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segunda-feira, 15 de fevereiro de 2016

Endometriosis

"I was diagnosed with endometriosis about 6 years ago. I was told by my gynecologist to go on birth control and have surgery which wouldn't be a permanent fix. Knowing that there was no way that I could live my life in chronic pain and not wanting to have synthetic hormones effecting my body, I searched all over the place for naturopathic treatment or cures. I was on natural hormones, diets, drinks and so on. I spent hundreds of dollars that I couldn't really afford in an 18 month period and I was still in pain. I decided to search your website because I'd already been treating my extreme allergies with vitamin C for longer than I'd known I had endometriosis. Your website suggested selenium, which is one of the least expensive minerals one could purchase. I felt and knew the difference within weeks: less or no pain. I had normal cycles and my hormonal issues were almost completely cured."

Selenium In cattle, endometriosis can be due to selenium deficiency.  Since your cow can't give you any milk without having a baby first, dairymen well know to supplement all cows' feed with selenium.  This is usually accomplished with a multimineral tablet the size of a microwave oven.  Okay, it's a mineral-fortified salt block (after all, salt IS a mineral...) that can cows lick anytime they want.
Human females should do as well, but they don't.
We go out of our way to supply selenium to cattle, particularly in geographical regions that have selenium-poor soil ( New York state is just one of these).  Farmers simply must have healthy, fertile, easy-to-conceive, happily-pregnant, uncomplicated-delivering Bossys by the herd. The economics are obvious: farmer's cannot afford otherwise; a herd with endometriosis would be bankruptcy on the hoof.
Women with endometriosis, on the other hand, mean economic success for all the many, many systems we have to capitalize on their sickness.  Doctors, nurses, support staff, surgeons, hospitals, administrators, HMO's, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, drug salespeople, and lots of others' jobs depend on people being unwell.  The uterus has always been irresistible to money-medicine, and, with an estimated half a million unnecessary hysterectomies annually, I would say that little has changed.
The secret to endometriosis is to see it for what it is: an end result of malnutrition.
Farmers see this.  Physicians do not.
Cows are raw food vegetarians who obtain their minerals from grains, leafy greens, and smart dairymen who provide mineral supplements preventively.  Physicians and their ilk try to treat endometriosis 1) after it has occurred and 2) with drugs.  Endometriosis is not due to a drug deficiency.
The secret to this disease is found in the barnyard. 
Selenium is probably important in stopping endometriosis because this important trace mineral works so closely with vitamin E.  Vitamin E has been known to ensure that animals have healthy uterine linings since the 1930's.  There is a research trail on this as long as your arm.  Therefore, supplementing the diet of a human female with (natural) vitamin E, 400 to 1,000 IU daily (Balch, 1990, p 167), plus 100-200 micrograms (mcg) of selenium, is a good move.

Folate (folic acid) I suspect folate deficiency as a cause of endometriosis. To some extent I base this opinion, once again, on cows. And I repeat that cows are vegetarians. Raw food vegetarians.
Folate, once known as vitamin B - 9, is named after the dark green leafy vegetables it was first extracted from. "Folium" is Latin for leaf. Folic acid contains three parts: pteroic acid glutamic acid, and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). Folate is an important coenzyme in your body which helps to move carbon units about, and is necessary for the synthesis of nitrogen-containing purines and pyrimidines, which are essential for the synthesis of nucleotides... which make up your RNA and DNA.  Folate is also necessary for making the heme (the iron-containing, nonprotein part of hemoglobin) for your red blood cells 
Too little folate causes nutritional megoblastic anemia (that's large, immature red blood cells that can't carry oxygen well). This is especially important during growth situations, such as pregnancy, infancy and childhood.
Cows get plenty of folate because they eat plenty of foliage (green leafy stuff, like grass). They are also blissfully free from a silent folate-stealer: the birth control pill.  Oral contraceptives dramatically increase (at least double) the need for folic acid in women. Disease in general increases need for folic acid.
Adolescent girls in particular are likely to have folic acid deficiencies (Williams, 6th, p 245) Why? Because food sources of folate are often quite unpopular.  They are:
1. green leafy vegetables (Teens LOVE these. Not.)
2. organ meats ("Awesome!)
3. asparagus ("McSparagus! My favorite fast food!")

It is likely that, during the pre-adult growth period when they need it most, teenagers are not getting adequate dietary folic acid. Female teenagers reaching menarche (beginning of menstruation) are therefore malnourished. Folate undernutrition is probably a factor in endometriosis.

Other nutrients that James F. Balch, M.D. recommends for endometriosis include vitamin C in quantity, the vitamin B-complex, essential fatty acids (found in lecithin or primrose oil), iron, iodine, calcium, and magnesium (Balch, p 167). His concise discussion of endometriosis (pages 165-168) includes a discussion a theory that endometriosis may actually be an "unrecognized congenital birth defect." If this is true, surgical correction may be warranted. But likewise if true, prevention must be emphasized. Since there is no question whatsoever that malnutrition causes birth defects, dietary revision makes sense.  What is good for heifers is good for humans.  I vote for a bovine diet.

Raspberry leaves are rich in magnesium and have a long tradition of uterine usefulness.  I have seen raspberry leaf tea reduce pregnancy problems and delivery times in humans.  We fed piles of raspberry leaves to our rabbit, who rewarded us with ten young practically while our backs were turned. This is a large litter even for a rabbit. 
Pregnancy and endometriosis are not in a cart-and-horse relationship: it is not known for certain which one influences the other. But I think the less sure we are, the more we should look to nature for our examples.
 
