Saturday, November 23, 2019

Spices and memory: Is garlic the key to improving cognitive health among the elderly?

(Natural News) Garlic is a popular spice known to have many health benefits. One of these benefits is the ability to improve cognitive health among older people. An animal study conducted by researchers from the University of Louisville found that a compound in garlic called allyl sulfide could help prevent age-related memory loss experienced by people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In particular, the compound helps counteract age-related changes in gut bacteria associated with memory problems.

The gut contains trillions of microorganisms collectively called the gut microbiota. These microorganisms are known to play an important role in maintaining human health. However, there is not much known about the health effects associated with changes in gut microbiota that come with age. As a person gets older, the diversity of the gut microbiota declines.
In the study, the researchers wanted to better understand how gut microbiota changes influence age-related cognitive decline. To do so, they fed 24-month old mice, which is equivalent to the age of people between 56 and 69 years, with allyl sulfide orally. Then, they compared these mice with four- and 24-month-old mice which did not receive the dietary allyl sulfide supplement.

The researchers saw that the older mice that received the garlic compound exhibited better long- and short-term memory, as well as healthier gut bacteria, compared with the older mice that did not receive the treatment. The two-year-old mice that did not receive the garlic compound also had impaired spatial memory.

In additional experiments, the researchers found that the reduced gene expression of neuronal-derived natriuretic factor (NDNF) in the brain was likely responsible for the cognitive decline. This gene, which was recently discovered by the researchers, is needed for long-term and short-term memory combination.
Moreover, the team found that mice that received allyl sulfide exhibited higher levels of NDNF gene expression. Recombinant-NDNF protein therapy in the brain also restored the cognitive function of the older mice that did not receive the garlic compound. Moreover, they found that the administration of allyl sulfide produced a hydrogen sulfide gas, which prevents inflammation in the intestines, in the gut lumen.
Taken together, the findings indicated that the intake of the garlic compound could enhance memory consolidation by restoring gut bacteria. The team continues to conduct experiments to better understand the relationship between the gut microbiota and cognitive decline. They also plan to look at whether garlic could be used as a treatment for age-related cognitive problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. They presented the current study’s findings at the American Physiological Society‘s annual meeting held in Orlando, Florida.

Other brain health benefits of garlic

For thousands of years, garlic has been used both for culinary and medicinal purposes. And over the years, scientists have uncovered and proven its health benefits, especially its benefits for the brain.

For one, garlic may help prevent brain cancer. It contains another compound called dilly trisulfide (DATS), which plays a role in reducing tumor growth in individuals with glioblastoma, the deadliest form of brain tumor. In a study published in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology, the compound effectively prevented tumor progression and induced apoptosis or cell death in active human glioblastoma, without harming the liver.

Garlic can also improve blood flow to the brain by preventing blood clot formation. Blood clots are masses that occur when liquid blood hardens. A blood clot can block an artery or vein in the heart, which may also affect the neck or brain and lead to stroke. Eating garlic can help because it is an effective blood thinner, which works like aspirin, and can help regulate blood circulation.

Aside from garlic, there are many other spices that can boost brain function. These include turmeric, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and holy basil.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Used for eons, researchers study how red yeast rice prevents CVD

(Natural News) Red yeast rice is a traditional Chinese food commonly used for lowering cholesterol. It is also believed to help prevent cardiovascular disease. A review published in the Chinese Journal of Natural Medicinesconfirmed that red yeast rice and its products could be used as a healthy functional food for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is a condition in which plaque or fatty deposits build up and clog the arteries, resulting in a thicker and narrower artery wall. Endothelial injury continues throughout the disease. Therefore, improving endothelial function is of essential in the prevention of the disease.

Researchers from the University of South ChinaThe Second Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology, and Beijing Anzhen Hospital of Capital Medical University reviewed existing evidence on the potential of red yeast rice and its related products in preventing and treating atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD).

Based on the evidence they have gathered, red yeast rice and its products help in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases because of their effectiveness and safety in improving lipid levels. Red yeast rice also reduces oxidative stress and inflammation while increasing nitric oxide (NO), which maintains normal vasodilatory function and helps prevent platelet aggregation and adhesion. These beneficial effects may be attributed to its compounds: polyketides, monounsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols, isoflavones, condensed tannins, coenzyme Q10, microelements, and pigments, including ankaflavin, monascin, rubropunctatin, monascorubrin, rubropunctamine, and monascorubramine.

Other health benefits of red yeast rice

In addition to improving heart health, red yeast rice offers other health benefits. These include:
  • Helping to treat metabolic syndrome: Red yeast rice consumption may help reduce several risk factors for metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Human and animal studies have shown that supplementing with red yeast rice can help control levels of blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, as well as prevent excessive weight gain.
  • Reducing inflammation: Although inflammation is a normal immune response that products the body against acute infection and foreign invaders, too much and prolonged inflammation can do more harm than good. Human and animal studies have shown that supplementing with red yeast rice may help reduce inflammation and fight oxidative stress in the body, promoting better health.
  • Warding off cancer: There is also some evidence on red yeast rice having anti-cancer properties. Animal and test-tube studies have reported that red yeast rice may help fight against cancer, particularly prostate cancer, by reducing tumor growth and the spread of prostate cancer cells.
For more studies on heart-healthy foods like red yeast rice, visit FoodCures.news.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Delicious medicine: Compounds in chocolate are good for your heart

(Natural News) Chocolates are some of the world’s best-loved sweets. They’re a comfort food for some and a guilty pleasure for others. But no matter how or why you choose to eat chocolates, you should know that they’re doing you more good than just making you feel happy or satisfying your cravings. According to a 2018 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutritioneating chocolates every day keeps your heart healthy.

Chocolates are good for your arteries
The study involved 45 male volunteers who were divided into three different groups. Each group was assigned a capsule to take with their breakfast every day for one month. Two of the three capsules contained different amounts of the two most studied compounds found in chocolate: (-)-epicatechin and procyanidins. Both compounds are flavonols or flavan-3-ols, a class of flavonoids found in many fruits and vegetables, including cocoa. (-)-Epicatechin and procyanidins are known antioxidants.

(-)-Epicatechin lowers blood pressure and reduces stiffness in arteries

When researchers from the University of Dusseldorf in Germany examined the effects of the compounds, they found that (-)-epicatechin improved endothelial function in the volunteers. It also lowered their blood pressure and reduced arterial stiffness. These results aligned with those of previous studies, particularly one made in the Netherlands which reported that men who consumed large amounts of (-)-epicatechin had a 38 percent lower risk of dying from coronary heart disease than men who consumed less (-)-epicatechin.

In contrast, the volunteers who took capsules with less (-)-epicatechin and more procyanidins did not receive the same benefits. “This demonstrates that the impact of CF (cocoa flavonols) on vascular health is linked to (?)-epicatechin and not to CF procyanidins,” wrote the researchers. (Related: Chocolate lowers blood pressure and slashes risk of heart disease.)

Procyanidins lower blood cholesterol levels

Procyanidins are not without their health benefits. Although volunteers who took large amounts of procyanidins did not experience a decrease in blood pressure or arterial stiffness, they did enjoy a reduction in blood cholesterol levels. This demonstrated that procyanidins still support heart health, albeit in an indirect way. The impact of procyanidins may not be immediately felt, but it’s still massive in the long run.
The researchers also explained that the role of procyanidins may have to do with the effect size of flavonols – that is, they protect and preserve (-)-epicatechin and other flavonols from degradation during food processing and storage, and in the gastrointestinal tract during digestion. The researchers noted that this might explain the results of other studies, which used only pure (-)-epicatechin and reported no significant effects on cardiovascular function.

Other reasons to eat chocolate

Research shows that (-)-epicatechin can also decrease blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. (-)-Epicatechin increases insulin sensitivity and decreases insulin resistance, suggesting that eating (-)-epicatechin-rich foods like chocolate can help prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
(-)-Epicatechin also has anticancer effects. Several studies reported that it can stop angiogenesis or the formation of new blood vessels, which is one of the ways cancer cells grow and spread to other parts of the body. High concentrations of (-)-epicatechin also prevent cancer cell proliferation in vitro.
Procyanidins, together with (-)-epicatechin and other flavonols, may have anti-inflammatory properties. One study found that these compounds can inhibit enzymesinvolved in inflammation and the formation of tumors. Procyanidins are also used in connection with health conditions such as chronic venous insufficiency, capillary fragility, diabetic retinopathy, sunburn, pancreatic insufficiency, and varicose veins. In terms of anticancer activity, procyanidins target components of intracellular signaling pathwaysimportant for regulating cell survival and death and mediating metastasis.

Friday, February 22, 2019

High-dose vitamin C can treat dengue fever and Zika virus

(Natural News) Nutritional therapies are simple low-cost methods of interrupting the transmission of various viral infections, as well as reducing one’s susceptibility to these diseases. Of particular note is the incredible healing power of vitamin C in reducing symptoms related to dengue fever, Zika virus, and similar infections.

Dengue fever can be effectively reduced with vitamin C therapy. A case study by Thomas E. Levy, M.D. showed that 10 packets of liposome-encapsulated vitamin C (1,000 mg per packet) completely cured a 15-year-old Colombian girl suffering from hemorrhagic dengue fever. Levy wrote of his experience on NaturalHealth365 and said that his patient was well after only 48 hours.

Recent studies are proving the efficacy of intravenous vitamin C therapy in effectively resolving symptomatic and documented cases of Ebola virus infection in Sierra Leone as well. Case studies published in various medical journals documented the health and status of several Ebola patients in Central Africa. Across the board, a protocol of ozone, four to eight grams of vitamin C, and a supplement containing multiple antioxidants (such as thiamine, riboflavin, selenium, N-acetyl cysteine, glutathione, and lipoic acid) dramatically reduced symptoms.

Similarly, vitamin C therapy appears to be effective in treating the Zika virus. A 2016 case report written by researchers from the University of Puerto Rico, Berdiel Clinic, and the Ponce Health Sciences University concluded that high doses of intravenous vitamin C therapy administered over three days significantly improved the condition of a patient. Symptoms associated with Zika were completely resolved without any side effects after the fourth day.

A natural antioxidant that cures and prevents

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage. While it can be used quite effectively as a therapeutic agent in many diseases and disorders, its power remains in its ability to protect the immune system by fighting off infections. Indeed, vitamin C is a clear example of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, turnips, green peppers, red peppers, and green, leafy vegetables. In a 2013 study titled “Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview,” researchers concluded that the antioxidant had profound effects on how the body responds to infections. Supplementing with vitamin C leads to a significantly reduced risk of becoming ill from various diseases and infections. Vitamin C is especially recommended for treating various inflammatory conditions.

Other documented uses for vitamin C

A number of experimental studies have observed that vitamin C therapy can be beneficial for the following conditions:
  • Heavy metal toxicity — Vitamin C therapy may help remove heavy metals from the body. Recent clinical trials based on histopathological examinations of animal models concluded that the antioxidant lessened the severity of effects of chronic lead exposure in the liver, kidneys, brain, and testes.
  • Diabetes — There is convincing clinical evidence that vitamin C can prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes. The metabolic disorder is associated with intense oxidative stress — a condition that can be treated with vitamin C.
  • Neurodegenerative disorders — A study conducted on 12 schizophrenics found that large doses of vitamin C improved the mental condition in 75 percent of the patients.
  • Cancer — High doses of vitamin C can improve the survival of patients diagnosed with terminal cancer. Studies suggest cancer patients to take around 10 g of vitamin C to reap its full benefits.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Beat depression without drugs: These are the best supplements and activities that work faster and better than prescription medicine

(Natural News) If you’re depressed, you might be wary of taking antidepressants. Antidepressant use is incredibly common, with roughly one out of every 10 adults taking these drugs, but apprehension is certainly understandable given the dangerous side effects that are associated with these meds. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer. Thankfully, there are several natural antidepressants and activities that you can try to help alleviate depression.
EGCG (Green tea)
You might be surprised to find that you may already have a very effective natural antidepressant in your pantry. The main active component of green tea, EGCG, boosts your resilience to stress and has been found to be just as effective as anti-anxiety drugs in combating anxiety. Studies have shown that drinking green tea every day can reduce your risk of depression by an impressive 44 percent.
Avoid taking the shortcut with supplements as these are not usually well absorbed by the body. Moreover, when you drink green tea, you’ll benefit from the synergy between the EGCG, l-theanine, and caffeine, which work together to boost attention, learning and memory. If you’re dealing with depression as well as anxiety, this is a great starting point.

Fish oil
Research has linked depression to low levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and deficiencies of one particular omega-3, DHA, have been linked to depression as well as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Another type of omega-3, EPA, can also reduce depression.
Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3s if you don’t tend to eat a lot of oily fish, but be sure you look out for options that contain EPA as well as DHA for the maximum benefits.

Saffron
This beautiful yellow spice works just as well as Prozac does on depression by acting on serotonin metabolism, according to studies. It can also help decrease appetite. It’s not surprising, then, that saffron is one of the more common fraudulent foods given its utility in losing weight and fighting depression. Look for a standardized extract of the Crocus sativus plant from reputable sources to be sure you’re getting something effective.
Rhodiola (Arctic Root)
If you need quick depression relief, arctic root – also known as rhodiola – is a good bet. Found mostly in the colder areas of the world at higher altitudes, it is a mainstay in Chinese traditional medicine for reducing stress-induced fatigue and boosting physical stamina. It raises the activity of brain chemicals that improve mood, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. When you have depression alongside fatigue or anxiety or it’s caused by seasonal affective disorder (SAD), you could find relief from arctic root.
Dietary changes
In many cases, the food you eat could cause or contribute to your depression. The trans fats found in fried and processed foods are particularly dangerous in this regard as researchers have found a direct correlation between the amount of trans fats consumed and depression risk. Replacing them with extra virgin oil can reduce your depression risk by as much as half.
You might also consider adding coconut oil to your diet. Its composition of medium-chain fatty acids and antioxidants has also been shown to be as effective as antidepressants at fighting depression.

Get moving
When you are depressed, it’s hard to find the motivation to do much of anything, but knowing that physical exercise is one of the best ways to improve your mental health may just be enough to get you up on your feet. Because exercise regulates the neurotransmitters that are targeted by prescription antidepressants, it can relieve depression just as well as these drugs can – and in some cases, even better! Exercise boosts the flow of blood to your brain while delivering more nutrients and oxygen.
Not only can it stimulate the formation of new brain cells and increase the connectivity between different areas of your brain, but it can even change genetic expression. Try to get your exercise outdoors so you can also benefit from the depression-alleviating effects of being with nature.
These are just a few of the ways that you can address your depression without having to put your life at risk by taking pharmaceuticals. Why not experiment with these alternatives and see what works for you?

Friday, October 5, 2018

A compound produced by bacteria in papayas shows promise as a powerful antibacterial agent

(Natural News) One of the commonly used bacterial species for industrial purposes is Bacillus licheniformis. A specific strain of this species, which was identified and isolated from papayas in Thailand, was shown to produce antimicrobial compounds. For this study, which was published in CyTA – Journal of Food, the antimicrobial compounds produced by the BFP011 strain of B. licheniformis were further characterized and evaluated for antimicrobial activity.


Bacillus sp. serve as sources for naturally-derived antimicrobial compounds, which can come in the form of either peptides or polyketides. Between these two, peptides, such as surfactins and fengycins, are more abundant than polyketides. These antimicrobial compounds are important for their role in the treatment of infections, as well as in food preservation.

In this study, crude extracts were acquired from BFP011 and subjected to further purification to determine the individual compounds present. This was done using thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). The purified fractions revealed the presence of macrolactins and amicoumacins, which are both non-peptides.

Antimicrobial activity of the crude extracts and the purified fractions were determined against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria that are involved in human pathogenesis or food spoilage. Results showed that the compounds were effective against a variety of bacterial species. However, Gram-negative bacteria were observed to be less susceptible to the extracts than Gram-positive bacteria. This difference in sensitivity can be attributed to lower peptidoglycan content in Gram-negative bacteria, since most antimicrobial compounds work by inhibiting peptidoglycan synthesi.


The mechanisms of action of the purified fractions against Salmonella typhi ATCC 5784 were also determined based on changes in bacterial morphology when viewed under a scanning electron microscope. S. typhi was selected for this part of the study because of its ability to cause human disease and survive in low temperature, which could lead to food contamination. Exposure of S. typhi to the purified fractions led to an inhibition of its growth, showing that macrolactins and amicoumacins are sufficient for antimicrobial activity against S. typhi. It was also observed that cells treated with the purified fractions caused deformation of the cell membrane or formation of protrusions on the surface.

Based on these results, the researchers were able to determine that B. licheniformisBFP011 produces non-peptidic antimicrobial compounds, namely macrolactins and amicoumacins. They were also able to observe that these compounds work against various bacterial species and that their mechanism of action involves the destruction of the cell membrane in a time-dependent manner.

“Notably, the scope of potential applications would not be limited to suppressing the bacterial growth in food products, but also include novel antimicrobial therapeutics, which could help to promote human health by lowering the risks associated to infection with multiresistant bacteria,” the researchers concluded.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Flu-pocalypse: The shocking failure of the flu vaccine exposed

(Natural News) Back-to-school season is here. Alongside sales, shopping and students, you may have noticed that something else is back: The flu shot. The push to get vaccinated is in full swing, whether you’re at the grocery store or simply watching the evening news. “It’s never too early to get the flu shot,” vaccine pushers are saying. And after the massive failure of the 2017 flu shot, it’s no surprise that pro-vaccine propaganda is already everywhere.

As the masses become more aware of the fraud behind the flu vaccine, Big Pharma and their puppets are going to be working overtime to sell their disinformation. In 2017, the flu vaccine was so ineffective that experts warned there would be a “Flu-pocalypse.” As a news video by The Highwire with Del Bigtree shows, media pundits around the world declared that the 2017 flu shot was only about 10 percent “effective,” yet companies and hospitals around the U.S. are forcing employees to get vaccinated.

“It’s a terrible vaccine,” Bigtree states. “But what’s outrageous is how much fear they’re creating around the idea that they may not have a vaccine,” he contends. Indeed, the fear here is actually being used to serve the vaccine industry. It’s as if these people believe the human immune system simply can’t function without a shot.
After years of toxic inoculations, that may not be so far-fetched (unfortunately).

As Bigtree contends, the media seems to use fear-mongering to push people towards vaccination, even when the vaccine clearly doesn’t work. Last year’s vaccine was a total sham — and this year’s inoculation will be no different. But everywhere you look, there’s an advertisement for the shot. Some places are even doling out flu shots for free, but it seems Big Pharma can’t even give these things away anymore.


The flu shot charade

While the mainstream media likes to claim that any increase in the case of flu is a result of people not getting vaccinated, data from the CDC shows that by the end of the flu season, approximately the same number of people were vaccinated in 2017 as years past. While the CDC writes that early season vaccination was lower, the data presented in their charts clearly shows that by the end of flu season, the numbers of vaccinated people are consistently about the same every year:
Indeed, the failure of the flu vaccine is not due to a dramatic decrease in the number of people being vaccinated, though that is what the vaccine propagandists would like for you to believe. But as Mike Adams, founder of Natural News and the pro-freedom video-sharing platform REAl.video, reports, the real science on vaccines lies in stark opposition to the pro-vaccine narrative.

Indeed, the failure of the flu vaccine is not due to a dramatic decrease in the number of people being vaccinated, though that is what the vaccine propagandists would like for you to believe. But as Mike Adams, founder of Natural News and the pro-freedom video-sharing platform REAl.video, reports, the real science on vaccines lies in stark opposition to the pro-vaccine narrative.
The Health Ranger writes:
Now a new study conducted by the Scripps Research Institute and published in the science journal PLoS blows the lid on exactly why flu shots are the greatest medical hoax in the history of science and medicine. Titled, “A structural explanation for the low effectiveness of the seasonal influenza H3N2 vaccine,” the research paper concludes that the very method of modern flu vaccine production causes viral strains to mutate to non-effective structures that do not confer the immunity being routinely claimed for flu vaccines.
Essentially, the way flu shots are made renders the flu strains useless for promoting immunity — which is why so many people still get the flu, even after vaccination. This failure rate is then used as propaganda to promote more vaccination.
But as Adams reported earlier this year, studies have now also shown that the flu vaccine doesn’t just fail — it can also cause disease to spread. Once again, mainstream media and conventional medicine have dropped the ball.