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Hole in the Earth

Scientists probe 'hole in Earth'

1 March 2007, 07:05 GMT

Scientists are to sail to the mid-Atlantic to examine a massive "open wound" on the Earth's surface.

Dr Chris MacLeod, from Cardiff University, said the Earth's crust appeared to be missing across an area of several thousand square kilometres.

The hole in the crust is midway between the Cape Verde Islands and the Caribbean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

The team will survey the area, up to 5km (3 miles) under the surface, from ocean research vessel RRS James Cook.

The ship is on its inaugural voyage after being named in February.

Dr MacLeod said the hole in the Earth's crust was not unique, but was recognised as one of the most significant.

He said it was an "open wound on the surface of the Earth", where the oceanic crust, usually 6-7km thick (3.7-4.3 miles), was simply not there.

"Usually the plates are pulled apart and to fill the gap the mantle underneath has to rise up. As it comes up it starts to melt. That forms the magma," he said.

"That's the normal process. Here it has gone awry for some reason.

"The crust does not seem to be repairing itself."

Dr MacLeod said the research could lead to a "new way of understanding" the process of plate tectonics.

The scientist will test theories he developed after visiting the area in 2001 - including the possibility the missing crust was caused by a "detachment fracture".

"Effectively it's a huge rupture - one side is being pulled away from the other. It's created a rupture so big it's actually pulled the entire crust away.

A rock called serpentinite is exposed at the surface

"We also think the mantle did not melt as much as usual and that the normal amount of mantle was not produced."

As a result, the mantle is exposed to seawater, creating a rock called serpentinite.

The survey voyage, costing $1m (£510,000), will be led by marine geophysicist Professor Roger Searle, from Durham University.

Dr Bramley Murton, from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, is the third expert taking part.

They will set sail from Tenerife on Monday and return in April.

The team intends to use sonar to build up an image of the seafloor and then take rock cores using a robotic seabed drill developed by the British Geological Survey in conjunction with Dr MacLeod.

The progress of the voyage can be followed online.

Oil of oregano-a good antibiotic

Oil Of Oregano Rivals Modern Antibiotic Drugs

by Bill Sardi

Oil pressed from oregano leaves that contain the active ingredient carvacrol may be an effective treatment against sometimes drug-resistant bacterial infection. Georgetown University researchers have found that oil of oregano appears to reduce infection "as effectively as traditional antibiotics."

Oil of oregano at relatively low doses was found to be efficacious against Staphylococcus bacteria and was comparable in its germ-killing properties to antibiotic drugs such as streptomycin, pencillin and vancomycin. [Science Daily 10/11/2001] The findings were presented by Harry G. Preuss, MD, professor of physicology and biophysics, Georgetown University, at the American College of Nutrition'a annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. The oregano oil was obtained from North American Herb and Spice Company, a Waukeegan, Illinois company that sponsored the study and markets their non-prescription products in retail stores un the trade names Oregamax and Oregacyn.

Earlier this year researchers at the Department of Food Science at the University of Tennessee reported that, among various plant oils, oil of oregano exhibited the greatest antibacterial action against common pathogenic germs such as Staph, E. coli and Listeria. [Journal Food Protection, Volume 64, July 2001] Last year British researchers reported oregano oil had antibacterial activity against 25 different bacteria. [Journal Applied Microbiology, Volume 88, February 2000] A clinical study in Italy has shown that oil of oregano can be used to treat intestinal parasites. [Phytotherapy Research, Volume 14, May 2000]

The body of positive evidence for oregano oil as a major antibiotic is growing. Among 52 plant oils tested, oregano was considered to have "pharmacologic" action against common bugs such as Candida albicans (yeast), E. coli, Salmonella enterica and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. [Journal Applied Microbiology, volume 86, June 1999] Pseudomonas is a type of germ that is getting more difficult to treat as it has developed strains that are resistant against antibiotic drugs.

Of recent interest are reports showing that carvacrol from oil of oregano kills spores, such as Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax). [Archives Microbiology, Volume 174, October 2000; Quarterly Review Biology, Volume 73, March 1998] Bacillus cereus is considered to be from the same species as Bacillus anthracis (anthrax). [Applied Environmental Microbiology, Volume 66, June 2000] In tests of antibiotics and antiseptics, Bacillus cereus is often used in studies in lieu of the anthrax strain. [University of Michigan News & Information Service, Sept. 23, 1998]

Oil of oregano is not to be confused with common oregano in the kitchen spice cupboard, which is usually marjoram (Origanum majorana or O. vulgare) rather than true oregano (Origanum vulgare).

The growing problem of antibiotic resistance has health authorities concerned. Already various germs are showing resistance to vancomycin, particularly to intestinal bacteria (Enterococcal species) among hospitalized patients. [Southern Medical Journal, Volume 94, August 2001] Vancomycin is considered to be the most potent antibiotic available and is withheld from use as a drug of last resort. Vancomycin costs about $16 per pill versus about $1 for the purest-strength oregano oil. Drug resistance does not develop against naturally-occuring antibiotics such as garlic and oil of oregano.

October 13, 2001

Bill Sardi [send him mail] is a health journalist at www.askbillsardi.com.

Copyright © 2001 by the Word of Knowledge Agency, San Dimas, California.


Viruses found in lung tumors

Viruses found in lung tumours

Common viruses might contribute to lung cancer.

Heidi Ledford
Published online 25 April 2008 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2008.779

Could a virus in the lungs help to spur cancer?GettyResearchers have found evidence that two common viruses may be lurking behind some cases of lung cancer: human papilloma virus (HPV), already recognized as a cause of cervical cancer, and the measles virus.

The results, which will be presented today at the European Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, are preliminary: while viruses have been found associated with lung tumours, there is no direct evidence that the viruses are actually causing the cancer. But the notion that a virus could contribute to some cases of the disease is a plausible one, says Denise Galloway, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, who was not affiliated with the new studies.

As much as 20% of the world’s cancers have been linked to infections. In addition to the connection between HPVs and cervical cancer, chronic infections by hepatitis-B and -C viruses contribute to liver cancer, and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori has been associated with stomach cancer.

In February, researchers reported viral genome sequences found in an aggressive form of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma1, although it remains to be seen precisely how the virus contributes to skin cancer, if at all. And some have proposed that a virus similar to the ‘mouse mammary tumor virus’ — which causes breast cancer in mice — could also be associated with breast cancer in humans2.

“There’s reason to believe that there are more tumours that have a viral origin,” says Galloway. “I think there’s growing interest in this field.”

Determining whether there is an infectious cause of a cancer can have an effect on treatment and prevention strategies. Widespread use of a vaccine against HPV, for example, has been proposed to lower rates of cervical cancer. Though smoking is clearly still the main cause of lung cancer, identifying other contributors to the disease could help keep incidence down.

Virus hunters
Samuel Ariad of the Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva, Israel, and his colleagues began by analyzing tumours taken from 65 lung cancer patients. They found evidence of measles virus proteins in about half of their samples.

The work provides the first hint that the measles virus may contribute to lung cancer, and follows on Ariad’s previous studies showing a possible association between the measles virus and a cancer of the lymph tissue called Hodgkin’s disease3.

In addition, Arash Rezazadeh of the University of Louisville in Kentucky and his colleagues tested 23 lung cancer tumours for HPVs. In five cases, the samples tested positive for the virus’s DNA. Others have previously shown a possible link between the virus and lung cancer, but, as in this case, have relied on small sample sizes.

The cancer connection
The studies leave a number of unanswered questions. Ariad speculates that the measles virus may not be the root cause of lung cancer, but may somehow facilitate progression of the disease once it has already started. But it is difficult to understand how the virus would achieve this and why it would act in the lungs, notes Galloway.

Nevertheless, the risk of lung cancer rises dramatically in patients whose immune systems are not functioning well: a hallmark that Galloway looks for when gauging whether a cancer may be caused by infectious agents. Although overall cancer risk rises when the immune system fails, the link is stronger with some cancers — including skin, lung and cervical cancer.

The studies are preliminary, but warrant additional follow-up, says Dusty Miller, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. “The problem is that these are associations,” he says. “And there’s no way that you’re going to put those viruses into people to test them.” Establishing a causal link between a virus and cancer — if there is one — can take decades.

Feng, H. , Shuda, M. , Chang, Y. & Moore, P. S. Science 319, 1096-1100 (2008).
Mok, M. T. , Lawson, J. S. , Iacopetta, B. J. & Whitaker, N. J. Int. J. Cancer 122, 2864-2870 (2008).
Benharroch, D. et al. Br. J. Cancer 91, 572-579 (2004).

Antibacterial silver nanoparticles

Safety of New Bacteria-Killing Coating Questioned

By Monica Heger, Scienceline
posted: 21 April 2008 ET

A new technique in paint making could soon make almost any surface germ-free. Researchers have made paint that is embedded with silver nanoparticles, known for their ability to kill bacteria and other microbes, in the hopes that hospitals will coat their walls and countertops to fight infection.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 million people per year contract bacterial infections in hospitals. Silver itself is an excellent bacteria fighter, and in nanoparticle form it is even more potent at killing microorganisms. So far it has not shown any adverse effects in humans.

However, some scientists are concerned that silver nanoparticles may not be as harmless as they appear. Little research has been done on their health and environmental effects, and silver kills good microorganisms along with the bad. Also, there are currently no restrictions on using silver nanoparticles, which are already popping up in a range of consumer products that tout their antibacterial properties.

“Nanoparticles are very small and they are interacting with the bacteria and rupturing the cell wall,” says chemist George John of City College of New York and lead author of the study, published in the journal Nature Materials last month. This rupturing kills the bacteria, he explains.

A silver nanoparticle is a small cluster of silver atoms less than 100 nanometers, or 100 billionths of a meter, wide. Because of their size, nanoparticles exhibit different properties than their bulkier counterparts. They have a high surface area to volume ratio, which makes them able to dissolve in paint. Nanoparticles are also being studied for their use in medicine, particularly in drug delivery, since they are able to pass easily through cell membranes.

Silver has long been known to be a good antimicrobial, and silver nanoparticles are no different. John tested the paint on both E. coli bacteria and Staphylococcus aureus. In both cases, when the bacteria were added to a glass slide coated with the silver-infused paint, then incubated at favorable conditions, there was no growth of either bacteria. In contrast, slides without the paint and slides with silver-free paint both showed bacteria growth.

“It is more or less like a soaping or detergent effect,” says Lucian Lucia, associate professor of chemistry at North Carolina State University. The nanoparticle destroys the cell wall of the microbe.

Lucia and John both agree that bacteria cannot build up a resistance to silver nanoparticles as they can to antibiotics, because of the way the silver nanoparticle attacks — destroying the structure of the cells and killing them. Antibiotics, on the other hand, suppress the activity of bacteria but don’t necessarily kill them.“That’s the beauty of silver,” Lucia says. “There’s no way to develop a resistance to it.”

John says he is also experimenting with different sized nanoparticles. Changing the size also changes the color. So, a blue paint would use different sized nanoparticles than a red paint. Currently, the size of the silver nanoparticles he is using turns the paint yellow.

