Acid reflux affects an estimated 50 percent of Americans. The hallmark symptom of acid reflux is “heartburn”—a burning sensation behind your breastbone that sometimes travels up your throat Continue reading
Acid reflux affects an estimated 50 percent of Americans. The hallmark symptom of acid reflux is “heartburn”—a burning sensation behind your breastbone that sometimes travels up your throat Continue reading
Chinese herbs have been used for centuries on their own and in conjunction with other alternative therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure and Ayurveda to prevent hair loss, re-grow hair and restore natural pigment to gray hair.
Hair loss has many causes, such as the genetic male pattern baldness Continue reading
Those who have been following NaturalNews for several years have heard me rave about Ron Teeguarden and Dragon Herbs. His company is considered by many to be the most pristine source of tonic herbs and Chinese herbs available in North America. Ron himself is a true-to-life “guru” in Chinese medicinal herbs and he is one of the most knowledgeable people you’ll ever hear speak on the subject.
You can listen to my 2008 interview with Ron on our Podcast page: http://www.naturalnews.com/Index-Po…
As a follower of Traditional Chinese Medicine and a regular consumer of Chinese herbs, I have also been a follower of Ron Teeguarden for many years. I’ve interviewed him several times and published articles and interviews about him Continue reading
(Beijing) Traditional Chinese herbal medicines may help prevent the development of diabetes in the early stages, new research suggests.
The research, conducted by a research team of Center for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, was carried out in April 2008 and March this year in conjunction with the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.
In the study, the researchers examined 16 clinical trials including 1,391 people of 15 different herbal formulations. The results were positive, but more evidence is still needed, researchers say.
The research concluded that the herbs generally helped lower blood sugar levels in people with “pre-diabetes.”
It also suggested that adding an herbal remedy to lifestyle changes doubled the chance of participants’ blood sugar levels returning to normal.
The Chinese herbal mixes, which have been used for a long time to treat diabetes in China, Korea and Japan, are thought to work in many ways to help normalize blood sugar levels, including by improving pancreatic function and increasing the availability of insulin.
But Suzanne Grant, the lead researcher of the study, pointed out that the Chinese herbs are only to recommended on a patients’ individual situation.
By far, the study did not find serious side effects caused by the herbs. However, Grant noted, like all medicines, herbs may have potential side effects or interactions with other drugs.
Other Names: Polygonum multiflorum, He shou wu
Fo-ti is a plant native to China that is also found in Japan and Taiwan. The medicinal part of the plant is the root. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often boiled in a liquid made with black beans — this is known as red fo-ti. White fo-ti is the unprocessed root.
Fo-ti is called He shou wu, which means “black-haired Mr. He” in Chinese. This name refers to a legend of an older villager named Mr. He who took fo-ti and restored his black hair, youthful appearance and vitality.
Why People Use Fo-Ti
In Chinese medicine, fo-ti is a longevity tonic that is used for greying hair, premature aging, weakness, vaginal discharge, and erectile dysfunction. Red fo-ti is considered a tonic to increase vitality and energy, strengthen the blood, kidneys and liver. White fo-ti is used for constipation.
There is evidence that fo-ti can lower serum cholesterol, decrease hardening of the arteries, and improve immune function.
* High cholesterol
* Immune function
* Erectile dysfunction
There are no controlled studies on the effectiveness or safety of fo-ti in humans. Preliminary studies with animals have found that fo-ti may attenuate diet-induced increases in plasma cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and plasma triglycerides. In animal studies, there is some evidence that fo-ti may enhance learning and memory and prevent the degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in the brain.
Possible Side Effects and Safety Concerns
Rarely, people develop an allergic skin rash after taking fo-ti. Other side effects include loose stools. Taking more than 15 grams of the processed root can cause numbness in the arms and legs.
There have been three published case reports of acute hepatitis following the use of a fo-ti product called Shou-wu-pian, which is manufactured in China. It is not known whether it was due to fo-ti or product contamination.
One study tested 32 plants used for menopause in traditional Chinese medicine. They found that fo-ti had the greatest estrogenic activity. People with estrogen-related cancers of the breast, ovary, uterus, and prostate should take extra caution because the effect of fo-ti in humans is not known.
