Scientific Journal References
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, June 2008, Vol.42 Issue 5, p. 447–449
“Protective effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on oxidative damage in skeletal muscles of exhaustive exercise rats. In conclusion, L. barbarum polysaccharides administration can significantly decrease the oxidative stress induced by the exhaustive exercise.”
ROOT BARK VS. DIABETES
Therapy, Sept. 2007, Vol. 4 Issue 5, p. 547–553
“Effects of Lycium barbarum L. root bark extract on alloxan-induced diabetic mice. The results indicate that LbL administration to diabetic mice would alleviate the increases in blood glucose and lipid levels associated with diabetes, improve abnormal glucose metabolism and increase insulin secretion by restoring the impaired pancreas ß-cells in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. This would suggest that LbL has hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic potential and could be useful for diabetic therapy.”
Brain Research, July 2007, Vol. 1158, p. 123–134
“Characterizing the neuroprotective effects of alkaline extract of Lycium barbarum on ß-amyloid peptide neurotoxicity. Taken together, our results suggested that the glycoconjugate isolated from novel alkaline extraction method can open up a new avenue for drug discovery in neurodegenerative diseases.”
Experimental Gerontology, Aug. 2005, Vol. 40 Issue 8/9, p. 716–727
“Neuroprotective effects of anti-aging oriental medicine Lycium barbarum against ß-amyloid peptide neurotoxicity. Taken together, we have proved our hypothesis by showing neuroprotective effects of the extract from L. barbarum. Study on anti-aging herbal medicine like L. barbarum may open a new therapeutic window for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.”
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, May 2007, Vol. 111 Issue 3, p. 504–511
“Effect of the Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on age-related oxidative stress in aged mice. It is concluded that the Lycium barbarum polysaccharides can be used in compensating the decline in TAOC, immune function and the activities of antioxidant enzymes and thereby reduces the risks of lipid peroxidation accelerated by age-induced free radical.”
Carbohydrate Polymers, May 2007, Vol. 69 Issue 1, p. 172–178
“Inhibition of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides and Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides against oxidative injury by y-irradiation in rat liver mitochondria. The inhibitory effects of GLP, at the entire concentration range, are stronger than LBP. Moreover, the two polysaccharides are more effective that?-tocopherol (VE) in inhibiting irradiation-induced oxidative injury. Hence, our results indicate that GLP and LBP have potent antioxidant properties in vitro in mitochondrial membranes of rat liver.”
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, April 2007, Vol. 40 Issue 5, p. 461–465
“Protective effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on streptozotocin-induced oxidative stress in rats. Therefore, we may assume that LBP is effective in the protection of liver and kidney tissue from the damage of STZ-induced diabetic rats and that the LBP may be of use as a antihyperglycemia agent.”
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Oct. 2002, Vol. 82 Issue ⅔, p. 169
“Protective effect of Frustuc Lycii polysaccharides against time and hyperthermia-induced damage in cultured seminiferous epithelium. Together, these results demonstrate the protective effect of FLPS on time- and hyperthermia-induced testicular degeneration in vitro, indicate the potential mechanism of action for this protective effect, and provide effect, and provide a scientific basis for the traditional use of this plant.”
Experimental Neurology, Jan. 2007, Vol. 203 Issue 1, p. 269–273
“Neuroprotective effects of Lycium barbarum Lynn on protecting retinal ganglion cells in an ocular hypertension model of glaucoma. In conclusion, this is the first in vivo report showing the therapeutic function of L. barbarum against neurodegeneration in the retina of rat OH model. The results demonstrate that this extract may be a potential candidate for the development of neuroprotective drug against the loss of RGCs in glaucoma.”
INCREASES FERTILITY AND SEXUAL FUNCTION
Life Sciences, July 2006, Vol. 79 Issue 7, p. 613–621
“Lycium barbarum polysaccharides: Protective effects against heat-induced damage of rat testes and HO induced DNA damage in mouse testicular cells and beneficial effect on sexual behavior and reproductive function. LBP improved the copulatory performance and reproductive function of hemicastrated male rats, such as shortened penis erection latency and mount latency, regulated secretion of sexual hormones and increased hormone levels, raised accessory sexual organ weights, and improved sperm quantity and quality. The present findings support the folk reputation of L. barbarum fruits as an aphrodisiac and fertility-facilitating agent, and provide scientific evidence for a basis for the extensive use of L. barbarum fruits as a traditional remedy for male infertility in China.”
IMPROVES CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH (CACAO AND GOJI)
Agricultural Research, Jan. 2006, Vol. 54 Issue 1, p. 22
“Plant Compounds Inhibit Blood Clotting. Synthesized were the natural compounds N-caffeoyldopamine and N-coumaroyldopamine and their analogs, which are found in sweet peppers, Chinese wolfberry (goji berry), and cocoa. Based on Park’s findings, the compounds significantly suppress an adhesive molecule, P-selectin, that glues platelets to white blood cells and blood vessel walls.”
IMPROVES IMMUNE SYSTEM
Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals, April 2005, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p. 155–162
“Therapeutic Effects of Lycium barbarum Polysaccharide (LBP) on Irradiation or Chemotherapy-Induced Myelosuppresive mice. All dosages of LBP significantly enhanced peripheral PLT counts of chemotherapy-induced myelosuppresive mice on days 7.”
Journal of Experimental Therapeutics & Oncology, 2004, Vol. 4 Issue 3, p. 181–187
“Therapeutic effects of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide (LBP) on mitomycin C (MMC)-induced myelosuppresive mice. LBP showed no obviously effect on neutropenia induced in mice by MMC. Conclusion: LBP is effective on peripheral RBC and PLT recovery of MMC-induced myelosuppresive mice.”
Life Sciences, March 2005, Vol. 76 Issue 18, p. 2115–2124
“Effect of lycium barbarum polysaccharide on human hepatoma cells: Inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Moreover, the distribution of calcium in cells was changed. Taken together, the study suggests that the induction of cell cycle arrest and the increase of intracellular calcium in apoptotic system may participate in the antiproliferative activity of LBP in QGY7703 cells.”
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Jan. 2005, Vol. 96 Issue 3, p. 529–535
“Protective effect of Lycium chinense fruit on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity. Based on these results, it was suggested that the hepatoprotective effects of the LFE might be related to antioxidative activity and expressional regulation of CYP2E1.”
Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, Jan. 2003, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p. 79
“Hepatoprotective pyrrole derivatives of Lycium chinense fruits. These compounds and a related synthetic methylated compound (4) were evaluated for their biological activity and structure–activity relationship, and compounds 1 and 2 showed hepatoprotective effects comparable to silybin at the concentration of 0.1 μM.”
PROTECTS AGAINST CANCER
European Journal of Pharmacology, June 2003, Vol. 471 Issue 3, p. 217
“A polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum upregulates cytokine expression in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Administration of LBP 3p increased the expression of interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-? at both mRNA and protein levels in a dose-dependent manner. The results suggest that LBP 3p may induce immune responses and possess potential therapeutic efficacy in cancer.”
GROW MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS ON GOJI BERRY EXTRACT
Food Chemistry, Sept. 2008, Vol. 110 Issue 2, p. 446–4453
“Effect of Lycium barbarum extract on production and immunomodulatory activity of the extracellular polysaccharopeptides from submerged fermentation culture of Coriolus versicolor. Moreover, the ePSP from C. versicolor cultured with supplementary L. barbarum extract exhibits significant immunomodulatory activity as judged by its effects on the production of nitric oxide and several cytokines by murine RAW264.7 macrophages.”
GOJI LEAF IS A PREBIOTIC
Bioresource Technology, March 2008, Vol. 99 Issue 5, p. 1383–1393
“Effects of Chinese wolfberry (Lycium chinense P. Mill.) leaf hydrolysates on the growth of Pediococcus acidilactici. The growth-enhancing effects of LYCH leaf hydrolysates indicate the potential of developing new applications for LYCH leaves in promoting the growth of other probiotic cells using a simple process.”
European Polymer Journal, Feb. 2007, Vol. 43 Issue 2, p. 488–497
“Evaluation of antioxidant activity of the polysaccharides extracted from Lycium barbarum fruits in vitro. Analysis shows that its carbohydrate content is up to 97.54% mainly composed of:
The data obtained in the in vitro models clearly establish the antioxidant potency of the polysaccharides extracted from L. barbarum fruits.”
Chemistry of Natural Compounds, Jan. 2006, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p. 24–25
“Composition of the essential oils of Lycium barbarum and L. ruthenicum fruits. The main component in the oil of L. barbarum were found to be hexadecanoic acid, linoleic acid, ß-elemene, myristic acid, and ethyl hexadecanoate. The essential oil of L. ruthenicum has heptocosane, ethyl linoleate, hexacosane, nonacosane, and ethyl hexadecanoate as the main compounds.”
Food Chemistry, Sept. 2004, Vol. 87 Issue 2, p. 283
“The efficiency of flavonoids in polar extracts of Lycium chinense Mill fruits as free radical scavenger. The main flavonoids in Lycium chinense Mill fruits were rutin and chlorogenic acid in water extract, rutin and protocatechuic acid 50% ethanol extract and rutin in 95% ethanol extract as determined with high-performance liquid chromatography. The antiradical efficiency of the extracts tended to become stronger as the polarity of the solvents decreased.”
Additional Goji Berry References
Benson, L., and R. Darrow. March Trees and Shrubs of the Southwestern Deserts. University of Arizona and University of New Mexico, 1954.
Gross, P. M., X. Zhang, and R. Zhang. Wolfberry: Nature’s Bounty of Nutrition and Health. Charleston, SC: Booksurge Publishing, 2006.
Mindell, Earl, and Rick Handel. Goji: the Himalayan Health Secret. Texas: Momentum Media, 2003.
Teeguarden, R. The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1998.
Vines, Robert A. Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Wines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1960.
CHOCOLATE BETTER THAN KISSING
When it comes to tongues, melting chocolate is better than a passionate kiss, scientists have found. Couples in their twenties had their heart rates and brains monitored while they first melted chocolate in their mouths and then kissed.
Chocolate caused a more intense and longer lasting “buzz” than kissing, and doubled volunteers’ heart rates.
The researchers compared their resting heart rates with those during the chocolate and kissing tests.