The next step is to do more health and safety tests and to determine how long the paint keeps its bactericidal properties. John believes the paint will keep its germ-killing abilities for up to three years but says it could be longer.

While silver’s ability to kill bacteria has long been known, not everyone is sold on the idea of using silver nanoparticles in consumer products. Limited research has been done on how long they keep their antimicrobial properties and how they interact with other organisms, which is particularly critical because of the particles’ ability to penetrate cell membranes. Some people may be uncomfortable lathering on sunscreen if it contains silver nanoparticles.

“Certainly it is a very good antimicrobial product,” says Zhiqiang Hu from the University of Missouri, who is studying the safety of silver nanoparticles. “But, it can kill the benign species [of bacteria] as well.”

Hu says what concerns him the most is the effect silver nanoparticles could have on aquatic organisms. Many types of bacteria live in lakes and streams, and if silver nanoparticles were to get into the water system they could disrupt the aquatic ecosystem.

Hu is not alone in his concerns. Andrew Maynard, the chief science advisor for the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, funded by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trust, is also concerned about the lack of research and regulation on the use of silver nanoparticles. He says this technology is cropping up in unlikely products, like socks, kitchenware and cosmetics, to name a few.

“You have an anti-microbial agent appearing everywhere, including children’s fluffy toys, with no knowledge about its health or environmental implications,” Maynard says. “What are the chances of it taking out an ecologically important bacteria?”

And it is this question that Maynard wants answered before the technology is applied to any more commercial products. On the other hand though, Maynard acknowledges that the use of silver nanoparticles holds promise, particularly in hospital settings.

“I think there are multiple places in which it would be OK,” Maynard says. Treating patients with wounds or creating a sterile environment in a hospital are two examples of what he sees as a good use. “Silver is one of our best lines of defense against a number of microbes,” he says. “And we need to think carefully before we put such a powerful agent in the market.”

This story is provided by Scienceline, a project of New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.

Anti-aging pasta!

Tomato dishes 'may protect skin'

28 April 2008 14:39 UK

Could spaghetti bolognese have anti-ageing properties?

Pizza and spaghetti bolognese could become new tools in the fight against sunburn and wrinkles, a study suggests.

A team found adding five tablespoons of tomato paste to the daily diet of 10 volunteers improved the skin's ability to protect against harmful UV rays.

Damage from these rays can lead to premature ageing and even skin cancer.

The study, presented at the British Society for Investigative Dermatology, suggested the antioxidant lycopene was behind the apparent benefit.

This component of tomatoes - found at its highest concentration when the fruit has been cooked - has already been linked to a reduction in the risk of prostate cancer.

Now researchers at the universities of Manchester and Newcastle have suggested it may also help ward off skin damage by providing some protection against the effects of UV rays.

Anti-ageing paste?

They gave 10 volunteers around 55g of standard tomato paste - which contains high levels of cooked tomatoes - and 10g of olive oil daily. A further 10 participants received just the olive oil.

After three months, skin samples from the tomato group showed they had 33% more protection against sunburn - the equivalent of a very low factor sun cream - and much higher levels of procollagen, a molecule which gives the skin its structure and keeps its firm.

"The tomato diet boosted the level of procollagen in the skin significantly. These increasing levels suggest potential reversal of the skin ageing process," said Professor Lesley Rhodes, a dermatologist at the University of Manchester.

"These weren't huge amounts of tomato we were feeding the group. It was the sort of quantity you would easily manage if you were eating a lot of tomato-based meals."

There was a warning however that tomatoes should be viewed as a "helpful addition" rather than an alternative to sun cream.

The study was both small and short, and the team are now looking at carrying out fresh research into the benefits of lycopene for the skin.

Dr Colin Holden of the British Association of Dermatologists said: "While the protection offered by lycopene is low, this research suggests that a diet containing high levels of antioxidant rich tomatoes could provide an extra tool in sun protection".

Chocolate may cut diabetes risk

Chocolate 'may cut diabetes risk'

28 April 2008 07:28 UK

Scientists are to investigate whether eating chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease in women with diabetes.

Volunteers - postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes - will be asked to eat a bar of chocolate a day for a year.

Cocoa is rich in compounds called flavonoids, which are thought to benefit the heart.

The University of East Anglia is using a specially formulated form of chocolate which contains more flavonoids than usual.

This compensates for the fact that many flavonoids are destroyed in the process of turning cocoa into chocolate.

Soy - another source of flavonoids - has also been added to the special bars.

The scientists are testing the theory that adding flavonoids to the diet may give added protection against heart disease on top of that provided by prescription drugs.

Deaths due to heart disease among women increase rapidly after the menopause and having type 2 diabetes increases this risk by a further three-and-a-half times.

If the trial confirms the hypothesis then it could have a far-reaching impact on the advice given to at-risk women.

Additional protection

Lead researcher Professor Aedin Cassidy said: "Despite postmenopausal women being at a similar risk to men for developing cardiovascular disease, to date they are under-represented in clinical trials.

"We hope to show that adding flavonoids to their diets will provide additional protection from heart disease and give women the opportunity to take more control over reducing their risk of heart disease in the future."

The researchers aim to recruit 150 women under the age of 70 with type 2 diabetes who have not had a period for at least a year, and who have been taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs for at least 12 months.

Dr Iain Frame, director of research at the charity Diabetes UK, said: "We certainly don't advise people to start eating a lot of chocolate as it is very high in sugar and fat.

"We would always recommend that people with diabetes eat a diet low in fat, salt and sugar with plenty of fruit and vegetables."

"However, there are compounds found in chocolate, called flavonoids, that are thought to provide some protection from heart disease.

"A successful outcome of this research would hopefully mean being able to offer people at high risk better protection over and above that provided by conventional drugs."

For details of the trial contact Andrea Brown or Dr Peter Curtis at FLAVO@uea.ac.uk.


Cancer linked to preservatives

Folks Breast, Prostrate and Ovarian Cancers are mostly caused by all these fake xeno-estrogens all around us. Some Prostrate problems are linked to various preseratives.

Breast Cancer Risk Tied to Gene Variants by Decode Scientists

By John Lauerman

April 27 (Bloomberg) -- Two common genetic variants can increase by more than 50 percent a woman's chance of having breast tumors that grow in response to the female hormone estrogen, scientists said today.

About three-quarters of breast cancers have proteins on their surfaces, called receptors, that respond to estrogen. Scientists from DeCode Genetics Inc., a Reykjavik, Iceland-based DNA testing company, helped lead an international research team that identified the variants on chromosome 5 in a study reported today in the journal Nature Genetics.

Testing may show which women might benefit from preventive treatment with hormone-blocking drugs such as tamoxifen, said Decode Chief Executive Officer Kari Stefansson. Women who test positive for the variants may also get more frequent screening for breast cancer, DeCode said.

``These are highly clinically relevant variants,'' Stefansson said in a telephone interview. ``We are discovering the genetic underpinnings of a significant portion of estrogen- receptor-positive breast cancers.''

More than 182,000 women are expected to develop breast cancer this year, making it the most common tumor in women after skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Rates fell from 2001 through 2004, possibly because fewer women are taking hormone drugs following a 2002 study that linked them to heart disease and breast cancer, the group said on its Web site.

The international team led by DeCode's Simon Stacey analyzed the genes of 40,000 people with and without breast cancer. The scientists combed the genes for variations in DNA called single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or snips.

Human Genome

The human genome is a code for making protein that's written in four chemicals called bases, represented by the letters A, C, G and T. Snips are single-letter variations in that code, such as the substitution of an A for a G.

Patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer were more likely to have the two substitutions on chromosome 5. The variants may be linked to a gene, called MRPS30, that is responsible for killing flawed or abnormal cells, the study said.

Scientists in California, Hawaii, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Nigeria participated in the study.

Not too many good effects of anti-psychotic drugs

No Evidence that Psychiatric Drugs Work for PTSD

Thursday, April 24, 2008 by: David Gutierrez

There is no evidence that drug treatments or the majority of non-drug treatments work on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a major review of the medical literature on the topic.

A committee of the Institute of Medicine reviewed the literature on PTSD treatments upon the request of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Initially, the committee identified 2,771 studies, but eventually reviewed only 90 of these. The trials reviewed included randomized controlled trials, controlled psychotherapy trials and placebo-controlled pharmacotherapy trials.

Of the 90 studies, exposure therapy was the only treatment that was supported by evidence of its effectiveness. All other tested treatments had insufficient evidence to support them.

"These therapies may or may not be effective - we just don't know in the absence of good data," said committee chair Alfred O. Berg.

The researchers noted that they do not "intend to imply that ... exposure therapy is the only treatment that should be used in treating individuals with PTSD."

The pharmaceutical products tested included anticonvulsants; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other antidepressants; prazosin (Minipress); the atypical antipsychotics olanzapine (Zyprexa) and risperidone (Risperdal); the monoamine oxidase inhibitors phenelzine (Nardil) and brofaromine (Consonar) naltrexone (Depade); cycloserine (Seromycin) and or inositol. The forms of psychotherapy tested included cognitive restructuring, coping skills training, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and group format psychotherapy.

The Institute of Medicine committee discarded the findings from many of the 90 studies due to flawed methodologies, too-high dropout rates (20 to 50 percent), or potential conflicts of interest. In addition, many of the studies failed to separate out the effects of other factors such as brain injury, depression or substance abuse.

According to J. Alexander Bodkin, a psychiatrist not involved in the study, it may be particularly difficult to establish the effectiveness of PTSD treatments because the symptoms of PTSD overlap significantly with those of other disorders.

"Apart from the event to which they are attributed, the symptoms [of PTSD] are remarkably generic manifestations of mood," Bodkin said.

Use the benefits of oatmeal

If you want to make your Oatmeal more appealing and more healthier in healing then add a tablespoon of Virgin Pure Coconut Oil. Both are wonderful for Eczema problems and combined its a powerhouse on the intestines for healing and topically on eczema etc. The only downfall in overall health is the sheer amount of Mucus it contains like Rice and Eggs. But alas if you're suffering Eczema, psorisis and other INTESTINAL problems then you really want that mucus. Some use the Slipperly Elm as the intestinal mucus layer also.

The Benefits of Oatmeal

by: Ryan Cote

Eating a bowl of oatmeal each morning is the perfect way to start
your day off right. This article will explain the six benefits of
eating oatmeal and ways to make it taste delicious.

First off, the oatmeal discussed here is not the instant kind that
comes in the different flavors — these are full of sugar. The real
stuff is the plain oat flakes from Quaker Oats or a similar brand.

The benefits of oatmeal are due to the fact that it's made from oats
and oats are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

According to the American Cancer Society:

1. Insoluble fiber's cancer-fighting properties are due to the fact
that it attacks certain bile acids, reducing their toxicity.

