Posts Tagged turmeric
by: Lisa Garber
July 18, 2012
Glancing through the channels of news media and pharmaceutical ads, the overriding impression we have about health is that cancer, dementia, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes are things that simply happen to us. We are simply genetically pre-programmed to get sick at some point past age 40, but this just isn’t true. While genes may play a role in our health quality, many experts agree that chronic inflammation causes virtually all leading diseases due to a poor diet and lack of exercise.
Inflammation in the Body
When we experience an injury, our bodies’ natural response is inflammation. Wendy Weber, a program director at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, explains: “You need to have inflammation when you have a wound and the immune system goes in to heal it. Yet we don’t want too much inflammation in our system causing damage to our arteries” and the body.
Cat scratches swell on our arms because our bodies are fighting bacteria. Our glands swell when we’re experiencing allergies or a sniffle because it’s fighting irritants or infection. The problem is when the irritants and infection don’t go away—smoking, excess fat in the diet, lack of detoxification of the body through sweat and exercise.
Reducing Inflammation and Risk of Disease
“We’ve learned that abdominal fat tissue is a hotbed of inflammation that pours out all kinds of inflammatory molecules,” says Dr. Peter Libby of Harvard Medical School. Losing excess weight lowers levels of C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation. This can be achieved in a matter of weeks.
Another Harvard medical professor, Christopher Cannon, advocates an anti-inflammatory diet—high in whole grains, unsaturated fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, poultry, eggs, and some dairy.
As The Daily Show faithfuls will remember, Dr. David B. Agus touted other ways to reduce inflammation earlier this year with his book, The End of Illness. They include:
- Avoiding vitamins and supplements and obtaining nutrients from whole foods wherever possible.
- Exercising regularly and moving during the day.
- Attaining a lean body mass.
- Minimizing use of tobacco products.
- Avoiding sources of inflammation (including foods like butter, sugar, red meats, and white foods like pasta and rice).
We’ve already celebrated how turmeric is fantastic at preventing chronic disease and reducing inflammation. In numerous studies, researchers have attributed turmeric with preventing Alzheimer’s, slowing the spread of breast cancer into lungs, and reducing pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients. Turmeric even exhibits cancer-blocking properties according to a UCLA study – allowing many individuals to realize that beating cancer with nutrition is indeed possible.
To harness the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric, try:
- Brewing turmeric tea.
- Sprinkling turmeric over deviled eggs, egg salad, or over grilled meat.
- Add turmeric to almost any lentil or cauliflower recipe.
- Mix turmeric into party dips and serve with raw vegetables.
- Try this healthy smoothie: blend or juice half an apple, a teaspoon of local honey, and ¼ teaspoon of turmeric with milk or an unsweetened alternative.
- Or, purchase a high quality organic turmeric supplement.
by: Anthony Gucciardi
July 19, 2012
A super spice known for its numerous anti-cancer properties and an impressive ability to positively influence over 586 diseases according to peer-reviewed research from leading universities, turmeric may also be one of the most powerful substances when it comes to healthy fat loss. Over 1,543 scientific journal entries are now centered around turmeric’s beneficial properties, but a bounty of new research is now hitting the limelight that demonstrates how this powerful spice can actually serve to combat unwanted fat by conquering insulin resistance and blood glucose levels alike.
The fat-vanquishing nature of turmeric and curcumin (a compound within turmeric that is believed to be responsible for many of its benefits) has even generated significant interest within the mainstream medical establishment. Looking to capitalize on the fact that turmeric is increasingly being known as a whole body solution to a number of issues, researchers are now seeking harder than ever to essentially ‘pharma-tize’ turmeric into a pharmaceutical-type drug in which major drug titans can patent as sell off at a premium price to suffering patients.
Peer-Reviewed Research Highlights the Role of Turmeric in Healthy Fat Loss
Thankfully, you don’t need to purchase expensive patented pharmaceutical drugs to enjoy the benefits of turmeric spice. Research is continually finding that both inexpensive high quality liquid extracts of turmeric as well as the actual food product itself are both readily available and powerful obesity fighters. In one such study from the Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Medicine, it was found that turmeric can even ‘counter’ the negative effects of a ‘junk food’ diet.
