Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pomegranate Reverses Atherosclerosis and Slows the Progression of Prostate Cancer

Reposted from Life Extension

By Dave Tuttle
Research from around the globe confirms that pomegranate is one of nature’s most concentrated sources of antioxidants.1-3 Extraordinary new findings indicate that compounds in pomegranate can do what scientists previously thought to be virtually impossible—namely, reverse the process of atherosclerosis.
These studies indicate that pomegranate confers unprecedented cardiovascular protection by restoring endothelial health, lowering blood pressure, and protecting low-density lipoprotein (LDL) from damaging oxidation. Pomegranate also appears to fight several of the most common forms of cancer, slowing the progression of prostate cancer and suppressing the growth of colon, breast, and lung cancer cells. Pomegranate even appears to shield against unsightly signs of aging by supporting the health of the skin’s underlying matrix.
The good news for consumers is that pomegranate’s remarkable health benefits can now be obtained in the form of affordable, highly concentrated extracts.

Pomegranate Enhances Nitric Oxide, Improves Endothelial Function

Pomegranate protects cardiovascular health by augmenting nitric oxide, which supports the functioning of endothelial cells that line the arterial walls. Nitric oxide signals vascular smooth muscle to relax, thereby increasing blood flow through arteries and veins. Nitric oxide reduces injury to the vessel walls, which also helps prevent the development of atherosclerosis.4
Scientists have known for some time that oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) can reduce the expression of nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme that produces nitric oxide. Recently, they discovered that pomegranate juice enhances the bioactivity of nitric oxide synthase in endothelial cells.5 Furthermore, pomegranate’s antioxidant properties protect nitric oxide from oxidative destruction, thus augmenting its biological actions.6,7
An Italian study examined the role of pomegranate juice in nitric oxide synthase activity in artery sections that had already developed atherosclerosis.8 In these segments, blood forcing its way around atherosclerotic plaque buildup exerts significant stress on arterial walls. This stress reduces nitric oxide synthase expression and sets the stage for the formation of yet more plaque.
The researchers selected mice with a genetic predisposition to developing atherosclerosis. They put the mice on a high-fat diet, let arterial disease develop for six months, and then added pomegranate juice to the experimental group’s drinking water for 24 weeks. The placebo group was given plain drinking water.8
Pomegranate juice not only increased the expression of nitric oxide synthase in both healthy and atherosclerotic blood vessels, but increased it the most in blood vessels with the most plaque buildup, as shown below.8

Increase in Nitric Oxide Synthase Expression by Pomegranate

  • Low-prone atherosclerotic areas +26.1%
  • High-prone atherosclerotic areas +46.7% Healthy blood vessel areas +3.3%
Pomegranate’s ability to increase nitric oxide synthase resulted in a significant reduction in atherosclerotic lesions:8

Reduction in Atherosclerotic Lesions by Pomegranate

  • Low-prone atherosclerotic areas -20.2%
  • High-prone atherosclerotic areas -19.3%
  • Healthy blood vessel areas -25.6%
In other words, in healthy parts of the blood vessels, pomegranate juice reduced lesion volume by nearly 26%, while in areas with much more plaque, pomegranate reduced the volume of lesions by approximately 20%.8 Pomegranate’s ability to enhance nitric oxide synthase and protect nitric oxide from destruction may facilitate longer-lasting concentrations of nitric oxide in endothelial cells, thus enhancing endothelial function and conferring profound cardiovascular protection.

