April 18, 2012
By David Freeman
“This is crazy stuff. Interested read. It doesn’t come from some weird alien source – but a serious scientist and a report from the Huffington Post.” –KTRN
Imagine an alien world ruled by “advanced dinosaurs” as smart as humans—maybe even smarter.
Science fiction? Not necessarily, says the author of a provocative new study whose title–“Evidence for the Likely Origin of Homochirality in Amino Acids”—gives no hint of any worrisome extraterrestrial implications.
Published in the March 25 issue of the “Journal of the American Chemical Society,” the study addresses the chemistry of amino acids here on Earth. But study author Dr. Ronald Breslow, a professor of chemistry at Columbia University in New York City, said in a written statement the work suggests that if life forms do exist on other planets, they “could well be advanced versions of dinosaurs.”
It’s long been known that certain molecules, including DNA and amino acids, exist in two mirror-image forms—a phenomenon known as chirality. And with few exceptions, the amino acids that make up the proteins in life on Earth exist only in the L (left-handed) form. The question is how did this “homochirality” come to be?
Some scientists have speculated that the amino acids that predominate on Earth came to our planet via meteorites four billion years ago. And if that’s what happened on Earth, Dr. Breslow said in the statement, it’s possible that life that might exist on other planets could be based on D amino acids.
January 13, 2012
By Donna Earnest Pravel
“Barley Grass is a miracle herb. Talk about a way to alkalize the body.” –KTRN
Barley grass (Hordeum vulgare) has been a favorite among health enthusiasts for centuries. It is usually consumed as a powder or liquid, but is also used to make barley malt. Barley grass is considered a superfood, because of its incredibly dense nutritional profile. It contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. Barley grass contains an abundance of chlorophyll, and is rich in Vitamins A, B, C, iron and calcium. It also contains high amounts of the electrolyte minerals potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Barley grass is rich in plant enzymes and antioxidants. Clinical studies involving the ingestion of barley grass powder show that it improves the health of diabetic patients. Barley grass has been proven to reduce cholesterol and can be used as a weight loss supplement.
Barley grass powder improves the health of type 2 diabetes patients
Type 2 diabetes mellitis is by far the most prevalent type of diabetes among adults. In a 2010 medical study, it was suggested that medicinal plants might have therapeutic effects on complex diseases such as diabetes. Barley grass powder was selected because of its reported benefits. The experimental group of diabetics took 1.2 g of barley grass capsules every day for sixty days. The control group took no supplementation. No other changes were made, and no other alternative measures were taken. The patients’ fasting blood sugar and lipid profiles were taken at the beginning and end of the study.
Supplementing with barley grass powder caused a significant fall in the fasting blood sugar level of the experimental group. No change was noted in the control group. There was a 5.1% reduction in overall cholesterol levels after two months. The researchers also noted that the risk of coronary heart disease was significantly reduced in the diabetics who took barley grass supplements.
December 1, 2011
By Vera Tweed
“When consuming whey, make sure to check the ingredients. Some whey protein has artificial colors and flavorings. It’s also important to look at the sugar levels and if the whey comes from cows not treated with growth hormone. Get your whey at a health food store and read the label. Avoid GNC.” –KTRN
If there’s a bullet among proteins, whey is the one. Studies have shown that it helps the human body stay lean, maintain a healthy heart, reduce risk for diabetes, and boost our resistance to illness.
According to reviews of available research in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition and Alternative Medicine Review, whey enhances the human body’s production of glutathione—our most important internal antioxidant—which increases our ability to withstand toxic assaults from the environment and even slows down the aging process. Glutathione is difficult to absorb as a supplement, but your body can make its own from whey.
Whey can help you stay lean because it’s rich in the branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which preserve muscle and help it grow. Research shows that in a weight-loss program, whey can lead to greater loss of body fat than other proteins.
In addition, whey helps control inflammation and aids the immune system in resisting bacterial and viral infection. Individual studies have also found that it improves bone growth, blood pressure, cholesterol, mood, blood sugar, and wound healing.