Amazingly, the study found that curcumin (once again, a compound within turmeric found in extracts and the food itself) consumption directly decreased levels of insulin resistance and leptin resistance — two factors heavily linked to fat gain. In the conclusion of the research, study authors state:
“By diminishing the sediment of fat, relaxing the lymphatic return, and refraining the apoptosis of beta cells, the curcumin might significantly decrease the level of insulin resistance and leptin resistance caused by the high fat diet.”
More than 13 other peer-reviewed studies have also reached similar conclusions, finding that turmeric intake is directly associated with increased healthy fat loss and decreased insulin issues. What’s more, the spice does not come with the harsh side effects that come along with the use of historically-dangerous diet drugs. Instead of resorting to such drugs, try adding turmeric into your daily lifestyle. To make it even easier, here are many turmeric uses and some great recipes I’ve outlined in a previous post.
by: Elizabeth Renter
July 13, 2012
If you are unfortunate enough to contract the flu, you can either let it run its course (with the help of natural solutions) or you can run to your doctor to receive a prescription drug treatment. These drugs—most often Tamiflu or Relenza— are designed to shorten the life of the flu virus within you. But as the influenza viruses evolve, the drugs are becoming less and less effective. Should you buy Tamiflu or other drugs to ‘treat’ the flu? To put it simply, no.
Buy Tamiflu for Flu Treatment? Think Again
Scientists are now working on a new type of flu treatment, using antibodies produced by the human body as a guide. The body creates antibodies to fight a flu infection, and these antibodies are the same no matter what flu strain you are infected with. Scientists are studying the effects of high levels of these antibodies in mice with a “normally lethal” dose of the flu virus and they say the results are promising.
“The ability of these antibodies to protect mice from highly lethal strains of influenza is promising,” said top researcher and flu expert Yoshihiro Kawaoka. “Such antibodies may be especially useful during outbreaks of newly emerging, highly pathogenic influenza viruses.”
The scientists treated mice with high concentrations of the antibodies and then infected them with deadly doses of H1N1 and H5N1 flu viruses. Sixty to 80 percent of those antibody-treated mice recovered, compared with only 10 percent of those not treated similarly.
Perhaps not surprisingly, a private corporation is behind the research. Theraclone identified these antibodies in humans and then paid the researchers to make large quantities of them and test them in mice. How much did they pay? According to Reuters, it was an $18 million job.
The race to find cures and valuable treatments is always on, but what motivates this race is rarely the wellbeing of all humankind, and instead the almighty dollar.
After all, drugs like this rarely benefit all humankind, just those with the money to afford them. A ten-day dose of Tamiflu, for instance, costs well over $100 and simply isn’t feasible for a growing number of Americans. The cost alone makes it not worth it to buy Tamiflu.
A drug like this could be enormously profitable for the company behind it. Think of how much money drug giants Roche AG and Gilead Sciences Inc. have made off of Tamiflu since its creation. A more powerful and effective drug would only be more profitable.
Wait a minute, don’t enough people get vaccinated—shouldn’t flu treatments be unnecessary? Well considering the growing disenchantment with vaccination programs and the fact that the flu vaccines, such as the H1N1 vaccine, aren’t only dangerous but also largely ineffective, there will always be plenty of room for overpriced flu medications to share the market with the vaccines.
Despite the price of the drug, individuals may still want to buy Tamiflu, but before considering the purchase, first know that there are many extremely inexpensive and natural solutions for protecting against and treating the flu.
Your immune system protects against the flu – not vaccines! Here are 9 ways to boost your immune system and prevent the flu. In addition to these 9 ways, start:
- Obtaining Vitamin D, whether it be from sun or supplements. Vitamin D can be 800% more effective than vaccines at preventing the flu and other ailments. Even low-dose Vitamin D can cut flu risk by nearly half.
- Drink green tea. Green tea has also been shown to cut flu risk when consumed at 1-5 cups per day.
