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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, August 20, 2014
Can Vitamin C Cure Ebola?
Commentary by Steve Hickey PhD, Hilary Roberts PhD, and Damien Downing MBBS, MSB.
(OMNS Aug 20, 2014) If there were a drug that worked on Ebola you should use it. There isn’t. There is only vitamin C. But you must be extremely careful what you believe, because, as it ever was, the Internet is full of dangerous loonies. For coming up to a decade now the OMNS has reported on nutritional therapies; we leave the medical politics to one side and work from the facts. Here are the facts about vitamin C and Ebola.
1. Taking a gram or so of day of vitamin C won’t protect you against anything except acute scurvy; it doesn’t matter whether the vitamin is liposomal, nano-particles, or even gold-plated. Beware of websites, companies, and Youtube clips making wild and unsubstantiated claims about the efficacy of vitamin C.
2. Clinical reports suggest that taking vitamin C almost to bowel tolerance every day (in divided doses) will help to protect you against all viruses. Reports by independent physicians have been consistent for decades. However, the doctors also stipulated most emphatically that the dose and the way you take it must be right – or it will not work. There is no direct placebo controlled “evidence” that massive doses of vitamin C will work on Ebola, and nobody would volunteer to take part in that study. But massive doses are reported to have helped against every virus it has been pitched against. This includes Polio, Dengue and AIDS, and it even makes vaccination work better. In the 1980s when no other treatment was available it was reported that full blown AIDS could be reversed and the patient brought back to reasonable health.[i,ii]
At risk or worried about Ebola? This is what you should do.
Vitamin C is the primary antioxidant in the diet. Most people do not take enough to be healthy. While this is true of many nutrients, vitamin C is a special case. Ignore governments telling you that you only need about 100 mg a day and can get this amount from food. The required amount of vitamin C varies your state of health. A normal adult in perfect health may need only a small intake, say 500 mg per day, but more is needed when someone is even slightly under the weather. Similarly, to prevent illness, the intake needs to be increased.
The intake for an otherwise healthy person to have a reasonable chance of avoiding a common cold is in the region of 8-10 grams (8,000-10,000 mg) a day. This is about ten times what corporate medicine has tested in their trials on vitamin C and the common cold. Ten grams (10,000 mg) is the minimum pharmacological intake; it may help if you have a slight sore throat but more (much more) may be needed. To get rid of a common cold, you may need anything from 20 to 60 grams (60,000 mg) a day. With influenza the need might be for 100 grams (100,000 mg) a day. Since it varies from person to person, and from illness to illness, the only way to find out is to experiment for yourself.
The problem with oral intakes is that healthy people do not absorb vitamin C well due to something Dr Robert Cathcart called bowel tolerance. [iii] Take too much of the vitamin in a single dose and it will cause loose stools. In good health, a person might be able to take a couple of grams at a time without this problem. Strangely, when a person becomes sick they can take far more without this side effect: as much as 20-100+ grams a day, in divided doses. [iv]
High dose vitamin C has a short half-life in the body. The half-life is the time for the level in the blood plasma to fall back to half its concentration. Until recently, some people claimed that the half-life of vitamin C was several weeks. We have shown that this long half-life applies only to very low doses.[v] By contrast, the half-life for high blood levels is only half an hour. This short half-life means that for high dose vitamin C the period between doses needs to be short – a few hours at most.
The aim is to achieve dynamic flow, to get vitamin C flowing continuously through the body. Dynamic flow requires multiple high doses taken throughout the day. When separated in time, each dose is absorbed independently. Two doses of 3 grams, taken 12 hours apart, are absorbed better than 6 grams taken all at once. Multiple large doses, say 3 grams four times a day, produce a steady flow of the vitamin from the gut, into the bloodstream and out, via the urine. Some of the intake is not absorbed into the blood and stays in the gut, as a reserve against the early onset of illness. As illness begins, the body pulls in this “excess” to help fight the virus.
The idea behind dynamic flow is that the body is kept in a reduced (antioxidant) state, using high doses. There is always vitamin C available, to refresh the body and other antioxidants. Each vitamin C molecule (ascorbic acid) has two antioxidant electrons, which it can donate to protect the body. It then becomes oxidised to dehydroascorbate (DHA). This oxidized molecule is then excreted, so the body has gained two antioxidant electrons. The kidneys reabsorb vitamin C, but not DHA; the vitamin C molecule is absorbed, used up, and then the oxidized form is thrown out with the rubbish.
The effectiveness of vitamin C is not directly proportional to the dose; it is non-linear. There is a threshold above which vitamin C becomes highly effective. Below this level, the effect is small; above it, the effect is dramatic. The problem is that no-one can tell you in advance what intake of vitamin C you need. The solution is to take more – more than you think necessary, more than you consider reasonable. The mantra is dose, dose, dose.
Types of Vitamin C
Straightforward, low cost ascorbic acid is the preferred form of supplement. Vendors may try to sell you “better absorbed” forms with minerals or salts such as sodium, potassium or calcium ascorbate, and so on. These are irrelevant, if not counterproductive, for high intakes. It is worth noting the following:
1. Timing is more important than form. Two large doses of ascorbic acid taken a little time apart are better absorbed than a single dose of mineral ascorbate.
2. Mineral ascorbates are salts and do not carry the same number of antioxidant electrons. Ascorbic acid has two electrons to donate while a salt typically has only one. With high doses, the “improved” forms are thus only about half as effective. This is consistent with reports that mineral forms are correspondingly ineffective in combating illness.
3. Ascorbic acid is a weak acid, much weaker than the hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Mineral ascorbates may be better tolerated, as they make the stomach more alkaline than ascorbic acid. However, an alkaline stomach is not a good idea – there are reasons the body secretes hydrochloric acid into the stomach, including preventing infection. Furthermore, if you are coming down with a haemorrhagic viral infection, mild discomfort will not be something of great concern.
4. For high intakes, capsules of ascorbic acid are preferable to tablets. This is because tablets are packed with fillers and it is not wise to take massive doses of these chemicals. Check the ingredients – you want to take ascorbic acid and very little else. Bioflavonoids are alright, and the capsules may be made with gelatine or a vegetarian equivalent.
5. The cheapest way to take ascorbic acid is as powder, dissolved in water. If you do this, use a straw to avoid it getting on the tooth enamel, as it is slightly acidic. You will need a set of accurate electronic scales to monitor the dose. If you do not weigh it carefully, it will be difficult to keep close to bowel tolerance.
Intravenous Vitamin C
Ideally, infected people would be given a continuous intravenous (IV) infusion of massive doses of vitamin C (sodium ascorbate is preferred as ascorbic acid is irritant to veins).
1. People who are sufficiently ill will not be able to take vitamin C by mouth.
2. IV provides the highest possible blood levels
3. IV means continuous drip, not an injection (short half-life)
Unless you are a medical professional who can treat yourself and your family, or are exceptionally rich, IV ascorbate will not be an option in an Ebola outbreak.
