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‘Hidden Dangers’ of Mammograms Every Woman Should Know About

‘Hidden Dangers’ of Mammograms Every Woman Should Know About

Study Finds Women Still Suffering 3 Years After Breast Cancer False-Positive

Millions of women undergo them annually, but few are even remotely aware of just how many dangers they are exposing themselves to in the name of prevention, not the least of which are misdiagnosis, overdiagnosis and the promotion of breast cancer itself. 

A new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine titled, Long-term psychosocial consequences of false-positive screening mammography, brings to the forefront a major underreported harm of breast screening programs: the very real and lasting trauma associated with a false-positive diagnosis of breast cancer.[1]

The study found that women with false-positive diagnoses of breast cancer, even three years after being declared free of cancer, “consistently reported greater negative psychosocial consequences compared with women who had normal findings in all 12 psychosocial outcomes.”

The psychosocial and existential parameters adversely affected were:

  • Sense of dejection
  • Anxiety
  • Negative impact on behavior
  • Negative impact on sleep
  • Degree of breast self-examination
  • Negative impact on sexuality
  • Feeling of attractiveness
  • Ability to keep ‘mind off things’
  • Worries about breast cancer
  • Inner calm
  • Social network
  • Existential values

What is even more concerning is that “[S]ix months after final diagnosis, women with false-positive findings reported changes in existential values and inner calmness as great as those reported by women with a diagnosis of breast cancer.”

In other words, even after being “cleared of cancer,” the measurable adverse psychospiritual effects of the trauma of diagnosis were equivalent to actually having breast cancer.

Given that the cumulative probability of false-positive recall or biopsy recommendation after 10 years of screening mammography is at least 50%,[2] this is an issue that will affect the health of millions of women undergoing routine breast screening.

The Curse of False Diagnosis and ‘Bone-Pointing’

Also, we must be cognizant of the fact that these observed ‘psychosocial’ and ‘existential’ adverse effects don’t just cause some vaguely defined ‘mental anguish,’ but translate into objectively quantifiable physiological consequences of a dire nature.

For instance, last year, a groundbreaking study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that, based on data on more than 6 million Swedes aged 30 and older, the risk of suicide was found to be up to 16 times higher and the risk of heart-related death up to26.9 times higher during the first week following a positive versus a negative cancer diagnosis.[3]

This was the first study of its kind to confirm that the trauma of diagnosis can result in, as the etymology of the Greek word trauma reveals, a “physical wound.” In the same way as Aborigonal cultures had a ‘ritual executioner’ or ‘bone pointer’ known as a Kurdaitcha who by pointing a bone at a victim with the intention of cursing him to death, resulting in the actual self-willed death of the accursed, so too does the modern ritual of medicine reenact ancient belief systems and power differentials, with the modern physician, whether he likes it or not, a ‘priest of the body.’; we must only look to the well-known dialectic of the placebo and nocebo effects to see these powerful, “irrational” processes still operative.

Millions Harmed by Breast Screening Despite Assurances to the Contrary

Research of this kind clearly indicates that the conventional screening process carries health risks, both to body and mind, which may outstrip the very dangers the medical surveillance believes itself responsible for, and effective at, mitigating.  For instance, according to a groundbreaking study published last November in New England Journal of Medicine, 1.3 million US women were overdiagnosed and overtreated over the past 30 years.[4] These are the ‘false positives’ that were never caught, resulting in the unnecessary irradiation, chemotherapy poisoning and surgery of approximately 43,000 women each year.  Now, when you add to this dismal statistic the millions of ‘false positives’ that while being caught nevertheless resulted in producing traumas within those women, breast screening begins to look like a veritable nightmare of iatrogenesis.

And this does not even account for the radiobiological dangers of the x-ray mammography screening process itself, which may be causing an epidemic of mostly unackowledged radiation-induced breast cancers in exposed populations.