Whey can also help us deal with day-to-day stress. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that whey with high tryptophan content improved mental reaction time in people with high stress levels. The tryptophan in whey also improves mood, sleep, and morning alertness—benefits most of us would appreciate.
November 14, 2011
By Tara Green
“More proof that natural remedies work.” –KTRN
Quinoa is native to South America. The pre-Columbian Incas saw it as a sacred food, calling it chisaya mama (mother grain). They planted the first seeds of the season in religious ceremonies using golden tools. Depriving the people of quinoa was one of the means the Spanish used to conquer the Incas. In recent years, people who value nutrition have begun to appreciate the wisdom of the Incas in esteeming this food which offers a host of health benefits.
Technically, quinoa (KEEN-wah) is classified not as a grain but as a type of seed, that of the goosewort plant, a relative of spinach and chard. Quinoa provides a complete protein, making it especially valuable for those who prefer to reduce or completely eliminate animal protein from their diets. It contains all the essential amino acids, including lysine, which is crucial for growing and repairing body tissues. One cup of quinoa provides 9 grams of protein which is one more gram than a medium chicken egg (and unlike the egg, quinoa is unlikely to come from a factory farm).
Its high magnesium and riboflavin (B2) content make quinoa an excellent nutritional ally for migraine sufferers. Magnesium prevents the migraine pattern of constricting and rebound dilating of the blood vessels. Migraine sufferers who consume more magnesium in their diets have reported fewer headaches. Riboflavin’s ability to promote cellular energy production has a beneficial effect on energy, brain and muscle cells metabolism, providing further protection against migraine attacks.
Magnesium’s ability to relax blood vessels also means eating foods high in this mineral helps reduce hypertension, heart arrhythmias and ischemic heart disease.
June 27th, 2011
By: Jonathan Benson
As most NaturalNews readers probably already know, there is a rapidly-growing resistance to antibiotics that has given way to antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP), and even the strongest antibiotic drugs available have all but lost their ability to treat even the most common infections that afflict people today.
However, a research scientist from the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI in Leipzig, Germany, has discovered that simple, natural amino acids work better than antibiotics at treating infections, and they do not cause harm to healthy cells in the body.
For their study, Dr. Andreas Schubert and his colleagues from Fraunhofer tested the effects of amino acids in vitro and found that they broke through bacterial membranes and penetrated them quicker and with less of a required concentration than antibiotic drugs. And the best part of all was that the amino acids caused no cell damage, unlike antibiotics which kill off beneficial bacteria in the system as well as harmful bacteria.
“Antibiotic peptides (from amino acids) unlock their microbicidal effect within a few minutes. They also work at a concentration of less than 1 microliter, compared with conventional antibiotics which require a concentration of 10 microliters,” said Schubert as part of his test results. “The spectrum of efficacy of the tested peptides includes not only bacteria and molds but also lipid-enveloped viruses. Another key factor is that the peptides identified in our tests do not harm healthy body cells.”
The findings are revolutionary, because they show that amino acids work on virtually every infection, including even MRSA and CRKP. And because amino acids occur naturally in various foods like nuts, grass-fed meats and dairy products, beans, seafood, eating more of these foods regularly can help boost levels of these vital nutrients without the need for drugs. Amino acids supplements are also a great way to boost amino acid levels to optimal levels in order to prevent or treat infections.
“We have already identified 20 of these short chains of amino acids which kill numerous microbes, including enterococci, yeasts and molds, as well as human pathogenic bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans, which is found in the human oral cavity and causes tooth decay,” said Dr. Andreas Schubert, group manager of Fraunhofer. “Even the multi-resistant hospital bug Staphylococcus aureus is not immune, and in our tests its growth was considerably inhibited.”