Rectal Vitamin C
Rectal administration of sodium ascorbate is a method that can be used in emergencies, and in developing world circumstances, when IV is unavailable or unsuitable. Nurses can quickly be trained to mix 15-30 g of sodium ascorbate in 250-500 ml clean water, and give it by enema. It can be safely and effectively used in children. An enema also removes from the bowel material that may be challenging. This has been done successfully with aboriginal people in the Australian outback.
In healthy people, liposomes help the absorption of oral vitamin C; in some circumstances this is also true for sick people. However, we need to dispel some popular myths.
In a healthy person, higher blood levels (about 600 microM/L) can be achieved using liposomal vitamin C compared with standard ascorbic acid (about 250 microM/L). We were the first to demonstrate this fact experimentally.[vi] However, the two absorption methods are different and if both are used together the resultant plasma levels are additive (something like 600 + 250 = 850 microM/L). Since ascorbic acid is much cheaper than liposomal vitamin C, it is cost effective for a healthy person to start with ascorbic acid and top up with liposomes as required.
When a person becomes ill they can absorb massive doses of standard ascorbic acid, using the dynamic flow approach. So if you are sick, taking a gram of liposomal vitamin C instead of a gram of cheap ascorbic acid will provide little extra benefit. Both will be well absorbed , and the liposome contains sodium ascorbate which is less effective. Liposomes only provide added benefit once the sick person has approached bowel tolerance levels, using standard ascorbic acid.
Liposomal vitamin C is NOT more effective than IV for fighting acute infections. This suggestion is unscientific and unsupported by data. We prefer liposomes for chronic infections and cancer, but this does not extend to acute illness. There is also a lot of hype around the fact that liposomes can be absorbed directly into cells. Many liposomes are absorbed from the gut and pass into the liver, where they are stored and the vitamin C released. Liposomes may also float around in the bloodstream, lymph nodes, and so on, waiting to release their contents or be taken up by cells. But the cells that take up the liposomes are not necessarily those that are most in need of vitamin C. Moreover cells may suffer side effects; liposomes are basically nanotechnology and have additional theoretical issues.
To have a reasonable chance of avoiding a major viral infection, a daily intake of at least 10 grams of ascorbic acid is needed. The idea is to start low, taking say 500 -1,000 mg four times a day. Build up the intake to close to bowel tolerance; increased wind and large soft stools will occur before diarrhea signals that bowel tolerance has been exceeded. At this stage, back off the dose a little, to a reasonably comfortable level.
At the first hint of an infection – feeling unwell, itchy throat, fatigue, and so on – take more ascorbic acid. If the hint of impending sickness is mild, take perhaps 5 grams every half hour or even more frequently. Anything more than a hint of infection, take as large a dose as you feel could be tolerated and follow this by taking 5 grams every half hour. The rule is to take as much as you can without going over the tolerated level: you will probably be taking too little, even though you are trying hard to take a massive dose.
If you are already in dynamic flow and want extra protection, then add liposomal vitamin C. Take it at the same intervals as the ascorbic acid; that is several times a day. The limit is once again bowel tolerance – take too much and it will give you loose stools. This will provide the maximum preventive effect, for the lowest cost.
We assume that you are not a medical professional and do not have access to IV ascorbate. However, if IV sodium ascorbate is available, it should be given slowly and as continuously as possible. For children, enemas may be the most practical method (we hope to publish practical instructions for this soon). Medical professionals can deal with such things with little difficulty, but others may do more harm than good.
The first important thing is to start the treatment early. The longer a person waits after the initial symptoms, the less effective the treatment will be. Also if the illness is allowed to develop the sick person may become unable to take anything orally.
Once again, the idea is to get dynamic flow going with as much ascorbic acid as can be tolerated. In this case, the doses are massive. Five to ten grams every half hour, through the day, will provide 120 to 240 grams a day. Even at this high intake, the blood plasma levels may be low or undetectable; at most 250 microM/L will be achieved. So the question then becomes how much additional liposomal vitamin C the patient can tolerate.
A practical approach would be to start with 5 grams of ascorbic acid and a similar amount of liposomal vitamin C in very frequent doses. Remember the key is dose, dose, dose. More vitamin C!
How it Works
The mechanism of action of high dose vitamin C is known and understood. In normal healthy tissues it acts as an antioxidant. In other tissues, it generates hydrogen peroxide, the chemical that platinum blondes use to bleach their hair. This happens in sick and inflamed tissues, for example in a malignant tumour. The process is typically a form of Fenton reaction, generating free radicals. The oxidation and free radicals arising from the hydrogen peroxide kill bacteria and inactivate viruses. In other words, vitamin C acts as a targeted bleach and antiseptic.
Vitamin C is unique, because it has low toxicity and can be taken safely in massive amounts. Other antioxidants and supplements will not have a similar effect. Do not be confused and think that Echinacea, for example, will help. Yes, there may be supplements and herbs that provide a little immune system support, but this is Ebola we are talking about – get real!
Note, vitamin C is not some magical antitoxin; this idea is a metaphor. A disease such as Ebola is not caused by toxins that are inactivated by vitamin C. Free radicals are not toxins. Oxidants are not toxins. Vitamin C nearly always acts by transferring electrons, as an oxidant or antioxidant. It is just basic chemistry. Also, it does not matter if you have poor dental hygiene, this will hardly affect how massive intakes of vitamin C tackle an acute viral infection.
Sugar interferes with the uptake of vitamin C. If you are using vitamin C to combat a viral infection do not eat any sugar or carbohydrates (long chain sugars) or the vitamin C will not be absorbed properly. We stress that this means no sugar and no carbs, at all.
Smoking releases enormous amounts of oxidants and free radicals into the bloodstream. The vitamin C will expend itself, trying to mop up the chemicals from the smoking. We have no moral objections to people smoking: it is a personal choice. However, smoking will hinder even massive doses of vitamin C from preventing infection. Once infected with Ebola, smoking will stop the vitamin C from keeping you alive.
It is sensible also to supplement with a little chelated magnesium, such as magnesium citrate, which helps overcome the (largely theoretical) risk of kidney stones.
The reaction that generates hydrogen peroxide in sick tissues can be enhanced a little by taking selenium with the vitamin C. A little caution is needed as too much selenium will cause diarrhoea, fatigue, garlic breath, and hair and nail loss; severe toxicity can have more severe effects but is hard to achieve. Methylselenocysteine is a less toxic form and this would be our choice. The normal intake is perhaps 100-200 micrograms (0.1-0.2 mg) a day; we would take 400 micrograms a day during an epidemic and up this to 1,000 micrograms (one milligram) a day, at the initial onset of symptoms. It is possible to go up to 3 mg for short periods, with medical supervision.
Other supplements may be synergistic with vitamin C. Alpha-lipoic acid can be taken at reasonably high levels reasonably safely. We would take up to a gram or two a day (1,000-2,000 mg) in the short term. Vitamin K also helps with blood clotting and is safe in the recommended amounts – we would get the highest dose vitamin K2 supplement available. Note vitamin K is contraindicated in those with clotting disease or those on blood thinners such as warfarin.
