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Turmeric Extract May Prevent, Even Reverse Diabetes (Type 1 and 2)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written by Sayer Ji, founder of Greenmedinfo.com where it was originally published. Posted here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    What if the long sought after "cure" for diabetes was as safe, affordable, and accessible as a spice sitting in your kitchen cupboard?

“Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can cure the patient with food.” -Hippocrates, 420 BC

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Slowly but surely the world is waking up to the reality that diabetes is not only a preventable but a reversible condition, and that the drug-based model of symptom suppression and disease management has fatal flaws. For instance, some of the drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes actually increase the risk of death, with a recent study showing GMO insulin given to type 2 diabetics may lead to the development of so-called “double diabetes“: type 2 and type 1 diabetes, together. Clearly, if medicine can’t at least abide by its founding principle to “do no harm,” it must seek the answer somewhere other than from the “chemist’s pot.”

As the pharmaceutically-driven medical paradigm continues to lose adherents by the droves, and the public seeks a system that identifies and resolves the root causes of disease, interest is growing in the use of natural substances and lifestyle modifications to prevent and treat blood sugar disorders. And unlike a few decades ago, where most of the evidence for “natural healing” was anecdotal, there are now thousands of studies on hundreds of natural substances and therapeutic activities that may ameliorate blood sugar disorders and their complications. You can check out a good portion of the relevant research on the topic on GreenMedInfo.com’s blood sugar disorder database.

While plants like cinnamon and gymnema sylvestre have received plenty of attention for diabetes over the years, one special plant extract that is beginning to stand out from the crowd as being exceptionally valuable as an anti-diabetic agent is turmeric. There are, in fact, 21 articles on turmeric’s value in type 2 diabetes on our database alone.

Turmeric’s primary polyphenol curcumin is the main compound in the plant that has been researched for it’s blood sugar regulating properties. One particularly striking study, published in the American Diabetic Association’s own journal, Diabetes Care, found turmeric extract to be 100% effective in preventing pre-diabetics from developing type 2 diabetes — a feat of prevention that no FDA approved drug for type 2 diabetes has yet come even close to accomplishing.

Turmeric Extract May Reverse Pancreatic Damage In Type 1 Diabetes

It turns out that this spice may be a powerful therapeutic intervention for more than just type 2 diabetics. Pre-clinical research now reveals it may have a role in reversing pancreatic damage in insulin-dependent, type 1 diabetics, who are routinely told that their condition can not be cured. Type 1 diabetics are rarely educated to the fact that the root cause of their disorder can be addressed: namely, that the deficiency and/or dysfunction of the beta cells in the pancreas responsible for producing insulin can be repaired, as well as the autoimmune issues at the heart of the problem.

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Back in 2013, an exciting study published in the journal Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome titled, “The effect of a novel curcumin derivative on pancreatic islet regeneration in experimental type-1 diabetes in rats (long term study),” found that diabetic rats who received a novel water-soluble, high concentrate (53.21%) curcumin derivative orally for 40 days showed an improvement of their plasma glucose, insulin and C-peptide (a marker for the health and insulin producing capability of the beta cells) levels, that began after about 4 months, and continued to improve until the 10 month mark, when their values were almost completely normalized and evidence of significant pancreatic regeneration could be observed. The researchers concluded the novel curcumin derivative (NCD): “…possesses antidiabetic actions and enhanced pancreatic islets regeneration.”

The daily dose used in this rodent study (80 mg/kg) was the body weight equivalent of 6,400 mg or 6.4 grams of curcumin for an average North American male adult (80 kilograms/176 lbs). Rodent and human physiology is, of course, radically different, but significant crossovers nonetheless do exist. In another article, titled “Why Turmeric May Be the Diseased Liver’s Best Friend,” we reviewed research indicating that turmeric may help to reverse damage in and even regenerate the diabetic liver, as well as safety literature on what is a safe human dose:

“A 2001 study in cancer patients reported that quantities of curcumin up to 8 g, administered per day for three months, were not toxic and resulted in significant anti-cancer properties in a number of those treated.[5] Considering that turmeric is only 3-4% curcumin by weight, this implies that a larger quantity of turmeric can be consumed safely, as well.”