March 10th, 2011
By: Julie Kent
Most fad diets promise quick weight loss, but are often unhealthy and don’t work in the long-term. The latest diet craze, however, takes it to the extreme, and involves injecting the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) while eating just 500 calories per day.
hCG was first pushed as a weight-loss aid in the 1970s. Fans of the diet believe that it could help people lose weight because in pregnant women, hCG helps to direct calories to the fetus.
hCG is a hormone first produced by the developing embryo, and then the placenta during pregnancy. Promoters of the diet say that because hCG helps re-route calories from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy, injecting the hormone could help curb appetite and help dieters to get through the day on few calories.
Dr. David Katz says:
“This diet is appalling. It takes irresponsible diets to new heights.”
Beyond injecting the hormone, subsisting on just 500 calories per day is dangerous.
Restricting caloric intake to such a level makes for a real risk that you’re not providing your body with enough essential amino acids, so it scavenges itself. Sometimes, it can cause the body to scavenge from critical places, like the heart.
If you’re looking to lose weight, for the sake of your health, avoid this diet.
December 27th, 2010
By: Melanie Grimes
Amino acids found in watermelon have been shown to lower blood pressure. In addition to healthy vitamins and minerals, watermelon contains two amino acids, L-arginine and L-citrulline, that reduce hypertension.
Other Natural Blood Pressure Lowering Foods
Other foods have also been shown to lower blood pressure. Bananas can lower hypertension, as can raisins, beets and even chocolate.
Researchers at Florida State University used a concentrated extract of watermelon for the research on nine subjects. The dosage used in the study was six grams of the combined watermelon amino acids. After six weeks, all of the participants, 100 percent, showed reduced blood pressure. The study concluded that watermelon could be used by people who have pre-hypertension to keep the condition from progressing to high blood pressure. This means that eating watermelon may allow those at risk for heart disease to avoid taking preventative blood pressure lowering medications that are usually prescribed.
Blood Pressure Prevention Medication Side Effects
Pharmaceutical drugs are frequently prescribed for those with a tendency towards high blood pressure, a condition called pre-hypertension. These medications have been shown to have numerous side effects, including potassium loss that leads to an increased risk of diabetes. Other side effects, reported by Johns Hopkins University, include constipation, frequent urination, headaches, digestive upset, dizziness, and a tendency to dehydration, which causes a number of health issues in itself. Watermelon, on the other hand, has no known side effects.
Watermelon Contains Vitamins and Lycopene
Watermelon also contains healthy nutrients, such as vitamins A, vitamin C and vitamin B6, along with potassium and fiber. Watermelon also contains lycopene, the nutrient plentiful in tomatoes that has been show to have numerous health benefits. Lycopene is an antioxidant. Eating foods high in lycopene has been shown to reduce the incidence of many types of cancer, including breast cancer and prostate cancer. Lycopene has been shown to prevent heart attacks both in studies at John Hopkins University and in international studies. Though tomatoes were used in the studies, other foods known to be rich in lycopene are watermelons, grapefruits, apricots and guavas.
Watermelon Mechanism of Action
Watermelon lowers blood pressure because of its action in production of nitric oxide, researchers surmise. This is because L-citrulline in the watermelon is converted into L-arginine, which is then used to make nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps control blood pressure.
L-Arginine Alone is Not Enough
Taking the amino acids L-arginine by itself is not an effective treatment for high blood pressure, nor is it recommended because the amino acid is not easy to digest and can cause digestive problems, including diarrhea.
Watermelon Dosage to Prevent High Blood Pressure
The dosage used in the watermelon study was four to six grams of watermelon extract, but a healthier alternative is to add raw watermelon to the diet.
October 11th, 2010
By: Ethan A. Huff
Amino acids are important and vital components in maintaining health and vitality because they are the building blocks of proteins. Naturally present in many foods, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) provide the energy the body needs to function properly. And a new study has found that supplementing with BCAAs not only increases overall energy levels, but also appears to lengthen lifespan as well.
