Saturday, January 31, 2009

First Study Shows how Allicin in Garlic Benefits Health

Garlic has been touted for its benefits on health for centuries. Results of a new study reveals the real health benefit of garlic comes from allicin, the compound in garlic that makes it so pungent.

The new study comes from Queen's Chemistry professor Derek Pratt, Canada Research Chair in Free Radical Chemistry. According to Dr. Pratt, “We didn’t understand how garlic could contain such an efficient antioxidant, since it didn’t have a substantial amount of the types of compounds usually responsible for high antioxidant activity in plants, such as the flavanoids found in green tea or grapes. If allicin was indeed responsible for this activity in garlic, we wanted to find out how it worked.”

The scientists discovered that allicin decomposes to form sulfenic acid, the substance that reacts with free radicals. Sulfenic acid is the substance produced by allicin found in garlic that provides the health benefits.

Dr. Pratt says,” I think we have taken the first step in uncovering a fundamental chemical mechanism which may explain garlic’s medicinal benefits.” Until now, no one has known exactly why garlic has health benefits.

The researchers also found that garlic outperformed other related vegetables for health benefits in the study. Onions, leeks, and shallots did not have the same antioxidant power and medicinal qualities as garlic.

The authors surmise that allicin is more readily decomposed to form sulfenic acid when we consume garlic, versus other related vegetables. The result is greater health benefits from higher levels of antioxidants.

The new study show garlic and garlic supplements really do have health benefits that we can now understand.

We know garlic can benefit health – now we know why. Garlic provides a super antioxidant effect from sulfenic acid, a compound formed from the decomposition of allicin.

Queen’s chemist sheds light on health benefits of garlic

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Get a Steaming Cup of Coffee and Stay Mentally Sharp

A new study shows that drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day, especially in midlife, can keep us mentally sharp. The research, performed at the University of Kuopio, Finland, shows a whopping 65% reduction in the chances that we will develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in later life, by simply adding coffee to our daily diet.

The researchers followed 1409 individuals by way of questionnaires for a period of 21years. The group answered specifics about dietary habits, including the amount of coffee they consumed throughout the day. The results showed that coffee drinkers in midlife showed a lower chance of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life, compared to those who drank little or no coffee.

The groups involved in the coffee and dementia study were divided into those who drank 0-2 cups (low), 3-5 cups (moderate) and greater than 5 cups (high) of coffee each day. The evaluation also included those who drank tea, but tea drinkers were so uncommon that no association could be found between dementia and tea drinking.

The researchers found such a positive risk reduction in declining mental ability among coffee drinkers in midlife, that they plan to pursue things further, honing in on exactly what substance in coffee helps us stay mentally sharp with aging.

According to associate professor Miia Kivipelto, from the University of Kuopio, Finland and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, "We aimed to study the association between coffee and tea consumption at midlife and dementia/AD risk in late-life, because the long-term impact of caffeine on the central nervous system was still unknown, and as the pathologic processes leading to Alzheimer’s disease may start decades before the clinical manifestation of the disease. Given the large amount of coffee consumption globally, the results might have important implications for the prevention of or delaying the onset of dementia/AD.

Staying mentally sharp with age suddenly seems easy. Now where did I place my coffee cup?

Midlife Coffee and Tea Drinking and the Risk of Late-Life Dementia

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stress and Negativity Increases Chance of Dementia

According to a new study, people who are easily stressed, negative, or introverted have a 50% increased risk of developing dementia when compared to others who are socially active calm, and extroverted.

The research, published January 19 in the American Academy of Neurology, included 506 people without dementia at the beginning of the study. The participants were given questionnaires regarding lifestyle, involving how socially active they were, measuring their degree of extraversion, and happiness with their social lives.

The questionnaire targeted people who were easily distressed, nervous, negative or emotionally unstable, comparing those who were reserved, introverted, and introspective to those who were socially active and optimistic. Over a period of six years, 144 developed dementia.

According to study author Hui-Xin Wang, PhD, with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, “In the past, studies have shown that chronic distress can affect parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus, possibly leading to dementia, but our findings suggest that having a calm and outgoing personality in combination with a socially active lifestyle may decrease the risk of developing dementia even further.. But these are early results, so how exactly mental attitude influences risk for dementia is not clear.”

According to estimates, by the year 2030, one in seven Americans will have some form of dementia. The take home message from the study again shows the negative impact of stress on overall health and well-being. The authors remind us, “The good news is, lifestyle factors can be modified as opposed to genetic factors, which cannot be controlled”.