The only established side effects of ascorbate therapy are wind, loose bowels and chronic good health. There are some contraindications; people with kidney disease, iron overload disease, or glucose-6-phosphatase deficiency should not immediately take high doses of vitamin C. In the setting of an epidemic they can start as we recommend but should increase more cautiously, with appropriate medical monitoring.
Why Put This Out?
People need to know that vitamin C is an option for fighting Ebola, and how it works. There is a great deal of misinformation, particularly on the internet, both from vested interests and from “loonies”. Moreover, in an Ebola epidemic vitamin C supplements may be hard to source.
This account is intended for intelligent adults, who can make their own rational decisions and take responsibility for their health. We strongly promote the idea that medicine should be based on rational patients, rather than authoritarian doctors. Doctors are there to provide the information for patients, to help them choose between available options. This is information only – what you decide to do with it is up to you.
In our opinion the use of vitamin C in Ebola is a no-brainer. Get the illness and, it is said, you have at best a 50-50 chance of surviving without vitamin C-based therapy. Corporate medicine has no effective treatment. Furthermore, if a drug were available, it would be untested and almost certainly unavailable to you, dear reader. Vitamin C is considered safe and should do no harm. The cost of treatment is low. The clinical reports of vitamin C in viral infection are that if you get the dose right, you will survive. Vitamin C is known experimentally to inactivate viruses. In the event, we hope people make rational decisions.
For further reading:
There are lots of other sources but these make a good fast start for a person beginning an investigation into the antiviral properties of vitamin C.
Hickey S., Saul A. (2008) Vitamin C: The Real Story, the Remarkable and Controversial Healing Factor, Basic Health. The book gives an easy readable account of the story of vitamin C.
Archive of the Journal or Orthomolecular Medicine. Decades worth of clinical observations and reports on vitamin C are available. http://www.orthomolecular.org/library/jom/index.shtml <http://www.cihfimediaservices.org/12all/lt.php?c=245&m=322&nl=3&s=4fb0239e14c6d5e933f97d598f7606c3&lid=2761&l=-http–www.orthomolecular.org/library/jom/index.shtml> .
Pubmed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed <http://www.cihfimediaservices.org/12all/lt.php?c=245&m=322&nl=3&s=4fb0239e14c6d5e933f97d598f7606c3&lid=2762&l=-http–www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed> contains mostly abstracts of medical research papers. Unfortunately, most of these have been selected to exclude observations on high doses of vitamin C.
i Cathcart R. (1984) Vitamin C in the treatment of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Medical Hypothesis, 14(4), 423-433. http://www.mall-net.com/cathcart/aids.html <http://www.cihfimediaservices.org/12all/lt.php?c=245&m=322&nl=3&s=4fb0239e14c6d5e933f97d598f7606c3&lid=2763&l=-http–www.mall-net.com/cathcart/aids.html>
ii Brighthope I, Fitzgerald P. (1988) The AIDS Fighters, Keats.
iii Cathcart R. (1981) Vitamin C, Titration to Bowel Tolerance, Anascorbemia, and Acute Induced Scurvy, Medical Hypothesis, 7, 1359-1376. http://www.mall-net.com/cathcart/titrate.html <http://www.cihfimediaservices.org/12all/lt.php?c=245&m=322&nl=3&s=4fb0239e14c6d5e933f97d598f7606c3&lid=2764&l=-http–www.mall-net.com/cathcart/titrate.html> http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html <http://www.cihfimediaservices.org/12all/lt.php?c=245&m=322&nl=3&s=4fb0239e14c6d5e933f97d598f7606c3&lid=2765&l=-http–www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html>
iv Cathcart R. (1985) Vitamin C, the nontoxic, nonrate-limited antioxidant free radical scavenger, Medical Hypothesis, 18, 61-77. http://www.mall-net.com/cathcart/nonrate.html <http://www.cihfimediaservices.org/12all/lt.php?c=245&m=322&nl=3&s=4fb0239e14c6d5e933f97d598f7606c3&lid=2766&l=-http–www.mall-net.com/cathcart/nonrate.html> http://vitamincfoundation.org/www.orthomed.com/nonrate.htm <http://www.cihfimediaservices.org/12all/lt.php?c=245&m=322&nl=3&s=4fb0239e14c6d5e933f97d598f7606c3&lid=2767&l=-http–vitamincfoundation.org/www.orthomed.com/nonrate.htm>
v Hickey D.S. Roberts H.J. Cathcart R.F. (2005) Dynamic Flow: A New Model for Ascorbate, J Orthomolecular Med, 20(4), 237.
vi Hickey S. Roberts H. and Miller N.J. (2008) Pharmacokinetics of oral ascorbate liposomes, J Nutritional Environmental Med, July, 10. 1080/13590840802305423.
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Stirling study finds reflexology affects the hearts of non-cardiology patients
13 July 2012
A three-year study by researchers at the University of Stirling has found that reflexology to the upper half of the left foot (the heart reflex point) had an effect on the hearts of healthy volunteers.
PhD researcher Jenny Jones, from the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health, and Professor Steve Leslie, a cardiologist from the Cardiac Unit at Raigmore Hospital, carried out a study into the effects of reflexology in healthy volunteers and patients with cardiac disease.
Reflexologists believe that various reflex points on the feet ‘map’ to individual body organs and if these reflex points are massaged, the organ gets more blood. This claim has not been rigorously tested before making the Stirling study the first of its kind. The study specifically tested the upper left ball of the sole which is said to ‘map’ to the heart and compared this area to other areas of both feet.
The study found that in healthy volunteers reflexology massage to the heart reflex point had a small effect on heart function. No heart function change was detected when ‘non-heart’ or unrelated areas of the feet were massaged. There was no change in the hearts of cardiology patients.
Researcher Jenny Jones said: “Reflexology is unique because it makes quite specific claims that it increases blood flow and this is something you can scientifically test. In our experiment with healthy people there was an inexplicable change in the heart function which occurred only when the heart reflex point area was massaged. We have no idea what caused this change so we have applied for funding to investigate this further.”
She added: “Cardiology patients have problems with coronary blood flow so we wanted to find out if there was any impact on their heart function whilst receiving reflexology too. Interestingly, there was no effect on the hearts of cardiology patients; however all the patients found the treatment to be really relaxing, so it seems to be a safe and useful relaxation tool for cardiac patients to use.
“We want to investigate further why the hearts of cardiology patients are not affected in the same way as the healthy volunteers, with medication being a possible cause. We also want to research and better understand why this one area of the foot – the upper left ball of the sole – had an effect on the heart.”
Professor Steve Leslie added: “Most patients respond well to conventional medicine but for some patients symptoms of cardiac disease persist despite best medical treatments. For these patients we wished to test if reflexology was safe. The results of this study, demonstrated that reflexology did not affect cardiac function, heart rate or blood pressure and therefore it would appear safe for patients, even those with significant cardiac disease to undergo reflexology. Whether reflexology can improve cardiac symptoms requires further research.”
Jenny describes the UK’s complementary therapies market as “huge” and says there is clearly a large public interest in the topic.