References: 

http://www.doctoryourself.com/endometriosis.html

Balch, J. and Balch, P. (1990)Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Garden City Park, New York: Avery. 
Williams, Sue R. (1989) Nutrition and Diet Therapy, sixth edition.  St. Louis: Mosby.
 

Copyright 2005, 2003 and prior years by Andrew W. Saul.
 
Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )

domingo, 31 de janeiro de 2016

The Selection and Therapeutic Use of Vitamin E

 Natural Factors, Mixed E 200 IU, Vitamin E, 90 Softgels
 
Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin, and is remarkably safe. Doctors have given quantities as high as 3200 International Units (IU) per day harmlessly. This is over 100 times the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). 
The natural, best form of vitamin E is called "D-alpha tocopherol with mixed natural tocopherols." and is made from vegetable oil. The synthetic form is DL-alpha tocopherol. “D” or “DL”? Not a big difference in name, is it. There is evidence that the natural "D" (dextro-, or right-handed) molecular form of vitamin E is more useful to the body than is the synthetic. The natural form is also more expensive, but not all that much more. In choosing a vitamin E supplement, you should carefully read the label... the entire label. It is remarkable how many natural-looking brown bottles with natural-sounding brand names contain a synthetic vitamin. 
 

SUCCESSFUL REPORTED THERAPEUTIC USES OF VITAMIN E
 
According to Wilfrid Shute, M.D. and Evan Shute, M.D., Vitamin E in quantity has many benefits. One is an oxygen-sparing effect on heart muscle.  Another benefit is that Vitamin E helps to gradually break down blood clots in the circulatory system, and helps prevent more from forming. Vitamin E encourages collateral circulation in the smaller blood vessels of the body. It seems to promote healing with the formation of much less scar tissue. Vitamin E helps strengthen and regulate the heartbeat. 
The above benefits, say the Shutes, mean that vitamin E is important in the treatment of many diseases of the circulatory system. These cardiologists treated heart attacks, angina, atherosclerosis, rheumatic fever, acute and chronic rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart diseases, intermittent claudication, varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, and high blood pressure. That's quite a list, to which they soon added diabetes and burns as well. Many medical authorities were skeptical, to say the least. Vitamin E seemed to be too good for too many illnesses. 
Before the Shutes' viewpoint on vitamin E can be disregarded we must consider that they treated more than 30,000 cardiac patients over a period of more than 30 years. Their success cannot be easily dismissed. Today, the Shute Institute in London, Ontario, Canada, continues to see cardiac patients from all over the world, providing what is arguably the most thorough and successful vitamin E treatment for heart disease anywhere. 
Drs. Wilfrid and Evan Shute give dosage information in their excellent books, many of which are readily available at bookstores, health food stores, and your public library. Be sure to ask the librarian and to use interlibrary loan if you have any trouble finding a book. Since the effective dose of vitamin E varies with the individual condition, it is always a good idea to have medical supervision. 
 

SOME GUIDELINES 
 
Persons with high blood pressure need to increase their daily amount of vitamin E gradually, say the Shutes. This is because the vitamin increases the strength of the heartbeat, and a gradual increase of E avoids any sudden rise in blood pressure. The Shutes found that over a period of months, a gradually increasing dose can yield a lower blood pressure. 
The Shutes said that persons with a chronic rheumatic heart do not tolerate much vitamin E and need medical supervision if they are to use it. 
Persons taking drugs such as Coumadin (warfarin) commonly find that their tests indicate a decreased need for "blood-thinning" drugs. The intelligent way to deal with this is to work with your doctor, who is responsible for your prescription. 
A person in good health may wish to begin with a supplemental amount of 200 I.U. of vitamin E per day and try it for a couple of weeks. Then, 400 IU  might be taken daily for another two weeks. For the next two weeks, 600 I.U. daily, and for the next two weeks, 800 I.U. per day and so on. One ultimately takes the least amount that gives the best results. This approach is essentially that of Richard A. Passwater and is provided in more detail in his book Supernutrition (1975, Pocket Books). 
 

EXTERNAL USES
 
Vitamin E is very effective on burns. (First aid is cold on a burn; apply the "E" later). You can drip the vitamin onto burned skin directly from the capsule. This is sanitary, soothing and painless. Even third degree burns heal much more readily with twice-daily applications of vitamin E. Less scarring and greatly reduced inflammation are continually reported with its use. Absorption of the vitamin is best if the skin is dry before application. 
For a large area of sunburned skin, mix a few 400 I.U. capsules with one or two tablespoons of olive oil. Gently rub this in as soon as possible after exposure. There will be little if any peeling if you apply the "E" mixture promptly. 
Individuals also report relief of hemorrhoids with topical use of vitamin E. Whoops! From heart disease to hemorrhoids? You can see why doctors often do not consider vitamin E to be a serious therapy. This vitamin is just too versatile. There are ways of understanding this, though. 
First, the reason one vitamin can cure so many ailments is that a deficiency of one vitamin can cause many ailments. Each vitamin has many different uses in the human body. There are, after all, just over a dozen vitamins and your body undergoes countless millions of different biochemical reactions daily. Therefore, each vitamin has to have a large variety of applications. 
Second, you can try using the vitamin and see for yourself how it works. 

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )
For ordering information, Click here .

Source:

http://www.doctoryourself.com/vitamin_e.html

sexta-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2015

Memory Loss is Reversed in Alzheimer's Patients for the First Time



UCLA study found nine out of 10 patients saw improvements in memories 
Results started to be seen within three to six months of treatment
Scientist said results are promising but more extensive studies are needed


A new study has found memory loss in Alzheimer's patients can be reversed.

Memory loss in Alzheimer's patients has been reversed for the first time, scientists say.

A small study of 10 patients found nine showed improvements in their memories within three to six months of treatment.