For instance, in 2006, a paper published in the British Journal of Radiobiology, titled “Enhanced biological effectiveness of low energy X-rays and implications for the UK breast screening programme,” revealed the type of radiation used in x-ray-based breast screenings is much more carcinogenic than previously believed:

Recent radiobiological studies have provided compelling evidence that the low energy X-rays as used in mammography are approximately four times – but possibly as much as six times – more effective in causing mutational damage than higher energy X-rays. Since current radiation risk estimates are based on the effects of high energy gamma radiation, this implies that the risks of radiation-induced breast cancers for mammography X-rays are underestimated by the same factor.[5]

Even the breast cancer treatment protocols themselves have recently been found to contribute to enhancing cancer malignancy and increasing mortality. Chemotherapy and radiation both appear to enrich the cancer stem cell populations, which are at the root of breast cancer malignancy and invasiveness. Last year, in fact, the prestigious journal Cancer, a publication of the American Cancer Society, published a study performed by researchers from the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center showing that even when radiation kills half of the tumor cells treated, the surviving cells which are resistant to treatment, known as induced breast cancer stem cells (iBCSCs), were up to 30 times more likely to form tumors than the nonirradiated breast cancer cells. In other words, the radiation treatment regresses the total population of cancer cells, generating the false appearance that the treatment is working, but actually increases the ratio of highly malignant to benign cells within that tumor, eventually leading to the iatrogenic (treatment-induced) death of the patient.[6]

What we are increasingly bearing witness to in the biomedical literature itself is that the conventional breast cancer prevention and treatment strategy and protocols are bankrupt.  Or, from the perspective of the more cynical observer, it is immensely successful, owing to the fact that it is driving billions of dollars or revenue by producing more of what it claims to be fighting.

The time has come for a radical transformation in the way that we understand, screen for, prevent and treat cancer. It used to be that natural medical advocates didn’t have the so-called peer-reviewed ‘evidence’ to back up their intuitive and/or anecdotal understanding of how to keep the human body in health and balance. That time has passed. GreenMedInfo.com, for instance, has over 20,000 abstracts indexed in support of a return to a medical model where the ‘alternative’ is synthetic, invasive, emergency-modeled medicine, and the norm is using food, herbs, minerals, vitamins and lifestyle changes to maintain, promote and regain optimal health.

You can learn more about this article at: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/hidden-dangers-mammograms-every-woman-should-know-about

Healthy Nutrition

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GLA is used by many women to maintain a sense of well-being throughout their monthly cycle. This Shaklee formula contains GLA (gamma linolenic acid), an omega-6 fatty acid that our bodies use to form prostaglandins—potent, hormone-like substances that help the body to regulate many normal bodily processes.*

Come check out my website to learn more about GLA Complex.

Will Resveratrol Really Prevent Aging?

Will Resveratrol Really Prevent Aging?

Will Resveratrol Really Prevent Aging?

It’s almost impossible to avoid those internet ads urging you to buy resveratrol.  They claim it’s the fountain of youth in supplement form. News stories tout resveratrol as a cure for various diseases as well as a preventative against aging. Is it true or just hype?

Researchers from the University of Florida reviewed the available research and concluded that it may be some of each. Study authors say that the polyphenol compound known as resveratrol may not prevent old age, but it might make it more tolerable.

While acknowledging the search for an anti-aging cure in a pill, the researchers admitted that it doesn’t exist. But they did find that resveratrol may lessen many of the “scourges and infirmities of old age.”

Reviewing the body of human clinical research on resveratrol, they found it has “anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.”  But the authors admitted that more research is needed to determine its specific benefits.

The study, which appeared online in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, also examined results from thousands of laboratory studies with enzymes, cultured cells and laboratory animals.

The researchers found that despite numerous clinical studies on resveratrol’s beneficial effects on animals, there is little evidence that it benefits human health.  That’s because there haven’t been as many studies on humans.

Resveratrol is a chemical compound found in certain plants that acts as an antibiotic to fight off both bacteria and fungus.

Although red wine is the best known dietary source of resveratrol, it is also found in raspberries, mulberries, blueberries, and cranberries. Few people realize that resveratrol is also found in peanuts, pine trees and in Japanese knotweed, from which most resveratrol supplements are derived.

Scientists began exploring the potential health benefits of resveratrol in 1992 when it was first found in red wine.  It was thought to be a possible explanation of the “French Paradox,” or the observation that the French eat a high saturated fat diet and drink red wine, but do not suffer the same rates of heart disease as Americans.

Others disagree, attributing the cardiac health of the French to the very saturated fats that Americans fear. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, saturated fat has never really been proven to be linked to heart disease, despite the government’s consistent vilification of animal fats.

We do know that resveratrol acts as a powerful antioxidant. Oxidation causes cells to lose electrons and form “free radicals” that can cause cell damage.  That in turn leads to various diseases.