Reversing Plaque Buildup and Lowering Heart Disease Risk

For years, scientists have believed that while antioxidants and other nutrients can slow additional atherosclerotic plaque buildup, they do little to reverse the process once plaque has already formed on the arterial walls. Now, a remarkable study from Israel indicates that pomegranate can actually reduce existing plaque formations in the arteries.
Nineteen patients from the Vascular Surgery Clinic in Haifa, Israel, were selected to participate in this three-year trial.9 All were non-smokers between the ages of 65 and 75, with asymptomatic severe carotid artery narrowing (stenosis) ranging from 70% to 90%. In other words, their arteries were so occluded by plaque buildup that only 10-30% of the original artery volume was available to permit blood flow. Ten of the 19 patients consumed 50 mL (1.7 ounces) of pomegranate juice daily, while the other nine received a placebo beverage. Both groups had similar blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels at baseline, and continued their ongoing drug regimens. Dietary and lifestyle practices were kept constant during the study.
Despite the patients’ advanced atherosclerosis, ingesting pomegranate juice produced statistically significant reductions in the thickness of their carotid artery walls, which is correlated with decreased risk for heart attack and stroke. After only three months, the average thickness declined by 13%, and after 12 months, the thickness dropped 35% compared to baseline. During this same 12-month period, the average carotid artery thickness of the placebo group increased by 9%.
This study also measured various other parameters of cardiovascular health. One year of pomegranate supplementation reduced the peak systolic velocity of the blood in the carotid arteries, while systolic blood pressure itself dropped by 21%. Systolic blood pressure refers to the maximum arterial pressure when the heart beats. Pomegranate intake appears to clear so many obstructions in the carotid arteries that the blood encounters less resistance, enabling the heart to pump at a reduced pressure. Less pressure through a wider “pipe” results in less speed, or velocity.9
Pomegranate consumption did not change blood levels of glucose, LDL, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Standard markers of heart, kidney, and liver function, as well as homocysteine and blood cell counts, also remained unchanged.9 However, the Israeli researchers noted a number of improvements in blood markers that help to explain why pomegranate so effectively supports cardiovascular health.
For example, total antioxidant status in the blood was increased by 130% after 12 months of pomegranate use, while serum lipid peroxidation was reduced by 59%. Also contributing to the improvements was an 83% increase in serum paraoxonase-1, an enzyme that can reduce harmful lipid peroxides in arterial cells and in lipoproteins in coronary and carotid lesions.9-11 In addition, one year of pomegranate use more than doubled the time it took for the initiation of LDL oxidation, from 30 minutes to 65 minutes. Since LDL must be oxidized before it can adhere to the arterial wall, delays in oxidation and increasing levels of antioxidants in the blood keep new plaque from building up, while paraoxonase-1 may help break up existing plaque, leading to overall reductions in plaque formation over time.9
While all these one-year improvements are remarkable, some of the parameters continued to show improvement until the end of the three-year study. For example, there was a further 16% reduction in lipid peroxidation at 36 months. It appears, however, that continued use of pomegranate is required to sustain these enhancements. One month after stopping supplementation, the study participants saw their average total antioxidant status drop by 35%, while their serum paraoxonase-1 activity declined by 18%.9 As a result, pomegranate should be incorporated in a long-term program for enhancing cardiovascular health and longevity.
Another Israeli study confirmed that pomegranate reduces both systolic blood pressure and serum angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity.12 After only two weeks, 50 mL of pomegranate juice daily lowered systolic pressure by 5%, while producing a 36% drop in ACE activity. Since a reduction in ACE activity has been shown to help prevent atherosclerosis independent of its effects on blood pressure, the researchers noted that pomegranate juice appears to offer broad-spectrum protection against cardiovascular disease.
Pomegranate: What You Need to Know
  • Pomegranate is now recognized as a powerful source of phytonutrients that can help prevent and reverse cardiovascular disease, avert cancer, and promote healthy skin.
  • Pomegranate contains high levels of punicalagins, which are powerful antioxidants used to standardize the potency of pomegranate juice and extracts.
  • Pomegranate increases the synthesis of nitric oxide, a key factor required for healthy endothelial function of the inner arteries. Pomegranate’s antioxidant effects protect nitric oxide from oxidative degradation.
  • New human studies offer dramatic evidence that consuming pomegranate can help reduce coronary plaque buildup and thus reverse existing atherosclerosis. Pomegranate further benefits cardiovascular health by inhibiting LDL oxidation, reducing blood pressure, and quenching oxidative stress.
  • Laboratory studies show that pomegranate slows the proliferation of prostate cancer cells and increases cancer cell death. In men treated for prostate cancer, pomegranate dramatically slows PSA doubling time, significantly delaying disease progression. Pomegranate may also help reduce the risk of colon, lung, and breast cancers.
  • Topically applied pomegranate extract helps protect the skin from damaging ultraviolet radiation, reduces inflammation, speeds wound healing, and promotes healthy, youthful-looking skin.
  • Pomegranate’s numerous health-promoting benefits can now be obtained in the form of highly concentrated liquid and powdered extracts.

Pomegranate Protects Against Prostate and Other Cancers

For many years, scientists have used phytonutrients with antioxidant properties, such as curcumin and green tea, to help fight cancer. New evidence suggests that pomegranate may be similarly effective in countering cancer’s growth and spread.
For example, University of Wisconsin researchers investigated pomegranate’s benefits against several types of aggressive prostate cancer cells. A laboratory study found that pomegranate extract inhibits human prostate cancer cell growth while increasing programmed cancer cell death (apoptosis). Pomegranate increases the expression of a protein that promotes cancer cell death, while decreasing the expression of a protein that inhibits the demise of cancer cells.13
A study in mice by the same researchers found that oral consumption of pomegranate extract inhibits prostate cancer cell growth while markedly decreasing serum levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Rising levels of PSA are associated with the progression and recurrence of prostate cancer. The researchers concluded that pomegranate consumption might similarly help prevent prostate cancer or slow its progression in humans, thus prolonging survival and quality of life for patients.13
A study at the University of California at Los Angeles found similar benefits of pomegranate consumption.14 When eight ounces of pomegranate juice was given each day to prostate cancer patients, the average PSA doubling time rose from 15 months at baseline to 54 months in more than 80% of the study subjects. Since a longer PSA doubling time signifies slower disease progression, this 3.6-fold increase in doubling time is a dramatically positive result. Laboratory analysis of the patients’ pre- and post-treatment serum showed a 12% decrease in cell proliferation and a 17% increase in cancer cell death, demonstrating pomegranate’s cancer-fighting effects.
Pomegranate may also help to fight colon cancer. Pomegranate supplementation reduced the number and size of experimentally induced colon tumors in animal subjects.15 In the laboratory, pomegranate juice inhibited the proliferation and increased programmed cell death (apoptosis) of human colon cancer cells.16,17 Pomegranate juice may exert some of its effects by suppressing the activity of nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-kB), a significant contributor to cancer and age-related disease.16 The expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an inflammatory enzyme associated with colon cancer risk, was also dramatically reduced by pomegranate.16
Pomegranate similarly shows promise in averting deadly lung cancer. In the laboratory, pomegranate inhibited the growth and replication of human lung cancer cells. Additionally, administering pomegranate extract to animals implanted with human lung cancer cells suppressed tumor growth. Scientists believe that pomegranate may fight lung cancer through its inhibitory effects on NF-kB.18
Breast cancer may also respond to pomegranate’s anti-cancer effects. In the laboratory, pomegranate extracts inhibited human breast cancer cells’ ability to proliferate and spread to other areas (metastasize) and induced programmed cell death. Pomegranate displayed efficacy against both estrogen-dependent and estrogen-independent breast cancer cells.19
Pomegranate thus holds promise in fighting several of the most common cancers threatening aging adults today.