Published in the journal Cell Metabolism, the study observed how three of the 20 amino acids — leucine, isoleucine and valine — affected male mice when given to them in addition to their normal food. After several months of supplementation, the amino acid mice lived an average of 12 percent longer than control mice. The amino acid mice also exhibited improved endurance and motor skill function.
“This is the first demonstration that an amino acid mixture can increase survival in mice,” said Enzo Nisoli, a researcher from Milan University in Italy that worked on the study. The study adds to previous findings last year showing that the same amino acids lengthened the lifespan of single-cell yeast.
Mitochondria, the cellular components that provide cells with needed energy, also increased as a result of BCAA supplementation. And SIRT1, a longevity gene, demonstrated increased activity in the presence of BCAAs as well. SIRT1 helps prevent the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
Unlike amino acids obtained through food, BCAA supplements are delivered immediately to the bloodstream upon ingestion, so they come with no additional “energy cost”. As a result, they can be particularly useful for people with energy defects like sarcopenia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as athletes that need a quick recovery boost.
Nisoli believes that BCAAs are an excellent alternative to pharmaceutical drugs, but he said convincing doctors to prescribe them to their patients could be the most difficult hurdle to promoting their widespread use.
December 2, 2009
By Paul Louis
A report based on data from 12 pooled cohort studies on heavy meat diets was led by Dagfinn Aune from the University of Oslo and published in the journal Diabetologia. The study determined that the high intake of processed meat may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 41 percent.
This new meta-analysis was conducted jointly from Norway and the US. The general conclusions of the study suggested that: “High intake of total meat increased the risk of diabetes by 17 percent, while red meat and processed meat were associated with 21 and 41 percent increases in diabetes risk.”
One of the primary purposes of this study was to resolve, ” . . . inconsistencies from previous studies which found both positive and negative associations between meat consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Barry Popkin from the University of North Carolina described the study as “excellent’ and he went on to say that it “reiterates the concerns echoed in other major reviews and studies on the adverse effects of excessive meat intake”.
The higher rate of diabetes risk from processed meats can be attributed to the nitrates used as preservatives. Other studies have documented that nitrates cause beta cell toxicity. Beta cells are involved with the production of insulin. Consequently, their ability to produce insulin is blocked by nitrate induced toxicity.
Animal model studies proved that low doses of nitrosamine streptozotocin induced type 2 diabetes. Nitrosamines are formed by the nitrates interacting with amino acids in the stomach.
Earlier studies have documented negative health consequences with heavy meat eating. The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) has warned that “. . . high intakes of red and processed meats may raise the risk of lung and colorectal cancer by up to 20 percent.” And the World Cancer Research Fund has reported a direct link to cancer with alcohol, red and processed meats. They also found that heavy red and processed meat eaters risked earlier death.
August 19, 2009
By Dr. Julian Whitaker
Some mornings on my way to work, I drop by the local Jamba Juice store a block from my office and down 16 ounces of carrot juice and four ounces each of wheatgrass juice and a green tea energy drink. I drink this cocktail for overall health and vitality. The wheatgrass is full of vitamin K and amino acids, the carrot juice is packed with beta-carotene, and the green tea gives me a boost of caffeine and antioxidants to get my day started.
However, this is not a story about general health maintenance. It is about “targeted” juices that have predictable and rapid therapeutic effects on specific health conditions. Let’s start with a very common problem: high blood pressure.
Celery Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
When you think about lowering blood pressure, celery probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But this crunchy vegetable deserves some serious attention. Loaded with potassium and magnesium, celery contains something even more important: 3-n-butyl-phthalide, a compound that relaxes the smooth muscle cells in the arterial walls, allowing the arteries to dilate and effectively lowering blood pressure.
One of the physicians at Whitaker Wellness decided to put celery to the test. Every day for a month, she and her father juiced and drank one bunch of celery, mixed with a little orange juice for flavor (it’s somewhat bitter on its own). Her father’s systolic blood pressure went from 148 to 128 and hers went from 120 to 105. Imagine results this dramatic without dangerous prescription drugs!