Resveratrol and Breast Cancer

Various clinical trials have indicated that as a polyphenol – an antibiotic substance produced by plants as a defense against microorganisms – resveratrol prevents the growth of some cancers in mice.

A team of American and Italian scientists have suggested that this “healthy” ingredient in red wine also stops breast cancer cells from growing by blocking the growth effects of estrogen.

In a study published in The FASEB Journal, researchers found that resveratrol inhibits the proliferation of hormone resistant breast cancer cells. This has important implications for the treatment of women with breast cancer whose tumors eventually develop resistance to hormonal therapy.

The researchers treated different breast cancer cell lines with resveratrol and compared their growth with cells left untreated. They found an important reduction in cell growth in cells treated by resveratrol, while no changes were seen in untreated cells. Additional experiments revealed that this effect was related to a drastic reduction of estrogen receptor levels caused by resveratrol itself.

The Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal called the findings exciting and said that “scientists haven’t finished distilling the secrets of good health that have been hidden in natural products such as red wine.”

Resveratrol and Alzheimer’s Disease

There are no human studies backing up the claim that resveratrol might extend life.  Many believe it may have anti-aging properties based on studies showing that it increases the life-spans of yeast, worms, fruit flies, fish and mice.

But it may help avoid some diseases associated with aging.  Research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that resveratrol has the ability to neutralize the toxic effects of proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

The study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.  It shows that resveratrol selectively targets and neutralizes clumps of peptides or proteins that are bad and have been linked to Alzheimer’s, but leaves alone those that are benign.

Other research shows that resveratrol may:

Reason enough to enjoy a glass of red wine.

You can learn more about this article at: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/will-resveratrol-really-prevent-aging

Healthy Beauty

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Clinically Proven To Improve Your Skin

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Lavender Aromatherapy Proven to Calm Premenstrual Emotions

Lavender Aromatherapy Proven to Calm Premenstrual Emotions

While conventional medicine continues to drug women with PMS with addictive SSRIs, Japanese researchers have determined that Lavender essential oil can alleviate premenstrual emotional mood changes, confirming other research showing that Lavender aromatherapy produces overall calming effects.

The research comes from Japan’s Shitennoji University and Kyoto University. The scientists conducted a randomized crossover study using 17 women with an average age of 20 years old who experienced premenstrual emotional symptoms in the late luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. These emotional symptoms have been defined by conventional medicine as premenstrual syndrome, and in its worst stage, as premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD – which typically appear in the late luteal phase (about a week prior to menstruation).

The women were selected from Shitennoji University after the researchers conducted medical questionnaires and medical histories from a larger group of women.

The women were tested during two different monthly cycles. Their cycle phases were determined by measuring their body temperatures and their levels of estrone and pregnanediol-3-glucuronide – taken from urine samples.

During the first test, half the women inhaled the scent of Lavender essential oil – generally called aromatherapy – for ten minutes. The other half of the women were tested using water as a control.

During the second test, the control group inhaled the Lavender aromatherapy while the other group was tested with the control.

The researchers tested the effects of the aromatherapy using two different measurements. The first was heart rate variability (HRV) measured by electrocardiograph. Other research has established that reduced heart rate variability (HRV) is associated with increased stress and anxiety and related symptoms.

The other measurement used to test their emotional states was the Profile of Mood States index – a standardized test that uses a five-point scale (ranging from “not at all” to “extremely”) for 65 different adjectives describing a subject’s current state of mind and mood. Examples include “irritability,” “fatigue” and so on.

The researchers found from both tests that the groups inhaling the Lavender had increased heart rate variability – indicating improved moods and reduced stress. They also found that the Profile of Mood States test results were significantly better in the Lavender aromatherapy groups compared to the two control groups.

Some of the more significant improvements in the Profile of Mood States test were in the depression, dejection and confusion categories. These three categories are typically lower for premenstrual syndrome sufferers.

The improved symptoms of the Lavender aromatherapy groups continued for up to 35 minutes following the ten-minute aromatherapy.

The researchers surmised that the improvement from Lavender aromatherapy was due to Lavender affecting the women’s parasympathetic nervous system:

This study indicates that short-term inhalation of Lavender could alleviate premenstrual emotional symptoms and could, at least in part, contribute to the improvement of parasympathetic nervous system activity.”

