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Medium 9781591201540

3. Antioxidants and B Vitamins: First Line of Defense

Lieberman PhD, Shari Basic Health Publications ePub

CHAPTER 3

ANTIOXIDANTS AND B VITAMINS: FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE

Anti-what? Antioxidants! Sometimes terms are so commonly bandied about that we lose the meaning behind them. It’s really worthwhile to stop and look back to the roots of this word—to what is important about antioxidants, and why it is important. Back to what it means to us as we try to make sense of nutrition and its effect on optimal health. Antioxidants are the knights in shining armor of our detoxification efforts. Not only do they neutralize toxins (such as free radicals) released during detoxification, they also continually support and strengthen our cell membranes, and even protect our genetic blueprints (or DNA) from being damaged by toxic bombardment.

So, let’s take a step backward to see where the whole free-radical theory began.

Understanding Free Radicals

A critical step forward in antiaging research was first introduced by R. Gerschman in 1954, and expanded on by Denham Harman of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine. Their research revealed how free radicals produced by the body affect cellular health and energy processes.

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Medium 9781591200055

3. A Star Is Born

Toews M.P.H., Victoria Dolby Basic Health Publications ePub

CHAPTER 3

A STAR IS BORN

The United States is generally thought of as a leader in science and medicine, but in the case of alternative medicine, we are playing catch-up. Many other countries are researching and using natural therapies at a much higher rate than the U.S., and glucosamine and chondroitin are a case in point.

Glucosamine Enters the Scene

You may be hearing about glucosamine for the first time, but it is by no means a “new” supplement. Glucosamine is a substance naturally made by and found in the human body. The synthesis of glucosamine sulfate was first described by a chemist back in 1898. However, it took until relatively recently to develop a more stable compound with a long shelf life. Today, supplements of glucosamine are made from chitin, a source material found in crab, shrimp, and lobster shells.

Glucosamine Could Be Considered a Nutrient

Glucosamine is made by the body, and is naturally found in meat, poultry, and fish. The body readily absorbs and uses the small amounts of glucosamine from food sources, and for this reason some experts suggest that it could legitimately be considered a nutrient.

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Medium 9781591200703

PART THREE - Acute Applications for Homeopathic Remedies

McCabe, Vinton Basic Health Publications ePub

I

put this guide together to assist readers in understanding homeopathic remedies and their acute uses. It considers various household emergencies, along with the homeopathic remedies most commonly used to treat each of them.

And because this is a guide to objective homeopathy, it stresses symptoms that can be objectively witnessed over those that can only be subjectively experienced. This means that I have not included ailments such as headachean illness for which nearly all the guiding symptoms are subjective in nature. (This may be the reason why headaches are among the most difficult symptoms to treat homeopathically.)

So although this is not an exhaustive guide (see my previous book for that sort of guide), it is targeted toward increasing your understanding of the appropriate uses of homeopathic remedies in common situations, and sharpening your skills in selecting remedies by virtue of objective symptoms.

To make this guide easy to use, the most common household emergencies are divided into three basic categories:

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Medium 9781591200574

9. Other Indoor Air Pollutants of Concern

Hunter, Beatrice Trum Basic Health Publications ePub

In addition to radon, formaldehyde, and cigarette smoke, numerous other noxious substances contribute to indoor air pollution. Prominent among them are carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, asbestos, and respirable particles. Also, some indoor air pollutants have been introduced into the environment only relatively recently. They have been dubbed twentieth-century environmental pollutants. They contribute to the so-called sick building syndrome and lead to a common health condition known as multiple chemical sensitivities. In the changed indoor environment, we are assaulted by an ever-mounting use of toxins, practices, and services, which have all led to a greatly increased body burden of indoor air pollution.