“It’s not like you’re out smoking pot for enjoyment or to get high,” says the former social worker, who won’t take the drug during the day because she doesn’t want to feel disoriented. “It’s a medicine.”
For many patients like
As the legal landscape for patients clears somewhat, the medical one remains confusing, largely because of limited scientific studies. A recent American Medical Association review found fewer than 20 randomized, controlled clinical trials of smoked marijuana for all possible uses. These involved around 300 people in all—well short of the evidence typically required for a pharmaceutical to be marketed in the U.S.
Doctors say the studies that have been done suggest marijuana can benefit patients in the areas of managing neuropathic pain, which is caused by certain types of nerve injury, and in bolstering appetite and treating nausea, for instance in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. “The evidence is mounting” for those uses, says
But in a range of other conditions for which marijuana has been considered, such as epilepsy and immune diseases like lupus, there’s scant and inconclusive research to show the drug’s effectiveness. Marijuana also has been tied to side effects including a racing heart and short-term memory loss and, in at least a few cases, anxiety and psychotic experiences such as hallucinations. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate marijuana, so the quality and potency of the product available in medical-marijuana dispensaries can vary.
Though states have been legalizing medical use of marijuana since 1996, when California passed a ballot initiative, the idea remains controversial. Opponents say such laws can open a door to wider cultivation and use of the drug by people without serious medical conditions. That concern is heightened, they say, when broadly written statutes, such as California’s, allow wide leeway for doctors to decide when to write marijuana recommendations.
But advocates of medical-marijuana laws say certain seriously ill patients can benefit from the drug and should be able to access it with a doctor’s permission. They argue that some patients may get better results from marijuana than from available prescription drugs.
The relatively limited research supporting medical marijuana poses practical challenges for doctors and patients who want to consider it as a therapeutic option. It’s often unclear when, or whether, it might work better than traditional drugs for particular people. Unlike prescription drugs it comes with no established dosing regimen.
“I don’t know what to recommend to patients about what to use, how much to use, where to get it,” says Scott Fishman, chief of pain medicine at the University of California, Davis medical school, who says he rarely writes marijuana recommendations, typically only at a patient’s request.
Researchers say it’s difficult to get funding and federal approval for marijuana research. In November, the AMA urged the federal government to review marijuana’s position in the most-restricted category of drugs, so it could be studied more easily.
States’ rules on growing and dispensing medical marijuana vary. Some states license specialized dispensaries. These can range from small storefronts to bigger operations that feel more like pharmacies. Typically, they have security procedures to limit walk-in visitors.
At least a few dispensaries say they inspect their suppliers and use labs to check the potency of their product, though states don’t generally require such measures. “It’s difficult to understand how we can call it medicine if we don’t know what’s in it,” says
Some of the strongest research results support the idea of using marijuana to relieve neuropathic pain. For example, a trial of 50 AIDS patients published in the journal Neurology in 2007 found that 52% of those who smoked marijuana reported a 30% or greater reduction in pain. Just 24% of those who got placebo cigarettes reported the same lessening of pain.
Marijuana has also been shown to affect nausea and appetite. The AMA review said three controlled studies with 43 total participants showed a “modest” anti-nausea effect of smoked marijuana in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Studies of HIV-positive patients have suggested that smoked marijuana can improve appetite and trigger weight gain.
Side effects can be a problem for some people.
Other marijuana users may experience the well-known reduction in ability to concentrate. At least a few users suffer troubling short-term psychiatric side effects, which can include anxiety and panic. More controversially, an analysis published in the journal Lancet in 2007 tied marijuana use to a higher rate of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia. But the analysis noted that such a link doesn’t necessarily show marijuana is a cause of the conditions.
Long-term marijuana use can lead to physical dependence, though it is not as addictive as nicotine or alcohol, says
Some studies and reviews examining the possible medical uses, and side effects, of marijuana are being conducted by.
* Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, University of California
* American College of Physicians
* Institute of Medicine
To read more on Marijuana and its effectiveness, the following periodicals have spent time reviewing certain aspects of medical marijuana.