She concluded: “There are limitations of what we can do with clinical medicine but there has not been much scientific research available on complementary therapies such as reflexology to help people decide if they work or not. However, if people are choosing to pay to have these complementary therapy treatments to treat symptoms when we have a health care service which is free, you need to ask what it is that these therapies offer that is missing in conventional healthcare.”
The University plans to carry out further research to investigate whether the research effect is repeated in patients with various gradations of cardiac disease and other patient groups, in order to determine if a beneficial effect is likely and is safe.
Further research will have the potential to provide unique data to enable both reflexology purchasers and clinicians to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of reflexology.
In the American Heart Association journal Stroke, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health report an association between lower levels of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and a greater risk of stroke in older women. Their findings appeared online in the journal on May 23, 2013.
The study included women who had no history of stroke upon enrollment in the Nurses’ Health Study in 1976. Stored blood samples obtained between 1989 and 1990 were analyzed for DHEA sulfate levels. Four hundred sixty-one participants in whom stroke had occurred over follow-up were matched for age, race, menopausal status and other factors with an equal number of control subjects.
Women who experienced a stroke were likelier to be diabetic and have a history of high blood pressure in comparison with the control group. Among women whose DHEAS levels were among the lowest 25% of participants in the current study, the adjusted risk of experiencing an ischemic stroke was 33% higher than that of women whose levels were among the top 25%. Further adjustment of the analysis increased the percentage to 41%.
Authors Kathryn M. Rexrode MD, MPH and colleagues note that DHEA could influence the development of cardiovascular disease and stroke through mechanisms that include inhibition of the migration and proliferation of vascular wall cells, and stimulation of vascular smooth muscle cell apoptosis, which reduces vascular remodeling subsequent to injury.
“To our knowledge, this is the first report to evaluate DHEAS levels and risk of ischemic stroke,” the authors announce. “In this cohort of older women, these results suggest evidence for an inverse association between DHEAS and risk of ischemic stroke, where lower levels of DHEAS were associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke.”
“Additional research is warranted to confirm these associations in other populations,” they conclude.
Nagalase: Friend and Foe?
What is Nagalase?
Nagalase is a protein made by all cancer cells and viruses (HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, influenza, herpes, Epstein-Barr virus, and others). Its formal, official chemical name is alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase, but this is such a tongue-twisting mouthful of a moniker that we usually just call it “Nagalase.” (Sometimes, when I want to impress friends with my brilliance, I’ll say the entire word real fast: “alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase.” I have found that it’s important to practice beforehand if one doesn’t want to embarrass oneself.)
Why is Nagalase important?
Nagalase causes immunodeficiency. Nagalase blocks production of GcMAF, thus preventing the immune system from doing its job. Without an active immune system, cancer and viral infections can grow unchecked.
As an extremely sensitive marker for all cancers, Nagalase provides a powerful system for early detection.
Serial Nagalase testing provides a reliable and accurate method for tracking the results of any therapeutic regimen for cancer, AIDS, or other chronic viral infection.
Nagalase proves that cancer cells break all the rules
Normal healthy cells cooperate with one another in a concerted effort to further the good of all. Cancer cells refuse to play ball. Their disdainful attitude toward the rest of our cellular community is appalling. For example, these cellular scofflaws ignore clear messages to stop growing and spreading and encroaching on their neighbor’s space. How would you like it if your neighbor moved his fence over into your backyard?
Of all the rules cancer cells break, none is more alarming than the production of Nagalase, the evil enzyme that completely hog-ties the immune system army’s ability to stop cancer cells.
Virus particles also make Nagalase. Their goal is the same as that of the cancer cells: survival by incapacitating their number one enemy: the immune system.
Like a stealth bomber, the Nagalase enzyme synthesized in and released from a cancer cell or a virus particle pinpoints the GcMAF production facilities on the surface of your T and B lymphocytes and then wipes them out with an incredibly precise bomb. How precise? Let me put it this way: Nagalase locates and attacks one specific two-electron bond located at, and only at, the 420th amino acid position on a huge protein molecule (DBP), one of tens of thousands of proteins, each containing millions of electrons. This is like selectively taking out a park bench in a major city from six thousand miles away. More astonishing, if that is possible, Nagalase never misses its target. There is no collateral damage.
As you already know, GcMAF is a cell-signaling glycoprotein that talks to macrophages, enabling them to rapidly find, attack, and kill viruses and cancer cells. By activating macrophages, GcMAF triggers a cascade that activates the entire immune system. Blockage of GcMAF production by Nagalase brings all this wonderful anti-cancer and anti-viral immune activity to a screeching halt, allowing cancer and infections to spread.
What does Nagalase actually do? How does it destroy immune functioning and deactivate macrophages?
Once synthesized and released into nearby tissue or into the bloodstream, Nagalase, like that drill sergeant at boot camp, shouts harsh commands at the vitamin D binding protein (DBP) that is about to be turned into GcMAF. Nagalase demands that DBP not, under any circumstances, attach itself to a specific sugar molecule (galactosamine). If DBP has already grabbed (i.e., connected to, using a two-electron, “covalent” bond) a galactosamine sugar molecule, it is commanded to immediately let go. “Leave galactosamine alone, or you’ll be in big trouble!!!” is the Nagalase sergeant’s command. We’ll probably never know whether or not, on some deeper level, DBP knows that Nagalase’s motives are dastardly—but it doesn’t really matter: DBP will definitely always obey. Like the army private, the DBP literally has no choice. Because of the way hierarchies work in cellular biology, proteins must do the bidding of their enzymes. The enzymes, like Nagalase, are the drill sergeant and the proteins, like DBP, are the privates. That’s just the way it is. Obeying the drill sergeant’s command means DBP can’t do its assigned task, that of becoming GcMAF. It is rendered useless. For DBP, on a molecular level, life no longer has meaning.
Unfortunately for cancer and viral patients, DBP had been on its way to becoming GcMAF until the Nagalase drill sergeant so rudely interrupted. Now GcMAF—the one protein our bodies need in order to activate our immune systems—can’t be made. Immune activity screeches to a halt. The defense system protecting us from cancers and viruses has been snuffed out.
Nagalase, using this astonishingly simple yet cunningly subversive technique, emasculates the GcMAF precursor protein (DBP) by knocking off its three sugar molecules. One quick whack by Nagalase and the DBP protein that would have become a GcMAF molecule now limps off into the sunset, permanently disfigured and disabled. With one simple, swift maneuver, Nagalase has brought the entire immune system to its knees.
Here’s how Dr. Yamamoto put it (for clarity, I’ve replaced some of the technical words):
“Serum vitamin D3-binding protein (DBP) is the precursor for the principal macrophage activating factor (GcMAF). The precursor activity of serum DBP was reduced… These patient sera contained alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (Nagalase) that deglycosylates (removes the sugars from) DBP. Deglycosylated DBP cannot be converted to GcMAF, thus it loses the GcMAF precursor activity, leading to immunosuppression.” (Microbes Infect. 2005 Apr;7(4):674-81. Epub 2005 Mar 22. Pathogenic significance of alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase activity found in the hemagglutinin of influenza virus. Yamamoto N, Urade M.)