- Consume turmeric or take a turmeric supplement. Turmeric health benefits range far and wide, with the spice being a fantastic overall immune booster and protector against illness and disease.
by: Dr. Mercola
July 11, 2012
Your body not only depends on nutrients in the food you eat, but is actually composed — atom-by-atom, molecule-by-molecule – by them, which is why we should not be surprised by the profound power that certain nutrients and food constituents have in supporting optimal health.
One of them, calcium, is an old-standby in many people’s supplement stashes, but new research suggests this is one nutrient you’re better off getting from food sources.
Two lesser known, but extremely therapeutic, nutrients are turmeric (the spice that gives curry its deep yellow color) and resveratrol (a polyphenol found in plants, particularly grape skins), and which in two new studies have been revealed to have exciting health benefits.
Calcium: Good From Food, Not From Supplements?
Calcium is one of the most popular dietary supplements on the market, largely because of the widely circulated belief that regular supplemental doses of this mineral are essential for building and maintaining healthy bones. As a result, many people believe that taking a calcium supplement is one of the best — if not an essential — strategy to prevent bone fractures resulting from osteoporosis.
However, it’s becoming increasingly clear that while organically-bound calcium from your diet is beneficial, elemental calcium supplements, e.g. calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, etc., may dramatically increase heart attack risk, and other health problems.
A recent study published in the journal Heart found that people who took calcium supplements regularly had an 86 percent greater risk of having a heart attack, which led researchers to suggest such pills should be “taken with caution.”i Dietary calcium, on the other hand, had no such risk! In fact, those who got their calcium exclusively from supplements more than doubled their risk of a heart attack compared to those who took no supplements.
A similar trend has been seen for kidney stones, with people taking calcium supplements at a greater risk, while those who consume a high level of calcium in food at a reduced risk.ii There have been a number of studies that indicate calcium supplements increase your risk for cardiovascular incidents and other problems, as well as NOT being of much benefit to your bones.
A 2010 meta-analysis showed calcium supplements (without coadministered vitamin D) are associated with a 27% increased risk for heart attack.iii Even when calcium was administered with vitamin D, which helps you absorb and utilize calcium, elemental calcium still increased heart attack risk by 24 percentiv
A 2008 study found calcium supplements are associated with a greater number of heart attacks in postmenopausal womenv
A 2004 study showed that people with excess calcium in their coronary artery and who take statins have a 17-fold higher risk of heart attacks than do those with lower arterial calcium levels; researchers concluded that the two most definitive indicators of heart attack were LDL levels and arterial calcium build-up
Osteoporosis and Bone Density
- A 2010 article presented evidence for a total lack of support in the research for calcium supplements reducing fracture riskvi
- A 2007 study showed that calcium from dietary sources has more favorable effects on bone health than calcium from supplements in postmenopausal womenvii
- A 2009 study of postmenopausal women using calcium supplements showed that, although calcium loss from bone was slowed, bone loss was still occurringviii
What Makes Calcium Supplements Potentially Dangerous?
Your body does not make calcium, and in fact loses this important mineral daily through your skin, nails, hair, sweat and elimination, which is why you must replace it on a regular basis. Historically this has been through dietary sources.
It has been estimated, however, that your body excretes as little as 100 mg a day, making the current recommendations by the National Osteoporosis Foundation for women over 50 to take 1,200 mg a day a bit troubling. When we compare our calcium-rich diet to the traditional calcium-poor Chinese peasant diet, which was free of cow’s milk and calcium supplements, approximately 250 mg a day of plant-based calcium was all that was needed to fulfill their bodily needs – and this is a culture with no word for “osteoporosis” in its 3,000+ year old language!
Due to the fact that about 99 percent of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones and teeth, if you don’t get enough calcium, your body will use the calcium reserves in your bones to perform vital metabolic functions. This is where the idea that supplementing with calcium could prevent calcium loss from your bones comes from — but it is an overly simplified theory that lacks solid evidence to back it up, especially in Western, modernized cultures, which consume unprecedentedly large amounts of dairy-derived, fortification-based and supplemental calcium.