Source: Socially Active and Not Easily Stressed? You May Not Develop Dementia

Take the Happiness Quiz

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Say I Love You – Learn How to Give a Massage

Put on some music, get some warming massage oil or lotion, and get ready to say, “I love you” with a massage. Massage is easily learned.

Nothing helps two people connect more powerfully than touch. Pain can interrupt a relationship, interfering with communication and fun activities. The good news is you do not have to be an expert to provide a loving, connecting massage to your partner.

When muscles in the back and neck become tense from stress, the effect can be disrupting. Often, a simple muscle spasm in the neck can produce a headache that is resistant to over the counter medications. Stretching is helpful, but cannot always relieve a muscle spasm, and might even make things worse. Massage can help release muscle spasms that cause pain extending into various parts of the body.

Massage is relaxing, invigorating. Massage promotes the release of endorphins, produced by the body naturally. Endorphins help relieve pain. Massage provides mental and physical well-being, improves circulation, and may even boost immunity.

Watch the video a few times. Surprise your partner with a loving massage. You will see it is not difficult to learn how to deliver a loving and therapeutic massage to your partner.

What better way is there to say you love someone than with a massage? Massage delivers a gift of intimacy, as well as better physical and mental health. Try putting a price tag on that.

Order our Kama Sutra massage oil sampler

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Researchers Identify Gene that Shields Cancer from Chemotherapy

Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) have identified a gene responsible for shielding cancer cells from the effects of chemotherapy. Cancer cells, in a state of quiescence, have the ability to protect themselves. Until now, scientists have not understood which gene causes quiescence in cancer cells. If medications can be given to control the way cancer cells protect themselves from eradication, chemotherapy agents will be more effective.

The new research shows that when cancer cells do not contain P53, a protein that suppresses tumors, in addition to a gene called MEF, cancer cells become easier to kill with chemotherapy.

According to Stephen Nimer, MD, Chief of the Hematology Service and Member of the Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program at MSKCC says, "This is the first time that anyone has established that p53 has a role in defining a cell's state of quiescence. Furthermore, it is surprising that some cells that lose p53 can actually be killed more readily than those that have p53 intact. "Our findings have important implications for developing therapeutic strategies that could eliminate quiescent cancer stem cells."

P53 is now known to control the MEF gene’s pathway by helping cancer cells remain dormant, promoting resistance to chemotherapy.

Dr Nimer says, “Our findings suggest that by targeting those specific genes that control quiescence in cancer cells, we may enhance the anticancer effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, thereby promoting their effectiveness."

The Kettering scientists also found two other genes that suppress tumors and contribute to cancer’s resistance to chemotherapy, Necdin and Gfi-1, both of which contribute to quiescence of cancer cells. When the researchers lowered the expression of Necdin and Gfi-1, in cancer cells lacking MEF, they found a significant decrease in quiescence of cancer cells.

The research is important. One of the drawbacks of cancer treatment has been resistance of cancer cells to drugs after chemotherapy is started. Scientists have been trying to find ways to ensure that chemotherapy continues to work.

The new findings provide new hope for treating cancer. By suppressing the newly discovered genes, cancer cells can be more easily destroyed by chemotherapy.

Research Shows Cell's Inactive State is Critical for Effectiveness of Cancer Treatment

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Studies Show Caralluma is Safe and Effective for Weight Loss

Caralluma is a naturally occurring substance shown to be safe, non-toxic and effective for weight loss. Caralluma fimbriata is edible cactus. It grows on the roadside, in gardens and wild in portions of India.

Caralluma is widely ingested as part of a daily diet, eaten raw, pickled, cooked or with added spices. Local names for Caralluma fimbriata include kallimudayan, KaraIlamu, Yugmaphallottatna, Ranshabar, makad shenguli, shindala and makadi. Caralluma fimbriata is currently on the FDA docket for approval as use as weight loss supplement.

Indian tribal members used Caralluma fimbriata to stave off hunger during long hunts, eating it in chunks. Caralluma is also said to enhance endurance.

Caralluma Fimbriata is known as a food to be eaten during times of famine, as an appetite suppressant and thirst quencher in Western India. For centuries, no adverse health problems have occurred related to Caralluma fimbriata. Huntsmen in India carry caralluma to avoid the need to take food, eating it daily until their trip is ended.

Caralluma extract contains CaratubersideA, and B. Studies performed on caralluma compounds CaratubersideA and B, were found to lower blood sugars in rats. Elevated blood sugar is a component of metabolic syndrome, a prevalent factor that prevents weight loss. (1) Caralluma works on the hypothalmus of the brain, the area that controls appetite.

Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, explains the caralluma increases energy expenditure, and increases muscle mass. He says “Caralluma Fimbriata is “without a doubt, one of the best strategies I can think of for losing body fat….”