The findings, from the University of California, Los Angeles, are the first to suggest that memory loss in patients can be reversed.

Six patients taking part had stopped working, or been struggling with their jobs at the time they joined the study.

All have since been able to return to their jobs or continue working, with improved performance.

The patients all suffered memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease.

One, who had been diagnosed with late stage Alzheimer's did not improve.

Dr Dale Bredesen, of the university's Centre for Alzheimer's Disease Research, hopes the new study could pave the way for the first effective treatment for the disease, since it was first described more than 100 years ago.

The treatment involved a complex, 36-point therapeutic programme, combining comprehensive diet changes, brain stimulation, exercise, sleep optimisation, specific drugs and vitamins, and other steps affecting brain chemistry.

Dr Bredesen said the findings are 'very encouraging', but added the results are anecdotal, and a more extensive, controlled clinical trial is needed.

No single drug has been found to stop or even slow the progression of Alzheimer's, and drugs have only had modest effects of symptoms.

He said: 'In the past decade alone, hundreds of clinical trials have been conducted for Alzheimer's, without success, at an aggregate cost of over $1 billion.'

While other chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease, cancer and HIV have been improved through the use of combination therapies, they have not been explored for Alzheimer's and other memory disorders until now.

'That suggested that a broader-based therapeutic approach, rather than a single drug that aims at a single target, may be feasible and potentially more effective for the treatment of cognitive decline due to Alzheimer's,' Dr Bredesen said.

'The existing Alzheimer's drugs affect a single target, but Alzheimer's disease is more complex, he added.

'Imagine having a roof with 36 holes in it, and your drug patched one hole very well,' he said.

'The drug may have worked, and a single hole may have been fixed, but you still have 35 other leaks, and so the underlying process may not be affected much.'

Dr Bredesen said his approach is personalised, tailored to each individual patient.


Nine out of 10 patients saw memory improvements within three to six months of a therapeutic treatment programme, combining comprehensive diet changes, brain stimulation, exercise, sleep optimisation, specific drugs and vitamins, and other steps affecting brain chemistry. File picture

It is based on extensive testing to help determine the best therapies for each patient's brain.

But he admitted there are some limitations to the study.

It is complex and the burden falls on patients and caregivers to follow it.

In this study, no patients were able to stick to the entire protocol.

Their most common complaints were the diet and lifestyle changes, and having to take multiple pills each day.

Dr Bredesen added: 'It is noteworthy that the major side effects of this therapeutic system are improved health and an improved body mass index, a stark contrast to the side effects of many drugs.'

He said while the findings suggest memory loss can be reversed and improvements sustained, the results need to be replicated.

The findings are published in the current online edition of the journal Aging.


Source: 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2779327/Memory-loss-reversed-Alzheimer-s-patients-time-scientists-say.html

quinta-feira, 19 de novembro de 2015

Are Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes the Answer to Quell Dengue Fever?

June 24, 2012
By Dr. Mercola
Australian research scientists have developed a strategy for fighting Dengue fever, a viral disease spread by mosquitoes that affects more than 50 million people annually and causes fever and crippling joint and muscle pain—and in some cases even death.
Dengue kills FAR more people worldwide than influenza, yet it is rarely even mentioned by Western media.
A bacterium named Wolbachiapipientis naturally infects many insect species and has the ability to interfere with its host's reproductive ability in such a way that entire populations become infected within just a few generationsi. When Wolbachia infects mosquitoes, the mosquitoes' ability to transmit Dengue virus is almost completely blocked.
Researchers are encouraged that these bacterially infected mosquitoes are safe to humans and, once set loose, are capable of spreading on their own and overtaking the wild mosquito populations that transmit disease to humans.
In two northern Australian towns, between 10,000 and 20,000 of these infected mozzies were released ("mozzie" is Australian for mosquito), and wild mosquito infection rates neared 100 percent—meaning, mosquitoes that can infect humans were almost completely replaced by the ones that can't.
This approach is a change from the swarms of genetically engineered mosquitoes being bred by companies like Oxitec, a British biotechnology company that has released millions of mutant mosquitoes into the fields of unsuspecting Australians.
Oxitec has found a way to genetically manipulate Aedes aegypti, the mosquito species mainly responsible for transmitting Dengue and yellow fever viruses to humans. These "frankenskeeters" represent a new and terrifying twist in potential GMO (genetically modified organisms) dangers—another product of modern science outpacing common sense when big money is thrown into the equation.

Dengue is a Far Worse Problem than Influenza

Dengue fever is on the rise worldwide and spreading faster than any other insect-borne viral disease. It is a threat to people in more than 100 countries, potentially affecting 2.5 billion people worldwide. Dengue infection typically causes high fever, crushing headache, severe pain behind your eyes, rash, and excruciating pain in your joints and spine, which is why it's sometimes called "break bone fever." Dr. Renu Daval-Drager of the World Health Organization says some cases of Dengue can be fatal, particularly the more serious Dengue hemorrhagic fever.
This under-recognized infectious disease used to be restricted to tropical areas; however, it has recently made its way into Texas, Florida and other southern states and is endemic in 125 countries. And Dengue has reached epidemic levels in Central America.
Outbreaks of Dengue virus occur primarily in areas where Aedes aegypti and sometimes Aedes albopictus mosquitoes live and breed. This includes most tropical areas of the world—the same places where malaria is found. Dengue is also spread by travelers who become infected while visiting Dengue-infested regions.
In the Americas, all four Dengue virus types are now present. Worldwide, there are about three to five million cases of influenza annually. However, there are about 100 million cases of Dengue fever annually, worldwide—20 times more cases than influenza!
In the past, the best means for preventing the spread of Dengue involved sustainable, community-based, integrated mosquito control, with limited reliance on chemical insecticides. However, new high-tech strategies are being developed to further combat the spread of this deadly virus. Some of these strategies involve genetically manipulating mosquitoes and then releasing them back into the wild, which can have any number of unforeseen consequences.

