6 Health Benefits of Liver Cleansing


Your liver is responsible for processing toxins in the body, so you’ll want to keep it working at its best. Sometimes, though, diet or lifestyle can catch up to us, and if that happens, a liver cleanse becomes necessary. With a cleanse, you’ll certainly get rid of all that toxic buildup, but there are lots of other perks as well.

6 Benefits of Liver Cleansing

Many people disregard liver cleansing, but there are many benefits associated with the practice. Not only does it jump start a healthy eating program, it may also help you lose weight. Just what can liver cleansing do for you?

1. Weight Loss

Your liver produces bile, which the digestive systems use to break down fat. And since liver cleansing promotes bile production, detoxing your liver might be just the place to start if you want to lose weight.

2. Immune System Support

Since the liver reduces toxins, among other things, it makes sense that a healthy liver is crucial to a strong immune system[1] [2] Cleansing your liver could even give your immune system a boost.

3. Discourages Liver Stones

Liver stones, a product of diet, form because of too much cholesterol in the liver. [3] The extra cholesterol makes bile harden into tiny stones that can block the liver and gall bladder; you could even have up to 200 to 300 of these affecting your liver’s ability to detox. When you cleanse, though, somewhere between 100 to 300 of the stones could actually be purged from your body.

4. Supports Whole Body Detox

Since the liver removes toxins, turning them into harmless byproducts, there are usually small amounts of toxins in your liver. This is generally not a problem. Issues start, however, when there’s a buildup of too many toxins. That’s when you need to detox in order to get your liver working exactly as it should.

5. Boosts Energy

Some of the harmless byproducts the liver makes are actually nutrients the body will use. Whether from liver stones or too much toxic build up, some of those nutrients simply won’t make it back into the bloodstream. When that happens, your energy levels will likely drop, so liver cleansing will make you feel better because not only will you have all of your nutrients — but also all of your energy.

6. Increases Vitality

Remember that by cleansing the liver, you’re restoring it to peak efficiency. Reducing all that toxic buildup will make your skin look brighter and healthier. And since promoting bile production helps with fat breakdown, you’ll also tone your body easier and could even look and feel at least five years younger!

If you’re ready to make a change for the better, a liver cleanse might be a great start. You can get my recommended liver cleanse instructions here. You’ll also find valuable information in the following articles:

If you’ve performed a liver cleanse before, leave a comment below and let us know what difference it made for you!

References:

  1. Parker, G. A. & Picut, C. A. Liver Immunobiology. Toxicologic Pathology. 33 (1).
  2. Racanelli, V. & Rehermann, B. The Liver as an Immunological Organ. Hepatology. 43 (2, Supplement 1).
  3. Grünhage, F. et al. Increased gallstone risk in humans conferred by common variant of hepatic ATP-binding cassette transporter for cholesterol. Hepatology. 46 (3).

For all book lovers please visit my friend’s website.
URL: http://www.romancewithbooks.com

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Canola Oil Impairs Brain and Memory


Canola Oil Increases Memory Loss

Think your cooking oil is safe and healthy? Canola oil producers claim that it’s the healthiest oil you can use, but science begs to differ. Unless significant weight gain and diminished memory are your idea of good health!

Canola oil has been heralded as a modern healthy alternative to olive oil, and ‘saturated fats’ like coconut and palm oil, backed by a big promotional push from North American growers. The Canola Council of Canada pulls no punches, calling it “the healthiest of all commonly used cooking oils.”[1] The marketing campaign appears to be working: canola oil consumption in the United States has nearly tripled since 2000, up to almost 3 million metric tons in 2017.[2]

When asked if canola oil is the same as rapeseed oil, the answer is both “yes” and “no.” Canola oil comes from the rapeseed plant, and was called rapeseed oil until the early 1970s, when a promotional campaign to rebrand the oil was devised in conjunction with genetic-modification to remove two of the plant’s undesirable elements, erucic acid and glucosinolates.

The Rapeseed Association of Canada took the opportunity to rename the plant, and “Can” for Canada, plus “ola” for oil, was born.[3] Producers are still keen to leave the rapeseed designation behind, hence their claim that this GM-version is a distinct type of plant. Essentially, it is a very comprehensive marketing campaign designed to confuse and lead the public to a foregone conclusion.

With more than 90% of U.S. crops and upwards of 80% of Canadian canola derived from genetically-engineered seeds, it’s almost certain that your bottle of canola oil comes from plants contaminated with chemical herbicides. Because processing removes the genetically-modified protein from the finished oils, producers consider it the same as conventional oil,[4] believing this production process removes all potential for harm. It is therefore marketed as being 100% safe for unlimited human consumption. But as the latest medical science points out, this oil is far from being a healthy choice for human brains and bodies.

Canola oil is often promoted as a low-cost alternative to olive oil, possessing the same health benefits. It’s even promoted as having a mere 7% saturated fat, compared to olive oil’s 15%. But what does science say about the healthfulness of canola? Until recent years, no data were available on the effect of canola oil intake in relation to increasingly common diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease. Canola oil had never been examined as a causal factor in the sixteen-fold increase in deaths from Alzheimer’s reported in 1991: a total of 14,112, up from just 857 deaths reported in 1979.[5]

In December 2017, researchers from Alzheimer’s Center at Temple University investigated the effect of daily consumption of canola oil on mice whose brains had developed both plaques and tangles, common brain characteristics for Alzheimer’s patients.[6] Mice in the control group received a typical diet, while mice in the experimental group were fed a diet supplemented with canola oil for a period of 6 months. At the beginning of the study, mice had the same body weight. They were put through three different tests involving memory functions and conditioning, such as mazes. Ability to navigate these environments demonstrated measurable brain function and emotional stimulation.

Their findings debunked the claims of Canola oil marketers, demonstrating negative impacts to bodies and brains. 

Mice who were chronically exposed to canola oil experienced a significant increase in body weight; a gain of nearly one-fifth of total weight recorded just six months earlier. Effects on the brain were equally undesirable. Mice showed impairments in their working memory, demonstrated by decreased problem-solving abilities. Together with reduced levels of beneficial brain proteins that mark synaptic integrity, or how well neurons are firing, the mice performed significantly worse on all tests as compared to control mice. Synaptic integrity can affect whether or not critical connections are made in the brain, something that is vital to a functional memory and enjoying a high quality of life. Canola oil impairs synaptic integrity, which greatly exacerbates the debilitating symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers concluded that their findings do not support the beneficial effect of regular canola oil consumption, nor does their data justify the current trend aimed at replacing olive oil with canola oil in your diet. Not when research has consistently shown that olive oil reduces the same brain plaques and unhealthy proteins that canola oil increases.[7] The same way that Big Pharma selectively publishes only favorable scientific research on drugs,[8] canola oil producers have cherry-picked data that is both contradictory and inconclusive when viewed in its entirety.[9] Meanwhile, consumption of extra virgin olive oil continues to deliver on its promise of being a true superfood.

A similar study was conducted by the same Temple University research group in June 2017,[10] but this time the focus was on olive oil and its effects on Alzheimer’s brain plaques and tangles. Mice were fed a diet of normal food, or food supplemented with extra virgin olive oil for six months. Compared with controls, the group fed olive oil demonstrated improvements in their prior behavioral deficits. Synaptic integrity also improved, thanks to a significant increase in steady-state levels of synaptophysin, a protein marker of synaptic integrity. In addition, brain plaque deposition decreased, thanks to reductions in insoluble peptides and specific proteins associated with the disease. Overall, their findings supported the beneficial effect of olive oil consumption on all major features of Alzheimer’s disease.

GreenMedInfo has over 70 abstracts on olive oil, demonstrating its healthful effects on over 150 different disease conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. Start enjoying these benefits immediately by swapping out your canola oil today!

References:

About the author:

Sayer Ji is the founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, and Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

 

For all book lovers please visit my friend’s website.
URL: http://www.romancewithbooks.com

Yoga diet: Healthy foods for yoga practice


Diets to Improve Your Yoga Practice

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1

Diets to Improve Your Yoga Practice

Most of us often wonder about the foods to eat before a yoga session. Especially, if you are a beginner, it is better to know what works and what doesn’t work as far as the diet one should eat before one’s yoga class is concerned. Here are 10 great foods to support your yoga practice that will give you a boost without having you bouncing off your mat!

Include Enough Proteins in Your Diet

2/12
2

Include Enough Proteins in Your Diet

Proteins are vital for the body and should definitely be included in one’s diet. Broccoli, soybeans, lentils, asparagus and spinach are some commonly found, protein-rich foods. Low-fat dairy products are also a rich source of protein. Ensure that your body receives the required amount of proteins daily.

Juices

3/12
3

Juices

You can consume juices that contain fruits or vegetables as a part of your yoga diet. You can get rid of the toxins in your body with the help of those juices. Also, you can feel refreshed after consuming them. Try to go for cucumber, kale or spinach juices.

Fresh Fruit

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4

Fresh Fruit

Aside from being refreshing, delicious and constantly changing with the seasons, fresh fruits are generally high in fiber and antioxidants. They’re good for your health and they are a great way to satisfy your hunger during the day.

Lemon and water

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5

Lemon and water

Put down the coffee and start your day with warm water with lemon. In addition to kick-starting your digestive system the healthy way, warm lemon water helps to alkalize the body, which helps control the development and spread of disease.

Banana

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Banana

A banana contains soluble fiber, which digests slowly and won’t spike your blood sugar. Bananas are also stomach-friendly, and their natural sugars will help sustain you all through your workout practice.

Apples

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Apples

The best thing about apples is that they contain sugar which gives you an instant energy boost. They also supply your body with fibre and vitamins. They also help to hydrate you, which is important before a workout.

Raisins

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8

Raisins

Natural sugars are always preferable over other forms of sugar. Raisins can energies you before a yoga class with their natural sweetness.

Watermelon

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9

Watermelon

Watermelon helps to hydrate you and energies you before you get ready for your yoga class.

Masala Chai

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10

Masala Chai

Masala Chai is the perfect hot beverage which helps to balance all body types, making it the perfect pick-up without the caffeine jitters that coffee gives you. The spices used, such as black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, all help to provide relief from bloating and any digestive discomfort.

Salads

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11

Salads

A good idea is to try a vegetable salad before your workout. Raw vegetables are foods that are alive and really refresh your system.

End Your Day with Ghee

12/12
12

End Your Day with Ghee

Ghee is clarified butter and is used medicinally in Ayurveda to balance the body and heal the digestive tract. It helps bind and eliminate toxins and provide relief from constipation.

 

For all book lovers please visit my friend’s website.
URL: http://www.romancewithbooks.com

Yoga diet: Healthy foods for yoga practice


Diets to Improve Your Yoga Practice

1/12
1

Diets to Improve Your Yoga Practice

Most of us often wonder about the foods to eat before a yoga session. Especially, if you are a beginner, it is better to know what works and what doesn’t work as far as the diet one should eat before one’s yoga class is concerned. Here are 10 great foods to support your yoga practice that will give you a boost without having you bouncing off your mat!

Include Enough Proteins in Your Diet

2/12
2

Include Enough Proteins in Your Diet

Proteins are vital for the body and should definitely be included in one’s diet. Broccoli, soybeans, lentils, asparagus and spinach are some commonly found, protein-rich foods. Low-fat dairy products are also a rich source of protein. Ensure that your body receives the required amount of proteins daily.

Juices

3/12
3

Juices

You can consume juices that contain fruits or vegetables as a part of your yoga diet. You can get rid of the toxins in your body with the help of those juices. Also, you can feel refreshed after consuming them. Try to go for cucumber, kale or spinach juices.

Fresh Fruit

4/12
4

Fresh Fruit

Aside from being refreshing, delicious and constantly changing with the seasons, fresh fruits are generally high in fiber and antioxidants. They’re good for your health and they are a great way to satisfy your hunger during the day.

Lemon and water

5/12
5

Lemon and water

Put down the coffee and start your day with warm water with lemon. In addition to kick-starting your digestive system the healthy way, warm lemon water helps to alkalize the body, which helps control the development and spread of disease.

Banana

6/12
6

Banana

A banana contains soluble fiber, which digests slowly and won’t spike your blood sugar. Bananas are also stomach-friendly, and their natural sugars will help sustain you all through your workout practice.

Apples

7/12
7

Apples

The best thing about apples is that they contain sugar which gives you an instant energy boost. They also supply your body with fibre and vitamins. They also help to hydrate you, which is important before a workout.

Raisins

8/12
8

Raisins

Natural sugars are always preferable over other forms of sugar. Raisins can energies you before a yoga class with their natural sweetness.

Watermelon

9/12
9

Watermelon

Watermelon helps to hydrate you and energies you before you get ready for your yoga class.

Masala Chai

10/12
10

Masala Chai

Masala Chai is the perfect hot beverage which helps to balance all body types, making it the perfect pick-up without the caffeine jitters that coffee gives you. The spices used, such as black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, all help to provide relief from bloating and any digestive discomfort.

Salads

11/12
11

Salads

A good idea is to try a vegetable salad before your workout. Raw vegetables are foods that are alive and really refresh your system.

End Your Day with Ghee

12/12
12

End Your Day with Ghee

Ghee is clarified butter and is used medicinally in Ayurveda to balance the body and heal the digestive tract. It helps bind and eliminate toxins and provide relief from constipation.

For all book lovers please visit my friend’s website.
URL: http://www.romancewithbooks.com

Yoga poses for full-body detoxification


Get fit this New Year with these yoga poses

Get fit this New Year with these yoga poses

With New Years on the horizon, let’s not forget that it’s time for some self-indulgence. And, what better, than a way to ensure that these celebrations are rubbed off in the healthiest ways? Let’s pledge that instead of welcoming this New Year with bloated body, sluggish feeling, and disastrous hangover after hours of dumping our bodies with sweets, alcohol, and junk food, we will kick-start the coming year with fitness and health.

Benefits of yoga

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Benefits of yoga

In yoga practice, it is believed that each new breath is a new moment. The best way about yoga is you can start with it anytime, anywhere, like literally! These yoga poses for detox would see increased energy, balanced hormones, improved digestion, and weight loss, apart from feeling fabulous. Read on to know which yoga poses can ensure you spiritual detoxification!

Revolved chair pose

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Revolved chair pose

You can start it right away while reading this. All you need to do is imitate a chair pose and bring your hands together at heart centre. Now breathe in to lengthen spine, and breathe out while twisting to the right (take left elbow outside of right thigh). Now repeat the breathing and start twisting on your left. Try this just 5 times a day on each side. This yoga pose is excellent in aiding digestion and stimulates the removal of toxins, while toning your abdominal wall.

Locust pose

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Locust pose

A great pose to strengthen your spine and correct your back posture. Just lie down on your stomach with your hands in parallel to your legs, touching your hips. Now pull your head in upward pose, simultaneously pulling your feet and knees off the ground. Count 10 and then relax. Repeat this 5 times a day. The pressure on you abdomen encourages digestion, thus stimulating the release of unwanted things within your body.

Spine twist

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Spine twist

This pose helps you relieve stress and detoxify your entire system. It initiates removal of unwanted toxins from your body, and stimulates fresh blood flow. Lie on your back with feet stretched outward. Now bring your palms at your shoulder level. Take a deep breath and pull your left leg over your right leg, and stretch your upper body in the opposite direction; twisting your spine. Stay in this position for at least five deep breaths, and then relax. Now repeat 5 times on each side.

Wide-legged forward bend

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Wide-legged forward bend

Stand with your legs wide apart, matching exact distance with your shoulders. Now start bringing your head to touch the ground while slowly expanding the distance between your legs. Embrace pain only if your body allows. It is not necessary to be able to head-touch the ground on your first day. Keep your efforts till the time you achieve this position. This folding pose squeezes the belly stimulating speedy digestion and circulation of blood throughout the body.

Three-legged downward facing dog pose

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Three-legged downward facing dog pose

All you have to do is stretch your hands, and steep your head inward below you heart, and stretch out your hips and legs outward. Now lift your left leg in the air in the downward dog pose and take deep breaths. Now repeat the breathing with right leg in the air. Try this out 5 times with each leg. This pose helps you mentally detoxify and stimulates the release of stress, sadness, depression and fear.

Plow pose

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Plow pose

This yoga pose requires you to lie straight on your back with arms by your hips. Now take a deep breath and pull your legs straight above your chest level, and slowly try to touch the ground by your head. Keep trying until you succeed. At first your belly might not approve, but soon it will give in, trust me. Benefits of this pose include, back muscle stretching, posture improving, proper functioning of ovaries, bladder and kidney. It also increases metabolism.

Shoulder stand Pose

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Shoulder stand Pose

Another pose that will help you instantly help you in cleansing your body off toxins. Start with lying on floor on your back. Bring your legs to your stomach now stretch them upward. Now bring your hands to support either side of your spine and help pull your belly in right angle position with the ground. Stay in this pose for 5 deep breaths, and then relax. Now repeat this 5 times.

Boat pose

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Boat pose

Want to lose that belly layer fast then try out this excellent pose that also helps in solving breathing problems. Sit down with your knees bent, and pull back your spine to touch the ground. Once you achieve this position, stretch out your legs outward. Now pull your upper body to touch your feet. Keep trying till you achieve the boat pose. Hold on for 20 second and then release your legs. Try this 5 times.

For all book lovers please visit my friend’s website.
URL: http://www.romancewithbooks.com

Coconut Oil Fights Deadly Yeast Infections, Candida, Research Suggests


Coconut Oil Fights Deadly Yeast Infections, Research Suggests

A common food oil has been found to have potent antifungal properties that could literally save lives. 

The coconut palm is perhaps the world’s most widely distributed and versatile food-medicine, and has been prized and even revered by indigenous cultures for a wide range of health complaints since time immemorial. Increasingly, scientific evidence is emerging validating its traditionally ascribed health benefits, and more, including supporting brain healthprotecting the heart, and even reducing stress and depression.

But what of anecdotes referring to the presumed antifungal activity of coconut oil? Is there any basis in scientific research to make such claims? 

Indeed, a recent study led by researchers at Tufts University has found that coconut oil is highly effective at controlling the overgrowth of the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans in mice.

Published in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal mSphere, and titled Manipulation of Host Diet to Reduce Gastrointestinal Colonization by the Opportunistic Pathogen Candida Albicans,” the study identified C. albicans as the most common human pathogen, with a mortality rate of about 40% when causing systemic infections.

C. albicans is normally present in the human gastrointestinal tract, but antibiotics can destroy commensal bacteria that normally keep Candida populations within a healthy range. According to the study, compromised immunity is also a major cause of C. albicans overgrowth, and “systemic infections caused by C. albicans can lead to invasive candidiasis, which is the fourth most common blood infection among hospitalized patients in the United States according to the CDC.”

Additionally, in a recent article we wrote on the topic of Candida albicans and cancer, we explored the implications of a paper published in Critical Reviews in Microbiology, titled Candida albicans and cancer: Can this yeast induce cancer development or progression?“, wherein compelling evidence is presented that C. albicans overgrowth may play a significant role in carcinogenesis. If this is true, clearly natural ways to keep C. albicans levels at bay are needed by a global population increasingly afflicted by cancer as a primary cause of morbidity and mortality.

Like conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy, conventional anti-fungal drugs carry with them significant risk of adverse effects, and their repeated use leads to the development of drug resistant strains of fungal pathogens, making natural approaches all the more attractive. The researchers hypothesized that a coconut-based dietary intervention might reduce Candida infection in mice. The study design and results were reported on ScienceDaily.com as follows:

“The team, led by microbiologist Carol Kumamoto and nutrition scientist Alice H. Lichtenstein, investigated the effects of three different dietary fats on the amount of C. albicans in the mouse gut: coconut oil, beef tallow and soybean oil. A control group of mice were fed a standard diet for mice. Coconut oil was selected based on previous studies that found that the fat had antifungal properties in the laboratory setting.

“A coconut oil-rich diet reduced C. albicans in the gut compared to a beef tallow-or soybean oil-rich diet. Coconut oil alone, or the combination of coconut oil and beef tallow, reduced the amount of C. albicans in the gut by more than 90% compared to a beef tallow-rich diet.

“Coconut oil even reduced fungal colonization when mice were switched from beef tallow to coconut oil, or when mice were fed both beef tallow and coconut oil at the same time. These findings suggest that adding coconut oil to a patient’s existing diet might control the growth of C. albicans in the gut, and possibly decrease the risk of fungal infections caused by C. albicans,” said Kumamoto, Ph.D., a professor of molecular biology and microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine and member of the molecular microbiology and genetics program faculties at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.”

These preliminary results have profound implications for the practice of medicine, according to a statement made to ScienceDaily by Alice H LIchtenstein, D.Sc., director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University:

“This study marks a first step in understanding how life-threatening yeast infections in susceptible individuals might be reduced through the short-term and targeted use of a specific type of fat. As exciting as these findings are, we have to keep in mind that the majority of adult Americans are at high risk for heart disease, the number one killer in the U.S. The potential use of coconut oil in the short term to control the rate of fungal overgrowth should not be considered a prophylactic approach to preventing fungal infections.”

The first author of the study, Kearney Gunsalus, Ph.D. an Institutional Research and Academic Career Development (IRACDA) postdoctoral fellow at the Sackler School in Kumamoto’s lab, also offered his opinion on the study implications:

“We want to give clinicians a treatment option that might limit the need for antifungal drugs. If we can use coconut oil as a safe, dietary alternative, we could decrease the amount of antifungal drugs used, reserving antifungal drugs for critical situations.”

Previous research, available to view on GreenMedInfo.com, indicates that coconut oil is also an effective anti-fungal agent against the growth of dermatophytes, a type of yeast which can cause infections of the skin, nails, and hair because they can utilize keratin.

Treat and even prevent diabetes with ginger: Study finds it improves several markers of the disease


Image: Treat and even prevent diabetes with ginger: Study finds it improves several markers of the disease

Are you doing everything you can to avoid diabetes or control it if you already have it? It’s a frightening illness that can severely impact a person’s quality of life and even lead to death, so it’s only natural that people who are concerned about their health take steps to reduce their risk. Perhaps you’re already avoiding sugar, watching your diet, and getting plenty of exercise, but are you eating enough ginger?

A new study has demonstrated just how powerful ginger’s effects are in fighting this all-too-common disease. Seventy patients with type 2 diabetes participated in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial to assess how ginger could affect their glycemic status, inflammatory markers of the condition, and their lipid profile. A control group took a 1600mg placebo, while the ginger group took 1600mg of ginger daily. Measurements were taken at the beginning and end of the study to assess their blood lipids, blood sugar levels, tumor necrosis factor alpha, prostaglandin E2, and C-reactive protein.

The researchers found that those who underwent the ginger treatment had significantly lower levels of quite a few parameters. These include the important fasting plasma glucose, insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and inflammation markers C-reactive protein and Prostaglandin E2. They also had lower levels of glycated hemoglobin, or HbA1C, which measures how much sugar is damaging the body’s red blood cells, and a measurement of insulin resistance known as HOMA.

The amount of ginger the patients took equated to 1.6 grams, which is not a very big amount; it’s roughly equivalent to just ¼ of a teaspoon. They took it in capsule form in doses of 800mg twice per day.

A family of diabetes fighters

Ginger comes from the same family of plants as turmeric, which was shown in a recent study published in the journal Diabetes Care to be 100 percent effective in preventing people with prediabetes from developing full-fledged diabetes.

In the placebo-controlled, double-blinded and randomized study, researchers in Thailand divided 240 prediabetic participants into groups, one of which was given 250 mg of curcuminoid daily, while the other served as a control. A variety of parameters were measured at the beginning of the study and every three months up until nine months, and the researchers reported that while 16.4 percent of those in the placebo group went on to develop type 2 diabetes, nobody in the curcumin group developed the illness.

That’s a remarkable accomplishment, and it is excellent news for the two out of five Americans aged 40 to 74 who are estimated to have prediabetes. After all, curcumin is found in turmeric, which is not only easy to find and affordable, but also very safe.

Consuming more ginger and turmeric is easy

It’s easy to incorporate more ginger and turmeric into your diet, and doing so can give you a fighting chance against diabetes in addition to many other health benefits. The two flavors complement one another well and can be used to create stews, curries, chicken dishes and aromatic rices for a one-two punch. The easiest way to consume more ginger and turmeric is by making a simple tea out of them; you can add flavors like cinnamon, lemon or honey if desired.

You can also add them, individually or separately, to smoothies or soups. Ginger has a more noticeable presence, so it won’t work in just any soup, but it does pair nicely with carrots and other vegetables.

Turmeric has a subtler flavor, which means you can add it to eggs, vegetables, smoothies and soups without worrying about affecting the flavor too much. Many people like to consume it with milk. Just remember to consume a small amount of black pepper with the turmeric to help your body absorb it.

Turmeric and ginger capsules are also available, but it’s important to get organic varieties from trusted sources to ensure you are getting a pure product.

What Are the Benefits of Hearts of Palm?


Story at-a-glance

  • Described as looking a little like asparagus minus the tip, hearts of palm are slightly more delicate but similar in taste to artichoke hearts and have a crunchy texture for culinary versatility
  • Cultivated and consumed by the ancient Mayans who lived in Mesoamerica from around 2600 B.C., hearts of palm can be harvested from several types of palm trees in Florida, Costa Rica and Brazil
  • Hearts of palm are an excellent source of protein and fiber, as well as potassium, vitamins B6 and C, calcium, niacin, phosphorus and zinc
  • Hearts of palm can even make a tasty main course meal, as when they’re chopped, they break into shreds that resemble fresh crab meat, and adding the right ingredients can turn them into delicious salads, dips and stir-fries

By Dr. Mercola

Even if you’re not a vegetarian, foods that pack a punch in the protein department often earn high marks for people savvy enough to manage their sources through something other than meat. One overlooked source is hearts of palm, which was cultivated and consumed at least as early as the ancient Mayans, who lived in Mesoamerica from around 2600 B.C.

Among other types of palms, one of the sources for this little-known food is a sabal palm, which incidentally is the official state tree of Florida. Other palm trees that produce them include coconut, acai and palmito, coming from, besides Florida, Costa Rica and Brazil, and the harvesting procedure is labor intensive, which can make them expensive.

However, as Paste Magazine1 explains, harvesting hearts of palm doesn’t require leveling forests since the types of palms that produce them are raised domestically in sustainable farmsteads in Costa Rica. The best part is that once harvested, the plant regenerates for two to three years. Considered a delicacy in some circles, hearts of palm are similar in taste to the artichoke hearts they’re often compared to. They’re also described as looking a little like asparagus, minus the tips.

These veggies — they can be called veggies since they’re plant derived — can be sliced to make a savory pizza topping as well as a soup or stir fry ingredient and, for all of their mildness, make a fresh, lively tasting salad ingredient. One good combo pairs it with slices of avocado for an extra punch of protein. Rarely raw, they’re usually canned or jarred and placed next to similarly packaged artichokes on store shelves.

The culinary versatility of “palm hearts” or “cabbage palms” may surprise you. One recipe notes their similarity in texture, when shredded, to crab meat to make “crabless cakes.” Seasoned with Old Bay, homemade mayo and Dijon mustard, they make a delicious main course meal.

Nutritional Profile of Hearts of Palm

Carbs have gotten a bad rap, even being blamed for the obesity epidemic, but you probably already know that not all carbs should be avoided, particularly those from vegetables, including hearts of palm. In hearts of palm, the sugars, in spite of the subtle sweetness you may taste in these veggies, are practically nonexistent. Whatever carbohydrates get broken down into glucose can be used for energy or stored for later use. Livestrong explains:

“A 1-ounce serving of hearts of palm provides 32 calories … Most of the calories in palm hearts come from carbohydrates. A 1-ounce serving has 7 grams of total carbohydrates, including energy-providing complex carbs and natural sugars.”2

Then there’s vitamin B6, of which a 1-ounce serving of hearts of palm provides 0.23 milligrams (mg), which is rich enough to supply your body with 18 percent of your Dietary Reference Intake (DRI), the nutritional recommendation put together by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).3 About 100 different enzymes in your body require vitamin B6, Livestrong notes, explaining some of the functions it maintains:

“Some of these jobs include the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, as well as the synthesis of hemoglobin. Because of its role making hemoglobin, a deficiency of vitamin B-6 can cause anemia. You also need vitamin B-6 to produce neurotransmitters that help regulate your mood and sleep cycle.”4

Another plentiful benefit hearts of palm brings you is 258 mg of potassium, an “essential” nutrient that your body can’t produce on its own.5 Potassium alone helps lower your blood pressure by balancing the salt you eat; in fact, both potassium and salt are essential for health and life.

Hearts of palm also provide healthy amounts of vitamins A and E and trace amounts of copper, manganese and selenium. According to the U.S. National Nutrient Database for Standard References,6 1 cup of canned hearts of palm also supplies:

  • 11.5 mg of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant
  • 0.638 mg of niacin, aka vitamin B3
  • 85 mg of calcium, which strengthens bones
  • 95 mg of phosphorus, which helps maintain healthy skeletal bones
  • 1.68 mg of zinc, for wound healing and proper thyroid function (more than half what is required for women per day)

Hearts of Palm: The Big Deal About Fiber

According to Nutrition Data,7 hearts of palm consumption constitutes a “very good” source of fiber, which is excellent, because most people in the U.S. barely get even half of what they should. In fiber, a 1-cup serving (146 grams) of hearts of palm provides 14 percent of the DRI.

Fiber is much more than a nutritional aspect that looms ever larger for people over a certain age. Getting adequate fiber throughout your whole life, even from childhood, helps “train” your body to eliminate waste naturally. When the foods you eat contain adequate fiber, you’re able to make use of the vitamins and minerals from the food you eat and literally flush the rest without the discomfort kids from 1 to 92 experience if they don’t get enough. Mom Junction asserts:

“If fiber intake is less, then constipation is the result. In a society where undue importance in media is given to unhealthy snacks like chips and chocolates, it is vital for a responsible adult to select fiber-rich foods for their family.”8

Fiber is much more crucial for health than most people realize and not just for adults. Further, if a food contains 5 grams of fiber or more per serving, it’s considered a high fiber food, and a good source has between 2.5 to 4.9 grams of fiber, assuming it’s also nutritious and not grain-based. How much fiber should kids be getting? According to Kids Health:9

  • Toddlers between 1 and 3 should get 19 grams per day
  • Kids between 4 and 8 years of age should get 25 grams per day
  • Girls between 9 and 13 should get 26 grams of fiber per day
  • Boys between 9 and 13 should get 38 grams of fiber per day

As for adults, my recommendation for daily fiber intake is 25 to 50 grams per 1,000 calories consumed, with vegetables, nuts and seeds making up the most nutritious sources.

Grains, including those in bread, buns, cereals, cookies, muffins and cookies (as well as rice and pasta), are often considered by conventional medicine to be the go-to source of all things fiber, so it’s no mystery as to why many aren’t aware there are a whole lot of issues with grains. In 1992, grains were deemed the foundation of the official U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Pyramid, but therein lies the problem. Forbes notes:

“The pyramid essentially dictates how most of us, and our children, eat. But the advice contained in this pyramid is dangerous. It is heavily influenced by corporate lobbyists who care more about the bottom line than your health. Is it any wonder America is so obese and saddled with chronic disease?”10

Recipes Featuring Hearts of Palm

One of the best things you can do for your children’s health is to serve them vegetables early and often rather than waiting until they’re 5 and then suggesting that eating vegetables is good for them! Vegetables are truly at the heart of a good diet. If you want your family to experience the full measure of nutrients for optimal health and vitality, eating hearts of palm in different ways may hit the “sweet spot” to appeal to their (and your) palate.

Versatility, as we discussed previously, is one of the hallmarks of this plant-based food, but the flavor and texture can lend itself to an array of nutritional benefits, and the culinary possibilities may surprise you. Below are three recipes from Food and Wine Blogs to get your creative juices flowing:11

Zesty Hearts of Palm and Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a small sweet onion cut into thin slivers
  • 2 14-oz. cans of hearts of palm, drained and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 avocado cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest, finely grated
  • 2 Tablespoons homemade mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the cherry tomato halves with the sliced onions, hearts of palm slices, avocado and chopped parsley.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, olive oil, lime zest and mayo together, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, toss gently and serve immediately.

Quinoa, Artichoke and Hearts of Palm Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups black quinoa (9 oz.), rinsed
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 medium artichokes
  • 1/2 cup avocado or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 5-oz. jars of hearts of palm, drained and sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced small
  • 6 inner leaves of Boston lettuce

Procedure:

  1. In a medium saucepan, boil salted water to cook the rinsed quinoa, stirring occasionally until al dente (about 20 minutes). Drain in a fine mesh sieve and spread onto a baking sheet to cool.
  2. Squeeze some of the lemon juice into a small bowl of water and set the lemon aside. Snap the outer leaves of each artichoke and use a sharp knife to cut off the leaves. Cut off the stem, peel the bottom, and use a spoon to scrape out the furry choke. Rub the lemon all over the artichoke bottoms and drop them in the lemon water.
  3. In a small saucepan of salted water, cook the artichoke bottoms over medium-high heat until tender (about 10 minutes). Drain, cool and dice into ½ inch pieces.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the oil with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add the rest of the ingredients, tossing to coat. Mound the quinoa salad on the lettuce leaves to serve.

Hearts of Palm Salad With Cilantro Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 3 navel oranges
  • 2 14-oz. jars of hearts of palm, drained and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices.
  • 3 bunches of watercress cut into 2-inch lengths, discarding stem bottoms
  • 4 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

Procedure:

  1. In a blender, combine the first five ingredients and pulse until the cilantro is finely chopped, then add the olive oil in a steady stream to blend smoothly. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Peel the oranges with a sharp knife, removing all the pith. Over a large bowl, cut between the membranes to section, then add the hearts of palm, watercress and tomatoes. Toss gently. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Can Humans Harvest The Sun’s Energy Directly Like Plants?


Can Humans Havest The Sun's Energy Directly Like Plants?

Much like photosynthesis in plants, can human beings utilize light and water for their energy needs? New evidence suggests that it may be happening right now in each cell of your body.

In response to the title question, my answer is a definite “maybe.”

On the positive side, a recently published paper by Herrera et al. (1) argues that the answer is yes. The authors pinpoint melanin as the central player in the drama of photosynthesis, arguing that melanin, a black substance prominent in certain tissues, absorbs all visible wavelengths. Those concentrated photons could then drive the photosynthetic process in the same way as photons do in green plants and many single celled organisms.

 

The authors focus on the eye, which absorbs abundant light. They address a mystery of ocular function that remains unsolved: the retina stands as one of the most avid of the body’s consumers of energy; yet nearby capillaries are remarkably sparse, and therefore seemingly unable to meet those energy needs. Herrera et al. argue that the missing link could be melanin, which exists in unexpectedly high concentration in the eye. If melanin were a light antenna, collecting numerous photons, then that concentrated energy could drive metabolic processes just as they do in green plants. Melanin could resolve the energy problem.

 

Melanin exists not only in the eye, but also in many tissues. In a comprehensive review, Barr et al., (2) discuss many relevant features of melanin that support the authors’ hypothesis. First, melanin is an ancient protein, which may have been present at the inception of life. Second, its distribution is ubiquitous not only within, but also among, living organisms. Third, melanin in brain tissue increases with ascent up the phylogenetic ladder, reaching a peak concentration in man; it is invariably found in the brain’s strategic, highly functional loci. And, melanin responds to light, with semi-conductive properties. Hence, the provocative idea that melanin may be centrally involved in transduction of light energy into chemical energy gains traction from this evidence.

Our own work lends strong support to the idea that humans exploit light energy. Although we have not studied melanin, we have studied in considerable detail another light-absorbing substance that exists in higher concentration in the human body: water. Given water’s simplicity and pervasiveness through nature, many presume that water must be completely understood, but in fact little has been known about how water molecules organize themselves, and especially how they respond to light — until recently.

 

Students learn that water has three phases: solid, liquid and vapor. But there is something more: in our laboratory we have uncovered a fourth phase. This phase occurs next to water loving (hydrophilic) surfaces. It is surprisingly extensive, projecting out from those surfaces by up to millions of molecular layers. And it exists almost everywhere throughout nature, including our bodies.

 

This newly identified phase of water has been described in a recent book (3). The book documents the evidence underlying the existence of this phase, and goes on to show how that phase explains many familiar phenomena in straightforward terms. A central feature is that the phase builds from light, i.e., from absorbed electromagnetic energy. The more light that’s absorbed, the more extensive is the phase.

 

The existence of a fourth phase may seem unexpected. However, it should not be entirely so. A century ago, the physical chemist Sir William Hardy argued for the existence of a fourth phase; and many authors over the years have found evidence for some kind of “ordered” or “structured” phase of water. The fresh experimental evidence cited in the book and many papers not only confirms the existence of such an ordered, liquid-crystalline phase, but also details its properties. It is more viscous, dense and alkaline than H2O and has more oxygen since its formula is H3O2.  As a result, it has a negative charge. And like a battery, it can hold energy and deliver that energy as needed.

 

The presence of the fourth phase carries many implications. Here, I outline some basic features of this phase, and then deal with several of those implications including the role of light and energy. I then focus on some biological and health applications. [Note: the video below will explain the fourth phase of water if you want a comprehensive, easy to learn overview.]

 

Does Water Transduce Energy?

 

The energy for building water structure comes ultimately from the sun. Radiant energy converts ordinary bulk water into ordered water, building this structured zone. We found that all wavelengths ranging from UV through visible to infrared can build this ordered water. Near-infrared energy is the most capable. Water absorbs infrared energy freely from the environment; it uses that energy to convert bulk water into liquid crystalline water (fourth phase water) — which we also call “exclusion zone” or “EZ” water because it profoundly excludes solutes. Hence, buildup of EZ water occurs naturally and spontaneously from environmental energy. Additional energy input creates additional EZ buildup.

 

Of particular significance is the fourth phase’s charge: commonly negative (Figure 1). Absorbed radiant energy splits water molecules; the negative moiety constitutes the building block of the EZ, while the positive moiety binds with water molecules to form free hydronium ions, which may diffuse throughout the water. Adding additional light creates more charge separation.

Figure 1. Diagrammatic representation of EZ water, negatively charged, and the positively charged bulk water beyond. Hydrophilic surface at left. 

 

This process resembles the first step of photosynthesis. In that step, energy from the sun splits water molecules. Hydrophilic chromophores catalyze the splitting. The process considered here is similar, but more generic: any hydrophilic surface may catalyze the splitting. Some surfaces work more effectively than others. Melanin might be one of those.

 

The separated charges resemble a battery. That battery can deliver energy in a manner similar to the way the separated charges in plants deliver energy. Plants, of course, comprise mostly water, and it is therefore no surprise that water itself could exhibit similar energy conversion.

