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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

The Benefits Of Black Seed Oil

The term “black seed oil” may not be familiar, but it is the general label given to oil extracted from certain seeds, including black cumin, black sesame, black caraway, Roman coriander and onion seed. However, though many people may not be familiar with this term, it has been the subject of research in over 630 peer-reviewed articles due to its amazing health benefits.

The benefits of this oil largely stem from its active ingredients, potent phytochemicals, botanically-based compounds which give potent health benefits to their parent plants. One of these is thymol, which also gives essential oil of thyme its amazing medical properties. Read on to learn more about what including black seed oil can do for you.

Fights Cancer
Due to its high levels of phytochemicals, many of which have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, black seek oil has been the subject of many studies for its ability to treat cancer. In one study out of Croatia, scientists studying the properties of two active ingredients of black seed oil, thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone, and found that they reduced the size of tumors by 52%.

Supports Liver Function
The liver is arguably one of the most important organs in the body, and one of the most significant of its functions is to help detect and remove toxins and other harmful substances from the body. It is thus important for overall human health. Use of black seed oil can help support good hepatic function and protect the liver from damage or disease.

Helps Treat Diabetes
In one study published recently in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that black seed oil can help to partially regenerate the beta cells in the pancreas. These beta cells are what produces insulin, the hormone which the body uses to take glucose out of the blood cells and deliver it to other cells of the body for insulin. This could make it important for both main types of diabetes.

Aids Weight Loss
Last June, the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders published a literature review of plants which have been discovered to have anti-obesity properties. Black seed oil was discovered to be one of the most effective and potent on this list. It aids weight loss on a number of levels, including curbing the appetite naturally, regulating blood sugar levels and aiding in absorption of glucose by the intestines.

Restores Hair Loss
Perhaps one of the most unique features of black seed oil is its ability to restore hair loss. The method by which it is able to accomplish this is not quite clear, though researchers suspect that it might have something to do with the oil’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties. At any rate, is have been shown to have a positive effect on the hair follicles and to promote the growth of thick, healthy hair.
These are just five of the reasons to consider the use of black seed oil in your diet. The potent active phytochemicals help your body in all sorts of ways, and it is very likely that the full extent of their beneficial powers has yet to be discovered!
More From Meghan:,

Caisses Tea


(NaturalNews) Since the 1970’s when the war on cancer formally began cancer rates have steadily increased. In the past decade modern medicine has heralded the increase in survival rates owing to breakthrough scientific research instead of admitting it was a change in the definition of “survivor” that accounted for a vast majority of the survival rate increases. Part of the reason for this subterfuge regarding survival rates and definitions is to cow the public into believing that western medicine has a better answer today in regards to cancer treatment.

In addition, modern medicine has not addressed why it has not stemmed the epidemic rates of cancer that continue to increase. Heredity is often to blame and environmental toxins are rarely a part of any public discourse in a meaningful way. The World Health Organization has already established that some 90 percent of all cancers are based on environmental toxins. So our medical response today is to fight toxin-related cancers with more toxins?

History of Essiac

Rene Caisse, a Canadian nurse, helped to bring Essiac into prominence in the early 20th century (Essiac is Caisse spelled backwards). She was instrumental in its use in clinical settings after witnessing the healing powers of Essiac, which could be described as nothing short of a miracle.

Her first patient was her aunt that had been diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer and given 6 months to live. After two months of drinking an Essiac brew she had recovered fully and went on to live another 20 years. Another of Nurse Caisse’s patients not only reversed her cancer but her insulin-dependent diabetes as well.

In 1959 Rene Caisse began treating terminally ill patients at the Brusch Medical Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts while supervised by no less than 18 doctors. After three months of treating these patients it was determined that, on average, the size of their tumors shrank due to a change in cellular formations and the patients began to regain weight noticeably. None of the doctors proclaimed Essiac to be a cure but once the research had concluded they did state essiac was of definite benefit. Dr. Brusch of the aforementioned Brusch Medical Center wrote a notarized letter in 1990 attesting to the efficacy of Essiac formula and how it alone cured his very own cancer some years after the research had concluded.

What is Essiac?

Essiac is a natural formulation passed on to Nurse Caisse from a Native American herbalist of the Ojibwa tribe. It consists of turkey rhubarb, slippery elm, sheep sorrel and burdock root. Each of these herbs has its own special abilities to aid our bodies. For example, burdock root increases liver function and insulin production, sheep sorrel is good for liver function as well and toning the heart, turkey rhubarb cleanses the bowels and slippery elm is great for wound healing and protecting the body from toxins that are released as the body heals itself. Herbalists believe that these four herbs, while being awesome individually, work together synergistically to reverse devastating disease conditions such as cancer and diabetes.

Essiac today

Essiac formulas are in no short supply these days. You can now find it in capsules, liquids or tea form produced by many different companies. The most popular way of taking Essiac during the 20th century was to have it as a brew daily as a therapy or tonic.

Medical science definitely has its place in our lives. There is no question that the best acute care in the world can be found in nations that have a western medical model but we can ill afford to be one sided or narrow minded in our approach to devastating chronic disease conditions. Consider essiac as a part of your health care regimen to give your body a healing chance in a non-toxic way.