To treat pain:
* Journal of Pain
To treat nausea:
* Annals of Internal Medicine
* Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
To restore appetite:
* Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
To treat spasticity:
Overviews of Potential Side Effects:
* Canadian Medical Association Journal
* Clinical Toxicology
* Neuropsychology Review
* Current Psychiatry Reports
* Current Opinion in Psychiatry
Effects on Lungs
* Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
Here Are Some Terms Used in Homeopathy – Easier to Understand
Terms of homeopathy seem confusing sometimes particularly for them who never know about homeopathy before. Basically, homeopathy is formed from the word “Homeo” and “pathy”. “Homeo” means similar or same, while “pathy” means pain. The base of this alternative medication is concentrates on the use of natural substances to stimulate the mind and the body in order to heal the diseases. For detail knowledge of terms of homeopathy, you might need to read the information below.
Glossary of Terms
In the terms of homeopathy, you’ll find aggravation. It is a name for an obvious enhancement in the symptoms of the disease. Then there’s also an antidote for a material or a remedy that neutralizes the effects of homeopathy medication. Dose that is recommended might be given an antidote to counteract the effect when the patient is not responding well to the homeopathy.
Tissue salts termed as cell salts and biochemic remedies are several of the most important terms of homeopathy. According to homeopaths, use twelve dissimilar salts are significant for the functioning of the body. These cell salts are prepared in low potency and used under homeopathic signs.
Symptoms that are general to a specific sickness or disease like yellow skin in jaundice are known as a common symptom. In terms of homeopathy, symptom of concomitant refers to the symptom that happens at the same time as the main complaint. Those symptoms that refer to location etiology, concomitants sensation and modalities all together give what is known as complete symptom.
Centesimal is one of the three effectiveness scales used in the homeopathy pharmacy. It’s the process of repeated dilutions and successions. In terms of homeopathy and its standards, it’s notated by 10 or 100 scales.
Taking one part of the medicinal substance, tincture or dry blended with alcohol or 99 parts of lactose, and shaken will result 1c potency. In the other hand, taking 1 part of this potency and mixing it with 99 parts of lactose or alcohol and then shaken will yield 2c. A 300c has gone through this process 300 times. A 1M has gone through the process 1000 times.
Furthermore, the decimal scale is the other potency scale in terms of homeopathy. This is a process of taking one part of the medicinal element and blending it with 9 parts of diluents, and shaken well determines a 1X (D) potency.
One part of this potency and 9 parts of diluents, then successes, yields 2X (D) potency. This continuous till the desired potency is reached. The third potency scale is the LM(50 millesimal, Q) conceived by
If you’re keen on implementing homeopathy into your life, you are recommended to comprehend the terms of homeopathy. By knowing the terms of homeopathy before implementing homeopathy into life, it will make you easier to gain its advantage.
Anyone living with Parkinson’s disease knows that there are good and bad days. For days when there are challenges, a new treatment, one that is relatively inexpensive, effective, and safe has been discovered.
Not only is this a safe solution for treating Parkinson’s disease, it is also highly effective. This means people with this disease have a fighting chance for normalcy. While it does not cure the disease,
In clinical trials, results show that up to 90% of participants using Glutathione therapy experience significant improvement. In the case of
With this form of treatment, dopamine within the brain is able to function more effectively. This means dopamine sensitivity is improved, as well as the brain’s serotonin levels that can help decrease levels of depression.
In most cases of Glutathione therapy and
Although there’s oral Glutathione medication,
The advances seen over the years pertaining to
There are so many wonderful benefits associated with
Although the cost of Glutathione therapy is a little higher than other options, it works exceptionally well. The good news is that most insurance companies are now providing partial or full coverage of this substance because it has been approved by the FDA.
Within a short time of a person with Parkinsons Symptoms being put on
If you’ve Parkinson’s disease or another illness mentioned and find that current treatment is not providing you with the needed relief, then Glutathione therapy could be the perfect solution. More and more, this treatment option is becoming accepted among medical professionals and it might be the exact treatment you need.
House Bill 3962, in an effort to control costs, creates a new layer of government bureaucracy that inserts itself between the doctor and the patient.