Pomegranate Supports the Skin’s Underlying Structure

Topical application of pomegranate has been shown to promote skin health via several mechanisms. For example, by suppressing lipid peroxidation in the skin, pomegranate helps shield against damage induced by ultraviolet light.20 In animal studies, pomegranate seed and fruit extracts significantly reduced the incidence and number of skin tumors in the animals after an experimental cancer-provoking challenge.21,22 Pomegranate inhibits two inflammatory enzymes, cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, which may help protect the skin against the age-accelerating effects of inflammation.23 Pomegranate extract also protected human skin cells against the increase in NF-kB induced by ultraviolet-A light, suggesting a role for pomegranate in preventing skin cancer.24
Other studies have demonstrated that pomegranate helps reverse visible signs of aging by promoting a moderate thickening of the skin’s outer layer, known as the epidermis.25 Pomegranate fruit extract also provides nutritional support for fibroblast cells in the skin’s dermis, which lies below the epidermis; fibroblasts produce collagen and elastin, the critical structural fibers that provide the skin with support and flexibility. Pomegranate extract also increased dermal cell proliferation and collagen synthesis at the same time.25
In addition, pomegranate’s phenolic compounds effectively promote wound healing. Indian researchers noted that a topical pomegranate cream produced an average 35% reduction in the number of days required for complete recovery from an excision wound.26
Pomegranate extract thus helps protect the skin against the threats of ultraviolet light and inflammation, while supporting its underlying structure and helping to restore its youthful appearance and function.


