Traditional Naturopath Podcast #33

The Traditional Naturopath Podcast – 33 – (06/30/07)
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Show Notes:
Dr. Bill discusses the benefits of biofeedback, cinnamon, and echinacea, as well as getting into how to become a traditional naturopath.

PS: I “mis-remembered” an herb that I was “searching for” that benefits diabetics… I said Gotu Kola when I was really trying to remember Gymnema Sylvestre. Gotu Kola is actually an herb that fortifies the immune system and strengthens the adrenal system. It has been used to purify the blood and promotes healthy skin. It is a benefit to restful sleep and can be used to benefit skin inflammations, as a treatment for high blood pressure. Gotu kola has been referred to as “food for the brain.” It is an oriental herb that has demonstrated mild tranquilizing, anti-anxiety and anti-stress effects, as well as improving mental functions such as concentration and memory. It has a calming effect on the body and is chiefly used to support the central nervous system. These beneficial qualities make Gotu kola an excellent herb for children with A.D.D. because it has a stimulating effect on the brain that increases one’s ability to focus while having a soothing and relaxing effect on an overactive nervous system. So, sorry for the confusion!

The Benefits of Cinnamon!

We have known for some time that the inexpensive (and tasty) spice, cinnamon is of benefit in blood sugar management. A new study highlights this!

Cinnamon Can Help Control Your Blood Sugar

“A Swedish research team has again confirmed previous studies from 2000 and 2004, showing the positive effect of
cinnamon in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. This new study found a meaningful decrease in blood sugar in patients who consumed 6 grams of cinnamon with their rice pudding, versus those who ate their’s plain. They were also seeking to find whether cinnamon had any effect on satiety, but the results were negligible at best. Cinnamon has previously been indicated as a potential insulin substitute for those with type 2 diabetes — researchers have found that cinnamon contains a bioactive component with “insulin-like” effects. It has also been determined that this inexpensive spice increases glucose metabolism 20-fold.”

This is a great post from Dr. Mercola’s blog on the study:

“Previous studies found that half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It also reduces triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels among this group.

Cinnamon’s other benefits include:

* Supporting digestive function
* Relieving congestion
* Relieving pain and stiffness of muscles and joints
* Anti-inflammatory compounds that may relieve arthritis
* Helping to prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease
* It’s a powerful anti-microbial agent that can kill E. coli and other bacteria”

BBC Headline: Echinacea Can Prevent a Cold!

There has been a “back-and-forth” over the benefits of Echinacea. “It works… it doesn’t!” Well, an article on the BBC site says that in CAN prevent a cold!

Echinacea ‘can prevent a cold’

“Taking the herbal remedy echinacea can more than halve the risk of catching a common cold, US researchers say. They found it decreased the odds of developing a cold by 58% and the duration of colds by a day-and-a-half. The results in The Lancet Infectious Diseases conflict with other studies that show no beneficial effect. Experts believe echinacea, a collection of nine related plant species indigenous to North America, may work by boosting the body’s immune system. Researchers, led by Dr. Craig Coleman from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, combined the results of 14 different studies on Echinacea’s anti-cold properties. In one of the 14 studies the researchers reviewed, echinacea was taken alongside vitamin C. This combination reduced cold incidence by 86%. When echinacea was used alone it reduced cold incidence by 65%. Even when patients were directly inoculated with a rhinovirus – the most common cold-causing virus – echinacea reduced cold incidence by 35%. The researchers’ report said: ‘With over 200 viruses capable of causing the common cold, echinacea could have modest effect against rhinovirus but marked effects against other viruses.'”

Traditional Naturopath Podcast #32

The Traditional Naturopath Podcast – 32 – (06/15/07)
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Show Notes:
Reviewing an excellent report by Brad Lemley on Dr. Weil’s Blog. Alli (Xenical) is NO “cure” for obesity! Dr. Bill discusses his article on the benefits of the herb Hawthorne on the heart. Does sunscreen prevent or cause cancer? You may be surprised! (By the way, I just saw my first “Alli” commercial… and it is pronounced “ally,” like an ally in war.) Yeah, right!

How Does Sunscreen Actually Promote Cancer?

The headline above might sound crazy at first! We have been told over and over that using sunscreen PREVENTS cancer! I saw a commercial just last night that promised, “Protects your skin from cancer!” But, it isn’t crazy at all! Sunscreens prevent absorption of UV rays… and those UV rays interact with the skin to produce Vitamin D! And, as you have seen in this Blog, Vitamin D, even in small amounts, reduces ALL cancers by 77%! You won’t see a 77% reduction in cancer promised by sunscreens! Why? Because they actually CAUSE Vitamin D deficiency! Check out this excellent Newstarget article:

The sunscreen myth: How sunscreen products actually promote cancer

“The idea that sunscreen prevents cancer is a myth. It’s a myth promoted by a profit-seeking tag-team effort between the cancer industry and the sunscreen industry. The sunscreen industry makes money by selling lotion products that actually contain cancer-causing chemicals. It then donates a portion of that money to the cancer industry through non-profit groups like the American Cancer Society which, in turn, run heart-breaking public service ads urging people to use sunscreen to ‘prevent cancer.’ The scientific evidence, however, shows quite clearly that sunscreen actually promotes cancer by blocking the body’s absorption of ultraviolet radiation, which produces vitamin D in the skin. Vitamin D, as recent studies have shown, prevents up to 77 of ALL cancers in women (breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, brain tumors, multiple myeloma… you name it). Meanwhile, the toxic chemical ingredients used in most sunscreen products are actually carcinogenic and have never been safety tested or safety approved by the FDA. They get absorbed right through the skin (a porous organ that absorbs most substances it comes into contact with) and enter the bloodstream. The benefits of sunscreen are a myth. Proponents say sunscreen prevents sunburn, but in fact, the real cause of sunburn is not merely UV exposure: It is a lack of antioxidant nutrition. Start eating lots of berries and microalgae (spirulina, astaxanthin, blue-green algae, etc.), and you’ll build up an internal sunscreen that will protect your skin from sunburn from the inside out. Sunburn is actually caused by nutritional deficiencies that leave the skin vulnerable to DNA mutations from radiation, but if you boost your nutrition and protect your nervous system with plant-based nutrients, you’ll be naturally resistant to sunburn. The same nutrients, by the way, also protect the optic nerve and eyes from radiation damage. That’s why the consumption of berries and carrots, for example, has historically been associated with healthy eye function. (The same nutrients that protect the eyes also protect the skin.)”

The Benefits of Hawthorne to the Heart

The human heart is essentially a pump, circulating and regulating the flow of blood throughout the body. Therefore, if one could find an herb that benefits the pumping action of the heart; that would be an exciting find indeed! Well, as you might imagine, such an herb does exist, in the form of Hawthorne!

HawthorneThere are two hundred and eighty known species of Hawthorne, which are in the genus Crataegus. It is a spiny shrub native to the northern wooded temperate zones of Europe. It is also used in North America as a decorative garden shrub due to its beautiful red berries.

Ingestion of Hawthorne makes the heart operate more efficiently, partly by increasing blood supply to the heart muscle, but also by improving its contractions. Essentially, it strengthens the heart muscle as well as increasing the output of blood from the heart. Its action also decreases the resistance of your body’s blood vessels to the flow of blood throughout the system, which increases circulation throughout the entire body. Hawthorne is also beneficial because of its high polyphenol content, making it a potent antioxidant! Antioxidants, such as Hawthorne, address the damaging effects of free radicals on the cardiovascular system.

Other actions of this herb make it an excellent choice for addressing mild cardiac arrhythmias, especially in older people. Hawthorne has a beneficial effect on blood pressure, lowering it very gently over time. It is safe to take over an extended period, and though it is a benefit in lowering blood pressure, it will address only mild hypertensive issues.

Hawthorne has long been used to treat congestive heart failure. In fact, research shows that the herb may slow the progression of congestive heart failure. Therefore, mild cases may be prevented from developing into the more advanced stages without needing to use harsh drugs. In fact, one study demonstrated a substantial benefit for people with congestive heart failure that were aged fourty-five to seventy-three years. A certain number of subjects in this study received 600 mg of Hawthorne extract while other subjects received a placebo. The study subjects then exercised on a bicycle. The subjects were monitored during the study, and those taking the herb showed definite improvement in heart action. The members of the group taking Hawthorne also had reduced systolic blood pressure and heart rate. (Schmidt, U., Kuhn, U., Et Al, “Efficacy of the Hawthorne (Crataegus) Preparation L1 1370 in 78 Patients with Chronic Congestive Heart Failure Defined as NYHA Functional Class II,” Phytomedicine 1:74-24, 1994″)

In fact, there are numerous clinical trials showing that Hawthorne benefits cardiac output, has antioxidant protection for the entire cardiovascular system, and helps to lower cholesterol. Hawthorne promotes circulation throughout the body, and it is a calmitive; calming the mind and reducing stress. As you might imagine, this is also a tremendous benefit with regard to cardiovascular health!

Research into the benefits of Hawthorne have concentrated on the berries, flowers and leaves of the plant. Hawthorne contains polyphenol compounds called oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) and such flavonoids as: vitexin, quercetin, and hyperoside. The leaves and flowers have larger concentrations, particularly of the OPCs. As with most herbal remedies, these components worked synergisticaly together for maximum benefit, so whole plant preparations are best.

Hawthorne is also naturally rich in Vitamin C, which has been shown in studies by Dr. Linus Pauling to be of particular benefit to heart health as well. Therefore, for this, and the many other reasons outlined here, Hawthorne is highly recommended for your heart!

Alli and Xenical – No “Cure” For Obesity!

Xenical, that “Wonder Drug” (yeah, right!) that you read about in all those spam messages in e-mail, is now being released as a lower strength version for “over the counter” use called “Alli.” Xenical, or Alli, is a “fat blocker” causes uncomfortable “side effects” such as oily stools, and diarrhea, with users “not quite making it” to the rest room. And now, it appears, it may also lead to pre-cancerous conditions in the colon… so what did our “friends” at the FDA do? Why, they approved it, of course!

Group: Diet Drug Alli Linked to Colon Cancer

“The prescription diet drug Xenical hits drugstore shelves with a new name and in nonprescription strength on Friday. Most of the buzz around this reincarnation, dubbed Alli, centers on its effectiveness and its less pleasurable side effects, like oily stools and gas with oily discharge. But one group has worked unsuccessfully for the past year to bring attention to what it believes is a worse, and possibly fatal, side effect of the drug. The nonprofit group, Public Citizen says Alli, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, has been shown in studies to cause pre-cancerous lesions in the colons of mice. And, because there are no long-term studies of the drug’s effect on humans, the group believes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should not have approved the drug for nonprescription use. Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, said, while it is not known whether these pre-cancerous lesions will lead to colon cancer, he and other cancer experts do not believe use of the weight-loss drug is a risk worth taking.”

Don’t be taken in by all the hype that you will be seeing as the drug company, GlaxoSmithKline, begins to push this drug… and you WILL be seeing advertisements for it… it is NOT a “cure” for obesity… and as with almost all drugs, the “cure” is worse than the “disease!”

Interesting Health Info from Dr. Weil

Unlike some comments, I would like to just post these comments straight from Dr. Weil’s Blog (an article by Brad Lemley) with no further comments of my own, as these speak, pretty much, for themselves! Here’s the link to Brad’s article:

Ten Surprising Nutrition Facts

Bad News:

1. Hunter-gatherers in the Australian outback today live on 800 varieties of plant foods. Modern Americans live principally on three: corn, soy and wheat.

From the presentation, “Phytonutrients: Nature’s Bonus from Plant Foods” by David Heber, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Medicine and Public Health and Director, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

2. One third of Americans get 47 percent of their calories from junk foods.

USDA” Trends in the United States – Consumer Attitudes and the Supermarket, 2000. From the presentation, “Phytonutrients: Nature’s Bonus from Plant Foods” by David Heber, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Medicine and Public Health and Director, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

3. The average American is eating 300 more calories each day than he or she did in 1985. Added sweeteners account for 23 percent of those additional calories; added fats, 24 percent.

Putnam et al. USDA. From the presentation, “Cultivating the Common Ground of Food, Nutrition and Ecological Health,” by David Wallinga, M.D., Director, Food & Health Program, Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy, Minneapolis, Minn.

4. Vitamin D deficiency is widespread. The following health problems have been linked to vitamin D deficiency: type 1 and 2 diabetes; multiple sclerosis; rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, periodontal disease, increased susceptibility to infection; osteoporosis, low birth weight infants; low seizure threshold; cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, pancreas and ovary; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, congestive heart failure; wheezing in childhood, and compromised muscle strength and falls in the elderly.

From the presentation, “Vitamin D Deficiency: The Cause of Everything?” by Louise Gagne, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Dept. of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

5. In real dollars, the price of fresh fruits and vegetables has risen nearly 40 percent since 1985. In real dollars, the price of soft drinks has dropped 23 percent. The reason unhealthy foods tend to be less expensive on average than foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables has much to do with American farm policy.

Condensed from “Food without Thought: How U.S. Farm Policy Contributes to Obesity” Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Environment and Agriculture Program, from the presentation, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Searching for the Perfect Meal in a Fast-Food World,” by Michael Pollan, Knight Professor of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley, Calif.

Hopeful News:

6. Ten cups per day of green tea delayed cancer onset 8.7 years in Japanese women and three years in Japanese men.

From the presentation, “Beef or Broccoli? Nutrition and Breast Cancer” by Victoria Maizes, M.D., Executive Director, Program in Integrative Medicine, Assoc. Professor, Clinical Medicine/Family & Community Medicine, the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Ariz.

7. Three meta-analyses of randomized, placebo-controlled trials found a 5-12 percent decrease in cholesterol levels in hyperlipidemic patients after at least 30 days’ treatment with 600-900 mg of garlic extract.

Warshafsky S., et al Ann Int Med 1993; 19;599-605; Silagy C, et al. JR Coll Phys Longdon 1994; 28:2-8; Ackermann RT, et al. Arch Intern Med 2001: 161: 813-24. From the presentation, “The Medicinal Spices” by Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., Education Director, Program in Internal Medicine, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.

8. Maternal limitation of seafood consumption to less than 340 grams per week during pregnancy did not protect children from adverse outcomes. In contrast, this observational study [Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children] showed beneficial effects on child development when maternal seafood consumption exceeded 340 grams per week, with no upper limit of benefit…

Hibbeln et al., The Lancet, 17 Feb., 2007. From the presentation of Joseph Hibbeln, M.D., Senior Clinical Investigator, Sectional of Nutritional Neurosciences, Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, Md.

9. “I see a lot of hopeful trends, including the rise of alternative agriculture: organic, local, biodynamic…There are now over 4,000 farmers’ markets in the U.S. The number has doubled in 10 years.”

From the presentation, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Searching for the Perfect Meal in a Fast-Food World,” by Michael Pollan, Knight Professor of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley, Calif.

10. Chocolate…may have a mild hypotensive [blood-pressure lowering] effect.

From the presentation, “The Medicinal Spices” by Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., Education Director, Program in Integrative Medicine, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, The University of Arizona, Tucson. Ariz.

Traditional Naturopath Podcast #31

The Traditional Naturopath Podcast – 31 – (06/09/07)
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Show Notes:
Honey as a topical treatment for diabetic ulcers on the skin, new information on Vitamin D, benefits of Aloe Vera and Flaxseed supplementation, and information on the state of cancer prevention advocacy.

Flaxseed Supplementation Slows Prostate Cancer Growth

Flaxseed supplementation can slow prostate cancer growth according to a new study!

ASCO: Flaxseed May Slow Prostate Cancer Growth

“Flaxseed supplementation significantly reduced cancer cell proliferation rates in men with prostate cancer, investigators in a multicenter study found. Flaxseed, alone or combined with a low-fat diet, slowed cell growth rates compared with diet alone or a control group, said Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., of Duke University. However, she told attendees at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, other biomarkers of prostate cancer activity were unaffected by the supplement. Flaxseed is one of the richest known sources of lignans, which affect androgen metabolism and have antimitotic, antiangiogenic, antioxidant, and estrogenic effects, said Dr. Demark-Wahnefried. Flaxseed also is the richest known source of plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids, which influence cell membrane synthesis, circulating levels of protein kinase C and tyrosine kinases, and levels of natural killer cells, she said. Studies have also suggested that a low-fat diet inhibits prostate cancer cell growth, she added.”