A national health commissioner and task forces will evaluate and decide everything from what medications a physician will be allowed to prescribe for a patient, to what surgery will be approved, to what outcomes will be expected for a particular medical condition.
The ‘universal healthcare Czar’ along with the task forces will also decide whether or not hospitals will be reimbursed for care rendered based on predetermined outcomes. For example, if a patient is re-admitted within a prescribed number of days after discharge, the hospital will not be reimbursed for care given. It does not take into account factors such as how ill a patient may be.
This new layer of government effectively removes the power of the individual physician and patient to decide what is the best course of treatment.
Why should you care?
You should care because the application of evidence-based medicine can potentially limit health choices of both patients and physicians. In the reformed healthcare system recommended by Congress, alternative treatments will be pressured to end, and physicians who practice alternative medicine in extreme cases will be criminalized. The money in the system will continue to flow to well funded studies underwritten by the pharmaceutical industry, and those companies without deep pockets will continue to be unable to afford the cost of in depth studies to critically evaluate the efficacy of such treatments.
Alternative treatments will fail to pass the standard of evidence-based medicine precisely because they lack the funds to enter the game, and thus the cycle will continue. In short, if alternative treatments are not evaluated by the guidelines of evidence based medicine, they will never be accepted as a valued treatment option.
It can also be argued that evidence-based medicine has exponentially increased the cost of health care. In theory, the essence of evidence-based medicine is science. However, in practice it has become more about money. The system has become one where the pharmaceutical industry has been given the edge. For example:
* Many of the prescription drug trials are not independent
They are often funded by the very drug companies that stand to gain if their drug is found to be effective in trials and is approved
* The relationship between medical societies and the pharmaceutical industry raises questions.
Over the past 10-15 years there has been a change in the parameters of our most common diseases (hypertension, obesity and high cholesterol ). For example, in the past normal blood pressure was 120/80, and now it is 115/75. In fact, those with a blood pressure of 120/80 are now considered to be pre-hypertensive and are eligible for medication.
The body mass index (BMI) number for obesity decreased from 40 to 30 while the parameters for being overweight have expanded from a BMI of 27.8 in 1995 to less than 25 today. High cholesterol (LDL) is now < 200 instead of the old parameter of < 250.
The change in parameters have meant both a dramatic increase in the number of people who meet criteria for treatment with prescription drugs along with a resultant rise in the cost of healthcare. The question that has yet to be answered – why are we less healthy despite taking ever increasing amounts of prescription medication?
* There is a tight financial relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and the medical industry.
The AMA, medical education and the underwriting of medical research has given the pharmaceutical industry a great advantage in the shaping of medical opinion and by extension evidence-based medicine.
* There is a revolving door between those who work for the FDA and those who have worked in the pharmaceutical industry.
This cozy relationship raises the importance of Big Pharma and relegates natural/alternative methods to junk science. Inherently, this should make those of us who are critical thinkers question the statements that summarily denigrate the supplement industry which makes products, that in many cases are in direct competition with the drugs that are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies, but don’t need patents.
A more balanced approach to our healthcare system is necessary. If the same standard is applied to both alternative and conventional treatments, each will be given a level playing field to determine efficacy. This change would go a long way towards accomplishing the task of improving the health of Americans without bankrupting them.
Let’s try something new like promoting prevention and wellness instead of just talking about it or actually giving doctors and patients the freedom to choose how they approach health choices. No one can argue with the fact that a healthier population, will lead to a significant decrease in healthcare costs. The current system clearly is not working.
True free-range eggs are far more nutritious than commercially raised eggs.
Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:
* 1/3 less cholesterol
* 1/4 less saturated fat
* 2/3 more vitamin A
* 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
* 3 times more vitamin E
* 7 times more beta carotene
These dramatically differing nutrient levels are most likely the result of the differences in diet between free-range pastured hens, vs. commercially farmed hens.
Without citing any research of their own, most egg industry advocates hold fast to their claim that commercially farmed eggs are no different from pastured eggs, and that hens’ diets do not alter their eggs nutritional value in any significant way.
Eggs are one of the healthiest foods in the world, and at their very best if you eat them raw. But the quality of your eggs is also important.