Given that organ transplantation (pancreatic islet transplants) is exceedingly expensive and prohibitive due to a lack of donor material and the potential for rejection by the host, the notion that a safe, affordable, and non-prescription spice extract like curcumin may have significant therapeutic value and may even regenerate damaged pancreatic tissue, is truly exciting. That said, it should be noted that since curcumin is not patentable, it is unlikely the 800 million dollars or more needed to fund the requisite clinical trials needed to obtain FDA drug approval will materialize. Because the so-called “evidence” needed to justify the use of a new treatment is locked behind an insurmountably high paywall, don’t count on randomized, controlled, trials being performed on this “natural cure” in the near or distant future.

In this study, the authors surmised that the ameliorative effects curcumin treatment on type 1 diabetic rodents observed were the result of beta cell regeneration and they explained the theory behind how this works:

“Each tissue or organ is believed to contain a small sub-population of cells that is capable of self-renewal and has the ability to give rise to each mature cell type [47]. Thus, one of the most promising sources of beta cells might be pancreatic stem cells.”

The researchers theorized that curcumin likely produces,

“…a favorable systemic and pancreatic environment to foster bone marrow transplantation and islet neogenesis. Accordingly, administration of curcumin; as an established anti-inflammatory and immune modulatory drug; would likely boost and preserve the process of islet regeneration; which was evidently proven true in this study.”

Curcumin’s “immunomodulatory” benefit in type 1 diabetes, also known as autoimmune diabetes, appears to be based on it reducing the activity of the host immune system in attacking self-structures. In fact, another recent study, published in 2014 in the journal Clinical and Experimental Immunologytitled, “Curcumin ameliorates autoimmune diabetes. Evidence in accelerated murine models of type 1 diabetes,” found that curcumin down-regulates the T cell response that destroys pancreatic beta cells, resulting in an improvement in autoimmune or type 1 diabetes.

It is important for the reader to know that curcumin is not a magic bullet; nor is it the only natural substance studied to have potential beta cell regenerative properties. Indeed, pancreatic regeneration has been induced experimentally for at least 23 different natural substances. We have a keyword dedicated to indexing relevant research on the topic here: beta cell regeneration. We’ve highlighted 10 of the most compelling ones in our article, “10 Natuaral Substances That Could Help Cure Type 1 Diabetes.”

As the research continues to accumulate on the value of natural substances for disease prevention and treatment, it is clear the future of medicine will rely on returning to the wisdom of the ancients, where Hippocrates’ fundamental principle that one can “cure the patient with food” is once again passionately embraced.

Are you a health professional or just a serious research geek? Interested in taking your the GreenMedInfo experience to the next level? Learn about our GMI pro membership features, which includes access to our research PDF database of over 100,000 documents. Learn More Here.

Originally published: 2015-08-30

Article updated: 2019-09-06


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Tips That May Help You Put Rheumatoid Arthritis Into Remission

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In our modern day world, when something goes awry with our health, we often seek the advice of a medical professional to help understand what is going on and how we can treat it. While becoming aware of our ailments is important, the way in which we treat them is just as much so.

Health begins with prevention. Remaining aware of what is known to deplete our wellbeing is pertinent. And if you are faced with an unfortunate diagnosis, it’s necessary to understand it to the best of your ability, and acknowledge the factors that could have caused it, otherwise you may find yourself in the same situation again later on down the road. You must also know your healing options. There are many medicinal paths out there, and sometimes the one you are presented with is not necessarily the right one.

Here, rheumatoid arthritis is discussed, and you might be surprised at the healing options available to you.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? 

Rheumatoid arthritis is defined as a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the joints, frequently accompanied by marked deformities, and ordinarily associated with manifestations of a general, or systemic, affliction.[1]

This disorder, which often affects the small joints in the hands and feet, is the result of the immune system accidentally attacking the body’s own tissues, damaging the lining of the joints, and causing swelling that can become so severe that it can lead to bone erosion and deformed joints. Other parts of the body that can be affected are the skin, eyes, lungs, and blood vessels.

The Signs and Symptoms

RA can be difficult to diagnose, but knowing the factors involved is crucial. Some of the early signs include: fatigue, dry mouth, loss of appetite, irritated eyes that can even experience discharge, chest pain upon breathing, and hardened tissue in the form of small bumps under the skin on your arms.

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You may then experience inflammation, stiffness, and pain in the fingers, wrists, knees, feet, ankles, or shoulders. Numbness, tingling, and burning are also common as a result of carpal tunnel syndrome, often associated with RA. You might also experience a fever accompanied by other RA symptoms.

The disorder, which can be terminal, can have pain so crippling that half of people who develop it will no longer be able to work within 10 years. Furthermore, within five years, 50 to 70 percent of RA’s victims will experience some form of disability. With such a small number (less than one percent) of people experiencing spontaneous remission, it can feel very defeating to live with.

Traditional Treatments

Many of the doctor-prescribed medications do little to reverse RA, but rather alleviate the symptoms associated with the disorder. To do so, anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and highly toxic drugs are often utilized. Steroids like prednisone can have many side effects, including an increased risk of infection, weight gain, worsening diabetes, cataracts in the eyes, and the thinning of bones.

Furthermore, there is also the concern of  people with RA experiencing relapses while on these toxic medications. “That can happen within months or even many years after a patient has been started on a drug,” explains Dr. Hardin, a professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, New York. Dr. Hardin notes that this phenomenon is the result of people simply becoming resistant to medications.

“When I was diagnosed with RA, my rheumatologist started me on immuno-suppressants, steroids and methotrexate (a drug commonly used in chemotherapy),” says Rachna Chhachhi, a certified nutritional therapist. “After a while of feeling good, I noticed that my hair had started falling. I tried everything possible to get back my lost hair, but to no avail. Nothing worked. When I asked my immunologist, he told me it was a side effect of the drugs I was taking. I had to choose between balding and being able to walk.” Chhachhi chose alternative methods, changing her lifestyle choices first and foremost.

Lifestyle Changes and Natural Pain Relievers

As with any health concern, it’s much easier to assume this is the unfortunate hand you are dealt with and give in to medications as a means for getting through the day. But a crucial step many people miss when it comes to diagnoses is understanding what might have caused them in the first place.

RA is an immune system disorder, so it makes sense that the buildup of nutritional deficiencies could weaken the body. Chhachhi chose to strengthen her immune system through nutrition and physical practices like yoga and pranayama. Here is a look at similar lifestyle changes that can be made:

Diet

Avoiding or limiting inflammatory foods can be extremely beneficial for reversing RA. These foods include whole-milk products, fatty cuts of meat, empty starches, added sugars, refined flours, and processed foods complete with hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. Anti-inflammatory foods include wild salmon, avocado, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, vegetables, and antioxidant-rich fruits. Essentially, you are eating for your joints.

A 2011 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that, over a 15-year- period, men and women who ate a healthful dose of nuts had more than a 50 percent lower risk of dying from inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis as opposed to those who ate little to no nuts.

Olive oil, which is loaded with oleocanthal, hinders inflammation in the body as well as reduces pain, much like the synthetic medications on the market. “This compound inhibits activity of COX enzymes, with a pharmacological action similar to ibuprofen,” explains José M. Ordovás, PhD, who is the Director of Nutrition and Genomics at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

Another natural pain reliever is the curcumin found in turmeric, which is touted for its incredible anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, a study published in 2006 in the Journal of Natural Products discovered that pure curcuminoid extracts are effective in preventing and treating experimental rheumatoid arthritis.

