The Health Problem No One Likes to Talk About

As long as I can remember, there has been alcohol around. My parents and their friends would drink it when I was a kid, and as I grew older, the people around me continued what almost seemed like a tradition. There was rarely an event that didn’t call for at least a couple of drinks. Continue reading

Anemia Reversed

Anemia is a symptom caused by a myriad of conditions. These conditions include iron deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency, vitamin C deficiency, Vitamin E deficiency, vitamin B6 deficiency, and thyroid disorders, for openers.

Since the most significant and common forms of anemia are related to diet, it is this area that I will address. Continue reading

Super Healing Powers Found in these Nutritious Foods

As part of a healthy diet, whole foods play a significant role in helping our bodies function at their best. There are hundreds of extremely nutritious whole foods, but the dozen on this list do more than contribute healthy nutrients — they help you heal. In fact, every food on this list boasts multiple healing effects, from fighting cancer to reducing cholesterol, guarding against heart disease, and more. Eat these super-healing picks and start feeling pretty super yourself.

Kiwifruit

This tiny, nutrient-dense fruit packs an amazing amount of vitamin C (double the amount found in oranges), has more fiber than apples, and beats bananas as a high-potassium food. The unique blend of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals  Continue reading

Why Some Women Suffer Breast Cancer Relapses

NEW YORK –  Scientists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York City have found out why some women suffer relapses years after beating breast cancer.

Leading oncologist Dr. Larry Norton has revealed that breast cancer cells have the unique ability to lie dormant for years, even after the original tumor has been removed.

In a novel study, the researchers have found a genetic switch, called Src, that triggers dormant breast cancer cells.

“Wandering cells might relocate to the primary site just as they could – by using the same biological toolbox – locate to a distant site,” the Daily Express quoted Norton as saying.

“It’s just as a weed-bed overgrows and destroys a garden and then scatters its tiny seeds to invade neighboring gardens.

“Our results should encourage cancer specialists to think about further study of Src inhibitor drugs that attack reservoirs of these ‘wandering’ latent cancer cells and prevent spread of the disease in breast cancer patients after the tumour has been removed,” he added.

Dr. Helen George, Cancer Research UK’s head of science information, said: “This research is important because it offers an explanation of why some breast cancers can spread and return.

NOTE: CANCER CANNOT SURVIVE IN AN OXYGENATED AND ALKALINE ENVIRONMENT.   SEE POSTS FOR BI-CARBONATE AND L-ARGININE AND THE BUDWIG PROTOCOL

New Radioactive Imaging Agent may Revolutionize Skin Cancer Diagnosis

SYDNEY – An Australian Government funded research group has developed a potential new material that can make early diagnosis of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer possible.

Writing about their work in the ACS’ Journal of the Medicinal Chemistry, the Cooperative Research Consortium for Biomedical Imaging Develop has revealed that the novel material is currently being tested in laboratory animals.

Ivan Greguric, a group member, notes that about 130,000 new cases of malignant melanoma occur each year worldwide.

Although patients do best with early diagnosis and prompt treatment, according to the researcher, the positron emission tomography (PET) scans sometimes used for diagnosis sometimes miss small cancers, delaying diagnosis and treatment.

While searching for better ways of diagnosis, the researchers identified a new group of radioactive imaging agents, known as fluoronicotinamides.

Testing it on laboratory mice that had melanoma, the researchers observed that the novel substance revealed skin cancer cells with greater accuracy than imaging agents currently in use.

Consequently, note the researchers, this substance may become a “superior” PET imaging agent for improving the diagnosis and monitoring the effectiveness of treatment of melanoma.

They have revealed that clinical trials with this new agent are scheduled for 2010.

Functional Ingredients Found in all Supplements

Functional ingredients

Almonds Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) Hydroxycitric acid
Amino acids Fibre Phaseolus vulgaris
Bitter orange Fish oils Probiotics
Caffeine Fucoxanthin Protein
Carnitine [ital]Garcinia cambogia[end ital] Pyruvate
Catechins Glucomannan 7-keto DHEA
Chitosan Green tea Slow carbs
Chromium [ital]Gymnema sylvestre[end ital] Vitamin D
[ital]Coleus forskolii[end ital] High-intensity sweeteners: Stevia, reb-A, sucralose, ace-K, thaumatin

Home Remedies Series – Alcoholism

Home Remedies Series – Alcoholism

An occasional alcoholic drink is the starting point for alcoholism. Over a period of time, a person who drinks occasionally gets habituated and regular drinking becomes the norm. Quite a lot of people have to indulge in social drinking due to societal and group pressure, while others find an escape route through drinking to evade responsibilities. They are under the misconception that drinking is a form of stress relief.