2. Soluble fiber may reduce LDL cholesterol without lowering HDL
cholesterol. LDL is bad; HDL is good.

3. Soluble fiber slows down the digestion of starch. This may be
beneficial to diabetics because, when you slow down the digestion of
starch, you avoid the sharp rises in your blood sugar level that
usually occur following a meal.

4. It has been found that those who eat more oats are less likely to
develop heart disease, a disease that is currently widespread in the
United States.

5. The phytochemicals in oat may also have cancer-fighting

6. Oats are a good source of many nutrients including vitamin E,
zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium. Oats are also
a good source of protein.

The difference between insoluble and soluble fiber, besides the
foods that they come from, is what they do in your body.

Insoluble fiber's main role is that it makes stools heavier and
speeds their passage through the gut, relieving constipation.
Soluble fiber breaks down as it passes through the digestive tract,
forming a gel that traps some substances related to high
cholesterol, thus reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the

Oatmeal has a pretty bland taste, which makes it hard for the
average person to consume every morning. Here are ways you can make
it taste better.

1. Make the oatmeal with milk instead of water. This will also add
calcium and more protein.

2. Add Stevia powder to the oatmeal. It will naturally sweeten up
the taste without adding sugar.

3. Stir in your favorite-flavored protein powder to it after it's
been cooked. This gives the oatmeal a pretty good taste plus it adds
protein. Combine this with using milk and you'll have a meal that is
high in fiber, calcium and protein!

4. Add fruit such as blueberries to the oatmeal.

You should aim to eat roughly 1 cooked cup of oatmeal each morning
for optimal health benefits. And play around with the above
preparation suggestions until you find a taste that you fall in love

Your heart and body will thank you for it!


Antioxidants protection for life

Antioxidant Blends May Offer Protection in Life Threatening Conditions

Thursday, April 24, 2008 by: Barbara L. Minton

A newly released study suggests that providing yourself with a broad spectrum of antioxidants will offer you protection even under such extreme conditions as total body irradiation. As published in the April, 2008 edition of Radiation Research, the purpose of this study was to determine whether a dietary supplement consisting of L-selenomethionine, vitamin C, vitamin E succinate, alpha-lipoic acid and N-acetyl cysteine could improve the survival of mice after total body irradiation.

Study and Results

Results of the study indicate that these antioxidants significantly increased the 30-day survival rate of the mice after their exposure to a potentially lethal dose of X rays when given prior to or after the irradiation. Pretreatment of animals with antioxidants resulted in significantly higher total white blood cell and neutrophil counts in peripheral blood. Antioxidants were effective in preventing peripheral lymphopenia (reduction in the number of lymphocytes circulating in the blood) only after low-dose radiation. Antioxidant supplementation was also associated with increased bone marrow cell counts after irradiation, and with increased Bcl2 and decreased Bax, caspase9 and TGF-beta1 mRNA expression in the bone marrow after irradiation.

Maintenance of the antioxidant diet was associated with improved recovery of the bone marrow after sub-lethal or potentially lethal irradiation.

The researchers concluded that when taken together, oral supplementation with antioxidants appears to be an effective approach for radioprotection of hematopoietic (blood forming) cells and improvement of animal survival. Modulation of apoptosis is implicated as a mechanism for the radioprotection of the hematopoietic system by antioxidants.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are natural compounds that help protect the body from the ravages of free radicals. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms that cause damage to cells, impair the immune system and lead to infections and degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Many scientists view free radical damage as the basis of the aging process.

Even a healthy body produces free radicals, many of them being oxygen derived. They may form in response to exposure to the sun, toxic chemicals, air pollution, or as part of various metabolic processes.

Ideally these free radicals are kept in check by free radical scavengers, which consist primarily of four enzymes: superoxide dismutase (SOD), methionine reductase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. The healthy body produces these enzymes as a matter of course. Melatonin, the sleep hormone, is also a highly powerful antioxidant produced by the body. And under ideal conditions, the body is also able to obtain antioxidants from food, such as vitamin A, beta-carotene and other carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamins C and E, and selenium. Some herbs also have potent antioxidant properties.

Unfortunately, today's food supply reflects less than ideal conditions, so it is quite difficult to get enough antioxidants from your diet to protect you from the ever increasing levels of free radicals generated in our polluted environment. As a result, many people are turning to dietary supplements, which can be extremely effective, as this study indicates.

Implications of the study

The researchers of this study chose to supplement their mice with a variety of powerful antioxidants. That's because antioxidants work synergistically in their ability to provide protection against free radicals, so it is better to take smaller doses of several different antioxidants than a large dose of only one. This finding has implications for diet as well as supplementation.

Some examples of obtaining a broad spectrum of antioxidants from the diet would be found in the decision to eat a variety of fruits during the day. By choosing to eat different fruits of different colors, you will obtain a much broader variety of antioxidants than you would if you chose to buy only a large bag of apples or oranges for the week. The variation in their color is your key to the variation of their antioxidant powers.

The same logic hold true with vegetables. You will achieve a much larger array of antioxidants by eating a salad made of small amounts of all the veggies on the salad bar than you will with a full size serving of only one variety. Again, let color be your guide. The more colors on your plate, the higher the variety of antioxidants.

If you are headed to the juice bar, don't just order the carrot juice. Ask for some of all the veggies or fruits they have available.

Berries are extremely rich in antioxidants. They have been shown to be especially protective against cancer.

If you decide to use antioxidant supplements, you can buy one of the multi-antioxidant formulations available. A better way may be to familiarize yourself with the major antioxidants and tailor your supplementation to the gaps in your diet. For example, if you eat a bowl of blueberries every morning, you won't need an antioxidant containing lutein.

The supplements used in the study

L-selenomethionine is a highly bioavailable form of selenium, a nutrient essential for the functioning of glutathione peroxidase, one of the body's main antioxidants. This is the form of selenium increasingly used in cancer treatment and studies and is believed to be protective against cancer. Since selenium content of fruits and vegetables is determined by the selenium content of the soil in which they are grown, it's hard to know that you are getting enough selenium from what you eat. But if you eat Brazil nuts regularly, you probably get plenty of selenium.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is required for at least 300 metabolic functions including tissue growth and repair, adrenal functioning, and oral health. It aids in the production of anti-stress hormones and the immune system protein, interferon. It is needed for the metabolism of folic acid, tyrosine, and phenylalanine. Vitamin C can reduce the symptoms of asthma, and protect against the effects of pollution. It is cancer preventative, protects against infection and boosts the immune system. Vitamin C is able to combine with certain heavy metals and other toxic substances, and escort them out of the body. It is instrumental in lowering blood pressure and helping to prevent atherosclerosis and blood clots. It has anti-aging properties and is essential in the formation of collagen.

The body does not manufacture vitamin C so it must be obtained from diet or supplements. Good amounts of vitamin C are found in most fruits, particularly citrus and berries, and in many vegetables, particularly the green leafy varieties. Many herbs also contain amounts of vitamin C. The best supplements of vitamin C are food sourced, such as those from acerola cherry. The bioflavonoid complex is synergistic with vitamin C.

Vitamin E succinate is one of the two ester forms of vitamin E, the other being vitamin E acetate. The ester is a form more resistive to oxidation during storage than the unesterified form. Bio-availability is equal to that of free form vitamin E. The ester form, vitamin E succinate, is required to effectively inhibit growth and induce death in cancer cell grown in culture. Supplements of vitamin E may range from those containing only alpha tocopherol to those containing the full E complex of the four tocopherols and the four tocotrienols.

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is known as the all purpose antioxidant. It is powerful in its own right, and also as a recycler of vitamins C and E. It can restore the antioxidant properties of these vitamins after they have already neutralized free radicals. ALA stimulates the production of glutathione in the body, and aids the absorption of coenzyme Q 10. ALA is water soluble as well as fat soluble, a feature that allows it to move into all parts of cells to deactivate free radicals.

According to Phyllis and James Balch in their Prescription for Nutritional Healing, supplemental ALA has been used in Europe for several decades to treat peripheral nerve degeneration and to aid in the control of blood sugar levels in diabetics. It helps the liver detoxify metal pollutants, blocks cataract formation, protects nerve tissues against oxidative stress, and reduces blood cholesterol levels. ALA may also be instrumental in the prevention and treatment of chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Without ALA, cells cannot use sugar to produce energy. People who choose to take only one antioxidant supplement often choose ALA. Food sources are spinach, broccoli, and organ meats.

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a stable form of the amino acid cysteine, and is used by the liver and the lymphocytes to detoxify chemicals and other poisons. It is very powerful against alcohol, tobacco smoke and environmental pollutants, all of which suppress the immune system. It is needed for the production of glutathione and helps maintain glutathione levels in the cells. Supplementing with NAC can boost the levels of protective enzymes in the body, slowing the cellular damage that is characteristic of aging. It may also reduce the frequency and duration of infections. Combined with L Glutamine, NAC offers a powerful energy boost.

NAC is produced in the body from the amino acid cysteine found in all food sources of protein. Its synthesis is dependent on the availability of selenium, vitamin E and the B vitamins. Supplements of NAC are also available and are used in many anti-aging regimens.

Additional sources:

Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University


About the author
Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.


Medieval truths studied by nowadays science

Scientists discover drops of truth in medieval belief in urine

Nigel Hawkes, Health Editor
TimesApril 21, 2008

Medieval physicians believed that they could diagnose disease by holding up a flask of the patient’s urine to the light and squinting at it. According to scientists at Imperial College London, they could have been on to something.

A team there has completed the first worldwide study of the metabolites (breakdown products) that are found in urine, reflecting the diet, inheritance and the lifestyle of the people from whom it came. They call such studies “metabolomics” by analogy with genomics, which looks at all the genes that make up the human species, and proteomics, which does the same for proteins.

The study used nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to compare racial and national groups by the composition of their urine. From Japan, Beijing, Corpus Christi, Belfast and West Bromwich, urine differs in subtle ways that could provide a powerful new way of linking diet and health.The metabolites they found come from microbes in the gut, from diet and from the metabolism of the host.

The team believes that the research may provide the basis for a “metabolome-wide association” approach to help to understand interactions between lifestyles, environment and genes and how they determine diseases.

The metabolic fingerprints show that people in the US and Britain who share a tendency to high blood pressure and heart problems have similar patterns. Writing in the science journal Nature, the team identifies metabolites linked to high blood pressure, such as the amino acid alanine.

Hippurate, another by-product of gut bacteria, is found in people with lower blood pressure who drink less and eat more fibre in their diet.

Scientists from Imperial College, the US, Belgium, Japan and China took samples from 4,630 volunteers aged between 40 and 59. Professor Jeremy Nicholson, from Imperial College, said: “Metabolic profiling can tell us how specific aspects of a person’s diet and how much they drink are contributing to their risks for certain diseases, and these are things which we can’t investigate by looking at a person’s DNA. What is really important is that we can test out our new hypotheses directly, in a way that is not easy with genetic biomarkers.”

