Tuesday, July 16, 2013


It Only Took 50 Years: CDC Admits Polio Vaccine Tainted with Cancer Causing Virus


This is one of the most outrageous vaccination stories I’ve ever come across. The CDC posts on its own website that as many as 30 million Americans could be at risk for developing cancer due to polio vaccines tainted with Simian Virus 40 (SV40) found in some species of monkey.
This story is not new – many of of us who thoroughly researched the vaccination issue before choosing whether or not to immunize were already aware of this fact years ago.
I became aware of the tainted polio vaccines from 1955-1963 in the late 1990′s and it was one of the primary motivators for me to choose a “no shots, no way” approach for my children.
What is new is that the CDC is finally admitting it.
What took you so long CDC? Many of the folks vaccinated with the tainted polio stock are already dead from cancer with many more getting diagnosed each and every day!
Here’s the exact language from the CDC Fact Sheet.  I am reprinting it here in it’s entirety in case the CDC decides to take it down:
  • SV40 is a virus found in some species of monkey.
  • SV40 was discovered in 1960. Soon afterward, the virus was found in polio vaccine.
  • More than 98 million Americans received one or more doses of polio vaccine from 1955 to 1963 when a proportion of vaccine was contaminated with SV40; it has been estimated that 10–30 million Americans could have received an SV40 contaminated dose of vaccine.
  • SV40 virus has been found in certain types of cancer in humans, but it has not been determined that SV40 causes these cancers.
  • The majority of scientific evidence suggests that SV40-contaminated vaccine did not cause cancer; however, some research results are conflicting and more studies are needed.
  • In the 1950s, rhesus monkey kidney cells, which contain SV40 if the animal is infected, were used in preparing polio vaccines. Because SV40 was not discovered until 1960, no one was aware in the 1950s that polio vaccine could be contaminated.
  • Not all doses of IPV were contaminated. It has been estimated that 10–30 million people actually received a vaccine that contained SV40.
  • Some evidence suggests that receipt of SV40-contaminated polio vaccine may increase risk of cancer. However, the majority of studies done in the U.S. and Europe which compare persons who received SV40-contaminated polio vaccine with those who did not have shown no causal relationship between receipt of SV40-contaminated polio vaccine and cancer. (Editor’s note: Oh really? SV40 has already been detected in some human tumors. That is far and beyond “some evidence”.)

Possibly more shocking than the fact that it took 50 years for the CDC to admit to this is that it took 3 years once SV40 was discovered in 1960 to finally recall the tainted stock and reformulate the vaccine. Over 100 million Americans were vaccinated with the contaminated polio vaccine before action was taken.
30 million seems like a very lowball number of the true extent of the problem!
With baby boomers suffering from cancer, by some estimates, at the mind boggling rate of 1 in every 3 individuals (up from 1 in 8,000 only a few decades prior and the highest rate of any age group), it would seem that something is terribly amiss, don’t you think?
The government has a penchant for doling out bad news a little at a time to minimize pubic outrage. Even if the CDC does finally admit that SV40 is a cause for this enormous explosion in cancer of boomers in their late 40′s, 50′s and 60′s, can these folks or their grieving families do anything about it?
Nope. Can’t sue anyone my friends. Big Pharma is immune from prosecution from any injuries or deaths caused by their mad scientist vaccination creations.
One parting thought. The CDC insists that current polio vaccines no longer contain SV40. Should this give us some level of comfort?
Not for me it doesn’t! Just because SV40 is not in the polio vaccine stock today doesn’t mean that there aren’t other viruses lurking that science doesn’t even know about yet.  Remember that SV40 was in the polio vaccine for several years before it was even discovered!
Even if there were other viruses in the polio or any other vaccine, would the CDC admit it? Probably not – at least for 50 years or so after the affected population was already sick, incapacitated or dead.
I’ll take my chances with a strong immune system maintained with Traditional Diet and the fact that epidemics were already on their way out before vaccines were introduced anyway (see chart to the right – other communicable diseases follow the same graphical pattern regardless of whether there was a vaccine for them or not). Getting horses out of the streets, improved sanitation, clean running water in the home, availability of produce year round and other improvements of modern technology and food distribution provide more protection from widespread epidemics than tainted vaccines, thank you very much.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Study Finds Sunlight Boosts Nitric Oxide Production

July 15, 2013 | 85,450 views

By Dr. Mercola
By now, you are probably aware I am a strong proponent of sun exposure and its many health benefits. Most of those benefits come from the boost in vitamin D, but a new UK study suggests sunlight’s benefits extend far beyond vitamin D.
In fact, exposure to the sun may be one of the most important steps you can take in preventing heart disease and stroke. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh discovered that when sunlight touches your skin, nitric oxide is released into your bloodstream,1 and nitric oxide is a powerful blood pressure lowering compound.
Researchers have concluded sun exposure may even prolong your life by significantly cutting your heart attack/stroke risk. The abstract for the study was published online in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology on April 15, 2013.2
The Edinburgh researchers mentioned an absolutely stunning statistic. For every one skin cancer death in northern Europe, between 60 and 100 people die from stroke or heart disease, related to hypertension.
Knowing that your risk of dying from heart disease or stroke is 80 times greater on average than from skin cancer really puts it in perspective.3 While higher vitamin D levels also correlate with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, oral vitamin D supplements do not appear to benefit blood pressure, and this latest study may be telling us why.
Researcher Richard Weller stated:
"We suspect that the benefits to heart health of sunlight will outweigh the risk of skin cancer. The work we have done provides a mechanism that might account for this, and also explains why dietary vitamin D supplements alone will not be able to compensate for lack of sunlight."
You are My Sunshine
Research is illuminating a forever-growing list of sunlight’s health benefits. This isn’t really surprising when you consider the fact that we evolved hunting and foraging under the sun.
This team of researchers found that your body's production of nitric oxide is separate from its production of vitamin D, so it follows that there are two completely separate sets of benefits. Until now, increased vitamin D had been thought to be the sole explanation for the sun's health benefits, but it appears from these latest findings that vitamin D is only one part of the story.4
Besides the benefits derived from increased vitamin D, the sun also provides relief from a wide variety of health problems from mechanisms separate from vitamin D. For a comprehensive overview, refer to our previous article on the sun’s benefits, but here are just a few:
  • Improved mood and energy levels through the release of endorphins
  • Better melatonin regulation and synchronization of your biorhythms
  • Suppression of the symptoms of fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis
  • Treating skin diseases (including psoriasis, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis, and scleroderma) and antibiotic-resistant infections, such as MRSA
  • Treating tuberculosis, neonatal jaundice, and possibly T cell lymphoma
Why Care About Nitric Oxide?
The researchers found that sunlight triggers your skin’s production of nitric oxide. Why is this significant? Because nitric oxide is crucial for maintaining healthy blood pressure, helps prevent atherosclerosis, and plays a role in modulating immune system function.
Your skin contains large stores of nitrite and nitrate, but only the nitrite is biologically active. Sunlight appears to prompt conversion of nitrate to nitrite and nitric oxide (NO). Please don't confuse nitric oxide (NO) with nitrous oxide (N2O), or "laughing gas," the anesthetic gas used by dentists.