Alcoholism treatment using Grapes

The restricted diet of grapes for about a month is a vital home remedy for alcoholism. As this fruit contains a very pure form of alcohol, it acts like a healthy alternative to alcohol. The ideal process is to take three meals a day of fresh grapes every five hours. To make this treatment successful, the alcohol should develop strong will power to stop drinking.

Alcoholism treatment using Apples

Apples when eaten regularly and liberally help in removing intoxication and reduce craving for wines or any other kind of liquor.

Alcoholism treatment using Dates

Dates are beneficial in treating alcoholism. Rub together 3-4 dates in half a glass of water and have the alcoholic drink this two times a day for a period of about a month.

Alcoholism treatment using Bitter Gourd

Juice extracted from bitter gourd leaves is the perfect remedy for alcohol intoxication. It is basically useful for the damaged liver. Mix three teaspoons of the juice with a glass of butter milk and consume every morning for a month.

Alcoholism treatment using Celery

The juice of raw celery creates a sobering effect on the alcoholic patient. In half a glass of water, an equal quantity of celery juice should be mixed and consumed once everyday for a month. This is a very successful home remedy to cure alcoholism.

Build up body’s nutritional integrity, juice fast

To prevent the patient from pining for stimulants like alcohol, it is most important to feed ample amounts of nutrients back in his body. To begin with, the patient should be put on purification juice-fast for at least ten days. As this fast will progress, the patient will steadily experience less craving. This will break his drinking pattern and preferably the patient should start on a diet of several small meals a day rather than three large ones.

The alcoholic needs to exercise regularly and include outdoor activities in his daily schedule.

Optimum diet and fresh fruit juice

Even after the successful completion of the juice fast, the patient should continue to have an intake of fresh fruit juices and plenty of water. He should eat a healthy diet of such essential nutrients like wholegrain cereals, seeds and sprouts, fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables. Although at the beginning of the treatment, the patient should be given an appropriate replacement to alleviate the craving if and when it occurs. A glass of fresh fruit juice and eating healthy snacks like candy or Soya beans etc will curb his cravings which might increase the urge for drinking in the stages immediately after the treatment.

Avoid refined food products such as white flour, white sugar, white rice, macaroni products. This can be substituted with brown rice, brown sugar, leafy vegetables and other whole grain products.

Firm willingness of alcoholic to stop drinking

The alcoholic should be motivated to break the ‘alcohol habit’ through a strong determination to do so and by being consistent in maintaining his food habits. To try to give up alcoholism at once is almost impossible, so the alcoholic should make a firm decision to make a clean break out of the habit of drinking.

Warm-water enema and physical exercises

Take a warm-water enema daily to rinse out the bowels during the first ten days of the ‘juice fast’. Plenty of rest and outdoor physical activities and exercises are recommended.

Avoid smoking as it increases the craving for alcohol.

British Jail Staff Red-Faced after Inmates Get Drunk on Anti-Swine Flu Gel

British Jail Staff Red-Faced after Inmates Get Drunk on Anti-Swine Flu Gel

LONDON – Authorities at a British prison had to remove a hand gel meant to fight swine flu after inmates were found drunk on the alcoholic cleaner.

Recently, dispensers containing the liquid cleanser were installed to protect the prisoners at category C Verne Prison in Dorset against H1N1.

But instead of rubbing it into their hands, they started making illicit booze when they realised it contained alcohol, The Sun reports.

“The cleansers were to combat swine flu but as soon as they were put out the prisoners started taking the stuff. The canisters have now all been removed from the wings but I couldn’t quite believe it when they were put out in the first place,” a prison source said.

Prison staff got suspicious with a sudden rise in the number of tipsy convicts.

They got to know about the bizarre makeshift booze when one inmate became aggressive after downing the “hooch” and started a drunken fight with another.

“There was a fight after one of the prisoners got violent,” the paper quoted the source as saying.

The distilled gel was believed to have been mixed with fruit and water.

Andy Fear, of the Prison Officer’s Association, said: “Inmates have been incorrectly using the dispensers, for want of a better phrase.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “A prisoner at Her Majesty’s Prison The Verne showed signs of intoxication, the cause of which will be investigated. Antibacterial gel pumps have been removed.”

Biofeedback is the Best Stress-Buster for Students


DES MOINES – Iowa State University has opened a Biofeedback Center for students to help them deal with stress.

Directed by Student Counseling Service staff psychologist Todd Pietruszka, the center is free and open to all ISU students.

The university is first of the three Regents’ universities to offer a biofeedback service to address students’ emotional needs.

The center has adopted technologies like video games and guided meditations to teach relaxation techniques, concentration skills and healthy coping responses.

It also teaches people to become aware of their physiological responses, while providing techniques like deep breathing, visualization or mindfulness, to consciously reset the body’s conditioned responses.

Pietruszka said: “Biofeedback is a fancy name. It really means getting information about your physical responses and using that information to take action.

“For example, when you take your temperature and find you have a fever, you might call the doctor.”