Testing the waters

— Studying the colour, smell and even the taste of urine was once the primary means of diagnosis for physicians

— During the Middle Ages, when anatomy studies were rare and very few postmortem examinations were done, urine was one of the few diagnostic tools available

— One textbook listed 20 possible colours

— Belief in urine analysis began in the late classical era, around AD500, and lasted unchallenged into the Renaissance, when doctors were at last permitted to dissect bodies

Fluoride and arsenic world map

Global fluoride and arsenic contamination of water mapped

23 April 2008

Swiss researchers have mapped the levels of arsenic and fluoride in groundwater throughout the world. They hope this new global picture will provide a starting point for planning future drinking water projects, and help to avoid water contamination in developing countries.

The team, led by Annette Johnson from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, combined geochemistry with statistics to create the maps. With existing measurements of fluoride and arsenic concentrations, along with data on ground conditions and climate, they were able to develop a model to estimate the concentrations of both elements.

Manouchehr Amini, one of the authors of the study explains that the maps are not definitive guides to global groundwater contamination, but provide an initial reference point, highlighting areas that should be tested before new wells are sunk.

Modelled global probability of geogenic arsenic contamination in groundwater for (a) reducing groundwater conditions, and ( high-pH/oxidizing conditions where arsenic is soluble in its oxidized state

Arsenic poisoning, which causes skin lesions and is linked to a number of cancers, is already an international health concern. In many countries in South Asia, including Bangladesh, India and Nepal, thousands of wells have been sunk in areas where arsenic concentrations are high, causing people to be poisoned by their own water supply.

Fluoride can prevent tooth decay, and is often added to drinking water in developed countries. But too much fluoride can lead to serious health problems including malformed bones and neurological disease.

The researchers created their mapping model using the known geochemical factors involved in arsenic and fluoride groundwater contamination. For fluoride, rock type, soil pH and humidity all influence groundwater levels. Arsenic concentrations are elevated when it is available in its more soluble oxidised or reduced forms.

Global probability of geogenic flouride contamination in groundwater

Using existing data, the team divided the globe into 'process regions' with similar geochemical conditions, and set parameters for models of each of these regions that estimated arsenic and fluoride concentrations.

According to Andrew Meharg, an expert in arsenic contamination from the University of Aberdeen in the UK, the new maps could help to estimate the number of people at risk of arsenic poisoning and help in the planning of future drinking water projects.

'This is an excellent advance and gives new insights into predicting arsenic in groundwaters,' he says. 'It's crucially important to identify where these hotspots are worldwide and measurements must be carried out in the field out before any wells are sunk in areas that might be at risk.'

Victoria Gill

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Bitter melon and type 2 diabetes

Bitter Melon Is a Safe and Effective Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

Monday, April 21, 2008 by: Tom Mosakowski

The mechanism by which bitter melon effectively treats Type 2 diabetes has been revealed by researchers.

The bitter melon is a nontoxic vegetable that has long been an important part of traditional Chinese medicine. Despite tasting very bitter, the melon is widely consumed as a food in Asia. The melon has evolved bitter compounds over time to help it evade consumption by animals.

From the pulp of the bitter melon, the researchers isolated four bioactive compounds that all stimulate the human enzyme AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase). It is well known that this protein has a role in regulating metabolism and glucose utilization.

Glucose is the main fuel of the body's cells. After a meal, glucose derived from the food is circulated in the blood and goes on to be stored in the liver and to promote growth of cells, organs, bone and muscle. When a person has not eaten for some time, the amount of glucose circulating in the blood is low. In order to fuel bodily functions, glucose is released from storage in the liver and as fasting/starvation continues, body fat and protein become a fuel source. This is quite unhealthy if allowed to continue.

Type 2 diabetes manifests itself as a high concentration of glucose circulating in the blood (hyperglycemia) due to an impaired ability of cells to take up glucose. This occurs in people partly because they don't produce enough insulin, which promotes glucose uptake, and partly because their cells have developed "insulin resistance", the inability to use the available insulin effectively.

The researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica have shown that the efficacy of treating Type 2 diabetes with bitter melon is no longer supported by merely anecdotal stories.

Chemical compounds in bitter melon activate AMPK which promotes the movement of glucose transporters to the surface of cells. More transporters on cells' surfaces increase the uptake of glucose from circulation in the blood into tissues of the body, such as muscle, thus lowering blood sugar levels.

Exercise is an effective method of activating AMPK with the same result. It is recommended for normal treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

Some diabetes drugs on the market have the same beneficial effect as bitter melon and may be a more convenient treatment to take regularly, but they often result in unwanted side effects and severe complications when combined with other medications. Bitter melon's side effects are rare and it has been used for hundreds of years by practitioners of Chinese medicine.

Some of the compounds found in the bitter melon were not known to exist. The mechanism of AMPK activation by the compounds may proceed via a pathway that is different from that of modern Type 2 diabetes pharmaceuticals. Either this novel pathway or the unique combination of compounds in bitter melon may be why the vegetable is generally a safe treatment.

Bitter melon is found in many Asian grocery stores. It is also sold in liquid extract and capsule form.

About the author
Tom Mosakowski is completing his BS in Biochemistry. He can be contacted at TomMosakowski@gmail.com

Broccoli and heart's health

Indole-3-Carbinol Nutrient in Broccoli Protects the Heart, Balances Cholesterol

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 by: David Gutierrez

Researchers have identified a naturally occurring chemical that may account for the cardiovascular health benefits of cruciferous vegetables, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

The cruciferous vegetable family (Brassicaceae) includes many popular food plants such as broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, canola (rapeseed), kale, mustard, radish, rutabaga, turnip and watercress.

Researchers discovered that the phytochemical indole-3-carbinol reduced human cells' secretion of apolipopretein B-100 (apoB) in a laboratory culture. ApoB is a critical component of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and has previously been shown to be responsible for transporting cholesterol between the body's tissues. Prior studies have also linked high concentrations of apoB to the formation of plaque in blood vessels.

Indole-3-carbinol reduced apoB secretion in a dose-dependent manner, with larger doses leading to lower secretion. A concentration of 100 micromoles per liter successfully reduced apoB secretion by 56 percent.

In addition to these effects, the scientists observed that the indole-3-carbinol-dosed cells showed decreased production of other fat compounds, including triglycerides.

"The results indicate that plant indoles have beneficial effects on lipid synthesis that could contribute to their potential cardioprotective effect," the researchers said.

A prior study has suggested that indole-3-carbinol also helps prevent and slow the growth of cancerous tumors, while many studies have demonstrated that a higher intake of fresh fruits and vegetables helps prevent against both cancer and cardiovascular disease.

According to the American Heart Association, 70.1 million people in the United States suffered from cardiovascular disease in 2002 -- 34.2 percent of the population. It is one of the primary killers in the United States and Europe, accounting for 30 percent of all deaths.

Raw milk- NOT pasteurised or boiled

The Amazing Health Benefits of Raw Milk

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 by: Jo Hartley

Most people are unaware that clean, raw milk from grass-fed cows was actually used as a medicine in the early part of the 20th century. Raw milk - straight from the cow - has been called the "stem cell" of foods. It was used as medicine to treat, and many times cure, some serious diseases. From the time of Hippocrates until just after World War II, this miracle liquid nourished and healed millions.

Clean raw milk from pastured cows is a completely balanced food. You could live on it exclusively if you had to.

Raw milk ingredients that make it such a powerful food:


Raw cow's milk has all 20 of the standard amino acids, which saves our bodies the work of having to convert any into usable form. About 80% of the proteins in milk are caseins (reasonably heat stable but easy to digest). The other 20% fall into the class of whey proteins. These are also easy to digest, but also very heat sensitive.

The immunoglobulins are an extremely complex class of milk proteins also known as antibodies. These provide resistance to many viruses, bacteria and bacterial toxins and may also help reduce the severity of asthma symptoms. Research has shown a significant loss of these important disease fighters when milk is pasteurized.


Lactose is the primary carbohydrate in cow's milk. It is made from one molecule each of the simple sugars glucose and galactose. People with lactose intolerance do not make the enzyme lactase and so cannot digest milk sugar. Raw milk has its lactose-digesting Lactobacilli bacteria intact. This may allow people who traditionally have avoided milk to drink raw milk.


About two thirds of the fat in milk is saturated. Saturated fats play a number of important roles in our bodies. They construct cell membranes and key hormones, they provide energy storage and padding for delicate organs, and they serve as a vehicle for important fat-soluble vitamins.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is abundant in milk from pastured cows. This is a heavily studied, polyunsaturated Omega-6 fatty acid that has promising health benefits. Some of CLA's many possible benefits are (1) it raises metabolic rates; (2) it helps remove abdominal fat; (3) it boosts muscle growth; (4) it reduces resistance to insulin; and (5) it strengthens the immune system and lowers food allergy reactions. Grass-fed raw milk has 3-5 times more CLAs than the milk from feed-lot cows.


Whole raw milk has both water and fat soluble vitamins. No enriching is necessary. It's a complete food. Pasteurized milk must have the destroyed components added back in, especially the fat soluble vitamins A and D.


Raw milk contains a broad selection of minerals ranging from calcium and phosphorus to trace elements.

Calcium is abundant in raw milk. Its benefits include a reduction of some cancers, particularly colon; higher bone density in people of all ages; lower risk of osteoporosis in older adults; lowered risk of kidney stones; the formation of strong teeth; as well as a reduction of dental cavities.

An interesting fact about minerals as nutrients is the special balance they require with other minerals to function properly. For example, calcium needs a proper ratio of phosphorus and magnesium to be properly utilized by our bodies. Raw milk is in perfect balance.


The 60 functional enzymes in raw milk have an amazing assortment of jobs to perform. Some of them are native to milk and some come from beneficial bacteria growing in raw milk. When we eat food that contains enzymes devoted to its own digestion, it's less work for our pancreas. Other enzymes, like catalase, lysozyme and lactoperoxidase help to protect milk from unwanted bacterial infection, making it safer for us to drink.


Milk contains about 3mg of cholesterol per gram. Our bodies make most of the cholesterol we need. This amount fluctuates by what we get from our food. Cholesterol is a repair substance. It is a waxy plant steroid that our body uses as a form of water-proofing and as a building block for key hormones.

Beneficial Bacteria

Raw milk is a living food with amazing self-protective properties. As most food goes bad as it ages, raw milk gets better. From helpful bacterial fermentation, the digestibility of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals all increases.

Today, the demand for raw milk from pasture-fed cattle is growing as word spreads of the tremendous health benefits of drinking raw milk. Those who want information can go to the following websites:



Sales of raw milk are currently legal in 28 out of 50 US states. Specific information for each state can be found here: (http://www.realmilk.com/happening.html) .

About the author
Jo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 40 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!

Sugars and "bad fats" explained

The Dangers of Sugars and 'Bad Fats' Explained

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 by: Mike Donkers

By far the chief wreckers of our health today are sugars and bad fats. So which are the good ones and which ones are bad? My aim is to enable you to make better food choices for you and your family.


Sugars are more than just the white grains you put in your coffee or tea. Sugars are also to be found in the caffeine in coffee, alcohol, honey, fruit juice without the pulp and peeled potatoes. Even the so-called slow sugars, such as whole grains, are still sugars.