Premenstrual syndrome and PMDD involve a number of symptoms, which include but are not limited to mood swings, anxiety, stress, panic attacks, fatigue, food cravings, insomnia and others.

While many doctors and scientists agree that the syndrome is related to changes in hormone levels, there have been differing opinions on which are responsible. However, a 2006 study from Sweden indicated that a reduction in serotonin availability appears to be related to increased occurrence of premenstrual syndrome and PMDD.

This finding has led to the widespread prescribing of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) by conventional medicine for premenstrual syndrome and PMDD. While in the U.S., PMDD is considered a disease and SSRIs the prescriptive course, many countries – including those in the EU – have rejected this notion that PMDD is a disease and SSRIs are the necessary prescriptive course, due to the fact that SSRIs have been shown to become addictive and have numerous side effects including nausea, headaches, drowsiness, mania and others.

Meanwhile, Lavender aromatherapy shows promise as a natural and safe way to boost serotonin levels. Recent research from China’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences indicates that Lavender essential oil aromatherapy elicits the stimulation of both serotonin and dopamine from the brain – both of which can elevate moods and produce calmness.

Confirming this, in 2011 researchers from Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University Hospital found that Lavender aromatherapy elevated moods and increased sleep quality in a clinical study of 67 women who were aged between 45 and 55 years old. This study also showed that Lavender increased heart rate variability – another sign of serotonin boosting – among the women.

The Japanese researchers analyzed their Lavender essential oil and determined the major constituents included about 75% linalyl acetate and linalool, as well as ocimene, caryophyllene, ocimene and lavendulyl acetate.

Lavender (Lavandula sp.) aromatherapy has been used for centuries by herbal practitioners for calming anxiety and for mood disorders. There are more than three dozen medicinal varieties of Lavender, and Lavender’s recorded use dates back over two thousand years.

The typical way of utilizing aromatherapy is with a diffuser. Just a few drops (3-4) of an essential oil onto a diffusing element can quickly deliver its therapeutic scents throughout the room. An easy diffuser is a clean crumpled tissue. Other types of diffusers are available – including some that utilize heat to diffuse the scent. An essential oil may be diffused by dropping into boiled water as well – this will diffuse the scent via the vapor – but less oil should probably be used in this case. Aromatherapy scents may also be diffused via candles and lamp rings – but be careful because essential oils are also flammable.

To learn more about this article go to: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/lavender-aromatherapy-proven-calm-premenstrual-emotions


Healthy Nutrition

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Menopause Balance Complex contains black cohosh, proven to help regulate hormonal balance during menopause and reduce hot flashes, mild mood swings, and occasional sleeplessness.*  In addition, Menopause Balance Complex provides both soy isoflavones and flaxseed lignans, phytoestrogens currently being studied for heart, bone, and breast health.

Come check out my website for more information on Menopause Balance Complex.



Pick Your Poison – Sunscreens vs. Sunburns

Pick Your Poison – Sunscreens vs. Sunburns

Pick Your Poison – Sunscreens vs. Sunburns

Confused about what to put on your skin to protect it from the sun?  Is a tanning bed a safer way of maintaining that “healthy glow”?  How much sun is good for us?  How much sun is bad?  Is it better to get natural sunlight or controlled exposure through a tanning bed?

It’s easy to get lost in the myriad of claims bombarding us from print and television media.  There are more tanning outlets in the United States than there are McDonald’s fast food restaurants.  It’s an industry that brings in $5 billion dollars a year[i]!  We read ongoing discussions about the risk of UV rays vs. the risk of vitamin D deficiency.  We read connections between sun exposure and melanoma, and research declaring tanning bed UV rays as carcinogenic.

It almost seems that we should hide inside and protect ourselves from the sun’s damaging rays – but then, what about vitamin D?  We spend our time indoors for a good chunk of the year.  Finally, summer comes and we’re lured outside by warm weather and sunshine.  Too much, too soon and the next thing you know, you’re burnt to a crisp.  Or, we spend our weekdays inside in an air-conditioned environment and when the weekend arrives, we’re in the garden, at the beach or participating in a variety of outdoor activities.  This is also an ideal way to char pale skin – and not an ideal way to get Vitamin D!

Information and Misinformation about the Sun and Skin Cancer

Outdoor sun exposure has been safe for centuries.  In 1930, skin cancer was rare.  Today, one in every five Americans develops skin cancer.  3.5 million cases are diagnosed every year, and the incidence of melanoma has increased by 1800% over the last 30 years[ii].  No wonder we are so afraid to go out in the sun.