Although kissing set the heart pounding, the effect did not last as long as that seen with the chocolate, which increased heart rates from a resting rate of about 60 beats per minute to 140.
CHOCOLATE AND SEX
Dr. Andrea Salonia, an Italian researcher, says he has found an association between eating chocolate and sexual fulfillment. Women who love chocolate, he says, seem to have better love lives.
Salonia’s group at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan had 153 women fill out standard female sexual function questionnaires, among other lifestyle and psychological indices. The women were between 26 and 44 years old, with a median age of 35. It turned out that 120 women, average age 35, reported they ate chocolate frequently, compared with 33 women whose average age was 40.4.
Both overall sexual function and sexual desire were significantly greater among the chocolate-eaters than among those in the older group who were more likely to spurn chocolate, said Salonia.
Source: Bloom, Mark. Healthday, www.healthday.com. Dec. 5–8, 2004, London: presentation, European Society for Sexual Medicine annual meeting.
CHOCOLATE IS GOOD FOR THE HEART
Norman Hollenberg from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital presented new data, also published in the current issue of the International Journal of Medical Sciences, where he used death certificates to compare the cause of death of island-dwelling Kuna to those who live on mainland Panama, who do not regularly drink the flavonol-rich cocoa.
Hollenberg reported that the relative risk of death from heart disease on the Panama mainland was 1,280 percent higher than on the islands and death from cancer was 630 percent higher, compared to the islanders.
Source: Bayard, V., F. Chamorro, J. Motta, N. K. Hollenberg. “Does flavonol intake influence mortality from nitric oxide-dependent processes? Ischemic heart disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, and cancer in Panama.” International Journal of Medical Sciences. Volume 4 (2007), pp. 53–58.
CHOCOHOLICS REJOICE! MORE BENEFITS FOUND IN HEART STUDY
Chocolate lovers who flunked out of a Johns Hopkins University study on aspirin and heart disease helped researchers stumble on an explanation of why a little chocolate a day can cut the risk of heart attack.
It turns out chocolate, like aspirin, affects the platelets that cause blood to clot, Diane Becker of the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine and her colleagues discovered.
“What these chocolate offenders taught us is that the chemical in cocoa beans has a biochemical effect similar to aspirin in reducing platelet clumping, which can be fatal if a clot forms and blocks a blood vessel, causing a heart attack,” Becker said in a telephone interview.
Source: Reuters, November 14, 2006.
The health benefits of epicatechin, a compound found in cocoa, are so striking that it may rival penicillin and anesthesia in terms of importance to public health, reports Marina Murphy in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI. Norman Hollenberg, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told C&I that epicatechin is so important that it should be considered a vitamin.
Hollenberg has spent years studying the benefits of cocoa drinking on the Kuna people in Panama. He found that the risk of 4 of the 5 most common killer diseases: stroke, heart failure, cancer, and diabetes, is reduced to less then 10 percent in the Kuna. They can drink up to 40 cups of cocoa a week. Natural cocoa has high levels of epicatechin.
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Society of Chemical Industry
Source: “Cocoa ‘Vitamin’ Health Benefits Could Outshine Penicillin.” Science Daily.
CHOCOLATE LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
A chocolate treat may be better than green or black tea at keeping high blood pressure in check.
A new study suggests that dark chocolate and other cocoa-rich products may be better at lowering blood pressure than tea.
Researchers compared the blood pressure-lowering effects of cocoa and tea in previously published studies and found eating cocoa-rich foods was associated with an average 4.7-point lower systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) and 2.8-point lower diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number). But no such effect was found among any of the studies on black or green tea.
Cocoa and tea are both rich in a class of antioxidants known as polyphenols. But researchers say they contain different types of polyphenols, and those in cocoa may be more effective at lowering blood pressure.
Source: Warner, Jennifer. “Dark Chocolate, Other Cocoa-Rich Foods May Lower Blood Pressure Better Than Tea.” WebMD Medical News (April 9, 2007). Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD.
POLYPHENOLS HELP BLOOD PRESSURE
In their review, researchers reviewed the effects of cocoa-rich products, such as dark chocolate or specially formulated polyphenol-rich milk chocolate, and blood pressure in five studies, which totaled 173 participants and lasted on average two weeks. They also reviewed black and green tea and blood pressure in five different studies that totaled 343 participants and lasted on average four weeks. All studies were published between 1966 and 2006.
“We believe that any dietary advice must account for the high sugar, fat, and calorie intake with most cocoa products,” write researcher Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD, of the University Hospital of Cologne in Germany, and colleagues, in the Archives of Internal Medicine. “Rationally applied, cocoa products might be considered part of dietary approaches to lower hypertension risk.”
Source: Taubert, D. News Release. Archives of Internal Medicine 167 (2007): 626–34.
DARK CHOCOLATE IS BETTER FOR LOWERING BLOOD PRESSURE
Dark chocolate—but not white chocolate—may help reduce blood pressure and boosts the body’s ability to metabolize sugar from food, according to the results of a small study.
Investigators from the University of L’Aquila in Italy found that after eating only 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces, of dark chocolate every day for 15 days, 15 healthy people had lower blood pressures and were more sensitive to insulin, an important factor in metabolizing sugar.
In contrast, eating roughly the same amount of white chocolate for the same period of time did not affect either blood pressure or insulin sensitivity.
Other research validates that when it comes to chocolate, type does matter. One study found that eating milk chocolate did little to raise antioxidant levels in the blood, perhaps because milk interferes with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate.
Another study showed that elderly people with high blood pressure experienced a drop in pressure after eating dark chocolate bars, but not white chocolate, which contains no flavonoids.
Source: McCook, Alison. “When It Comes to Chocolate, Order Dark, Not White.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, as reported by Reuters Health (March 21, 2005).
CHOCOLATE IMPROVES MENTAL PERFORMANCE
A new study hints that eating milk chocolate may boost brain function. “Chocolate contains many substances that act as stimulants, such as theobromine, phenethylamine, and caffeine,” Dr. Bryan Raudenbush from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia noted in comments to Reuters Health.
“These substances by themselves have previously been found to increase alertness and attention and what we have found is that by consuming chocolate you can get the stimulating effects, which then lead to increased mental performance.”
To study the effects of various chocolate types on brain power, Raudenbush and colleagues had a group of volunteers consume, on four separate occasions, 85 grams of milk chocolate; 85 grams of dark chocolate; 85 grams of carob; and nothing (the control condition).
After a 15-minute digestive period, participants completed a variety of computer-based neuropsychological tests designed to assess cognitive performance including memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem solving.
“Composite scores for verbal and visual memory were significantly higher for milk chocolate than the other conditions,” Raudenbush told Reuters. And consumption of milk and dark chocolate was associated with improved impulse control and reaction time.
Previous research has shown that some nutrients in food aid in glucose release and increased blood flow, which may augment cognitive performance. The current findings, said Raudenbush, “provide support for nutrient release via chocolate consumption to enhance cognitive performance.”
Source: Reuters, May 25, 2006.
CACAO VERSUS DIABETES
Dietary supplementation with cacao liquor proanthocyanidins (CLPr) reduced blood glucose levels in obese diabetic mice, and may offer human diabetics significant benefits, says a new study from Japan.
“Dietary supplementation with CLPr can dose-dependently prevent the development of hyperglycaemia in diabetic obese mice,” wrote lead author Makoto Tomaru in the journal Nutrition. “The dietary intake of food or drinks produced from cacao beans might be beneficial in preventing the onset of type-2 diabetes mellitus.”
The potential health benefits of cocoa have been gaining increasing interest, with studies reporting that flavonoid-rich chocolate may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, according to Tomaru and co-workers, this is the first study to report that CLPr can prevent aggravation of type-2 diabetes mellitus.
Source: M. Tomura, H. Takano, N. Osakabe, A. Yasuda, K. I. Inoue, R. Yanagisawa, T. Ohwatari, and H. Uematsu. “Dietary supplementation with cacao liquor proanthocyanidins prevents elevation of blood glucose levels in diabetic obese mice.” Nutrition (Elsevier) Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2007.01.007
CACAO INCREASES LONGEVITY
At five-year intervals over a 15-year period, 470 men aged over 65 were questioned about their dietary intake of cocoa and received physical examinations. The men were placed in three groups according to their level of cocoa consumption and data about their health was collected. During the study, 314 men died, 152 due to cardiovascular disease.
“The men in the group that consumed the least cocoa were twice as likely to die from a heart attack than those in the group that consumed the most cocoa—at least 4g per day—and the risk remained lower even when other factors such as smoking, physical exercise, and weight were taken into account,” said lead researcher Brian Buijsse, at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.
He added: “And men in the study who consumed the most cocoa were less likely to die of any cause.”
The high-cocoa men also had significantly lower blood pressure than the other groups—but Buijsse said that the link between low blood pressure and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease cannot be made from his results. Instead, he says that cocoa-containing antioxidant chemicals, called flavonols, may be the cause.
Source: “Eating Chocolate May Halve Risk of Dying.” Archives of Internal Medicine 166: 411, as cited by NewScientist.com news service 21:00 27 February 2006, Gaia Vince http://www.newscientist.com/channel/health/dn8780.html
CHOCOLATE PROTECTS THE SKIN
German researchers have shown that ingesting cocoa solids and flavonoids—dark chocolate—can fight skin cancer. Their findings are preliminary because they come from a trial of just 24 women who were recruited to add cocoa to their breakfasts every day for about 3 months.
Half the women drank hot cocoa containing a hefty dose of flavonoids, natural plant-based antioxidants that research has suggested prevent heart attacks. The remaining volunteers got cocoa that looked and tasted the same but that had relatively little of the flavonoids. At the beginning and end of the trial, Wilhelm Stahl of Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf and his colleagues conducted a host of tests on each volunteer. One assessment involved irradiating each woman’s skin with slightly more ultraviolet (UV) light than had turned her skin red before the trial began.
The skin of the women who had received the flavonoid-rich cocoa did not redden nearly as much as did the skin of recruits who had drunk the flavonoid-poor beverage. Women getting the abundant flavonoids also had skin that was smoother and moister than that of the other women.
Source: Raloff, Janet. “Chocolate as Sunscreen.” http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20060617/food.asp.