Nagalase testing: former mass murderer now works for the good guys
It’s easy to be a little schizy about Nagalase. On the one hand, this nasty protein’s behavior toward us has been reprehensible and disastrous. Working in cahoots with cancer and HIV—not shy about getting into bed with our mortal enemies—Nagalase can rightfully claim direct responsibility for billions of human deaths. And it would just as soon add you to the list, so we don’t have to be shy about placing Nagalase in the “genocidal murderer” column.
With the advent of Nagalase testing, however, this bad actor now will be harnessed to a useful purpose. By providing us with precise and reliable advance information about enemy operations, Nagalase blood level testing becomes a “Deep Throat” double agent for cancer. He helps us by giving us an early warning sign.
Early detection (using AMAS or Nagalase) saves lives
You don’t want a cancer to have gotten out of control by the time you find and start treating it. When cancers are still young and small, gentle natural therapies are the most effective. Alternative treatments work best on early small cancers by enhancing immune functioning and removing the source of the inflammation that is causing the cancer in the first place. Cancers that have become large enough to see on imaging pose a much more significant threat, and the big guns now become necessary.
The current method for diagnosing most cancers requires us to wait until a mass shows up on imaging (e.g., a mammogram, chest X-ray, or colonoscopy). This approach wastes valuable time and causes needless deaths. But long before imaging can find it, a positive Nagalase (or AMAS test) can tell us that early stage cancer exists somewhere in the body. By enabling earlier and therefore less invasive treatment options, this information provides a huge head-start.
Normally present at only trace levels, Nagalase shows up in the blood when a cancer or virus appears
The malignant and viral entities that make Nagalase are not normally present, so its appearance is a big deal from a diagnostic perspective. When Nagalase shows up, even in very small amounts, we have the earliest glimpse of a new cancer or viral infection. The old adage, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” applies here. A positive Nagalase test notifies us that a cancer (or a nasty virus) lurks within.
Nagalase appears in the blood stream when a nascent cancer is just a minute cluster of abnormal cells, long before conventional diagnostic methods can detect it. Through blood testing, we can find this red flag, even when present at exceedingly low levels. Providing us with this early warning sign might not quite qualify Nagalase for the “Good Samaritan” award, but I could go with “extremely useful.” Like a rehabilitated criminal on parole, the potential for harm is still there. For now, however, he’s staying out of trouble and doing community service. Turn your back and he’s a mass murderer again.
Using Nagalase testing to track cancer treatment
Rising Nagalase levels indicate a cancer or virus is growing and spreading. Conversely, Nagalase levels will decrease if the cancer or infection is being effectively destroyed.
Any treatment that lowers cancer cell (or viral numbers) will lower Nagalase levels. Nagalase will, for example, always drop after surgery (whether or not the entire tumor was removed). Chemotherapy and radiation also reduce Nagalase levels. So does GcMAF. If, after these treatments, the depressed level begins to rise again, this is the warning sign that the cancer was not completely removed, and/or that metastatic disease is hiding out somewhere. With viral infections, increasing Nagalase levels indicate return of the infection.
Consecutive rising Nagalase levels are therefore a red flag, warning us it may be time to entertain new treatment options. Conversely, if levels are going down, stay the course: the cancer or virus is going away.
Many medical professionals don’t feel comfortable with “nonspecific” tests like Nagalase. It drives them nuts to discover that a cancer is lurking somewhere inside without knowing exactly where it is located. “How,” they ask, “do you expect me to treat a cancer I can’t see? Why, I’m not going to tilt at windmills!” This may be a signal that you need to find a different doctor, perhaps one who works in an alternative cancer clinic. Here you will find highly-trained professionals who understand the concept that cancer is a molecular biological change long before it presents visually (by this I mean becomes viewable on imaging).
When GcMAF becomes available, the answer will be easier: a six month course of weekly 100 ng GcMAF intramuscular injections with monthly Nagalase level tests to follow the Nagalase level as it goes back down to baseline. The cancer can be declared cured, even though it never reached life-threatening proportions. (We have a long way to go before this kind of medical behavior will be commonplace and acceptable. The sooner the better, however.)
Nagalase role “under-appreciated”
Nagalase, arguably our most immunosuppressive protein molecule, poses an enormous threat in terms of cancer perpetuation and viruses’ ability to continually defeat us. Yet cancer researchers have not shown any interest in it. (Maybe I’m being a little too generous here; perhaps “clueless” would be more a more accurate depiction.) Why don’t they get it that blasting cancer cells into oblivion with chemo and radiation is usually not sufficient to stop advanced disease and does nothing to address the cause: immunosuppression. Even if we ignore for the moment the excessive collateral damage caused by chemo drugs and radiation, the patient also needs—requires—a healthy immune system to finish the job. If we don’t revive immune function by disabling Nagalase, the cancers and viruses will just keep roaring back. Restoring immunocompetence by negating the stultifying effect of Nagalase should therefore become a primary research goal.
Become Your Own Cancer Expert
Many patients who follow traditional allopathic medicine for cancer care are stunned by the number of doctors and specialists they need to consult, with no one really being in charge. Patients do not have a number or someone to communicate with if they have any questions. There is rarely a medical expert who’s in charge of your follow-up care and no counselor to help you weigh the advice of any one or group of doctors who are certain they are right about what you need to do.
In traditional medicine there is no plan given to you for the next six months after you have been “successfully” treated and no guidance to your family or anyone about how to avoid getting cancer in the first place. Would be nice to have some hints about strategies to avoid cancer reoccurrences and what we could be doing before our “nightmarish” cancer treatments are administered and what we need to do to survive the toxic fare of orthodox oncologists.
Most people realize a patchwork of frustrating care with no one to look to as a champion or trusted figure. In the old days, the general practitioner held down the fort for a person and their family. Most people do not get straight answers out of their oncologists and they never will. How long does the average person with cancer live under the care of mainstream oncologists? What is my likelihood of a cure? If I cannot be cured, will I live longer with treatment? How much longer? Will this care directly treat the cancer, or improve my symptoms, or both? What are the side effects? How brutal will they be?
These are the most common questions cancer patients ask. Oncologists cannot inform patients on alternatives to their treatments because they risk losing their right to practice medicine if they fall out of line with the lockstep thinking of pharmaceutical oncology.
Oncologists leave out so much truth in their practice of medicine that it is impossible to get a truthful or near scientific reply about anything. When we know, for instance, that 200 mcg of selenium administered daily can reduce the chance of dying of cancer by upward of fifty percent—how can a doctor answer you or predict what is going to happen to you if they do not know if you are going to take this amount, or hopefully much more, of the best type of selenium?. They should not let you out of their office without some selenium to start you off. Since they will not give you the information you need you will have to get it somewhere else. In my Surviving Cancer Compendium I include 15 chapters on using the proper form of selenium and why this is so important.
More than we can possibly believe is affected
by the belief systems of our particular doctor.
The fact that in today’s medical system diagnosis and treatment require a seemingly endless stream of appointments with doctors who do not always agree complicates the confusion, and thus our suffering. Facing death or the loss of a loved one is difficult and painful touching on the most vulnerable parts of our being. In the middle of that, dealing with insistent doctors with conflicting and vague communications is often too much to deal with.