We have seen arguments about depletion of the ozone layer and its impact on the incidence of skin cancer.  The premise is that a thinning of the ozone layer allows more intense damaging rays through the atmosphere, increasing our risk of sunburn and the increased risk of cancer[iii].  Truthfully, that link is weak, in that the ozone layer depletes seasonally in winter and spring, which is generally not when we spend time in the sun.  And the depletion is largely over the Arctic and Antarctica, and at the equator, yet cancer rates are not higher in those geographic regions[iv].  And should that exposure equal an 1800% increase in the incidence of skin cancer over the past 30 years?  Until this argument is resolved, let’s look at the issues over which we have some control.

Genetically, humans require sunlight exposure for vitamin D, required for wellbeing and cellular function.  Research is clear about the healthy benefits of sun exposure.  It is, however, sunburns that potentially raise cause for concern[v].

Most studies examining sun exposure and its connection to melanoma, or skin cancer, show that it is the incidence of burns that are related to the appearance of melanoma[vi].  However, some studies are unable to “find lifetime routine sun exposure or sun exposure via recreational outdoor activities or occupations to be associated with melanoma risk”[vii].  Not only does this suggest that every day exposure is less of a concern than a burn, these results were also not changed “by detailed examination of sun exposure according to season, decade age, type of outdoor activity, indoor tanning status, or tumor site”[viii].

What does this tell us?

  • There are people every year who get melanoma on random parts of their body, less exposed to the sun than others.  How do we explain the case of melanoma on the plantar surface of the heel?  Clearly, there are many other factors to be considered.
  • Indoor tanning vs. types of outdoor activity are neither to blame, definitively.  There are people every year who get skin cancer who never use a tanning bed.

Further, the incidence of melanoma in the United States follows no pattern whatsoever[ix].  Certainly, number or length of days in the sun, or one’s proximity to the equator, can’t be to blame.

In an assessment of this current research, Dr. James Chestnut proposes that while sunburn is a causal factor in skin cancer, the body is most limited in its ability to defend itself from a scorching when intensely tanning indoors[x].  It would only make sense that the body is best able to utilize its antioxidants and regenerative healing abilities when a burn is acquired in an outdoor environment, over time, as opposed to in a manufactured environment, indoors, in which the body has less of an ability to defend itself – and you are less likely to even realize that you’re getting burned.  Our body is configured to manage natural sun, not the artificial sun of a tanning bed.

Regardless of the amount of time we spend in the sun or in a booth, what should be avoided at all costs is the burning of our skin from intense overexposure.  It’s not sun exposure, not UVB exposure, but exposure beyond our body’s limitations that raises most (but not all) cause for concern.

One’s goal in sun exposure is to not get burned – definitely not in a tanning bed, and preferably not in the fresh air.  While the risk of cancer related to tanning bed burns is indeed clear, though the risk of fresh air burns is not, no one loves a burn from either setting.

Avoiding sunburn – What are the best options for sunscreen?

Commercial sunscreens and their ingredients are terrifying.  Just as we erroneously hear that anything “low fat” must be good, we’ve been taught that the higher the SPF in a sunscreen, the better it must be.  There are two reasons this statement could not be any further from the truth.

First, your body needs to produce vitamin D as a result of having sun exposure.  A higher SPF means reduced exposure to the benefits of the sun and the less vitamin D your body will utilize.  Research shows that incidence of melanoma increases in those not exposed to the sun, and the depletion of vitamin D has a strong correlation to the rise in melanoma[xi].

Second, generally speaking, the higher the SPF, the more synthetic chemicals are contained in the lotion to create its formula.  The biggest problem with the lotions and creams we slather all over our bodies is not how much they protect us from the sun, but what’s in them that pollutes our bodies in the interest of blocking the sun’s rays.  After all, it has been stated that 80 percent of all cancers are attributed to environmental factors, including exposure to carcinogenic chemicals[xii].

Further, a summary of research in 2008 showed that only 5–10% of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects, whereas the remaining 90–95% have their roots in the environment and lifestyle[xiii].  Notably, whereas only up to 10% of total cancer cases may be induced by all forms of radiation (of which UV is just a small part[xiv]), there are a multitude of environmental agents, mainly chemicals, associated with specific cancers[xv].  In older studies, some cancers have been linked to exposure to arsenic in medicines.  In fact, the strongest link has been found with skin cancer[xvi].  Arsenic can be found in older pressure treated lumber, some pesticides, leather preservatives, and some glass.