CHOCOLATE DOES NOT CAUSE ACNE
Two seminal studies continue to prove that chocolate does not cause acne. The National Institutes of Health now states that “despite the popular belief that chocolate, nuts, and other foods cause acne, this does not seem to be true.”
In one of the studies, at the University of Pennsylvania, a group of acne patients was given a bar of “chocolate” liquor (the substance that’s the base for all chocolate products) resembling a chocolate bar and had 28 percent vegetable fat to imitate the fat content of chocolate liquor and cocoa butter. Another group got real chocolate in a test bar with almost ten times as much chocolate liquor as a normal 1.4-ounce bar.
The acne neither improved nor worsened with the chocolate or the placebo.
In the other study, 80 midshipmen with acne at the U.S. Naval Academy were divided into chocolate abstainers and chocolate-eaters. After a month, careful observation showed no changes in their acne.
Source: Engler, Mary, Jeffrey Blumberg, and Jean Mayer. Journal of the American College of Nutrition (June 2004).
CHOCOLATE IS GOOD FOR OUR TEETH
A bar of chocolate a day might keep the dentist away, according to new research into the cavity-fighting properties of cocoa. Researchers at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, have discovered that cocoa powder contains an extract that is more effective than fluoride in fighting cavities and protecting dental health.
The compound is a white, crystalline powder commonly found in chocolate. It’s chemical composition is similar to that of caffeine and, in tests carried out at the university, it was found to harden tooth enamel.
The team, led by doctoral student Arman Sadeghpour, compared the cocoa-based substance with fluoride in tests carried out on the enamel of human teeth. The results were used to create a toothpaste which incorporates the cocoa. Source: Boal, Catherine. “Cocoa Extract more Effective than Fluoride.”
CACAO SKIN FIGHTS CAVITIES
By using an extract of husk of cacao, obtained with a polar solvent, Lotte Co. Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan, believes it has come up with a composition for inhibiting sordes formation and thereby cutting down on tooth decay.
The buildup of sordes on the teeth, and the subsequent destruction of the tooth enamel by microorganisms contained in the sordes, is believed to be caused by the conversion of sucrose in food to the viscous polysaccharide, glucan, as a result of the activity of glucosyltransferase, which is an extracellular enzyme of streptococcus mutans. Glucan is the substance that causes sordes buildup.
Source: Biomedical Materials. February 1, 1990. http://static.highbeam.com/b/biomedicalmaterials/february011990/cacaoextractcouldcutdownontoothdecay/
Additional Cacao References
Coe, Sophie D., Coe, Michael D. The True History of Chocolate. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996.
Dahl, Roald. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. New York: Puffin Books, 1964.
Foster, Nelson, Cordell, Linda S. Chilies to Chocolate: Food the Americas Gave the World. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1992.
Kilham, Chris. Psyche Delicacies: Coffee, Chocolate, Chiles, Kava, and Cannabis, and Why They’re Good For You. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 2001
Lopez, Ruth. Chocolate: The Nature of Indulgence. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2002.
McFadden, Christine, France, Christine. Chocolate: Cooking with the World’s Best Ingredient. London: Hermes House, 1997.
Pendell, Dale. Pharmakodynamis: Stimulating Plants, Potions & Herbcraft. San Francisco: Mercury House, 2002.
Presilla, Maricel E. The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Cacao with Recipes. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2001.
Wolfe, David, and Shazzie. Naked Chocolate. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2005.
Young, Allen M. The Chocolate Tree: A Natural History of Cacao. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994.
Scientific Journal References
HUMAN STUDY SHOWS LIBIDO AND SPERM INCREASE
The first known published human study on maca’s effect on fertility and libido in men was conducted through the department of Physiological Sciences, University Peruana Cayetano Heredia, in Lima, Peru. The study, published in the Asian Journal of Andrology, involved 9 healthy men (aged 22–24) who completed the 4-month trial with gelatinized maca. Either 1,500 or 3,000 mg. was administered orally each day. Study data showed that maca: (Gonzales)
· Increased sexual desire (libido) by 180%
· Increased number and mobility of sperm
· Increased DHEA levels in a majority of the men
· Decreased anxiety and stress
· Increased adrenal androgen (adrenaline)
· Promotes glucose utilization for energy rather than being processed into fat storage
· Produced a “general sense of well-being”
· Lowered blood pressure (diastolic)
· Balanced blood iron levels
Experiments with men as well as with animals show not only greater seminal volume by 20 percent, but also sperm quality, more than 184 percent increased spermatozoon, and more than 208 percent improved mobility, leading to enhanced fertility. (Gonzales) Other studies also demonstrate broods increasing by 25 to 40 percent in dogs, cows, sheep, and other animals. (Chacón)
In female animals, maca consumption significantly increased Graaf follicles, and other favorable endometrium characteristics, which indicates a higher fertility level. Source: Ley, B.M. MACA: Adaptogen and Hormonal Regulator.
Maca also helps improve sexual activity and satisfaction by increasing vaginal lubrication in women as well as increasing seminal volume (ejaculate) by 30 percent in men.
In the prestigious medical journal Urology (April 2000), scientists tell of the experience of rats with erectile disorder were fed maca compared to controls. The maca group had 400 percent more copulation than the controls.
Maca provides a means of normalizing our steroid hormones like testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. Therefore, it facilitates balance to the hormonal changes of aging. In men, it restores a healthy functional status in which they experience a more active libido.
Source: Ley, B.M. MACA: Adaptogen and Hormonal Regulator.
SAFETY AND SIDE EFFECTS OF MACA
Maca is considered to be a “warming herb” according to Chinese medicine, and therefore should be used with caution by those with high blood pressure. However, this has not been tested scientifically.
Toxicity studies conducted in at Product Safety Labs of East Brunswick, N.J., showed absolutely no toxicity, and no adverse pharmacological affects of maca.
Based on its long history of use as a medicinal supplement and as a food, maca appears to be safe. The following are structure/function statements permitted under section 6 of DSHEA (Dietary Supplemental Health and Education Act) for maca:
· Increases energy, stamina, and mental clarity
· Supports the thyroid
· Supports normal sexual function
· Promotes hormone balance
Source: Ley, B. M. MACA: Adaptogen and Hormonal Regulator.
Red maca has the same nutritional profile and all of the same beneficial properties as regular (white, yellow, or black) maca, but it appears to possess additional properties of its own that may be more beneficial to mens’ health.
As a result of recent scientific studies, red maca has been proposed to have important implications in the treatment of prostate diseases, including prostate cancer. Phytochemical analyses showed red maca to have greater amounts of the compounds responsible for antioxidant and antitumor activity than other types of maca.
Source: Gonzales, Gustavo F., Sara Miranda, Jessica Nieto, Gilma Fernández, Sandra Yucra, Julio Rubio, Pedro Yi, and Manuel Gasco. “Red maca (Lepidium meyenii) reduced prostate size.” Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology; 3 (2005):5.
Additional Maca References
Chacón, G. “La Maca (Lepidium peruvianum) Chacón sp. Nov. Y su habitat.” Revista Peruana de Biologia 3 (1990): 171–272.
———.“Estudio fitoquimico de Lepidium meyenii.” Dissertation, Univ., Nac. Mayo de San Marcos, Peru.
———.Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacón) Millenarian Peruvian Food with Highly Nutritional Properties. Lima, Peru, 2001.
Gonzales, G. F. “A test for bioandrogenicity in men attending an infertility service.” Arch Androl. 21 (1988): 135–42.
———.“Functional structure and ultra structure of seminal vesicles.” Arch Androl. 22 (1988): 1–13.
Gonzales, G. F., A. Cordova, C. Gonzales, and A. Chung. “Lepidium meyenii (Maca) improved semen parameters in adult men.” Asian J Androl 3 (1988): 301–3.
Gonzales, G.F., Ruiz A., Gonzales C., Villegas L., Cordova A. 2001. “Effect of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) roots on spermatogenesis of male rats.” Asian J Androl. Sep; 3(3) p. 231–3.
Johns, Timothy. The Origins of Human Diet and Medicine. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1990.
Ley, B. M. MACA: Adaptogen and Hormonal Regulator. Minnesota: BL Publications, 2003.
Zheng, B.L., He, K., Kim, C.H., et al. “Effect of lipidic extract from Lepidium meyenii on sexual behavior in mice and rats.” Urology 55 (2000): 598–602.
Scientific Journal Reference
Honey, used in tea or hot water in Canada for generations to soothe sore throats, could soon be substituted for antibiotics in fighting stubborn ear, nose, and throat infections, according to a new study.
Ottawa University doctors found in tests that ordinary honey kills bacteria that cause sinus infections, and does it better in most cases than antibiotics.
“It’s astonishing,” researcher Joseph Marson said of bees’ unexplained ability to combine the nectar of flowers into a seemingly potent medicine.
The preliminary tests were conducted in laboratory dishes, not in live patients, but included the “superbug” methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, which is highly resistant to antibiotics.
Source: “Early Study Touts Honey As Antibiotics Substitute.” Sept. 24, 2008. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/080924/health/canada_medicine_research
Additional Bee Products References
Buxton, Simon. The Shamanic Way Of The Bee. Rochester, VT: Destiny, 2006.
Jensen, Bernard. Bee Well, Bee Wise with Bee Pollen, Bee Propolis, Royal Jelly. Escondido, CA: Bernard Jensen, 1993.
Kacera, Walter. Pollen Power, Nectar of Life. 2002.
Traynor, Joe. Honey, The Gourmet Medicine. Bakersfield, CA: Kovak Books, 2002.
“Fresh Royal Jelly” by Y.S. Royal Jelly and Honey Farm (available on the web site: www.yahwehsaliveandwell.com)
“Bee Propolis: Nature’s Healing Balm With Immune Boosting Properties” by Katherine East (available on the web site: www.naturalnews.com)
Scientific Journal References
Adding spirulina to cultured immune system cells significantly increases the production of infection fighting cytokines, say immunologists at UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center. Their finding is published in the Fall issue of the Journal of Medicinal Foods.
“We found that nutrient-rich spirulina is a potent inducer of interferon-gamma (13.6-fold increase) and a moderate stimulator of both interleukin-4 and interleukin-1 beta (3.3-fold increase),” says Eric Gershwin, professor and chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Clinical Immunology at UC Davis. “Together, increases in these cytokines suggest that spirulina is a strong proponent for protecting against intracellular pathogens and parasites and can potentially increase the expression of agents that stimulate inflammation, which also helps to protect the body against infectious and potentially harmful microorganisms.”