We are the descendants of Stone Age men. By an evolutionary twist, this man was a mammal whose liver was not capable of converting sugar into vitamin C (most mammals can, in fact, do this). Thus we need to get our vitamin C from external sources, such as vegetables and fruit. We are not genetically equipped to deal with a whole lot of sugar.

Fast Sugars

One needs to distinguish between fast and slow sugars. Fast sugars are sugars which are not converted into energy by the liver but into fat instead. These are more or less immediately released into the bloodstream, causing your blood glucose levels to rise. This in turn provokes an insulin response by the pancreas to stabilize your blood sugar by bringing it down. Insulin is also responsible for the conversion of these sugars into fat. Basically your body is in survival mode because excess sugar levels can cause serious health complaints such as high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, candidiasis and other bowel disorders, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer, insulin shock and death. It is the job of your pancreas to prevent this from happening.

Western food is, however, loaded with fast sugars, causing a daily panic in our bodies. Since too much insulin in the system can also be sickening and because our body is constantly trying to find a balance, we develop insulin resistance. This causes you to be free of complaints for many years. However, it is a pseudo-balance and it is therefore no coincidence that most people develop complaints and ailments in midlife. As the accumulated damage spans a period of 20 to 30 years, most people will not trace their health problems back to the food they have been consuming all these years. We are currently experiencing an explosion of cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. And these diseases are occurring at an increasingly younger age too!

Diabetes is not called sugar diabetes for nothing. Sugar sickens. Diabetes is nothing more than a used-up, weakened or worn-out pancreas. It has been working overtime for years and is now no longer capable of producing sufficient amounts of insulin to regulate the blood sugar, resulting in pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer or other afflictions of the pancreas. On top of this, insulin resistance causes your body's insulin to be increasingly less effective. The only way to reverse the process is to eliminate fast sugars in your food.

Start drinking your coffee or tea black (without that dead, ultraheated creamer as well) and don't eat products containing sugar. Which is kind of a pain because it's in nearly all our food. Check the ingredients on the label – and that goes for products from health-food stores too. Watch out for glucose, fructose, dextrose, sucrose, invert-sugar syrup, but also 'natural' alternatives such as raw cane sugar, corn syrup, rice syrup, date syrup and wheat syrup. Our bodies were not made to process that much sugar, natural or otherwise.

Slow Sugars

Slow sugars are also sugars. They're in whole-grain products such as brown bread, brown rice, brown pasta, etc. These are called whole grain because the germ, the outer bran as well as the inner starch, are used. Particularly the bran slows down the sugars of the starch. White bread is therefore a fast sugar because the bran has been removed from the grain, leaving only the starch. For that reason, brown bread, brown rice and brown pasta are healthier than their white varieties. It's the fiber in bran which slows down the sugars, slowing down their release into the bloodstream.

The same happens with potatoes and fruit. Those of you who remove the skin from an apple are refining the apple by throwing away the fiber and leaving only the fruit sugar. Peel a potato and you're doing the same. Without its skin, a potato is merely a starch bomb and therefore a fast sugar. For this reason, fruit juice without the pulp fiber is nothing more than liquid candy. Nature didn't intend it this way, otherwise she would have produced apples and potatoes without pulp and fiber. So don't buy commercial fruit juice from a pack but squeeze your own fruit juice and don't forget to drink the pulp either. Choose sour and bitter fruits instead of sweet ones, particularly berries, sour apples and citrus fruits such as lemon and grapefruit. Sour and bitter fruits are the original fruits and were eaten by Stone Age men.

Though slow sugars are better than fast sugars, this does not mean you can consume brown bread, rice, pasta and whole sweet fruits unlimitedly! Once again, we were not made to pump large quantities of sugars into our system. Therefore you should eat no more than two slices of bread and have brown pasta or rice only twice a week. So what should you eat instead? A much more complex form of carbohydrates is in vegetables. Try eating a salad a day containing, for example, carrot, green leafy vegetables, alfalfa and sprouts with a dressing of lemon juice and extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil and see how long that keeps you going. I guarantee you will get more energy and feel less hungry. You will also shed those excess pounds fast because you have drastically lowered your sugar intake, reducing your risk of diabetes and making you feel healthier and more vital. Don't forget that viruses, parasites and cancer cells feed on sugar too.


Though honey has many healing qualities it should nevertheless be regarded as a fast sugar. Nature made the stuff so darn sweet for a reason – you should eat it only in small quantities. Because of its healthy aspects, honey need not be avoided. Make sure you eat raw honey (available in health-food stores or from local bee keepers), though, and not the highly processed honey supermarkets sell, which has been industrially heated and robbed of all its nutrients. Very often the bees were fed ordinary sugar as well, so this kind of 'honey' is nothing more than sugar disguised as honey.

Green Tea

A very special role is reserved for the caffeine in green tea. Just like alcohol, caffeine is a natural substance which, when used sparingly, can have a healing effect. In coffee, the caffeine is however released at lightning speed, which makes coffee a fast sugar. This is of course why we drink coffee in the morning, to kickstart the brain into action. If you don't want to give up your coffee, limit yourself to two cups a day.

Drinking green tea is better, though. For reasons yet unknown, there is a substance in green tea which slows down the release of caffeine into the blood, making it a slow sugar and giving you only the health benefits of caffeine. It gets even better: green tea also 'eats' the glucose in your blood, helping you to stabilize your blood sugar and supporting the pancreas so it doesn't have to produce massive amounts of insulin.

Artificial Sweeteners

Please don't let this be a reason for you to fall into the trap of using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sorbitol, saccharine and other cancerous chemicals! Teach yourself to avoid sweet foods and enjoy the natural taste of real food instead. People who add cream and sugar to their coffee are really drinking coffee-flavored candy. It's time we become adults and appreciate all four tastes (sweet, sour, salt and bitter) instead of only two (sweet and salt). If we did this and used all the colors of the rainbow, we would automatically make better food choices. We have been conditioned since we were children toward sweet and salty foods by a powerful food industry and therefore as adults, we often still have the taste of a four year old.


Our government tells us that unsaturated plant fats are good for us and saturated animal fats aren't. This is a little too black and white. Here's the grey area:


First off, it's essential that we look at the omega fatty acids in vegetable and animal fats. Next to sugars, it's necessary to reduce your omega-6 intake. Omega-6 is a natural and healthy fatty acid but only at the right ratio to omega-3. We can eat unlimited amounts of omega-3 fats but too many omega-6 fats will inevitably lead to health problems.

The omega-3 to 6 ratio in Paleolithic times was no more than 1:4. What is it today? Anything from 1:20 to a staggering 1:50! Time, therefore, to up your omega-3 intake and lower your omega-6 intake. Eat fewer grains and avoid grain-based oils such as corn oil. Other omega-6 oils which are best avoided are soy oil and sunflower oil. Commercial meat and dairy comes from animals fed grain pellets and therefore also contain too much omega-6. Besides the animals' suffering and the antibiotics, growth hormones, and the GMO's they get, this is another reason to choose organic, grass-fed meat and dairy. Cows are supposed to eat grass and clover. So are pigs. Did you know chickens also eat grass?

So where do we get all these omega-3 fats? From anything with a green leaf. Green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of omega-3, particularly when raw. For cooking, also use green veggies, such as kale, sprouts, broccoli, etc. Other vegetable fats containing omega-3 are flaxseed oil and walnut oil. Be careful, though, as these oils do not allow themselves to be heated. Use only extra virgin olive oil for this or use olive oil cold. The best animal source of omega-3 is wild fatty fish and cod-liver or krill oil. These contain the long-chain EPA and DHA omega-3 fats.

Saturated Fats

For years we've been hearing that saturated fats are bad because they increase cholesterol levels. This is a persistent myth. In Asian, African and South American countries people cook with butter, coconut oil, and lard all the time and look at the health of these people! Saturated fats can withstand high temperatures and can be used multiple times and are therefore perfectly suited for frying. The best fats for frying are butter, coconut oil and olive oil. Natural saturated fats (animal fats but also plant fats like coconut fat) are processed by the body without difficulty and are not fattening. What makes people fat and unhealthy are sugar and refined oils (trans fats). By all means, help yourself to an organic egg fried in butter, full-fat yogurt or organic grass-fed meat.

Trans Fats

Trans fats are the missing link between unsaturated and saturated fats. It's not saturated fats which are the enemy but trans fats. Trans fatty acids are formed by solidifying cheaply available unsaturated plant fats like sunflower oil, soy oil, corn oil, peanut oil, etc. Through a heating process, the liquid is extracted from these fats, either in part or whole. Then a hydrogen atom is added. This results in the transformation of unsaturated fatty acids into saturated fatty acids, a kind not found in nature and which is alien to the body. When you consume these fats, your body doesn't know what to do with them, giving them free range to form free radicals and cause damage even at the cellular (DNA) level!

Which products contain trans fats? It's better to ask which ones don't nowadays. Frying oil, potato chips, coffee creamer, cookies - chances are they contain hydrogenated or partly hydrogenated fats. Even peanut butter is no longer exempt. And it isn't just foods either: make sure you also read the labels of vitamin supplements, ointments, creams, gels, lotions, cosmetics – even the ones you buy in health-food stores. It's very important that you check the labels for these and other ingredients. You will find empty foods very often also contain sugar, salt, flavour enhancers and chemical sweeteners to hide the fact that they taste like cardboard. Food should be prepared in a kitchen, not in a lab.

Interestingly enough, trans fats are not completely unnatural. Meat and dairy from hoofed grazing animals (ruminants) naturally contains 2 to 3% trans fats. Tests have been done to measure the potential harmful effects of natural and unnatural trans fats. Natural trans fats turned out to be completely harmless, whereas chemical trans fats did prove harmful to natural organisms, even though they looked identical under the microscope. Nobody knows why this is. My guess is other micronutrients play a role in cancelling the potentially harmful effects of natural trans fats in, for example, butter. We see the same mechanism at work with the caffeine in green tea. Nature works in complex synergistic wholes, never with isolates. We are only beginning to discover the complex interaction of these micronutrients.

The deadly cocktail of sugars and trans fats is responsible for the many health challenges we face today. Our blood and blood flow suffer particularly because of their devastating effect on the liver, guts, kidneys and heart. No wonder so many of our modern diseases affect exactly those organs.

About the author
Mike Donkers is an English teacher from the Netherlands who started taking care of his own health in October 2006 because doctors couldn't help him. His interest in the connection between food and health has led to more in-depth research, particularly in the role sea minerals can have in the regeneration of cells. He is also a self-taught guitarist and singer. He is the songwriter and frontman of his own band, The Mellotones (www.nubluz.com).