The top five toxic exposures occur in water, cosmetics, food, household products and health care.  Sunscreens are a big contributor to toxins in the body.  Sunscreens containing para-aminobenzoic acid (PABa) and benzophenones are the biggest culprits, causing not only skin irritations and allergies but generating cell-damaging free radicals when exposed to sunlight (as reported by Dr. Kerry Hanson, Free Radical Biology and Medicine, October 2006).

Chemicals are readily absorbed through the skin.  Within 26 seconds of application, traces of chemicals from products topically applied can be found in every organ.  The five chemicals to avoid in any skin preparation are[xvii]:

  1. Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), including octyl-dimethyl PABA
  2. Benzophenones, especially benzophenone-3
  3. Cinnamates, namely octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC)
  4. Homosalate
  5. 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC)

PABa is most likely to cause skin irritations.  The remaining four contain estrogenic properties, potentially disrupting hormone production and negatively affecting brain development and reproductive function.

And parabens, which are antibacterial preservatives, used in cosmetics and found in over 60 percent of commercially available sunscreens, migrate through the body and are found in breast cancer cells and in the male reproductive system[xviii].

Parabens increase the proliferation of breast cancer cell lines, and decrease testosterone production[xix],[xx].

Children are at greater risk because their immune systems are not fully developed.  A child’s skin is more sensitive than an adult’s and absorbs more toxins, and because the child is young, toxic accumulation is greater over time.

Natural options

If you can’t use sunscreens containing toxic chemicals and you want to get the full benefit of being outdoors, what do you do?

First, avoid the chemicals noted above.  If a sunscreen contains these chemicals, do not use it.

Get 10-20 minutes of full sun daily for the best vitamin D production.  Increase exposure gradually, rather than all at once.  Avoid getting sunburned.  Use lightweight clothing or hats to prevent excessive sun exposure.

In place of a sun screen or sun “block,” I would prefer for people to apply natural oils rich in antioxidants such as coconut oil while being exposed to the sun, to best enable your skin to adapt to the UV radiation[xxi].

Be sure to incorporate foods rich in antioxidants into your diet.  It makes sense that we are given berries and other antioxidant-rich foods when there is more sun.  They flourish at a time when your body most needs them to deal with oxidizing radiation.  This is not an accident, but provision.

The definition of health is not that you are free of symptoms, but that your body is fully equipped to adapt to its environment.  Therefore, anything you can apply to help your body adapt to an extreme environmental change will support your good health.

For some people and in some climates, that adaptation may require more of a sunblock. Therefore, protect your skin with a safe alternative.  Use only organic, vegan and pure products.  Apply as often as it comes off or gets absorbed.

For example, zinc is a physical sunblock.  You can mix the zinc with natural oils to make your own sunblock.  The oils are slowly absorbed into the skin while the mineral (zinc) stays on the surface of the skin, acting as a barrier to the sun.

If you are using a commercially prepared sunscreen, or one that you make yourself, be sure that the zinc oxide is not a nano particle (extremely small particles called nano particles easily penetrate cells, leading to DNA damage after exposure to sunlight[xxii]). Many natural products will use nano zinc particles (the ingredient list on the bottle may not necessarily describe the zinc as a nano particle) or titanium dioxide.  Titanium dioxide, while mainly considered toxic only to the lungs when inhaled, should be noted to create free radicals when exposed to UV radiation.  While titanium dioxide may be a safer ingredient in certain cosmetics and in certain climates or times of day, common sense should prevent us from covering the surfaces of our skin with it while exposed to intense rays[xxiii].

Physical sunblocks such as clothing, and shade from the trees work well, too.  When the warm weather begins to beckon you outside, you’re better to work in a semi-shaded garden for several hours than lying on your back at high sun for 30 minutes straight.  Let yourself gradually adapt to the season.

Most importantly, let’s not forget to protect ourselves from the inside out.  The more omega 3 and 6 fatty acids you consume, the greater your protection from sunburn (in addition to all the other amazing and essential health properties they provide)[xxiv].

I would endorse vitamin D supplementation year-round – even in the summer.  I’ve worked with far too many patients who “get a lot of sunshine”, even those who spend their winters in sunny climates, who discover that their levels of serum vitamin D are greatly depleted.  It’s unrealistic to assume that 20 minutes per day of tanning is the best way to ensure optimal vitamin D levels.  Neither is supplementation.  However, in a climate where we spend little time in the sun, and when the foods we consume to assist our bodies in the absorption of Vitamin D is also reduced, it is in my opinion the best option.  Most natural health experts advocate for 5,000 to 10,000 units per day of quality vitamin D3 supplementation.

Above all, remember to focus on the whole body.  Daily exercise reduces the accumulation of toxins in the body.  Exposure to sunshine also enables the detoxification pathways[xxv]!  Supporting nerve supply through chiropractic care allows the body to function the way it was intended, naturally detoxifying and eliminating the harmful chemicals we do absorb through daily life in our increasingly toxic environment.  We have enough challenges with the environmental stress on our bodies.  Try not to increase the load by intentionally absorbing chemicals in a misguided attempt to protect yourself from what, for centuries, has been natural, beneficial and healing – the sun.

You can learn more about this article at: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/pick-your-poison-%E2%80%93-sunscreens-vs-sunburns

Healthy Beauty

Enfuselle® Repair Skin System

Clinically Proven To Improve Your Skin

The results are in!  The Enfuselle Repair System is clinically proven to improve your skin in as little as a month.  You’ll see and feel the difference immediately

Includes Time Repair A.M.® SPF 15, C+E Repair P.M.®, and Dispensing Pump.

Paraben Free.

Come check out my website to learn more about Enfuselle Repair Skin System.

Turmeric Produces ‘Remarkable’ Recovery in Alzheimer’s Patients

Turmeric Produces ‘Remarkable’ Recovery in Alzheimer’s Patients

Turmeric Produces 'Remarkable' Recovery in Alzheimer's Patients

Turmeric has been used in India for over 5,000 years, which is likely why still today both rural and urban populations have some of the lowest prevalence rates of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the world. A recent study on patients with AD found that less than a gram of turmeric daily, taken for three months, resulted in ‘remarkable improvements.’

Alzheimer’s Disease: A Disturbingly Common Modern Rite of Passage

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), sadly, has become a rite of passage in so-called developed countries.  AD is considered the most common form of dementia, which is defined as a serious loss of cognitive function in previously unimpaired persons, beyond what is expected from normal aging.

A 2006 study estimated that 26 million people throughout the world suffer from this condition, and that by 2050, the prevalence will quadruple, by which time 1 in 85 persons worldwide will be afflicted with the disease.[1]

Given the global extent of the problem, interest in safe and effective preventive and therapeutic interventions within the conventional medical and alternative professions alike are growing.

Unfortunately, conventional drug-based approaches amount to declaring chemical war upon the problem, a mistake which we have documented elsewhere, and which can result in serious neurological harm, as evidenced by the fact that this drug class carries an alarmingly high risk for seizures, according to World Health Organization post-marketing surveillance statistics.[i][2]

What the general public is therefore growing most responsive to is using time-tested, safe, natural and otherwise more effective therapies that rely on foods, spices and familiar culinary ingredients.

Remarkable Recoveries Reported after Administration of Turmeric

Late last year, a remarkable study was published in the journal Ayu titiled “Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer’s disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.” [ii]  Researchers described three patients with Alzheimer’s disease whose behavioral symptoms were “improved remarkably” as a result of consuming 764 milligram of turmeric (curcumin 100 mg/day) for 12 weeks. According to the study:

“All three patients exhibited irritability, agitation, anxiety, and apathy, two patients suffer from urinary incontinence and wonderings. They were prescribed turmeric powder capsules and started recovering from these symptoms without any adverse reaction in the clinical symptom and laboratory data.”

After only 3 months of treatment, both the patients’ symptoms and the burden on their caregivers were significantly decreased.

The report describes the improvements thusly:

“In one case, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score was up five points, from 12/30 to 17/30. In the other two cases, no significant change was seen in the MMSE; however, they came to recognize their family within 1 year treatment. All cases have been taking turmeric for more than 1 year, re-exacerbation of BPSD was not seen.”

This study illustrates just how powerful a simple natural intervention using a time-tested culinary herb can be.  Given that turmeric has been used medicinally and as a culinary ingredient for over 5,000 years in Indian culture, even attaining the status of a ‘Golden Goddess,’ we should not be surprised at this result. Indeed, epidemiological studies of Indian populations reveal that they have a remarkably lower prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease relative to Western nations, [3] and this is true for both rural and more “Westernized” urban areas of India.[4]

Could turmeric be a major reason for this?