To evaluate the effects of spirulina on the immune system, the UC Davis immunologists collected blood samples from 12 healthy volunteers, separating out the peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These cells, which include macrophages, monocytes, and lymphocytes, including B and T cells, work as a team to mount an immune response. The researchers incubated these cell cultures with dilutions of spirulina made from 429 mg capsules of dried, powdered spirulina.
Source: “UC Davis Study Shows Spirulina Boosts Immune System.” December 1, 2000.
In April 1996, scientists from the Laboratory of Viral Pathogenesis, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School and Earthrise Farms, Calipatria, California, announced ongoing research, saying, “Water extract of Spirulina platensis inhibits HIV-1 replication in human derived T-cell lines and in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. A concentration of 5–10 mg/ml was found to reduce viral production.” HIV-1 is the AIDS virus. Small amounts of spirulina extract reduced viral replication while higher concentrations totally stopped its reproduction. Importantly, with the therapeutic index of >100, spirulina extract was nontoxic to human cells at concentrations stopping viral replication.
Another group of medical scientists has published new studies regarding a purified water extract unique to spirulina named calcium-spirulan. It inhibits replication of HIV-1, herpes simplex, human cytomegalovirus, influenza A virus, mumps virus and measles virus in-vitro, yet is very safe for human cells. It protects human and monkey cells from viral infection in cell culture. According to peer-reviewed scientific journal reports this extract, “holds great promise for treatment of … HIV-1, HSV-1, and HCM infections, which is particularly advantageous for AIDS patients who are prone to these life-threatening infections.”
Source: “The Study of Spirulina: Effects on the AIDS virus, Cancer and the Immune System.” The San Francisco Medical Research Foundation.
Additional Spirulina References
Challem, J. 1981. Spirulina. New Canaan, CT.: Keats Publishing.
Baojiang, G., et al. “Study on effect and mechanism of polysaccharides of spirulina on body immune function improvement.” Proc. of Second Asia Pacific Conf. on Algal Biotech. Univ. of Malaysia, 1994, pp. 33–38.
Besednova, L., et al. “Immunostimulating activity of lipopolysaccharides from blue-green algae.” Zhurnal Mikrobiologii, Epidemiologii, Immunobiologii, 56 (1979): 75–79.
Cheng-Wu, Z., T. Chao-Tsi, and Z. Zhen. “The effects of polysaccharide and phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis on peripheral blood and hematopoietic system of bone marrow in mice.” Proceedings of the Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Algal Biotechnology. National University of Singapore, 1994, p. 58.
Hayashi, O., et al. “Class-specific influence of dietary Spirulina platensis on antibody production in mice.” Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology 44 (1998): 841–51.
Hayashi, O., T. Katoh, and Y. Okuwaki. “Enhancement of antibody production in mice by dietary Spirulina platensis.” Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology 40(1994): 431–41.
Lisheng, et al. “Inhibitive effect and mechanism of polysaccharide of spirulina on transplanted tumor cells in mice.” Marine Sciences 5 (1991): 33–38.
Qureshi, M., J. Garlich, and M. Kidd. “Dietary Spirulina platensis enhances humeral and cell-mediated immune functions in chickens.” Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 18 (1996): 465–76.
Qureshi, M., et al. “Immune enhancement potential of Spirulina platensis in chickens.” Poultry Science. 73 (1994): 46.
Qureshi, M., et al. “Immunomodulary effects of spirulina supplementation in chickens.” In Proc. of 44th Western Poultry Disease Conference (1995), pp. 117–20.
Qureshi, M., and R. Ali. “Spirulina platensis exposure enhances macrophage phagocytic function in cats.” Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology. 18 (1996): 457–63.
Tornabene, T., et al. “Lipid and lipopolysaccharide constituents of cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis.” Ecol Prog Serv. 22 (1985): 121.
Scientific Journal References
NONTOXICITY OF BLUE-GREEN ALGAE
Algae Researcher Dr. William Barry has personally examined many blooms of the AFA strain from Klamath Lake (and other lakes, too) and has never found any toxicity. A research report produced by Rapala in The Journal of Applied Phycology (1993) confirmed Barry’s conclusion; this report emphatically states that the AFA algae strain is not capable of producing toxins. As further testament to its safety, it should be noted that hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have consumed the AFA-strain algae with no trace of toxicity. The only time that AFA should be used cautiously is when you are extremely weak, thin, very dry with a cold constitution or are already pregnant.
Source: Personal communication between Gillian McKeith, PhD, and Dr. William Barry. Miracle Superfood: Wild Blue-Green Algae, n.d.
A taxonomic reevaluation of the paralytic shellfish toxin (saxitoxins) producing cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae LMECYA31 was done using morphology and 16S rRNA gene sequences. We found that strain LMECYA31 was incorrectly identified as Aph. flos-aquae based on (a) lack of bundle formation in trichomes, (b) shape of terminal cells in the trichomes, (c) lower similarity (97.5%) in the 16S rRNA gene sequences relative to those of Aph. flos-aquae, and (d) comparison within a phylogenetic tree of 16S rRNA gene sequences. The shape of the terminal trichome cells and the shape and size of the vegetative cell, heterocyst, and akinete in strain LMECYA31 match characters of Aph. Issatschenkoi (Ussachew) Proschkina-Larvernko. 16S rRNA gene sequences and phylogenetic clusters constructed from 16S rRNA gene sequences support our conclusion that strain LME-CYA31 should be Aph. issatschenkoi. considered nontoxic, and in one situation natural populations of Aph. flos-aquae have been harvested and used as a human food supplement for over 20 years (Carmichael et al. 2000). The question of cyanotoxin production within the species Aph. flos-aquae deserves closer attention, and a good beginning is the taxonomic reevaluation of existing cyanotoxin producing strains that have been identified as Aph. flos-aquae. Previously we found that the PST-producing Aphanizomenon strain NH-5 was improperly identified as Aph. flos-aquae based on trichome shape plus 16S rRNA gene sequences (Li et al. 2000). Then Pereira et al. (2000) reported PSTs in Aph. flos-aquae strain LME-CYA31 isolated from the Montargil Reservoir, Portugal. However, micrographs and descriptions in this article showed strain LMECYA31 to have elongated hyaline apical cells, a character typical of Aph. Issatschenkoi.
Source: Renhui, L., W. Wayne, and P. Carmichael. “Morphological and 16S rRNDA gene evidence for reclassification of the paralytic shellfish toxin producing Aphanizomenon flos-aquae LMECYA31 as Aphanizomenon Issatschenkoi (Cyanophyceae).” J. Phycol. 39 (2003): 814–18.
VITAMINS OF BLUE-GREEN ALGAE
The vitamin composition of blue-green algae is far superior to any multivitamin supplement pills. In a recent study at Yale New Haven Hospital, 257 brands of multivitamin supplement pills were evaluated. The study concluded that 80 percent of the vitamin pills were inadequate, incomplete, or imbalanced. With wild-blue green algae, the composition and balance of vitamins is in perfect harmony with human biochemistry for maximum utilization. Source:Bell, L. S., and M. J. Fairchild. American Dietetic Association. 87 (1987): 341.
PHYCOCYANIN IN BLUE-GREEN ALGAE
Phycocyanin is the pigment that gives wild blue-green algae its blue hue; it is a protein that has been shown to inhibit the formation of cancer colonies. These various pigments operate in the body with the human pigment bilirubin to keep the liver functioning at optimum capacity, and aid in the digestion of amino acids. Phycocyanin helps draw together amino acids for neurotransmitter formation, which may increase mental capacity.
Source: Troxler, R., and B. Saffer. “Algae Derived Phycocyanin.” Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Ass. Dental Research General Session Paper, 1987.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES OF PHYCOCYANIN
Phycocyanin has been shown to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In various animal models of inflammation, phycocyanin was shown to reduce or prevent inflammation.
Sources: Romay, et al. “Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of C-phycocyanin from blue-green algae.” Inflamm Res. 47 (1998): 36–41.
Romay, et al. “Further studies on anti-inflammatory activity of phycocyanin in some animal models of inflammation.” Inflamm Res. 47 (1998): 334–8.
IMPROVEMENT OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM WITH BLUE-GREEN ALGAE
It is the high concentration of beta-carotene that activates the thymus gland; the thymus gland can then control the immune system effectively. Beta-carotene greatly enhances the immune system and may inhibit the development of cancer cells. The beta-carotene content within wild blue-green algae is extraordinarily high.
Source: Seifter, E., G. Rettura, J. Seiter, et al. “Thymotropic action of Vitamin A.” Fed. Proc. 32 (1973): 947.
Researchers have discovered that a bacterial protein known to reduce the ability of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to infect cells also inhibits infection by the Ebola virus. The antiviral protein, from blue-green algae, known as cyanovirin-N (CV-N), can extend the survival time of Ebola-infected mice, researchers from the National Cancer Institute’s Molecular Targets Discovery Program report in a study published in Antiviral Research.
The study, done in collaboration with researchers from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, provides important insights into the process of Ebola infection. There is currently no treatment for Ebola infection, which causes severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fever.
Source: Barriento, L. G., et al. “Cyanovirin-N binds to the viral surface glycoprotein GP1, 2 and inhibits infectivity of Ebola virus.” Antiviral Res. 58 (2003): 47–56.
Jensen, Gitte S., Donald I. Ginsberg, and Christian Drapeau. “Blue-Green Algae as an Immuno-Enhancer and Biomodulator.” This web site article reviews the scientific evidence for the immuno-modulatory effects of blue-green algae and some of the demonstrated effects of blue-green algae on health and disease.
My program: Gradual build-up to 3 heaping tablespoons of wild blue-green algae powder everyday (approximately 6 grams). Wild blue-green algae is rich in GLA, an essential omega-6 fatty acid that can often help to heal a faulty fat metabolism (a root cause of many skin problems). The high chlorophyll content of the algae helped to purify the blood of the toxins that cause skin eruptions. The vitality of one’s skin is often related to the condition of the lungs, kidneys, or liver. For example, if your kidneys are congested, it is likely that your skin will appear lifeless, or worse. As a health practitioner, poor skin is a “red flag” for me to check the status of kidneys, lungs, or liver. When these organs are overburdened, toxins may secrete through the skin. Molecular properties of wild blue-green algae can protect and restore the liver and kidneys by clearing out the toxins.