The REAL Definition of Free-Range Eggs
As this article clearly states, the nutritional difference between true free-range eggs and commercially farmed eggs is not an occasional fluke or misprint, as these findings are being backed up with a mounting body of evidence.
The fact that the USDA and other organizations (which are often funded or influenced by industry) refuse to acknowledge that there is a direct link between the diet of the bird and the nutritional value of their eggs, is a clear indicator that there are strong financial incentives at work – not nutritional science. Because clearly, “garbage in, garbage out” applies here as well. This general rule will never change – it applies equally to hens, beef cattle, dairy cows, and your own body.
And don’t be fooled by the egg industry’s double-speak definitions of what free-range really is. True free-range eggs are from hens that range freely outdoors on a pasture where they can forage for their natural diet, which includes seeds, green plants, insects, and worms. A hen that is let outside into a barren lot for a few minutes a day but is fed a diet of corn, soy, and cottonseed meals, plus synthetic additives, is NOT a free-range hen, and will not produce the same quality eggs as its foraging counterpart.
An additional issue that is important, but not discussed here, is the fact that the main ingredients of commercially raised hens’ diets are genetically modified (GM).
The three main GM ingredients in the United States’ food supply are corn, soy, and cottonseed. All the more reason to stay away from commercial eggs, even if they state “free-range” on their label.
Which Eggs to Buy, and Which You Should Avoid
Additionally, I would STRONGLY encourage you to AVOID ALL omega-3 eggs, as they are actually LESS healthy for you. Typically, the animals are fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. Also, omega-3 eggs do not last anywhere near as long as non-omega-3 eggs. Remember, omega- 3 eggs are highly perishable and should be avoided.
If you have to purchase your eggs from a commercial grocery store, I would advise getting free-range organic. Ideally, if at all possible it would be far preferable to purchase your eggs directly from your local farmer, because this way you can be certain of the quality. This may not be as hard as you think. In my experience, this is one of the easiest foods to find from local farmers. To find free-range pasture farms you can try you local health food store or try:
If you cannot find a farmer to sell you eggs directly, and you’re not interested in raising your own, then organic eggs from the store would be your next best option.
It is also wise to NOT refrigerate your eggs. If you have ever been to Europe or South America and gone into the grocery stores, you will know that this practice of non-refrigeration is common in those countries.
How to Eat Your Eggs for Maximum Health Benefits
Eggs are often one of your most allergenic foods, but I believe this is because they are cooked. If you consume your eggs in their raw state, the incidence of egg allergy virtually disappears. Heating the egg protein actually changes its chemical shape, and the distortion can easily lead to allergies.
It is my belief that eating eggs raw helps preserve many of the highly perishable nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are powerful prevention elements of the most common cause of blindness: age-related macular degeneration.
Fresh raw egg yolk tastes like vanilla. It can be eaten “Rocky style,” combined with avocado or in a shake with whey protein powder, raw kefir, or a small amount of berries. However, egg protein is easily damaged on a molecular level, even by mixing/blending. If you choose not to eat your eggs raw, cooking them soft-boiled would be your next best option.
Scrambling your eggs is one of the worst ways to eat eggs as it actually oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk. If you have high cholesterol this may actually be a problem for you as the oxidized cholesterol may cause some damage in your body.
If you are not used to eating fresh raw eggs, you should start by eating just a tiny bit of it on a daily basis, and then gradually increase the portions.
For example, start by consuming only a few drops of raw egg yolk a day for the first three days. Gradually increase the amount that you consume in three-day increments. Try half a teaspoon for three days, then one teaspoon, then two teaspoons. When you are accustomed to that amount, increase it to one raw egg per day and subsequently to two raw eggs per day or more.
One should not consume raw egg whites without the yolks as raw egg whites contain avidin, which can bind to biotin. If you cook the egg white the avidin is not an issue. However if you consume them with raw egg yolk (whole egg) there is more than enough biotin in the yolk to compensate for the avidin binding.
There is a potential problem with using the entire raw egg if you are pregnant. Biotin deficiency is a common concern in pregnancy and it is possible that consuming whole raw eggs would make it worse. If you are pregnant you have two options. The first is to actually measure for a biotin deficiency. This is best done through urinary excretion of 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid (3-HIA), which increases as a result of the decreased activity of the biotin-dependent enzyme methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase.