Nitric oxide is such an important compound that it was dubbed “Molecule of the Year” by Science magazine in 1992, followed by the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine for its discovery as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system. Your blood vessels require the amino acid L-arginine for the synthesis of nitric oxide, since L-arginine is its precursor in your body.
By helping to regulate your blood pressure, nitric oxide enhances blood flow. Nitric oxide signals the smooth muscle cells in your blood vessels to relax so that your vessels dilate and your blood flows more freely, which helps your arteries stay free of plaque. When you have inadequate nitric oxide, your risk for coronary artery disease increases.
If your blood is flowing freely, then nearly every physiological process will function better. If your blood is sluggish, then important cells and nutrients can't reach the areas that need them. It's like getting the tow truck to the scene of the accident… no tow truck means no repairs.
Not only is nitric oxide important in regulating blood pressure, it also functions as a signaling molecule in your brain and immune system. Besides sitting in the sun, you can increase your nitric oxide levels with a few natural supplements and techniques:
  • Calcium and magnesium rich foods and supplements, and vitamins C and E
  • Olive extract
  • Bitter melon
  • Electrical acupuncture
  • Taking a warm bath, or by breathing in and out through one nostril (close off the other nostril and your mouth)
Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure, the SILENT Killer

According to the CDC, high blood pressure is the second greatest public health threat in the US. According to the CDC, 36 million people in the US have uncontrolled high blood pressure, and 14 million of them don’t even know it—quite alarming considering uncontrolled high blood pressure can be deadly when it results in a heart attack or stroke. But insufficient nitric oxide is just one factor contributing to the high blood pressure epidemic.
High blood pressure is associated with insulin and leptin resistance and elevated uric acid levels. One of the things driving up uric acid levels is overconsumption of fructose, and to a lesser degree, grains, beer and caffeine. Fructose breaks down into a variety of waste products, one of which is uric acid. Uric acid drives up your blood pressure by inhibiting nitric oxide in your blood vessels. In fact, 17 out of 17 studies demonstrate that elevated uric acid levels lead to hypertension.
According to the latest research, the safest range for uric acid is between 3 and 5.5 milligrams per deciliter, and there appears to be a steady relationship between uric acid levels and blood pressure and cardiovascular risk, even down to the range of 3 to 4 mg/dl. The ideal uric acid level appears to be around 4 mg/dl for men and 3.5 mg/dl for women.
Don’t Believe Everything You Hear About Melanoma
Melanoma is the most lethal form of skin cancer. However, your risk of dying from it pales in comparison to your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, as discussed earlier. And the rates of melanoma so often quoted by government officials may be grossly inflated, based on recent data.
A report in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology5 claims that 90 percent of melanoma surgeries are actually unnecessary removals of benign lesions and not melanoma at all, raising questions about the accuracy of the “melanoma epidemic.” The lead author of the report attributed the unnecessary excisions to an increased awareness by patients who see anti-sun promotions, such as "melanoma awareness" campaigns, and worriedly run into clinics demanding treatment. The report highlights the necessity of getting a second, and perhaps even a third opinion from a specialized clinic before going under the scalpel.
Unfortunately, what this means is that while the melanoma epidemic appears to be real if you go by surgical statistics, those stats actually paint a misleading picture if 90 percent of "melanoma cases" are not really melanoma! Sensible exposure to UVB light (adequate exposure without allowing your skin to burn) may actually protect you from melanoma, whereas UVA radiation is associated with skin damage. For example, indoor workers actually have a higher risk of melanoma than outdoor workers, suggesting that chronic sun exposure may indeed have a protective effect.
Melanoma studies are just now beginning to look at variables such as gender and affected body area. For example, one new Journal of Investigative Dermatology study found differences in skin cancer distribution patterns between men and women6. We need many more studies such as this before we can draw definitive conclusions about how the sun can increase—or decrease—your risk.
Basic Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Heart
Sunlight will provide enormous health benefits with respect to increasing your nitric oxide production, enhancing your vitamin D levels, and helping regulate your blood pressure, which in turn will reduce your overall cardiovascular risk. But you cannot stop there! You must also address other diet and lifestyle factors, starting with the basics.
  • Proper Food Choices
  • For a comprehensive guide about which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my comprehensive nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should focus your diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed foods that come from healthy, sustainable and preferably local sources. For the highest nutritional benefit, eat a good portion of your food raw.
    Most people (although there are clearly individual differences) should strive for a diet high in healthful fats (as high as 50-70 percent of the calories you eat), moderate amounts of high quality protein, and abundant vegetables. Non-vegetable carbohydrates should be a fairly minimal part of your diet. Sugar, and fructose in particular, can act as a toxin when consumed in excess, driving multiple disease processes in your body including insulin resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and systemic inflammation.
  • High Quality Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats
  • If you want to increase your overall health and energy level and prevent health conditions like heart disease, cancer, depression, Alzheimer's, and a host of other diseases, one of the most important strategies at your disposal is increasing your intake of omega-3 fats and reducing your intake of processed omega-6 fats. An animal-based omega-3 fat like krill oil is incredibly good for your heart and brain.
  • Comprehensive Exercise Program, including High-Intensity Exercise
  • Even if you're eating the best diet in the world, you still need to exercise—and exercise effectively—if you wish to optimize your health. You should include core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and the right kind of stretching, as well as high-intensity “burst” type activities. Consider combining this with intermittent fasting to supercharge your metabolism.
  • Optimize Your Vitamin D
  • The important factor when it comes to vitamin D is your serum level, which should ideally be between 50-70 ng/ml year-round, and the only way to determine this is with a blood test. Sun exposure or a safe tanning bed is the preferred method, but a vitamin D3 supplement can be used when necessary. According to the latest research, most adults need about 8,000 IU's of vitamin D per day to achieve serum levels of about 40 ng/ml.
    If you take supplemental vitamin D, you also need to make sure you're getting enough vitamin K2, as these two nutrients work in tandem to ensure calcium is distributed into the proper areas in your body. Vitamin K2 deficiency is actually what produces the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries. Fermented vegetables can be a great source of vitamin K2 if you ferment your own using the proper starter culture. Gouda and Edam cheese are also good sources.
  • Stress Reduction and Emotional Housekeeping
  • Your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease, from heart disease to depression to cancer, and yet it’s the factor most often neglected. Stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day. Meditation, prayer, energy psychology tools such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), and yoga are all viable options that can help you relieve stress and clear out hidden emotional blocks.
  • Avoid as Many Chemicals, Toxins, and Pollutants as Possible
  • This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, pesticides and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
  • Earthing, or Grounding Yourself to the Earth
  • When walking barefoot on the earth, free electrons transfer from the ground into your body through the soles of your feet. These free electrons are some of the most potent antioxidants known to man. Experiments have shown that these electrons decrease pain and inflammation, improve heart rate, promote sound sleep, and make your blood less viscous, which has a beneficial impact on cardiovascular health.
    Lack of grounding due to widespread use of rubber or plastic-soled shoes has contributed to the rise of modern diseases by allowing chronic inflammation to proliferate unchecked. So the more you can walk barefoot on the ground, the better. Ideal locations are the beach, close to or in the water, and on dewy grass. If you spend much time indoors, you may want to consider investing in an Earthing mat.
  • Drink Plenty of Fresh, Pure Water Every Day
  • Get Plenty of High-Quality, Restorative Sleep
How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help Optimize Your Health

Additionally, a robust and growing body of research clearly shows that vitamin D is absolutely critical for good health and disease prevention. Vitamin D affects your DNA through vitamin D receptors (VDRs), which bind to specific locations of the human genome. Scientists have identified nearly 3,000 genes that are influenced by vitamin D levels, and vitamin D receptors have been found throughout the human body.
Is it any wonder then that no matter what disease or condition is investigated, vitamin D appears to play a crucial role? This is why I am so excited about the D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth. It is showing how you can take action today on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy. It has shown how by combining the science of measurement (of vitamin D levels) with the personal choice of taking action and, the value of education about individual measures that one can truly be in charge of their own health.
In order to spread this health movement to more communities, the project needs your involvement. This is an ongoing campaign during the month of February, and will become an annual event.
To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)
As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year program, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every 6 months for your sponsorship of the project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you "it's time for your next test and health survey."