Source: McKeith, Gillian. Miracle Superfood: Wild Blue-Green Algae. Los Angeles: Keats Publishing, 1999.
CHLOROPHYLL INFORMATION OF BLUE-GREEN ALGAE
Scientific research as well as popular medicine has produced evidence of the healing and anti-cancer properties of chlorophyll. For example, recent studies have reported that chlorophyllin, a water-soluble form of chlorophyll, protects against certain forms of liver cancer at a concentration similar to what is found in green leafy vegetables.
Sources: Breinholt, et al. “Dietary chlorophyllin is a potent inhibitor of aflatoxin B1 hepatocarcino-genesis in Rainbow trout.” J. Cancer Res. 55 (1995): 57–62.
Hernaez, et al. “Effects of tea and chlorophyllin on the mutagenicity of N-hydroxy-IQ: studies of enzyme inhibition, molecular complex formation, and degradation/scavenging of the active metabolites.” Environ Mol Mutagen. 30 (1997): 468–74.
Negishi, et al. “Antigenotoxic activity of natural chlorophylls.” Mutat Res. 376 (1997): 97–100.
Park, S. “Chemopreventive activity of chlorophyllin against mouse skin carcinogenesis by benzo[a]pyrene and bezo[a]pyrene-7,8-dihydrodiol-9,10-epoxide.” Cancer Lett. 102 (1996): 143–9.
POLYUNSATURATED OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS IN AFA
Dietary essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 essential fatty acids, have been shown to be beneficial to the immune, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. It is interesting to note that nearly 50 percent of the lipid content of dried AFA is composed of omega-3 essential fatty acids (mostly alpha-linolenic acid).
The average North American diet is known to be lacking in omega-3 fatty acids. Such deficiency is increasingly linked to cardiovascular diseases, immunosuppression, arthritis, mental problems, and skin problems.
In addition, omega-3 fatty acids were shown to prevent platelet aggregation and to lower cholesterol. Consumption of essential fatty acids, mostly omega-3, was also shown to inhibit many forms of cancer, namely breast, prostate, pancreatic, and colon. There is also evidence that omega-3 fatty acids may help in neuropathic conditions associated with diabetes.
Sources: Bierve, K. S., O. L. Btekke, K. J. Fougner, and K. Midthiell. “Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in serum lipids and their relationship to human disease.” In Dietary w3 and w6 Fatty Acids: Biological Effects and Nutritional Essentiality, ed. C. Galli and A. P. Simopoulos. New York: Plenum, 1989, pp. 241–252.
Catalan, J., et al. “Cognitive deficits in docosahexaenoic acid-deficient rats.” Behav Neurosci. 116 (2002): 1022–31.
DeWille, et al. “Effects of essential fatty acid deficiency and various levels of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids, on humeral immunity in mice.” J Nutr. 109 (1979): 1018–27.
Hibblen and Salem. “Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and depression: when cholesterol does not satisfy.” Am J Clin Nutr. 62 (1995): 1–9.
Galli and Simpoulos. “Dietary omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids: Biological effects and nutritional essentiality.” NATO ASI Series: Life Sciences, vol. 171 (New York: Plenum Press, 1989), p. 452.
Jamal, G. A., H. Carmichael, and A. I. Weir. “Gamma-linolenic acid in diabetic neuropathy.” Lancet 8489 (1986): 1098.
Houtsmuller, A. J., J. van Hal-Ferwerda, K. J. Zahn, and H. E. Henkes. “Favorable influences of Linoleic acid on the progression of diabetic micro- and macro-angiopathy in adult onset diabetes mellitus.” Prog. Lip. Res. 20 (1981): 377.
Kremer, et al. “Different doses of fish-oil fatty acid ingestion in active rheumatoid arthritis: a prospective study of clinical and immunological parameters.” In: Dietary Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Biological Effects and Nutritional Effects and Nutritional Essentiality, ed. C. Galli and A. P. Simopoulos. New York: Plenum, 1989, pp. 343–50.
Kremer, et al. “Fish-oil fatty acid supplementation in active rheumatoid arthritis. A double-blind controlled, crossover study.” Ann. Intern. Med. 106 (1987): 497–503.
Nordoy, A., and T. Simonsen. “Dietary n-3 fatty acids, experimental thrombosis and coronary heart disease in man.” In: Proceedings of the AOCS short course on polyunsaturated fatty acids and eicosanoids, ed. W. E. M. Lands. Biloxi, MS: American Oil Chemists Society, 1987, pp. 25–34.
Karmali, R. A. “Dietary Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in cancer.” In: Dietary Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Biological Effects and Nutritional Effects and Nutritional Essentiality, ed. C. Galli and A. P. Simopoulos. New York: Plenum, 1989, pp. 351-360.
Lagarde, M., M. Cropset, M., and M. Hariarine. “In vitro studies on docosahexaenoic acid in human platelets.” In: Dietary Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Biological Effects and Nutritional Effects and Nutritional Essentiality, ed. C. Galli and A. P. Simopoulos. New York: Plenum, 1989, pp. 91–96.
Siess, W., B. Scherer, B. Bohlig, P. Roth, I. Kurzmann, and P. C. Weber. 1980. “Platelet-membrane fatty acids, platelet aggregation, and thromboxane formation during a mackerel diet.” Lancet 8166 (1980): 441–4.
Spielman, et al. “Biochemical and bioclinical aspects of blackcurrant seed oil: omega-3/omega-6 balanced oil.” In: Dietary Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Biological Effects and Nutritional Effects and Nutritional Essentiality, ed. C. Galli and A. P. Simopoulos. New York: Plenum, 1989, pp. 309–22.
Stevens, et al. “Essential Fatty acid metabolism in boys with attention-deficit hyper-activity disorder.” Am J Clin Nutr. 62 (1995): 761–768.
Sugano, M., T. Ide, T. Ishida, and K. Yoshida. “Hypocholesterolemic effect of gamma-linolenic acid as evening primrose oil in rats.” Ann Nutr Metab. 30 (1986): 289–99.
Wargovich, M. J. “Experimental evidence for cancer preventative elements in foods.” Cancer Letter 114 (1997): 11–17.
Wood, et al. “Linoleic and eicosapentaenoic acids in adipose tissue and platelets and risk of coronary heart disease.” Lancet (1987): 177–83.
Wright, S., and J. L. Burton. “Oral evening primrose seed oil improves atopic eczema.” Lancet 8308 (1982): 1120–1122.
THE STIMULATING EFFECTS OF AFA ON NATURAL KILLER CELLS
Natural killer cells, a types of lymphocyte, are a part of the immune system and are mainly responsible for the detection and destruction of cancerous and virally infected cells in the body. In a double-blind crossover study, the immediate effect of AFA on natural killer (NK) cells was evaluated on 21 normal, healthy volunteers. Within two hours, the ingestion of AFA resulted in a significant decrease (40 percent) of NK cells in the blood. This data was interpreted to signify the migration of NK cells from the blood to the tissue, promoting immune patrolling in the tissues. Close analysis of the data revealed that this effect was barely detectable the first time individuals consumed AFA. However, after a few weeks of daily consumption of AFA, migration increased and had its maximum effect. The study shows that the benefits on the immune system are not cumulative, but come with regular daily consumption.
Source: Jensen, et al. “Consumption of Aphanizomenon flos aquae has rapid effects on the circulation and function of immune cells in humans.” JANA 2 (2000): 50–58.
It was discovered nearly two decades ago that the amount of PEA in the brains of depressed patients was less than that of normal individuals and that PEA given orally to individuals suffering from depression was able to reverse the depressive condition.
Sources: Sabelli, et al. “Urinary phenyl acetate: a diagnostic test for depression?” Science 4602 (1983): 1187–8.
Sabelli, et al. “Sustained antidepressant effect of PeA replacement.” J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 8 (1996): 168–71.
Sandler, et al. “Decreased cerebrospinal fluid concentration of free phenylacetic acid in depressive illness.” Clin Chim Acta. 93 (1979): 169–71.
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER
PEA is synthesized in the brain from the two amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine. It is degraded by the enzyme monoamine oxilase (MAO) into phenylacetic acid (PAA), which is eliminated in the urine. Both PEA and PAA were found to be decreased in the urine of patients suffering from depression and ADD. The PEA precursors phenylalanine and tyrosine were also both decreased in the plasma of children suffering from ADD.
Source: Baker, et al. “Phenylethylaminergic mechanisms in attention-deficit disorder.” Biol Psychiatry 29 (1991): 15–22.
One particular study of AFA blue-green algae is especially enlightening. It involved 109 children with an average age of 9 years, (55 girls and 54 boys) who were taking blue-green algae and whose parents responded to an article placed in two national magazines across the United States. Parents filled out a detailed standardized questionnaire that inquired about academic, medical, and behavioral histories of their children. At the end of the ten-week study, parents were asked to fill out another standardized questionnaire regarding improvement. Specifically, parents reported “significant improvement in the ability to focus, follow directions, and concentrate … fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression and behavior withdrawal.” Teachers involved in the study also reported “an improvement in the ability to focus and concentrate … a reduction in aggressive and acting out behaviors.” Thus, the results of this study indicate that “significant positive changes in children were evident across a wide range of behaviors … [and] that all children might increase their ability to concentrate and focus as AFA blue-green algae is added to their diet.”
Source: C. J. Jarratt, M. D. Jewett, S. Peters, and E. Tragash. The Children and Algae Report. Center For Family Wellness Study, 1995.
A study conducted by the University of Central America in 1995 investigated the effects of about 1 gram of AFA blue-green algae on academic performances as well as overall health status. They monitored a group of 111 children for six months who were taking AFA blue-green algae and compared their outcomes to a control group with the same number of children. For the children taking the AFA blue-green algae, marked improvement was noted in class participation and overall ability to focus on given tasks.
Source: Seveilla, I., Aguirre, N. 1995. “Study of the effects of Super Blue Green Algae™ on the nutritional status and school performance of first, second, and third grade children attending the Monsenor Velez School in Nandaime, Nicaragua.” Cell Tech.