Alternatively, you could take a biotin supplement, or consume only the yolk raw (and cook the whites).
If you choose not to eat your eggs raw, cooking them soft-boiled would be the next best option.
Latin names: Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cinnamomum cassia
Cinnamon is a small tree that grows in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, and Egypt.
It’s one of the oldest known spices. To prepare it, the bark of the cinnamon tree is dried and rolled into cinnamon sticks, also called quills. Cinnamon can also be dried and ground into a powder.
The characteristic flavor and aroma of cinnamon comes from a compound in the essential oil of the bark called cinnamonaldehyde.
Although there are four main varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon are the most popular.
Ceylon cinnamon is sometimes called true cinnamon. It is more expensive and has a sweet taste. The quills are softer and can be easily ground in a coffee grinder. Ceylon cinnamon is sold in specialty stores.
Most cinnamon sold in supermarkets in North America comes from the less expensive variety, Cassia cinnamon. It has a darker color and the quills are harder. Unlike Ceylon cinnamon, it can’t be easily ground into a powder using a coffee grinder.
Why do People Use Cinnamon?
Besides using it in cooking, cinnamon is also thought to have health benefits.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Cassia cinnamon is used for colds, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual periods. It’s also believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation and be particularly useful for people who tend to feel hot in their upper body but have cold feet.
In Ayurveda, cinnamon is used as a remedy for diabetes, indigestion, and colds, and it is often recommended for people with the kapha Ayurvedic type.
It’s a common ingredient in chai tea, and it is believed to improve the digestion of fruit, milk and other dairy products.
What is the Scientific Evidence for Cinnamon’s Health Benefits?
Recent studies have found that cinnamon may have a beneficial effect on blood sugar.
One of the first human studies was published in 2003 in a medical journal called Diabetes Care. Sixty people with type 2 diabetes took 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon in pill form daily, an amount roughly equivalent to one quarter of a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
After 40 days, all 3 amounts of cinnamon reduced fasting blood glucose by 18 to 29%, triglycerides by 23 to 30%, LDL cholesterol by 7 to 27%, and total cholesterol by 12 to 26%.
Preliminary lab and animal studies have found that cinnamon may have antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s active against Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infections and thrush, and Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers.
People taking diabetes medication or any medication that affects blood glucose or insulin levels shouldn’t take therapeutic doses of cinnamon unless they’re under a doctor’s supervision. Taking them together may have an additive effect and cause blood glucose levels to dip too low.
Also, people who have been prescribed medication to manage their blood sugar should not reduce or discontinue their dose and take cinnamon instead, especially without speaking with a doctor. Improperly treated diabetes can lead to serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and nerve damage.
Cassia cinnamon, the kind of cinnamon normally found in grocery stores and in supplement form, naturally contains a compound called coumarin. Coumarin is also found in other plants such as celery, chamomile, sweet clover, and parsley.
At high levels, coumarin can damage the liver. Coumarin can also have a “blood-thinning” effect, so cassia cinnamon supplements shouldn’t be taken with prescription anti-clotting medication, such as Coumadin (warfarin), or by people with bleeding disorders.
Cinnamon can also be found in a concentrated oil form that comes from cinnamon bark. Some of these products are not intended for consumption, but instead are used for aromatherapy essential oils. Also, the oil is highly potent and an overdose can depress the central nervous system. People should not take the oil to treat a condition unless under the close supervision of a qualified health professional.
Pregnant women should avoid excessive amounts of cinnamon and shouldn’t take it as a supplement.
Introducing – Goji Berries
Other Names: Lycium barbarum, wolfberry, gou qi zi, Fructus lycii
Goji berries grow on an evergreen shrub found in temperate and subtropical regions in China, Mongolia and in the Himalayas in Tibet. They are in the nightshade (Solonaceae) family.
Goji berries are usually found dried. They are shriveled red berries that look like red raisins.
Why do people use goji berries?