The truth is that taking any calcium in excess or isolation, without complementary nutrients like magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2, which help keep your body in balance, can have adverse effects, such as calcium building up in coronary arteries and inducing heart attacks. Even taking calcium with vitamin D does not appear to be sufficient to prevent these types of adverse effects.
So when you take a biologically foreign form of calcium (such as limestone, oyster shell, egg shell and bone meal (hydroxylapatite)), or when your body’s ability to direct calcium to the right places becomes impaired (as when you are deficient in vitamin K2), calcium may be deposited where it shouldn’t be, which can lead to multiple health problems, including heart attacks. It’s more likely your body can use calcium correctly if it’s food-based calcium.
Good sources include:
- Organic grass fed and finished raw milk and cheese from pasture-raised cows
- Leafy green vegetables
- The pith of citrus fruits
- Sesame seeds and wheatgrass
Calcium from dietary sources is typically better absorbed and utilized than calcium from supplements, which is why studies involving calcium from natural food sources have shown favorable results, including a 25 percent lower risk of dying from all causes.ix
It is also vital to remember that magnesium, along with a variety of additional trace minerals such as strontium, boron, and the other crucial vitamin K2, may all be every bit as, if not even more important than calcium.
Turmeric Provides Heart and Diabetes Protection, and Anti-Cancer Effects
The next nutrient in the news is turmeric, which is no surprise as there are so many research studies that show it has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and antioxidant properties. Last year, a study by Penn State researchers revealed that an antioxidant-rich spice blend made of turmeric, rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika could reduce your insulin levels by 21 percent, and your triglycerides by 31 percent when added to a meal.x
by: Dr. Mercola
July 11, 2012
Surprising Cancer-Fighting Benefits Of Pineapple Enzyme
Chemotherapy drugs are, by their very nature, extremely toxic and typically work against your body’s natural ability to fight cancer, e.g. destroying host immunity instead of supporting it.
One of the biggest drawbacks to chemotherapy is the fact that it destroys healthy cells throughout your body right along with cancer cells, a “side effect” that often leads to accelerated death, not healing.
Another devastating side effect of chemotherapy is the way it actually supports the more chemo resistant and malignant cell subpopulations within tumors (e.g. cancer stem cells), both killing the more benign cells and/or senescent cells within the tumor that keep it slow-growing, or even harmless.
As a result, this unleashes a more aggressive, treatment-resistant type of cancer to wreak havoc on the body.
A handful of natural compounds have been discovered, however, which exhibit an effect called “selective cytotoxicity.” This means they are able to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells and tissue unharmed.
This type of cancer treatment is intelligent, targeted and will not result in the death of the patient from “collateral damage” in what is increasingly a failed war not against the cancer being treated, but the patient’s own irreversibly devastated body.
Bromelain in Pineapples Kills Cancer Cells Without Harming You
One such compound is bromelain, an enzyme that can be extracted from pineapple stems. Research published in the journal Planta Medica found that bromelain was superior to the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorauracil in treating cancer in an animal study.iResearchers stated:
“This antitumoral effect [of bromelain] was superior to that of 5-FU [5-fluorouracil], whose survival index was approximately 263 %, relative to the untreated control.”
What makes this impact particularly impressive is that the bromelain worked without causing additional harm to the animals. The chemo drug 5-fluorauracil, on the other hand, has a relatively unsuccessful and dangerous track record despite being used for nearly 40 years.
As written by GreenMedInfo:
“As a highly toxic, fluoride-bound form of the nucleic acid uracil, a normal component of RNA, the drug is supposed to work by tricking more rapidly dividing cells — which include both cancer and healthy intestinal, hair follicle, and immune cells — into taking it up, thereby inhibiting (read: poisoning) RNA replication enzymes and RNA synthesis.…
When a person dies following conventional cancer treatment it is all too easy to “blame the victim” and simply write that patient’s cancer off as “chemo-resistant,” or “exceptionally aggressive,” when in fact the non-selective nature of the chemotoxic agent is what ultimately lead to their death.”