Another great juice for people with hypertension is Low-Sodium V8 Juice. It works on two fronts to lower blood pressure. First, it contains a particularly high dose of potassium (840 mg per eight ounces) that helps keep blood pressure in check. Second, according to a study recently published in JAMA, it is an effective blood thinner, which further contributes to its antihypertensive effects. For Ted, one of my longtime patients, simply drinking 12 ounces of Low-Sodium V8 Juice daily was enough to keep his blood pressure in the normal range.
Cabbage Juice Heals the Stomach
Roman statesman Cato the Elder wrote more than 2,000 years ago that, as a digestive aid, “Cabbage surpasses all vegetables.” One reason is its high content of glutamine, an amino acid that serves as a primary fuel for the rapidly dividing cells of the GI mucosa. Multiple studies support cabbage’s reputation as a therapy for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, especially ulcers, heartburn, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In one of them, cabbage juice healed peptic and duodenal ulcers in an incredible 92 percent of cases studied!
One person who swears by cabbage juice is a patient we’ll call Betty, who was recently at the clinic. Betty was plagued with inflammation of the stomach lining and severe acid reflux. Her conventional doctor tried her on all the usual drugs, but nothing alleviated her pain or reduced the frequency of her episodes-until she came across an article on cabbage juice and decided to give it a shot.
Now whenever Betty has a flare-up, she drinks the juice from half a head of cabbage (yielding approximately four ounces of pleasant-tasting, slightly sweet juice) five times a day for about three days, in addition to copious amounts of water. This three day-regimen keeps her problem-free for eight or nine months-and I’ll bet if she drank it religiously, she wouldn’t have any problems at all.
Sauerkraut has also been touted for its ability to heal the stomach. In addition to the healthful compounds found in cabbage, this fermented food and its juice are also an excellent source of beneficial bacteria that nurture the GI tract. Eldon, a Health & Healing subscriber, eats it right from the jar to quell heartburn.
Cherry Juice Reduces Pain and Inflammation
Cherries make a mean pie, but a pain reliever? In recent years, cherries have been discovered to contain potent natural anti-inflammatory compounds called anthocyanins and other flavonoids that work on the same inflammation pathways as aspirin and NSAIDs to reduce pain. In fact, researchers from Michigan State University found that just 10 tart cherries pack the same pain-relieving punch as one or two aspirin-and offer a wallop of antioxidants to boot.
Cherries have also been shown to reduce gout. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid, which crystallizes in the joints and causes pain, stiffness, and inflammation. In a study conducted at the University of California Davis, eating eight ounces of cherries significantly reduced levels of plasma urate, a marker of uric acid. Cherries also produced small but notable decreases in markers of inflammation.
Francis, a friend of mine, squelches the gout pain in his big toe by eating cherries. And J. Otto Garry, a subscriber from Tamarac, Florida, has had great success treating his arthritis with cherry juice. He drinks three ounces in the morning and another three ounces in the evening to reduce and prevent inflammation. He also includes cod liver oil in his juice and takes alfalfa tablets along with it, which add to its anti-inflammatory value.
Cranberry Juice for UTIs
Everybody knows that cranberry juice can prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTIs), but have you ever wondered why? Cranberries contain a combination of anthocyanins (the phytonutrient that gives both cranberries and cherries their rich color) and a unique sugar called mannose. Together, these compounds are responsible for thwarting UTIs by making it impossible for bacteria to cling to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract.
Ann, a subscriber I met at a Subscriber Seminar a while back, told me she used to have frequent UTIs until she started keeping a bottle of unsweetened cranberry juice in her fridge. Now when she feels a flare-up coming on, she drinks a glass or two daily for a few days, and she never gets infections anymore.
As a general rule of thumb, I don’t recommend drinking a lot of fruit juice as it is loaded with sugar and calories. However, the juices listed above boast too many healing properties to ignore. Judicious juicing offers an easy way to drink to your health and naturally knock out many pressing health concerns. Bottoms up!