AFA STIMULATED STEM CELL MOBILIZATION
Studies were conducted to investigate whether stem cells injected intravascularly or endogenously released from the bone marrow could cross the blood-brain barrier, migrate, then differentiate into brain cells. Bone marrow stem cells, along with monocytes and macrophages, were shown to have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach the brain.
Sources: Hickey, W. F. “Leukocyte traffic in the central nervous system: the participants and their roles.” Semin Immunol. 11 (1999): 125–37.
Knopf, et al. “Antigen-dependant intrathecal antibody synthesis in the normal rat brain: tissue entry and local retention of antigen-specific B cells.” J. Immunol. 161 (1998): 692–701.
Mezey, et al. “Turning blood into brain cells bearing neuronal antigens generated in vivo from bone marrow.” Science 290 (2000): 1779–1782.
Williams and Hickey. “Traffic of hematogenous cells through the central nervous system.” Curr. Top. Microbiol. Immunol. 202 (1995): 221–245.
Based on information produced by various scientific teams, Jensen et al recently proposed the “Stem Cell Theory of Healing, Regeneration, and Repair.” This breakthrough theory suggests that bone marrow stem cells leave the bone marrow and travel throughout the body, providing for healing and regeneration of damaged organs during the entire lifetime of an individual. In other words, adult bone marrow stem cells may be one of the natural mechanisms that the human body utilizes for healing, regeneration, and repair.
Source: Jensen and Drapeau. 2002. “The use of in situ bone-marrow stem cells for the treatment of various degenerative disease.” Med Hypothesis. 59 (2002): 422–428.
STIMULATING IMMUNE CELL MIGRATION
Natural killer (NK) cells are known scavengers of virally infected cancer cells. They destroy cells that are altered either due to viral infection or malignant transformation. They work by inducing the affected cell to undergo programmed cell death. Although NK cells are normally measured in the blood, it is in the tissues that they perform immune surveillance and eliminate virally infected or cancerous cells.
Many substances are known to improve the activity of NK cells, such as green tea and ginkgo biloba. But until this recent finding on AFA, no natural substance was known to stimulate natural killer cells to migrate into the tissues to search and destroy “sick” cells.
This research suggests that eating AFA daily may stimulate the immune system to help prevent cancer as well as illness associated with viral infections. The anti-cancer properties of AFA have already been established by its ability to prevent cancer in the Ames test.
Source: Lahitova, et al. “Antimutagenic properties of fresh water blue-green algae.” Folia Microbiol. 39 (1994): 301–303.
SUMMARY OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ON AFA
A thorough review of AFA’s empirically reported benefits was performed by a team of scientists affiliated with the University of Illinois. The team was composed of one board-certified forensic examiner and microbiologist, one surgeon, and three physicians.
More than 200 cases that met the stringent criteria were included in this retrospective study. The study concluded that AFA seems effective in the treatment of various viral infections, chronic fatigue, Attention Deficit Disorder, depression, inflammatory diseases, and fibromyalgia. The study strongly suggests that AFA acts on the immune and nervous systems and prevents the process of inflammation.
Source: Krylov, et al. Retrospective epidemiological study using medical records to determine which diseases are improved by Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, submitted (2002).
Additional AFA Blue-Green Algae References
Drapeau, C. Primordial Food: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae. Asheville, NC: Unity International, 2003.
McKeith, Gillian. Miracle Superfood: Wild Blue-Green Algae. Los Angeles: Keats Publishing, 1999.
Price, Weston. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. San Diego: Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, 2008.
Scientific Journal References
NASA STUDIES ON CLOUD FORMATION
NASA-funded research has confirmed an old theory that marine phytoplankton can indirectly create clouds that block some of the sun’s harmful rays. The study was conducted by Dierdre Toole of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and David Siegel of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).
The study found that in the summer months when the sun beats down on the top layer of ocean where plankton live, harmful rays in the form of ultraviolet (UV) radiation bother the little plants. UV light also gives sunburn to humans.
When plankton are bothered, or stressed by UV light, their chemistry changes.
The plankton try to protect themselves by producing a sulfur compound called DMSP, which some scientists believe helps strengthen the plankton’s cell walls. This chemical gets broken down in the water by bacteria, and changes into another substance called DMS.
DMS then evaporates from the ocean into the air, where it breaks down again to form tiny dust-like particles. These tiny particles are just the right size for large water droplets to condense on, which is the beginning of how clouds are formed. So, indirectly, marine phytoplankton help create clouds, and clouds mean that less direct light reaches the ocean surface. This relieves the stress put on plankton by the sun’s harmful UV rays.
HURRICANE WINDS CARRIED OCEAN SALT AND PLANKTON FAR INLAND
Researchers found surprising evidence of sea salt and frozen plankton in high, cold, cirrus clouds, the remnants of Hurricane Nora, over the U.S. plains states. Although the 1997 hurricane was a strong eastern Pacific storm, her high ice-crystal clouds extended many miles inland, carrying ocean phenomena deep into the U.S. heartland.
Kenneth Sassen of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and University of Alaska Fairbanks; W. Patrick Arnott of the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno, Nevada; and David O. Starr of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, co-authored a paper about Hurricane Nora’s far-reaching effects. The paper was published in the April 1, 2003, issue of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Atmospheric Sciences.
Scientists were surprised to find what appeared to be frozen plankton in some cirrus crystals collected by research aircraft over Oklahoma, far from the Pacific Ocean. This was the first time examples of microscopic marine life, like plankton, were seen as “nuclei” of ice crystals in the cirrus clouds of a hurricane.
PLANKTON MAY INFLUENCE CLIMATE CHANGE SAYS UCSB SCIENTIST
Plankton appear to play a major role in regulating the global climate system, according to new research.
David Siegel, professor of geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and director of the Institute for Computational Earth System Science, made the discovery with his former PhD student Dierdre Toole, who is now based at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
In an article in the May 6 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the scientists explain their research in the Sargasso Sea, approximately 50 miles southeast of the island of Bermuda. Siegel’s research group has been making observations at this location since 1992.
Phytoplankton are tiny, single-celled floating plants. They inhabit the upper layers of any natural body of water where there is enough light to support photosynthetic growth. They are the base of the ocean’s food web, and their production helps to regulate the global carbon cycle. They also contribute to the global cycling of many other compounds with climate implications.
One of these compounds is a volatile organic sulfur gas called dimethyl sulfide or DMS. Scientists had previously theorized that DMS is part of a climate feedback mechanism, but until now there had been no observational evidence illustrating how reduced sunlight actually leads to the decreased ocean production of DMS. This is the breakthrough in Toole and Siegel’s research. They describe how the cycle begins when the ocean gives off DMS to the lower atmosphere. In the air, DMS breaks down into a variety of sulfur compounds that act as cloud-condensing nuclei, leading to increased cloudiness. With more clouds, less sunlight reaches the Earth and the biological processes that produce DMS are reduced.
According to their research, it appears that phytoplankton produce organic sulfur compounds (DMSP, DMS, DMSO) as a chemical defense from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation and other environmental stresses, in much the same way as our bodies use vitamins E and C to flush out molecules that cause cellular damage.
DMSO and its metabolite methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM) are known potent antioxidants, are also effective in human nutrition, and protect against human skin against ultraviolet radiation damage.
Siegel and Toole found that ultraviolet radiation explained almost 90 percent of the variability in the biological production of DMS. They showed that summertime DMS production is “enormous,” and that the entire upper layer of DMS content is replaced in just a few days. This demonstrates a tight link between DMS and solar fluxes.
“The significance of this work is that it provides, for the first time, observational evidence showing that the DMS-antioxidant mechanism closes the DMS-climate feedback loop,” said Siegel. “The implications are huge. Now we know that phytoplankton respond dramatically to UV radiation stresses, and that this response is incredibly rapid, literally just days.”
SHEWANELLA PHYTOPLANKTON AND DMSO
The incredible diversity of microbes from hydrothermal vent systems to subglacial Antarctic lake environments is a testament to metabolic innovation. Microbes are found essentially anywhere they can take advantage of chemical gradients to generate energy by using a diverse repertoire of biochemical tools.
Shewanella species have been isolated from many aquatic environments. The cosmopolitan nature of this species is likely because of their incredible respiratory versatility. Various Shewanella strains are reported to use approximately 20 different terminal electron acceptors for respiration. One of these compounds, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), is found in significant concentrations throughout aquatic environments, sometimes representing the most abundant methylated sulfur compound present. DMSO can be produced from the photochemical oxidation of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), but the major source appears to be marine phytoplankton. Another potential source is bacterial oxidation of DMS to DMSO, although it is unclear whether this process is significant in marine systems. DMS can be produced both from the reduction of DMSO and from the enzymatic breakdown of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). DMSP, in turn, is synthesized by a variety of marine phytoplankton as an osmoregulator, cryoprotectant, and radical scavenger. Globally, the DMSP/DMS/DMSO cycle is important with respect to climate, because DMS is an anti-greenhouse gas, directly impacting cloud formation where it is produced in significant quantities.
Despite this importance, very little is understood regarding how aquatic bacteria produce DMS through respiration of DMSO. Although commonly thought to be a soluble compound, DMSO can be associated with particulate material in marine systems.
Here we demonstrate that the DMSO reductase in Shewanella oneidensis is localized to the outside of the cell. The localization of this enzyme suggests that DMSO acquisition may be difficult in the environments Shewanellainhabits, perhaps because of its physical inaccessibility or the challenge of transporting it. We discuss how utilization of this compound by Shewanella might influence the geo-chemical cycling of sulfur in aquatic systems.
Shewanella species are renowned for their respiratory versatility, including their ability to respire poorly soluble substrates by using enzymatic machinery that is localized to the outside of the cell. This study shows that DMSO respiration is an extracellular respiratory process through the analysis of mutants defective in type II secretion, which is required for transporting proteins to the outer membrane in Shewanella. Moreover, immunogold labeling of DMSO reductase subunits reveals that they reside on the outer leaflet of the outer membrane under anaerobic conditions. The extracellular localization of the DMSO reductase in S. oneidensis suggests these organisms may perceive DMSO in the environment as an insoluble compound.