Goji berries have been used for 6,000 years by herbalists in China, Tibet and India to:
* protect the liver
* help eyesight
* improve sexual function and fertility
* strengthen the legs
* boost immune function
* improve circulation
* promote longevity
Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. One of zeaxanthin’s key roles is to protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light and acting as an antioxidant. In fact, increased intake of foods containing zeathanthin may decrease the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 65.
In recent years, goji juice has become popular as a health beverage. Companies marketing goji juice often mention the unsupported claim that a man named Li Qing Yuen consumed goji berries daily and lived to be 252 years old. Marketers also list extensive health benefits of goji juice, even though there are few published clinical trials in humans.
What research has been done on goji berries?
Goji has only been tested on humans in two published studies. A Chinese study published in the Chinese Journal of Oncology in 1994 found that 79 people with cancer responded better to treatment when goji was added to their regimen.
There have been several test tube studies that show that goji berry contains antioxidants and that goji extracts may prevent the growth of cancer cells, reduce blood glucose, and lower cholesterol levels. However, that doesn’t necessary mean that goji will have the same benefits when taken as a juice or tea.
Although goji berries like the ones used in traditional Chinese medicine aren’t very expensive, goji juice is very pricey. Considering that a 32-ounce bottle of goji juice (about an 18-day supply) can run as high as $50 USD, the evidence isn’t compelling enough at this time to justify the cost of goji juice.
Also, we don’t know the side effects of regular goji consumption, or whether it will interfere with treatments or medications.
What do goji berries taste like?
Goji berries have a mild tangy taste that is slightly sweet and sour. They have a similar shape and chewy texture as raisins.
In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are eaten raw, brewed into a tea, added to Chinese soups, or made into liquid extracts.
Goji juice is also available, usually in 32-ounce bottles.
Goji berries have appeared in snack foods in North America. For example, the health food store Trader Joe’s sells a goji berry trail mix.
Possible drug interactions
Goji berries may interact with anticoagulant drugs (commonly called “blood-thinners”), such as warfarin (Coumadin®). There was one case report published in the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy of a 61-year old woman who had an increased risk of bleeding, indicated by an elevated international normalized ratio (INR). She had been drinking 3-4 cups daily of goji berry tea. Her blood work returned to normal after discontinuing the goji berry tea.
Where to find goji berries
Whole goji berries are available at Chinese herbal shops.
Goji juice can be found in some health food stores, online stores, and through network marketers.
Managing Blood Sugar Emerges as a Top Concern
Consumers are very interested in foods that promote healthy blood glucose: 69 per cent of primary grocery shoppers are extremely or very interested in buying or using foods or drinks if they can help manage blood sugar. In addition, 43 per cent of primary grocery shoppers believe that “helps maintain healthy blood-sugar levels” is an extremely or very important claim on food labels, according to the 2009 HealthFocus Trend Report.
No disease is as closely linked to nutrition as diabetes. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in the US and contributes to higher rates of morbidity — people with diabetes are at significantly higher risk for heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and other chronic conditions.
Prediabetes is usually intertwined with being overweight and, of course, increases the risk by about 80 times of a bona fide type 2 diabetes diagnosis (not to mention heart disease). Indeed, blood-sugar issues and being overweight are usually the start of a host of health conditions. An estimated 121 million American adults (out of 184 million) are overweight, with about 60 million being actually obese — 30 pounds over their ideal weight. If trends continue, an incredible 80 per cent of Americans are estimated to be overweight by 2030.
About one-third of diabetics take supplements. The top ingredients include fibre, B vitamins, magnesium and chromium, according to Nutrition Business Journal.
A recent Swedish study found that taking a whey supplement with meals can help stimulate insulin release in type 2 diabetics. When diabetic subjects took whey at the same time as a high glycaemic-index breakfast and lunch, they had lower blood-sugar response and a higher insulin response. The findings suggest whey can help diabetics improve their blood-sugar control.
In another nod to the broad efficacy of vitamin D, insufficient and deficient levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome by 52 per cent, according to a 2009 Anglo-Chinese study.
This study backs an earlier study that found women in the 84,000-strong Nurses’ Health Study who consumed a daily intake of greater than 800IU vitamin D and 1,200mg calcium had a 33 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those to took in less than 600mg calcium and 400IU vitamin D.