Carbon Monoxide as an Indoor Pollutant

Unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide (CO) have been found in various indoor places, including homes, public buildings, inside school buses, and indoor ice hockey rinks. CO is generated indoors by gas appliances, leaking furnaces, chimneys, and vehicles in garages attached to living quarters. The aged, the very young, and individuals with cardiac or respiratory diseases are especially affected by CO. At high levels, CO can result in death from asphyxiation. CO inhalation from vehicle motors running in closed garages is sometimes chosen as a means of suicide.

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Medium 9781591200574

12. Smog, Inversions, Soot, and Ozone

Hunter, Beatrice Trum Basic Health Publications ePub

The Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century transformed rural life, with local markets, into urban life with worldwide markets. This transformation was made possible by the use of coal to power machinery that produced goods. It also produced pollution. The air pollution in London became so dense that the sun was unable to penetrate. Children unexposed to sunlight, and unable to absorb an adequate amount of vitamin D from it through their skin, developed rickets. Their diets were poor, too, so that dietary sources of vitamin D were lacking and contributed to this condition as well.

An Outdoor Pollutant: Smog

The phenomenon of air pollution combined with fog led to the coinage of a new term: smog. According to the American Heritage Dictionary (third edition), Smog is so much a part of modern, industrialized life that it is difficult to realize that at one time neither smog nor the word for it, existed. The word, of course, followed the phenomenon perhaps by half a century, for air pollution was noticed during the Industrial Revolution. The word smog is first recorded in 1905, in a newspaper report of a meeting of the Public Health Congress. Dr. H. A. des Voeux gave a paper titled Fog and Smoke in which, in the words of the Daily Graphic of July 26, 1905, he said, it required no science to see that there was something produced in great cities which was not found in the country, and that was smoky fog, or what was known as smog. The next day, the Globe remarked that Dr. des Voeux did a public service in coining a new word for the London fog. Since Dr. des Voeuxs reactions of this blend much more has been learned about the composition of smog; unfortunately, it is still with us.

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Medium 9781591202509

17. Osteoarthritis

Murray, Frank Basic Health Publications ePub

Ajoint disease that is aggravated by mechanical stress, osteoarthritis is characterized by the degeneration of cartilage that lines joints or by osteophyte formation (that is, the formation of bony outgrowths), which results in pain, stiffness, and sometimes loss of function of the affected joint, reported the American Medical Association Home Medical Encyclopedia.1

“Osteoarthritis occurs in almost all people over the age of 60 and [most], but not all of them, exhibit symptoms,” the publication said. “Various factors lead to the development of osteoarthritis earlier in life, including an injury to a joint or a congenital joint deformity. Osteoarthritis may occur with rheumatoid arthritis. Severe osteoarthritis affects 3 times more women than men.” (Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease involving chronic and progressive inflammatory involvement of joints as well as atrophy of muscles.)

Patients with osteoarthritis complain of pain, swelling, creaking, and stiffness of one or more joints. These conditions can interfere with walking and dressing, and they can disrupt sleep.

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Medium 9781591202509

24. Thalassemia

Murray, Frank Basic Health Publications ePub

Thalassemia (Mediterranean anemia) is a group of inherited disorders in which there is a defect in the production of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying substance that synthesizes in the bone marrow for incorporation into red blood cells, explained the American Medical Association Home Medical Encyclopedia. Many of the red blood cells are fragile and quickly break up, leading to hemolytic anemia. This condition is prevalent in people originating from the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.1

“The hemoglobin of healthy people contains two pairs of globins or protein chains known as alpha chains and beta chains,” the publication said. “In thalassemia, synthesis of either of the chains is reduced, causing an imbalance between alpha and beta chains in much of the hemoglobin that is produced.”

Abnormal hemoglobin production in this disorder is caused by inheritance of a defective gene; usually the production of beta chains is disturbed, leading to beta-thalassemia. When people inherit one defective gene for the disease, they are said to have beta-thalassemia minor, or thalassemia trait, which is never severe.