Preventing any epidemic flu effects

How to Beat and Prevent the Avian Flu and Other Influenzas

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 by: Tony Isaacs

Are you worried about the possible outbreak of the Avian Flu among humans? Perhaps you should be! I hope that all of the publicity about the Bird Flu proves to be a false alarm, as well as the theories that it may be a deliberately engineered flu, but I have to tell you that from what I have learned so far about the Avian Flu, regardless of where it may originate from, I think that the worst thing any of us could do is to ignore it and hope it goes away, because it may not and I shudder to think about it ever mutating to where it can be spread from human to human. Let's take a look at what we know so far about the Avian Flu:

First of all, the Avian Flu has not yet mutated and there is no need for panic, but there certainly is plenty of reasons for concern and a need to be vigilant, because the flu could easily mutate to one that is spread by humans -- and it is the very nature of viruses to mutate. We should also be mindful of the fact that the world is due for another outbreak of a widespread and dangerous influenza epidemic of the kind that appear to occur on a regular basis about every 30 years.

If the Avian Flu does mutate to a human flu and is even partially as deadly as some predict, the resulting worldwide pandemic could be an epic modern day plague that changes the world as we know it and makes HIV, 9/11, the great Tsunami and the destruction of New Orleans seem mild by comparison -- and there would likely be very little the world can do to prevent it. We can only hope that the next big worldwide influenza outbreak does not involve the current Avian Flu, or any other avian flu, because such flu would be a type that humans have not been exposed to and thus have no built-in resistance to. Owing to this lack of built in resistance, such an outbreak involving that kind of flu could prove to be uniquely horrific.

In a normal outbreak of influenza, the most vulnerable are usually the elderly, the very young, and those who are already ill or otherwise in a weakened state -- in other words, those whose immune systems are not strong enough to successfully ward off and fight illness. While a human version of the Avian Flu is likely to be every bit as deadly or more so for those who are the usual flu victims, unlike the usual varieties of influenza, the Avian Flu would actually be even more deadly for the group that is usually least affected by flu outbreaks: the most robust and healthy among us, the adults in the prime of life. That is because an avian flu like the Avian Flu turns the body's own immune system against itself and a strong immune system can become a deadly instrument of death as it over-reacts to a threat it has never been exposed to and releases a torrent of chemicals to combat the new threat which end up literally filling and eating up the lungs, suffocating what had been a strong and vigorous individual.

Such was exactly the case in a previous outbreak of another avian flu, one very similar to the Avian Flu. The Spanish Flu of 1918-19 was the most deadly epidemic in recorded history, killing 30 to 40 million or more people in one year –- more than were killed in any war including the Great World War, more than were killed in the 4 terrifying years of the Plague of Black Death (the Bubonic Plague) of 1347-1351, and more than were killed by HIV-AIDS in its first 25 years of existence. In the United States it infected 28% of all Americans, caused the deaths of at least 675,000 and in a single year was responsible for a 10 year drop in the life expectancy rate. In 1918, the death rate for influenza and pneumonia for 15 to 35 year olds was 20 times higher than in previous years.

Many authorities fear that if the modern day Avian Flu mutates to one that can be spread by humans, it could be an even more deadly flu than the one in 1918-19. Indeed, where humans have been exposed to infected birds and contracted the Avian Flu so far, the death rate appears to be significantly higher than it was for the deadly Spanish Flu.

The picture becomes truly staggering when you add to the expected high death rate the fact that the world population is now 2 1/2 times greater than it was in 1918-19 and not only is the population much larger, it is also much more concentrated with much more human interaction. And then you have the fact that, unlike the horse and buggy days of 1918-19, modern travel brings humans almost instantly to and from all points of the globe.

In all likelihood, only an immediate worldwide quarantine and shutdown of all travel would have a chance at stopping the spread of a worldwide pandemic, and that is something that is both unachievable and, at this point, unthinkable (although if the pandemic were to turn out to be as dire as some predict, such measures would probably be attempted out of desperation but would surely prove far too late to stop the spread of the disease). Given the woeful response to the destruction of New Orleans, and the shortage of flu shots caused by the loss of a single facility only last year, perhaps one can more easily understand the estimates of many authorities and scientific figures that forecast staggering death tolls, some as high as 300 million or more worldwide.

The world has largely forgotten the horrible death tolls of the Spanish Flu, as well as the plague-like conditions that led to quarantines, death wagons, corpses lying abandoned in public streets, and breakdowns of social order and lawlessness that broke out in many places around the world. For those of us who would like a reminder, I suggest a trip to an old cemetery and take a look at the tombstones and grave markers for the years 1918-19, see how many there are compared to other years and how many times you will find multiple deaths in the same family for those years. It was a horrible time, now largely forgotten and to a great deal overshadowed by the end of World War I, but it is a lesson for us all if only we will open our eyes and see.

Perhaps the nightmare scenario I have painted is merely the stuff of dreams, and I certainly hope that proves to be the case. But I strongly suggest that we all take steps to prepare for the worst, just in case. Better that than be like the old fellow on the side of Mount Saint Helens who ignored all the warning signs, disbelieved all the scientists and scoffed at the idea of a deadly eruption right up to the point that he was incinerated.

While there may be little the world's governments may be able to do to stop the spread of a truly horrible influenza pandemic, there are things that we all can do to help avoid catching such a flu and to fight it off if we do catch it. Common sense tells us to practice very good hygiene and to avoid exposure to those who are infected. If a vaccine is available, it is probably a better idea to take it than not - even though vaccines are likely to be in short supply, will likely be mere guesswork since the virus has yet to mutate to a form that can be spread by humans and is likely to continue to mutate once it does, and is likely to contain mercury due to the probable use of an agent called thimerosal that is used to sterilize flu vaccines.

Beyond those obvious measures, I have also compiled the following information for anyone who wishes to avoid and combat influenza:

Avoiding the Flu:

The good news is that you can take steps to help you avoid the Bird Flu or any other flu when it comes, and to survive it if you happen to catch it. Included in these steps are the things that you should do to protect yourself from virtually all diseases and illnesses: get plenty of rest, exercise, quit smoking, eat a nutritious diet, avoid stress and, above all, to make your body's natural first line of defense -- your immune system -- strong and robust.

Some of the very best immune boosters are:

* Echinacea

* Pau d'arco

* Suma

* Astragalus

* Medicinal mushrooms

* Beta glucans

* Aloe vera

* Alkygycerol

* Lactoferrin

* Bovine colostrums

* Glutathione

* Mangosteen

The next thing you should do is to also take one or more good natural anti-viral agents, especially if the Bird Flu does mutate and begin to spread from human to human, because unlike other illnesses or flues, the Bird Flu will use your own immune system to attack you. This is because we have never been exposed to a strain of flu like the Bird Flu and it is likely that biochemical cascade of immune cells and immune system bio-chemicals such as interferon, interleukin, monokines and cytokines will literally pour into the lungs and eat your lungs up. With the Bird Flu, it is essential to also include good natural anti-viral supplements along with immune boosters.

Among the very best natural pathogen destroyers are:

* Garlic

* Olive leaf extract

* Oil of wild mountain oregano

* Grapefruit seed extract

* Colloidal Silver

A third thing to do would be to take regular preventative doses of a natural remedy known as "Oleander Soup", which can be made at home according to the instructions in the e-book "Cancer's Natural Enemy" (written by the author of this article).

Oleander extract has been proven in clinical trials, decades of medical practice and literally centuries of use as a folk remedy to be a very strong immune booster and disease and illness preventer. It has also demonstrated strong anti-viral abilities in the way that it attacks and kills cancer cells, as well as its effectiveness against hepatitis-C and HIV.

The fourth thing you should do is endeavor to stop the spread of airborne viruses during the flu season:

* Protect yourself from others by gargling daily with 1 drop each of the essential oils of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and lemon in a glass of warm water; stir well before each mouthful. Do not swallow.

* Mix a blend of essential oils to use in your diffuser or for use in steam inhalation.

Blend together:

1) ravensare - 3 parts

2) naiouli or eucalyptus - 1 part

3) lemon - 1 part

4) rosewood - 1 part

5) lavender - 1 part

Ravensare and naiouli have antiviral properties, while the other essential oils in the blend act as antiseptics while at the same time providing a wonderful aroma.

Diffuser Application - Add about 50 drops of the above blend to your diffuser at a time. Fumigate the house with oils to help prevent the spread of flu. Put 2-3 drops on a radiator to evaporate or add 10 drops of essential oils to a small plant spray filled with water. Spray the room frequently.

Natural Measures to Consider Should You Get the Flu

Hydrotherapy for Flu:

* Promote sweating by taking hot baths, hot foot-baths and other heat therapies. Keep the feet warm at all times during sickness and as a preventive measure. Low body temperature decreases resistance to viruses and bacteria, while heat burns up and destroys the virus.

* To warm feet, soak them for five to ten minutes in a hot mustard bath. Dissolve I tbsp. mustard powder in 4 cups of hot water.

* A hot bath followed by a cold mitten friction rub, two to four times a day, loosens congestion, improves circulation and strengthens the immune system, speeding healing from the flu.

* To do a cold mitten friction rub, proceed as follows: Dip a small towel or washcloth into cold (50° to 60°F) water. Curl one hand into a fist and wrap the cloth around it. Use your fist to rub your other arm in a vigorous circular motion, beginning with the fingers and finishing at the shoulder. Dip the cloth in the cold water again and repeat. Your skin should be pink. Dry your arm with a towel using the same vigorous circular movement. Repeat the process on your other arm and on your legs, feet, chest and abdomen.

Juice Therapy for Flu:

* Apple and dark grape juices are often recommended for those fighting the flu. They have properties that work against congestion and runny nose. Dark grape juice is rich in tannins, substances that have been shown to kill viruses under laboratory conditions.

* Dilute the juices if they are too sweet. Drink them at room temperature. Pear, cranberry and, especially, pomegranate juices are also helpful for combating flu.

Naturopathy for Flu:

* Hot Bath

* Add 30-60 ml (2-4 tbsp) of Epsom Salts to hot water and take a hot bath. After the bath, go straight to bed.

* Vitamins - As soon as the symptoms of flu start, take high levels of Vitamin C to boost the immune system, around 3,000-4,000 mg to start with, reducing over 3-4 days to 500 mg until you feel completely better.

* Diet - Drink fruit juices until the fever has passed.

* Now eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

* Cold Compress - If very hot and sweaty, try applying a cool compress to the chest and trunk.

Aromatherapy for Flu/Colds:

* Steam Inhalation - Mix a blend of essential oils to use in your diffuser or for use in steam inhalation.

Blend together:

1) ravensare - 3 parts

2) naiouli or eucalyptus - 1 part

3) lemon - 1 part

4) rosewood - 1 part

5) lavender - 1 part

Add six to eight drops of the above blend to a bowl of just-boiled water. Place a towel over your head and inhale. Repeat this treatment two or three times a day, if necessary.

Several oils have considerable anti-viral activity, and help to boost the immune system. For maximum effectiveness, it is important that you use them at the earliest sign of influenza or in some cases before contracting cold/flu to boost your immune system as a preventative.