Source: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1450229 “Extracellular respiration of dimethyl sulfoxide by Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1” Jeffrey A. Gralnick, Hojatollah Vali, Douglas P. Lies, and Dianne K. Newman (2005).
COMPLEXITY OF EPA AND DHA FROM PHYTOPLANKTON IN REGULATING MARINE ECOSYSTEMS
Summary: Long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3 PUFAs) such as EPA and DHA are important biomolecules regulating production in marine ecosystems. This study examined how the interaction at the phytoplankton-zooplankton interface affected the transfer of LCn-3 PUFAs to higher trophic levels. Heterotrophic dinoflagellates contained higher levels of EPA and DHA than their algal prey, suggesting heterotrophic dinoflagellates enhanced the nutritional value of poor quality algae and subsequent transfer to the next trophic level. Formation of EPA and DHA in the dinoflagellates appears to be achieved by the elongation and desaturation of shorter fatty acid chains rather than through de novo synthesis.
Fatty acid content in the copepod Acartia tonsa resembled the fatty acid signature of its prey, further supporting the idea that heterotrophs depend on their diet to obtain these nutrients, and their nutritional value is subject to the type of food consumed. Transfer of DHA to A. tonsa, was improved by feeding on a heterotrophic dinoflagellate grown on a poor quality algae, versus feeding on the algae itself. Thus omnivorous copepods may compensate dietary deficiencies by feeding on a variety of prey items.
The presence of EPA and DHA can be used as a proxy for the nutritional value of copepods. A. tonsa fed nutritiously poor algae also affected the fatty acid content of its predator. Pseudopleuronectes americanus fed low-quality copepods, had lower levels of EPA and DHA than those fed copepods with higher levels of these fatty acids. However, content of these fatty acids did not have a direct effect on the growth rate of the fish. The finding herein does not support consumption of LCn-3 PUFAs as important factors regulating growth in juvenile fish. These results, albeit discouraging, are by no means comprehensive in elucidating the role of n-3 PUFAs for fish health. It is possible that due to food limitation, the effect of food quality was confounded.
Field collected data in a nursery ground for juvenile P. americanus showed that the quantity of EPA and DHA in the prey for the fish at the time of sampling was low. The low availability of these fatty acids in the plankton suggests this estuary is at times suboptimal for the growth and development of P. americanus. EPA and DHA are critical for P. americanus growth; however, the low availability of LCn-3 PUFAs does not by itself explain differences in growth rates. It is clear that further field studies should combine physical, biological, and chemical factors in order to evaluate the nutritional status of the nursery ground.
Source: Veloza, Adriana J. “Transfer of Essential Fatty Acids by Marine Phytoplankton.” A Thesis Presented to The Faculty of the School of Marine Science (The College of William and Mary), 2005.
Additional Marine Phytoplankton References
ARTICLES AND WEB SITES
www.thebestfoodever.com (Ocean’s Alive Marine Phytoplankton)
Mike Adams. August 14, 2008. “Marine Phytoplankton is Next Revolutionary Superfood for Disease Prevention and Extraordinary Health.” http://www.naturalnews.com/023853.html
Scientific Journal References
BOOSTING ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY
Antioxidants, particularly glutathione, are in short supply in CFS, fibromyalgia, and Gulf War syndrome; an increase in free-radical generation often occurs as well. In human studies, cordyceps extracts and Cs-4 have been shown to scavenge free radicals and so may be beneficial. And in animal and in vitro studies, aloe vera extracts, polysaccharide K, and reishi mushroom have been potent stimulators of glutathione, which destroys free radicals.
Sources: Kim, H. S., S. Kacew, and B. M. Lee. “In vitro chemopreventive effects of plant polysaccharides (Aloe barbadensis, Lentinus Edodes, Ganoderma lucidum, and Coriolus versicolor.)” Carcinogenesis 20 (1999): 1637–40.
Pang, Z. J., Y. Chen, M. Zhou, and J. Wan. “Effect of polysaccharide krestin on glutathione peroxidase gene expression in mouse peritoneal macrophages.” Br J Biomed Sci. 57 (2000): 130–36.
Richards, R. S., T. K. Roberts, R. H. Dustan, et al. “Free radicals in chronic fatigue syndrome: cause or effect?” Redox Rep. 5 (2000): 146–147.
Sabeh, F., T. Wright, and S. J. Norton. “Purification and characterization of a glutathione peroxidase from the aloe vera plant.” Enzyme Protein. 47 (1993): 92–98.
Zhu, J. S., G. M. Halpern, and K. Jones. “The scientific rediscovery of an ancient Chinese herbal medicine: Cordyceps sinensis (Part I).” J Altern Complement Med. 4 (1998): 295.
We know more about aloe’s effects on arthritis, at least in animals. When researchers treated arthritic rats with aloe vera, the result was a 50 percent decrease in inflammation. Mast cells, activated in allergic and autoimmune phenomena, also decreased by 48 percent. In addition, the aloe stimulated an increase in fibroblasts, which grow and repair the tissue. Other studies indicate that aloe extracts markedly inhibit induced arthritis, edema, and inflammation in rodents.
Sources: Davis, R. H., and N. P. Maro. “Aloe vera and gibberellin. Anti-inflammatory activity in diabetes.” J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 79 (1989): 24–26.
Davis, R. H., G. J. Stewart, and P. J. Bregman. “Aloe vera and the inflamed synovial pouch model.” J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 82 (1992): 140–48.
Saito, H., T. Ishiguro, K. Imanishi, and I. Suzuki. “Pharmacological studies on plant lectin aloctin A. II. Inhibitory effect of aloctin A on experimental models of inflammation in rats.” Jpn J Pharmacol. 32 (1982): 139–42.
In 1981, researchers examined the mucous from the bowels of ten patients with Crohn’s disease and compared it with that of normal controls. More than half of the normal colons registered eight or more monosaccharides, whereas about a quarter of those with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s registered eight or more of these sugars. What may help people with these disorders is aloe vera. In a series of human trials, acemannan from aloe improved food digestion and absorption and enhanced “good” bacterial flora in the digestive tract, by reducing yeast and pH levels. Additionally, we know that gum sugars called arabinogalactans may help those with digestive tract problems, including irritable bowel syndrome. The glyconutrients are poorly digested and ferment in the large intestine. While this sounds like something better avoided, it’s actually good: the fermentation produces short-chain fatty acids, crucial for preventing and alleviating diarrhea. One of the most important of these fatty acids is called butyrate or butyric acid, a crucial metabolite for colon health.
Sources: Clamp, J. R., G. Frasier, and A. E. Read. “Study of the carbohydrate content of mucous glycoproteins from normal and diseased colons.” Clin Sci (Colch). 61 (1981): 229–34.
Kelly, G. S. “Larch arabinogalactan: Clinical relevance of a novel immune-enhancing polysaccharide.” Altern Med Rev. 4 (1999): 96–103.
Reynolds, T., and A. C. Dweck. “Aloe vera leaf gel: A review update.” J Ethnopharmacol. 68 (1999): 15.
RADIATION AND GLYCONUTRIENTS
Glyconutrients, including reishi mushroom and aloe vera, have been found to decrease radiation sickness in animals and to help them recover faster. Animals given these glyconutrients gained weight faster and were less nauseated, and their blood counts returned to normal faster than did the counts of controls that were irradiated but did not receive glyconutrients. Topical preparations have also proved to be helpful. In one double-blind study on mice conducted at the renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, a topical gel containing acemannan from aloe reduced skin reactions to radiation significantly. The glyconutrient also increased the amount of radiation required to inflict skin damage. Researchers found that the gel was most effective if applied daily for at least two weeks immediately after each radiation treatment. The scientists found that aloe didn’t work if applied before irradiation or beginning one week after irradiation.
Sources: Egger, S. F., G. S. Brown, L. S. Kelsey, et al. 1996. “Hematopoietic augmentation by a beta-(1,4)-linked mannan.” Cancer Immunol Immunother. 43 (1996): 195–205.
Hsu, H. Y., S. L. Lian, and C. C. Lin. “Radioprotective effect of Ganoderma lucidum (Leyss. Ex. Fr.) Karst after X-ray irradiation in mice.” AM J Chin Med. 18 (1990): 61–69.
Pande, S., M. Kuymar, and A. Kumar. “Radioprotective efficacy of aloe vera leaf extract.” Pharmaceut Biol. 36 (1998): 227–232.
Roberts, D. B., and E. L. Travis. “Acemannan-containing wound dressing gel reduces radiation-induced skin reactions in C3H mice.” Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 32 (1995): 1047–52.
ALOE, MELATONIN, CANCER
In a study conducted in Milan, Italy, twenty-six patients with advanced solid tumors (including cancers of the breast, gastrointestinal tract, brain, and lung) who hadn’t responded to traditional therapy, were treated daily with 20 milligrams of melatonin, which has been shown to induce some benefits for untreatable metastized cancer patients. Another twenty-four patients received 20 milligrams of melatonin daily plus a tincture (alcohol-based liquid) of aloe vera, 1 milliliter twice a day. A partial response achieved in two of the twenty-four patients treated with melatonin plus aloe, whereas none of the patients treated with melatonin alone improved. In addition, the cancer stabilized in fourteen of the aloe patients, compared with only seven of the melatonin patients.
Source: Lissoni, P., L. Giani, S. Zerbini, et al. “Biotherapy with the pineal immunomodulating hormone melatonin versus melatonin plus aloe vera in untreatable advanced solid neoplasms.” Nat Immun. 16 (1998): 27–33.
STAVING OFF FAT, PRESERVING MUSCLE
Using a DEXA scan, which measures the percentage of body fat and lean tissue (it can also measure bone density), researchers studied 136 overweight people. One group was placed on weight-loss drugs and a recommended diet and exercise plan in step with their weight goal. Another group was placed on a weight-loss drug, a diet and exercise plan, as well as aloe vera extracts and phytochemicals (freeze-dried fruits and vegetables). The third group was placed on a diet and exercise plan, aloe vera and phytochemical supplements—but no weight-loss drugs.
DEXA scans were conducted at the beginning and at the end of the sixty-day study. The scientists found that those on glyconutrients and phytochemicals consistently gained lean tissue and lost fat to a more significant degree than those on the drugs alone.
