Time to Celebrate Cilantro

Life Extension Magazine February 2012
 

Time to Celebrate Cilantro

By Robin Gettleman
 

When you choose to cook with cilantro, or the seeds of the plant that cilantro comes from, known as coriander, the simple act of spicing up your dishes becomes an easy way to spice up your health and boost your longevity. Cilantro is a power-packed flavor enhancer that contains an eye-popping amount of phytonutrients, including borneol, carvone, camphor, elemol, geraniol, and linalool, among the most prominent. It also contains popular flavonoids that Life Extension® readers are familiar with, such as quercetin and apigenin. Along with such incredible antioxidant potency, cilantro contains active phenolic compounds and is nutritionally dense in dietary fiber, manganese, iron, and magnesium.1

With such an impressive array of healthy properties, it’s no wonder that cilantro has been used as a digestive aid, an anti-inflammatory, an anti-bacterial agent, and as a weapon in the fight to control blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and unwanted, lethal free radical production.1,2

History

Specifically, cilantro refers to the leaves of the coriander plant, which is one of the oldest known spices in the world, dating back nearly 7,000 years. The herb has received mention in the Old Testament, was used as a spice by the Romans and Greeks, and was used by the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, for its medicinal properties.1 Nearly two millennia after the “Father of Medicine” first acknowledged the potency of this herb, modern scientists are now beginning to fully understand its true power.2

Selecting the Right Cilantro2
  • 1.Fresh cilantro is available in most farmers markets year-round.

  • 2. Choose bunches of cilantro that are bright in color.

  • 3. The leaves of cilantro can lose their luster quickly, so use it soon after you buy it.

  • 4. If you must store cilantro, keep it attached to its roots, with the roots in water and the leaves covered in plastic.

  • 5. If bought without roots, cover the cilantro with a damp cloth, refrigerate in a plastic bag with holes in it, and use within four or five days.

Benefits

Diabetes Fighter

Moroccans have long used coriander as a treatment to combat diabetes, but until recently, very few studies had been done to validate this all-natural strategy against this insidious disease. Recently, a team of researchers from Morocco aimed to investigate the potential hypoglycemic (and hypolipidemic) activity of coriander seeds after a single oral dose and after daily dosing for 30 days in normal and obese-hyperglycemic-hyperlipidemic (OHH) rats.3

In the study, a single dose of coriander extract suppressed hyperglycemia in obese-hyperglycemic-hyperlipidemic rats, and normal blood sugar was achieved at 6 hours post–dose. The researchers noted that the extract decreased several components of the metabolic syndrome, decreased atherosclerotic indicators, and increased cardioprotective factors, which leads them to believe that coriander extract may have a cardiovascular protective effect.

Attack Atherosclerosis

 
 

At first glance, the idea that a spice or an herb can help your body defend itself against atherosclerosis may seem hard to believe, but due to the large amount of quercetin in cilantro, a few dashes of this spice may make a big difference for you and your arteries.1 Because flavonoids like quercetin are not made internally in the human body, we must rely on eating certain foods or ingesting certain supplements to obtain it. In this case, sprinkling cilantro in your recipes or on your dishes can give you an extra quercetin boost in addition to your supplements.

For a little more information about why quercetin is so important, we need to first examine the evolution of atherosclerosis in the human body. Atherosclerosis occurs when fatty materials or plaque build up in the artery. This usually happens when free radicals oxidize molecules known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL). When oxidized LDL molecules come into contact with a damaged endothelial lining, they stick, which sets off a series of reactions that contributes to the development of plaque build-up in arteries known as atherosclerosis.

Here is where rich sources of quercetin such as cilantro may be highly beneficial. By preventing LDL oxidation, quercetin may help intervene in the build-up of heart attack- and stroke-inducing plaque.4-6 A study examining this very topic suggested that death from heart disease could be reduced, as the flavonoid quercetin showed signs that it could protect against damage to artery walls. It also shows promise in helping reduce high blood pressure that occurs as a result of artery narrowing.4,5

Cilantro Tea for Toxin Removal

Cilantro tea has been used for centuries as both a digestive aid and a cleansing agent to remove toxins from the body. To help flush the toxins from your body, the tea can be made with two teaspoons of cilantro leaves steeped in one cup of hot water. For flavor, you may want to add honey, peppermint oil, or orange peel.

After steeping, drink the tea as you normally would. Once ingested, cilantro’s power reveals itself, as it has shown in certain studies that it binds with harmful metals like lead and facilitates their removal from the body.7,8

This is important for those seeking a long, healthy life span, because toxic agents like heavy metals have been associated with a wide swath of health issues.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.

References

1. Available at: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=70. Accessed September 12, 2011

2. Wood R. The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia. Penguin (Non-classics);1999.

3. Aissaoui A, Zizi S, Israili ZH, Lyoussi B. Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Coriandrum sativum L. in Meriones shawi rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Sep 1;137(1):652-61.

4. Available at: http://www.quercetinguide.com. Accessed September 16, 2011.

5. Available at: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/quercetin-000322.htm. Accessed September 16, 2011.

6. Gong M, Garige M, Varatharajalu R, et al. Quercetin up-regulates paraoxonase 1 gene expression with concomitant protection against LDL oxidation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Feb 20;379(4):1001-4.

7. Available at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/276933-cilantro-tea-health-benefits/. Accessed September16, 2011.

8. Aga M, Iwaki K, Ueda Y, et al. Preventive effect of Coriandrum sativum (Chinese parsley) on localized lead deposition in ICR mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 Oct;77(2-3):203-8.

Eat Your Broccoli: Another Mechanism Discovered by Which Sulforaphane Prevents Cancer

 

ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2012) — Researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University have discovered yet another reason why the “sulforaphane”compound in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables is so good for you — it provides not just one, but two ways to prevent cancer through the complex mechanism of epigenetics.

 

Epigenetics, an increasing focus of research around the world, refers not just to our genetic code, but also to the way that diet, toxins and other forces can change which genes get activated, or “expressed.” This can play a powerful role in everything from cancer to heart disease and other health issues.

Sulforaphane was identified years ago as one of the most critical compounds that provide much of the health benefits in cruciferous vegetables, and scientists also knew that a mechanism involved was histone deacetylases, or HDACs. This family of enzymes can interfere with the normal function of genes that suppress tumors.

HDAC inhibitors, such as sulforaphane, can help restore proper balance and prevent the development of cancer. This is one of the most promising areas of much cancer research. But the new OSU studies have found a second epigenetic mechanism, DNA methylation, which plays a similar role.

“It appears that DNA methylation and HDAC inhibition, both of which can be influenced by sulforaphane, work in concert with each other to maintain proper cell function,” said Emily Ho, an associate professor in the Linus Pauling Institute and the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences. “They sort of work as partners and talk to each other.”

This one-two punch, Ho said, is important to cell function and the control of cell division — which, when disrupted, is a hallmark of cancer.

“Cancer is very complex and it’s usually not just one thing that has gone wrong,” Ho said. “It’s increasingly clear that sulforaphane is a real multi-tasker. The more we find out about it, the more benefits it appears to have.”

DNA methylation, Ho said, is a normal process of turning off genes, and it helps control what DNA material gets read as part of genetic communication within cells. In cancer that process gets mixed up. And of considerable interest to researchers is that these same disrupted processes appear to play a role in other neurodegenerative diseases, including cardiovascular disease, immune function, neurodegenerative disease and even aging.

The influence of sulforaphane on DNA methylation was explored by examining methylation of the gene cyclinD2.

This research, which was published in the journal Clinical Epigenetics, primarily studied the effect on prostate cancer cells. But the same processes are probably relevant to many other cancers as well, researchers said, including colon and breast cancer.

“With these processes, the key is balance,” Ho said. “DNA methylation is a natural process, and when properly controlled is helpful. But when the balance gets mixed up it can cause havoc, and that’s where some of these critical nutrients are involved. They help restore the balance.”

Sulforaphane is particularly abundant in broccoli, but also found in other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and kale. Both laboratory and clinical studies have shown that higher intake of cruciferous vegetables can aid in cancer prevention.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the OSU Environmental Health Sciences Center.

Welcome to Livelonger

 

Good NutritionLatest In Health News – Health Articles – Juice Therapy – Health Industry Blogs -Supplements That Work – Herbal Compounding – Educational Links – Build Strength – Build Health

 

 Articles

 Enzymes – The Forgotten Giver Of Life And Health

Chlorella

Vitamin D

Fibromyalgia

Spirulina

 Kefir – Ancient Wonder For Modern Health Problems

Gout

Osteoporosis

So What The Hell Do We Eat?

Supplement Buying Guide

 

 

Stronger Intestinal Barrier May Prevent Cancer in the Rest of the Body, New Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Feb. 21, 2012) — A leaky gut may be the root of some cancers forming in the rest of the body, a new study published online Feb. 21 in PLoS ONE by Thomas Jefferson University researchers suggests.

It appears that the hormone receptor guanylyl cyclase C (GC-C) — a previously identified tumor suppressor that exists in the intestinal tract — plays a key role in strengthening the body’s intestinal barrier, which helps separate the gut world from the rest of the body, and possibly keeps cancer at bay. Without the receptor, that barrier weakens.

A team led by Scott Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Jefferson and director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Program at Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center, discovered in a pre-clinical study that silencing GC-C in mice compromised the integrity of the intestinal barrier. It allowed inflammation to occur and cancer-causing agents to seep out into the body, damaging DNA and forming cancer outside the intestine, including in the liver, lung and lymph nodes.

Conversely, stimulating GC-C in intestines in mice strengthened the intestinal barrier opposing these pathological changes.

A weakened intestinal barrier has been linked to many diseases, like inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and food allergies, but this study provides fresh evidence that GC-C plays a role in the integrity of the intestine. Strengthening it, the team says, could potentially protect people against inflammation and cancer in the rest of the body.

“If the intestinal barrier breaks down, it becomes a portal for stuff in the outside world to leak into the inside world,” said Dr. Waldman. “When these worlds collide, it can cause many diseases, like inflammation and cancer.”

The role of GC-C outside the gut has remained largely elusive. Dr. Waldman and his team have previously shown its role as a tumor suppressor and biomarker that reveals occult metastases in lymph nodes. They’ve used to it better predict cancer risk, and have even shown a possible correlation with obesity.

Reporting in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Dr. Waldman colleagues found that silencing GC-C affected appetite in mice, disrupting satiation and inducing obesity. Conversely, mice who expressed the hormone receptor knew when to call it quits at mealtime.

However, its role in intestinal barrier integrity, inflammation, and cancer outside the intestine is new territory in the field.

A new drug containing GC-C is now on the verge of hitting the market, but its intended prescribed purpose is to treat constipation.

This study helps lays the groundwork, Dr. Waldman said, for future pre-clinical and clinical studies investigating GC-C’s abilities beyond those treatments in humans, including prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.

“We’ve shown that when you pull away GC-C in animals, you disrupt the intestinal barrier, putting them at risk for getting inflammatory bowel disease and cancer. And when you treat them with hormones that activate GC-C it helps strengthen the integrity of the intestinal barrier,” Dr. Waldman said. “Now, if you want to prevent inflammation or cancer in humans, then we need to start thinking about feeding people hormones that activate GC-C to tighten up the barrier.”

Monsanto found guilty in France for farmer’s illness

NaturalNews) It’s no secret that biotech giant Monsanto has been hard at work genetically modifying everything on the planet, but now the mega-corporation may have gone too far.

In what is being viewed as a major victory for public health advocates, a French court last week declared Monsanto guilty in the chemical poisoning of a French farmer, a ruling that could – and should – lead to additional health claims against the use of pesticides.

Paul Francois, a grain grower, told the court he suffered neurological problems that included memory loss, stammering and headaches after having inhaled Monsanto’s Lasso weed killer in 2004. He accused Monsanto of not providing adequate warnings on the product.

A court in Lyon, which is located in southeast France, agreed, ordering an expert to determine the extent of Francois’s losses and injuries to determine a proper sum of damages.

Killing farmers?

The ruling marks the first time anyone has been able to establish a clear link between one of Monsanto’s dangerous products and illnesses caused by exposure to them.

“I am alive today, but part of the farming population is going to be sacrificed and is going to die because of this,” Francois told Reuters in an interview.

Francois brought his case after he and other farmers banded together to form an association of individuals who claim they, too, began suffering illness following exposure to Monsanto’s so-called “crop protection” chemicals. The rising tide of illnesses – about 200 per year since 1996, according to the agricultural branch of the French social security system – should be more than enough to give pause, not only to French citizens, but to anyone exposed to produce that has been “treated” with any of these dangerous pesticides.

Banning poison

On the surface, the French court’s ruling seemed inevitable, if not somewhat overdue. Monsanto’s Lasso was banned throughout France in 2007, following a European Union directive after the product had been taken out of use in a few other countries.

Perhaps because of the increasing health problems caused by chemical use in agriculture, France – the EU’s largest grower – is going a step further, having announced a plan to curb pesticide use by 50 percent between 2008 and 2018.

From the sound of it, the cut in usage can’t come soon enough. Other farmers have blamed chemicals for their lingering health problems as well.

“It’s like lying on a bed of thorns and trying to say which one cut you,” one farmer recovering from prostate cancer, who asked not to be named, told Reuters, regarding his widespread exposure to a number of agricultural chemical products.

History of foul play

For its part, Monsanto has a long history of producing products that are a detriment to society. The biotech giant paid $700 million in settlements in 2003 for secretly poisoning residents who lived next to their PCB plant in Anniston, Ala.

In 2008, an expose revealed the agri-giant as a ruthless corporation that routinely threatens small farmers and planters over dubious claims of patent violations and other alleged “crimes” against the company, all for engaging in the millennia-old practice of reusing seeds from season to season.

But farmers – especially organic farmers – are battling back. About 300,000 of them filed suit in March 2011 in a bid to keep at least a portion of the world’s food supply completely organic.

Spearheaded by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, the suit seeks to keep Monsanto’s GenuityR Roundup ReadyR canola seed out of their farms. “Organic agriculturalists say that corn, cotton, sugar beets and other crops of theirs have been contaminated by Monsanto’s seed, and even though the contamination has been largely natural and unintended, Monsanto has been suing hundreds of farmers for infringing on their patent for incidentally using their product,” said one report.

In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice are also examining Monsanto’s business practices. It’s about time.

Sources for this article include:

http://in.reuters.com

http://www.naturalnews.com/034432_Monsanto_public_health_threat.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/033772_Monsanto_Roundup.html

http://rt.com/usa/news/organic-monsanto-lawsuit-seed/

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035036_Monsanto_farmers_France.html#ixzz1n8F3SIdr

Cell Energy Sensor Mechanism Discovered

ScienceDaily (Feb. 21, 2012) — Johns Hopkins and National Taiwan University researchers have discovered more details about how an energy sensing “thermostat” protein determines whether cells will store or use their energy reserves.

In a report in the Feb. 9 edition of Nature, the researchers showed that a chemical modification on the thermostat protein changes how it’s controlled. Without the modification, cells use stored energy, and with it, they default to stockpiling resources. When cells don’t properly allocate their energy supply, they can die off or become cancerous. The Johns Hopkins team focused especially on enzymes that add or remove so-called acetyl groups from protein molecules.

“Understanding how cells are affected by adding acetyl groups to proteins, particularly those involved in energy use, is important because there is increasing use of drugs that block acetyl-removing enzymes for treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases,” says Jef Boeke, Ph.D., professor of molecular biology, genetics and oncology, and director of the High Throughput Biology Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Blocking acetyl-removing enzymes turns on anticancer genes that help fight cancer; however, it is not known what other genes and cellular processes may also be affected by these treatments.”

To determine which enzymes remove acetyl chemical groups from which proteins, the researchers engineered human cells with reduced levels of each of 12 enzymes known to remove acetyl chemical groups. In each of these cell lines, they then turned down each of about 20,000 genes and used a DNA “chip” to identify which genes were affected by reduced levels of the acetyl-removing enzymes. The DNA chip highlighted a specific interaction between the thermostat protein, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and one of the acetyl-removing enzymes, HDAC1.

With less HDAC, AMPK was turned “off,” presumably because it retains its acetyl group, the researchers concluded. AMPK acts like an energy thermostat because when energy levels are low in the cell, AMPK kick-starts processes that use the cell’s energy reserves and cuts off reactions that store energy. On the other hand, when the cell has plenty of energy, AMPK turns off, causing energy in the form of sugar and fats being stored for later use.

Because the HDAC1 protein turned on AMPK, the researchers presumed there would be a corresponding acetyl-adding enzyme to specifically turn off AMPK. To find this enzyme, they extracted AMPK protein from eight different cell lines, each with reduced levels of a type of acetyl-adding enzyme. They found that AMPK in cells with reduced levels of this acetyl-adding enzyme, called p300, was less acetylated than in cells containing normal amounts of p300.

To confirm the idea that adding or removing acetyl groups directly affects how AMPK controls the way the cell uses energy, they measured the cell’s energy stores with the help of a dye that accumulates in the fat globules of a cell. The dye let them estimate the size of fat globules that store energy. The cells unable to add acetyl to AMPK contained less of the dye and therefore smaller fat globules compared to normal human cells. Conversely, the cells unable to remove acetyl groups from AMPK contained more of the dye, indicating bigger fat globules. The research team concluded that when AMPK contains acetyl groups the cell uses less of its energy reserves than when AMPK does not contain acetyl groups.

Boeke says the work on human cells followed similar studies on yeast energy proteins done earlier in his laboratory.

Additional authors of the study include Yu-yi Lin, Shang-Yun Liu and Yi-hsuan Chou of the National Taiwan University; Jin-ying Lu of the National Taiwan University Hospital; Chin Ni Khnor and Chi-Long Lin of Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan; Samara Kiihl and Rafael Irizarry of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Yasir Suhail, Zheng Kuang and Joel Bader of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The study was supported by funds from National Science Council grants, National Taiwan University Frontier and Innovative Research, National Taiwan University Excellent Translational Medicine Research Project, a National Health Research Institutes Career Development grant, the Liver Disease Prevention and Treatment Research Foundation and a National Institutes of Health Common Fund grant.

Cholesterol scam: Disinformation slowly unraveling among health professionals

NaturalNews) The idea of cholesterol creating cardiac problems has caused obsessive cholesterol count blood testing for decades. Another outcome of this scare was obsessively avoiding fat, especially saturated fats.

The food industry responded with low and no fat foods from milk to cottage cheese and more. Processed foods promoted their low or no fat contents as though they were the healthiest foods in the freezer.

Healthy fats such as coconut oil and palm oil were spurned and replaced by very unhealthy trans-fat, processed and heated cooking oils. Relatively healthy whole butters were replaced by plastic margarines.

However, this myth of cholesterol dangers lurking in saturated fats waiting to clog your arteries and cause you to die of cardiac arrest is beginning to unravel.

Unraveling the myth of cholesterol

A meta-analysis of properly performed previous studies on heart health and saturated fats concluded there was no association between cardiac issues and saturated fats. This was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) on January 13th, 2010. (1)

Meta-analysis is a statistical method of proving or disproving varied epidemiological studies within a set topic. The AJCN meta-analysis covered studies involving 350,000 subjects who were followed for 5 to 23 years.

The trend set by the saturated fat high cholesterol disinformation a few decades ago has resulted in many Americans eating less fat and showing lower blood cholesterol levels. Yet, heart disease rates have continued to rise along with diabetes, pre-diabetes and obesity. (1)

Dr. William Davis explains in his article “A Headline You Will Never See: 60 Year Old Man Dies of Cholesterol” that cholesterol doesn’t kill “any more than a bad paint job on your car could cause a fatal car accident.” (1)

He explains the cause of most heart attacks and coronary problems is atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries, which can build up and rupture or clog the arteries. He goes on to describe other factors that can cause plaque ruptures, including inflammatory pneumonia.

Though there can be some cholesterol in the plaque, cholesterol itself is waxy and pliable. Cholesterol is important for brain cells, nerves and other cellular structural components. Calcium deposits (calcification) in artery interiors are much worse components of plaque. It belongs in your bones and not in your arteries. Vitamin K2 helps transport calcium out of your blood and into your bones.

Dr. Davis recommends avoiding cholesterol panels for heart health concerns and opting for a measure of coronary atherosclerotic plaque.

The scam continues despite overwhelming contradictory evidence

Despite more and more published journals and doctors proving coronary heart disease (CHD) is not caused by high saturated fat diets and cholesterol, the myth persists. Many peoplewith low cholesterol have died of CHD while in their 40s, while many with high cholesterol never have CHD issues.

Several studies of heart attack cadavers have also revealed the disinformation of cholesterol dangers. Yet the common advice from cardiologists upon seeing high cholesterol is to get an angiogram,adiagnostic testwhichis expensive and not so safe. Then there are those pricey drugs meantto lower cholesterol while wreaking havoc on overall health. (2)

Cholesterol is vital for many functions. For example, it helps convert sunlight into vitamin D3. If you’re not getting enough with your food, the liver is forced to manufacture it. Low cholesterol has been linked to higher stroke risks.

Oxidized cholesterol from hydrogenated and refined polyunsaturated cooking oils and margarine can lead to complications that result in CHD. This comes not only directly from the oils themselves, but indirectly from the oxidation process those oils initiate. (3)

These toxic oils and butter substitutes were created to replace thewholesome saturated fats that should be consumed.

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://www.sott.net

(2) http://www.opednews.com

(3) http://www.treelight.com/health/healing/Cholesterol.html

About the author:
Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035033_cholesterol_disinformation_fats.html#ixzz1n8DtyePK

Can raw foods aid breast cancer treatments and prevention?

NaturalNews) When it comes to women’s health issues, breast cancer will rise toward the top of any list regardless of the factors being considered. It is no doubt that breast cancer is an ugly disease that statistically affects someone that everyone knows. Over the span of a lifetime, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, so if one thinks of eight women they know, statistically, one of those women will be unable to dodge the potentially fatal diagnosis. For this reason, in addition to early detection being on the forefront of awareness campaigns, it is also equally important to consider preventive measures, which any woman can adopt by starting with the foods that are eaten on a daily basis.

It is possible to prevent breast cancer by eating raw fruits and vegetables?

There has been some intense research led by Dr. Sarah Brennan of Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland that spanned over a dozen scientific studies and over 400,000 subjects. The results of this analysis found that a direct relationship between those at risk of breast cancer to healthy or unhealthy dieting practices. At risk women were viewed as women who were at a genetic risk due to their mother or grandmother being diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. The findings summarized a higher ratio of women that were identified as having breast cancer at some point in their lives if they adhered to the common unhealthy practices of western diets, defined as those that are rich in red meats and refined grains. However, those that adopted diets that were rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains were less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

If it can be concluded that eating healthy has an obvious effect of maintaining an ideal weight level, another conclusion can also be drawn. A finding that was revealed through efforts from the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital indicated that a connection between obese women and breast cancer diagnosis exists. This finding ultimately supports the studies that have concluded that raw food dietary practices contribute to the prevention of breast cancer.

Wheat grass juice and chemotherapy

Breast cancer treatment can be daunting emotionally and physically, however studies that have been coordinated by the Division of Oncology at the Rambam Medical Center and Faculty of Medicine and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have revealed that many of the negative effects of chemotherapy can be tapered. Specifically, wheat grass juice consumption resulted in a reduction of the necessary doses required, as well as lower myelotoxicity levels, all without affecting the intended chemotherapy effects.

There are critics on the other side of these studies that are quick to point out scientific inconsistencies in the methods used to produce these conclusions, and the overall statistical analysis. This is part and parcel of the entire scientific process, and realistically, there is no scientific study that can’t in some way be disputed. However is that really the point? Eating healthy is not a strange and mysterious pill that is producing these results. These practices are not governed by agencies that intend to protect the public. Therefore, if there is even a slight chance that eating healthy can result in breast cancer prevention, why not? A healthy meal can start right from the refrigerator as the first step toward breast cancer prevention.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17571966

http://www.reuters.com

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC468678/

About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. In 2010, Michelle created RawFoodHealthWatch.com, to share with people her approach to the raw food diet and detoxification

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035022_raw_foods_breast_cancer_prevention.html#ixzz1n8DIz5o0

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may be dangerous to your health

NaturalNews) Polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) is the technical term for a type of fat (fatty acid) with two or more (poly) double bonds (unsaturated). They exist in many different forms, varying in chain length, degree of unsaturation, and rotation around the double bonds. The pharmacology and biochemistry of their actions are complex, yet their detrimental effects on human health are very clear and well established.

Sources of PUFAs

PUFAs are found in all natural foods in varying amounts, but fatty foods contain the most. In general, vegetable oils are the most concentrated sources of PUFAs in the American diet and include sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, flax oil, sesame seed oil, pumpkin seed oil and canola (or rapeseed) oil. The exceptions include plants that grow in tropical climates, such as the oils extracted from chocolate and coconuts. These oils are highly saturated, and so are very stable and undoubtedly safe and beneficial.

Mechanisms of PUFA-induced damage

PUFAs undergo oxidation in the body in reactions that are both controlled and uncontrolled. The products of controlled oxidation are known as eicosanoids. These hormone-like products have a wide range of damaging effects in very small amounts and are involved in various diseases. Aspirin curtails the production of these eicosanoids and is the mechanism by which it prevents inflammation, pain, fever and some cancers.

PUFAs also undergo random oxidation (also referred to as peroxidation or auto-oxidation) rapidly under the conditions of the human body and are a source of tissue-damaging free radicals. These products of peroxidation promote inflammation and their deleterious effects may be the cause of aging, atherosclerosis and cancer. Alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E) stops the chain of peroxidation.

In the absence of PUFAs in the diet, the body synthesizes an omega-9 fatty acid called Mead acid (5,8,11-eicosatrienoic acid). This relatively stable fatty acid displaces the PUFAs in the tissues and curtails the formation of inflammation promoting leukotrienes. In general, the more double bonds or degree of unsaturation, the more potentially damaging the molecule is.

When large amounts of PUFAs are consumed, they are stored and between meals, they are released. In free form, they poison the mitochondria (where oxidative metabolism occurs), impair communication within the cell, impair the action of enzymes that dissolve blood clots and digest dietary protein, and inhibit the thyroid. Inhibiting the thyroid slows the metabolism and diminishes the ability to metabolize the PUFAs, accelerating their toxic effects. Stress, low blood sugar, and high intensity exercise increase the lipolytic enzymes. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) restrains them.

Practical suggestions:

It is impossible to completely avoid PUFAs if one eats a natural diet and so the ongoing discussion of whether or not some PUFAs are essential is moot. Even “fat-free” foods contain trace amounts of PUFAs. A rational approach would be to avoid the PUFA-containing foods to the extent that is possible and redirect the choice of fats to the ones containing the most saturation. One study showed that just 0.5 percent of the diet in PUFAs is enough to trigger cancer. The best choices include fats from ruminant animals (i.e. cows, sheeps and goats), coconut oil, cocoa butter and palm kernel oil. Olive oil is generally safe, but contains 10 percent PUFAs so should be used in moderation.

Sources for this article include:

1. Stryer’s Biochemistry (6th edition).

2. Ip C, Carter CA, Ip MM. Requirement of essential fatty acid for mammary tumorigenesis in the rat. Cancer Res [Internet]. 1985 May;45(5):1997-2001.

3. Meisner H, Carter JR,Jr. Regulation of lipolysis in adipose tissue. Horiz Biochem Biophys [Internet]. 1977;4:91-129.

4. Wang X, Quinn PJ. Vitamin E and its function in membranes. Prog Lipid Res [Internet]. 1999 Jul;38(4):309-36.

5. http://raypeat.com/articles/nutrition/oils-in-context.shtml

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035015_PUFAs_health_fatty_acids.html#ixzz1n8BY66aN

Newly Identified Oral Bacterium Linked to Heart Disease and Meningitis

ScienceDaily (Feb. 22, 2012) — A novel bacterium, thought to be a common inhabitant of the oral cavity, has the potential to cause serious disease if it enters the bloodstream, according to a study in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. Its identification will allow scientists to work out how it causes disease and evaluate the risk that it poses.

The bacterium was identified by researchers at the Institute of Medical Microbiology of the University of Zurich and has been named Streptococcus tigurinus after the region of Zurich where it was first recognised. S. tigurinus was isolated from blood of patients suffering from endocarditis, meningitis and spondylodiscitis (inflammation of the spine). It bears a close resemblance to other Streptococcus strains that colonise the mouth. Bleeding gums represent a possible route of entry for oral bacteria into the bloodstream.

The similarity of S. tigurinus to other related bacteria has meant that it has existed up until now without being identified. Its recent identification is clinically important, explained Dr Andrea Zbinden who led the study. “Accurate identification of this bacterium is essential to be able to track its spread. Further research must now be done to understand the strategies S. tigurinus uses to successfully cause disease. This will allow infected patients to be treated quickly and with the right drug.”

Dr Zbinden said that while the discovery of the bacterium is no cause for alarm, it is important that it is recognised and the risk is quantified. “This bacterium seems to have a natural potential to cause severe disease and so it’s important that clinicians and microbiologists are aware of it,” she said. “The next step is to work out exactly how common this bacterium is in the oral cavity and what risk it poses. Immunosuppression, abnormal heart valves, dental surgeries or chronic diseases are common predisposing factors for blood infections by this group of bacteria. However, the specific risk factors for S. tigurinus remain to be determined.”