The compact room of the center has three massage recliners, each facing its own wall-mounted computer monitor.

Students begin with an orientation session that explains how to check out and use the equipment, and how to navigate the computer programs.

During a biofeedback session, the room is quiet and darkened as the students sit in the recliners wearing noise-cancelling headphones and fingertip sensors, which measure skin conductance and heart rate.

Three choices of computer software offer a variety of self-guided, interactive programs.

As students practice the relaxation techniques presented, they can watch real-time graphs of their physiological responses.

This information helps them identify the activities that work best for them. Once mastered, they can use the techniques whenever needed-before taking a test or giving a class presentation, for example.

Sessions last from 15 minutes to an hour or more.

Pietruszka said: “The training module teaches how to become aware of your body, how to use breathing, how to become mindful of your thoughts.

“As you practice and use the tools and get feedback, you can see what works for you.

“Biofeedback is really a way to have a coach. It basically lets you know when relaxation techniques are working.”

Iowa State’s Information Technology Services’ Computation Advisory Committee’s fund of 4,654 dollars helped establish the center.

Citation for 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Excerpts from the citation awarding the 2009 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine to awarded to Americans Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak. The Karolinska Institute says the trio was honored for research that has implications for cancer and aging research.

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to three scientists who have solved a major problem in biology: how the chromosomes can be copied in a complete way during cell divisions and how they are protected against degradation. The Nobel Laureates have shown that the solution is to be found in the ends of the chromosomes the telomeres — and in an enzyme that forms them — telomerase.

The long, threadlike DNA molecules that carry our genes are packed into chromosomes, the telomeres being the caps on their ends. Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak discovered that a unique DNA sequence in the telomeres protects the chromosomes from degradation. Carol Greider and Blackburn identified telomerase, the enzyme that makes telomere DNA. These discoveries explained how the ends of the chromosomes are protected by the telomeres and that they are built by telomerase.

If the telomeres are shortened, cells age. Conversely, if telomerase activity is high, telomere length is maintained, and cellular senescence is delayed. This is the case in cancer cells, which can be considered to have eternal life. Certain inherited diseases, in contrast, are characterized by a defective telomerase, resulting in damaged cells. The award of the Nobel Prize recognizes the discovery of a fundamental mechanism in the cell, a discovery that has stimulated the development of new therapeutic strategies.

In conclusion, the discoveries by Blackburn, Greider and Szostak have added a new dimension to our understanding of the cell, shed light on disease mechanisms, and stimulated the development of potential new therapies.

Regular Exercise Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk

CHARLOTTE  – A new study has revealed that regular exercise can help keep prostate cancer at bay.

According to researchers at Duke University Medical Centre, those who were moderately active – anything equivalent to walking at a moderate pace for several hours a week – were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

They analysed 190 men who had a prostate biopsy and found that 58 percent of the men exercised less than the equivalent of one hour per week of easy walking, reports chinaview.cn

The study also showed that exercise was associated with less aggressive disease in men who did develop prostate cancer.

“As the amount of exercise increased, the risk of cancer decreased,” said lead author Dr. Jodi Antonelli, a urology researcher at the centre.

Alcoholism Affects Sleep During Sober Periods

SYDNEY – Long-term alcoholism affects sleep even after long periods of abstinence, impacting men and women similarly, says a new study.

The study indicates that in long-term alcoholics who had not had a drink for up to 719 days, the percentage of slow wave sleep or deep sleep was significantly lower.

Slow wave sleep and more light stage 1 sleep is reflective of poorer sleep quality, which could act as an exacerbating factor in alcoholics’ cognitive decline.

Although women had better sleep efficiency and fewer wake periods than men, no significant interactions between sex and alcoholism diagnosis were found for any measures.

This suggests that women show the same general pattern of alcoholism-related sleep changes as men.

Principal investigator Ian Colrain, psychologist at the University of Melbourne, was also surprised to find that a significant increase in the percentage of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, usually associated with dreams, persisted in alcoholics who had abstained for an extended period.

The study involved 42 alcoholics who were recruited from an inpatient treatment program and 42 controls.

Estimated lifetime alcohol consumption was significantly higher in male alcoholics (1,607.2 kg) than female alcoholics (843.7 kg).

Many aspects of psychological functioning are affected by damage to the frontal cortex of the brain, including those that relate to judgment and risk taking, said Colrain.

The study appeared in Sleep.

Natural Compounds in Vegetables Make Chemotherapy More Effective

PORTLAND- Natural compounds present in plants and some vegetables may help treat cancer even more effectively, when used side-by-side with chemotherapy drugs, according to new research.

A study published in the International Journal of Cancer has found that chlorophyllin-a water-soluble derivative of chlorophyll that makes possible the process of photosynthesis and plant growth from the sun’s energy-is, on a dose-by-dose basis, 10 times more potent at causing death of colon cancer cells than the chemotherapeutic drug hydroxyurea.