No Biotechnology is Without Some Risk

The scientific community has expressed concern about introducing a new type of mosquito that is infected with a bacterium that could be transmitted to humans. However, researchers claim Wolbachia bacterium is completely benign to humans.
According a report by Institute of Science in Society (ISIS)ii:
"In our research Wolbachia-infected insects are feeding on our researchers all the time and there is no sign of any human illness associated with insect Wolbachia. Wolbachia is an insect bacterium that has not been detected living inside humans or any other vertebrates. It can be made to infect human tissue culture cells in the laboratory but these laboratory systems are very artificial and do not predict the actual ability of Wolbachia to infect an actual human being."
However, Daniel Strickman, national program leader for veterinary and medical entomology at the US Department of Agriculture, remains unconvinced. Strickman expresses some discomfort with releasing an agent that could spread out of control, in a way that does not occur in nature. He states there is a risk that, by making the mosquitoes less susceptible to dengue infection, they may become more susceptible to other viruses such as Japanese encephalitis.
Lead Australian Wolbachia researcher Scott O'Neill claims this problem is "extremely unlikely" as mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia are actually less susceptible to a wide range of pathogens they would normally transmit.iii
One thing can be said for certain—this approach to combating Dengue fever renders all attempts at genetically engineered (transgenic) mosquitoes obsolete. Transgenic mosquitoes are less effective, less efficient, more costly and far more risky.iv Unfortunately, GE "mutant mosquitoes" have already been released into the environment, without public consent, in several countries.
How all these changes affect other species consuming these altered insects remains to be seen.

Genetically Modified "Suicide Mosquitoes" Secretly Released in Grand Cayman Island

Can scientists simply release flying, human-biting genetically modified creatures into the air anytime they wish? Apparently, the answer to this question is "yes." And they have.
Oxitec has created male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that live long enough in the wild to mate, but their offspring die before reaching adulthood, reducing the rates at which they can transmit Dengue virus to humans. The genetically engineered bugs contain a gene that kills them unless they are given tetracycline, a common antibiotic. In the lab, with tetracycline provided, multiple generations of the mosquitoes can be bred. Males are then released into the wild, where tetracycline is not available, and their offspring die without it.
The company claims the technique is safe because only the males are released into the environment—it's only female mosquitoes that bite and spread diseases.
The problem is, millions of these GE bugs have been released into the open air by Oxitec as a means of field-testing their new "Dengue-proof" mosquitoes, without sufficient review and public consultation. They have conveniently chosen several countries with weak regulations. In 2009, Oxitec released their designer insects onto Grand Cayman Island, an island in the Caribbeanv.
The experiment will go down in scientific history as the first release of GM insects that could bite humans. Not surprisingly, it was conducted in secret.
Once the locals got wind of this, they responded with a fair amount of public outrage—and rightly so! But it didn't stop there. Oxitec subsequently released their frankenskeeters in Malaysia, Brazilvi, Panama, India, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. And they are seeking approval from the US Agriculture Department to perform similar open-air testing in the Florida Keys.
Even supporters of this technology worry that public reaction will be similar to the one that has stalled acceptance of genetically engineered crops. Regulation has not caught up with science, and GE insects are a brand new adversary in this brave new world of genetic modification. Many companies are "making hay" while regulations are lacking.
Oxitec reports the results of their open-air testing exceeded expectations. The genetically engineered males were found to be only half as successful in mating as the wild ones, which is a rate sufficient to repress the population. Oxitec also reports that a 2010 trial on Cayman Island reduced the population of the targeted mosquitoes by 80 percent for three months. But what is the price of this progress? What will be the cost to humans and to the environment?
Just as with genetically engineered (GE) foods, the long-term effects of GE insects are completely unknown—the Earth and its inhabitants are being used as a laboratory for grand scale genetic experiments. It's a blatant violation of human rights with regard to human experimentation.

Antibiotic-Dependent, Blood-Sucking Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes… What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Unfortunately, like so many other things, neither the government nor the biotech companies can offer peer-reviewed scientific proof of the safety of their biotechnology—they have blithely rushed ahead without any concern about the long-term effects. Once released, these insects cannot be "recalled." There are several problemsvii with the assumption that these genetically engineered bugs are safe for the human population. For starters:
  1. The potential exists for these genes, which hop from one place to another, to infect human blood by finding entry through skin lesions or inhaled dust. Such transmission could potentially wreak havoc with the human genome by creating "insertion mutations" and other unpredictable types of DNA damage.viii
  2. According to Alfred Handler, a geneticist at the Agriculture Department in Hawaii, mosquitoes can develop resistance to the lethal gene and might then be released inadvertently. Todd Shelly, an entomologist for the Agriculture Department in Hawaii, said 3.5 percent of the insects in a laboratory test survived to adulthood, despite presumably carrying the lethal gene.
  3. The sorting of male and female mosquitoes is done by hand. As a result, up to 0.5 percent of the released insects are female. Even that small of a percentage could lead to a temporary increase in the spread of Dengue—not to mention potentially transmitting the altered gene to humans.
  4. Tetracycline and other antibiotics are now showing up in the environment, in soil and surface water samples. These genetically engineered mosquitoes were designed to die in the absence of tetracycline, assuming they would NOT have access to that drug in the wild. With tetracycline exposure (for example, in a lake) these mutant insects would actually thrive in the wild, potentially creating a nightmarish scenario.
The problem is that genetically modified female mosquitoes can still bite humans. This means the protein, which kills their own larvae, might be injected into humans when the mosquitoes suck their blood, with unknown and potentially ghoulish consequences.
And those are just the mosquitoes…