Turmeric’s Anti-Alzheimer’s Properties.

The GreenMedInfo.com database now contains a broad range of published studies on the value of turmeric, and its primary polyphenol curcumin (which gives it its golden hue), for Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment.*

While there are 114 studies on our Turmeric research page indicating turmeric has a neuroprotective set of physiological actions, [5] 30 of these studies are directly connected to turmeric’s anti-Alzheimer’s disease properties.**

Two of these studies are particularly promising, as they reveal that curcumin is capable of enhancing the clearance of the pathological amyloid–beta plaque in Alzheimer’s disease patients,[6] and that in combination with vitamin D3 the neurorestorative process is further enhanced.[7] Additional preclinical research indicates curcumin (and its analogs) has inhibitory and protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease associated β-amyloid proteins.[8] [9] [10]

Other documented Anti-Alzheimer’s mechanisms include:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Curcumin has been found to play a protective role against β-amyloid protein associated inflammation.[11]
  • Anti-oxidative: Curcumin may reduce damage via antioxidant properties.[12]
  • Anti-cytotoxic: Curcumin appears to protect against the cell-damaging effects of β-amyloid proteins.[13] [14]
  • Anti-amyloidogenic: Turmeric contains a variety of compounds (curcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin) which may strike to the root pathological cause of Alzheimer’s disease by preventing β-amyloid protein formation.[15] [16] [17] [18]
  • Neurorestorative: Curcuminoids appear to rescue long-term potentiation (an indication of functional memory) impaired by amyloid peptide, and may reverse physiological damage by restoring distorted neurites and disrupting existing plaques. [19] [20]
  • Metal-chelating properties: Curcumin has a higher binding affinity for iron and copper rather than zinc, which may contribute to its protective effect in Alzheimer’s disease, as iron-mediated damage may play a pathological role.[21] [22]

Just The Tip of the Medicine Spice Cabinet

The modern kitchen pantry contains a broad range of anti-Alzheimer’s disease items, which plenty of science now confirms. Our Alzheimer’s research page contains research on 97 natural substances of interest. Top on the list, of course, is curcumin. Others include:

  • Coconut Oil: This remarkable substance contains approximately 66% medium chain triglycerides by weight, and is capable of improving symptoms of cognitive decline in those suffering from dementia by increasing brain-boosing ketone bodies, and perhaps more remarkably, within only one dose, and within only two hours.[23]
  • Cocoa: A 2009 study found that cocoa procyanidins may protect against lipid peroxidation associated with neuronal cell death in a manner relevant to Alzheimer’s disease.[24]
  • Sage: A 2003 study found that sage extract has therapeutic value in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.[25]
  • Folic acid: While most of the positive research on this B vitamin has been performed on the semi-synthetic version, which may have unintended, adverse health effects,  the ideal source for this B vitamin is foliage, i.e. green leafy vegetables, as only foods provide folate. Also, the entire B group of vitamins, especially including the homocysteine-modulating B6 and B12,[26] may have the most value in Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment.
  • Resveratrol: this compound is mainly found in the Western diet in grapes, wine, peanuts and chocolate. There are 16 articles on our website indicating it has anti-Alzheimer’s properties.[27]

Other potent natural therapies include:

  • Gingko biloba: is one of the few herbs proven to be at least as effective as the pharmaceutical drug Aricept in treating and improving symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.[28][29]
  • Melissa offinalis: this herb, also known as Lemon Balm, has been found to have therapeutic effect in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.[30]
  • Saffron: this herb compares favorably to the drug donepezil in the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.[31]

As always, the important thing to remember is that it is our diet and environmental exposures that largely determine our risk of accelerated brain aging and associated dementia. Prevention is an infinitely better strategy, especially considering many of the therapeutic items mentioned above can be used in foods as spices.  Try incorporating small, high-quality culinary doses of spices like turmeric into your dietary pattern, remembering that ‘adding it to taste,’ in a way that is truly enjoyable, may be the ultimate standard for determining what a ‘healthy dose’ isfor you.

You can learn more about this article at: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/turmeric-produces-remarkable-recovery-alzheimers-patients


Healthy Nutrition

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