Essential oils of basil, eucalyptus, peppermint, and pine help to ease nasal congestion. Choose one to three of these oils and use them as inhalants or in steam inhalation treatments. For chest congestion, a steam inhalation treatment made with basil, pine, and/ or tea tree oil can help to clear mucus and ease breathing. Rubbing a massage oil prepared with these oils over the chest may also be helpful.

An aromatherapy bath prepared with elemi, myrrh, pine, and/ or tea tree oil can help to soothe achy feelings all over your body that accompany flu. Use a lukewarm bath for fever, a hot bath for chills.

* For chills:

1) Add 3 drops of rosemary and 3 drops of ginger or black pepper essential oils to your bath.

2) Mix 5 drops of ravensare and 15 drops of rosewood in ½ ounce of carrier oil such as olive or almond. This makes an energizing massage oil blend.

Other Essential Oils Useful for Flu:

* Tea Tree oil

* Eucalyptus oil

* Lemon oil

* Lavender oil

If you come down with the flu, add 10 to 20 drops of tea tree to hot water and take a hot bath. This may help your immune system fight the viral infection and ease your symptoms. Use a pure, unadulterated form of tea tree oil; adulterated forms can be irritating to the skin.

To help alleviate and disinfect dry air passages, add 10 drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of hot water or vaporizer and leave in your bedroom overnight. A small handkerchief sprinkled with a few drops of the oil and left under the pillow may help as well.

Caution: Do Not Overdo it! Prolonged inhalation of essential oils can cause an enlarged liver.

If you have a congested nose or chest, add a few drops of essential oils of eucalyptus globulus (E. globulus) or peppermint (Mentha piperita) to a steam vaporizer.

Caution: If you are asthmatic, be cautious the first time you try this; if you have not been exposed to essential oils before, inhaling the vapor may actually precipitate an attack.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Flu

Ayurvedic practitioners recommend the following strategies to combat flu:

* At the first sign of the flu, switch to a bland diet. Eat soft-cooked rice (rice that has a very soft, moist texture created by a longer cooking time with more water) with a pinch of cumin, ginger powder and turmeric for seasoning. In India, broken rice is used for this purpose with generous amounts of water so that we will get a soup in the end. The ginger and cumin heat up your body, so you can sweat out toxins. Turmeric has antibiotic and antiseptic qualities. You can also add few cloves of garlic cut into small pieces to the mixture as garlic is very good for flu.

* To ease the congestion that can accompany the flu:

1) ½ teaspoon sitopaladi powder

2) ½ teaspoon sudarshan

3) ½ teaspoon of honey

Mix the ingredients well. Take a teaspoonful of this mixture every few hours. Your symptoms will disappear quickly.

* For Severe Flu Symptoms - Take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic coughs, colds and clear the sinuses. A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ingredient which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

* Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacteria and viral diseases.

Herbal Remedies:

Herbal remedies cannot cure a cold or flu. But they can bring relief of symptoms, stimulate the immune system and speed recovery. Here are several herbal remedies useful for colds and flu.

* Corn starch, water and lemon. Mix together in a cup. One cup should be enough.

* Water, lemons, cinnamon sticks and honey. Put a gallon of water in a large pot on the stove. Add four lemons, cut in quarters, and two sticks of cinnamon. Bring water to a full boil and then let steep for five or more minutes. Drink one cup several times a day if you are able to stay home and rest and one or two cups at night, otherwise just drink at night. Best taken at the beginning of flu symptoms. This remedy should help you sweat out the flu, help ease any sore throat you may have and also keep you hydrated.

* Tea, lemon, orange juice and brandy. Works like a charm. Just make a cup of tea, squeeze half a lemon and half an orange into the tea and put two teaspoons of brandy and you should feel much better soon.

* One garlic clove and a sharp knife. Cut raw garlic as thin as possible and put the garlic slices on your tongue. Do not chew, just place on the tongue and then swallow. Best when taken at the first signs of flu symptoms.

* Eucalyptus, burnt sugar, lemon and water. Boil the water and add eucalyptus, burnt sugar, lemon juice and/or lemon rind, and continue to boil for five minutes. Drink the tea hot, preferably just before going to bed.

* Colloidal silver. A half teaspoon of colloidal silver for children and a teaspoon for adults can be swallowed to ease or eliminate flu symptoms. If you take colloidal silver regularly, you may never get the flu.

* At the first sign of a flu, put a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide into each ear, one ear at a time. Keep the solution in for 10 minutes or until the bubbling stops. Your temperature should start dropping within minutes, and your flu should be gone within 12 to 14 hours.

* Goldenseal tea. Use goldenseal tea bags (not pills or capsules) to make tea. Drink a cup before bed (sweeten with honey or Stevia if desired).

* Herbal Fever Remedy

1) 1 ounce dried Elder Flowers

2) 1 ounce dried Peppermint Leaves

3) ½ pint distilled water

Mix the herbs. Place in a quart saucepan. Pour 1/2 pints of distilled boiling water over it. Cover and allow to steep in a hot place for 10 to 15 minutes (do not boil). When ready, strain into another saucepan. Sweeten with honey if desired. This remedy drops high temperature associated with flu quite effectively. In some cases, the temperature has been reduced from 104 to 99 degrees within two hours! According to Dr. Edward E. Shook, well known herbalist, "there is no remedy for colds and fevers of any description equal to this simple life-saving formula."

* Psyllium - Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) Flu Remedy: This remedy is useful for flu as well as for backaches and headaches.

* Peppermint-Rosemary-Elder Flu Remedy: This remedy is good for colds with flu Symptoms.

* Echinacea and goldenseal stimulate the immune system. Goldenseal also helps to soothe mucous membranes. Add 10-15 drops of a combination of echinacea and goldenseal to herbal teas at the first sign of a sniffle to boost the immune system. Take one dose of an echinacea and goldenseal combination remedy supplying 250 to 500 milligrams of echinacea and 150 to 300 milligrams of goldenseal three times daily for five days.

* An infusion of boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) may relieve aches and fever and clear congestion:

Simmer 1 cup boiling water with 2 tsp of the herb for 10 to 15 minutes; drink a cupful every hour, as hot as you can stand it.

* A comforting herbal tea may be made from an infusion of equal measures of elderflowers, peppermint and hyssop. Caution: Take only small doses of hyssop (no more than 1-2g three times daily).

* To combat chills, try taking 30 drops of yarrow (Achillea millefolium) or elder (Sambucus nigra) flower tincture every four hours until your chills are gone.

* Use a warming tea made of Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Cayenne (Capsicum minimum) and ground Ginger (Zingiber officinalis).

* To help yourself rest and relax, take a cup of chamomile tea twice a day.

* Use inhalations of chamomile, eucalyptus or thyme. These help loosen mucus and heal the throat, nasal passages and bronchial tubes.

* Horsetail inhalations reduce swelling of mucous membranes.

* At the first sign of the flu, begin taking the Chinese botanical formula Yin Qiao (this remedy usually is not helpful after the third day of symptoms). Take two or three tablets three times a day, up to twelve tablets in a twenty four hour period, during the acute phase of the flu. After the symptoms start to ease, reduce the dosage to one tablet three times daily for one week.

* In a 1995 Israeli study, elderberry extract was found to reduce both the severity of symptoms and the duration of flu (two to three days in the treated group versus six days in the placebo group). Choose an extract standardized to contain 5 percent total flavonoids and take 500 milligrams twice daily.

* Garlic helps to detoxify the body. Take 500 milligrams (or one clove) three times a day for up to five days.

* Take ginger tea. Ginger tea is antiviral and helps break up the mucus and congestion. Ginger tea is excellent if the stomach is affected. To make the tea, boil 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and steep for 10 minutes. Take a cup as needed.

* Onion or nasturtium inhalations disinfect.

* Ginkgo biloba leaf inhalations kill bacteria and heal the cells of the damaged mucous membranes almost immediately.

* Inhale steam for fifteen minutes three times daily in acute stage. When the condition is improving, inhale steam in the evening before retiring for a week or so to help heal the bronchial passages.

* When feeling more feverish, induce sweating by taking infusions of Catmint (Nepeta cataria) and/or Elderflower (Sambucus nigra).

* To help alleviate and disinfect dry air passages, add 10 drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of hot water or vaporizer and leave in bedroom overnight. A small handkerchief sprinkled with a few drops of the oil and left under the pillow may help as well.

* At the onset of a flu, drink lindenflower tea with 2 drops of lemon balm oil, thyme tea with honey, rose hip tea or acerola juice. When you start to sweat, quickly go to bed and continue sweating for one hour. Change clothes, rub body dry and try to steep. This therapy often stops the flu before it becomes full blown.

* Gargle regularly with sage tea to disinfect mouth, and use sage inhalations to reduce inflammation.

* Wash body with an infusion of thyme or juniper needles.

* If you are suffering from muscular aching, use an infusion of Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) alone, or in combination with Catmint (Nepeta cataria) and/or Elderflower (Sambucus nigra).

* Chinese Herbal Formula for Flu - Gan Mao Dan (Common Cold and Flu Pills). This remedy expels Wind-Heat, reduces fever, relieves chest congestion, and stops cough.
This formulas is good for these symptoms:

Cough, Fatigue, Fever with slight chills, Headache, Nausea, Red eyes, Runny nose, Skin rash, Sore throat

Ingredients: Lonicera Flower (Flos Lonicerae), Forsythia Fruit (Fructus Forsythiae), Gardenia Fruit (Fructus Gardeniae), Phragmites Rhizome (Rhi-zoma Phragmites), Red Peony Root (Radix Paeonia Rubra), Wooly Grass Rhizome (Rhizoma Imperatae Cylindricae), Soja Seed (Semen Sojae Praeparatum), Mentha Herb (Herba Menthae), Morus Leaf (Herba Mori), Schizonepeta Herb (Herba Schizonepetae), Aster Root (Radix Asteris Tatarici), Platycodon Root (Radix Platycodi), Citrus Peel (pericarpium Citri Reticulatae)

Dosage: 20 pills twice a day.

Important Herbs for Flu:

* Echinacea - Echinacea has been a traditional favorite for colds and flu. Double blind studies in Germany have shown that infections with flu-like symptoms clear more rapidly when taking echinacea. Echinacea appears to work by stimulating the immune system. Taking 3–5 ml of tincture or 300 mg of dried root powder three times per day is usually recommended.

* Elderberry - Elderberry is another herb that has been used in treating flu. This herb contains two compounds that are active against flu viruses. It also prevents the virus from invading respiratory tract cells. A patented Israeli drug (Sambucol) that contains elderberry is active against various strains of viruses. In a clinical trial testing Sambucol, twenty percent of flu sufferers who used it showed significant relief of fever, muscle aches and other symptoms within 24 hours, and another 73 percent felt better after the second day. In three days, 90 percent were reported completely cured. In a similar group that received an inactive treatment (a placebo), only 26 percent were improved in two days, and it took most of them six days to feel well again. Sambucol also stimulates the immune system and has shown some activity in preliminary trials against other viruses, such as Epstein-Barr, herpes and even HIV. In a small double blind trial, patients with influenza were found to recover three times faster when they took one capsule of elderberry extract four times daily compared to patients taking placebo.

You can take the medication or take the herb by making a tea from the herb: Make elderberry-flower tea by steeping 3 to 5 g of dried flowers in one cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Take 1 cup of this tea 3 times daily. Elderberry flower is generally regarded as safe. Side effects are rare and consist primarily of occasional mild gastrointestinal distress or allergic reactions. Its safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not established.

* Astragalus - Astragalus root has been used to enhance immunity for thousands of years in China. This herb is considered by herbal practitioners to be a tonic that strengthens the body's resistance to disease. Astragalus can stimulate practically all of the processes of your immune system. It increases the number of stem cells in bone marrow and speeds their growth into active immune cells. Astragalus also may help boost levels of interferon, one of your body's potent fighters against viruses. This, in turn, can help prevent or shorten the duration of colds and flu. Astragalus also boosts the production of white blood cells called macrophages, whose function is to destroy invading viruses and bacteria. As soon as you discover the flu, take one 500- milligram capsule of astragalus four times a day until symptoms disappear. Then take one capsule twice a day for seven days to prevent a relapse.

* Garlic - Garlic is known to kill influenza virus in test tubes. It also stimulates the immune system and wards off complications such as bronchitis. Garlic contains several helpful compounds, including allicin, one of the plant kingdom's most potent, broad-spectrum antibiotics. This herb's aromatic compounds are readily released from the lungs and respiratory tract, putting garlic's active ingredients right where they can be most effective against cold viruses. Holistic practitioners often recommend taking several cloves of raw garlic per day during an infection. You can also take aged garlic extract, or consume products such as hot garlic bread or toast.

* Asian ginseng (eleuthero) - Asian ginseng has immune-enhancing properties, which play a potential role in preventing infection with influenza. Boneset has been shown in test tube and other studies to stimulate immune cell function. This may explain boneset's traditional use to help fight off minor viral infections, such as the flu.

* Wild Indigo - Wild indigo contains polysaccharides and proteins that are believed to stimulate the immune system. It is used traditionally to fight the flu in combination with herbs such as echinacea, goldenseal, or thuja.

* Forsythia and honeysuckle - These herbs are used by Oriental Medicine practitioners to treat colds, flu and other viruses. They have real antiviral benefits. At the inception of cold or flu, mix honeysuckle and forsythia with lemon balm tea (lemon balm also has antiviral properties.) Take this tea before going to bed.

* Mullein - A tea made with mullein flowers provides throat-soothing mucilage and also has an expectorant effect. Herbalists think that this plant contains compounds that inhibit flu viruses. You can also make a tea with mullein leaf.

Other Herbs:

* Bayberry

* Boneset

* Calendula

* Ginger

* Goldenseal

* Lemon balm

* Oregon grape

* Thyme

Nutrition for Flu:

* If you don't feel like eating, do not force yourself. For a day or two, consume only liquids -- water, juices, teas, and soups. Digesting liquids require a lot less energy than digesting foods. This means that your body has more energy to fight the flu.

* Consume easily digested foods such as juices, lemonade (hot or cold), herbal teas, applesauce, and lots of nourishing broth and homemade soups. Miso and chicken soup are good choices.

* Take mushroom soup. Mushrooms of choice include shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms. They are shown in studies to boost the body's immune response.

* Getting plenty of fluids, including soups, is particularly important. Drink at least six to eight glasses of liquid daily. Fluids help to thin secretions, making it easier for the body to clear them, and also help to prevent constipation and flush toxins from the body.

* Sick People Soup - Here is a great soup to take when you are down with cold and flu. It comes from Rosita Arvigo, author of "Rainforest Home Remedies."

1) 1/2 head cabbage, chopped

2) 1 onion, chopped

3) 1 head garlic, chopped

4) 3 carrots, sliced

5) 3 pieces celery, diced

6) 6 Tbsp ginger, grated

7) ¼ c miso (soybean paste)

8) 2 qts water

9) juice of 1 lemon or lime

Boil the vegetables in the water until tender (about thirty minutes), then add ginger and garlic and allow to boil another five minutes. Remove from heat. Take a bit of the hot soup from the pot and mix with the miso to form a thick liquid. Add to the soup and serve. Squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice into the bowl. For added health boosts, add sliced agaricus, reishi, shiitake or maitake mushrooms to the boiling vegetables and sprinkle crushed garlic on the soup before serving.

* When there is fever, take liquids only.

* Recommended liquids: Warm broth, vegetable juices and herb teas.

* Avoid dairy products and sugar. They increase and thicken mucus. Avoid a milky drink at night if you have chest problems, since this can contribute to congestion of the chest by morning.

* Red beet juice makes the flu virus inactive.

* Condensed grape juice strengthens the heart muscles.

* Parsley, celery, watercress, garlic, lemon, carrot and coconut juices are nourishing and help to cleanse and promote healing.

* Drink fruit juices after diluting. Limit the intake of sugars.

* Increase the proportion of vitamin C-rich foods in the diet, such as tomatoes, raw green peppers, carrots, strawberries and citrus fruit. This vitamin is easily destroyed by the process of oxidation, so do not leave peeled, chopped fruit or vegetables to stand for a long time before eating. Overcooking also leads to loss of vitamin C, especially if fruit or vegetables are boiled. Vegetables and fruit are best eaten raw, and if vegetables must be cooked, steam them, which preserves essential nutrients.

* Eat fresh, raw fruit and vegetables, whole grains, garlic, pulses, beans, small helpings of fish, nuts and seeds. These foods appear to increase resistance to infection and improve vitality.

* Use unrefined, cold-pressed flax seed oil as a salad dressing. Flax seed oil is an excellent source of the omega-3 essential fatty acid and also contains the omega-6 essential fatty acid. These fats help strengthen cell membranes, thereby speeding healing and strengthening resistance to infection. In the body.

* Eat sea plants or algae. These can re-mineralize the body after overexposure to processed foods. Spirulina, alfalfa, chlorella or seaweeds can be added to soups or juices in powder or capsule form.

* Garlic can also help ward off a cold by inhibiting the growth of staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria.

* Avoid food and drinks that put extra strain on the liver. The liver is responsible for efficient detoxification of the body. The foods to avoid include convenience foods containing substantial amounts of chemicals such as colorings and preservatives, and alcohol, which also depletes the body of vitamin C.

Nutritional Supplements:

* Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Bioflavonoids - Vitamin C is well-known for treating and preventing colds. Studies show that vitamin C can shorten the duration of common colds and flu and even prevent them. Taken in large enough doses, vitamin C can boost your immune system by pumping enough fuel into white blood cells to destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Vitamin C increases interferon levels and has interferon-like properties itself. It acts as a natural antihistamine that helps dry up watery eyes and reduce nasal and chest congestion. It is also a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent the damage that your body endures when viruses or bacteria attack your immune system. Dockworkers given 100 mg of vitamin C each day for ten months caught influenza 28% less than their coworkers not taking vitamins. Moreover, the average infection was 10% shorter in those taking vitamin C. Other studies have reported that vitamin C in high doses (2 grams every hour for twelve hours) can lead to rapid improvement of influenza infections.

* At the first sign of cold or flu symptoms, take 500 milligrams of vitamin C with bioflavonoids or rose hips four to six times a day. The bioflavonoids and rose hips strengthen the vitamin C's infection-fighting power by 35 percent, according to experts. Start taking Vitamin C as soon as you can. There are no adverse effects from taking high dosages of vitamin C. If you experience diarrhea, reduce the dosage of Vitamin C. Use bioflavonoids along with vitamin C for their synergistic effect.

* Vitamin A is a nutrient vital to the mucous membranes throughout the respiratory system during a cold or flu. It is known as the anti-infection vitamin. It battles viruses and bacteria in two ways. By keeping the cells healthy all along your respiratory tract, it provides a barrier that resists microorganisms. If some invading microorganisms manage to breach the barrier, you want to have antibodies and lymphocytes ready to destroy them. Vitamin A helps your body provide those reinforcements.

As soon as you notice cold or flu symptoms, take 100,000 international units (IU) of vitamin A daily for three days, then reduce the dosage to 25,000 IU for one week or until symptoms disappear.
Caution: These are very high doses, please check with your doctor before taking this much.

* Beta-carotene, Vitamin A's precursor, is rich in antioxidant power and antiviral properties. It bolsters immunity and protects the thymus gland. It also protects you from viruses by enhancing mucous membrane secretions. By producing the secretions, the beta-carotene prevents the virus from invading your body. If you feel a cold or flu coming on, take 100,000 IU of beta-carotene for 10 to 14 days, then cut the dosage to 50,000 IU a day to prevent future respiratory infections.

* Zinc - Zinc supplementation is recommended for immune system support. Zinc lozenges soothe a sore throat and help fend off a cold before it takes hold. Zinc stimulates the immune system by generating new white blood cells and whipping them into shape to battle viruses. If you have too little zinc, your production of white blood cells may drop, and that can increase your risk of catching a cold, flu, or other upper respiratory infection. In one study, children who got 10 milligrams of zinc daily for 60 days were much less likely to get respiratory infections than children getting less. In fact, the children who got enough zinc were 70 percent less likely to have fevers, 48 percent less likely to have coughs, and 28 percent less likely to have mucus buildup.

* Take 5 to 10 milligrams of zinc five times daily for five days to one week. Take zinc with food to prevent stomach upset. Be careful not to consume too much zinc. Doctors recommend taking no more than 15 milligrams of zinc a day. Zinc gluconate in lozenge form has been found to shorten the duration of cold symptoms. In a study, participants who sucked on one zinc gluconate lozenge (containing about 13 milligrams of zinc) every two hours while awake got rid of their coughs, nasal congestion, sore throat, and headaches three to four days sooner than those who didn't get any supplementation. Don't take them for longer than one week, because they can weaken your immune system.

* Garlic - Garlic is very beneficial especially at the beginning of a cold of flu. It warms the body and acts as an antiviral and antibacterial.

* Thymus glandular extract boosts immune function by increasing the number and activity of infection-fighting white blood cells. Take 250 to 500 milligrams twice a day. This is especially important for people over forty, as thymus function declines with age.

Recommended dosages:
- Vitamin C, with bioflavonoids, 1,000 mg every few hours throughout the day, up to bowel tolerance

- Zinc lozenges, with 3 mg copper, every few hours, up to 70 mg daily during a cold and 30 mg daily as a preventive.

- Garlic, 2 capsules three times daily

- Vitamin A, 25,000 IU daily (avoid during pregnancy)

(Excerpted from the author's book "Collected Remedies".)

About the author
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health advocate and researcher and the author of books and articles about natural health including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and "Collected Remedies"as well as song lyrics and humorous anecdotal stories. Mr. Isaacs also has The Best Years in Life website for baby boomers and others wishing to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. He is currently residing in the scenic Texas hill country near Utopia, Texas where he serves as a consultant to the Utopia Silver colloidal silver and supplement company and where he is working on a major book project due for publication later this year. Mr. Isaacs also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup"