No single herb threatens the pharmaceutical industry’s global monopoly as much as turmeric. Here’s why…
Turmeric has received a lot of attention in the past few years. The reason has everything to do with the power of social media to undercut traditional pharmaceutical industry controlled media channels, along with the reality that the available published literature that has accumulated on turmeric’s health benefits is astoundingly vast. The open access database MEDLINE, for instance, now contains over 10,000 study abstracts on turmeric and/or its components, such as the polyphenol known as curcumin. Our intention at GreenMedInfo.com is to save you time looking through these thousands of studies by putting all the relevant ones to natural and integrative medicine in one spot. In the case of the burgeoning volume of turmeric and curcumin literature, that spot is our Turmeric Research dashboard.
Previously, we wrote an article titled “600 Reasons Turmeric May Be The World’s Most Important Herb,” which received a quarter of a million social media shares and many more views. Since then, the Greenmedinfo database on turmeric has grown to encompass 800 distinct potential health benefits linked to this ancient Indian spice. This is all the more amazing when you consider the fact that most pharmaceutical drugs are marketed for one major health benefit, but come with about 75 known side effects. Take a look at our article showing curcumin as effective as 14 conventional pharmaceuticals. Clearly natural substances are superior to synthetic ones in this regard, and in a very real, embody physically a form of inter-kingdom compassion between plant and animal. And yet, you can not patent natural substances, which precludes turmeric or any of its extracts from ever receiving FDA approval for the prevention or treatment of disease, even though it is capable of doing exactly this.
The purpose of this article is to help bring turmeric back into the forefront by introducing our newly refashioned and retooled Turmeric database, which we believe will provide the tools necessary to spread the truth about its unparalleled healing properties.
We also encourage those who believe in our mission to support the continued growth of our Turmeric database (our goal is to reach 1,000+ documented health benefits by the end of 2016), along with the 10,000+ other health topics on our website, by becoming a member. Or, lacking the resources to do so, to share it widely with others. This should help us to realize the three primary objectives of our mission:
1) To generate a greater awareness of Medline as the invaluable resource and much overlooked National Treasure that it is.
2) To contribute to the democratization of the information on Medline by acting as a liaison in its dissemination to the public.
3) To simplify the task of finding data relevant to alternative & complementary medicine.
Fluoride is found everywhere today, from antibiotics to drinking water, no stick pans to toothpaste, making exposure inevitable. All the more reason why research proving this common spice can prevent fluoride damage is so promising…
Fluoride’s neurotoxicity has been the subject of academic debate for decades, and now a matter of increasingly impassioned controversy among the general public, as well. From ‘conspiracy theories’ about it being first used in drinking water in Russian and Nazi concentration camps to chemically lobotomize captives, to its now well-known IQ lowering properties, to its ability to enhance the calcification of the pineal gland – the traditional ‘seat of the soul’ – many around the world, and increasingly in the heavily fluoridated regions of the United States, are starting to organize at the local and statewide level to oust this ubiquitous toxicant from municipal drinking water.
A compelling study published in the Pharmacognosy Magazine titled, “Curcumin attenuates neurotoxicity induced by fluoride: An in vivo evidence,” adds experimental support to the suspicion that fluoride is indeed a brain-damaging substance, also revealing that a natural spice-derived protective agent against the various health effects associated with this compound is available.
The study was authored by researchers from the Department of Zoology, University College of Science, M.L. Sukhadia University, Udaipur, India, who have spent the past decade investigating the mechanisms through which fluoride induces severe neurodegenerative changes in the mammalian brain, particularly in cells of the hippocampus and cerebral cortex.[i] [ii]
The study opens by describing the historical backdrop for concern about fluoride’s significant and wide ranging toxicity:
“Fluoride (F) is probably the first inorganic ion which drew attention of the scientific world for its toxic effects and now the F toxicity through drinking water is well-recognized as a global problem. Health effect reports on F exposure also include various cancers, adverse reproductive activities, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases.[1,2]”
The study focused on fluoride induced neurotoxicity, identifying excitoxicity (stimulation of the neuron to the point of death) and oxidative stress as the two main drivers of neurodegeneration. It has been observed that subjects with the condition known as fluorosis, a mottling of tooth enamel caused by excessive exposure to fluoride during tooth development, also have neurodegenerative changes associated with a form of oxidative stress known as lipid peroxidation (rancidity). Excess lipid peroxidation in the brain can lead to a decrease in total brain phospholipid content. Owing to these well-known mechanisms of fluoride associated neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration, the researchers identified the primary polyphenol in the spice turmeric — known as curcumin – as an ideal agent worth testing as a neuroprotective substance. Previous research on curcumin indicates that it is capable of activing as an antioxidant in 3 distinct ways by protecting against: 1) singlet oxygen 2) hyrodxyl radicals and 3) superoxide radical damage. Also, curcumin appears to raise endogenous glutathione production in the brain, a major antioxidant defense system.
In order to assess the neurotoxic effects of fluoride and prove curcumin’s protective role against it, researchers randomly divided up mice into four groups, for 30 days:
- Control (no fluoride)
- Fluoride (120 ppm): fluoride was given in distilled water drinking water without restriction.
- Fluoride (120 ppm/30 mg/kg body weight) + Curcumin: Oral dose of curcumin dissolved in olive oil along with fluoride in drinking water
- Curcumin: (30 mg/kg body weight)
In order to ascertain the effect of treatment, the researchers measured the malondialdehyde (MDA) content in the brains of the different treated mice. MDA is a well-known marker of oxidative stress/damage.
As was expected, the fluoride (F) only treatment group showed significantly elevated MDA levels vs. the non-fluoride treated control. The F + Curcumin group saw reduced MDA levels vs. the fluoride only group, demonstrating curcumin’s neuroprotective activity against fluoride associated neurotoxicity.
The study concluded,
“Our study thus demonstrate that daily single dose of 120 ppm F result in highly significant increases in the LPO [lipid peroxidation, i.e. brain rancidity] as well as neurodegenerative changes in neuron cell bodies of selected hippocampal regions. Supplementation with curcumin significantly reduce the toxic effect of F to near normal level by augmenting the antioxidant defense through its scavenging property and provide an evidence of having therapeutic role against oxidative stress mediated neurodegeneration.”
This is far from the first study to demonstrate curcumin’s remarkable brain-saving properties. From the perspective of the primary research alone, there are over two hundred peer-reviewed published studies indicating that curcumin is a neuroprotective agent. On our own turmeric database we have 115 articles proving this statement: Turmeric Protects The Brain. We have also featured studies on turmeric’s ability to protect and restore the brain:
- How Turmeric Can Save the Aging Brain From Dementia and Premature Death
- Turmeric Produces ‘Remarkable’ Recovery in Alzheimer’s Patients
Considering the many chemical insults we face on a daily basis in the post-industrial world, turmeric may very well be the world’s most important herb, with over 800 evidence-based health applications. Visit our Turmeric Research database — the world’s largest, open access turmeric resource of its kind — to view the first hand published research on the topic.
[i] Bhatnagar M, Rao P, Saxena A, Bhatnagar R, Meena P, Barbar S. Biochemical changes in brain and other tissues of young adult female mice from fluoride in their drinking water. Fluoride. 2006;39:280–4. [Ref list]
[ii] Bhatnagar M, Sukhwal P, Suhalka P, Jain A, Joshi C, Sharma D. Effects of fluoride in drinking water on NADPH-diaphorase neurons in the forebrain of mice: A possible mechanism of fluoride neurotoxicity. Fluoride. 2011;44:195–9. [Ref list]
We barely knew you.
We see the surface of the sea: the rock pools, the waves, the horizon. But there is so much more going on underneath, hidden from view.
The sea’s surface conceals human impact as well.
Today, I am writing a eulogy to the Derwent River Seastar (or starfish), that formerly inhabited the shores near the Tasman Bridge in Hobart, Tasmania.
It is Australia’s first documented marine animal extinction and one of the few recorded anywhere in the world.
Scientists only knew the Derwent River Seastar for about 25 years. It was first described in 1969 by Alan Dartnall, a former curator of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
It was found on and off until the early 1990s but scientists noted a decline in numbers. Targeted surveys in 1993 and 2010 failed to find a single individual.
It was listed as critically endangered by the Tasmanian and Australian governments. But now, like a long-lost missing person, it is time to call it: the Derwent River Seastar appears extinct.
It is actually quite hard to document the extinction of marine animals.
There is always hope that it will turn up in some unusual spot, somewhere in that hidden world. Australia has an ambitious plan to create high-resolution maps of 50 percent of our marine environment by 2025.
This is a formidable task. But it is a reflection of our lack of knowledge about the oceans that, 20 years after the launch of Google Maps and despite an enormous effort in the interim, much of Australia’s seafloor in 2025 will be still largely known from the occasional 19th-century depth sounding, or imprecise gravity measurements from satellites.
We do notice when big animals go. There used to be a gigantic dugong-like creature called Steller’s Sea Cow, which lived in the North Pacific Ocean until it was hunted to oblivion by 1768. There is no mistaking that loss.
But the vast majority of the estimated 1 million to 2 million marine animals are invertebrates, animals without backbones such as shells, crabs, corals and seastars. We just don’t monitor those enough to observe their decline.
We noticed the Derwent River Seastar because it was only found at a few sites near a major city. Its story is intertwined with the usual developments that happen near many large ports.
The Derwent River became silty and was at times heavily polluted by industrial and residential waste. The construction of the Tasman Bridge in the early 1960s cannot have helped.
From the 1920s a series of marine pests were accidentally introduced by live oysters imported from New Zealand, or by hitching a ride on ships. Some of these pests are now abundant in southeast Tasmanian waters and eat or compete with local species.
The Derwent River Seastar has been a bit of an enigma. From the start, it was mistakenly classified as belonging to group of seastars (poranids) otherwise known from deep or polar habitats.
Some people wondered whether it was an introduced species as well, one that couldn’t cope with the Derwent environment.
However, we used a CT scanner at the School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, to look at the internal skeleton of one of the few museum specimens.
Sure enough, it has internal struts to strengthen the body, which are characteristic of a different group of seastars (asterinids) that have adapted to coastal environments and are sometimes restricted to very small areas.
Below is a CT scan showing the internal structure of the seastar.
Is this seastar like a canary in a coal mine, a warning of a wave of marine extinctions? Sea levels are rising with global warming, and that is going to be a big problem for life adapted to living along the shoreline.
Mangroves, salt marsh, seagrass beds, mud flats, beaches and rock platforms only form at specific water depths. They are going to need to follow rising sea levels and reform higher up the shoreline.
Coastal life can take hundreds to thousands of years to adjust to these sorts of changes. But in many places we don’t have a natural environment anymore.
Humans will increasingly protect coastal property by building seawalls and other infrastructure, especially around towns and bays. This will mean far less space for marine animals and plants.
We need to start planning new places for our shore life to go – areas they can migrate to with rising sea levels. Otherwise, the Derwent River Seastar won’t be the last human-induced extinction from these environments.
A stunning insight into the future of space travel.
Elon Musk has provided several new, rare, and telling glimpses into how his rocket company, SpaceX, is building a spacecraft to reach Mars.
On September 17, Musk announced that SpaceX would fly Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa around the moon on the company’s Big Falcon Rocket or BFR. During that event, Musk showed off new renderings of the launch system, along with a few photos of the work going on inside SpaceX’s spaceship-building tent at the Port of Los Angeles.
These were the first new details about SpaceX’s rocket construction we’d gotten since April, when Musk posted a photo that revealed SpaceX was building the spacecraft using a 40-foot-long, 30-foot-wide cylindrical tool.
“SpaceX main body tool for the BFR interplanetary spaceship,” Musk said on Instagram.
Aerospace industry experts say the newly released pictures reveal new information about how SpaceX is constructing the BFR and how quickly the project is moving.
“It’s unusual for companies and even government agencies that develop rockets to reveal much about the hardware they’re developing. But what Musk wants to do is to bring along the public with him,” Marco Cáceres, a senior space analyst at the Teal Group, told Business Insider. “He lives and breathes this company. So when he has hardware that he’s excited about, he just wants to show it and be as transparent as possible.”
What the new BFR fabrication images reveal
The BFR is designed to be a 39-story launch system made of two parts: a 180-foot-tall spaceship, from tip to tail, and a 230-foot-tall rocket booster (which the ship rides into orbit). Musk has said the spaceship is the “hardest part” of the system to build, so SpaceX is prototyping it first.
Musk’s vision is to launch the spaceship into orbit and refuel it while it circles Earth. Then the ship can fire up its engines, fly through space, land on Mars, and later rocket off of that planet and return to Earth. Because it’s designed to be 100% reusable, the system will supposedly be able to do all of this many times.
Musk said in 2016 that SpaceX is building the system “primarily of an advanced carbon fibre,” which can be stronger than steel at one-fifth of the weight.
One of the new images Musk shared on September 17 shows a ribbed, spoked tube with a worker inside. This is the inside of the cylindrical tool that Musk first revealed in March; it’s called a mandrel. Robots wrap layer upon layer of carbon-fibre tape around the mandrel to form a 30-foot-wide “barrel section” of the spaceship.
The carbon fibres are soaked in a glue-like epoxy, then heated so that the composite cures and hardens.
The photo below, which Musk also revealed on September 17, shows a barrel section that’s been cured and freed of the mandrel. The rounded dome on the left appears to be part of a propellant tank also made of carbon-fibre composites.
Many carbon-fibre tapes are woven fabric. But Steve Nutt, a professor of chemical, aerospace, and mechanical engineering at the University of Southern California, told Business Insider that he thinks SpaceX engineers are wrapping the mandrel in an unwoven version of the tape.
Nutt said such unwoven tapes provide the “highest stiffness and strength” because they don’t easily kink or wrinkle (which can weaken a structure). They also maximise the amount of super-strong carbon fibre relative to epoxy, he said.
Nutt said it’s “quite clever what they are doing.”
Carbon fibre must be squeezed while it’s heated and cured, so Nutt thinks SpaceX may be using very large plastic bags and sucking out the air to compress the layers of tape. But he’s unsure how SpaceX is actually heating the parts.
“Structures are getting too big to oven-cure, so they might be using so-called ‘heat blankets,'” he said.
‘He’s shoving this in NASA’s face’
Cáceres, who’s studied the aerospace industry for decades, said the new photos highlight a project of epic proportions.
“This is probably the biggest challenge that I’ve seen since the Saturn V days, in terms of engineering,” Cáceres said, referring to NASA’s Apollo-era moon rocket. “Nothing I’ve seen is remotely this size.”
Revealing these images forces the public – and potential investors – to take Musk seriously, Cáceres said.
Cáceres previously estimated that the BFR development program could cost about $US5 billion, and Musk gave the same estimate when he announced Maezawa’s role in SpaceX’s moon tourism mission.
“He’s looking for investors because he’s not Jeff Bezos, who could probably do this on his own,” Cáceres said. “Musk is not as wealthy. He can look for investors by building stuff and showing it off. If you see how much hardware he has and how big it is, people will say, ‘Yeah, this is a serious program.'”
If the 2023 moon mission aboard BFR – a project Maezawa calls #dearMoon -is successful, that would send a big message to NASA about SpaceX’s capabilities.
“This doesn’t look like a stunt,” Cáceres said. “It looks like a trial run.”
SpaceX has gotten billions of dollars in NASA funding through the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, which aims to partner with private companies to build a system for launching astronauts to the International Space Station. So it would make sense for Musk to try to get NASA’s attention (and money) again for the development of BFR.
Right now, NASA is building a giant, one-use launcher called Space Launch System, which may cost more than $US20 billion to develop and priced at about $US1 billion per launch. Meanwhile, SpaceX’s BFR may cost the company tens of millions to refuel and launch once the spacecraft is operational.
“In a way, he’s shoving it in NASA’s face and saying, ‘You guys are crazy to build this rocket,'” Cáceres said of Musk and SLS, respectively.
“Elon Musk is a very charismatic figure and a showman. He understands that, for many years, NASA has been trying to create public excitement about space exploration, and they always try to recreate the excitement around Apollo. But they’re not successful.”
Musk, on the other hand, may be beating NASA at that goal.
“The thing Musk is building looks like it’s out of a science fiction movie. He wants to get the public excited, and that excitement can attract investors, ” Cáceres said.
If SpaceX does not attract NASA funding for BFR development, then the company might rely on space tourism, contracts with government and commercial interests to launch cargo and satellites, and profits from SpaceX’s planned constellation of 12,000 internet-providing satellites, called Starlink, to pay the ambitious program’s bills.
“People can’t say, ‘Musk is all talk.’ He has accomplished so much in a short amount of time,” Cáceres said.
“When I was at trade shows 10 years ago, when I asked Boeing and others about SpaceX, they rolled their eyes and said, ‘They aren’t going to be around very long.’ Now SpaceX is the major player in the industry.”