According to Georgetown Medical Professor, Harry Preuss, MD, “Caralluma has undergone two human double blind, randomized, placebo controlled human clinical trials. Caralluma safety has been reviewed by three toxicology studies done per exacting OECD guidelines and has achieved self-affirmed GRAS [Generally Recognized As Safe] status. I believe that Caralluma is safe to consume at the recommended dosage.”

Caralluma fimbriata can reduce hunger feelings, ensuring your weight loss efforts will not be sabotaged. It’s important to use caralluma as directed, discussing your plans for exercise and weight loss with your family physician.

If you have tried to lose weight. and have not been successful, try using caralluma fimbriata as part of a total exercise, diet and fitness program.

Caralluma Research:

Effect of Caralluma Fimbriata extract on appetite, food intake and anthropometry in adult Indian men and women

Olive Leaf Compound Naturally Protects from Colon Cancer

Researchers from the University of Granada found that compounds in olive leaf can naturally protect from colon cancer. Maslinic acid, found in olive leaf and olive skin wax was found to inhibit the progression of abnormal cells that can become cancerous.

The natural protection provided by the olive leaf compounds is appealing because there are no toxic side effects. Not only is olive leaf cancer protective, but the current researchers found that the olive leaf compound, maslinic acid, only affects cancerous and pre-cancerous cells, leaving healthy cells intact. Maslinic acid from olive leaf was found to control the growth of cancerous cells that have already developed.

Though the current research focused on colon cancer, the scientists say maslinic acid from olive leaf can be used to control other types of cancer. The natural protection from olive leaf wax and skin is believed to be the result of the powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties found in high levels in the olive skin wax.

The Faculty Science Center at the University of Granada is currently the only facility that produces the maslinic acid substance from olive leaf and olive skin wax.

So far, the findings have been studied on mice. The research, led by Professor Lupiáñez Cara, and performed by PhD student Fernando Jesús Reyes Zurita, may prove useful in humans as a safe and natural way to prevent and treat cancer, pending further research.

The research results, published Feb. 2008 by the University of Granada, are scheduled for 2009 publication in the journal Cancer Letters, titled "Maslinic acid, a natural triterpene from Olea europaea L., induces apoptosis in HT29 human colon-cancer cells via the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway".

A natural compound extracted from olive inhibits cancer cells growth and prevents their appearance

Buy Olive Leaf Compound

Friday, January 2, 2009

Jaw Infection from Osteoporosis Drugs more Prevalent than Believed

According to a report published January 1 in the Journal of the American Dental Association, women are at risk from jaw infection, even with short-term use of commonly used osteoporosis drugs. Fosamax, used for osteoporosis treatment, is the 21st most prescribed drug on the market, according to statistics from IMS Health.

The new study usurps previous information, stating that the risk of jaw infection from osteoporosis drugs is “negligible”. The current study suggests that jaw infection leading to osteonecrosis (bone destruction), is more common that suspected. Women are especially at risk following invasive dental treatments, such as tooth extraction and other mouth surgery with even short-term use of osteoporosis drugs.

Parish Sedghizadeh, assistant professor of clinical dentistry with the USC School of Dentistry says, "Here at the School of Dentistry we're getting two or three new patients a week that have bisphosphonate-related ONJ, and I know we're not the only ones seeing it." A major concern stems from the fact that few physicians warn women of the risk of jaw infection when taking osteoporosis drugs.

Studies from the American Dental Association found that nine out of 208 patients from the school of dentistry, who took osteoporosis drugs for any length of time, developed osteonecrosis of the jaw. "We've been told that the risk with oral bisphosphonates is negligible, but four percent is not negligible," says Dr. Sedghizadeh.

When women take osteoporosis drugs, mouth bacteria become more resistant to antibiotic treatment. Bisphosphonates stay in the body for a long period, enveloping bacteria within a matrix that protects the infection from the effect of antibiotics. The result of osteonecrosis of the jaw is bone destruction from lack of blood supply. Osteonecrosis causes the bone to collapse, and literally means “bone death”.

Many dentists have suspected that osteoporosis drugs cause jaw infection to a greater degree than pharmaceutical companies have led us to believe. Dr. Sedghizadeh hopes further studies will be conducted to confirm their findings.

Women should be cautioned about the risk of jaw infection, or osteonecrosis, when taking osteoporosis drugs, even for short-periods of time. If you take Fosamax, or other drug for osteoporosis, make certain you tell your dentist before undergoing any dental procedure.

Oral bisphosphonates and osteonecrosis of the jaw