Weight

Excess weight isn’t good for people with rheumatoid arthritis because it adds extra stress and strain on weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips. Low-impact aerobic exercises are the way to go. “While, yoga keeps their joints supple and flexible, pranayama helps in the efficient release of toxins from the body, thereby reducing pain,” explains Chhachhi of her chosen and recommended method.

study conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic discovered that obese individuals were 25 percent more at risk for being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis than people with normal body weights. The study’s lead researcher, Eric Matteson, says it’s more than just stress on the joints, however. “The link, we think, has to do with the activity of the fat cells themselves,” says Matteson.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D plays an important role in the strengthening of bones, joints and cartilage, so not getting enough can work to do the opposite — weakening your body and aiding in muscle and skeletal pain. A 2012 study published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism concluded that a deficiency of this vitamin may be linked to the onset of serious diseases for people with RA. The sun is the best source of natural vitamin D. You can also get it through your diet by eating foods like salmon, egg yolks, and fortified milk and yogurts. And to make sure you are absorbing it properly, it’s important to have healthy gut flora. Consuming fermented foods daily is a great place to start.

Get Inspired

If you’re suffering from RA and want to try an alternative method that can alleviate your symptoms and potentially put you in remission, check out how Dr. Mercola helped his patient, Sarah Allen, find her way back to health in this video:

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Study: Baking Soda Can Remove Large Amounts of Pesticide Residue From Fruits & Vegetables

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Organic foods can often be expensive, luckily there is a simple solution we can easily use to wash our produce and reduce the amount of chemicals we are ingesting into our bodies.

  • Reflect On:

    It's easy to get discouraged with the amount of environmental toxins we are exposed to on a regular basis. Sometimes a little awareness goes a long way and there are simple solutions to some of the issues we face.

By now, many of us are aware of the importance of eating organic produce and other foods. Although we may often try our best, sometimes the organic option can cost an arm and a leg so we opt for conventionally grown foods from time to time. Perhaps we even follow the advice given by the Environmental Working Group’sClean Fifteen” and “Dirty Dozen” program. While this is a great way to reduce your exposure to chemically laden pesticides known to have many detrimental side effects, not to mention the fact that they are essentially a straight up poison, designed specifically to kill, pests, another simple option also exists. The use of baking soda to wash produce effectively removes up to 96 percent of pesticides from fruit and vegetables.

The Research

Scientists from the University of Massachusetts published a study in the journal, Agricultural and Food Chemistry on the effects of baking soda on gala apples. The apples used in the study were sprayed with two types of pesticides: phosmet, a known insecticide and thiabendazole, which is a fungicide. After the pesticides were given time to penetrate into the apple peels, the apples were rinsed with three different liquid solutions: tap water, a ratio of 1% baking soda to 99% water and a commonly used bleaching solution.

Lead author, Dr Lili He from the University of Massachusetts said, “Pesticide residues may remain on agricultural produce, where they contribute to the total dietary intake of pesticides. Concerns about potential hazards of pesticides to food safety and human health have increased, and therefore, it is desirable to reduce these residues.”

Results Of The Study

After 12 minutes of gentle scrubbing the baking soda solution was able to remove 80% of the thiabendazole and 15 minutes to remove 96% of the phosmet. A type of electromagnetic mapping technology was used to determine the percentage of pesticide residue on the surface and inside the apples.

While this is just one study, there has been plenty of research conducted on the use of baking soda to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables. So, while organic is usually best, this method can be used safely and effectively to wash your produce and reduce your exposure to harmful, often carcinogenic, chemical pesticides.

According to Dr. He, ‘The use of pesticides in agriculture has led to an increase in farm productivity. However, pesticide residues may remain on agricultural produce, where they contribute to the total dietary intake of pesticides. Concerns about potential hazards of pesticides to food safety and human health have increased, and therefore, it is desirable to reduce these residues.’ The results showed that the baking solution was most effective in removing thiabendazole and phosmet on and in apples. The standard post-harvest washing method with bleach solution and a two-minute wash did not effectively remove these pesticides.’

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As the Legendary Jane Goodall once said, “How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?”