Selective cytotoxicity is indeed a property that is only found among natural compounds; no chemotherapy drug yet developed is capable of this effect. Aside from bromelain, other examples of natural compounds that have been found to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells include:
Vitamin C – Dr. Ronald Hunninghake carried out a 15-year research project called RECNAC (cancer spelled backwards). His groundbreaking research in cell cultures showed that vitamin C was selectively cytotoxic against cancer cells.
Eggplant extract: Solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides (BEC), which is a fancy name for extracts from plants of the Solanaceae family, such as eggplant, tomato, potato, Bell peppers, and tobacco, also impact only cancerous cells leaving normal cells alone. Eggplant extract cream appears to be particularly useful in treating skin cancer. Dr. Bill E. Cham, a leading researcher in this area, explains:
“The mode of action of SRGs [glycoalkaloids solasodine rhamnosy glycosides (BEC)] is unlike any current antineoplastic [anti-tumor] agent. Specific receptors for the SRGs present only on cancer cells but not normal cells are the first step of events that lead to apoptosis in cancer cells only, and this may explain why during treatment the cancer cells were being eliminated and normal cells were replacing the killed cancer cells with no scar tissue being formed.”
Turmeric (Curcumin Extract): Of all the natural cancer fighters out there, this spice has been the most intensely researched for exhibiting selective cytotoxicity.ii Remarkably, in a 2011 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, rats administered curcumin, the primary polyphenol in turmeric, saw a decrease in experimentally-induced brain tumors in 9 out of 11 treated, while noting that the curcumin did not affect the viability of brain cells “suggesting that curcumin selectively targets the transformed [cancerous] cells.”
by: Anthony Gucciardi
July 8, 2012
While expensive cancer drugs linked to premature death and mega-tumors are pushed by many mainstream doctors as the only option outside of chemotherapy, a growing number of informed individuals are consistently opting to instead utilize natural methods that are known to conquer cancer cells and effectively negate the disease — without harsh side effects. One such person, Vicky Stewart of Britain, chose such a path when she refused mainstream medical cancer treatments and instead began consuming powerful turmeric spice.
Despite excessive warnings from MD’s who insisted that Vicky would surely not recover using superfoods that are commonly touted as ‘woo’ and ‘ineffective medicine’ by pharma-backed doctors, Stewart found amazing success by altering her lifestyle and taking in extra amounts of supefoods like turmeric each day.
Stewart recalls to The Telegraph how her doctor repeatedly voiced concern over switching to a healthy diet full of turmeric to fight the cancer (one of many turmeric health benefits), telling her that it would do virtually nothing:
“The doctors absolutely will not say that the diet is going to do anything to help the cancer in any way.”
Four years later with absolutely no mainstream treatments, she is still cancer free with no signs of it coming back. At the age off 44, Stewart is now the center of a major research project led by scientists who are downright fascinated by what she has done.
Research Shows Turmeric Spice is a Natural Cancer Fighter
While it is indeed fascinating, it should come as no surprise that Vicky healed herself naturally using turmeric and other lifestyle changes. In fact, copious amounts of research highlight the anti-cancer properties of turmeric (in many cases due to it’s active compound curcumin), and countless individuals have used it to aid themselves in the fight against many diseases.
Not only has peer-reviewed research by the UCLA shown that turmeric can naturally block the growth of cancer cells, but in more than 9 studies it was revealed that turmeric can reduce tumor size by a whopping 81%. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. So why is it so fascinating that a spice that has been used for thousands upon thousands of years by many South Asian and Middle Eastern countries as a ‘heal-all’ substance can actually stop cancer naturally?
As Stewart explains, turmeric has a unique ability (along with other great superfoods) to essentially cause cancer to regress in a number of ways. As she puts it, it essentially caused the cancer cells to ‘commit suicide’. Stewart explains to The Telegraph:
“Turmeric kind of makes cancer cells commit suicide and ginger and garlic are great to cook with.”