Specifically, the drug-only group lost 0.8 percent body fat, as compared to 4 percent in the drug/supplement group and 3.5 percent in the supplement-only group. The drug-only group lost 2.9 pounds of muscle, whereas the drug supplement group gained 2.4 pounds of muscle and the supplement-only group gained nearly 4 pounds of muscle. The two groups that took weight-loss drugs each lost about 8.5 pounds, whereas the supplement group lost only 4 pounds but keep in mind that the supplement-only group gained more muscle than the other two groups, and muscle is denser and weighs more than fat. That’s why muscular people may weigh more but look slimmer than their flabby counterparts.
How much weight loss was attributable to the aloe vera and how much to phytochemicals in this study isn’t known, though animal studies confirm that glyconutrients alone aid in weight loss. In one study, scientists at the Kobe Pharmaceutical University in Japan fed ten young rats with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels a high-fat diet laced with maitake powder. The ten controls received the high-fat feed without the mushroom powder. After twenty-four days, while both groups had put on weight, the controls had put on considerably more. As an added maitake bonus, the maitake rats registered significantly lower triglyceride and total cholesterol levels than the controls at the end of the study.
Sources: Kaats, G. R., S. C. Keith, H. A. Croft, et al. “Dietary supplements and a behavior modification plan improve the safety and efficacy of pharmacotherapy.” Adv Ther. 15 (1998): 167–179.
Kubo, K., and H. Nanba. “The effect of maitake mushrooms on liver and serum lipids.” Altern Ther. 2 (1996): 62–66.
Sunscreen does nothing to reverse skin damage once the damage is done. And if the damage is severe enough, it may induce suppression of Langerhans cells, located in the skin’s epidermis, the outer layer of skin. This suppression results in reduced immunity in the skin, which may precede malignancy. Langerhans cells, a kind of macrophage, coordinate the actions of the immune system, orchestrating skin healing. Aloe vera gel has been shown to prevent the suppression of these cells in mice, thereby preventing ultraviolet-induced immune suppression in the skin. In animals, aloe’s ability to prevent skin damage from the sun and from radiation treatment for cancer has been documented extensively. In 1994, a research team at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, found that mice exposed to UVB showed diminished immune response, with up to 90 percent less macrophage activity than in controls. Exposure to UVB can suppress immunity not only at the skin level but also throughout the body. Applying aloe gel to the skin within twenty-four hours after exposure to ultraviolet light restored Langerhans cells and immune functioning both locally and systemically. M.D. Anderson scientists also reported that ordinary skin cells exposed to ultraviolet rays showed decreased immune response, but aloe extracts restored the immune system response to normal.
Sources: Byeon, S. W., et al. “Aloe barbadensis extracts reduce the production of interleukin-10 after exposure to ultraviolet radiation.” J Invest Dermatol. 110 (1998): 811–17.
Lee, C. K., S. S. Han, Y. K. Mo, et al. “Prevention of ultraviolet radiation-induced suppression of accessory cell function of Langerhans cells by aloe vera gel components.” Immunopharmacology. 37 (1997): 153–162.
———“Acemannan-containing wound dressing gel reduces radiation-induced skin reactions in C3H mice.” Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 32 (1997): 1047–52.
Strickland, F. M., R. P. Pelley, and M. L. Kripke. “Prevention of ultraviolet radiation-induced suppression of contact and delayed hypersensitivity by Aloe barbadensis gel extract.” J Invest Dermatol. 102 (1994): 197–204.
Aloe and psyllium lower cholesterol, too. In a five-year controlled study of five thousand patients with angina—chest pain caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart from coronary artery disease—those participants given aloe vera and Isabgol husks, a psyllium fiber that contains polysaccharides, achieved a marked reduction in total serum cholesterol, serum triglycerides, and total lipids, as well as an increase in HDL. The clinical picture improved as well: frequency of angina attacks went down, and patients needed less medication, including drugs called beta-blockers, commonly used to treat heart disease. Interestingly, the patients who most benefited were diabetics. Other studies have confirmed psyllium’s ability to lower LDL and decrease cholesterol absorption in men with high cholesterol.
Sources: Agarwal, O. P. “Prevention of atheromatous heart disease.” Angiology 36 (1985): 485–92.
Everson, G. T., B. P. Daggy, C. McKinley, and J. A. Story. “Effects of psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid on LDL-cholesterol and bile acid synthesis in hypercholesterolemic men.” J Lipid Res. 33 (1992): 1183–92.
Additional Aloe Vera References
Mondoa, Emil I., and Mindy Kitei. Sugars That Heal. New York: Ballantine Books, 2002.
Skousen, Mark B. Aloe Vera Handbook. Summertown, TN: Healthy Living Publications, 2003.
Interesting Hemp Facts
Hemp materials have been found in the ashen ruins of Pompeii.
The Vikings used hemp sails.
By the eighth-century the hemp papermaking techniques from China had spread to Arabia and Persia.
Around 1150 the Moors started manufacturing hemp paper in Spain.
Both the Gutenberg Bible (fifteenth century) and the King James Bible (seventeenth century) were printed on hemp paper.
In 1619, America’s first hemp law was enacted at Jamestown colony “ordering” all farmers to grow hemp. Similarly, mandatory hemp cultivation laws were enacted in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and in the Chesapeake colonies into the mid-1700s.
The Declaration of Independence was written and signed on hemp paper.
The original California 49er Levi-Strauss jeans were made from hemp canvas (sail cloth) and rivets.
The original American flags, including Old Glory, were made from hemp fiber.
The parachute that saved George Bush Sr.’s life in World War II was made of hemp fiber.
Additional Hemp References
Erasmus, Udo. Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill. Canada: Alive Publishing, 2001.
Jones, K. Nutritional and Medicinal Guide to Hemp Seed. Canada: Rainforest Botanical Laboratory, 1995.
McCabe, J. Hemp: What the World Needs Now. Unpublished manuscript, 2008.
Suzar. Drugs Masquerading as Foods. Ojai, CA: A-Kar Productions, 1999.
Scientific Journal References
MORE ON COCONUT’S MCFAS
Coconuts play a unique role in the diets of mankind because they are the source of important physiologically functional components. These physiologically functional components are found in the fat part of whole coconut, in the fat part of desiccated coconut, and in the extracted coconut oil.
Lauric acid, the major fatty acid from the fat of the coconut, has long been recognized for the unique properties that it lends to nonfood uses in the soaps and cosmetics industry. More recently, lauric acid has been recognized for its unique properties in food use, which are related to its antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal functions. Now, capric acid, another of coconut’s fatty acids, has been added to the list of coconut’s antimicrobial components. These fatty acids are found in the largest amounts only in traditional lauric fats, especially from coconut. Also, recently published research has shown that natural coconut fat in the diet leads to a normalization of body lipids, protects against alcohol damage to the liver, and improves the immune system’s anti-inflammatory response.
Clearly, there has been increasing recognition of the health-supporting functions of the fatty acids found in coconut. Recent reports from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requiring the labeling of trans-fatty acids will put coconut oil in a more competitive position and may help its return to use by the baking and snack-food industry, where it has continued to be recognized for its functionality. Now it can be recognized for another kind of functionality: the improvement of the health of mankind.
Source: Enig, Mary G. “The Health Benefits of Coconuts and Coconut Oil.” Nexus Magazine 9:2 (2001).
COCONUT AGAINST SARS
Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit stirred the national adrenalin at the Senate hearing on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) recently when he unveiled virgin coconut oil as a potential cure for viral epidemics.
While the senators cackled over the appellation “virgin,” Dayrit was careful to mark the word “potential.”
Dayrit is well aware of the potential of virgin coconut oil. His own father, Dr. Conrado Dayrit, M.D., has been successful in using virgin coconut oil since 1980 to combat the AIDS virus among AIDS patients in the San Lazaro Hospital.
The elder Dayrit is currently conducting test applications of virgin coconut oil to SARS patients in cooperation with The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine at Alabang. Medical director of the Potenciano Medical Center (formerly Polymedic), emeritus professor of pharmacology, University of the Philippines and past president of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Dayrit has been quietly at work on 14 patients ages 22 to 48 on a shoestring budget.
In the 1980s, Dayrit’s was the first clinical study on coconut oil, which led to the breakthrough discovery that medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA)—lauric and capric—were effective in killing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in lab cultures.
Since the HIV is a lipid-coated virus as is the SARS coronavirus, there is a high probability that virgin coconut oil can produce the same effect on the latter.
Source: Villariba, Cesar C. “Virgin Coconut Oil Being Tested On SARS Patients.” Phillipine Daily Inquirer (May 18, 2003).
Additional Coconut References
Erasmus, Udo. Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill. Canada: Alive Publishing, 2001.
Wolfe, David. Eating For Beauty. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2009.
Blackburn, G. L., et al. “A reevaluation of coconut oil’s effect on serum cholesterol and atherogenesis.” Journal of the Philippine Medical Association 65 (1989): 144–52.
The Acai Research Organization (www.acairesearch.org)
“Brazilian Berry Destroys Cancer Cells in Lab.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. [Filed under Research, Health, Sciences, Agriculture on Thursday, January 12, 2006.]
Camu Camu Berry
[The author’s field notes and scientific research, now posted on many Web sites across the Internet.]
“Augmentation of host defense by a unicellular green alga, Chlorella Vulgaris, to Escherichia coli infection.” Infection and Immunity 53(1986): 267–71.
“Effect of Chlorella Vulgaris Extracts on Murine Cytomegalovirus Infections,” Nat Immun Cell Growth Regul. 9 (1990): 121–28.
“Accelerated restoration of the leukocyte number and augmented resistance against Escherichia coli in cyclophosphamide-treated rats orally administered with a hot water extract of chlorella vulgaris.” Int. Jrnl. Immunopharmacology. 12 (1990): 883–91.
“The Effects of Chlorella Vulgaris in the protection of mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes, role of natural killer cells.” Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 21 (1999): 609–19.
[The author’s field notes and scientific research, now posted on many Web sites across the Internet.]
Elson M. Haas, MD
(Excerpted from Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine)
Fairechild, Diana. Noni: Aspirin of the Ancients. Hawaii: Flyana Rhyme, 1998.
[The author’s field notes and scientific research, now posted on many Web sites across the Internet.]