Cinnamon makes insulin work more efficiently, which gets excess sugar out of the blood and into cells, where it can be burned as fuel. Cinnamon works in two ways. First, it inhibits the enzymes that cause insulin resistance. And second, it increases sensitivity to insulin.
Preliminary results from a University of Surrey clinical study found that the consumption of Hi-maize brand resistant starch, from National Starch, significantly increased insulin sensitivity in individuals with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
“These improvements are actually bigger than you get with most blood glucose-lowering drugs,” says
WHO Maps World’s Deadliest Roads
GENEVA – The most dangerous place in the world to travel on roads is in the impoverished East African state of Eritrea, says the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its first report on global road safety.
To identify the most hazardous roads, WHO experts sifted through a mass of data which showed that around 1.3 million people are killed each year on the world’s highways. A further 20 to 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries.
The global record for road deaths per capita goes to the former Italian colony of Eritrea where figures showed an estimated 48 deaths per 100,000 people.
Road travel in the Cook islands in the South Pacific is nearly as dangerous too, with a statistical 45 deaths per 100,000. The archipelago north-east of New Zealand is home to just 13,325 citizens and five of them died in road accidents in 2007. Egypt (41.6) and Libya (40.5) also both had a poor road safety record.
Driving too fast, drinking and driving along with the failure to use seatbelts and talking on mobile phones while at the wheel were given in the report as key contributing factors to the high number of fatalities and accidents on roads around the world.
“These are stunning figures that need not, should not, be so high. Over 90 percent of these deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries, which have less than half of the world’s registered vehicles. This is another statistic that tells us something is wrong,” WHO Director General Margaret Chan said in a statement.
Chan said the report’s findings would serve as a basis for discussion at the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, which is due to take place in Moscow in November 2009.
“This will be a milestone event in international road safety that will serve as a call to action to reduce the impact of road traffic crashes over the next decade,” said Chan.
The safest road conditions were found amid the islands and atolls which make up the Micronesian nation of the Marshall Islands. Here 59,000 residents have a mere 2,487 vehicles between them. Only one fatal road accident was recorded in 2007.
France and Germany suffered 7.5 and six fatalities per 100,000 respectively compared to Britain (5.4) and the US where more than 251 million vehicles are registered. The quota here was 13.9 fatalities per 100,000 people. A similar level could be found in Sri Lanka, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
How Salmonella can be Used To Kill Tumors
BRAUNSCHWEIG – German scientists have shown how the bacteria migrate into tumors.
The researchers add that, simultaneously, blood streams from the vessels into the cancerous tissue, a so-called necrosis develops, and the tumor dies.
“This influx of blood was the starting point for our investigations. There is an immunological messenger present during bacterial elicited inflammation that causes this kind of reaction. We searched for it – and found it,” says Siegfried Weiss, Head of the Molecular Immunology group at the HZI.
The researchers have revealed that this messenger is named after its role in the immune system: tumor necrosis factor, TNF-alpha for short.
They say that immune cells produce TNF-alpha when recognizing salmonella, thus alarming other immune cells.
According to them, a small amount of TNF-alpha is subsequently enough to dissolve the walls of the blood vessels in the tumor and allow the blood to stream into the cancerous tissue.
They hope to be able to modify salmonella so that they can migrate specifically into tumors and cause them to die.
Since salmonella can live even in tissues that are badly supplied with blood, the researchers believe that they can be used in tumor therapy.
This is interesting because chemotherapeutics cannot be transported to an area where there is no blood flow, and even radiation therapy requires oxygen for its reactions in the tissue.
“We have obtained an important indication of how bacteria migrate into tumors. We can now try to manipulate these bacteria to use them in cancer therapy without causing deadly infections,” says
“We need to find the right amount of bacteria aggressiveness, allowing the tumor to be colonized and destroyed without harming the patient,” she adds.
If the scientists succeed in accomplishing this feat, they may be able to take the next step forward: using salmonella to release therapeutic substances within the tumor and thus participate in its destruction.
“Our experiments are currently limited to absolutely basic research and experiments with laboratory mice. It may take years before this method is usable for human patients,” says Siegfried Weiss
The study has been published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.