Moths, Too

Oxitec is also the creator of genetically engineered pink bollworm moths, and swarms of this creature have already been unleashed over the fields of Arizona in an effort to overtake natural bollworm populations, which are a pest. The company appears to be edging its way toward becoming the next "Monsanto," already having a monopoly on genetically modified insects. Their next frankenbug is a genetically engineered diamond-back or cabbage moth, slated for release over England.
Other groups are also developing genetically modified insects. One group has created Anopheles mosquitoes that are immune to the malaria parasite they normally carry, and also manufacturing male Anopheles that lack sperm.
Realizing genetic engineering is risky technology, the World Health Organization is finalizing new guidelines about how GE insects must be deployed in developing countries, which it expects to release by the end of 2012ix.

Your Best Defense Against Dengue

Building a strong immune system is your best defense against this nasty virus. Your immune health depends on the lifestyle choices you make every day. By supporting your body's own natural ability to defend itself against pathogens, you will not only have resistance to Dengue fever but to every other infectious illness that comes your way. Make sure you address each of the following:
  • Consume a diet rich in fresh, whole foods with abundant organic vegetables, pasture-raised meats, organic eggs and raw dairy; avoid sugar, chemicals and processed foods; be sure to get plenty of omega-3 fats; refer to my nutrition plan for more dietary information
  • Optimize your vitamin D level
  • Exercise regularly
  • Address your stress, and make sure to get plenty of sleep
  • Practice good hand washing technique

Souce:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/06/24/gm-mosquitoes-lessen-dengue-outbreak.aspx

quarta-feira, 4 de novembro de 2015

7 Kinds of Coughs and What They Might Mean

coughing causes
May 06, 2015
By Dr. Mercola
A cough is a symptom, not a disease in and of itself, that’s often indicative of an underlying condition. A cough can accompany a common cold, for instance, or be due to allergies, lung disease, or even gastrointestinal troubles.
Although the causes are varied, the reason you cough is to help your body get rid of foreign material or mucus from your lungs and upper airway passages. It’s one of your body’s protective mechanisms designed to keep you breathing easy. Sometimes, it’s easy to determine why you’re coughing but it can also be a mystery.
By paying attention to the details – the sound of your cough, for instance, along with accompanying symptoms – you can often identify the cause, which is important for getting on the road to recovery. Following are seven common reasons for a cough, and what to do about them.1

