Pandemic Preparedness: The World’s Most Powerful Antiviral Herbs and Natural Medicines Revealed in Free Audio Recording

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The much-anticipated Episode Six of the free online audio course Pandemic Preparedness has just been released. This episode features a detailed discussion of the world’s most powerful antiviral herbs and natural medicines, many of which have been used for thousands of years to save lives Continue reading

The Health Benefits of Mushroom Consumption

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Mushrooms contain some of the most powerful natural medicines on the planet. About 100 species are being studied for their health-promoting benefits, and about a half dozen really stand out for their ability to deliver a tremendous boost to your immune system

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Found: Protein Linked to Storage of Fat

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EDINBURGH – A protein present in all cells in the body could help scientists better understand how we store fat.

University of Edinburgh (U-E) researchers have found that the protein invadolysin, essential for healthy cell division, is present in lipid droplets — the parts of cells used to store fat.

The study also found that lower levels of invadolysin were linked to reduced amounts of fat deposits.

The findings could ultimately help scientists better understand obesity-related complications, which can include diabetes, blood clotting and heart disease.

Margaret Heck, professor at the U-E Centre for Cardiovascular Science, said: “The presence of this protein in lipid droplets may suggest that it has a role in obesity.”

“What we would like to understand is whether its presence is related to obesity, and if so, whether the protein’s activity aggravates obesity and its consequences. Understanding its role will help us better understand how the body stores fat,” she said.

Invadolysin was first identified by Heck’s lab in fruit flies. The latest study looked at the protein in human cells, pinpointing its presence in the part of cells used to store fat.

The researchers also found that when invadolysin was absent in fruit fly larvae, fat storage was impaired.

Further studies will look at how the protein affects metabolism to better understand its role in obesity-related disorders.

These findings were published in the Journal of Cell Science.

What about Cholesterol?

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What about Cholesterol?

And what about cholesterol? Here, too, the public has been misinformed. Our blood vessels can become damaged in a number of ways—through irritations caused by free radicals or viruses, or because they are structurally weak—and when this happens, the body’s natural healing substance steps in to repair the damage. That substance is cholesterol. Cholesterol is a high-molecular-weight alcohol that is manufactured in the liver and in most human cells. Like saturated fats, the cholesterol we make and consume plays many vital roles:

  1. Along with saturated fats, cholesterol in the cell membrane gives our cells necessary stiffness and stability. When the diet contains an excess of polyunsaturated fatty acids, these replace saturated fatty acids in the cell membrane, so that the cell walls actually become flabby. When this happens, cholesterol from the blood is “driven” into the tissues to give them structural integrity. This is why serum cholesterol levels may go down temporarily when we replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated oils in the diet.
  2. Cholesterol acts as a precursor to vital corticosteroids, hormones that help us deal with stress and protect the body against heart disease and cancer; and to the sex hormones like androgen, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone.
  3. Cholesterol is a precursor to vitamin D, a very important fat-soluble vitamin needed for healthy bones and nervous system, proper growth, mineral metabolism, muscle tone, insulin production, reproduction and immune system function.
  4. The bile salts are made from cholesterol. Bile is vital for digestion and assimilation of fats in the diet.
  5. Recent research shows that cholesterol acts as an antioxidant. This is the likely explanation for the fact that cholesterol levels go up with age. As an antioxidant, cholesterol protects us against free radical damage that leads to heart disease and cancer.
  6. Cholesterol is needed for proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain.48 Serotonin is the body’s natural “feel-good” chemical. Low cholesterol levels have been linked to aggressive and violent behavior, depression and suicidal tendencies.
  7. Mother’s milk is especially rich in cholesterol and contains a special enzyme that helps the baby utilize this nutrient. Babies and children need cholesterol-rich foods throughout their growing years to ensure proper development of the brain and nervous system.
  8. Dietary cholesterol plays an important role in maintaining the health of the intestinal wall. This is why low-cholesterol vegetarian diets can lead to leaky gut syndrome and other intestinal disorders.

Cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease but rather a potent antioxidant weapon against free radicals in the blood, and a repair substance that helps heal arterial damage (although the arterial plaques themselves contain very little cholesterol.) However, like fats, cholesterol may be damaged by exposure to heat and oxygen. This damaged or oxidized cholesterol seems to promote both injury to the arterial cells as well as a pathological buildup of plaque in the arteries.  Damaged cholesterol is found in powdered eggs, in powdered milk (added to reduced-fat milks to give them body) and in meats and fats that have been heated to high temperatures in frying and other high-temperature processes.

High serum cholesterol levels often indicate that the body needs cholesterol to protect itself from high levels of altered, free-radical-containing fats. Just as a large police force is needed in a locality where crime occurs frequently, so cholesterol is needed in a poorly nourished body to protect the individual from a tendency to heart disease and cancer. Blaming coronary heart disease on cholesterol is like blaming the police for murder and theft in a high crime area.

Poor thyroid function (hypothyroidism) will often result in high cholesterol levels. When thyroid function is poor, usually due to a diet high in sugar and low in usable iodine, fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients, the body floods the blood with cholesterol as an adaptive and protective mechanism, providing a superabundance of materials needed to heal tissues and produce protective steroids. Hypothyroid individuals are particularly susceptible to infections, heart disease and cancer.