and anti-stress activity of Rhodiola rosea is higher than that of St. John's Wort, Ginkgo biloba and Panax Ginseng.

In another clinical trial, 150 individuals suffering from depression took Rhodiola rosea extracts for a period of one month. At the end of that period, two-thirds of them had full remission of clinical manifestations of depression, and had become more active and more sociable. Daytime weakness and general weakness disappeared.

Rhodiola rosea has also been recommended for fatigue, catarrhal seasonal diseases, along with mental performance and to improve endurance. It increases bodily resistance to physical and mental overloads, and negative environmental effects.

Rhodiola is cardio-protective, normalizing the heart rate immediately after intense exercise. It improves the nervous system and mental functions such as memory, by increasing blood-supply to the muscles and brain, and it also increases protein synthesis.

Russian research has emphasized that Rhodiola rosea extracts have rejuvenative properties due to their ability to raise the efficiency of the intra-cell DNA repair mechanisms.


University of California - Irvine
Jeffrey Felgner, Irvin Bussel, Anthony Hutchili, Behnood Khodayari, Michael Rose and Laurence Mueller of UC Irvine participated in the study. Sun Ten Inc. provided the herbs.

RHODIOLA ROSEA (Russian Rhodiola, Golden root)
Anti-Aging Medicine of 21st Century

Most Recommended Rhodiola Products:

Life Extension, Rhodiola Extract, 250 mg, 60 Veggie Caps

Planetary Herbals, Rhodiola Rosea Extract, Full Spectrum, 327 mg, 60 Tablets

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Mineral to prevent cancer?

The American FDA published an announcement on its web site in early 2009 stating that Selenium may reduce the risk of certain cancers adding that Some scientific evidence suggests consumption of selenium may reduce the risk of certain cancers.

This is indeed a breakthrough for this natural mineral. The conservative FDA supporting a natural compound for cancer prevention?

With some just cause: Also in early 2009 German scientists from St. Josefs Hospital in Wiesbaden presented their findings on selenium, concluding that selenium blood levels were significantly lower in men with benign prostate hypertrophy or prostate cancer. (Acta Oncologica)

In another study (Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 2009) experts suggest selenoproteins have powerful antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects that could make them important in preventing prostate and colorectal cancers.

Then in the March 2009 edition of Clinical Cancer Research researchers from Penn State College of Medicine showed that isothiocyanates found in cruciferous vegetables (like cabbage, cauliflower and kale) when combined with selenium supplementation became even more potent in treating melanoma.

Selenium deficiency is common in cancer patients, including those diagnosed with metastatic cancer, said lead researcher Professor Gavin Robertson.

Importantly in the prostate cancer studies, as in the melanoma research, a protein Akt3, driven by oestrogen, develops. There are no drugs to stop it, and Akt3 causes the cancer to develop, according to Robertson. Selenium is known to destabilise Akt3, he adds.

This means that selenium doesnt just help prevent cancers, it possesses the ability to fight them too.

The background

Selenium is a mineral we are only just learning about. It was not even discovered as an essential nutrient until 1979 and only in 1990 was an RDA recommended. It is now known to work with vitamin E and Glutathione Peroxidase to help protect the bodys tissues from free radical damage. Selenium and vitamin E seem to have a magnifying effect on each other. Selenium also appears to be anti-viral and anti-bacterial in its actions.

Selenium has two other effects that may well play a role against cancer. Firstly, it protects the body against the increasing problem of toxic metals, e.g. mercury, cadmium and arsenic. This is particularly relevant in the case of mercury, which pollutes our bodies via local coastal fish, fillings in our teeth and vaccines. The FDA in the USA in 2001 identified that 83 of the 100 most common vaccines used mercury as the carrier - by asking nicely they have reduced this to 73!!

Selenium levels affect your hormones

Secondly, selenium levels affect your hormones - in particular, the thyroid hormone, from which it removes the iodine. This has a knock-on effect to all of your hormones.