7 Common Reasons for Coughs

1. Postnasal Drip
A cold or allergies can cause mucus to drip down your throat. This postnasal drip can touch on nerve endings, leading to either a wet or dry cough.
A cough due to postnasal drip will usually be worse at night, and you may also have a tickle or scratchy feeling at the back of your throat. If allergies are causing the postnasal drip, you may also have itchy eyes and sneezing.
If you have postnasal drip accompanied by congestion, pressure in your face, cold symptoms lasting longer than 10 days, and thick green or yellow mucus, you could have a sinus infection. In this case, irrigating your sinuses may help.
In a 2007 study from University of Michigan Health System researchers, saline irrigation was found to decrease nasal congestion more effectively than saline sprays.2
It appears to work by thinning mucus, decreasing swelling in your nasal passages, and removing debris, bacteria, allergens, and inflammatory substances from your nose, hence decreasing swelling that makes it hard to breathe.
To make your own preservative-free saline solution, just add one teaspoon of Himalayan or sea salt to one pint of distilled water. Make sure you use a saline solution that does not contain benzalkonium, a preservative that can impair your nasal function and might sting and burn.
2. Asthma
A dry cough coupled with a rattling or wheezing sound is often a sign of asthma. In this condition, your airways become inflamed, leading to wheezing, coughing, and difficulty in breathing. Cough due to asthma typically worsens at night or while exercising. It may be accompanied by chest tightness, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
If you have asthma, I suggest looking into The Buteyko Method, which teaches you how to bring your breathing volume back toward normal or, in other words, to reverse what's called chronic hyperventilation or chronic overbreathing.
When your breathing is normal, you have better oxygenation of tissues and organs. Optimizing both your gut health and vitamin D levels should also be at the top of your list if you're suffering from asthma.
3. GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
After food passes through your esophagus into your stomach, a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) closes, preventing food or acid to move back up. GERD, also sometimes referred to as acid reflux, occurs when the LES relaxes inappropriately, allowing acid from your stomach to flow (reflux) backward into your esophagus.
GERD may cause a dry, spasmodic cough. In fact, GERD is the second most-common cause of chronic cough.3 As reported by GI Motility:4
Gastroesophageal reflux… can impact the lung and is a cause of subacute and chronic cough. The esophagus and the lung share common embryonic foregut origins and vagal innervation.”
A GERD-related cough is likely to become worse when you’re lying down or eating. It may be associated with other GERD symptoms, such as heartburn, but in 75 percent of cases, chronic cough is the only symptom.
Conventionally, GERD is thought to be caused by excessive amounts of acid in your stomach, which is why acid-blocking drugs are typically prescribed or recommended. However, GERD is a symptom more commonly related to hiatal hernia and/or Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection
The problem also typically results from having too little acid in your stomach, which is why drugs like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) typically just perpetuate the problem and make GERD worse. Ultimately, the answer to heartburn and acid indigestion is to restore your natural gastric balance and function.
Eating large amounts of processed foods and sugars is a surefire way to exacerbate GERD, as it will upset the bacterial balance in your stomach and intestine.
Instead, you'll want to eat a lot of vegetables and other high-quality, ideally organic, unprocessed foods. Also, eliminate food triggers from your diet. Common culprits here include caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine products. Next, you need to make sure you're getting enough beneficial bacteria from your diet.
This will help balance your bowel flora, which can help eliminate H. pylori bacteria naturally without resorting to antibiotics. It will also aid in proper digestion and assimilation of your food. Ideally, you'll want to get your probiotics from fermented foods. If you aren't eating fermented foods, you most likely will need to supplement with a probiotic on a regular basis.
Another option if you have too little stomach acid is to take a betaine hydrochloric supplement, which is available in health food stores without prescription. You'll want to take as many as you need to get the slightest burning sensation and then decrease by one capsule. This will help your body to better digest your food and will also help kill H. pylori and normalize your symptoms.
4. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
If you’re chronically coughing and hacking up lots of mucus (especially in the morning) your cough may be due to COPD. Typically, the cough will be worst in the morning and ease in severity throughout the day. You may also experience shortness of breath (particularly with physical activity), wheezing, fatigue, and chest tightness.
Smoking is a major cause of COPD, which includes both emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In emphysema, the air sacs in your lungs eventually lose their elasticity and start to worsen. Chronic bronchitis happens when there is a swelling in the linings of your lungs and it constrains your breathing.
5. Medication-Related Cough
Drugs known as ACE inhibitors, which are used to treat high blood pressure, can cause a dry cough in about 20 percent of patients. If you noticed your cough a few weeks after starting this medication, it could be to blame.
While you shouldn’t stop blood pressure medication without your doctor’s guidance, it’s important to be aware that high blood pressure can often be remedied with lifestyle changes. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, dietary strategies will be crucial to controlling your levels.
One of the primary underlying causes of high blood pressure is related to your body producing too much insulin and leptin in response to a high-carbohydrate (i.e. high sugar) and processed-food diet.
Avoiding processed foods (due to their being high in sugar/fructose, grains, trans fat, and other damaged fats and processed salt) is my number one recommendation if you have high blood pressure. A comprehensive fitness program is another strategy that can improve your blood pressure and heart health without resorting to medications.
6. Pneumonia
Pneumonia starts out as a dry cough but progresses into a wet cough with yellow, green, or red mucus. Your cough may be accompanied by fever, chills, trouble breathing, or pain when coughing or breathing in deeply. Anytime you cough up excess mucus and phlegm, spit it out rather than swallowing it, as swallowing excess mucus can cause irritation to your stomach.
Most people with pneumonia can recover safely at home by drinking lots of fluids and getting rest. However, in severe cases, in the elderly or in young children, pneumonia may require hospitalization to receive fluids, breathing treatments, and oxygen therapy. Pneumonia may be caused by a virus or bacteria. Although antibiotics are sometimes given, they will not be effective for viral pneumonia.
7. Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Whooping cough causes a severe cough that ends with a whooping sound as you breath in. In the US, from January 1 to June 16, 2014, there were nearly 10,000 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, confirmed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is a 24 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2013.5 The CDC maintains that the best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated, but this deserves a closer look.
CDC data shows 84 percent of children under the age of 3 have received at least FOUR DTaP shots and yet, despite this high vaccination rate, whooping cough still keeps circulating among both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. The vaccine is clearly ineffective, and it's not just failing to prevent whooping cough in the US. In the UK, researchers similarly revealed that nearly 20 percent of fully vaccinated children still contracted whooping cough.6
If you think you have whooping cough, you should seek medical attention right away, especially if it occurs in a young child. However, there are some natural treatments that may help (and certainly won't hurt).7
Avoid mucus-forming foods, such as milk, flour, and eggs, as well as sugar Eat light foods such as vegetables, soups with garlic, and herbal teas Homeopathic remedies for pertussis include Coccus cacti and the nosode. Pertussin. Drosera is recommended for coughing fits followed by gagging, retching, or vomiting. Cuprum may be indicated for coughing fits followed by gasping for air, difficulty breathing, or that end in exhaustion
Wild cherry bark lozenges may soothe your throat Keep well hydrated Try up to 5,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily for seven days
Keep your room and home well-ventilated and free of smoke Use a warm air humidifier with essential oils (try basil, cyprus, marjoram, thyme, wintergreen, tea tree, camphor, lavender, chamomile, peppermint, or eucalyptus) Massage essential oils with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) into the patient's chest or back
Acupuncture may be beneficial (and its effects for whooping cough are recognized by the World Health Organization) Rest and avoid exertion Arrange pillows so the patient can be more upright while sleeping
Boil fresh ginger root in water for 20 minutes, then add the water to a foot bath to soak feet for up to 20 minutes Heat a pan of water to just boiling, then add a few drops of oil of thyme. Have the patient breathe in the steam from the pan (cover his or her head with a towel, being careful to avoid getting burned) Keep skin hydrated by massaging in coconut oil daily

Coughs May Take More Than Two Weeks to Go Away

A report published in the Annals of Family Medicine revealed that average US adult believes an average cough lasts about seven to nine days. In reality, the average cough lasts close to 18 days.8 This mismatch between patients’ expectation of how long a cough should last often leads to trips to the doctor… and requests for antibiotics if a cough lingers longer than a week. Mark Ebell, a family physician and associate professor of Public Health at the University of Georgia, told USA Today:9
"I frequently see patients who come in and have been sick for four or five days and say 'boy I really need an antibiotic — I'm just not getting better.’"
In reality, most acute coughs are due to viral illnesses such as colds and flu, which antibiotics don’t help. When physicians prescribe antibiotics for unnecessary conditions, several negative consequences happen. First, the overuse of antibiotics promotes the natural mutation of common bacteria, ultimately resulting in the creation of new, resistant strains. You also have a chance of having an adverse reaction anytime you take an antibiotic, and antibiotics also cause an imbalance in your body’s microbiome. Antibiotics are prescribed unnecessarily more often that you might think.
Part of the CDC’s 2016 budget includes money to develop prescription surveillance programs in each state, as many states currently do not even collect data on antimicrobial resistance. As reported by Reuters:10
“More than half of all hospitalized patients will get an antibiotic at some point during their stay, but studies have shown that 30 to 50 percent of antibiotics prescribed in hospitals are unnecessary or incorrect, contributing to antibiotic resistance. Recognizing that much of the misuse of antibiotics occurs outside of hospitals, the White House plan gives doctors who take part in Medicare or Medicaid three years to start reporting their antibiotics prescriptions, with financial incentives and penalties attached.”
Education appears somewhat useful in helping the problem. In one study, when medical practices used printed brochures and posters or computerized guidelines to discourage antibiotic use for coughs, prescription rates declined 12 percent and 13 percent, respectively.11

What Works to Soothe a Cough?

Most uncomplicated colds, which often lead to coughs, last between eight and nine days, but about 25 percent last two weeks, and 5-10 percent last three weeks. How quickly your cold is resolved has a lot to do with your general lifestyle habits and the state of your immune system.
More often than not, over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold remedies will NOT cause a speedier recovery. Honey, particularly in its raw form, is a much better option. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists honey as a demulcent, which is a substance that relieves irritation in your mouth or throat by forming a protective film.12
Research shows honey works as well as dextromethorphan, a common ingredient in OTC cough medications, to soothe cough and related sleeping difficulties due to upper respiratory tract infections in children.13 The Organic Consumers Association has also published this simple honey lemon cough syrup recipe that’s useful to keep on hand if a bothersome cough strikes.14 (Parents are advised not to give honey to any child under the age of 1 year; infants younger than that are at risk for botulism from honey.)
Honey Lemon Cough Syrup
Lemon helps promote health by quickly alkalinizing your body, and honey will kill most bacteria while soothing your throat. This is a perfect choice for a quick cough remedy.
  1. Put a pint of raw honey in a pan on the stove on VERY low heat (Do not boil honey as this changes its medicinal properties).
  2. Take a whole lemon and boil in some water in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes to both soften the lemon and kill any bacteria that may be on the lemon skin.
  3. Let the lemon cool enough to handle then cut it in slices and add it to the pint of honey on the stove.
  4. Let mixture cook on warm heat for about an hour.
  5. Then strain the lemon from the honey making sure all lemon seeds are removed.
  6. Let cool, then bottle in a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.
This syrup will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator. To soothe a cough, take ½ teaspoon for a 25 lb. child and 1 teaspoon for a 50 lb. child, about 4 times a day, or as often as needed. Adults can take 1-tablespoon dose.

Source:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/05/06/coughing-causes.aspx

quarta-feira, 28 de outubro de 2015

The Many Uses of the Mighty Moringa Tree

Moringa Oleifera 
August 24, 2015
By Dr. Mercola

Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing tree native to South Asia and now found throughout the tropics. Its leaves have been used as part of traditional medicine for centuries, and the Ayurvedic system of medicine associates it with the cure or prevention of about 300 diseases.1
Moringa, sometimes described as the “miracle tree,” “drumstick tree,” or “horseradish tree,” has small, rounded leaves that are packed with an incredible amount of nutrition: protein, calcium, beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium… you name it, moringa’s got it. No wonder it’s been used medicinally (and as a food source) for at least 4,000 years.2
The fact that moringa grows rapidly and easily makes it especially appealing for impoverished areas, and it’s been used successfully for boosting nutritional intake in Malawi, Senegal, and India. In these areas, moringa may be the most nutritious food locally available, and it can be harvested year-round.3
Personally, I grew a moringa tree for two years and I can attest to the fact that it grows like a weed. For those living in third-world countries, it may very well prove to be a valuable source of nutrition.

However I don’t recommend planting one in your backyard for health purposes as the leaves are very small and it is a timely and exceedingly tedious task to harvest the leaves from the stem to eat them.
The leaves are tiny and difficult to harvest and use, so you’ll likely find, as I did, that growing one is more trouble than it’s worth. That being said, there is no denying that moringa offers an impressive nutritional profile that makes it appealing once it is harvested…

6 Reasons Why Moringa Is Being Hailed as a Superfood

1. A Rich Nutritional Profile
Moringa leaves are loaded with vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and more. One hundred grams of dry moringa leaf contains:4
  • 9 times the protein of yogurt
  • 10 times the vitamin A of carrots
  • 15 times the potassium of bananas
  • 17 times the calcium of milk
  • 12 times the vitamin C of oranges
  • 25 times the iron of spinach
2. Antioxidants Galore
Moringa leaves are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid. The latter, chlorogenic acid, has been shown to slow cells' absorption of sugar and animal studies have found it to lower blood sugar levels. As noted in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention:5
“The leaves of the Moringa oleifera tree have been reported to demonstrate antioxidant activity due to its high amount of polyphenols.
Moringa oleifera extracts of both mature and tender leaves exhibit strong antioxidant activity against free radicals, prevent oxidative damage to major biomolecules, and give significant protection against oxidative damage.”
Further, in a study of women taking 1.5 teaspoons of moringa leaf powder daily for three months, blood levels of antioxidants increased significantly.6
3. Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Moringa appears to have anti-diabetic effects,7 likely due to beneficial plant compounds contained in the leaves, including isothiocyanates. One study found women who took seven grams of moringa leaf powder daily for three months reduced their fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5 percent. 8
Separate research revealed that adding 50 grams of moringa leaves to a meal reduced the rise in blood sugar by 21 percent among diabetic patients.9
4. Reduce Inflammation
The isothiocyanates, flavonoids, and phenolic acids in moringa leaves, pods, and seeds also have anti-inflammatory properties. According to the Epoch Times:10
The tree’s strong anti-inflammatory action is traditionally used to treat stomach ulcers. Moringa oil (sometimes called Ben oil) has been shown to protect the liver from chronic inflammation. The oil is unique in that, unlike most vegetable oils, moringa resists rancidity.
This quality makes it a good preservative for foods that can spoil quickly. This sweet oil is used for both frying or in a salad dressing. It is also used topically to treat antifungal problems, arthritis, and is an excellent skin moisturizer.”
5. Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Moringa also has cholesterol-lowering properties, and one animal study found its effects were comparable to those of the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin.11 As noted in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology:12
Moringa oleifera is used in Thai traditional medicine as cardiotonic. Recent studies demonstrated its hypocholesterolemic effect.
... In hypercholesterol-fed rabbits, at 12 weeks of treatment, it significantly (P<0 .05="" 50="" 86="" about="" and="" at="" atherosclerotic="" cholesterol="" comparable="" degrees="" effects="" em="" formation="" levels="" lowered="" of="" plaque="" reduced="" respectively.="" simvastatin.="" the="" these="" those="" to="" were="">
6. Protect Against Arsenic Toxicity
The leaves and seeds of moringa may protect against some of the effects of arsenic toxicity, which is especially important in light of news that common staple foods, such as rice, may be contaminated.13 Contamination of ground water by arsenic has also become a cause of global public health concern, and one study revealed: 14
“Co-administration of M. oleifera [moringa] seed powder (250 and 500 mg/kg, orally) with arsenic significantly increased the activities of SOD [superoxide dismutase], catalase, and GPx with elevation in reduced GSH level in tissues (liver, kidney, and brain).
These changes were accompanied by approximately 57%, 64%, and 17% decrease in blood ROS [reactive oxygen species], liver metallothionein (MT), and lipid peroxidation respectively in animal co-administered with M. oleifera and arsenic.
Another interesting observation has been the reduced uptake of arsenic in soft tissues (55% in blood, 65% in liver, 54% in kidneys, and 34% in brain) following administration of M. oleifera seed powder (particularly at the dose of 500 mg/kg).
It can thus be concluded from the present study that concomitant administration of M. oleifera seed powder with arsenic could significantly protect animals from oxidative stress and in reducing tissue arsenic concentration. Administration of M. oleifera seed powder thus could also be beneficial during chelation therapy…”

Moringa Leaves May Even Purify Water… and More

From a digestive standpoint, moringa is high in fiber that, as the Epoch Times put it, “works like a mop in your intestines… to clean up any of that extra grunge left over from a greasy diet.”15 Also noteworthy are its isothiocyanates, which have anti-bacterial properties that may help to rid your body of H. pylori, a bacteria implicated in gastritis, ulcers, and gastric cancer. Moringa seeds have even been found to work better for water purification than many of the conventional synthetic materials in use today.

According to Uppsala University:16
A protein in the seeds binds to impurities causing them to aggregate so that the clusters can be separated from the water. The study… published in the journal Colloids and Surfaces A takes a step towards optimization of the water purification process.17
Researchers in Uppsala together with colleagues from Lund as well as Namibia, Botswana, France, and the USA have studied the microscopic structure of aggregates formed with the protein.
The results show that the clusters of material (flocs) that are produced with the protein are much more tightly packed than those formed with conventional flocculating agents. This is better for water purification as such flocs are more easily separated.”
There is speculation that moringa’s ability to attach itself to harmful materials may also happen in the body, making moringa a potential detoxification tool.

How to Use Moringa

If you have access to a moringa tree, you can use the fresh leaves in your meals; they have a flavor similar to a radish. Toss them like a salad, blend them into smoothies, or steam them like spinach. Another option is to use moringa powder, either in supplement form or added to smoothies, soups, and other foods for extra nutrition. Moringa powder has a distinctive “green” flavor, so you may want to start out slowly when adding it to your meals.
You can also use organic, cold-pressed moringa oil (or ben oil), although it’s expensive (about 15 times more than olive oil).18 As mentioned, while I don’t necessarily recommend planting a moringa tree in your backyard (a rapid-growing tree can grow to 15 to 30 feet in just a few years), you may want to give the leaves or powder a try if you come across some at your local health food market. As reported by Fox News, this is one plant food that displays not just one or two but numerous potential healing powers:19
Virtually all parts of the plant are used to treat inflammation, infectious disorders, and various problems of the cardiovascular and digestive organs, while improving liver function and enhancing milk flow in nursing mothers. The uses of moringa are well documented in both the Ayurvedic and Unani systems of traditional medicine, among the most ancient healing systems in the world.
Moringa is rich in a variety of health-enhancing compounds, including moringine, moringinine, the potent antioxidants quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and various polyphenols. The leaves seem to be getting the most market attention, notably for their use in reducing high blood pressure, eliminating water weight, and lowering cholesterol.
Studies show that moringa leaves possess anti-tumor and anti-cancer activities, due in part to a compound called niaziminin. Preliminary experimentation also shows activity against the Epstein-Barr virus. Compounds in the leaf appear to help regulate thyroid function, especially in cases of over-active thyroid. Further research points to anti-viral activity in cases of Herpes simplex 1.”
Sources:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/24/moringa-tree-uses.aspx