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Skin Health


The Kalish Method—An Effective Way to Address and Heal Adrenal Fatigue

July 14, 2013 | 139,108 views

By Dr. Mercola
Your adrenal glands are each no bigger than a walnut and weigh less than a grape, yet are responsible for one of the most important functions in your body: managing your stress.
When your adrenal glands are overtaxed, a condition known as adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion sets in, which in turn can set a cascade of disease processes into motion. One tell-tale sign of adrenal burnout is feeling chronically fatigued.
It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of adults experience adrenal fatigue during their lifetimes, yet it remains one of the most under-diagnosed illnesses in the United States.
The Kalish Method1, designed and taught by Dr. Daniel Kalish, integrates scientific testing with natural health solutions to heal your adrenals and restore their normal function.
I first met Dr. Kalish about 17 years ago when he first started using and perfecting this process, which originated with Dr. Timmins, who has since passed away.
Unfortunately, while many conventional health practitioners have started testing adrenal function, many are still unaware of the protocols for solving adrenal dysfunction. Dr. Kalish is passionate about getting the message out that such protocols do exist, and are profoundly effective—capable of restoring health in most individuals in as little as six to 12 months.
The basis of adrenal fatigue or burnout is stress, which over time can tax your adrenal glands to the point of causing other health problems, such as:
  • Sleep disorders
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
The precipitating event for most people is a period of intense emotional stress. According to Dr. Kalish, approximately 95 percent of his patients report having experienced major emotional stress around the time their health began to falter.
How to Test Your Adrenal Function
Conventionally, you’d see an endocrinologist who would evaluate your adrenal glands, or perhaps a doctor of internal medicine. Unfortunately, they tend to primarily test for specific diseases like Addison’s disease or Cushing’s disease, both of which are relatively rare.
As stated by Dr. Kalish:
“In the conventional medical context, when they think about the adrenal glands, they really only think about these extreme medical conditions that are not going to be what most suffer from. They do a conventional medical test [to] determine whether you have one of these rare endocrine disorders or not.
In the conventional medical world, they’re really not aware of the kinds of lab tests called a functional adrenal stress profile. It means that we’re not worried about the disease processes as an endocrinologist would be, but we’re really looking at functional problems.
Those are problems that are not going to send people to the hospital, but are more of disrupting your day-to-day life. These would be fatigue, depression, problems with weight gain, and problems with sleep.
Those types of issues – the functional adrenal problems – that aren’t severe disease processes, are determined better by either salivary testing, or some doctors also use urine samples.”
The Kalish Method calls for testing your adrenal function by taking four saliva (or urine) samples over the course of a day. This maps out your circadian rhythm, showing how your cortisol levels rise and fall throughout your day. Saliva is collected at approximately four-hour intervals: first thing in the morning upon waking, then at noon, late afternoon, and again at night before going to bed. The first video in this playlist explains why testing your hormones might be a good idea. The second video reviews the differences between urine and saliva testing.

How the Kalish Method Helps Normalize Dysfunctional Adrenals
The Kalish Method is aimed at normalizing dysfunctional adrenals and restoring normal adrenal function. It’s a clinically validated method that’s been used for a long time, yet most physicians are still not aware of it.
“What we find is that if we just restore what’s missing in the person for a period of six months or maybe at the most 12 months, the adrenal glands and the internal production of these hormones comes back,” Dr. Kalish explains. “So, we’re actually restoring the normal production of these hormones in the body. The treatments, therefore, are relatively short-term; six months to a year. The only way we’ve found to do this real repair process is to use these really low dosages of DHEA and pregnenolone over a period of time.”
Another helpful test that can be used is hair analysis. A nutritionist friend of mine has been using this for many years through a company called Trace Elements. According to the theory on hair analysis, the ratio of certain minerals can also be strongly suggestive of adrenal function, specifically the sodium to magnesium ratio. It’s similar to a glycohemoglobin test and it’s measured over three months.
According to Dr. Kalish, this makes sense as your adrenal glands control so many different body functions, some of which involve minerals. Calcium and magnesium can have an impact on your adrenal function as stress tends to make your body use these minerals up at a higher rate, for example. This is also true for sodium and potassium.
“These are like general indicators of how much stress a person is under, which is a great screening tool,” Dr. Kalish says. “And then you can get more specific with the four-times-a-day testing, so you can see exactly what’s happening on a given day.”
The Three Stages of Adrenal Burnout
In the Kalish Method, adrenal issues are divided into three general categories: stage one, stage two, and stage three. In a stage one pattern, your cortisol levels are very high, and you’re under a lot of stress. But it’s usually an enjoyable type of stress. Perhaps you’re a student or a new parent, which is stressful, yet you’re enjoying yourself and you feel more charged and alive than anything else. You need that excitement. Your body requires it. It’s somewhat like exercise. But the key is to have the adaptability and the resiliency to absorb that stress, enjoy it, benefit from it, and then dissipate it.
If you don’t sufficiently rest and recharge, your adrenals will get overtaxed, causing your cortisol levels to drop, and this is where most people notice there’s a problem. Dr. Kalish explains:
“If you stay in this high-cortisol state for long enough – at stage one – you eventually go to stage two. Stage two means that the cortisol levels are now starting to fail. This is when people start to gain weight. This is when people start to not be able to sleep. This is when your sex drive starts to go away. This is when people just know that there’s some health problem.”
If you stay at stage two long enough, and you fail to change your lifestyle to address your failing adrenals such as not eating right, not resting, and not exercising, you eventually enter stage three. Here, your adrenals are actually burned out and your cortisol levels are low all the time, causing you to feel chronically fatigued and unable to recover your energy despite resting.
Dr. Kalish suggests thinking about cortisol like units of energy. In the morning, you’re supposed to wake up with around 20 units of energy. When you go to bed, it should be down around two. That normal fall of cortisol is what creates that feeling of a “normal” day that ends restfully. But many are waking up with reduced cortisol levels, which translates to feeling exhausted despite having just slept. And many are going to bed with dramatically elevated cortisol levels, making it virtually impossible to shut down your brain and fall asleep.
“This natural rhythm you’re hardwired for is based on your exposure to light and day. When the sun comes up, cortisol goes up. When the sun is down, cortisol is low... You pretty much have to fall in line with this rhythm in order to be healthy... Now, when we do the labs, we’re analyzing where you’re at and then restoring you back to this normal rhythm. That’s the point of the testing,” Dr. Kalish says.
Four Causes of Adrenal Dysfunction
There are three main reasons for adrenal fatigue and dysfunction:
  1. Emotional stress, typically related to grief or loss
  2. Poor diet: Eating too many carbs can disrupt cortisol and a certain group of corticosteroids (a blood pressure-stabilizing hormone), and the Standard American Diet is “a perfect recipe for destroying your adrenal glands,” Dr. Kalish warns.
  3. One of the most important things that cortisol does is regulating secretory IgA in your gut. What this means is that the immune response in your gut is controlled by cortisol. Hence, if you’re stressed, the immune response in your gut suffers, the gut tissue becomes damaged, and good bacteria give way to bad bacteria, causing immune dysregulation that is centered in and around your gut.
    Two important components to address this problem are to 1) regularly eat fermented foods, which will dramatically increase the beneficial bacteria in your body (which automatically will help decrease pathogenic bacteria), and 2) to eat a diet low in sugars and carbs, as that will also promote a healthy gut flora. 
  4. Chronic inflammation in your body: Inflammation is the hallmark of virtually every disease you can think of, from diabetes to cancer, and when chronic, it stresses your system, including your adrenals.
  5. One little-known strategy to counter inflammation is grounding or earthing, which requires nothing more than taking off your shoes and walking barefoot outside, ideally on dewy grass or on the beach. Connecting your soles to the earth will massively increase the influx of free electrons into your body, which helps dissipate inflammation due to their potent anti-inflammatory action.
Another common hormonal cause of adrenal fatigue is hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid. Thyroid function is diagnosed by a blood test, but there’s some controversy over what is normal and what’s not. Many alternative doctors feel the conventional reference ranges are far too broad, and opt to treat people exhibiting sub-clinical thyroid symptoms.
“What’s interesting about the thyroid and the adrenals is that as the cortisol levels go up, one of the normal body mechanisms is to downregulate thyroid,” Dr. Kalish says. “So, most everybody with high cortisol is going to have lower than ideal thyroid hormone levels. At that point, it becomes a decision as to if you want to work on the adrenals, work on thyroid, or work on both together...
More than 90 percent of the time, the adrenal program is enough to restore thyroid function. The biggest reason [for doing] the adrenals first is that when you start taking thyroid hormones your internal production of thyroid hormones drop. With the adrenal glands, it’s the opposite. When you start to take these adrenal-support products, your internal production of adrenal hormones comes back. If you can restore adrenal function, you can save the person from having to be on thyroid medications potentially for the rest of their life.” 
Intermittent Fasting Is Contraindicated if You Have Adrenal Fatigue
One of the most powerful interventions I’ve ever encountered for controlling your weight and optimizing your insulin and leptin levels is to intermittently fast by skipping breakfast. However, Dr. Kalish brings up an important caveat to this strategy... The reason why intermittent fasting works so well is this: There are two fuels your body can burn for energy: sugar and fat. And you have about six to eight hours of stored sugar as glycogen in your muscles and in your liver.
Once you exhaust that, then you’re out of fuel for the most part, unless your enzymes are adapted to burning fat. Most people have plenty of fat to burn. The problem is when that when you keep your glycogen stores consistently replenished by eating every six to eight hours, then the enzymes that are adapted to burn the fat get impaired, preventing your body from burning the fat.
So you get into a vicious cycle, which I think is exacerbated by having breakfast, as this doesn’t allow your body to enter that fat-burning zone. You need that 12-hour window (or more) where you’re not eating any food, which upregulates your enzymes to burn fat, downregulates the enzymes to burn the carbs, and shifts your body into fat-burning mode as your primary way of supplying energy. There are three major benefits to this:
  1. Your hunger for junk food and sugars disappears. It’s the closest thing to magic I’ve ever seen with respect to diet
  2. You’re able to normalize your body fat, and
  3. Your weight typically goes down, unless you’re very muscular (as it doesn’t decrease your muscle mass)
All of that said, Dr. Kalish brings up a very important point, and that is that you need to be reasonably healthy before your body can properly adjust to an intermittent fasting schedule. He explains:
“A lot of the people that we work with have inconsistent blood sugar stability. They need to work into [intermittent fasting]. This is actually the way that I eat every day myself. But sometimes if you try that too early in the process where a patient is sick, it can backfire. But the healthier you get, the easier it is to do.
... The other thing that is tricky about this topic in general is that a lot of people have used skipping breakfast as a way to lose weight. But the rest of their diet was really unhealthy. What we try to do at the Kalish Method is to get the healthy diet going, get the regular meals going, and then introduce [intermittent fasting] when they’re more advanced...
It’s very hard for a person to have normal energy and to burn fat when their metabolism is basically broken. The more dysfunctional your cortisol is, in a sense, the more damaged your metabolism is... Through these adrenal tests and the 6-12 month protocol, we can work to reset their normal production of these hormones.”
So, to summarize, if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, keep in mind that intermittent fasting may not be such a good idea. You need to be relatively healthy and your adrenals have to be functioning normally in order to allow the hormonal shift to occur that will take you from sugar- to fat-burning mode.
The Crisis of Adrenal Fatigue Among Today’s Youth
Shockingly, Dr. Kalish is now seeing increasing numbers of “tweens,” teens, and young adults with adrenal fatigue. In one recent month, at least a dozen women in their early 20s had levels of sex hormones that were almost identical to women in their 80s and 90s!
“We had... a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old with stage three adrenal burnout... I’m seeing this trend now, which is really alarming,” he says. “I just want to make people aware that kids are under a lot of stress now. It’s not normal for a 15-year-old boy or girl to be in adrenal burnout. And it’s really not normal for an 18- 22-year-old woman to have burned out adrenals and sex hormone levels that are the same as her grandmother’s. I think that it’s something we need to be aware of.
This younger generation is under a lot of pressure right now. We need to support them. I don’t know what all the factors are but I’m sure some of it is toxins in the environment and [improper] diet, [and] emotional pressure. They’re clearly not getting enough rest and downtime anymore.”
Finding a Clinician Trained in the Kalish Method
The Kalish Method training program2 is a six-month mentorship class available to medical doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors, and acupuncturists.
“I have a sense of urgency to get the word out and get a lot of practitioners trained, so that the public can have access to these safe, low-dose protocols. They really work. They’ve been tested for decades. I just want to make sure that we get the word out, so that people can have access to them,” he says.
As of last year, there were about 500 clinicians trained in the Kalish Method, from all around the globe, including Bahrain, Egypt, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and all across the US. Fortunately, many of them do telemedicine, providing consultations over the phone. Whether you’re a health practitioner or a potential patient, you can learn more on Dr. Kalish’s website: kalishinstitute.com3.
Again, the Kalish Method simply calls for a basic adrenal test, where you spit in a test tube four different times over the course of a day. If it is determined that your cortisol levels are too low, you are then given a program of various vitamins, minerals, and low-dose adrenal hormone supports that will help your body to begin producing more on its own. Other hormones, such as testosterone and pregnenolone levels may also be checked, and if necessary addressed with supplements.

“What the most important part is the test also reveals the level of stress that you’re under and how much you need to focus on the lifestyle changes. The more advanced the adrenal exhaustion is, the more meticulous and careful you have to be about sleep, exercise, diet, and stress management,” Dr. Kalish says.

Why Turmeric May Be the Diseased Liver's Best Friend

Posted on:
Friday, July 12th 2013 at 10:00 am
Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder

You know turmeric has health benefits, most notably reducing inflammation, but did you know it may also protect and heal the damaged and diseased liver?
A new clinical trial published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine is shedding light on turmeric's remarkable liver protective and regenerative properties.[1]
South Korean researchers at the Clinical Trial Center for Functional Foods, Chonbuk National University Hospital, tested their hypothesis that turmeric may improve liver function by administering a fermented form to subjects, 20 years old and above, who were diagnosed mild to moderate elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, a maker for liver damage and/or dysfunction.
Sixty subjects were randomized to receive 3.0 g per fermented turmeric powder (FTP) or placebo 3.0 g per day for 12 weeks. The treatment group received two capsules of FTP three times a day after meals, for 12 weeks.
What were the results?
Not only did FTP significantly reduce ALT levels in subjects but also reduced serum aspartate transaminase (AST) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), two additional enzymes which when elevated are commonly associated with liver damage. The effects were maintained as long as the subjects remained on the treatment. Also, FTP was well tolerated and without significant adverse effects.
This study adds additional weight to a rather vast body of preclinical research that has accumulated over the past two decades confirming turmeric and its primary polyphenol curcumin's liver protecting properties.  The GreenMedInfo.com database now contains 86 studies demonstrating the ability of turmeric (and curcumin) to protect the liver against a wide range of chemical and drug exposures.[2] We recently featured a study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand which revealed the potential of turmeric to protect and regenerate the diabetic liver.[3]
Turmeric May Also Kill Liver Cancer
What may be even more remarkable is the accumulating research on the anti-liver cancer properties of turmeric (and curcumin).  The GreenMedInfo.com has 26 preclinical studies showing it kills liver cancer cells and tumors, including one case study involving a 6-month old infant with a life-threatening liver vascular tumor (hemangioendothelioma) who was reported treated successfully with a dietary supplement of curcumin, with 6-year follow-up.[4]
One of the most remarkable facts about turmeric as a potential drug and chemotherapy alternative is its exceptionally high margin of safety. A 2001 study in cancer patients reported that quantities of curcumin up to 8 g, administered per day for three months, were not toxic and resulted in significant anti-cancer properties in a number of those treated.[5] Considering that turmeric is only 3-4% curcumin by weight, this implies that a larger quantity of turmeric can be consumed safely, as well.
Of course, while these results are promising, the real solution to elevated liver enzymes is to identify the underlying causes, e.g. infection, NSAID use, chemical exposures, dietary intolerances, etc., and remove them.  Failing that, those within the integrative medical field who are looking for evidence-based ways to address the sometimes inevitable hepatotoxicity of standard drug-based treatments may find a role for turmeric (curcumin) in their practices.  Other folks, simply looking for ways to improve their health and to prevent liver problems may wish to consume smaller doses through incorporating the spice (which must be organic to avoid the dangers of irradiation) into traditional recipes at culinary doses. [see our EATomology project for guidance on this]
For more information on Turmeric's amazing healing properties read our article: 600 Reasons Why Turmeric May Be the World's Most Important Spice.

[1] Sang-Wook Kim, Ki-Chan Ha, Eun-Kyung Choi, Su-Young Jung, Min-Gul Kim, Dae-Young Kwon, Hye-Jung Yang, Min-Jung Kim, Hee-Joo Kang, Hyang-Im Back, Sun-Young Kim, Soo-Hyun Park, Hum-Young Baek, Yong-Jae Kim, Joon-Yeol Lee, Soo-Wan Chae. The effectiveness of fermented turmeric powder in subjects with elevated alanine transaminase levels: a randomised controlled study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 ;13:58. Epub 2013 Mar 8. PMID: 23497020
[2] GreenMedInfo.com, Professional Feature: Focus Turmeric's Hepatoprotective Properties Articles (86 abstracts)
[4] Lewis A Hassell, Le Dinh Roanh. Potential response to curcumin in infantile hemangioendothelioma of the liver. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010 Aug;55(2):377-9. PMID: 20582974
[5] A L Cheng, C H Hsu, J K Lin, M M Hsu, Y F Ho, T S Shen, J Y Ko, J T Lin, B R Lin, W Ming-Shiang, H S Yu, S H Jee, G S Chen, T M Chen, C A Chen, M K Lai, Y S Pu, M H Pan, Y J Wang, C C Tsai, C Y Hsieh. Phase I clinical trial of curcumin, a chemopreventive agent, in patients with high-risk or pre-malignant lesions. Anticancer Res. 2001 Jul-Aug;21(4B):2895-900. PMID: 11712783

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation.

He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

Waking Up Together: Awakened Love

In my first column I introduced a new evolution of relationship that I am calling “awakened relating.” For awakened relating to occur, one or both partners in a relationship must have some awakened awareness. I am choosing to call our basic nature “awareness.” Awareness is what I first understood it to be. Awareness and love are different words for the same unifying field that pervades all of life. You could say awakened awareness is awakened love. However, sometimes it can be easier to recognize awareness because that is readily available, yet its quality of love may not be apparent upon first glimpse. Its qualities of love, peace, bliss, wisdom, and so on become more evident as we deepen in our recognition.
It is important to know that if you have had even one moment of true recognition of the basic aware space that you are, that qualifies you for an awakened relationship. Once it is recognized, then there is the possibility of re-recognizing it again and again. By consciously attending to it repeatedly, it will become increasingly more obvious and continuous. This takes commitment and attention. For most people, awakening is not an event in time that happens and then we are done. It gradually unfolds on its own over time, but not without repeated attention. This is the paradox.
So, the most important first step towards awakened relationship is to recognize awareness. We need direct recognition of the awareness that is our basic state. Recognition is another word for awakening. Since I do not know if everyone who is reading this has recognition of awareness, I will point that out. Fortunately, it is easily and readily accessible at all times, and therefore easy to point out. The initial recognition can be quite simple. It is the commitment to re-recognizing again and again that can be challenging in the midst of life and relationship.
If you stop thinking for a moment….right now…you can see that there is an alert cognizance here in the gap between thoughts. There is an open, aware, spaciousness . . . If this is already known, or is obvious right away, great. If not, keep taking moments of relaxing the mind and noticing what is looking . . . until you recognize the awareness that is ever-present. Awareness is here whether thinking is or not, but it is easier to recognize when we stop for a moment. The awareness may be covered up by thoughts again right away, but you only need one moment of clear seeing. At first, we can only rest for a moment anyway, before it becomes a contrived effort. So, just stop…again and again…and simply notice the awareness that is alert and present, until it is directly recognized.
Once this awareness is recognized, or awakened, it is our task to continue to return to it in brief moments of resting as that awareness repeatedly. It is through attending to it in this way that it will grow stronger and more continuous in our experience. It is already complete and ever-present, but we need to consciously, instinctively recognize that. We need to root ourselves in this awareness in order for it to be knowingly present in all circumstances, especially in all of the challenges of relationship.
I invite you to be with this process of recognition until it is clear. Let me know if you have any questions about it. And, once it is recognized, I invite you to practice resting in it for brief moments repeatedly throughout the day. Even if we may know the ever-present background of awareness, we can still be focused primarily on thoughts. Give some attention to it directly through short moments of resting in uncontrived awareness. It is an effortless effort. This is a necessary prerequisite for awakened relationship. Let me know how it goes!

About Lynn Marie Lumiere, MFT

Lynn Marie Lumiere, MFT is a transpersonal and somatic psychotherapist with over 20 years experience in private practice. She has been actively involved with the community of therapists exploring nondual wisdom and psychotherapy for 15 years. Lynn Marie is one of the authors of the first book on that topic, The Sacred Mirror, Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy. She is also co-author of The Awakening West, Evidence of a Spreading Enlightenment. www.therapyforawakening.com

Waking Up Together: Awakened Relating

Welcome to this ongoing column on awakened relationship. I am very excited to share my experience and insights about being awake together in relationship. I am also looking forward to hearing your experience. I hope that we can all engage in a dialogue about this topic, which is an important one for all human beings. I encourage you to post comments, and by doing so, enjoy more awakened relating right here, in community.
Awakened relationship is a topic of great interest to me, one that I have explored extensively for the past twenty years through my work as a psychotherapist as well as through being in a committed, intimate partnership for twenty-two years. For the past two decades, I have also been immersed in nondual teachings. These teachings have deeply informed my experience and understanding of relationship.
I would like to begin this column by defining what I mean by awakened relationship. Actually, I prefer the term “relating” to relationship because relating is dynamic and actual. Relating implies the present moment ongoing-ness of what occurs whereas “relationship” is an abstract reification of a process that has never actually been a “thing.” Therefore, the term relating more easily allows for a discussion from the perspective of nondual wisdom.
I will start by distinguishing awakened relating from “conscious relationship.” The idea of conscious relationship has been around for at least twenty years. This brought about a new level of relating. Intimate partners became “mindful” of their behavior and began looking at their conditioned patterns and aking responsibility for them. What had previously been unconscious and projected on the other was now becoming conscious. Yet it is possible to have a conscious relationship without being awakened to our true nature. Also, a conscious relationship may still be believed to be between two separate individuals—more conscious, but still two. In addition, conscious relationship has mostly been a bout changing and fixing all the patterns we became conscious of, which keeps them reified and appearing real.
Now is the time for relationship to take another step in its evolution into awakened relating. Relating becomes “awakened” when one or both in a partnership have awakened to their true nature. When awakened nondual awareness or being is on board in relationship, that changes everything. Not only is it possible to become more conscious of our conditioned patterns that interfere with harmonious relating, but also it is possible to truly allow them to be as they are. No longer is the focus on changing or fixing the conditioning or each other, but allowing it all arise and dissolve in the vastness of our true nature. This only becomes possible when there is direct experience with nondual being. The presence of our deeper nature provides the safety, wisdom, compassion, patience, love and detachment to make this possible. It is only through resting in being that we can allow the feelings, beliefs, project ions, etc. to arise and dissolve. As that is allowed, appropriate action or communication is spontaneous, obvious and inherently beneficial.
Awakened relating involves knowing through direct experience that the love we have sought in each other is what we most essentially are. It is an awakening to what is already whole and complete—that which lacks nothing, needs nothing and seeks nothing. To truly know that our partner is not the source of love gradually relaxes and dissolves all the ways we don’t allow ourselves and others to be exactly as they are, which is what true love is all about.
In my own experience, direct knowing of this truth has allowed me to let my partner be as he is, more and more through the years. When there is no need for him to be a certain way in order to get love, then he can be allowed to be as he is. And, when that does not happen because I begin to believe a story about him needing to be different in some way, that becomes obvious. I am fortunate to be in a partnership where both people are committed to embodying what is most true. Therefore, it just takes one of us reminding the other of what is true, and most often it is dropped right there. It becomes easy and effortless when there is a 100% commitment. Yet, it was not always that way! Embodying the truth of our being in intimate relationship is an evolutionary leap and challenge. I believe that it does take a 100% commitment. It must be the first priority, and our nondual nature must be rested in and relied on with whatever arises, no matter what. Challenges with this are what I am interested in writing and dialoguing about in this column.
I invite you to bring your own experience and questions so we can explore this together.

About Lynn Marie Lumiere, MFT

Lynn Marie Lumiere, MFT is a transpersonal and somatic psychotherapist with over 20 years experience in private practice. She has been actively involved with the community of therapists exploring nondual wisdom and psychotherapy for 15 years. Lynn Marie is one of the authors of the first book on that topic, The Sacred Mirror, Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy. She is also co-author of The Awakening West, Evidence of a Spreading Enlightenment. www.therapyforawakening.com

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Revealing the Connection Between Sugar and Cancer

Revealing the Connection Between Sugar and CancerRevealing the Connection Between Sugar and Cancer
May 11 • "Food" to Avoid, Articles • 5499 Views • 0 Comments

An estimated 12.5 million people had some form of cancer in 2009, according to the American Cancer Society. Another 25.8 million have diabetes. These two preventable diseases are responsible for millions of deaths worldwide each year. In the constant battle to stay healthy, many of us know that too much sugar in the blood can lead to diabetes and that by controlling our diets we can both prevent and even reverse the disease. But, could the same be said for cancer?
According to researchers, sugar and cancer are indeed connected.
Obesity and high blood sugar are risk factors for diabetes. And diabetics have an estimated double risk of suffering a colon or pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Scientists say that the two facts are connected and that blood sugar could play a role in the development of cancer.
In one study published in the journal Molecular Cell, a team of researchers under Dr. Custodia Garcia-Jimenez, have identified how sugar could directly increase the cancer risk.
During digestion, cells in the intestine identify sugar and tell the pancreas to release insulin (the hormone responsible for blood sugar regulation). The sugars in the digestive system do this with the use of a hormone called GIP which assists in the insulin release. Dr. Garcia-Jimenez found that a specific protein known as β-catenin controls the ability of the intestines to release GIP and this protein is dependent on sugar levels.

“Increased activity of β-catenin is known to be a major factor in the development of many cancers and can make normal cells immortal, a key step in early stages of cancer progression. The study demonstrates that high (but not normal) sugar levels induce nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and leads to cell proliferation. The changes induced on β-catenin, the molecules involved and the diversity of cancer cells susceptible to these changes are identified,” Science Daily reports.
Simplified: increased blood sugar levels could lead to increased production of this protein which is known to impact cancer risk.

“We were surprised to realize that changes in our metabolism caused by dietary sugar impact on our cancer risk,” said Dr. Garcia-Jimenez. “We are not investigating what other dietary components may influence our cancer risk.”
Dr. Garcia-Jimenez went on to say something very simple and profound: “Changing diet is one of the easiest prevention strategies that can potentially save a lot of suffering and money.” I’m sure everyone agrees with that one.

Top 10 Reasons Why you Should Drink Coffee

Coffee is a brewed beverage with a distinct aroma and flavour made from roasted seeds. The coffee culture has been emerging in the Asian countries with the coming up of global coffee houses in the region. Majority of people believe that drinking coffee is harmful for health. If taken in controlled quantities, these all perceptions prove be nothing more than myths.
Coffee contains a large number of antioxidants. Each of these chemical substances found in coffee has a unique property of its own. Let us tell you top 10 reasons why you should drink coffee.

1. Coffee Improves Vascular Health
Caffeine present in coffee increases nitric oxide production in the endothelium (the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels), which improves vascular muscle tone. Drinking caffeinated coffee increases short-term acute blood pressure, but blood pressure returns to normal after the caffeine gets metabolized. It has been found in various studies that 8 weeks of habitual coffee drinking lowers blood pressure readings significantly.
2. Coffee Improves Cholesterol Health
Coffee, like tea, contains a lot of antioxidants. The ones present in coffee are capable of raising the HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), and lowering inflammation related to heart diseases.
3. Coffee Improves Reaction Time
A significant number of sports coaches have reported that caffeine in coffee is used by them in improving reaction time on soccer skill tests in athletes when they are sleep deprived.
4. Coffee Reduces Risk of Liver Cancer and Cirrhosis
Coffee contains a substance known as Praxanthine. This chemical slows down the growth of cell tissues in liver cancer and alcohol cirrhosis.
5. Coffee Reduces Risk of Type II Diabetes
Coffee has an inhibitory effect on toxic hIAPP (Human Islet Amyloid Polypeptide) formation which is found usually in the pancreas. This hIAPP is found in people having type II diabetes.
6. Coffee Prevents Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers have found that consuming five cups of coffee per day reduces the incidence rates of Parkinson’s disease.
7. Coffee Prevents Dental Cavities
A substance called tannins in coffee reduces the formation of plaque. This certainly prevents a person from having dental cavities. Drinking coffee also reduces the growth of bacteria like Streptococcus which are responsible for tooth decays.
8. Coffee Prevents Headaches
Caffeine present in coffee decreases the size of blood vessels before they can affect nerves in the brain. Hence, drinking coffee in the early stages of a headache minimizes the chances of a severe headache.
9. Coffee Reduces Workout Pain
Consuming caffeinated coffee an hour before vigorous exercise may help prevent pain while you’re working out. Caffeine in coffee blocks the activity of a chemical called adenosine that activates pain receptors in cells.
10. Coffee Keeps Skin Healthy

Coffee is believed to keep the skin healthy. Its antioxidants are known to prevent skin cancer and melanoma-related diseases. Coffee helps in getting rid of free radicals in the skin. This reduces the onset of skin-related problems such as acne and eczema.

The Remarkable Heart-Friendy Properties of Avocados

Posted on: Friday, December 28th 2012 at 5:00 am
Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder

There are still folks out there who believe that the 'high fat' content of avocados make them a liability for heart health. But the research on avocados simply doesn't support this lipid-phobic view. Take for example a recent study that looked at what happened when avocado was added to a heart-stopping American favorite, the hamburger meal.[i]
Researchers at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition took eleven healthy subjects, and on two different occasions, fed them either 250 gram hamburger patty alone (ca. 436 cal and 25 g fat) or together with 68 grams of avocado flesh (an additional 114 cal and 11 g of fat for a total of 550 cal and 36 g fat).
The researchers then measured the degree of vasoconstriction following hamburger ingestion 2 hours later in test subjects given a hamburger meal either with our without avocado.  The hamburger meal resulted in significant vasoconstriction, whereas the avocado+hamburger meal saw no change at all.

Next, the researchers isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from the test subjects in order to measure a protein known as Ikappa-B alpha, which is an indicator of inflammation. At 3 hours, there was a significant preservation of IkBa when avocado was consumed with the meat compared to meat lone, "consistent with reduced activation of the NF-kappa B (NFκB) inflammatory pathway."  Another blood marker, interleukin-6 (IL-6), increased significantly at 4 hours after the consumption of the hamburger, but no change was observed when avocado was added.
Finally, researchers found that post-meal triglycerides did not raise in the avocado group, despite the additional fat, whereas they did increase in the hamburger alone group.  The researchers concluded: "These observations are suggestive of beneficial anti-inflammatory and vascular health effects of ingesting added Hass avocado with a hamburger patty."


There are two main reasons why fats are labeled "bad." First, fatty foods that are comprised of a disproportionate amount of omega-6 fats (relative to omega-3 fats) contribute to the formation of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, e.g. prostaglandin E2, leukotriene, thromboxane, etc. Corn, soy, peanut, grape, canola, and many other grain, seed and bean oils, are all extraordinarily high in omega-6 relative to omega-3 content. Peanut oil, for instance, has several thousand times more omega-6 than omega-3.
This is profoundly out of balance when you consider our evolutionarily-determined ideal ratio is closer to a 1:1-4:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. When you feed cattle on these omega-6 rich foods, the problem only becomes exaggerated. Grain-fed cattle not only concentrate omega-6 fats in their flesh but inflammatory metabolites of omega-6 fats such as arachadonic acid, which is the fuel the Cox-2 enzyme "burns" (technically oxidizes) during the inflammatory process. This explains why the ordinary grain-fed hamburger can be so inherently toxic. And yet, there are grass-fed and organic alternatives much higher in beneficial omega-3 fats, as well as beneficial fats such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

But even in this latter case, when the ratio and types of fats are generally "good," they can still undergo a process known as lipid peroxidation. This is the second way that fats can "go bad." Lipid peroxidation can occur both outside of the stomach (when grilled/cooked), or within the stomach during the normal process of digestion. Otherwise known as rancidity, lipid peroxidation results in quite a few adverse health effects, including inflammation and even damage to the arteries in our bodies. This is why antioxidants, as evidenced by avocado's beneficial role in the study above, are powerful inhibitors of this deleterious process.
Ultimately, this study speaks to the necessity of balance in what we eat.  Recipes, as we have written about previously in Have We Stripped Our Food of Its Story?, are "medical prescriptions," which is the literal translation of the French word.  Our common use of dressings, condiments and spices, in other words, are not simply aesthetical enhancements to our meals, but protect and amplify the nutrition contained within the main ingredients.
For those who have chosen a meat-based diet for themselves, the key may be making sure that the animals were raised in as humane and healthy a manner as possible, and that when consuming meat they also consume antioxidant spices, seasonings and plant foods that prevent it from going rancid or otherwise doing harm.
For an extensive list of over 50 natural compounds which reduce or eliminate lipid peroxidation view our research section on the topic: Lipid Peroxidation Research.


Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation.

He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

MCT Fats Found In Coconut Oil Boost Brain Function In Only One Dose

Posted on: Thursday, April 4th 2013 at 5:00 am
Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), the primary type of fat found within coconut oil, have been found to boost cognitive performance in older adults suffering from memory disorders as serious as Alzheimer's -- and not after months or even days of treatment, but after a single 40 ml dose!
A groundbreaking 2004 study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging found that the administration of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), the primary fat type found in coconut oil, almost immediately improved cognitive function in older adults with memory disorders.   
The study involved 20 subjects with Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment who, on separate days, were given either emulsified MCTs or a placebo.  The researchers observed a significant increase in blood plasma levels of the ketone body beta-hydroxylutyrate (beta-OHB) after only 90 minutes of treatment, and depending on the apolipoprotein E genotype of the subject tested, beta-OHB levels either continued to rise or held constant between the 90 and 120 minute blood draws in the treatment condition. Remarkably, cognitive testing revealed that this brief MCT treatment facilitated improved performance on the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-cog) in 4 subjects within the study group. Moreover, "higher ketone values were associated with greater improvement in paragraph recall with MCT treatment relative to placebo across all subjects (P=0.02)."[i]

The details of the study procedure was described as follows:
The study was conducted with a double-blind placebo controlled design with two study visits. During each visit, subjects received one of two isocaloric conditions (690calories) in a randomized order: emulsified MCTs, or emulsified long chain triglycerides as a placebo. NeoBee 895 (Stepan, Inc.) was used for MCTs. To increase palatability, heavy whipping cream was used as a source of long chain triglycerides and as a source of long chain mono- and di-glycerides for emulsification. MCTs (40ml) were blended with 152ml heavy whipping cream to create the emulsified test sample. Heavy whipping cream alone (232ml) was blended to create the placebo.
Subjects fasted from 8:00 p.m. on the night prior to the study visit. They arrived in the morning and blood was drawn to determine plasma β-OHB levels and APOE genotyping (first visit only). Subjects then consumed the test beverage and rested quietly for 90min, after which blood was drawn and a 30-min cognitive testing session ensued. After testing, a final blood draw was taken.
How Medium Chain Triglycerides Work
How could a single dose of MCTs (40 ml or 2.7 tablespoons) cause an almost immediate improvement in cognitive performance in those suffering from cognitive impairments as serious as Alzheimer's disease? The explanation is found both in the unique metabolic needs of the brain and in the configuration of MCTs themselves. Whereas the primary fuel source for the energy-hungry brain is glucose, when insulin resistance and suboptimal metabolism (hypometabolism) develops in the brain, both the brain's structure and function are compromised. Ketone bodies provide a much needed alternative fuel source to glucose that can recharge metabolic processes within the brain, resulting in an almost immediate improvement in cognitive function.  
MCTs are not like most fats we consume. For instance, due to their smaller size they do not form micelles and are not stored in adipose tissue. Whereas up to 97% of the dietary fats we ingest are made up of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) which have been 14 and 18 carbons,[ii] MCTs have relatively shorter chain lengths of 5 to 12 carbons, making them easier to absorb and utilize. They are preferentially oxidized by the liver, and when provided in large enough quantities, they give rise to ketone bodies.[iii]
What is the best way to take MCTs? As we are advocates of whole food nutrition, coconut oil is our preferred source of these triglycerides, containing approximately 2/3rds MCTs by volume. Coconut oil also has a broad spectrum of other health benefits, which we highlighted in our previous article "13 Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil."
Also, instead of treating coconut oil or MCTs as some new nutraceutical "magic bullet," almost as if we are just loading natural bullets into the same old outdated allopathic gun, try incorporating it into your diet in a way that displaces less healthy fats. For instance, replace that rancid, pro-inflammatory 'vegetable oil' (e.g. soy, grape seed, peanut, canola oil) you are using to fry an egg or bake with, with sublimely saturated, rancidity-resistant coconut oil.
Or, enjoy a delicious curry with coconut milk as a base. Because 25% of coconut milk is fat, and about 66% of that fat is MCT, you are still getting a healthy dose. It is always better to eat smaller amounts of truly therapeutic foods, enjoyed in the context of sharing, preparing and enjoying good food, so that you will ideally never have to use the heroic "food as medicine" approach after a serious disease has had the opportunity to set in. Think: use food so that medicine never becomes necessary.   
For additional information view the testimonial of Dr. Mary Newport who discovered the benefits of using coconut oil to treat her husband's Alzheimer's Disease.

  • [ii] Anonymous: Medium chain triglycerides.  Alt Med Rev 2002, 7:418-420.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helps in Stroke Recovery

  • More than 700,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year, with two-thirds surviving and requiring some type of rehabilitation.1 The widely accepted standard rehabilitation treatment is not meant to “cure” the effects of stroke because it cannot reverse any brain damage. Rather, its goal is to help a stroke survivor become as independent as possible—often with only partial success, unfortunately.
    But there is a treatment that can wake up neurons in the brain that otherwise are considered dormant or dysfunctional as a result of stroke. It can produce such truly miraculous results that it’s hard to believe it’s not a regular part of rehabilitation for every single stroke survivor.
    Understanding Stroke
    During a stroke, blood flow is restricted or completely cut off in a portion of the brain, causing the cells in that area to die. While the cells directly affected by the “attack” can’t be revived, the surrounding cells around the injured area can be.
    You see, those neighboring cells become dysfunctional or “stunned” due to the damage the stroke caused to the surrounding blood vessels. Without adequate blood flow to the area, the amount of oxygen that gets delivered to those cells is severely limited. It’s enough to keep them alive for months—even years—after a stroke, but not enough for them to function normally or generate new synaptic connections.
    Those cells need a major “jolt” to get moving again. And research shows that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is just the jolt they need.
    Pure Oxygen Reenergizes Cells
    During an HBOT session, the patient lies in a special pressurized chamber and breathes in 100 percent pure oxygen. The hyperbaric oxygen saturates the patient’s blood and quickly increases the concentration of oxygen in the blood, particularly in injured areas that have a poor blood supply. The higher concentration of pure oxygen heals wounds and areas of tissue damage, reduces swelling and builds new blood vessels. In the case of stroke, the dormant cells around the immediate area of injury “wake up” and start working again.
    HBOT’s remarkable effects on stroke recovery were highlighted in a recently published study. This trial involved 59 patients who suffered either an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke six to 36 months prior to the start of the study and had at least one motor dysfunction.2
    Researchers randomly assigned patients to either the treatment (HBOT) group or cross group (serving as a control group for two months, then undergoing HBOT). The participants in the treatment group received two evaluations—at baseline and after two months of HBOT. The cross group got three evaluations—at baseline, after two months of no treatment and after two months of HBOT. Evaluations included questionnaires covering the ability to perform various functions such as bathing, dressing, grooming, brushing teeth, walking, climbing stairs, eating, cooking, doing housework, driving, etc. Brain scans and quality of life evaluations were also performed.
    The HBOT protocol involved 40 daily sessions, 90 minutes each, five days a week.
    Amazingly, almost every single study volunteer who underwent HBOT—both in the treatment group and in the HBOT-treated cross group—saw substantial improvements in their daily activities, neurological evaluations, brain scans and quality of life. These results become even more significant considering the participants in the control (no treatment) period of the cross group experienced absolutely no improvement in any of the evaluation measures.
    Most notably, brain images after HBOT showed that the treatment led to “reactivations of neuronal activity in the stunned areas…. The changes in activity were sufficiently robust to be clearly detected.” The researchers further concluded, “The observed reactivation of neuronal activity in the stunned areas imply that increasing the plasma oxygen concentration with hyperbaric oxygen is a potent means of delivering to the brain sufficient oxygen for tissue repair.” Furthermore, they stated that the neurological improvements after HBOT can even occur long after the stroke, meaning it’s never too late to seek this therapy.
    Side effects of HBOT are minimal, with the most common adverse reaction being ear pain.
    Finding HBOT Near You
    Many complementary physicians, hospitals and outpatient treatment facilities offer HBOT for treatment of stroke and other neurological diseases (Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injuries and cerebral palsy), inflammatory conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis, wounds, ulcers and carbon monoxide poisoning.
    If you have experienced any of these conditions and traditional treatments have failed, we recommend giving HBOT a try. To find a location near you, visit Hyperbaric Link.
    1. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stroke/poststrokerehab.htm.
    2. Efrat S, et al. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e53716.

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