Pomegranate is fast becoming one of today’s most talked-about nutrients. With emerging evidence indicating that it works via several mechanisms to remove plaque from human arteries, retard cancer growth, and promote more youthful-looking skin, pomegranate may soon be regarded as an essential nutrient. Its concentrated blend of powerful phytonutrients appears to confer profound protection against atherosclerosis, cancer, and other degenerative conditions. Health-conscious adults seeking to optimize their defense against these and other lethal diseases of aging should consider making pomegranate a part of their daily anti-aging regimen.
1. Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 May;71(5):1062-76.
2. Gil MI, Tomas-Barberan FA, Hess-Pierce B, Holcroft DM, Kader AA. Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing. J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Oct;48(10):4581-9.
3. Singh RP, Chidambara Murthy KN, Jayaprakasha GK. Studies on the antioxidant activity of pomegranate (Punica granatum) peel and seed extracts using in vitro models. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jan 2;50(1):81-6.
4. Ignarro LJ, Cirino G, Casini A, Napoli C. Nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the vascular system: an overview. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1999 Dec;34(6):879-86.
5. de Nigris F, Williams-Ignarro S, Botti C, Sica V, Ignarro LJ, Napoli C. Pomegranate juice reduces oxidized low-density lipoprotein downregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase in human coronary endothelial cells. Nitric Oxide. 2006 Nov;15(3):259-63.
6. Ignarro LJ, Byrns RE, Sumi D, de Nigris F, Napoli C. Pomegranate juice protects nitric oxide against oxidative destruction and enhances the biological actions of nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide. 2006 Sep;15(2):93-102.
7. de Nigris F, Williams-Ignarro S, Sica V, et al. Effects of a pomegranate fruit extract rich in punicalagin on oxidation-sensitive genes and eNOS activity at sites of perturbed shear stress and atherogenesis. Cardiovasc Res. 2006 Sep 1; [Epub ahead of print].
8. de Nigris F, Williams-Ignarro S, Lerman LO, et al. Beneficial effects of pomegranate juice on oxidation-sensitive genes and endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity at sites of perturbed shear stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005 Mar 29;102(13):4896-901.
9. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;23(3):423-33.
10. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Bisgaier CL, Newton RS, Primo-Parmo SL, La Du BV. Paraoxonase inhibits high-density lipoprotein oxidation and preserves its functions. A possible peroxidative role for paraoxonase. J Clin Invest. 1998 Apr 15;101(8):1581-90.
11. Aviram M, Hardak E, Vaya J, et al. Human serum paraoxonases (PON1) Q and R selectively decrease lipid peroxides in human coronary and carotid atherosclerotic lesions: PON1 esterase and peroxidase-like activities. Circulation. 2000 May 30;101(21):2510-7.
12. Aviram M, Dornfeld L. Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis. 2001 Sep;158(1):195-8.
13. Malik A, Afaq F, Sarfaraz S, Adhami VM, Syed DN, Mukhtar H. Pomegranate fruit juice for chemoprevention and chemotherapy of prostate cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005 Oct 11;102(41):14813-8.
14. Pantuck AJ, Leppert JT, Zomorodian N, et al. Phase II study of pomegranate juice for men with rising prostate-specific antigen following surgery or radiation for prostate cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Jul 1;12(13):4018-26.
15. Kohno H, Suzuki R, Yasui Y, Hosokawa M, Miyashita K, Tanaka T. Pomegranate seed oil rich in conjugated linolenic acid suppresses chemically induced colon carcinogenesis in rats. Cancer Sci. 2004 Jun;95(6):481-6.
16. Adams LS, Seeram NP, Aggarwal BB, Takada Y, Sand D, Heber D. Pomegranate juice, total pomegranate ellagitannins, and punicalagin suppress inflammatory cell signaling in colon cancer cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Feb 8;54(3):980-5.
17. Seeram NP, Adams LS, Henning SM, et al. In vitro antiproliferative, apoptotic and antioxidant activities of punicalagin, ellagic acid and a total pomegranate tannin extract are enhanced in combination with other polyphenols as found in pomegranate juice. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Jun;16(6):360-7.
18. Khan N, Hadi N, Afaq F, Syed DN, Kweon MH, Mukhtar H. Pomegranate fruit extract inhibits prosurvival pathways in human A549 lung carcinoma cells and tumor growth in athymic nude mice. Carcinogenesis. 2006 Aug 18; [Epub ahead of print].
19. Kim ND, Mehta R, Yu W, et al. Chemopreventive and adjuvant therapeutic potential of pomegranate (Punica granatum) for human breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2002 Feb;71(3):203-17.
20. Ashoori F, Suzuki S, Zhou JH, Isshiki N, Miyachi Y. Involvement of lipid peroxidation in necrosis of skin flaps and its suppression by ellagic acid. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1994 Dec;94(7):1027-37.
21. Afaq F, Saleem M, Krueger CG, Reed JD, Mukhtar H. Anthocyanin- and hydrolysable tannin-rich pomegranate fruit extract modulates MAPK and NF-kappa B pathways and inhibits skin tumorigenesis in CD-1 mice. Int J Cancer. 2005 Jan 20;113(3):423-33.
22. Hora JJ, Maydew ER, Lansky EP, Dwivedi C. Chemopreventive effects of pomegranate seed oil on skin tumor development in CD1 mice. J Med Food. 2003 Fall;6(3):157-61.
23. Schubert SY, Lansky EP, Neeman I. Antioxidant and eicosanoid enzyme inhibition properties of pomegranate seed oil and fermented juice flavonoids. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Jul;66(1):11-7.
24. Syed DN, Malik A, Hadi N, Sarfaraz S, Afaq F, Mukhtar H. Photochemopreventive effect of pomegranate fruit extract on UVA-mediated activation of cellular pathways in normal human epidermal keratinocytes. Photochem Photobiol. 2006 Mar-Apr;82(2):398-405.
25. Aslam MN, Lansky EP, Varani J. Pomegranate as a cosmeceutical source: Pomegranate fractions promote proliferation and procollagen synthesis and inhibit matrix metalloproteinase-1 production in human skin cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006;103:311-8.
26. Murthy KN, Reddy VK, Veigas JM, Murthy UD. Study on wound healing activity of punica granatum peel. J Med Food. 2004 Summer;7(2):256-9.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Truth About Wheatgrass

Reposted from Life Extension

By Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN
Wheatgrass is all over the Internet these days. It’s sold in powders and pills and even makes for a pretty tasty juice. It’s currently being touted by many as a cure-all for just about anything that ails you.

Some websites even claim it cures cancer. But how much of this is true?

Is this young, green plant of wheat really as magical as some people are claiming? Let’s take a look.

Wheatgrass Doesn’t Replace Vegetables

Wheatgrass is rich in plant-based nutrients, like flavonoids and carotenoids. It’s a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. But one shot of it doesn’t equal a typical serving of vegetables, as some claim it does.

So don’t skip eating your vegetables. Remember, it’s important to eat a balanced diet containing several servings of fruits and vegetables. This remains the ideal method for getting all of your daily vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

But one thing that wheatgrass does supply better than your favorite veggie is chlorophyll. This green pigment is believed to be a powerful detoxifying agent and may even protect against abnormal cell growth, better known as cancer.