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Medium 9781591201137

4. Padma Basic and Inflammation

Fuchs PhD, Nan Kathryn Basic Health Publications ePub

4

Padma Basic and Inflammation

An inflammation is like a fire in your body. It creates heat and spreads if you don’t put it out. Left alone, an inflammation may lie smoldering, burning slowly and undetected without you ever knowing it’s there. Eventually, it can lead to chronic illnesses, but not all inflammation is harmful. Acute inflammation can actually be beneficial. It protects you by helping your body burn up foreign materials like toxins and bacteria, preventing them from spreading and causing damage to tissues and organs. The heat, pain, redness, and swelling from inflammation are all protective responses that help your body eliminate foreign substances and prepare injured tissues for repair.

Chronic inflammation is damaging. When tissues become inflamed repeatedly or consistently they break down faster than they can be repaired. This process leads to numerous diseases over time. It can take decades before a minor inflammation develops into diabetes, cancer, or heart disease, but chronic inflammation rarely just “goes away.” As we said earlier, inflammation has recently been found to be a major risk factor for heart disease and is directly associated with a buildup of plaque in the arteries. But it’s also a component of every condition that ends in “itis” (arthritis, dermatitis, gingivitis, hepatitis, colitis, pancreatitis, and so forth); some forms of cancer; asthma; and inflammatory bowel disease.

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Medium 9781591202004

Chapter 8. The “Male Motor”: Testosterone

Klatz M.D. D.O., Ronald Basic Health Publications ePub

Just as estrogen and progesterone are the female sex hormones, testosterone is the male sex hormone (although women have testosterone levels one-tenth to one-twelfth those of men). Testosterone is the main hormone produced in the testicles and secreted by the testes.

The major effects of testosterone are:

• promotes libido, aggressiveness, and sexual desire;

• stimulates the growth of certain organs;

• promotes protein anabolism, that is, the use of protein to build muscle, skin, and bone, and militates against protein catabolism, or breakdown;

• stimulates sperm production;

• nourishes all the tissues of the male urinary and reproductive systems;

• regulates the production of prostaglandin, which seems to keep prostate growth under control.

The effects of testosterone are most pronounced during puberty. It brings on the enlarged larynx, thicker vocal cords, new body hair, increased muscle mass, and increased oil-gland secretion by the skin commonly associated with puberty. After puberty, levels of testosterone drop gradually in men, with profound effects on physical health and well-being and particularly on mood and libido.

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Medium 9781591200628

2. Conserving the Soil

Hunter, Beatrice Trum Basic Health Publications ePub

CONSERVING THE SOIL

Originally, croplands were wrested from our forests and prairies. Early in American history, almost all forests and grasslands near settlements were converted to crop use. As the population moved westward, pioneers continued to convert native land cover—the prairie grasses—for crop use.

Over time, much of the land in the East that had been cleared, cropped, or pastured, reverted to forest. For example, in the nineteenth century, an estimated 85 percent of Vermont had been cleared for agriculture. A century later, about the same percentage had reverted to forest.

As farmers expanded their crops, they used more environmentally fragile land. Steeper slopes and land with more highly erodible soils were cleared for crop use. As a result, there was soil erosion that in turn contributed to sediment damage in rivers and reservoirs. Ecologically valuable wetlands were drained, and valuable wildlife habitats were destroyed. The practice reduced the land’s ability to retain water from rainfall and thus contributed to increased flood damage.

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Medium 9781591200901

9. Choosing the Right Brain-Boosting Supplements

Gormley, James Basic Health Publications ePub

CHAPTER 9

Chapters 1 through 8 have offered you what we hope is a concise, practical little guide to memory-boosting supplements. But you dont have to go out now and buy all of the supplements listed in this book; in fact, we recommend against that approach. What we do recommend is that you start out with a premium-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement found at a health food store, preferably one that includes the ranges of antioxidant vitamins and B vitamins discussed in Chapters 2 and 3. Selectively begin with ginkgo-ginseng, and observe the improvements after several weeks. If you desire better results, try acetyl-L-carnitine, wait a few weeks, then try vinpocetine. Wait some more, then give alpha lipoic acid or huperzine A and some of the other supplements a shot.