Experts in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University say that the study has also shown that chlorophyllin kills cancer cells by blocking the same phase of cellular division that hydroxyurea does, but by a different mechanism.

Based on that finding, the researchers suggest that it may be possible to developed to have a synergistic effect with conventional cancer drugs, helping them to work better or require less toxic dosages.

“We conclude that chlorophyllin has the potential to be effective in the clinical setting, when used alone or in combination with currently available cancer therapeutic agents,” the researchers wrote in their study report.

They, however, stressed the need for both in laboratory and animal studies, with combinations of chlorophyllin and existing cancer drugs, before it would be appropriate for human trials.

Other studies published in the journals Carcinogenesis and Cancer Prevention Research have explored the role of organic selenium compounds in killing human prostate and colon cancer cells.

During the studies, a form of organic selenium found naturally in garlic and Brazil nuts was converted in cancer cells to metabolites that acted as “HDAC inhibitors” – a promising field of research in which silenced tumor suppressor genes are re-activated, triggering cancer cell death.

Rod Dashwood, professor and director of the Cancer Chemoprotection Program in the Linus Pauling Institute, says that the concept of combining conventional or new cancer drugs with natural compounds, which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties, is very promising.

“Most chemotherapeutic approaches to cancer try to target cancer cells specifically and do something that slows or stops their cell growth process. We’re now identifying such mechanisms of action for natural compounds, including dietary agents. With further research we may be able to make the two approaches work together to enhance the effectiveness of cancer therapies,” Dashwood said.

Right Dose of Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Be Identified

PARIS – A team of French scientists has possibly identified just the right dose of DHA acid that prevents heart disease in healthy men.

This study is the first to identify how much DHA or docosahexaenoic acid (omega-3 fatty acid) is necessary to promote optimal heart health.

Scientists show that a 200 mg daily dose of DHA is enough to affect biochemical markers that reliably predict cardiovascular problems, such as those related to aging, atherosclerosis, and diabetes.

“This study shows that regularly consuming small amounts of DHA is likely to improve the health status of people, especially in regards to cardiovascular function,” said Michel Lagarde, co-author of the study.

Lagarde and colleagues examined the effects of increasing doses of DHA on 12 healthy male volunteers aged between 53 and 65.

These men consumed doses of DHA at 200, 400, 800, and 1600 mg per day for two weeks for each dose amount, with DHA being the only omega-3 fatty acid in their diet.

Blood and urine samples were collected before and after each dose and at eight weeks after DHA supplementation stopped.

Researchers then examined these samples for biochemical markers indicating the effects of each dose on the volunteers.

“Now that we have a very good idea about how much DHA is just right, the next step is to try it out in an expanded clinical trial that involves many more people,” said Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal, which is slated to publish the report.

“Until then, I’ll stick with tasty foods that contain DHA, like fish, rather than getting a quick fatty-acid fix at the local vitamin store,” Weissmann said.  

Introducing – Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a flowering herb that is native to the Mediterranean region. It has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for a variety of ailments, especially liver problems.

Common Names—milk thistle, Mary thistle, holy thistle. Milk thistle is sometimes called silymarin, which is actually a mixture of the herb’s active components, including silybinin (also called silibinin or silybin).

Latin NameSilybum marianum

What It Is Used For

Milk thistle is believed to have protective effects on the liver and improve its function. It is typically used to treat liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation), and gallbladder disorders. Treatment claims also include:

  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Reducing insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have cirrhosis
  • Reducing the growth of cancer cells in breast, cervical, and prostate cancers

How It Is Used

Silymarin, which can be extracted from the seeds (fruit) of the milk thistle plant, is believed to be the biologically active part of the herb. The seeds are used to prepare capsules, extracts, and infusions (strong teas).

What the Science Says

There have been some studies of milk thistle on liver disease in humans, but these have been small. Some promising data have been reported, but study results at this time are mixed.

  • Although some studies conducted outside the United States support claims of oral milk thistle to improve liver function, there have been flaws in study design and reporting. To date, there is no conclusive evidence to prove its claimed uses.
  • Recent NCCAM-funded research includes a phase II study to better understand the use of milk thistle for chronic hepatitis C. Additional research, cofunded by NCCAM and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, includes studies of milk thistle for chronic hepatitis C and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (liver disease that occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol).
  • The National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Nursing Research are also studying milk thistle, for cancer prevention and to treat complications in HIV patients.

Side Effects and Cautions

  • In clinical trials, milk thistle generally has few side effects. Occasionally, people report a laxative effect, upset stomach, diarrhea, and bloating.
  • Milk thistle can produce allergic reactions, which tend to be more common among people who are allergic to plants in the same family (for example, ragweed, chrysanthemum, marigold, and daisy).
  • Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.