Mainstream Health Organizations, Doctors Continue to Ignore the Evidence
Even in the face of such overwhelming evidence (whether it be studies that have been available for decades, stories like those of Stewart’s, or the prominent role of turmeric in multi-national cultures), mainstream health organizations and traditional medical doctors continue to cling to radiation and dangerous cancer drugs as the only possible option to ‘treating’ cancer. Just as Stewart’s doctor warned her that diet would do virtually nothing despite saving her life and eliminating cancer from her body completely, these individuals will continue to assert that all alternative medicine is a joke.
In the same vein, cancer researchers will continue to be paid by charity walks and expensive non-profit events to ‘find the cure’ through invasive surgeries and pharmaceuticals. Turmeric, a dirt cheap alternative along with other nearly-free suprfoods, are blatantly ignored as they cannot be patented and sold through Big Pharma’s proverbial commodity gates. Thankfully, millions worldwide are waking up to this ‘old paradigm’ of health full of pharmaceuticals, surgery and sickness. In turn, they are utilizing life-saving techniques and foods to further their health without sacrificing both their finances and their health.
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
by: Willow Tohi
[NaturalNews] Maybe you’ve seen those commercials where a doctor is working on a construction crew, then it shows the construction worker in the pharmacy looking for the right medicine, telling you not to do your doctor’s job because you wouldn’t want him doing yours. It’s quite a ridiculous analogy really, insinuating that there’s a similarity in a doctor running a jack hammer, and you taking care of your own body, like that’s someone else’s job. No one else can maintain your body or has to live with the consequences of how you do so, but you. Duh.
In a similar tone, there was recently a story out of England about a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer, had the traditional treatments, but then declined the follow-up pharmaceuticals in favor of managing her health with nutrition. There seems to be genuine surprise at her success. Which is…. surprising. What’s the big shocker? There are numerous books, stories and websites out there documenting the success of “alternative” treatments to cancer. Before the age of Big Pharma, “alternative” treatments such as through diet, exercise, and supplementation, were the cancer treatments, and there was less cancer then too.
To fight it, you have to understand it
For anyone who wants to understand how cancer works, there is a wealth of information out there that explains the causes, lifestyle factors, percentages, etc. Cancer lives in an acidic, anaerobic environment. So, it stands to reason that a strict vegan diet of organic fruits and vegetables, a good portion of them raw, would correct that environment. It swings the pH back to neutral or even alkaline, it oxygenates the blood, and it provides the body with the resources it needs to fight the fight itself.
Many sources site animal protein as a culprit. It’s more all mainstream food because of the toxic way it is processed and preserved. Xenoestrogens from chemicals used on non-organic plants are just as involved in ill health as hormone laden animal products. When ill, detoxing with an organic vegan diet containing lots of superfoods is the best place to start – you need lots of extra ORACs, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc. Take therapeutic doses of things like vitamin D, coq10, garlic, vitamin C. A balanced diet of all organic food is fine for maintaining health.
There’s no way for any of us to completely avoid the DNA damage that leads to abnormal cells. The Cancer Society says that 50 percent of American men and 33 percent of American women will develop some form of cancer in their lives. Causes are not just from poor diet, smoking or alcohol, lack of exercise, and environmental pollution. It can also come from genetics, viruses, and exposure to chemicals from a variety of places. The best we can do is to take care of our bodies in a way that limits the number of cells damaged and the severity of the damage so that our bodies can keep up with destroying the abnormal cells and maintaining cellular equilibrium.
What is surprising…
We can’t separate what we eat from our health. It’s not surprising that a good diet begets good health. What is surprising is that modern medical practitioners don’t address that angle more often, though they are doing so more and more recently. What is surprising is that nutrition is not always taught in medical school. How can that be? Would you take your car to a mechanic that doesn’t understand the fuel system? Don’t you expect your children’s teachers to be educated in education?
Something else that is surprising is that using diet and ancient treatments is called “alternative” even though there is a longer history of using acupuncture or eating garlic, turmeric, and antioxidant-rich foods than the radical, barbaric modern treatments of radical mastectomies and hysterectomies. What is shocking is that we’re hardly counseled in nutrition, but fully expected to take extremely poisonous pharmaceuticals that are often more deadly than the original illness.