 

 

The stored electrical energy in water can drive various kinds of work, including flow. An example is the axial flow through tubes. Immersing tubes made of hydrophilic materials into water produces flow through those tubes (3), similar to blood flow through blood vessels (Figure 2). The driving energy comes from the radiant energy absorbed and stored in the water. Nothing more. Flow may persist undiminished for many hours, even days. Additional incident light brings faster flow (4). This is not a perpetual motion machine: incident radiant energy drives the flow — in much the same way that it drives vascular flow in plants and powers water from the roots to nourish trees taller than the length of a football field.

 

Implications of Light Energy

 

This energy conversion framework is rich with implication for many systems involving water. All that’s needed is water, radiant energy, and a hydrophilic surface. The latter can be as large as a slab of polymer or as small as a dissolved molecule. The liquid crystalline phase inevitably builds — and its presence must therefore play some role in the system’s behavior.

 

Let me provide a few representative examples.

 

One example is…yourself. By volume, two thirds of your cells’ content is water. However the water molecule is so small that making up that two-thirds volume involves numerous water molecules. If you count molecules, 99% of the molecules in your body are water molecules. Modern cell biology considers that huge fraction of molecules as mere background carriers of the “important” molecules of life such as proteins and nucleic acids. It asserts that 99% of your molecules don’t do very much.

 

However, EZ water envelops every macromolecule in the cell. So tightly packed are those macromolecules that little room exists for any but liquid-crystalline EZ water. Most of your cell water is EZ water. As elaborated in my earlier book (5), the ordered phase water plays a central role in everything the cell does.

 

What’s new is the profound role of radiant energy, which can power many of those cellular functions. An example is the blood flowing through your capillaries. That blood eventually encounters high resistance: capillaries are often narrower than the red blood cells that must pass through them; in order to make their way through, red cells need to bend and contort. Resistance is high. You’d anticipate the need for lots of driving pressure; yet, the pressure gradient across the capillary bed is modest. The paradox resolves if radiant energy helps propel flow through capillaries in the same way that it propels flow through hydrophilic tubes. Radiant energy may constitute an unsuspected source of vascular drive, supplementing cardiac pressure.

 

Why you feel good after a sauna now seems understandable. If radiant energy drives capillary flow and ample capillary flow is important for optimal functioning, then sitting in the sauna will inevitably be a feel-good experience. The infrared energy associated with heat should help drive that flow. The same if you walk out into sunlight: we presume that the feel-good experience derives purely from the psychological realm; but the evidence above implies that sunlight may build your body’s EZs. Fully built EZs around each protein seems necessary for protein folding and hence for optimal cellular functioning.

 

A second example of the EZ’s functional role is weather, which, as I will show, is not unrelated to health. Common understanding of weather derives from two principal variables: temperature and pressure. Those two variables are said to explain virtually everything we experience in terms of weather. However, the atmosphere also contains water: it is full of micrometer-scale droplets commonly known as aerosol droplets or aerosol particles. Those droplets make up atmospheric humidity. When the atmosphere is humid, the many water droplets scatter considerable light, reducing clarity; you can’t see distant objects as clearly as in drier conditions.

 

The Fourth Phase book presents evidence for the structure of those droplets (3). It shows that EZ water envelops each droplet, while hydronium ions occupy the droplets’ interior. Those internal hydronium ions repel one another, creating pressure, which pushes against the robust shell of EZ water. That pressure explains why droplets tend toward roundness.

 

How do those aerosol droplets condense to form clouds? The droplets’ EZ shells bear negative charge. Those shells should repel one another, precluding any condensation into clouds. Droplets should remain widely dispersed throughout the atmosphere. However, droplets do often condense into clouds, and the question is how that can happen.

 

The agent of condensation is the unlike charges that lie in between the droplets. Richard Feynman, the legendary Nobel Prize physicist of the late 20th century understood the principle, opining that: “like-likes-like because of an intermediate of unlikes.” The like-charged droplets “like” one another, so they come together; the unlike charges lying in between those droplets constitute the attractors (Figure 3).

 

The like-likes-like principle has been widely appreciated, but also widely ignored: after all, how could like charges conceivably attract? A reason why this powerfully simple concept has been ignored is that the source of the unlike charges has been difficult to identify. We now know that the unlike charges can come from the splitting of water — the negative components building EZ shells, while the corresponding positive components, the hydronium ions, provide the unlike attractors in between. With enough of those attractors, the negatively charged aerosol droplets may condense into clouds.

 

The like-likes-like principle operates not only in clouds but also in our bodies. Wherever two like-charged substances exist, a good possibility is that they hold together because of the opposite charges lying in between. Since those separated charges build from the energy of light, one might say that the self-organization of biological materials comes ultimately from light, just as the blood flow in capillaries might also comes from light.

 

We may be reluctant to call these light-driven processes photosynthesis, because they do not— as far as we know — produce sugars as end products. Nevertheless, the role of light in driving biological processes is clear.

 

 

Implications for Body Function

 

I present two implications of these light-driven processes: why your joints don’t squeak; and why dislocated or sprained joints will swell within seconds.

 

Joints are sites at which bones tend to press upon one another (Figure 4). The bones may also rotate, as during deep-knee bends and push-ups. You’d think that rotation under pressure might elicit frictional resistance, with some squeakiness, but joint friction remains remarkably modest. Why so?

 

Cartilage lines the ends of bones. Those cartilaginous materials do the actual pressing. Hence, the issue of joint friction reduces to the issue of the cartilaginous surfaces and the synovial fluid lying in between them. How does this system behave under pressure?

 

Cartilage is made of classic gel materials: highly charged polymers and water; therefore, cartilage is a gel. Gel surfaces grow EZs, so cartilage surfaces should likewise line themselves with EZs. EZ buildup — driven by light — creates many hydronium ions in the synovial fluid between those EZs. Additional hydronium ions come from the molecules within that fluid, creating their own EZs and protons. Thus, many hydronium ions will lie in the area in which two cartilaginous surfaces lie across from one another. The repulsive force coming from those hydronium ions should keep the cartilage surfaces apart — some investigators maintain that the cartilage surfaces never touch, despite heavy loads. That separation means that any rough spots, or asperities, will never come into contact as the respective surfaces shear past one another; and that in turn means low friction.

 

For such a mechanism to actually work, some kind of built-in restraint should be present to keep the repelling hydronium ions in place. Otherwise, they may be forced out of the local region, compromising lubrication. Nature provides that safety net: a structure known as the joint capsule envelops the joint. By constraining the dispersal of hydronium ions, that encapsulation ensures low friction. That’s why your joints don’t ordinarily squeak.

 

Regarding swelling, the second issue under consideration here, osmosis evidently plays a role. Since the cell is packed with negatively charged proteins, the cytoplasm should generate an osmotic draw similar to the osmotic draw generated by diapers or gels. Physiologists know that it does.

 

A peculiar feature of cells, however, is their relatively modest water content. Compared to 20:1 or higher for many common gels, the cell’s water-to-solids ratio is only about 2:1. That limited water content may come as a consequence of the macromolecular network’s stiffness: cellular networks typically comprise tubular or multi-stranded biopolymers tightly cross-linked to one another. The resultant stiffness prevents the network from expanding to its full osmotic potential.

 

 

If those cross-links were to disrupt, however, then the full power of osmotic draw would take effect; the tissue could then build many EZ layers and therefore hydrate massively, bringing huge expansion (Figure 5). That’s what happens when body tissues are injured, especially with dislocations. The injury disrupts fibrous macromolecules and cross-links, eliminating the restraining forces that keep osmosis at bay; EZ buildup can then proceed virtually unimpeded.

The reason why swelling can be so impressive is that the cross-link disruption occurs progressively. Breaking one cross-link results in higher stress on neighboring cross-link; so disruption progresses in a zipper-like fashion. When that happens, the osmotic rush of water into the tissue can continue practically without restraint, resulting in the enormous immediate swelling that is often seen. The tissue will return to normal only when cross-links repair and the matrix returns to its normally restraining configuration.

 

 

Water and Healing

 

During childhood illness, grandmothers and doctors will often advise: “drink more water.” In his now-classical book, sub-titled Your Body’s Many Cries for Water: You Are Not Sick, You Are Thirsty (6), the Iranian physician Fereydoon Batmanghelidj confirms the wisdom of this quaint advice. The author documents years of clinical practice showing reversal of diverse pathologies simply by drinking more water. Hydration is critical.

 

Batmanghelidj’s experience meshes with evidence of healing from special waters such as those from the Ganges and Lourdes. Those waters most often come from deep underground springs or from glacial melt. Spring waters experience pressure from above; pressure converts liquid water into EZ water because of EZ water’s higher density. Unlike bulk water, EZ water absorbs light in the UV-wavelength region of 270 nanometers. The more light absorbed, the higher the EZ concentration. Certain spring waters and glacial melt (7) show a spectrometer peak in this 270-nanometer region, suggesting that their therapeutic benefits could come from the relatively high EZ content.

 

EZ water should rehydrate tissues better than ordinary water because of its higher dipole moment. To appreciate this argument, picture a bean with positive charge localized at one end, negative at the other. The positive end of that dipole orients toward the negatively charged cell, which then strongly draws in that dipole. The larger the dipole moment, the stronger will be the draw. Since EZs contain masses of separated charges, or large dipoles, that water should hydrate cells better than ordinary water. Now under study, that feature may be particularly important for promoting good health.

 

 

Negative Charge and Anti-Oxidants

 

Humans are considered neutral, but I suggest that we bear net negative charge. Most physical chemists would disagree. They reasonably presume that all systems tend toward neutrality because positive charge attracts negative charge. The human body being one of those “systems,” we assume that the body must be neutral.

 

Not all systems are neutral, however. The earth bears net negative charge, while the atmosphere bears net positive charge. Water itself can bear charge: Anyone watching MIT professor Walter Lewin’s stunning demonstration of the Kelvin water dropper (8), where separated bodies of water eventually discharge visibly onto one another, will immediately see that bodies of water can bear net charge. If doubt remains, then the experience of getting an electric shock from touching certain kinds of drinking water (which my colleagues and I have personally experienced) should eradicate that doubt.

 

Charges can remain separated if input energy keeps them separated — something like recharging your cell phone battery and creating separated negative and positive charges at the battery’s terminals. Since we constantly absorb electromagnetic energy (light) from the environment, the theoretical possibility exists that we may bear net charge.

 

Consider the arithmetic. Cells make up some 60% of your body’s mass, and they are negatively charged. Extracellular tissues such as collagen and elastin are next in line, and those proteins bear negative charge and adsorb EZ water, which is negatively charged. Only some of the smaller compartments remain positively charged with protons (low pH), and they commonly expel water: urine, gastrointestinal system; sweat, and expired air (containing hydrated CO2 or carbonic acid). They rid the body of positive charge. The net charge should be negative, and an ordinary voltmeter connected between your clasped fingers and ground will confirm that negativity.

 

So, the body makes every effort to maintain that negativity by ridding itself of protons. It is as though maintaining negativity is a “goal” of life. Plants do it easily: they connect directly to the negatively charged earth. Animals need to struggle a bit more to maintain their body’s negative charge, but greater mobility compensates for that struggle.

 

How does our body’s negative charge relate to the benefits of anti-oxidants?

 

Answering this question returns us to elementary chemistry. Recall that “reduction” is the gain of electrons, while “oxidation” means electron loss. Oxidation strips molecules of their negative charge, acting against the body’s attempt to maintain that high negativity. To guard against such loss we employ anti-oxidants. Simply by maintaining proper negativity, anti-oxidants may keep us healthy.

 

 

The Future

 

Water’s centrality for health is nothing new, but it has been progressively forgotten. With the various sciences laying emphasis molecular, atomic, and even sub-atomic approaches, we have lost sight of what happens when the pieces come together to form the larger entity. The whole may indeed exceed the sum of its parts. 99% of those parts are water molecules. To think that 99% of our molecules merely bathe the “more important” molecules of life ignores centuries of evidence to the contrary. Water plays a central role in all features of life.

 

Until recently, the understanding of water’s properties has been constrained by the common misconception that water has three phases. We now understand that it has four. Taking into account this fourth phase allows many of water’s “anomalies” to vanish: those anomalies turn into predictable features. Water becomes more understandable, and so do entities made largely of water, such as oceans, clouds, and human beings.

 

Central to the existence of that fourth phase is light, for light energy builds that phase. Ambient infrared light — literally free energy, is sufficient to maintain that phase. Additional light expands the phase. The examples above imply that through the vehicle of water, humans exploit that light to drive many processes. This energy source may help explain why some people can get by with little or no food intake (9). And, it may explain the basis of the various light therapies (10).

 

As Herrera et al. suggest (1), light may be critical for humans, just as it is for plants and bacteria. Nature has not deprived humans of the advantages of exploiting light. The role of melanin in the process described above has not yet been fully explored, although the melanin could conceivably absorb visible light and then emit the absorbed energy in the infrared band. That could power appreciable EZ buildup, charge separation, and therefore energy to run the cell.

 

Do humans photosynthesize?

 

Clearly, humans exploit light. I’ve described a water-mediated mechanism by which light energy gets transformed to other kinds of energy. The process bears some resemblance to photosynthesis, or at least the initial step of photosynthesis, in which light splits water into positive and negative components. Subsequent steps are less clear, and that’s why, on the question of human photosynthesis, I suggested a definite “maybe.” Herrera and colleagues might be on a productive course.

 

 

Various presentations describe these fresh understandings on light and water (11-13). A fuller, detailed synthesis appears in the above-mentioned book (3).

 

References

 

  1. Herrera, A.S., Esparza, M., Ashraf, G, Zamyatnin, A., and Aliev, G., Beyond mitochondria, What Would be the Energy Source of the Cell? CNS Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 15:32-41, 2015.
  2. Barr, F. E., Saloma, J. S. and Buchele, M. J. Melanin: The organizing molecule. Medical Hypotheses 11; 1-140, 1983.
  3. Pollack G. H.  The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor. Seattle: Ebner and Sons, 2013.
  4. Rohani M and Pollack GH: Flow through horizontal tubes submerged in water in the absence of a pressure gradient: Mechanistic considerations. Langmuir 2013 29(22):6556-61. doi: 10.1021/la4001945
  5. Pollack G. H. Cells, Gels and the Engines of Life: A New Unifying Approach to Cell Function. Seattle: Ebner and Sons, 2001.
  6. Batmanghelidj F.  Your Body’s Many Cries for Water: You Are Not Sick, You Are Thirsty. Don’t Treat Thirst with Medications. Falls Church: Global Health Solutions, 1997.
  7. So E, Stahlberg R, and Pollack GH: Exclusion zone as an intermediate between ice and water. in: Water and Society, ed. DW Pepper and CA Brebbia, WIT Press, pp 3-11, 2012.
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY1eyLEo8_A&feature=related
  9. Straubinger, P  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Beginning_There_Was_Light
  10. Azeemi, S. and Raza, S., A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and its Scientific Evolution. eCAM 2005;2(4)481–488  doi:10.1093/ecam/neh137
  11. University of Washington faculty award lecture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVBEwn6iWOo
  12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnGCMQ8TJ_g.
  13. Recent TEDx talk http://youtu.be/i-T7tCMUDXU .

