A Plant Extract That Fights Fat and Helps Control Blood Sugar

This is an amazing article! Click the link for the references to the information!

Shed Pounds by Inhibiting Cellular Fat Storage

“Health authorities are warning about the devastating consequences of obesity, yet doctors remain in the dark about what causes people to accumulate so many fat pounds as they age.

Through a series of well-designed studies, scientists investigating certain plant extracts found they can block fat storage at the cellular level.

In a significant scientific advance, a potent new weapon has been identified to help safely induce weight loss.

This article describes how a novel dual plant extract favorably modulates six pathways that fat cells use to trigger weight gain.

When tested on humans in a placebo-controlled study, those taking this dual plant extract lost 4.05 inches of abdominal fat and dropped 11.4 pounds after eight weeks…with weight loss observed as early as 14 days.1

Cells that store fat are called adipocytes. They are deposited throughout our bodies.2,3

As we age, adipocytes tend to expand and congregate in areas that are cosmetically unsightly and detrimental to our health.

Of greatest concern are the adipocytes that deposit deep in our abdomens. This ‘visceral fat’ represents more than fat stored on our waistlines. Visceral fat is chemically active tissue that churns out a torrent of pro-inflammatory cytokines.4

Those with bulging belly fat suffer constant bombardment from toxic cytokines that trigger the metabolic syndrome and its deadly consequences.5,6

This widespread problem led scientists to seek out plant extracts that specifically interfere with adipocyte fat storage in our abdominal anatomy.

Sphaeranthus indicus

How Unwanted Fat Storage Occurs

Excess calories transform to fat deposits in adipocytes7 through a multi-step process known as adipogenesis.

When fewer calories are consumed, fat is released from adipocytes to meet the body’s energy needs.8,9 This is known as lipolysis.

A dual plant extract has been studied based on its ability to simultaneously inhibit adipogenesis (fat storage) and enhance lipolysis (fat breakdown and release).

Mangosteen fruit

Like any other cell, adipocytes develop from undifferentiated stem cells. Premature, developing fat cells are called pre-adipocytes. When you ingest more calories than your body needs, ‘young’ pre-adipocytes respond by maturing into ‘adult’ adipocytes.7,10-12

‘Adult’ adipocytes take up excess fatty acids from your bloodstream and begin expanding. It is this process of fatty acid uptake and adipocyte expansion that ultimately results in obesity and its pathologic consequences. Every excess calorie contributes to the maturation and growth of fat cells in this way. Past a certain point, adipocytes distend and become bloated, much in the same way your belly does.

Not all adipocytes are the same. While fat cells distribute throughout your body, those that store in your abdomen—producing so-called visceral fat or belly fat—are more than just storage ‘containers.’

Belly fat cells are chemically active. They form fatty tissue capable of releasing detrimental pro-inflammatory cytokines.4

In obese individuals, the mass of excess visceral fat deposits generates a pro-inflammatory flood of cytokines. This cytokine release then incites a cascade of harmful effects that, if left unchecked, contributes to the onset of multiple degenerative diseases.5,6

So unwanted body fat storage happens when pre-adipocyte stem cells mature in order to store excess dietary fat (adipogenesis) while the ability to break down stored fat (lipolysis) diminishes.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: INHIBITING CELLULAR FAT STORAGE

  • An obesity epidemic continues to rage in this country, with more than two-thirds of the American population overweight or obese.
  • Conventional medicine has yet to offer any safe, long-term, practical solution.
  • Cutting-edge researchers continue to identify novel natural weight loss—inducing agents.
  • Among the most recent is a dual plant extract containing extracts of the flower S. indicus and the mangosteen fruit, both native to Asia.
  • When combined, the resulting dual extract blend was found to favorably influence six distinct biomolecular pathways by which fat cells trigger weight gain. In placebo-controlled clinical trials involving obese subjects, this dual extract safely induced total weight loss of 11.4 pounds, a decline of 2.05 in body mass index (BMI), and a reduction of 4.05 inches in harmful visceral fat after just eight weeks.
  • Combating Surplus Body Fat Storage

Searching for natural interventions that would effectively inhibit fat accumulation (adipogenesis) and enhance fat burning (lipolysis), scientists evaluated more than a thousand plants for evidence that would meet this criteria.13

Two plants whose extracts demonstrated significant biological effects were:

Sphaeranthus indicus flower (S. indicus)
Mangosteen fruit (Garcinia mangostana).

Control adipocyte cells not treated with S. indicus display lipid accumulation.

Adipocyte cells treated with S. indicus inhibited fat accumulation.
In the laboratory, S. indicus and mangosteen extracts powerfully impeded adipogenesis.

When cells were treated with S. indicus alone, fat storage was inhibited by as much as 65%, compared with control cells. Photographs (below) show a markedly visible difference between the two cell groups. The control cells show a bloated, ‘foamy’ appearance, bulging with fat droplets, compared to the smaller, more naturally contoured cells treated with the S. indicus extract.13

Each of these extracts also enhanced lipolysis (or fat burning), by as much as 56% compared to control cells.13

Having identified these unifying properties in the two extracts, the researchers set out to determine if they would exhibit enhanced effects when used in combination.

They found that the S. indicus and mangosteen extracts favorably modulate the activity of six genomic pathways involved in fat cell formation and breakdown.13

Remarkably, these extracts reduced gene expression that promotes adipogenesis while favorably influencing a gene involved in desirable lipolysis.

The box on this page shows how these plant extracts, used alone and in combination, positively modulated the markers involved in unwanted cellular fat accumulation by inhibiting adipogenesis and promoting lipolysis.

Given these observations, researchers recognized that this novel blend of plant extracts could result in significant weight loss via three distinct mechanisms:

Preventing ‘young’ fat cells (pre-adipocytes) from developing into ‘mature’ fat cells (adipocytes);
Reducing the amount of fatty acids adipocytes could absorb;
Speeding breakdown of bloated adipocytes’ existing fat stores.
The next step was to determine if these plant extracts would induce weight loss in experimental animals and—more importantly—obese humans.

Preventing Obesity in Rodents

When young adult rats are fed a high-fat diet they rapidly gain weight—just as humans often do.

To investigate the effects of the plant extracts that worked in cell studies, scientists fed a group of young adult rats a high-fat diet. Half the rats received the dual plant extract while the other half served as the control group.13

At the end of eight weeks, the control group rapidly gained weight. The rats fed a high-fat diet and given the dual plant extract, on the other hand, reduced body weight gain by an impressive 700%.13

This is not surprising considering these same plant extracts blocked fat accumulation by 48.5% and 65.9% in the cellular model.13

This study demonstrated that these plant extracts decrease diet-induced obesity in young adult rats. The real challenge, however, is whether these same plant extracts are effective in humans who are already obese.

HOW THESE PLANT EXTRACTS COMBAT ADIPOCYTE OVERLOAD

The novel blend of S. indicus and mangosteen extracts inhibit expansion of new fat cells while promoting breakdown of lipids in existing adipocytes. Laboratory studies demonstrate the following molecular mechanisms that enable these two plants to combat adipocyte overload:

1. Adipocyte differentiation-related protein (ADRP): Stimulates lipid accumulation and lipid droplet formation in fat cells.13,14 Reducing levels of ADRP is considered a novel strategy for preventing or reducing dangerous fat accumulation, especially in the liver.12,13,15,16

2. Adipocyte fatty acid binding protein 4: Also known as aP2, this transports fatty acids into fat cells for storage. Increased levels of aP2 are associated with lipid profile abnormalities that lead to atherosclerosis; they may also be an independent risk factor for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.8,11,17-25

3. Perilipin: A protein that coats lipid droplets in adipocytes, thereby protecting their fat contents from being broken down. Inhibiting perilipin thus promotes lipolysis, contributing to a reduction in adipocyte fat content.9,26-28

4. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1): Produced primarily by endothelial (artery-lining) cells, PAI-1 plays a key role in blood clot formation and breakdown.29 It is also secreted by adipose tissue.30 High levels of PAI-1 thus correlate directly with abdominal obesity, body weight, and body mass index or BMI.31 In the presence of this novel plant extract blend, PAI-1 levels were ultimately found to decline significantly.1

5. PPAR-gamma (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma): A primary metabolic ‘sensor’ that triggers adipogenesis in the presence of excess calories.32 Reducing PPAR-gamma activity helps prevent fat cells from becoming bloated and dysfunctional. 7,9,14,33-36

6. Beta-3-adrenergic receptor (3AR): Gene expression for this recently discovered receptor was increased by the dual plant extract. It regulates fat breakdown (lipolysis) when an energy boost is needed. Switching on the beta-3 receptor spontaneously and dramatically increases fat cells’ energy expenditure, burning up unused fat in the process.6,37-41

Researchers have demonstrated that the six genomic pathways involved in fat cell formation and breakdown (described above) are favorably modulated when exposed to S. indicus and mangosteen extracts.17 This provides a scientific basis to explain the anti-obesity effects observed in human clinical trials.

Chart 1
Adapted from: FASEB J. April 2011; 25:(Meeting Abstract Supplement) 601.9. Presented at Experimental Biology 2011, Washington, DC. April 10, 2011 – Program No. 601.9, Poster No. A278.

Chart 2
Adapted from: FASEB J. April 2011; 25:(Meeting Abstract Supplement) 601.9. Presented at Experimental Biology 2011, Washington, DC. April 10, 2011 – Program No. 601.9, Poster No. A278.
Weight Loss Findings in Humans

Human weight loss studies comprise an active arm that received the potentially effective fat-reducing agent and a similar group that received an inactive placebo.

To evaluate the effects of these two plant extracts, 60 obese adults were recruited and divided into two groups. One arm of 30 patients functioned as the placebo group while a second group of 30 patients received 800 mg per day of a combination of the two plant extracts. Both groups followed a 2,000-calorie- per-day diet and were asked to walk 30 minutes five days a week.

At the end of eight weeks, the group receiving the two plant extracts showed the following improvements:1

  • Reduction in total body weight of 11.4 pounds. This was 3.7 times greater than the placebo group.
  • Reduction of 4.05 inches in the abdomen. This was 2 times greater than the placebo group.
  • Reduction in body mass index (BMI) of 2.05. A decrease 3.9 times greater than the placebo group.
  • This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the kind the FDA mandates before it approves new drugs. The charts on this page reveal the magnitude of the weight loss and belly fat reduction that occurred in the group receiving the dual plant extract compared to placebo.1 (See Charts 1 and 2)

In addition to the favorable results seen at eight weeks, researchers were impressed with the reduction in waist and hip circumference, as well as lost body weight that occurred within the first 14 days! In fact after only two weeks, the average weight reduction was 4.6 pounds.1

At eight weeks, the dual plant extract group showed reduction in the waist-to-hip ratio that was 2.2 times greater than the placebo group. This is an important improvement as it indicates dangerous visceral belly fat is being lost.

These findings are supported by a second, similarly designed trial involving 60 obese subjects. They were divided into three groups that consisted of a placebo arm, an active arm receiving one plant extract, and another active arm that received a dual plant extract. All participants followed a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet and were asked to walk for 30 minutes five times a week for 8 weeks.13

After eight weeks the group receiving the dual plant extract experienced statistically significant changes in their abdominal circumference, total body weight, and hip circumference similar to those seen in the first study mentioned above.13

These confirmatory findings indicate that this novel dual plant extract may enable aging humans to safely shed unwanted body fat stores. No major adverse events or side effects were reported in either study.

Protection against Coronary Thrombosis

Most sudden death heart attacks occur when a blood clot forms in a coronary artery, choking off oxygenated blood to a portion of the heart muscle.

A protein called plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) inhibits the normal breakdown of arterial blood clots.29 High levels of PAI-1 are observed in obese individuals and are associated with increased heart attack risk.30,31

When studying the dual plant extract, researchers measured serum levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). Those receiving the dual plant extract showed a 24.3% reduction in dangerous PAI-1 levels, while the placebo group showed a 2.4% increase.1 (See Chart 3)

Those supplemented with the dual plant extract had a 60% drop in triglyceride levels compared to baseline.1

Chart 3
Adapted from: FASEB J. April 2011; 25:(Meeting Abstract Supplement) 601.9. Presented at Experimental Biology 2011, Washington, DC. April 10, 2011 – Program No. 601.9, Poster No. A278.
Subjects given the dual plant extract increased levels of the key metabolic hormone adiponectin.1 Adiponectin regulates how much sugar is in your bloodstream and how quickly your body breaks down fat. In terms of fat loss, high adiponectin levels are desirable. Higher levels of adiponectin are associated with decreased deposits of body fat and a reduced susceptibility to diabetes and metabolic syndrome.42

The dual plant extract group showed trends toward reduced glucose and cholesterol, which are expected to occur in response to loss of belly fat and body weight.1

The loss of visceral fat in the dual extract group— 4.05 inches, amounting to twice the decline observed in the placebo group—is compelling.1 This is important because visceral fat releases a storm of pro-inflammatory cell-signaling molecules. Excess visceral fat is a known risk factor for a number of serious health threats, ranging from systemic inflammation to increased risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, and coronary artery disease.43-45

Taken together, these findings indicate markedly reduced vascular disease risk in obese individuals taking 800 mg a day of this dual plant extract.

Summary

Obesity arises from the increased size of individual adipocytes (fat cells) due to enhanced lipid (fat) accumulation. It worsens as greater numbers of pre-adipocytes transform into dysfunctional, bloated adipocytes.

The novel blend of plant extracts described in this article favorably influences six distinct pathways by which fat cells trigger weight gain.

In cell culture, these plant extracts reduce the ability of progenitor fat cells (pre-adipocytes) to transform into bloated fat cells. These studies also show that components of this dual plant extract reduce the amount of fatty acids taken up by adipocytes (adipogenesis) and facilitate the breakdown (lipolysis) of fat stored in existing adipocytes.

In a placebo-controlled clinical trial involving obese humans, this blend of S. indicus and mangosteen plant extracts safely induced weight loss of 11.4 pounds, along with a decline of 2.05 in body mass index (BMI) and a reduction of 4.05 inches in harmful visceral fat.1

While our medical establishment has failed to offer any safe, long-term, practical solutions for today’s obesity epidemic, natural agents are now available that substantively augment the effects of a sensible weight loss program.

POTENT ANTI-DIABETIC PROPERTIES

Long prized in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for their weight loss-inducing properties, scientists confirmed that extracts from Sphaeranthus indicus (S. indicus) and the mangosteen fruit (Garcinia mangostana) exert an anti-diabetic effect in humans.

S. indicus has been used for centuries to combat diabetic symptoms, protect the liver, quell inflammation, boost mood, and aid in digestion.46

Diabetic lab animals treated with S. indicus extracts exhibit substantial reductions in blood glucose, along with enhanced liver and pancreatic function.47,48 In insulin-resistant mice, S. indicus extracts lower blood sugar and triglyceride levels while facilitating more efficient uptake of glucose in muscle tissue.49 Diabetic animals treated with S. indicus exhibit significantly lower levels of tissue oxidation,50 a major underlying factor in most life-threatening diabetic complications.48,49

The mangosteen is an edible fruit that grows throughout South Asia. Like S. indicus, parts of the fruit and its juice have been used for centuries to combat diabetes and obesity. One vital mechanism is its ability to block the critical metabolic enzyme alpha-amylase that breaks down starches into sugar.51 Alpha-amylase blockers limit the spike in blood glucose levels that would normally follow a carbohydrate-rich meal. Mangosteen extracts also inhibit enzymes involved in synthesizing fat molecules.33 It is this combination of blocking sugar uptake and blocking fat production that accounts in part for its weight loss—inducing properties.

Mangosteen extracts have an additional, noteworthy benefit. They have been shown to effectively limit the inflammation that typically accompanies fat cell accumulation.6,52 This inflammation contributes directly to insulin resistance. In one compelling study, levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein declined significantly53 in obese individuals consuming mangosteen juice after only 8 weeks.”

The Healing Power of Herbs!

This is a neat, consise article by Michael Castleman in Natural Health Magazine on the many benefits of herbs! I have maintained for a long time that herbs are simply food, however, it is a form of food that does far more than simply nourish our bodies, they can also expedite natural healing!

Herbs that Heal

“Herbs are hot and getting hotter. Years ago, anyone interested in using or ‘prescribing’ plants for medicinal purposes had to rely on folklore and anecdotes. There was little proven, reliable research on herbs (and most of it was in German). But with public demand, studies have mounted and we now have proof (even among U.S. scientists!) that herbs are viable treatments for many ailments.

‘Herbs won’t replace pharmaceuticals, but research shows that for many conditions, herbs work well and are less expensive than drugs,’ says integrative physician Frank Lipman, M.D., founder of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City. And unlike drugs, which just use the active ingredient, herbs usually don’t have side effects, Lipman adds. ‘The herbs are still in a whole, natural state and the other parts of the plant often mitigate the side effects,’ he explains.

Here, then, are 22 herbs that have been proven to treat 25 common conditions. Stick to the dosages specified here, in the studies or on the label—and make sure to tell your doctor about any herbs you plan to take, especially if you are pregnant or nursing, have a chronic condition or take medication regularly; remember that even though herbs are natural, they can still be contraindicated.

1. Aloe vera for burns Aloe vera is the herb for minor (second-degree) burns, confirmed by a Surgery Today study. Apply 100 percent pure gel to burns several times a day—or, better yet, keep a potted plant on your windowsill and snip off a thick leaf, slit it open and apply the gel to the burn.

2. Black cohosh for menopause A study published in the journal Menopause found that black cohosh may prevent bone degradation and stimulate vaginal lubrication. Previous meta analyses have indicated that the herb, which is an option for women who can’t take estrogen, worked better than a tranquilizer or estrogen for hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. ‘The vast majority of studies show benefit,’ says Mark Blumenthal of the American Botanical Council in Austin, Texas.

3. Boswellia for arthritis and joint injuries In a study published in Arthritis Research and Therapy, researchers gave people with osteoarthritis of the knee an extract of boswellia (5-Loxin). After three months, the herb group showed significantly greater relief than a placebo group.

4. Chaste tree for PMS A study published in the British Medical Journal involving 178 women with PMS found that chaste tree berry significantly reduced symptoms including irritability, depression, headaches and breast tenderness when taken over three menstrual cycles, especially when combined with St. John’s wort. (Note: Chaste tree may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills.)

5. Cranberry for urinary tract infections (UTIs) Cranberry prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder long enough to cause an infection. A Phytomedicine study showed that women who had contracted six UTIs within the past year went for four months without developing an infection while taking a cranberry capsule daily.

6. Evening primrose oil for eczema Evening primrose seeds contain an oil with a high concentration of compounds rarely found in plants: the essential fatty acid gammalinolenic acid. There are more than 30 human studies reporting its benefits; in one, 1,207 patients found that the oil helped relieve the itching, swelling, crusting and redness of eczema.

7. Feverfew for migraine prevention A double-blind study published in the journal Cephalalgia showed that patients who took feverfew decreased their average frequency of migraines from 4.76 per month to 2.86 per month.

8. Garlic as an antibiotic and for cancer prevention Garlic’s antibiotic compound, alliin, has no medicinal value until the herb is chewed, chopped or crushed. Then an enzyme transforms alliin into a powerful antibiotic called allicin. Raw garlic has the most antibiotic potency, but garlic still has benefits when cooked. According to the National Cancer Institute, preliminary studies suggest that garlic consumption may also reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer, especially those of the gastrointestinal tract.

9. Ginger for nausea and vomiting A Danish study showed that new sailors prone to motion sickness had less vomiting, thanks to ginger, than a placebo group. (Take a 1-gram capsule of powdered ginger root about an hour before embarking, and another every two hours or as needed.) Meanwhile, research published in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that 88 percent of nausea-plagued pregnant women got relief taking 1 gram a day of ginger powder for no longer than four days.

10. Ginkgo for Alzheimer’s and antidepressant-induced sex problems In a landmark 1997 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers gave 202 people with Alzheimer’s either a placebo or 120 milligrams a day of ginkgo extract. A year later, the ginkgo group retained more mental function. From upstairs to downstairs: In a University of California at San Francisco study, investigators gave 209 milligrams of ginkgo a day to people suffering from antidepressant-induced sex problems (erection impairment, vaginal dryness and inability to reach orgasm). The herb helped 91 percent of the women and 76 percent of the men to return to normal sexual function.

11. Ginseng for immune enhancement and diabetes Ginseng revs up the immune system. A University of Alberta study found that subjects taking daily doses of ginseng got fewer colds and less severe symptoms than a placebo group. Ginseng also reduces bloodsugar levels. A study in Toronto, Canada, found that Korean red ginseng improved glucose and insulin regulation in well-controlled type II diabetes. (Diabetes requires professional treatment, so consult your physician about using ginseng.)

12. Goldenseal for digestive-tract infections Goldenseal, an herbal antibiotic, is often marketed in combination with echinacea as a treatment for infections, but it is effective only in the digestive tract, not for colds or flu. At the University of Illinois in Chicago, researchers tested goldenseal against H. pylori, the bacteria that cause ulcers, and the herb inhibited bacterial growth. For gastrointestinal infections (e.g., ulcers, food poisoning, infectious diarrhea), ask your doctor about using goldenseal before trying it.

13. Lemon balm for anxiety and herpes Science has shown that lemon balm is tranquilizing. The herb and its oil have been used in Alzheimer’s units to calm agitation. To decompress after a tough day, try a cup of lemon-balm tea; for extra benefit, mix with chamomile. Lemon balm also has antiviral properties and has been shown to reduce the healing time of oral and genital herpes. German researchers gave people in the early stages of outbreaks lemon-balm cream or a placebo. The herb group had milder outbreaks that healed faster.

14. Milk thistle for liver health Silymarin in milk thistle seeds has a remarkable ability to protect the liver. This herb has been shown to help treat hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis. ‘In our analysis,’ Blumenthal says, ‘a clear majority of studies support milk thistle for liver conditions.’ Because most drugs are metabolized through the liver, herbalists recommend the herb for anyone taking liver-taxing medication.

15. Psyllium for digestive problems Psyllium is a tiny seed that contains mucilage, a soluble fiber that swells on exposure to water. For diarrhea, psyllium can absorb excess fluid in the gut. For constipation, it adds bulk to stool, which presses on the colon wall and triggers the nerves that produce the urge to go. When using psyllium, drink plenty of water.

16. Red pepper for pain relief Capsaicin, the compound that gives red pepper (cayenne) its fiery flavor, is a potent topical pain reliever, found in a German study to reduce pain by 50 percent versus placebo’s 23 percent. When rubbed on the skin, it causes mild burning but that sensation desensitizes nearby pain nerves and soothes pain in deeper tissues.

17. St. John’s wort for depression For mild depression, St. John’s wort often works as well as some antidepressants, but with fewer side effects. ‘We recently concluded a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on St. John’s wort, and 21 of 23 studies support it for mild to moderate depression,’ says Blumenthal. Studies showing benefits have used 600 to 1,800 milligrams a day; most have used 900 milligrams a day. It’s not clear if St. John’s wort is as effective as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac or Zoloft. St. John’s wort interacts with many drugs, including possibly reducing the effectiveness of birth control pills. Depression requires professional care; ask your physician about St. John’s wort.

18. Tea for heart health Tea, particularly green tea, has rocketed to prominence as an herbal medicine. It’s high in antioxidants, which help prevent heart disease. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers tracked the consumption of green tea by 40,530 adults over an 11-year period. Women who drank five or more cups a day reduced their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 31 percent and from stroke by 42 percent, compared to those who drank less than one cup per day.

19. Tea tree oil for athlete’s foot Tea tree is an Australian plant with an antifungal, antiseptic oil. In a double-blind trial, 158 people with athlete’s foot were treated with placebo, a 25 percent tea tree oil solution or a 50 percent tea tree oil solution for four weeks. Results showed that the tea tree oil solutions were more effective than placebo. (In the 50 percent tea tree oil group, 64 percent were cured; in the 25 percent tea tree oil group, 55 percent were cured; in the placebo group, 31 percent were cured.)

20. Turmeric for arthritis and joint injuries Curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric, is an anti-inflammatory. In combination with boswellia, ashwagandha and ginger, it may treat osteoarthritis, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. And a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research in March found curcumin to be comparable in efficacy to a prescription anti-inflammatory for treating rheumatoid arthritis.

21. Valerian for insomnia Studies have shown that valerian aids sleep, often as well as pharmaceutical sedatives but without risk of addiction. In a study in the European Journal of Medical Research, investigators gave 202 insomniacs valerian or a Valium-like tranquilizer. After six weeks, the treatments were equally effective.

22. White willow bark for pain relief White willow bark contains salicin, a close chemical relative of aspirin. A study in Phytomedicine followed people with severe back pain for 18 months. In the group taking white willow bark, 40 percent were pain-free after just four weeks; the same was true of only 18 percent of the second group, who could take whatever prescription drugs they wanted. Like aspirin, willow bark can cause stomach distress, and shouldn’t be given to children.”

Lemons May Help Fight Breast Cancer!

Lemons are amazing in many ways! Lemon are alkalizing for the body, and we are gernally all to acidic. Lemons are rich in Vitamin C. Lemons are good for your liver. As a cleanser, lemon can be used to clean your bowels. In 1747, naval surgeon, James Lind cured scurvy with fresh lemons. The citric acid in lemon juice helps to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones. And, these are just a few of lemon’s benefits! Now, it seems that lemons might be beneficial in fighting Breast Cancer!

Another Natural Aid To Fight Breast Cancer

Lemons are useful for many things as well as cooking and slicing into drinks. They have natural health giving properties (as do other citrus fruits) and have been previously been cited as being helpful in digestion, weight loss and more importantly as this new study shows they may also be helpful in colon, liver and pancreatic cancers as well as leukaemia.

A new study has shown for the first time how limonoids, the natural compounds present in lemons and other citrus fruit, impede breast cancer cell growth which makes adding them to your daily diet a clear priority for breast cancer prevention and supports past studies which showed fruit consumption may lower breast cancer risk.

Why the answer is a lemon

It is their limonoids content that has shown this preventive effect and showed their ability to decrease the growth/viability of cancer cells by as much as 44 percent. Each limonoid was also tested for its ability to induce programmed cell death of the cancer cells and one of the most potent was found to be limonin glucoside – which is by far the most abundant limonoid in citrus juices.

The limonoids were also tested for their ability to inhibit aromatase, which is key in limiting the estrogen that Estrogen Receptor cells can use for growth.

A lemon a day?

It need not only be lemons either: a recent American study did show that women consuming about 75 grams daily of grapefruit (fruit or juice) saw a 22 percent reduction in breast cancer risk if they had never used hormone replacement therapy. However if you are on statins then grapefruit juice or fruit is a contraindication so choose lemon or oranges instead. Preventing breast cancer is not the only reason to consume lemons: the juice of half a lemon in warm water first thing in the morning helps a sluggish digestive system, aids slimming and leads to a brighter complexion.

If you only ever use lemons in a gin and tonic, then think bigger, and wider. A recent European study showed that consuming four or more 150-gram portions per week of citrus fruit decreased the risks of throat cancer by 58 percent, oral cancer by 53 percent, stomach cancer by 31 percent, and colorectal cancer by 18 percent.

Lemons are not the only fruit

While the limonoids in the latest study are based on lemons, they are also found in the peel, pulp and juice of all citrus fruits. Citrus juices contain approximately 90 to 300 mg per liter of limonoid glucosides (orange juice: 300 mg/l, grapefruit juice: 200 mg/l, lemon or lime juice: 90 mg/l). Citrus pulp and peel contain up to 500mg/kg of limonoids, so if you freshly squeeze your juice, be sure to include as much pulp as possible. Citrus seeds can contain up to two percent by weight of limonoids, with grapefruit seeds being the richest source.

Your breast cancer protection plan

Taken together, these recent studies suggest that women wanting to reduce breast cancer risk should consume at least 75 grams daily of citrus fruit or juice as part of a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle, and that further benefit may be obtained by concentrating on liminoid-rich orange and grapefruit as whole fruit, or pulp-rich juices. Grapefruit seed extract is also available as a supplement and may be worth considering if you have a high family risk.

The protective role of progesterone in preventing the proliferation of oestrogen as it balances out the excess oestrogen and limits its damaging effects is well established. Having good hormone balance is essential for overall health and particularly for women with a family history of breast cancer it may well make all the difference.

Further reading:

These articles can help to understand the role that excess oestrogen (oestrogen dominance) plays in breast cancer when not adequately balanced by progesterone.

https://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2010/03/15/what-is-oestrogen-dominance/

https://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2011/05/18/natural-progesterone-as-a-preventive-for-breast-cancer-by-dr-david-zava/

Black Tea Appears to Be Heart-Healthy

“Black” Tea, or what we think of here in the Southern part of the U.S. as “regular tea,” appears to help your heart! Tea can help reduce Blood Pressure, and lower overall heart rate. So, drinking tea (sweetened by Stevia, for me!) is a great way to improve your heart health! Stevia has the added benefit of of strengthening the heart muscle! Not to mention NOT using sugar, which can play havoc with your metabolism, or nasty artificial sweeteners!

Doctors Health Press reports on study: black tea good for the heart

“November 7, 2012 — Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation, and a publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on a recent study at the School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, which proved that regular ingestion of polyphenol-rich black tea can lower blood pressure, supporting vascular health.

As noted in Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, black tea is now proving itself to be a heart-healthy food. Black tea has long been a staple drink for many people, and has also been a ‘kinder and gentler’ drink for those who want to avoid the extra jolt that comes with a cup of coffee.

As reported in the article ‘Fight High Blood Pressure with This Tea,’ the research team was able to prove, in fact, that regular ingestion of polyphenol-rich black tea over six months results in lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, what they hadn’t been able to show was how long or when these effects were most likely to occur. So, they set out to determine if the short-term effects of tea on blood pressure could contribute to longer-term benefits of regular tea consumption on blood pressure.

As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin outlines, researchers recruited men and women for a randomized placebo-controlled trial. During a four-week lead-up, all participants consumed three cups of black tea per day. Participants then consumed three cups over one day of either powdered black tea solids, containing 429 milligrams of polyphenols (tea), or a control product matched in flavor and caffeine content, but containing no tea solids.

The researchers then measured blood pressure and heart rate over the 24-hour period. They found that the 24-hour daytime and night-time blood pressure rates were not significantly different between tea users and control subjects. However, heart rate was significantly lower for tea drinkers compared to control subjects during the nighttime and early morning periods, respectively.

As the article concludes, researchers noted that these results suggest that the longer-term benefits of black tea on blood pressure are unlikely to be due to short-term changes.”

Shrink Fat Cells with Raspberry Ketones

There is a lot of “buzz” around Raspberry Ketones for Weight Loss. Here’s a good article explaining the “whys and wherefores” of this natural nutrient!

Raspberry Ketones Help Fat Cells Shrink

“We all have a fat-burning hormone in our body called adiponectin. When this hormone is working correctly, and we’re eating a healthy diet and healthy amount of food for our needs, we metabolize calories properly and don’t store them as fat reserves around our stomachs, hips and thighs. Adiponectin also enhances insulin sensitivity so we decrease blood sugar levels and use calories more completely. Adiponectin also helps to lower blood pressure, and prevent atherogenesis – hardening of arteries.

When we start overeating and not exercising enough, our adiponectin hormones become overwhelmed with the amount of calories to metabolize and become sluggish at burning them. That’s when the love handles and the belly fat and the cellulite start showing up – and that’s when my patients begin asking me how they can get rid of it fast!

Raspberry ketones are the primary ‘aroma’ compound of raspberries – it’s what gives raspberries their distinctive smell. Research has shown that high doses of these ketones in mice on high fat diets have resulted in preventing weight gain, both subcutaneously – beneath the skin, and viscerally – around organs. It also helped prevent fatty liver from developing. The ketones apparently stimulate adiponectin release, thereby increasing insulin release, decreasing blood sugar, boosting metabolism, increasing good, brown adipose tissue that turns metabolism heat up and burns the bad, stored white fat cells. In the same research, though, there was no effect on mouse body weight at 200 times the estimated amount of human intake. To date, there is no clinical evidence that raspberry ketones have the same effect on humans.

However, stories of people losing significant amounts of weight, some up to 5 lbs a week, while using daily raspberry ketones, has been noted, and endorsed, on popular television shows as well as the internet. As I tell my patients, since there are no reported side effects with raspberry ketones, they may help you get back on track with your weight loss efforts, or help you get off a weight loss plateau.

How To Take Raspberry Ketones

Taking 200-250 mg of pure raspberry ketones (one, 100-125 mg tablet in the morning and one at night) in a formula without added ingredients like caffeine, etc, is what to look for when buying this product. Be sure that ‘raspberry ketone’ is listed first, or very near first, in the list of ingredients. You may find cheaper products, but a pure raspberry ketone product, without added ingredients may cost about $30.

Now, of course, you want to resume healthy eating habits along with using raspberry ketones and resume getting the proper amount of exercise. These supplements are not a magic bullet and you shouldn’t rely on them to counter poor eating habits. Continuing to take in more calories, sugar and fat than your body can use at meals can lead to other problems with cholesterol and insulin levels, perhaps, leading to the development of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”

Vitamin D Lowers Blood Pressure in European Study

I have said before that have been consequences to the media’s “war on the sun” – trying to keep everyone out of the sun is leading to Vitamin D deficiency! Here’s another great reason to increase Vitamin D in your system! (I would argue that a natural source of lowering hypertension is BETTER than a drug… not “as good as” one!)

Vitamin D ‘as good as drugs’ at reducing high blood pressure

“The once a day tablets, available from chemists, produced reductions in high blood pressure ‘as powerful’ as medicines, a Danish study has found.

A group to 112 patients with high blood pressure were given the supplements for 20 weeks and showed significant improvements in their condition.

The findings were presented at the European Society of Hypertension conference in London.
High blood pressure affects 16m adults in Britain and accounts for 62,000 deaths mostly by causing strokes and heart attacks.

Vitamin D can be obtained from food but most is made in the skin from sunlight, however in Britain this can only happen in stronger light in the summer months.

They were treated at Holstebro Hospital in Denmark which is on a similar latitude to Glasgow and Moscow.

Of the 112 participants 92 were found to have low levels of vitamin D at the start of the study.

The researchers found that those patients taking the vitamin D supplement showed a significant reduction in central systolic blood pressure, measured at the aorta, near the heart, when compared to the placebo group.”

Thyme: An Acne Fighter!

The herb thyme is shown to be a tremendous benefit in fighting bacteria caused acne!

Thyme may be a good treatment for acne

“Acne as defined by PubMed Health is a skin condition that causes pimples or ‘zits.’ This encompasses whiteheads, blackheads, and red, inflammed patches of skin such as cysts. Although acne is most common in teenagers, anyone can get acne. Many acne sufferers in Syracuse share a desire for natural treatments for this condition instead of drugs with their potential side effects. Thyme has surfaced as a natural remedy with promise for the treatment of acne.

A news release from the Society for General Microbiology states that ‘Thyme may be better for acne than prescription creams.’ According to new research herbal preparations of thyme could be more effective at treating skin acne than prescription creams. Researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University tested the effect of thyme, marigold and myrrh tinctures on Propionibacterium acnes, which is the bacterium that causes acne.

The researchers found that while all the preparations were able to kill the bacterium after five minutes exposure, thyme was the most effective of the three. They also discovered that thyme tincture had a greater antibacterial effect than standard concentrations of benzoyl peroxide, which is the active ingredient in most anti-acne creams or washes.

Dr Margarita Gomez-Escalada, the lead researcher, has said ‘While thyme, marigold and myrrh are common herbal alternatives to standard antibacterial skin washes, this is the first study to demonstrate the effect they have on the bacterium that causes the infection leading to acne.’ These initial findings open the way for more research into the use of tinctures as a treatment for acne.

Dr Gomez-Escalada has said ‘We now need to carry out further tests in conditions that mimic more closely the skin environment and work out at the molecular level how these tinctures are working. If thyme tincture is proven to be as clinically effective as our findings suggest, it may be a natural alternative to current treatments.’ An herbal treatment for acne would be great news for people suffering from acne, particularly those who have skin sensitivity to drug treatments.”

FDA Adds New Warning Labels to Statin Drugs

Statin Drugs are dangerous… and now there is a NEW warning to consider!

FDA Demands New Warning Label on Statins

“One in four Americans aged 45 and older take statin drugs to lower cholesterol and supposedly “prevent heart disease.”

That amounts to 32 million Americans or, as Peter Wehrwein pointed out in the Harvard Health Letter, the equivalent of the entire populations of Florida and Illinois combined.i

If you’re one of these millions, or if you’re considering starting a statin prescription anytime soon, you should know that there are serious risks involved with taking these drugs, a fact that even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now acknowledging.

Evidence includes diaries, court records, medical books and literature, in which these two sleep cycles are referred to in such a way as to make it clear that it was common knowledge at the time.

Following an internal meeting between the FDA’s Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology and Office of New Drugs, the Agency announced it would be requiring additional warning labels for statin drugs.

Among them are warnings that statins may increase the risk of:

  • Liver damage
  • Memory loss and confusion
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Muscle weakness (for certain statins)

According to Dr. Amy Egan, the FDA’s deputy director of safety in the division of metabolism drug products, the new warnings, particularly the one for memory loss, came as the result of anecdotal reports compiled over the past year. In short, with well over 30 million Americans now taking statin drugs, we’re witnessing a massive ongoing ‘live’ experiment, and many are putting their health on the line for drugs that offer little in the way of heart protection. In fact, they may actually make your heart health worse.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requiring additional warning labels for the cholesterol-lowering drug class known as statins, warning that the drugs may increase your risk of liver damage, memory loss and confusion, type 2 diabetes and muscle weakness.

The FDA has removed a long-standing warning advising routine monitoring of liver enzymes in people taking statins, even though the drugs are linked to serious liver damage.

One in four Americans aged 45 and older take statin drugs to lower cholesterol, and many are unaware of the serious risks associated with the drugs.

The majority of people taking statin drugs do not need them, and in fact are risking their health unnecessarily by doing so.

Over 60,000 people EVERY year in the US will develop diabetes solely as a result of taking statin drugs.”

Walnuts as Drugs? The FDA is Crazy!

WalnutStudies show that plain, old walnuts help prevent breast cancer and prostate cancer, but the FDA says that if it prevents disease it must be a drug. How crazy is that?!

This Popular Nut Slashed Breast Cancer Risk in Mice by 50%

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a warning letter to Diamond Food for making truthful, science-backed health claims about the omega-3 fats in walnuts.

Because the research cited health claims that omega-3 fats in walnuts may prevent or protect against disease, the FDA said walnuts would be considered “new drugs” and as such would require a new drug application to become FDA-approved.

Under current FDA law, if a food or natural supplement makes a medical claim, it’s automatically classified as a drug.

Regulations currently prohibit manufacturers of dietary supplements or producers of food from referring to any scientific study documenting the potential effect of the substance on a health condition, punishable by large fines and even jail, even if the science is completely credible and true.

You can help by supporting the Free Speech about Science Act (HR 1364), a landmark legislation that would change FDA regulations so that manufacturers and producers may reference legitimate, peer-reviewed scientific studies without converting a natural food or dietary supplement into an ‘unapproved drug.'”

Tumeric and Curcumin Offer Benefits Against Cancer!

Tumeric is a great anti-inflammatory that I have used in the past to help myself with inflammation in my leg. It was very useful, and a powerful natural aid in that area. Now, both Tumeric and Curcumin have been shown to be useful in cancer treatments!

Tumeric and Curcumin Offer Powerful Anti-Cancer Health Benefits Naturally

“Commonly used in many Eastern countries, turmeric has been found to suppress cancer growth and reduce brain tumors by an astounding 81% without evidence of toxicity. While the benefits of turmeric are just coming to light within the mainstream and alternative media, it has been known for quite some time that this inexpensive spice can profoundly improve biological function.

Curcumin, a natural phenol and derivative of turmeric, may be responsible for many of these effects — particularly the anti-cancer benefits. Used by ancient Chinese and Indian systems of medicine, curcumin has been shown to reduce brain tumor size by 81% in 9 out of 11 studies. With the research published in the July edition of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, scientists found that curcumin dramatically decreased the size of brain tumors by 81% in 9 out of 11 studies without evidence of toxicity.

Additional research has found that turmeric and curcumin also inhibit the spread of cancer by actually blocking a key enzyme responsible for its growth. Given chewable curcumin supplements containing 1,000 milligrams of curcumin each, 21 study participants with head and neck cancer experienced a halt in cancer spread after intake. Conducted by the UCLA, the results were examined by an independent lab in Maryland which confirmed that curcumin supplements ultimately stopped the spread of malignant cancer cells.

Curcumin gives turmeric its unique color, and each 100 grams of turmeric contains 3 to 5 grams of the compound. Some health experts believe that turmeric will soon reach the popularity level of vitamin D, which is now almost universally recognized as a fantastic health-promoting substance.

“Turmeric and curcumin are both extremely cheap methods of boosting your health, and are readily available almost worldwide. The ubiquitous nature of turmeric both in the form of supplementation and spice sets up turmeric to be the next vitamin D over the next few years. As more medical professionals begin to recognize the benefits of turmeric and curcumin, a major media blitz will follow as it did regarding the multiple known effects of vitamin D,” said Mike Barrett, Co-Founder of alternative health organization Natural Society.

Both turmeric and curcumin can be purchased as a spice, or in the form of supplementation.”

1 2 3 4 5 30