My Surviving Cancer Compendium is like receiving a long series of consultations. The compendium is a medical book of a new type that teaches health practitioners and patients alike about Natural Allopathic Medicine and how to apply that to treat and prevent cancer. On my site we offer different consultation plans for cancer patients using the compendium as their training and reference guide. I think about the compendium as an Army manual for setting up a field hospital in a cancer patient’s own home, which is in fact the safest and best place to treat one’s own cancer. It is a big mistake of doctors to limit cancer treatments to what happens at the hospital or clinic for only a small part of our time is spent in these often-dangerous places.
TheSurviving Cancer Compendium includes all of my writings from all my books that pertain to cancer, which means this compendium offers the reader everything there is to learn from me about cancer. Newly diagnosed patients will not have to select between my 15 books—this 2,500 page compendium covers it all.
The Natural Allopathic Medicine protocol is powerful and at the same time extraordinarily safe because nutritional medicines, not pharmaceuticals, are employed. They are mostly water-based highly concentrated nutritional medicines, not chemical, and the supreme ones are magnesium bicarbonate, magnesium chloride, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), liquid selenium, sulfur, iodine, glutathione and Vitamin C. These all can be safely and legally dispensed from yours or anyone’s cancer kitchen.
Medical marijuana is on the list as is oxygen, which along with carbon dioxide (bicarbonate turns into CO2) are some of the most important medicinals in the protocol. Relearning how to breathe is a crucial key as is exercise, emotional release and the right kind of diet.
Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD, DM (P)
Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine
- Sauerkraut Test Divulges Shocking Probiotic Count
nourishingplot.comIt was recently reported that sauerkraut topped the charts of probiotics, surpassing that of over-the -counter probiotics purchased. Dr. Mercola sent his sauerkraut off to a lab and reported the fi…
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- Healix Wellbeing Centre London
3 minutes ago via YouTube
- Approximately a 4 oz serving of saurkraut contained more probiotics than an entire jar of pills. So really, eating just a teaspoon of saurkraut a day may be all you need.
The Art of Fermentation with Sandor Katz
www.youtube.comFermentation revivalist Sandor Ellix Katz teaches us how to make sauerkraut and shares some ideas about fermentation. For more videos check out feastforward.org.
New studies start to confirm that artificial sweeteners like aspartame may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
In contrast to your everyday or normal bath salts the Himalayan salts allow the salt to be stored in the upper callus layer of the skin and binds water. This then actually maintains a natural and protective film on the skin and the skin does not dry out. This is the reason why these salt baths are so good for dry skin, but any skin type can benefit.
The cleansing effects of a 30-minute Himalayan Salt bath equal that of a three-day fast. The toxins are released into the bath water through osmosis, while the minerals from the sole are absorbed through the skin. This reduces the acidity in our body and balances the pH factor of our skin.
Himalayan Salt Lamps
Europeans have been aware of the Health Benefits of salt for generations, and people suffering from chronic congestive problems go to clinics located in salt mines for treatment! It’s called SPELEOTHERAPY. The very dry, negative ion-rich environment of these salt mines helps to clear out the patients’ bronchial tubes and sinuses, and to kill bacteria and other microbes.
A series of scientific studies have shown that salt crystal lamps can increase the negative ion count of the air we breathe by up to 300%. Although salt lamps are not considered medical devices you will find them in many therapy rooms as they have been shown to significantly improve both physical and mental health and offer relief from anything from allergies like hay fever to sinus problems, headaches, asthma attacks and help our lung capacity and reduce our susceptibility to colds and flu.
The health benefit and reactions by lung disease patients,asthmatics and allergy sufferers is astonishing to say the least. When salt lamps are turned on,the light bulb heats the pure salt,which causes the salt to release what are called negative ions.These negative ions are released into the air and surround the lamp.Negative ions are very healthy for us and provide a long list of health benefits. *When the salt lamps are switched on the release of the negative ions counteract unhealthy positive ions,which are released from televisions,computer monitors,microwave ovens,vacuum cleaners,heaters,cigarette smoke.The contract between negative ions and positive ions neutralize the ions to no longer a threat to our health. *Reduces allergy symptons and Asthma sufferers. *Encourages better sleep-salt lamps are commonly placed beside the bed and they eliminate the positive ions while people sleep-able to breathe easier and therefore enjoy more restful sleep.
Courtesy Dr. Mercola website
In the featured documentary, Eat, Fast, and Live Longer,1 British author and journalist Dr. Michael Mosley documents his journey as he decides to try fasting, to see if it might improve his health.
At the outset, his blood work revealed he was borderline diabetic and his cholesterol was high, which his doctor wanted to treat with medication.
Concerned by this diagnosis—especially as he considers himself somewhat of an expert on conventional health strategies—Dr. Mosley sets out to investigate his alternatives.
“I have always been interested in self-experimentation as a research device because so many of the most important discoveries came from scientists and doctors who used themselves as test subjects,” he says, “but I had never before performed a series of trials on my own health.”
His journey takes him across the United States, where he meets with both long-lived, healthy folk, and health and longevity experts, to learn the secrets of their success.
Your Body Was Built for Periodic Cycles of ‘Feast and Famine’
Fasting, it turns out, has a number of health benefits that most people seek: from improved cardiovascular health and reduced cancer risk, to gene repair and longevity.
In short, he discovers that part of what appears to be driving the disease process is the fact that we’re eating too frequently. When you’re in constant “feast mode,” your body actually forgoes much of its natural “repair and rejuvenation programming.”
It’s true that severe calorie restriction promotes both weight loss and longevity in animal models, but this kind of “starvation diet” is not a very appealing strategy for most people.
However, newer research shows that you can get most if not all of the same benefits of severe calorie restriction through intermittent fasting, i.e. an eating schedule where you feast on some days, and dramatically cut calories on others.
This effectively mimics the eating habits of our ancestors, who did not have access to grocery stores or food around the clock. They would cycle through periods of feast and famine, and modern research shows this cycling produces a number of biochemical benefits. In short, by altering what and when you eat, you can rather dramatically alter how your body operates. And that’s great news.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Fasting is historically commonplace as it has been a part of spiritual practice for millennia. But modern science has confirmed there are many good reasons for fasting, including the following:
- Normalizing your insulin and leptin sensitivity, and boosting mitochondrial energy efficiency: One of the primary mechanisms that makes intermittent fasting so beneficial for health is related to its impact on your insulin sensitivity.
- While sugar is a source of energy for your body, it also promotes insulin resistance when consumed in the amounts found in our modern processed junk food diets. Insulin resistance, in turn, is a primary driver of chronic disease—from heart disease to cancer.