5 Amazing Properties of Sunlight You’ve Never Heard About


5 Amazing Properties of Sunlight You've Never Heard About

Sunlight is well-known to provide us vitamin D, but did you know that it kills pain, keeps us alert at night, burns fat and more…

Our biological connection and dependence to the sun is so profound, that the very variation in human skin color from African, melanin-saturated dark skin, to the relatively melanin de-pigmented, Caucasian lighter-skin, is a byproduct of the offspring of our last common ancestor from Africa (as determined by mitochondrial DNA) migrating towards sunlight-impoverished higher latitudes, which began approximately 60,000 years ago. In order to compensate for the lower availability of sunlight, the body rapidly adjusted, essentially requiring the removal of the natural “sunscreen” melanin from the skin, which interferes with vitamin D production; vitamin D, of course, is involved in the regulation of over 2,000 genes, and therefore is more like a hormone, without which our entire genetic infrastructure becomes destabilized.

While the health benefits of vitamin D are well-documented (GreenMedInfo.com has identified over 200 health conditions that may benefit from optimizing vitamin D levels: Vitamin D Health Benefits page, and Henry Lahore’s Vitamin D Wiki has far more), the therapeutic properties of sunlight are only now being explored in greater depth by the research community.

Below are detailed five noteworthy properties of sunlight exposure:

1) Sunlight Has Pain-Killing (Analgesic) Properties: A 2005 study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine titled, “The effect of sunlight on postoperative analgesic medication use: a prospective study of patients undergoing spinal surgery,” analyzed patients staying on the bright side of the hospital unit who were exposed to 46% higher-intensity sunlight on average. The patients exposed to an increased intensity of sunlight experienced less perceived stress, marginally less, took 22% less analgesic medication per hour, and had 21% less pain medication costs. [i]

2) Sunlight Burns Fat: A 2011 study published in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology revealed a remarkable fact of metabolism: The exposure of human skin to UV light results in increased subcutaneous fat metabolism. While subcutaneous fat, unlike visceral fat, is not considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, it is known that a deficiency of one of sunlight’s best known beneficial byproducts, vitamin D, is associated with greater visceral fat.[ii] Also, there is a solid body of research showing that vitamin D deficiency is linked to obesity, with 9 such studies on our obesity research page.

One of them, titled “Association of plasma vitamin D levels with adiposity in Hispanic and African Americans,” and which was published in the journal Anticancer Research in 2005, found that vitamin D levels were inversely associated with adiposity in Hispanics and African-Americans, including abdominal obesity.[iii] The point? Exposure to UVB radiation, which is most abundant two hours on either side of solar noon and responsible for producing vitamin D, may be an essential strategy in burning fat, the natural way.

3) Sunlight via Solar Cycles May Directly Regulate Human Lifespan: Published in 2010 in the journal Medical Hypotheses and titled, “The effect of solar cycles on human lifespan in the 50 United states: variation in light affects the human genome,” researchers review the possibility that solar cycles directly affect the human genome.  According to the researchers:

“In the current study we report that those persons conceived and likely born during the peaks (MAX approximately 3 years) of approximately 11-year solar cycles lived an average 1.7 years less than those conceived and likely born during non-peaks (MIN approximately 8 years). Increased energy at solar MAX, albeit relatively a small 0.1% increase from MIN, apparently modifies the human genome/epigenome and engenders changes that predispose to various diseases, thereby shortening lifespan. It is likely that same energy increases beneficial variety in the genome which may enhance adaptability in a changing environment.”

Sunlight exposure, therefore, may directly affect the length of our life, and may even accelerate genetic changes that may confer a survival advantage.[iv]

4) Daytime Sunlight Exposure Improves Evening Alertness: A 2012 study published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience titled, “Effects of prior light exposure on early evening performance, subjective sleepiness, and hormonal secretion,” found that subjects felt significantly more alert at the beginning of the evening after being exposed to 6 hours of mainly daylight exposure, whereas they became sleepier at the end of the evening after artificial light exposure.[v]

5) Sunlight May Convert To Metabolic Energy: If a novel hypothesis published in 2008 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine is correct,[vi] a longstanding assumption that animals are incapable of utilizing light energy directly is now called into question.  In other words, our skin may contain the equivalent of melanin “solar-panels,” and it may be possible to “ingest” energy, as plants do, directly from the Sun.

Melanin has a diverse set of roles in various organisms. From the ink of the octopus, to the melanin-based protective colorings of bacteria and fungi, melanin offers protection against a variety of threats: from predators and similar biochemical threats (host defenses against invading organisms), UV light, and other chemical stresses (i.e. heavy metals and oxidizing agents). Commonly overlooked, however, is melanin’s ability to convert gamma and ultraviolet radiation into metabolic energy within living systems.

Single-celled fungi, for instance, have been observed thriving within the collapsed nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, Ukraine, using gamma radiation as a source of energy. Albino fungi, without melanin, were studied to be incapable of using gamma radiation in this way, proving that gamma rays initiate a yet-unknown process of energy production within exposed melanin.

Vertebrate animals may also convert light directly into metabolic energy through the help of melanin. In a review  titled, “Melanin directly converts light for vertebrate metabolic use: heuristic thoughts on birds, Icarus and dark human skin,” Geoffrey Goodman and Dani Bercovich offer a thought-provoking reflection on the topic, the abstract of which is well worth reading in its entirety:

“Pigments serve many visually obvious animal functions (e.g. hair, skin, eyes, feathers, scales). One is ‘melanin’, unusual in an absorption across the UV-visual spectrum which is controversial. Any polymer or macro-structure of melanin monomers is ‘melanin’. Its roles derive from complex structural and physical-chemical properties e.g. semiconductor, stable radical, conductor, free radical scavenger, charge-transfer.

Clinicians and researchers are well acquainted with melanin in skin and ocular pathologies and now increasingly are with internal, melanized, pathology-associated sites not obviously subject to light radiation (e.g. brain, cochlea). At both types of sites some findings puzzle: positive and negative neuromelanin effects in Parkinsons; unexpected melanocyte action in the cochlea, in deafness; melanin reduces DNA damage, but can promote melanoma; in melanotic cells, mitochondrial number was 83% less, respiration down 30%, but development similar to normal amelanotic cells.

A little known, avian anatomical conundrum may help resolve melanin paradoxes. One of many unique adaptations to flight, the pecten, strange intra-ocular organ with unresolved function(s), is much enlarged and heavily melanized in birds fighting gravity, hypoxia, thirst and hunger during long-distance, frequently sub-zero, non-stop migration. The pecten may help cope with energy and nutrient needs under extreme conditions, by a marginal but critical, melanin-initiated conversion of light to metabolic energy, coupled to local metabolite recycling.

Similarly in Central Africa, reduction in body hair and melanin increase may also have lead to ‘photomelanometabolism’ which, though small scale/ unit body area, in total may have enabled a sharply increased development of the energy-hungry cortex and enhanced human survival generally. Animal inability to utilize light energy directly has been traditionally assumed. Melanin and the pecten may have unexpected lessons also for human physiology and medicine.”

Additional References

  • [ii] Association Between Visceral Obesity and Sarcopenia and Vitamin D Deficiency in Older Koreans: The Ansan Geriatric Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Feb 8. Epub 2012 Feb 8. PMID: 22316299
  • [iii] Association of plasma vitamin D levels with adiposity in Hispanic and African Americans. Anticancer Res. 2005 Mar-Apr;25(2A):971-9. PMID: 19549738
  • [iv] Walter E Lowell, George E Davis. The effect of solar cycles on human lifespan in the 50 United states: variation in light affects the human genome. Med Hypotheses. 2010 Jul;75(1):17-25. Epub 2010 May 7. PMID: 20452128
  • [v] Mirjam Münch, Friedrich Linhart, Apiparn Borisuit, Susanne M Jaeggi, Jean-Louis Scartezzini. Effects of prior light exposure on early evening performance, subjective sleepiness, and hormonal secretion. Behav Neurosci. 2012 Feb ;126(1):196-203. Epub 2011 Dec 26. PMID: 22201280
  • [vi] Geoffrey Goodman, Dani Bercovich. Melanin directly converts light for vertebrate metabolic use: heuristic thoughts on birds, Icarus and dark human skin. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Jan-Feb;14(1):17-25. PMID: 18479839