Cancer Cells Probably Don’t Like Wheatgrass

Cancer is a complex disease. That’s why you should always be a little suspicious when health professionals claim they have a cure. Truth be told, wheatgrass looks promising as a treatment for some cancers, but it’s far from a cure.

For instance, a laboratory study showed that wheatgrass killed human leukemia cells.1 How this would actually play out in real life, in a real human, is yet to be seen.

In a another study, mice exposed to cancer-causing chemicals were less likely to develop skin cancer when wheatgrass was a part of their diets.2

Now, as we mentioned before, wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll: a DNA protector and potential anticancer compound. Different studies indicate that it protects against DNA mutations, the initial step in cancer development.3

Also, chlorophyll binds to carcinogenic substances found in foods (such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic amines, and aflatoxin-B1) and prevents these compounds from reaching areas of the body where they might contribute to cancer development.4-6

Detoxify your Body with Wheatgrass

Okay, so there is some truth to this one. One study showed that wheatgrass reduced the toxicity of chemotherapy for breast cancer patients.7
Its detoxifying effects may be due to its chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll activates enzymes in your liver that help to detoxify and remove harmful substances from the body.8,9
Also, wheatgrass has been shown to boost levels of glutathione, the body’s primary antioxidant.10 Glutathione is used by the liver in all of its detox duties.

Try Wheatgrass if You’re Anemic

The molecular structure of chlorophyll, found abundantly in wheatgrass, is extremely similar to hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying compound in human blood. One theory is that the resemblance of chlorophyll to hemoglobin is the reason wheatgrass juice may seem to benefit anemia patients.11

Several studies have shown wheatgrass use may help to restore hemoglobin levels in patients with thalassemia, a special form of anemia that may require blood transfusions.

In one study, thalassemia patients taking wheatgrass tablets experienced increased levels of hemoglobin in their blood and required fewer blood transfusions.12
So as you can see, wheatgrass has several benefits especially related to its chlorophyll content. Based on the research, it’s probably worth the cost to add to your daily supplement regimen.


  1. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2011 Jul;24(3):243-50.
  2. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011;12(1):143-8.
  3. Environ Mol Mutagen. 1993;22(3):164-71.
  4. Mutat Res. 1994;308(2):191-203.
  5. Environ Mol Mutagen. 1996;27(3):211-8.
  6. Mutat Res. 2003;523-524:209-16.
  7. Nutr Cancer. 2007;58(1):43-8.
  8. Carcinogenesis. 2005 Jul;26(7):1247-55. Epub 2005 Mar 17.
  9. Nutr Cancer. 2003;46(2):212-21.
  10. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2010 May;32(4):233-5.
  11. Indian Pediatr. 2006 Jan;43(1):79-80.
  12. Indian J Pediatr. 2010 Jan;77(1):90-1. Epub 2010 Feb 5.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Top 5 Most Repeated Health Myths

Reposted from

Top 5 Most Repeated Health Myths

Jun 17 • Articles, Diet, Fluoride, Vaccines • 664 Views • 14 Comments

doctor_mythsMyth #1

Conventional medicine and the healthcare system helps sick people.
Perhaps the biggest health myth today is the public’s misconception that mainstream medicine and the healthcare system helps sick people. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The freedom of people to choose natural healing, alternative medicine and methods of disease prevention could soon be threatened by corporate lobbyists who will do anything to protect their wealth at the expense of your health.
Promoters of conventional medicine claim that all the drug studies, approvals, surgical procedures, all other treatments are based on scientific evidence. But is it really science? What passes for “science” today is a collection of health myths, half-truths, intellectual dishonesty and fraudulent reporting to help serve higher interests. Science is not really science anymore.
90 percent of all diseases (cancer, diabetes, depression, heart disease, etc.) are easily preventable through diet, nutrition, sunlight and exercise. None of these solutions are ever promoted by conventional medicine because they make no money.
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No pharmaceuticals actually cure or resolve the underlying causes of disease. Even “successful” drugs only manage symptoms, usually at the cost of interfering with other physiological functions that will cause side effects down the road. There is no such thing as a drug without a side effect.
There is no financial incentive for anyone in today’s system of medicine (drug companies, hospitals, doctors, etc.) to actually make patients well. Profits are found in continued sickness, not wellness or prevention.
Almost all the “prevention” programs you see today (such as free mammograms or other screening programs) are nothing more than patient recruitment schemes designed to increase revenue and sickness. They use free screenings to scare people into agreeing to unnecessary treatments that only lead to further disease. Mammography is a very good example. Chemotherapy is another.
Nobody has any interest in your health except you. No corporation, no doctor, and no government has any desire to actually make you well. This has served the short-term financial interests of higher powers in the west very well. The only healthy, aware, critically thinking individuals are all 100% free of pharmaceuticals and processed foods.
Further Reading:


Vaccines prevent diseases and increase immunity.
The term “immunization”, often substituted for vaccination, is false and should be legally challenged. Medical research has well established that the direct injection of foreign proteins and other toxic material (particularly known immune-sensitising poisons such as mercury) makes the recipient more, not less, easily affected by what he/she encounters in the future. This means they do the opposite of immunize, commonly even preventing immunity from developing after natural exposure.
The actual frequency of health problems has been estimated by authorities to be possibly up to 100 times, or more, greater than that reported by government agencies. That difference is due to the lack of enforcement or incentive for doctors to report adverse effects. With the anti-vaccination movements now exposing the truth on the internet, the medical community is now on high alert, defending their claims and being told by vaccine manufacturers that they must never let their patients (or parents) think that the risks could outweigh the benefits, when in reality, it is precisely the opposite that is true.
The benefit risk ratio is an important decision in anyone deciding whether to vaccinate or not. Contrary to popular belief and marketing, childhood diseases in a developed country are not as dangerous as we are led to believe. Catching a particular disease does not mean you will
die from it. Vaccines were actually introduced at a time when diseases had already declined to a low risk level. This fact is proven, scientifically.
The main advances in combating disease over the last 200 years have been better food and clean drinking water…not vaccines. Improved sanitation, less overcrowded and better living conditions also contribute. This is also borne out in published peer reviewed research which prove that vaccine did not save us.
All vaccines contain sterility agents, neurotoxins, immunotoxins, and carcinogenic compounds. Some examples include formaldehyde, a carcinogen found in almost every vaccine, neurotoxins such as monosodium glutamate, potassium chloride, thimerosal, sterility agents such as Triton X-100, octoxynol-10, polysorbate 80, and immuntoxins such as neomycin, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium deoxycholate to name a few of many.
It is no coincidence that the more educated you are, the less chance you will vaccinate which contradicts the misconceptions of many health professionals who profess that parents don’t vaccinate because they are under-educated, poor or misinformed. Those who become fully informed of the dangers of vaccines never see them in the same light again, as their motives then become clear.
Further Reading:


We must all focus on lowering bad cholesterol.
Perhaps one of the biggest health myths propagated in western culture and certainly in the United States, is the misuse of an invented term “bad cholesterol” by the media and medical community. Moreover, a scientifically-naive public has been conned into a fraudulent correlation between elevated cholesterol and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Cholesterol has not been shown to actually cause CVD. To the contrary, cholesterol is vital to our survival, and trying to artificially lower it can have detrimental effects, particularly as we age.
We have become a culture so obsessed with eating foods low in cholesterol and fat that many health experts are now questioning the consequences. Could we really maintain a dietary lifestyle that was so foreign to many of our ancestral populations without any ill effects on our health? Many researchers are now concluding that the answer to that question is “NO.” Current data is now suggesting that lower cholesterol levels predate the development of cancer.
The ‘noddy-science’ offered by marketing men to a generally scientifically-naive public has led many people to believe that we should replace certain food choices with specially developed products that can help ‘reduce cholesterol’. Naturally this comes at a price and requires those who can afford it to pay maybe four or five times what a ‘typical ordinary’ product might cost. But is this apparent ‘blanket need’ to strive towards lowering our cholesterol justified? And, indeed, is it healthy?
The cholesterol itself, whether being transported by LDL or HDL, is exactly the same. Cholesterol is simply a necessary ingredient that is required to be regularly delivered around the body for the efficient healthy development, maintenance and functioning of our cells. The difference is in the ‘transporters’ (the lipoproteins HDL and LDL) and both types are essential for the human body’s delivery logistics to work effectively.
Problems can occur, however, when the LDL particles are both small and their carrying capacity outweighs the transportation potential of available HDL. This can lead to more cholesterol being ‘delivered’ around the body with lower resources for returning excess capacity to the liver.
Further Reading:


Medical screening and treatments prevent death.
Even though the medical community advocates for regular screenings for those with illnesses, they may bring little benefit and may actually pose harm to your health. This applies to almost every type of medical screening for cancer and several other diseases. Medical screening carries an immense risk in itself, not only due to the damage inflicted by screening techniques on the human body, but by the very nature of medical follow-up protocols. These protocols usually encourage patients to enter deeper into more invasive techniques, which further cripple health and lead to a very high percentage of fatalities.
In a Swedish study of 60,000 women, 70 percent of the mammographically detected tumors weren’t tumors at all. These “false positives” aren’t just financial and emotional strains, they may also lead to many unnecessary and invasive biopsies. In fact, 70 to 80 percent of all positive mammograms do not, upon biopsy, show any presence of cancer.
A prostate (PSA) blood test looks for prostate-specific antigen, a protein produced by the prostate gland. High levels are supposedly associated with prostate cancer. The problem is that the association isn’t always correct, and when it is, the prostate cancer isn’t necessarily deadly. Only about 3 percent of all men die from prostate cancer. The PSA test usually leads to overdiagnosis — biopsies and treatment in which the side effects are impotence and incontinence. Repeated biopsies may spread cancer cells into the track formed by the needle, or by spilling cancerous cells directly into the bloodstream or lympathic system.
News coverage of many diseases focus too much on treatments and not enough on prevention, a trend that could prove risky in the long run for most people who don’t understand how to take care of their health.
The biggest single type of story we usually hear about on the news involves treatment, and narratives lend themselves much better to that kind of story. Stories about prevention, about people exercising and eating right, just don’t make great copy.
If our current treatment approach to health continues, hundreds of years from now, mankind may look back at today’s “modern medicine” and think: “How could they have been so primitive in ideology and so wrong? What lack of humanitarianism in government allowed the medical industries to kill people with economically driven false beliefs and ideas? Why didn’t government stop them? Who were the people in charge of protecting those citizens?
Preventive education demands increased funding for research into new dietary, physical activity, behavioural, socioeconomic, environmental and medical approaches for the prevention of chronic disease. Children who grow into teenagers and then adults require more accountability for their own well-being through health conscious decisions which are motivated by proper practical and theoretical applications. They need to know that treatment modalities and pharmaceutical applications may not save their health in the future. Substantial political and financial contributions are also imperative to invest in prevention more effectively to regulate revisions and mandate policies which affect the governing bodies of health and education. Any procrastination or failure to resolve these matters in the next decade will only lead to the further deterioration of human health and healthcare systems. Proper leadership and effective communication regarding these preventive measures may still reverse screening/treatment trends and consequently reverse this thinking to ultimately promote a healthier aging population.
Further Reading:


Fluoride prevents tooth decay.
Water fluoridation is a hoax. Drinking any amount of fluoride is dangerous to your health and has NEVER been proven to prevent tooth decay. It’s actually the biggest scientific fraud ever to be promoted by national and international Governments. Fluoride has been linked to osteoporosis, cancer, auto-immune diseases, and even very small concentrations can disrupt DNA repair enzymes by 50%.
The fluoride added to our water is a waste product of aluminum and phosphate fertilizer processing. And it’s not even calcium fluoride that appears naturally in water, but sodium fluoride, which is a whole different thing–and loaded with bad news.
In fact, sodium fluoride has no good news. Except for a few suspect reports by the people selling the stuff, study after research study proves that sodium fluoride does not protect our teeth, and it does a number on our bones. And on other body parts, too, including our thyroid gland.
- Fluoride was found to be an equivocal carcinogen by the National Cancer Institute Toxicological Program.
- Drinking fluoridated water will double the number of hip fractures for both older men and women.
- Infertility in women was found to increase with water fluoridation. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists reported a close correlation between decreasing total fertility rates in women between ages of 10 and 49, and increasing fluoride levels.
- Fluoride has never been found to effectively reducing tooth decay by any notable margin. No causation or even correlation was found between the level of fluoride in water and dental caries in any study.
- Fluoride also attacks the pineal gland. The pineal controls our inner clock, provides good sleep, works with our adrenal glands to handle stress, keeps the thymus gland fed and cared for, and communicates 24/7 with the rest of the endocrine system about how things are going. Fluoride calcifies our pineal gland into a non-functioning rock.
- The government classifies sodium fluoride as environmentally hazardous waste. Anybody handling it must wear HazMat protective gear. Dumping it into rivers is a crime.
Much of the original proof that fluoride is safe for humans in low doses was generated by A-bomb program scientists, who had been secretly ordered to provide “evidence useful in litigation” against defense contractors for fluoride injury to citizens. The first lawsuits against the U.S. A-bomb program were not over radiation, but over fluoride damage, the documents show.
Further Reading:
It seems that the healthiest people on the planet right now are those that have deviated from the norms of conventional medical quackery, and have migrated towards natural health. The proof is in the pudding. Find the healthiest 5 people you know and you’ll find they typically don’t subscribe to the health myths promoted by mainstream medicine. Your longevity and aging gracefully depends on it.
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Nutritional Dangers of Acid Reflux Medications

Reposted from Life Extension

By Kimmi Le, PharmD, CPH
Kimmi Le, PharmD
Kimmi Le, PharmD
Q: I have suffered with acid reflux for many years. My doctor has prescribed Prilosec® indefinitely, which is beyond the maximum recommended window of 8 to 12 weeks. Are there any long-term health complications to this approach and can you suggest any steps I can take to avoid these side effects?
A: Heartburn medications are among the most frequently prescribed medicines in the US with sales exceeding $13.5 billion annually.1 Prilosec®, Nexium®, Protonix®, and Aciphex® are known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).2 They are the most powerful acid secretion inhibitors available today. Unfortunately, long-term use has been linked to nutritional deficiencies, bone fractures, an increased risk of bacterial infection, and even withdrawal symptoms.3-8