We are sharing the planet with seven billion other souls now, with more coming daily. The world is increasingly toxic and having good health is becoming more of a decision than luck. Even some of us that exercise and eat well will become sick. Good food can only increase our chances of survival, let alone quality of life.
What is further surprising is why the English woman didn’t change her diet sooner. She may have saved her breasts and a lot of headaches.
Sources for this article include:
Balch, Phyllis, CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. p. 246-253.
by: Sayer Ji
February 26th, 2012
The problem with this definition is that there are numerous substances, as readily available and benign as found on our spice racks, which have been proven by countless millennia of human experience to mitigate, prevent and in some cases cure disease, and which cannot be called drugs according to the FDA.
How can this be? Well, the FDA has assumed for itself Godlike power, requiring that its official approval be obtained before any substance can legally be used in the prevention and treatment of disease.
The FDA’s legal-regulatory control therefore is totalitarian and Napoleonic in construct; what it does not explicitly permit as a medicine is implicitly forbidden.
Historically the FDA has required new drugs undergo expensive and elaborate multi-phased clinical trials, which are out of the grasp of any ordinary interest who might want to demonstrate the efficacy of a non-patentable (and therefore unprofitable) herb, food or spice.
The average out-of-pocket cost for obtaining a new drug approval is US$ 802 million dollars, and therefore an investor putting capital into bringing to market a substance that does not lend itself to market exclusivity and therefore cannot produce a return on investment, is committing economic suicide, if not also breaking the law. The investor actually has a legally-binding fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders to make a profit. And therefore, capital will not flow into any would-be commodity that can be produced or obtained with ease, including most things that grow freely on this Earth.
It is an interesting footnote in history that shortly after the Declaration of Independence, Congress declared that natural substances, e.g. water or salt, were God’s gift to mankind and that therefore products of nature should be limited in their patent protection. While this was a noble declaration, it has actually been used against those whose rights it would protect. It has forced private interests to synthetically alter natural substances — for instance the burgeoning biotech field of recombinant DNA technology, i.e. genetically modified organisms (GMOs) — for the sole reason that it guarantees them ownership/patent rights.
In fact, a medical system that legally requires it make a profit threatens to destroy and/or incriminate itself if non-patented, non-profitable natural substances or therapies are employed. It also results in so much collateral damage to those it purports to serve that it could rightly be called a modern form of human sacrifice.
As a result, instead of choosing prospective medicines logically: because they work, are easily accessible, and safe, billions of dollars flow in the exact opposite direction, capitalizing only those substances which are unnatural, and therefore while proprietary are almost invariably unsafe, and whose access and administration can be intensively controlled.
Has The Attempt To Co-opt Medicine Through the Drug-Based Model Undone Itself?
And yet, there is a silver lining to the story. Due to the fact that our bodies are ultimately constructed from the natural things (food, air and water), and obey very strict natural laws such as the well-known principle of chirality (handedness) – the fact that all amino acids in our body turn a beam of polarized light in the left-handed direction (L-lysine) and sugars to the right-handed direction (D-ribose)– one cannot simply create biologically active, synthetic drugs arbitrarily, as a mistake in handedness (or similar property) could be fatal. Nature, therefore, still provides an elegant biomolecular architecture of irreproducible intelligence and complexity, from which synthetic analogs are modeled and/or derivatives are spun.
As a result, billions of dollars of drug industry and government money (i.e. tax payer money) flow into finding lead compounds for drug development. Nature is put on the rack, if you will, and her secrets teased from her through innumerable animal and test tube experiments, in order to find compounds that can then be converted into synthetic, patented drugs.
Inadvertently, some of the very same companies and interests which require that natural substances not receive the same drug-approval status as synthetic ones, are funding research that prove basic vitamins, foods and spices are as effective or more effective – and usually much safer – than the drugs they are developing to replace or supplant them.
This means that tens of thousands of studies do exist showing that natural substances may prevent and/or treat disease, at least in the in vitro (test tube) and animal models. These results often confirm traditional uses in Ayurvedic, Chinese and other traditional systems of medicine, and therefore may be compelling enough for individuals or healthcare practitioners to use the information to inform their treatment decisions.
The Case For Curcumin In the Prevention and Treatment of Disease
The government biomedical and life sciences database known as Medline contains over 21 million published study citations, and is accessible to search through engines such as Pubmed.gov. 2.6 million of them contain reference to cancer. 115,000 of them remain after applying the “Complementary Medicine” filter. There are 2,625 topics on cancer which can be found indexed on the GreenMedInfo.com database, referencing 612 natural substances of potential value.
Turmeric, and particularly its polyphenolic constituent known as curcumin, which gives the spice its golden hue, is one of the most extensively studied natural compounds of all time, with 4588 references to it on the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database known as Medline [as of 2.25.2012]. And yet, despite having been shown to have therapeutic value in over 500 disease states in animal and in vitro studies, it still has not been the subject of extensive human clinical research – for the reasons stated above.
GreenMedInfo.com, an open source natural medicine database, has indexed curcumin’s anti-cancer properties in over 50 cancers, with the top 10 most cancers researched in association with curcumin listed below.
|Cancer||Number of Articles|
|Cancers: Drug Resistant||40|
As one can see curcumin holds great promise. It has been repeatedly demonstrated to possess simultaneously both chemoprotective/chemosensitizing and radioprotective/radiosensitizing properties, meaning it is capable of reducing the adverse effects on healthy cells caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as enhance the cancer-killing properties of these conventional therapies. It also has an exceptionally high margin of safety, at least an order of magnitude greater than commonly used conventional chemotherapy agents such as 5-fluoruracil. Given these facts curcumin, at the very least, should be considered an ideal candidate for use as an adjuvant in integrative cancer care, and perhaps as a first-line treatment alternative to conventional chemo-agents.
For additional information on the remarkable research supporting the use of Turmeric and Curcumin in medicine, watch the video below. Join our Facebook research page on Turmeric for updates: Turmeric – What The Research Reveals
by: Lisa Garber
June 27, 2012
Researchers of Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center have produced genetic evidence suggesting antioxidant drugs could help prevent and treat cancer. With research already showcasing the powers of various cancer fighting foods, this research further shows how dangerous mainstream medical testing and treatments can be outranked by nature’s gifts.
“Antioxidants have been associated with cancer reducing effects—beta carotene, for example—but the mechanisms, the genetic evidence, has been lacking,” says lead researcher Michael P. Lisanti, M.D., Ph.D. “Now we have genetic proof that mitochondrial oxidative stress is important for driving tumor growth.”
Oxidative Stress and Tumor Growth
Lisanti’s study shows that loss of the tumor suppressor protein Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) stimulates mitochondrial oxidative stress in the stromal micro-environment. If this is Greek to you, let’s put it this way: if a woman has breast cancer and has the biomarker Cav-1, she has greater chances of survival than someone who doesn’t have the Cav-1 protein. The loss of the protein, in fact, leads to oxidative stress, thereby quadrupling in tumor mass and volume with no increase in tumor angiogenesis.
That’s where antioxidants step in.
Antioxidants Interfere with Cancer Growth
Lisanti wasn’t the first to see antioxidants reducing oxidative stress. A 2008 study published in the March 14th issue of Science pointed out that antioxidants put up interference in cancer communication. This stops and even reverses cancer growth throughout the body.
“There are already antioxidant drugs out there on the market as dietary supplements, like N-zcetyl cysteine,” says Lisanti. Anti-cancer drugs targeting oxidative stress—like NAC—haven’t entered mainstream medicine because it is commonly believed to reduce the effectiveness of current chemotherapies that increase oxidative stress. (And there’s too much money to be made by pharmaceutical companies to put a stop to that, yet.)
Lisanti insists, “Now that we have genetic proof that oxidative stress and resulting autophagy [production of recycled nutrients] are important for driving tumor growth, we should reconsider using antioxidants and autophagy inhibitors as anti-cancer agents.”
Luckily for us, help in the prevention or treatment of cancer doesn’t have to come in pill form. Read up on the antioxidants found in papaya leaves, ginger, and turmeric right here on Natural Society—maybe while drinking a small glass of red wine.