 Rising Concerns Over Commonly Used Pesticide, Glyphosate

Something has recently come to my attention and sort of shocked me I do my best to avoid genetically modified foods, (GMO’s) whether or not ingesting GMO’s themselves are safe or not, personally I avoid them because I know if something is genetically modified, then it also means that product has been sprayed relentlessly with pesticides, and often glyphosate is one of these pesticides. But, glyphosate is actually commonly used on hundred of different crops regardless of if they are genetically modified or not. To read more about the potential dangers of glyphosate, click here.

Try This Solution For Yourself

Baking soda is not only a great staple to have for so many different uses, your can read ore about some of those uses here, but it is also extremely cost effective as well and readily available at pretty much any grocery store. To use the baking soda method, simply follow the instructions below,

  • Add a few teaspoons of baking soda to a bowl of water
  • Add the produce to be washed to the bowl
  • Soak produce for 15 minutes
  • Rinse well with cold water
  • Enjoy.

Sometimes a little awareness goes a long way, don’t forget, knowledge is power!

­­

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Dr. Lawrence Palevsky Testimony: Unvaccinated Children Are “The Healthiest Children I’ve Ever Seen”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, a NY licensed paediatrician, speaks at a forum on vaccines in Connecticut, discussing the repeal of the religious exemption for childhood vaccines.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is vaccine hesitancy on the rise?

It’s always worrisome publishing an article about vaccine safety and posting it on Facebook. But why is that? One would think that discussions and concerns about vaccine safety would be encouraged. However, the opposite is true–Facebook has been cracking down on any information that they deem as “anti-vaccine.”

Does this mean that reporting on a study addressing the concerns of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines, for example, will be prevented from spreading and possibly even labelled as “fake news,” despite the fact that it’s been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal?

Does this mean that a paediatrician, like the one below, will also be censored for sharing his opinion based on his research and experience?

Dr. Heidi Larson’s Comments at WHO Summit

I’d like to point out that many scientists presented facts about vaccines and vaccine safety at the recent Global Health Vaccine Safety Summit hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. At the conference, Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project, emphasized that doctors and professionals should forego name-calling with ‘hostile language’ such as “anti-vax”.

She recommended encouraging people to ask questions about vaccine safety. After all, it makes sense–in order to make our vaccines safer and more effective, you would think everybody would be on board with constant questioning and examination. After all, that’s just good science, and it’s in everyone’s best interest. She also brought up the issue of confidence in vaccines:

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider. And if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

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You can read more about the concerns brought up by scientists at that conference, in detail, here.

Dr. Lawrence Palevsky

One of those doctors who is losing confidence in vaccines is Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, a practicing paediatrician trained at the NYU School of Medicine who did his residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. He spent the first nine years of his career working in emergency rooms running a neonatal intensive care unit. He recently spoke at a forum on vaccines in Connecticut, discussing the repeal of the religious exemption for childhood vaccines. In the video below, he provides a great summary as to why so many parents and physicians continue to become concerned about vaccine safety.

The parents that I work with in New York, that I see around the country are very concerned that their rights are being taken away, that their knowledge about the science is being pushed away by an agenda that only says, unvaccinated children are a problem.

No study has every been done in this country, appropriately, to address the health outcomes of children who are vaccinated versus the children who are unvaccinated. I have been seeing families in my practice for over 20 years, that have opted out of vaccination, they are the healthiest children I’ve ever seen.

Vaccine hesitancy among among health professionals is no longer a secret. A study published in the journal EbioMedicine outlines this point:

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.

The Takeaway

The scientific community should never stop questioning, especially when it comes to medication. Based on the information that’s come out at the conference mentioned in this article, and the testimony shown above, it’s quite clear that there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the development of vaccines and vaccine safety overall. Discussion is always encouraging, as long as it’s peaceful and facts are presented in a proper manner.

It’s better to understand the reasons why a lot of people, parents, scientists and physicians are hesitant about vaccination and appropriately respond, instead of simply using ridicule and hatred, because that’s never effective and both parties cannot move forward that way. At the end of the day, scientists should never cease to question.

Free: Regenerate Yourself Masterclass

In this free 7-part masterclass, Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedInfo, explains how revolutionary new developments in biology can be leveraged to help prevent and manage the most common health afflictions of our day: cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic syndrome.

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