Intermittent fasting helps reset your body to use fat as its primary fuel, and mounting evidence confirms that when your body becomes adapted to burning FAT instead of sugar as its primary fuel, you dramatically reduce your risk of chronic disease
- Normalizing ghrelin levels, also known as “the hunger hormone”
- Promoting human growth hormone (HGH) production: Research has shown fasting can raise HGH by as much as 1,300 percent in women, and 2,000 percent in men,2 which plays an important part in health, fitness, and slowing the aging process. HGH is also a fat-burning hormone, which helps explain why fasting is so effective for weight loss
- Lowering triglyceride levels and improving other biomarkers of disease
- Reducing oxidative stress: Fasting decreases the accumulation of oxidative radicals in the cell, and thereby prevents oxidative damage to cellular proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids associated with aging and disease
There’s also plenty of research showing that fasting has a beneficial impact on longevity in animals. There are a number of mechanisms contributing to this effect. Normalizing insulin sensitivity is a major one, but fasting also inhibits the mTOR pathway, which plays an important part in driving the aging process.
Intermittent fasting is by far the most effective way I know of to shed unwanted fat and eliminate your sugar cravings. Since most of us are carrying excess fat we just can’t seem to burn, this is a really important benefit. When sugar is not needed as a primary fuel, your body will also not crave it as much when your sugar stores run low.
As mentioned above, the other mechanisms that makes fasting so effective for weight loss is the fact that it provokes the secretion of HGH—a fat-burning hormone that has many well-recognized “anti-aging” health and fitness benefits.
Last but not least, intermittent fasting has also been identified as a potent ally for the prevention and perhaps even treatment of dementia. First, ketones are released as a byproduct of burning fat, and ketones (not glucose) are actually the preferred fuel for your brain.
In addition to that, intermittent fasting boosts production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. It also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Research by Dr. Mark Mattson, a senior investigator for the National Institute on Aging, suggests that alternate-day fasting (restricting your meal on fasting days to about 600 calories), can boost BDNF by anywhere from 50 to 400 percent, depending on the brain region.3
The 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Plan
Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term that covers a wide array of fasting schedules. As a general rule, it involves cutting calories in whole or in part, either a couple of days a week, every other day, or even daily. Dr. Mosley became so convinced of the health benefits of intermittent fasting he wrote a book on the subject, called The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting.4
The fasting schedule he ultimately suggests in the book (after trying a couple of variations in the film), is to eat normally for five days a week, and fast for two. This schedule is sometimes referred to as the “5:2” intermittent fasting plan. On fasting days, he recommends cutting your food down to one-fourth of your normal daily calories, or about 600 calories for men and about 500 for women, along with plenty of water and tea. Dr. Mosley claims to have lost 19 pounds in two months by following this 5:2 intermittent fasting plan.
Alternate-Day Fasting—Another Alternative
Yet another variation that is quite common is the alternate-day fast. This fasting protocol is exactly as it sounds: one day off, one day on. When you include sleeping time, the fast can end up being as long as 32-36 hours. The drawback is that it requires you to go to bed with an empty stomach every other day, which can be tough for most people—at least initially.
However, according to Dr. Krista Varady, author of The Every-Other-Day Diet: The Diet That Lets You Eat All You Want (Half the Time) and Keep the Weight Off, the alternate-day fasting schedule does have a much higher compliance rate than many other fasting schedules. In the end, the best fasting schedule is the one that you will comply with. If you’re constantly cheating, it won’t work.
Dr. Varady’s research shows that alternate-day fasting, where you consume about 500 calories on fasting days and can eat whatever you want on non-fasting days, works equally well for weight loss as complete fasting, and it’s a lot easier to maintain this type of modified fasting regimen.
In her study, which was recently completed, participants ate their low-calorie fasting day meal either for lunch or dinner. Splitting the 500 calorie meal up into multiple smaller meals throughout the day was not as successful as eating just one meal, once a day. The main problem relates to compliance. If you’re truly eating just 500 calories in a day, you will lose weight. But when eating tiny amounts of food multiple times a day, you’re far more inclined to want more, so the cheat rate dramatically increases.
My Personal Recommendation
A third version of intermittent fasting, and the one I recommend and personally use, is to simply restrict your daily eating to a specific window of time, such as an eight hour window. I have experimented with different types of scheduled eating for the past three years, and this is my personal preference as it’s really easy to comply with once your body has shifted over from burning sugar to burning fat as its primary fuel.
Fat, being a slow-burning fuel, allows you to keep going without suffering from the dramatic energy crashes associated with sugar. And, if you’re not hungry… well, then not eating for several hours is no big deal! You do this every day until your insulin/leptin resistance improves (weight, blood pressure, cholesterol ratios, or diabetes normalizes). Then you continue to do it as often as you need to maintain your healthy state. I used a six hour window until I was burning fat for fuel, and now eat in a 9-10 hour window, and will snack on macadamia nuts during that period. I rarely eat anything for four or more hours before going to bed.
Compliance is always a critical factor in any of these approaches and it seems this is one of the easiest intermittent fasting schedules to implement. It really is beyond amazing to me how the food cravings literally disappear once you have regained your ability to burn fat for fuel. You don’t need iron willpower or enormous levels of self-discipline to maintain this eating schedule. Yes, you will get hungry, but your hunger will be appropriate and you will be surprised at how much less food will completely satisfy you once you regain your metabolic flexibility and no longer need to rely on stored sugar in your body for your primary fuel.
What Should You Eat on Non-Fasting Days?
In the featured documentary, Dr. Krista Varady takes Dr. Mosley out for lunch at a local fast food restaurant, noting that it doesn’t seem to matter what you eat on your non-fasting day, as long as you’re fasting properly every other day. I would caution against versions of intermittent fasting that gives you free reign to eat all the junk food you want when not fasting, as this seems awfully counterproductive. From my perspective, I simply cannot agree with or promote this idea.
I view intermittent fasting as a lifestyle, not a diet, and that means making healthy food choices every time you eat. Your goal is to seek to emulate the eating patterns of your ancient ancestors, which was a constant feast and famine pattern. Besides, if alternating between feasting on junk food and fasting can produce favorable metabolic results as in the video, just imagine the health benefits you’d get if you were actually making healthy food choices each time you ate!
Unfortunately, Dr. Varady doesn’t appreciate the dangers of processed foods and trans fats in particular. She focuses mostly on the quantity, not the quality, of the calories. A healthy diet includes minimizing non-starchy, carb-rich processed foods and replacing them with healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, olives, butter, eggs, avocados, and nuts (macadamia are particularly beneficial, as they are high in fat and low in protein). I also recommend being moderate in your protein consumption, and making sure meat and other animal products like dairy and eggs come from organic, pasture-raised animals.
I would also caution against eating enormous amounts of fruit, like Joe Cordelli, the calorie restricter at the beginning of the film. He starts out his day with a supersized bowl of fruit, and even though he tosses out certain parts that are particularly high in fructose, I believe most people would be wise to refrain from excessively large amounts of fruit—at least until your weight and health has normalized. While a fruit-rich diet may work for some people, in the end you need to pay close attention to your metabolic parameters, and getting your vitamins and antioxidants from vegetables would be a more appropriate strategy for most.
Speaking of sugar, if you have a sweet tooth, don’t despair. It typically takes several weeks to shift to burning fat as your primary fuel, but once you do, your cravings for unhealthy foods and carbs will automatically disappear. Again, this is because you’re now actually able to burn your stored fat and don’t have to rely on new fast-burning carbs for fuel. Once you are at your ideal body weight, and do not have diabetes, high blood pressure, or abnormal cholesterol levels, you can be less rigid with your fasting. However, it is probably best to resume some type of scheduled eating regimen once in a while, to make sure you don’t slip back into old habits.