Role of Stomach Acid in Nutrient Absorption

Stomach acid plays an important role in the digestion of your food and nutrients. When the sphincter valve at the end of your esophagus fails to close properly, stomach contents including stomach acid leaks back up into the esophagus, damaging the delicate esophageal lining, causing heartburn. Drugs like Prilosec® inhibit the release of stomach acid and provide some relief. However, the continual reduction of stomach acid through medicines like proton pump inhibitors hinders digestion and absorption of key nutrients.9,10 This ultimately leads to deficiencies in key nutrients, such as vitamin B12, iron, calcium, magnesium, folic acid, and zinc.11 Due to the alteration in pH balance in your gut, the absorption of other nutrients is possibly at risk as well.11
  • Proton pump inhibitors not only block the release of stomach acid but also something else called “intrinsic factor,” making it impossible to absorb vitamin B12.11-13
  • The inhibition of dietary iron can contribute to anemia over a long period of time.14
  • It’s well known that calcium is best absorbed in the presence of acid.15
  • Proton pump inhibitors are thought to inhibit active transport of magnesium in the intestine, leading to deficiencies and potentially serious health outcomes.16
  • Your absorption of folic acid is inhibited, disrupting the production of new cells, which helps your body grow and repair itself.17,18
  • The absorption of zinc is impaired, which is needed for many enzyme reactions in the body.19
It is evident that the lack of stomach acid has far-reaching effects that extend well beyond the digestive system.
You can offset these damaging effects by supplementing to provide some protection against these deficiencies. Consider talking to your doctor and at the very least take a blood test (Complete Blood Count, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel) to check for nutrient deficiencies.

Increased Risk of Fractures

A 2011 meta-analysis study in The Annals of Family Medicine reported that high doses or long-term usage of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis-related fractures of any type, including wrist, spine, and hip.20 This elevated risk of osteoporosis is connected to the drastic drop in calcium absorption while on these medications.21,22 If you are taking a proton pump inhibitor, make sure you avoid a calcium deficiency by supplementing with a high-quality, bio-available calcium to offset the depletion of this mineral. Scientific evidence shows that calcium can be an effective bone builder, especially when combined with vitamin D3 and vitamin K.23

Increased Risk of Infections

Increased Risk of Infections  
When you decrease acid secretion in the stomach, you also boost the risk of infection.4,5,24,25 Without adequate stomach acid present, large amounts of undigested food pass into the intestines, contributing to the growth of opportunistic organisms, an increase in toxins, and an imbalance in intestinal flora.26 Studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that when taking a proton pump inhibitor drug, the risk of developing pneumonia increases up to 89%, and the risk of developing a potentially deadly chronic infection from the intestinal bacterium Clostridium difficile increases as well.27-29
A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial published in Gastroenterology shows that withdrawal from acid blockers can lead to rebound acid hypersecretion, which then forces the patient to immediately go back to the acid blocker drug.30 This becomes a vicious cycle of trying to stop the drug, but the body has become conditioned to be dependent on the drug for acid regulation.

Practical Recommendations

If you suffer from acid reflux, there are a number of preventative measures you can take to limit reflux symptoms without having to rely on proton pump inhibitors:31,32
  • Eat slow. Eat smaller, frequent meals
  • Avoid fried junk food
  • Limit alcohol
  • Replace sodas with water and other healthy beverages
  • Reduce drug intake (caffeine, prescription, and over-the-counter medications)
  • Choose foods with care
  • Quit smoking
  • Don’t eat within two to three hours before bedtime
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes
  • Manage stress
When evaluating your symptoms, your doctor should assess whether they are due to the illness, side effects of the drugs, or if they are caused by a drug-induced nutrient depletion. Taking a high- quality multivitamin and mineral supplement with a focus on the nutrients being depleted from the acid blockers will generally offset an imbalance.
In addition, a number of natural remedies have been found to soothe the gut:
  • Supplement with a good digestive enzyme formula to promote healthy digestion. Look for a formula that includes only proteases (which break down proteins) and lipases (which break down fats). Be aware that many formulas also include carbohydrases (which break down carbohydrates) that increase absorption of sugar and can cause unwanted spikes in post-meal blood sugar levels.
  • Take 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water and raw honey to reduce symptoms of acid reflux and poor digestion.
  • Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) has been shown to provide soothing relief of the stomach lining and intestinal tract.33 Although licorice is best known as a flavor for candy, it contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, which is known to pose certain health problems in high doses. However, many of today’s digestive formulas utilize DGL which does not contain the glycyrrhizinated compound. Look for a label that specifically states “DGL” or “deglycyrrhizinated licorice.”
  • D-limonene, a supplement extracted from the peels of citrus fruit, helps to neutralize gastric acid and supports normal peristalsis for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).34
  • Supplement with betaine hydrochloride after meals to help with digestion.
  • Re-inoculate the gut with healthy bacteria by using probiotics.


Despite the well-known safety profile of proton pump inhibitors, the risks associated with long-term use can play an integral part in developing serious health complications later on. More importantly, working toward eliminating the cause of your gastric distress can decrease or even eliminate your need for this medication. (Note: Altering your dose or discontinuing any of your prescription medications should always be done under the care and supervision of your physician.)
Kimmi Le is a member of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, and a clinical pharmacy educator for The Life Extension Foundation®.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.


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