Never take everything at once, or exceed the dosage ranges on the bottles. Otherwise you may find that you dont know which of what youre taking is helping you, or your liver will become overburdened with all these pills, or there will develop a mishmash of conflicting effects that cancel each other out. Another approach (which can be combined with the above) is to see which of the supplements discussed helps with a specific area that you are most concerned about, then give that supplement a try for several weeks first.

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Medium 9781591201977

10. Diabetics at Increased Risk of Heart Disease

Klatz M.D. D.O., Ronald Basic Health Publications ePub
Medium 9781591203193

4. A Chance Discovery

Newport M.D., Mary T. Basic Health Publications ePub

I

stumbled upon it completely by accident.

The evening before the first screening, I began to think about what would happen if Steve qualified for both the ICARA and Eli Lilly studies. Which should we choose? I got on the Internet to learn as much as I could about both drugs, including the potential risks and benefits. While searching, I came across a press release for a third promising drug called AC-1202. The company making the medication, Accera, a small biotech firm, was working toward Food and Drug Administration approval. They reported that AC-1202 actually improved memory in a significant number of the people with Alzheimers disease.

PRESS RELEASE:

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCE FOR THE BRAIN MAY HELP TREAT ALZHEIMERS

A sugar called glucose is the primary energy source for brain cells. In people with Alzheimers, scientists have detected a dramatic decrease in glucose use in certain brain areas that begins ten to twenty years before any visible symptoms appear. Deprived of their primary energy source, neurons [brain nerve cells] suffer irreparable damage. The cause of decreased glucose metabolism remains uncertain.

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Medium 9781591202462

Two: Healing Illness: A Prescription for Meditation

Weiss M.D., Gabriel Basic Health Publications ePub

The number of conditions that can be helped by meditation runs the gamut from “A” for asthma to “Z” for can’t get enough zzzzz’s (insomnia), from cancer and cardiac disease to obesity. This chapter looks in greater detail at the use of meditation in the treatment of illness. If the practice of meditation were routinely applied by patients with one or more of the conditions discussed here, the potential impact on health care and healthcare costs would be enormous.

The amount and quality of sound scientific information on the use of meditation to treat illness has grown enormously in recent years. Many of the research studies have demonstrated that treating a variety of medical conditions with meditation is beneficial. It is important to bear in mind though that medical research (or any research for that matter) contains conflicts and contradictions. They are inevitable. And, research studies on meditation are no exception.

Many of the published studies that investigate meditation as a medical treatment are not perfect due to difficulty with designing a meditation experiment. Following are the standard research methods used and the special challenges that the study of meditation poses:

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Medium 9781591202721

3. Toxin Reduction

Simpson M.D., Graham Basic Health Publications ePub

The current level of chemicals in the food and water supply and indoor and outdoor environment has lowered our threshold of resistance to disease and has altered our body’s metabolism, causing enzyme dysfunction, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal imbalances.

—MARSHALL MANDELL, M.D.

THE SUBJECT OF DETOXIFICATION has been absent from mainstream allopathic medicine. During the past two decades, I have watched the devastating effects of toxins on the human body and the myriad health problems they produce as the overwhelming number of chemicals we are exposed to increases our total toxic body load each day. As the toxic load increases, so does silent inflammation and the incidence of chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, and cancer.

Our Paleolithic ancestors did not have toxins in their world. Unfortunately, twenty-first century humans have overrun the world with pollution, and there are no places on earth where we have not left our footprint.

By definition, a toxin is “a poisonous substance” (the word comes from the Greek toxikon, which means “poison”). Today, we use the word to mean anything that doesn’t agree with us—a “toxic” spouse or work environment, a household or industrial pollutant, or pharmaceutical and recreational drugs (including alcohol and nicotine). Generally speaking, we can divide all toxins into two groups depending on their origin, either from external to the body (environmental toxins) or from various metabolic processes within the body (internal toxins).

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