Who Should Use Extra Caution When Fasting, or Avoid It Altogether?
Intermittent fasting is appropriate for most people, but if you’re hypoglycemic or diabetic, you need to be extra cautious. People that would be best served to avoid fasting include those living with chronic stress (adrenal fatigue), and those with cortisol dysregulation. Pregnant or nursing mothers should also avoid fasting. Your baby needs plenty of nutrients, during and after birth, and there’s no research supporting fasting during this important time.
My recommendation would be to really focus on improving your nutrition instead. A diet with plenty of raw organic foods and foods high in healthy fats, coupled with high-quality proteins, will give your baby a head start on good health. You’ll also want to be sure to include plenty of cultured and fermented foods to optimize your—and consequently your baby’s—gut flora. For more information, please see this previous article that includes specific dietary recommendations for a healthy pregnancy, as well as my interview with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by an abnormally low level of blood sugar. It’s commonly associated with diabetes, but you can be hypoglycemic even if you’re not diabetic. Common symptoms of a hypoglycemic crash include headache, weakness, tremors, irritability, and hunger. As your blood glucose levels continue to plummet, more severe symptoms can set in, such as:
- Confusion and/or abnormal behavior
- Visual disturbances, such as double vision and blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
One of the keys to eliminating hypoglycemia is to eliminate sugars, especially fructose from your diet. It will also be helpful to eliminate grains, and replace them with higher amounts of quality proteins and healthy fats. You can use coconut oil to solve some of these issues as it is a rapidly metabolized fat that can substitute for sugar, and since it does not require insulin, it can be used during your fast. However, it will take some time for your blood sugar to normalize. You’ll want to pay careful attention to hypoglycemic signs and symptoms, and if you suspect that you’re crashing, make sure to eat something, like coconut oil. Ideally, you should avoid fasting if you’re hypoglycemic, and work on your overall diet to normalize your blood sugar levels first. Then try out one of the less rigid versions of fasting.
Courtesy of Joe Martino via Collective Evolution, 18 April 2014
This is no longer seen as alternative news or ‘conspiracy,’ not long ago what alternative health research has been saying for years is now admitted in the mainstream: most sunscreens on the market actually speed up your risk of skin cancer; as opposed to protecting you due to their ingredients. Although they can protect against sunburns, what is the health related cost of using them? And are we getting the vitamin D from the sun that our bodies need if we use sunscreen?
Can the sun really cause cancer? This is tough to say to be honest. In research found throughout medical journals there isn’t a clear answer for this. After all, in the 1930′s rates of skin cancer were incredibly low and people were outside as much -if not more than we are today. Yes rates of cancer have gone up 1800% in the past 30 years, but is the sun and depleted ozone to blame?
While many believe and repeat the motto that the sun is the cause, much research has shown that there are a number of factors involved in developing skin cancer. Even more, the research of some has suggested that the sun actually prevents skin cancer and that burning is the body’s way of telling you have gotten too much. Tests done by Dr. Leonard Coldwell for example, have shown that patients with skin cancer actually saw their skin cancer go away after simple treatments and sun exposure. More about that is in the video below. But to be clear, there is research on both sides of the coin when it comes to the sun causing skin cancer and to say there is a clear link would be an incorrect statement.
In truth, research has shown that there doesn’t seem to be a link in areas of sun exposure and where melanoma pops up. There also isn’t a link between skin cancer and countries closer to the equator where sun exposure would be grater. If the sun was the main cause of skin cancer how does one explain getting skin cancer on areas that never touch the sun like the plantar surface of heel? There are clearly links we are missing here. Research done on indoor and outdoor tanning has also shown that neither are to blame as there are people getting skin cancer each year who have never used a tanning bed. Even more interesting, there are no clear patterns of skin cancer rates (melanoma) in all the geographical locations of the US to suggest any link to the sun.
Rates of melanoma in the US.
While I think burning your skin is not healthy for it and can lead to DNA damage that could invite the production of cancer to those areas, I believe there are a number of factors involved including nutrition and vitamin intake that play a huge role. Like Dr. Coldwell stated, a vitamin D deficiency is a breeding ground for any issue and so getting enough sun is important.
Only 10 percent of all cancer cases are attributed to all forms of radiation, and UV is a very small part of that. When we think of skin cancer we automatically want to blame the Sun, but we rarely think of all the other factors involved such as the proven toxic and cancer causing chemicals we put on our skin everyday found in soaps, make-up, shampoo, creams and more. Isn’t it possible that constant daily exposure to these items found to cause cancer, play a bigger role than the sun, which we are only exposed to for short periods of times throughout the day?
Not long ago it became mainstream news that various chemicals found in popular sunscreens actually cause cancer. How ironic.
- Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), including octyl-dimethyl PABA
- Benzophenones, especially benzophenone-3, Oxybenzone
- Cinnamates, namely octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC)
- 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC)
- Retinyl Palmitate
The two most popular chemicals you will notice as an active ingredient are retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone.
Retinyl Palmitate is a form of topical vitamin A used in sunscreens. However, when exposed to sunlight for long periods of time, it has been found to increase the development of skin lesions and tumors. Due to its harmful effects, The Environmental Workings Group recommends that consumers avoid ALL products containing Retinyl Palmitate. This means sunscreens and many cosmetic products.
Oxybenzone is a potential endocrine-disrupting chemical that can cause hormone disruption and cell damage. It is found in well over the majority of sunscreens on the market. I took a walk down to the local drug store to check out sunscreen before writing this and found that every single sunscreen available in the store contained Oxybenzone! On top of this, there was not one mineral based (safe) natural option on the shelf!
When shopping for sunscreens be sure to read the labels and avoid buying sunscreens containing toxic chemicals. It may be tough to find, but a trip to a natural health store can often do the trick. Look for sunscreens that contain zinc and titanium minerals as opposed to the active ingredients listed above. Remember, the best sun protection is wearing clothing to protect you and finding shade. Only use sunscreens when absolutely necessary. It is not necessary you wear sunscreen every time you are out in the sun. Sunscreen does NOT allow the body to absorb any vitamin D from sunlight. So if you plan on being outside for a short period of time, skip the sunscreen and feed your body the vitamin D that will keep it healthy.
Coconut oil has been shown to provide an SPF of about 8 when it comes to sun protection. This means that although it’s protection isn’t very high, it can help. If you were to apply it often, it would not only offer sun protection, but it would also hydrate the skin making it less susceptible to burning. You may also want to try combining natural sunscreens with coconut oil for protection. To do this, at the beginning of your long day out in the sun, use natural sunscreen, after a few hours, try applying coconut oil to supplement the natural sunscreen and hydrate the skin.
Have you tried using coconut oil as sunscreen before? Or do you use natural products? Share your results with the community as it’s very helpful for those of us looking for healthier options.
4. www.cancer.org & www.skincancer.org