Various studies have looked at the blood selenium levels of people from different parts of the globe and the conclusion is invariably that low levels are linked to higher cancer rates.

In 1984 researchers at the University of Kuopio in Finland looked at 8,000 women and men who were interviewed and blood samples stored. In the following years 128 men developed cancer. When their blood was compared to those without cancer it was found to be deficient in selenium - in fact those with the lowest levels were three times more likely to develop cancer. This was especially true for cancers of the blood and colon.

A second study by universities all over the USA looked at 11,000 people across 5 years. 111 of the participants developed cancer and again their selenium levels were much lower than healthy people tested. In this research the cancers most noted were again those of the gastrointestinal tract, but also prostate cancer. By contrast selenium does not appear to influence breast cancer rates - the Harvard Medical School study on 62,000 nurses was inconclusive.

Males appear to have a slightly greater selenium requirement. It is lost in the semen and concentrates in the testes and seminal ducts.

There was a 52 per cent reduction in total cancer mortality

One of the most important cancer trials was undertaken by the Nutritional Prevention of Cancer Study Group, (Effects of Selenium Supplementation for Cancer Prevention in Patients with Carcinoma of the Skin, Larry Clark et al - JAMA,1996) and utilised a 0.5gm high-selenium brewers yeast tablet providing 200 mcg of selenium per day. 1312 patients participated. This study showed that there was no effect on skin cancers in the group taking selenium, but a 52 per cent reduction in total cancer mortality, a 17 per cent reduction in all cause mortality, a 37 per cent reduction in total cancer incidence, a 46 per cent reduction in lung cancer incidence, a 58 per cent reduction in colon cancer incidence and a 63 per cent reduction in prostate cancer incidence. And this is in a group of patients in the United States where selenium intake from the diet is approximately 2-3 times higher than that in the UK and Europe in general.

Much work has also been done with the population of China where there are both selenium rich areas and selenium deficient areas. Research there suggests that selenium has a 20 per cent positive effect on cancer risk.

In the USA 1993 China study, the group taking vitamin E, beta-carotene and selenium showed more than 30 per cent less cancers. In the French seven year SUVi Max study with 17,000 participants the male group taking vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, plus zinc and selenuium reported 37 per cent less deaths from cancer.

Currently Dr. Margaret Rayman, from Surrey University, a world expert in selenium is involved in the Precise study. Given a 5 star rating by the Medical Research Council, this is a major European trial (involving 35,000 participants Europe-wide) investigating the effect of supplementation on cancer at different doses. Funding is an issue at 2 million but hopefully will be sorted out one day.

Recommended Daily Levels And Supplementation

The official RDA is around 55 micrograms. It is felt that levels around 200 micrograms are probably beneficial but above that there is concern. At 900 micrograms there is proven toxicity, which manifests itself in dermatitis, hair loss and diseased nails.

Selenium yeast is the form of selenium used in the recent and most encouraging cancer trials, although usually this is not a live yeast. Someone who has a massive yeast overgrowth problem might need to stay away from yeast for a while, but this should not affect everyone.

The inorganic forms of selenium are less bioavailable than organic forms

Selenium yeast provides selenium compounds similar to those found in cereals, so closely resembles a food, which is ideal for a food supplementation (approx. 50% of the selenium compounds found in yeast comprise of selenomethionine). Seleno-methionine is another organic form and, whilst inorganic forms such as selenite and selenate are not naturally found in foods, they have been found to produce higher levels of glutathione peroxidase quicker. This is only one selenium dependant enzyme in the body and there are 35 or more selenoproteins that have been identified to date which all rely on selenium for their function. Bioavailability studies have shown that the inorganic forms of selenium are less bioavailable than organic forms.

Eating The Vitamins

Try Brazil nuts, wholemeal bread, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, free-range eggs, skinless chicken breast, tuna fish, onions, wheat germ, tomatoes and broccoli. There is even a selenium-enriched form of garlic, which is giving strong anti-cancer results.

Most Recommended Selenium Supplement:

New Chapter, Organics, Selenium Food Complex, 90 Tablets

Life Extension, Super Selenium Complex, 100 Veggie Caps

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Natural Polypill – Alpha Lipoic Acid

A popular story has been floating around the mainstream media about a so-called “polypill”. It’s supposed to be the next “big thing” in treating heart disease. The pill in question combines several heart medications (aspirin, blood pressure medication and cholesterol lowering medication) in one easy to swallow tablet. This combo product isn’t on the market yet, but it will likely be available in the coming years. What you may not have heard on the nightly news is that there’s been some other promising developments in the world of cardiovascular disease management. The reason you probably haven’t seen these reports is because the “medicine” involved is actually a natural supplement that’s been on the market for many years.

Lipoic Acid and Aging
The Universal Antioxidant as a “Polypill”

Alpha lipoic acid is a vitamin-like antioxidant that is produced by the body and found in certain foods. One of its primary roles is converting glucose into energy. But this unique antioxidant is involved in many secondary functions as well. Most antioxidants either work in water (vitamin C, grape seed extract, green tea) or fatty tissues (carotenoids, CoQ10, vitamin E). Alpha lipoic acid functions in both. This allows it access to every sort of tissue in the body. Another important trait of lipoic acid is its ability to help regenerate other antioxidants. It therefore allows the antioxidants that are eaten and taken as supplements to work harder and longer in the body.

The most common conditions for which lipoic acid has been used are mostly related to diabetes and liver disorders. Lipoic acid is known to enhance blood sugar control by improving insulin sensitivity. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects, it’s also been shown to help with a painful diabetic complication called neuropathy (nerve damage). In addition, its powerful antioxidant properties seem to provide a protective effect in a number of liver diseases.

Recently scientists have been experimenting with the use of alpha lipoic acid in a broader range of conditions. One such example was published in the February issue of the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University conducted a trial to evaluate the potential of alpha lipoic acid in lowering high triglycerides (a risk factor for heart disease).

The results of the research were dramatic. A group of rats given therapeutic dosages of lipoic acid exhibited drops in their triglycerides of up to 60%. When the scientists tried to pin down how this reduction occurred, they reached two conclusions:

  1. The lipoic acid appeared to hasten the clearance of triglycerides from the bloodstream.
  2. They also noted a decrease in triglyceride production in the liver.

This led the authors of the study to comment that lipoic acid appeared to work differently than conventional (fibrate) medications. They went on to conclude that, “Given its strong safety record, LA may have potential clinical applications for the treatment or prevention of hypertriglyceridemia and diabetic dyslipidemia.”

These results appear to be just the beginning of the story. Here’s a summary of a few other studies on the cardiovascular benefits of alpha lipoic acid:

  • A December 2008 study found that lipoic acid could help lower cholesterol and lipid peroxidation, a process that contributes to plaque forming in arteries.
  • Another 2008 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology revealed an improvement in endothelial function in rats fed alpha lipoic acid. The endothelium is a thin layer of cells in our blood vessels that helps blood to circulate properly and, therefore, assists in promoting healthy blood pressure. The authors of this study proclaimed that, “The favorable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, metabolic and endothelial effects of lipoic acid shown in rodents, in this and other recently published studies, warrant further assessment of its potential role for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.”
  • The prior study lends even more support to an October 2008 review article which highlights alpha lipoic acid as a potential superstar in the management of hypertension (high blood pressure).

Lipoic Acid Recycles Antioxidants

I’d also like to point out that toxicity testing on lipoic acid has demonstrated a wide safety margin. The only “side effect” recorded was a drop in body weight for lab animals taking higher dosages. The same cannot be said for the individual components of the “polypill” much less the combination of these medications.

There is one nutritional interaction of which I think you should be aware. Alpha lipoic acid has a chemical structure that is very similar to a nutrient called biotin. Biotin also serves many key functions in our bodies. In order to avoid any interference between the two, it’s probably best to take them at separate times of the day.

In alpha lipoic acid we have a powerful antioxidant that may help to support several markers of cardiovascular health. In doing so it can also provide additional benefits ranging from combating Alzheimer’s disease and inflammation to depression and even protecting ocular (eye) health. I think it’s certainly something worth considering before reaching for any multi-drug tablet.

Most Recommended ALA Products:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Magnesium and cancer risk

Magnesium is the second most abundant element in the human body. It is vital to over 350 enzymatic reactions, brain and liver health, muscle and nerve activity, electrical impulse, cellular alkalinity and energy levels.

But. Several research studies from the US have shown that 40 to 79 per cent of Americans are deficient in magnesium, depending upon which one you read. The American College of Nutrition believe just over two thirds of adults do not even consume the Recommended Daily Allowance. Blood plasma studies in the UK show similar shortages.

Deficiency is linked to heart disease, strokes, osteoporosis, fatigue and lethargy, digestive problems and arthritis. And increased CANCER RISK.

In 2012, a research study from Imperial College London reported that increasing magnesium intake by 100 milligrams reduced risk of colorectal cancer by 12 per cent, while another (in the European EPIC study) reported that increasing magnesium intake could reduce pancreatic cancer risk by 21 per cent.

Soil deficiency - and poor diets 

Firstly, a report in February 2004 by David Thomas, a mineralogist and fellow of the Geological Society, using the Government´s own data, showed that between 1940 and 1990, vegetables had lost over half their content of calcium and magnesium, while mineral levels in fruits fared little better. Findings were supported in the British Food Journal by Anne-Marie Mayer, a nutrition researcher at Cornell University. She examined 20 fruits and 20 vegetables and found significant reductions in levels of calcium, magnesium, copper and sodium in vegetables and in magnesium, iron, copper and potassium in fruits.

Both researchers link the decline to intensive farming. They suggest that agricultural chemicals and a lack of crop rotation may be depriving plants of minerals.

Secondly, we are consuming too much dairy, and dairy consumption can depress magnesium levels in the body. Cows´ dairy works against magnesium in two ways. It actually reduces magnesium absorption. Add flooding the blood with calcium can also reduce blood magnesium levels. We also consume alcohol which reduces magnesium levels in the body; and our intestinal ´beneficial bacteria´ are under constant threat from drugs, antibiotics, chlorine in water, alcohol, salt and so on and this impairs magnesium release, especially as we age.

Agricultural chemicals and a lack of crop rotation may be depriving plants of minerals

Finally, we eat less of the foods that have historically given us our magnesium. Foods like fresh nuts (for example, almonds), pulses (for example, lentils, broad beans, peas), green leaf vegetables, jacket potatoes (including the skins - don´t microwave!) and the whole grains like millet, oats, buckwheat, wheat germ and complete brown rice. Refined grains lose 80-90 per cent of their magnesium content in the refining process. Fruits with good levels of magnesium are bananas, mangoes, apricots and melons.

The central atom in chlorophyll is magnesium, rather as the central atom in haemoglobin is iron. And people just do not eat the levels of ´greens´ they ate historically.

Magnesium is essential to life.

Thinking of buying whole, natural supplements? Take a look at what´s available in the Natural Selection shop by clicking here.

What Does Magnesium Do?

1) A medium build healthy body should contain about 25 gms of magnesium - it is everywhere. About 60 per cent is in the bones and teeth. The body needs magnesium for bone growth and bone health and to prevent tooth decay. Magnesium is needed for vitamin D synthesis and low vitamin D levels mean low calcium absorption. Worse, Vitamin D as we repeatedly tell you is increasingly reported in research to be crucially important in the fight against cancer

So we have a vicious circle; too much calcium depresses magnesium and vitamin D and means it is less likely to be taken up by the bones.

2) Magnesium is also crucial to a healthy liver, your organ of detoxification. It also activates over 300 enzymes throughout the body including some in the energy generation process in the power stations of all cells in the body.

Magnesium is also crucial to a healthy liver

3) As nutritionists the world over have shown, any inefficiency in the cellular power stations can poison the cell, making it more acidic, less capable of using oxygen and generally producing less energy from the raw materials.

Magnesium doesn´t just work in some of the energy reactions, it activates a pump in cell membranes pushing sodium out of the cell and potassium into the cell. Too much sodium or too little potassium inside the cell and its power stations, will ´poison´ the cell with the power stations becoming less efficient and more acidic. Oxygen levels will decline too.This sets up conditions of toxicity and the threat of cancer.

4) Magnesium also works in muscles to help them relax (calcium helps them contract) and studies have shown that a higher magnesium intake may reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. A 1992 study at the Royal Leicester Infirmary showed a 24 per cent higher survival rate in a group of heart attack victims who were given magnesium by injection.

5) Finally, magnesium is important in DNA replication and repair, cellular proliferation and in reducing inflammation. All of these factors are linked to cancer.

Depletion: Diabetes, parathyroid problems, diuretics, alcohol and cows´ dairy consumption, certain drugs, acidic digestion, and diarrhoea/sickness will all deplete your magnesium levels.

Change your diet: and think about supplementation.

Most Recommended Magnesium Products:

Doctor's Best, Magnesium, High Absorption, 100% Chelated, 120 Tablets

Now Foods, Magnesium Citrate, 200 mg, 250 Tablets

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Can you overdose on vitamin E?

Vitamin E has had a checkered career. Once a darling of natural health enthusiasts, vitamin E fell out of favor when some studies found that it was ineffective for heart health, and worse, that it might actually increase the risk of death from all causes.

Other studies raised concerns about the possible risks from taking high doses of vitamin E. But according to an expert at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, you don’t need to worry about how much vitamin E you get in your food or even from normal use of supplements.

A new review of the research concludes that your body has natural biological mechanisms to routinely eliminate excess levels of the vitamin, and it’s almost impossible to take too much.

In fact, Maret Traber, a professor at OSU and author of the review just published in the Journal of Lipid Research, the bigger concern is that 90% of Americans don’t get enough vitamin E in their diet.

Vitamin E is actually a family of eight antioxidant compounds, consisting of four types of tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Each of the tocopherols and tocotrienols has unique benefits in the body. Vitamin E in general boosts the immune system and acts as an anticoagulant that can reduce blood clotting.

The study found that two major systems in the liver control the level of vitamin E in the body by routinely excreting excessive amounts. Very high doses from supplements may double the tissue levels of vitamin E but that won’t hurt you according to Traber. She says that unlike fat-soluble vitamins A and D, it’s not possible to accumulate toxic levels of vitamin E in your liver or tissues.

The Top Foods for Vitamin E

It’s best to get your vitamin E from natural organic sources. The top 12 vitamin E foods are:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Olive oil
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnip greens
  • Papayas
  • Avocados
  • Mustard greens
  • Collard greens
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers

In addition to consuming a healthy and balanced diet, Traber recommends taking a daily multivitamin that has the full RDA of vitamin E (15 mg or 22.4 IU for adults). The safe upper limit for vitamin E has been set at 300 mg per day.

Most vitamin E supplements only contain alpha-tocopherol, one of the eight forms. On food packages and supplement labels it may appear as "d-alpha-tocopherol" which indicates it comes from a natural source. Synthetic (laboratory-made) vitamin E is listed as "dl-alpha-tocopherol." Avoid the synthetic form and only use the natural form which is about 50% more potent.

Look for a supplement that contains a mixture of both the tocopherols and the tocotrienols for the full benefits of vitamin E.

Most Recommended Vitamin E Products: