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Cinnamon’s Infection and Diabetes-Fighting Properties Revealed

Cinnamon’s Infection and Diabetes-Fighting Properties Revealed

Cinnamon's Infection and Diabetes-Fighting Properties Revealed

Cinnamon’s medicinal potential is as rich and complex as its flavor and aroma, with blood sugar balancing and infection fighting top on the list.

Cinnamon is a familiar spice, but few are aware of just how diverse are its medicinal properties.  The US National Library of Medicine houses well over 1300 abstracts on the subject of the various forms of cinnamon’s potential health benefits.

GreenMedInfo.com has gathered together research on no less than 60 potential health benefits of this highly valued spice on our research page dedicated to the topic: Cinnamon Medicinal Properties.

First, it must be clarified that there are a wide range of plants whose bark are sold as cinnamon. The first though less used form is known as Cinnamomum verum (literally “true cinnamon”) and is sometimes called Ceylon (the ancient name of Sri Lanka) cinnamon, as it is named after the geographic region where it was first commonly cultivated.  Due to its rarity, it is more expensive and harder to find on the market.

Other forms include:

  •  C. cassia (Cassia or Chinese cinnamon)
  •  C. burmannii ( Indonesian cinnamon)
  •  C. loureiroi (Vietnamese cinnamon)

One of the major differences between C. verum and varieties such as C. burmannii and C. cassia is that the latter types contain much higher levels of coumarin, a naturally occurring phytochemical with blood-thinning properties.  This has prompted European health agencies to warn against consuming large amounts of cinnamon varieties such as cassia.[i]  Natural blood-thinning activity, of course, within the proper context can be life-saving, but when mixed with already dangerous blood-thinning drugs such as aspirin, can be a recipe for disaster – all the more reason why folks using spices and herbs in ‘pharmacological’ or heroic doses should consult a medical herbalist, or physician with a nuanced understanding of the benefits and potential harms of using high-dose herbal therapies.

Another issue that the US buyer of spices must be fully aware of is the likelihood that unless explicitly labeled USDA certified organic the cinnamon they are purchasing was exposed to toxic levels of gamma irradiation in a controversial process known as “electronic” or “cold” pasteurization. To learn more about this serious threat to our food supply read: The Invisible Nuclear Threat in Non-Organic Food.

Lastly, be mindful of the differences between the powdered whole herb, various water or alcohol extracts, and the oil itself. Some of the studies below focus on solely the oil component (90% of the oil is the therapeutic substance known as cinnamaldehyde) whereas others use water soluble components. The information listed below is not provided as medical advice but to illustrate the vast potential natural substances have to be used in a therapeutic manner.

Blood Sugar Disorders

Probably the most well-known health benefit of cinnamon is for blood sugar disorders.  And this is for good reason. There is now a rather substantial body of clinical and preclinical research showing that it may help to improve the condition of both type 2 and type 1 diabetics in the following ways:

  •  Type 2 diabetics:  Improve fasting blood sugar,[ii] reduce glycated hemoglobin (A1C) and blood pressure,[iii] increase glucose optimization in a manner similar to metformin,[iv][v]improve insulin signaling and sensitivity,[vi] [vii] and improve blood lipid profiles.[viii]
  •  Type 1 diabetics: Protect against hypertension,[ix] protect against diabetes-associated kidney damage,[x] suppress post-meal blood sugar elevations,[xi] and contribute to ongoing reduction in blood sugar.[xii]

Infections

While there is extant folk medical lore indicating that honey mixed with cinnamon can help relieve a sore throat, or fight off infection, few realize it has been confirmed to have extensive anti-infective properties against a wide range of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

It makes sense that cinnamon bark would protect against infection, as one of the major biological functions of plant bark is defense against predation (i.e. infection).

What follows is an impressive range of pathogens that appear to succumb to cinnamon:

  •         Aspergillus niger[xiii]
  •         Campylobacter Infections[xiv]
  •         Candida Infection[xv]
  •         Coronaviridae (SARS-associated) Infections[xvi]
  •         Escherichia coli Infections[xvii]
  •         H1N1 Infection[xviii]
  •         Head Lice[xix]
  •         HIV Infections[xx]
  •         Insect Bites: Repellent[xxi]
  •         Klebsiella Infections[xxii]
  •         Legionnaires’ disease[xxiii]
  •         MRSA[xxiv]
  •         Pseudomonas aeruginosa[xxv]
  •         Staphylococcal Infections[xxvi]

Like many natural spices that have been used for thousands of years, we are only now just beginning to comprehend through scientific research how important they are in not simply flavoring our foods but helping keep us free of disease.

To learn more about this article go to:  http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/cinnamons-infection-and-diabetes-fighting-properties-revealed-0

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Research Proving Vitamin C’s Therapeutic Value in 200+ Diseases

Research Proving Vitamin C’s Therapeutic Value in 200+ Diseases

Research Proving Vitamin C's Therapeutic Value in 200+ Diseases

Vitamin C is generally considered to be an important “nutrient,” but its perceived value usually ends there. Only rarely does the public (and the medical profession) glimpse its true potential in the prevention and treatment of disease — and this because, by legal definition (in the US), only FDA-approved drugs can prevent, treat and cure disease.

This does not mean, however, that essential nutrients like Vitamin C cannot in fact prevent and treat disease, i.e. only because it is illegal to speak truthfully about something, doesn’t mean that that something isn’t true.  The National Library of Medicine, in fact, contains thousands of studies demonstrating vitamin C‘s ability to significantly improve health, with 220 disease applications documented on the research site GreenMedInfo.com alone.  The best thing ‘we the people’ can do, despite our lack of medical degrees and licensure, and without the FDA’s iron-fisted legal and regulatory apparatus on our side, is to use the peer-reviewed research at our disposal to inform and protect our treatment decisions.

Perhaps we must revisit an important moment in history to regain a sense of how profoundly vitamin C deficiency and vitamin C therapy can affect health. James Lind (1716-1794), pioneer of naval hygiene in the British Royal Navy, conducted the first ever clinical trial proving that citrus fruits cured scurvy. Lind’s discovery saved tens of thousands of seamen from the ravages of scurvy, spurring England’s naval supremacy, putatively changing the course of world history.

If significant historical events like these don’t provide enough evidence to vindicate the efficacy of nutrients like Vitamin C, molecular biology and the science of genetics can help to fill in the gaps.

It is a little known and under-appreciated fact that all humans are born with a serious, life-threatening genetic defect: namely, the inability to manufacture Vitamin C.

This defect occurred approximately 63 million years ago, when our haplorrhini (“simple nosed”) primate predecessors lost the gene (Gulnolactone oxidase pseudogene – GULOP), responsible for the manufacture of Vitamin C from glucose.

The ability to synthesize Vitamin C, in fact, has been lost several times in vertebrates, e.g. in guinea pigs, some bats, some fishes, passeriform birds and in primates of the suborder Haplorrhini, which includes monkes, apes and humans.

It was Linus Pauling, two time Nobel Laureate, and the world’s foremost vitamin C proponent, who first brought this inborn error of metabolism to popular light. Pauling advocated taking large doses of Vitamin C (up to 10-12 grams a day) in order to offset the deficiencies of our modern diet. He believed that it was our movement away from a vitamin C rich fruit-and-vegetable based diet that explained the modern epidemic of heart disease.

According to this perspective, without adequate Vitamin C we are unable to produce the collagen necessary to heal our arteries. The Vitamin C starved body compensates for this by increasing the production of a very small and sticky type of cholesterol known as lipoprotein A, which leads to the formation of atheromatous plaque (clogged arteries). Linus Pauling advocated taking large amounts of vitamin C in combination with the amino acid lysine to reverse the damage done to the arteries, and to prevent recurrence.*

Indeed, a study published in 2008 showed that higher plasma vitamin C levels are associated with a significantly reduced risk of stroke. Scientists from the clinical gerontology unit at Addnbrooke’s University Hospital in Cambridge, UK, tracked 20,649 men and women aged 40 to 79 years, between 1993 and 1997. The group was followed through March 2005. Individuals who had the highest vitamin C levels showed a 42% reduction in stroke risk! If you compare this with Plavix’s 8.7 – 9.4% risk reduction, and the profound side effects drugs like these generate, one begins to understand why the media projection of “vitamins are toxic” propaganda serves only the interests of the drug companies.

Before one goes out and buys a bargain bottle of Vitamin C tablets, one should be advised that ascorbic acid is not exactly the same thing as Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is found within the Vitamin C complex as it exists in food, but is complexed with a wide range of inseparable cofactors, such as rutin, bioflavonoids (vitamin p), protein chaperones, and various enzymes like tyrosinase, which together in their entirety constitute the whole food complex. Take the ‘vitamin c’ as isolated ascorbic acid out of the nutritional context of food and is behaves more like a chemical or drug.

Ascorbic acid is also 10 times more acidic than the naturally buffered Vitamin C found in raw food, and will on occasions lead to stomach upset, calcium loss from the bones, and kidney stones, in susceptible individuals. Traditionally ascorbic acid is produced semi-synthetically from corn or rice starch through a heavily chemical dependent process. Ascorbic acid can be considered no more natural than white flour, and yet despite this fact, has very little toxicity relative to pharmaceuticals, and can be used in much higher doses than the FDA’s Recommended Daily Allowance without adverse side effects.

The difference between ascorbic acid and Vitamin C in whole food form was perfectly clear to Szent-Gyorgi who received a Nobel Prize in 1937 for discovering Vitamin C. Even though Szent-Gyorgi received international recognition for identifying ascorbic acid as Vitamin C, his later research lead him to conclude that ascorbic acid had very little anti-scurvy activity in and of itself. Szent-Gyorgi found that the vitamin C found in organ meats and food sources like paprika, where the aforementioned cofactors are intact, were far superior in combating scurvy.

We would be well served to acknowledge that all raw fruits and vegetables contain a “life force” that can not be fully decomposed or reduced to the chemical skeleton within which the life force of “vitamin activity” works, no more than our life/soul can be reduced to the $10 or so worth of chemical building blocks that our body is composed of. Fortunately there are vitamin manufacturers out there who acknowledge this fact, and produce raw whole food concentrates rich in vitamin activity. When eating raw, organic fruits and vegetables is not an option, or when higher levels are needed, these supplements offer authentic therapeutic activity.

The history of vitamin C illustrates just how profoundly important it is for us to get these vital nutrients known as “vitamins,” and that they are best derived from food. If we choose to overlook the importance of vitamins in maintaining health, and yes, even preventing and reversing disease, we will be forced to accept a pharmaceutically driven medical perspective that believes that health is the absence of symptoms, and that symptoms are to be combated or driven back deep into our bodies with sublethal dosages of toxic chemicals, i.e. drugs. Such as perspective on disease is itself so diseased that there is no escaping the ill health that results from it. We must remember that there has never been a disease that has been caused by a lack of a drug… therefore, why would it ever be considered sound medical practice to treat disease with drugs, as a first line of treatment?

*If Linus Pauling and other Vitamin C researchers are correct and a deficiency of Vitamin C causes the breakdown of collagen in the artery, aspirin therapy, which causes Vitamin C deficiency, would not be considered a safe way to reduce cardiac mortality. To the contrary, it would further destabilize the strength and elasticity of the artery leading to hemorrhage, which is the primary deadly side effect of aspirin therapy.

You can learn more about this article at: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/200-reasons-love-vitamin-c1

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The Western Diet As A Lethal, Pandemic Cause of Disease

The Western Diet As A Lethal, Pandemic Cause of Disease

The Western Diet As A Lethal, Pandemic Cause of Disease

Emerging research indicates that the Western diet could rightly be considered a ‘Disease Vector’ on par with influenza and other infectious diseases.

The CDC likes to track disease vectors like influenza and hepatitis, but the concept that immune status determines susceptibility, or the vital role that diet or environmental factors such as sunlight-mediated vitamin D levels play in whether you contract an illness or not, is mostly ignored by them.

It could be argued that the CDC would be far more effective in their mission of “Collaborating to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health” if they paid equal attention tracking dietary vectors of disease creation, such as per capita high-fructose corn syrup or happy meal consumption, or environmental chemical exposures, instead of myopically fixating on an outdated, though hugely profitable germ-centered model of disease causation.

Take the Western diet, for instance, which is increasingly the subject of preclinical and clinical investigation as a disease vector disturbingly effective at generating disease within the human body.

At GreenMedInfo.com, one of the 126 “Problematic Actions” we have indexed is the “Western Diet,” which has been found to cause over 20 distinct disease states or adverse health effects, including various lethal cancers.  Here is a list of the Western diet linked diseases:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Colon Cancer
  • Inflammation
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Sperm Count and Quality
  • Osteoporosis
  • Acne
  • Bone Fractures
  • Cardiac Hypertrophy
  • Dybios
  • Escherichia coli Infections
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Intestinal Permeability
  • Liver Disease
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Sepsis
  • Type 1 Diabetes

Recently, we highlighted a human clinical study where participants were given a regular, all-American meal of a hamburger, quickly resulting in pathological changes to the blood vessels including vasoconstriction, oxidative stress and inflammation.1 Simply adding a hefty side of avocado to this “disease vector” canceled the observed adverse cardiovascular effects.  If the addition of a little raw avocado can do this, imagine what would happen if people ate completely different, following in the ancient, health-promoting dietary traditions of China or India?

So, what is the archetypal Western pattern diet? Generally, it is characterized by the intake of GMO-grain fed animal products, sugary desserts (mostly produced from GMO corn producedhigh fructose corn syrup), copious quantities of oxidized vegetable oils rich in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, from you guessed it: GMO corn, soy, cottonseed or canola oil, and finally refined grain products, featuring wheat, whose dark side includes over 200 clinically confirmed adverse health effects.

Keep in mind that, historically, food has been one of the primary tools of biological and cultural imperialism. The story of wheat’s role in driving humankind through the cultural event horizon of the Paleolithic to Neolithic transition, as well as expanding and securing Roman rule throughout the ancient world (which we explored in the Dark Side of Wheat), for instance, speaks to the power of certain foods we depend on to concretize and maintain socio-economic and even psychological power structures. How many countries, for instance, has the US waged war against that already had McDonald or Starbucks franchises in place?

As the World Health Organization uses the lapdog-like global mainstream media apparatus to ramp up expectation for a new pandemic ‘bird flu’ virus, folks need to take a sober look at what’s at the end of their forks. When we continue to eat food that is already vectorized with transgenes designed to kill insect life, and has been demonstrated to be lethal to animal life, should we be surprised that will be more likely to contract fatal infectious diseases? The inner ‘soil’ will largely determine what grows there.  If it is organic, nutrient replete, non-toxic, it will give rise to health.  If it is devoid of the correct nutrients, overly-cooked, irradiated, infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, etc., it will give rise to disease. And there is no vaccine to prevent, or drug to treat, the adverse consequences associated with these basic dietary choices.

1 GreenMedInfo.com, Avocado: The Fat So Good It Makes Hamburger Less Bad

You can read more about this article at: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/western-diet-lethal-pandemic-cause-disease-1

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A Few Extra Pounds Linked to a Longer Life

A Few Extra Pounds Linked to a Longer Life

Extra Weight

By Dr. Mercola

Provocative new research involving data from nearly 3 million adults suggests that a having an overweight body mass index (BMI) may be linked to a longer life than one that puts you within a “normal” weight range.

The research, which analyzed 97 studies in all, found that people with BMIs under 30 but above normal (the overweight range) had a 6 percent lower risk of dying from all causes than those who were normal weight, while those whose BMIs fell into the obese range were 18 percent more likely to die of any cause.1 The researchers wrote:

“Relative to normal weight … overweight was associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality.”

Do a Few Extra Pounds Make You Healthier?

The study results imply, at least superficially, that carrying some extra weight may help you live longer … or at the very least may not be as unhealthy as it’s made out to be. In a JAMA editorial, Steven Heymsfield, M.D. and William Cefalu, M.D. highlighted this notion:2

“The presence of a wasting disease, heart disease, diabetes, renal dialysis, or older age are all associated with an inverse relationship between BMI and mortality rate, an observation termed the obesity paradox or reverse epidemiology.

The optimal BMI linked with lowest mortality in patients with chronic disease may be within the overweight and obesity range.

Even in the absence of chronic disease, small excess amounts of adipose tissue may provide needed energy reserves during acute catabolic illnesses, have beneficial mechanical effects with some types of traumatic injuries, and convey other salutary effects that need to be investigated in light of the studies … “

Indeed, it is quite possible to be overweight and healthy, just as it’s possible to be normal weight and unhealthy. But for the vast majority of those who carry around extra pounds, health problems will often result.

The study has been heavily criticized for painting an overly simplistic picture of a very complex situation. For instance, it doesn’t tell you whether those living longer were afflicted with more chronic disease or whether their quality of life was otherwise impacted. And even more importantly, it used only BMI as a measure of body composition, and this is a highly flawed technique.

Many studies, such as one published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology,3 have actually found that a high BMI was associated with a lower risk of death, a phenomenon known as the “obesity paradox.” But these findings are typically only examples of how BMI is such a flawed measurement tool …

Why BMI is a Flawed Measurement Tool

If you’d like to know how much body fat you have and whether or not your levels put you into a weight category that might lead to health problems, most public health agencies, and therefore most physicians, promote the use of the BMI, which gauges weight in relation to height. But this method is quite flawed, as research suggests it may underestimate obesity rates and misclassify up to one-quarter of men and nearly half of women.4 According to lead author Dr. Eric Braverman, president of the nonprofit Path Foundation in New York City:5

“Based on BMI, about one-third of Americans are considered obese, but when other methods of measuring obesity are used, that number may be closer to 60%.”

One of the primary reasons why BMI is such a flawed measurement tool is that it uses weight as a measure of risk, when it is actually a high percentage of body fat that makes a person have an increased disease risk. Your weight takes into account your bone structure, for instance, so a big-boned person may weigh more, but that certainly doesn’t mean they have more body fat.

Athletes and completely out-of-shape people can also have similar BMI scores, or a very muscular person could be classified as “obese” using BMI, when in reality it is mostly lean muscle accounting for their higher-than-average weight. BMI also tells you nothing about where fat is located in your body, and it appears that the location of the fat, particularly if it’s around your stomach, is more important than the absolute amount of fat when it comes to measuring certain health risks, especially heart disease.

You can read more of this article at: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/04/26/extra-pounds-increase-longevity.aspx

 

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The Mind-Altering Effects of Fish Oil

The Mind-Altering Effects of Fish Oil

The Mind-Altering Effects of Fish Oil

Omega 3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil pills have become a popular supplement for their heart health benefits.  But fish oil is also good for your head.  Research shows that omega 3 fatty acids may be beneficial for treating serious mood disorders, stress, and even alcohol abuse.

Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine conducted a multi-year study which showed conclusive behavioral and molecular benefits when omega 3 fatty acids were given to mice with bipolar disorder. The fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is one of the main active ingredients in fish oil, “normalized their behavior,” according to Alexander B. Niculescu, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and the lead author of the study.

The study which was reported in the journal Translational Psychiatry, found that mice with characteristic bipolar symptoms including being depressed and, when subjected to stress, becoming manic, responded well to the DHA in fish oil.

According to the researchers, the mice with bipolar disorder that were given DHA normalized their behavior, and were not depressed.  When they were subjected to stress, the mice also did not become manic.  The researchers were also surprised to find that genes in the mice that are known targets of psychiatric medications were modulated and normalized by DHA.

An unexpected finding of the research was the discovery that the mice given DHA also showed a reduced desire for alcohol.

“These bipolar mice, like some bipolar patients, love alcohol. The mice on DHA drank much less; it curtailed their alcohol abusive behavior,” said Dr. Niculescu.  The researchers said that this was a completely novel finding which they verified using another well-established animal model of alcoholism.

The authors believe a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids may help the treatment and prevention of bipolar disorder, and may help with alcoholism as well.

The study provides substantial evidence at the molecular level that omega 3 fatty acids work on the brain in ways similar to psychiatric drugs.  The authors noted that omega 3 fatty acids are known to be good for one’s health, good for one’s brain, and lack major side-effects, as opposed to some psychiatric medications.

Dietary sources of DHA come primarily from animal products such as fish, eggs and meats.

Oily fish, such as mackerel, herring, salmon, trout and sardines, are the richest dietary source, containing 10 to 100 times more DHA than vegetarian sources such as nuts, seeds,flax seeds, whole grains and dark green, leafy vegetables.

This laboratory research is consistent with the work of Dr. Andrew L. Stoll with human patients suffering from depression and bi-polar disorder.  For more information on his research as well as his anti-depression diet and brain program, see his book, “The Omega-3 Connection.

 

 You can read more about this article at: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/mind-altering-effects-fish-oil
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