Boik, J. Cancer and Natural Medicine. Oregon Medical Press; 1st edition 1995

Murray M.T. The Healing Power of Herbs: The Enlightened Person Guide to the Wonders of Medicinal Plants. Gramercy; 2 Rev Exp edition 2004

Coconut Oil

Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm. The oil of the nut (fruit) is used to make medicine.

Some products are referred to as “virgin” coconut oil. Unlike olive oil, there is no industry standard for the meaning of “virgin” coconut oil. The term has come to mean that the oil is generally unprocessed. For example, virgin coconut oil usually has not been bleached, deodorized, or refined.

Some coconut oil products claim to be “cold pressed” coconut oil. This generally means that a mechanical method of pressing out the oil is used, but without the use of any outside heat source. The high pressure needed to press out the oil generates some heat naturally, but the temperature is controlled so that temperatures do not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coconut oil is used for diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid conditions, energy, and boosting the immune system. Ironically, despite coconut oil’s high calorie and saturated fat content, some people use it to lose weight and lower cholesterol.

Coconut oil is sometimes applied to the skin as a moisturizer and to treat a skin condition called psoriasis.

How effective is it?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for COCONUT OIL are as follows:

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…

  • Head lice. Developing research shows that a spray containing coconut oil, anise oil, and ylang ylang oil appears to be effective for treating head lice in children. It seems to work about as well as a spray containing chemical insecticides.
  • Psoriasis. Applying coconut oil to the skin before treatment of psoriasis with ultraviolet B (UVB) or psoralen and ultraviolet A (PUVA) light therapy doesn’t seem to improve effectiveness of the treatment.
  • Heart disease. A study in India suggested that eating coconut or taking coconut oil doesn’t seem to affect the chances of having a heart attack or developing chest pain (angina).
  • Obesity. Some developing research shows that taking coconut oil 10 mL three times daily might reduce waist size after 1-6 weeks of use.
  • Newborn weight gain. Some research shows that massaging premature newborns with coconut oil can improve weight gain and growth.
  • High cholesterol. Some research suggests that dietary use of coconut oil is linked to increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol, but does not increase levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol. However, a study comparing a diet rich in coconut oil to diets rich in beef fat or safflower oil found that coconut oil can increase both HDL and LDL cholesterol.
  • Diarrhea. A study in children found that incorporating coconut oil into the diet can reduce the length of diarrhea, but another study found that it was no more effective than a cow milk-based diet. The effect of coconut oil alone is not clear.
  • Dry skin. Developing research shows that applying coconut oil to the skin twice daily can improve skin moisture in people with dry skin.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Thyroid conditions.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate coconut oil for these uses.

How does it work?

Coconut oil is high in a saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides. These fats work differently than other types of saturated fat in the body. However, research on the effects of these types of fats in the body is very preliminary.

When applied to the skin, coconut oil has a moisturizing effect.

Are there safety concerns?

Coconut oil is safe for most people if used in amounts commonly found in foods. It also appears to be safe when applied to the scalp in combination with other herbs.

Since coconut oil has a high fat content, there is concern that it might increase weight if used in large amounts or that it might increase cholesterol levels. However, these concerns have not been proven in scientific research.

The safety of coconut oil used in medicinal amounts is unknown.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Coconut oil is safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women when used in the amounts normally found in the diet. But the safety of using coconut oil in larger amounts is not known. It’s best to stick to food amounts if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

High cholesterol: There is concern that coconut oil might increase total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol. But there is contradictory evidence that shows that coconut oil might actually increase levels of “good” cholesterol and have little to no effect on total or “bad” cholesterol levels.

Are there interactions with medications?

It is not known if this product interacts with any medicines.

Before taking this product, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

Blond psyllium
Psyllium reduces absorption of the fat in coconut oil.

Are there interactions with foods?

There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?

The appropriate dose of coconut oil depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for coconut oil. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.



To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.


  1. Bhan MK, Arora NK, Khoshoo V, et al. Comparison of a lactose-free cereal-based formula and cow’s milk in infants and children with acute gastroenteritis. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1988;7:208-13. View abstract.
  2. Romer H, Guerra M, Pina JM, et al. Realimentation of dehydrated children with acute diarrhea: comparison of cow’s milk to a chicken-based formula. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1991;13:46-51. View abstract.
  3. Liau KM, Lee YY, Chen CK, Rasool AH. An open-label pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of virgin coconut oil in reducing visceral adiposity. ISRN Pharmacol 2011;2011:949686. View abstract.

Vitamin D Could Lower Risk Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

D Drops Vitamin D

Diabetes symbol

Research scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München in Germany have shown that people with the proper supply of vitamin D are at lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The study, which was conducted in cooperation with the German Diabetes Center and the University of Ulm. The report was published in the scientific journalDiabetes Care.


The researchers collaborated with scientists from the department of Medicine/Cardiology at the University of Ulm and German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf.


New tests performed on participants of the KORA study have shown that people with a proper supply of vitamin D have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus, while individuals with lower concentrations of vitamin D in their blood have a higher risk. This effect could be attributable to the anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D.


The result of the study could have direct consequences for the prevention of this common disease.


“Vitamin D deficiency is relatively widespread due to our modern way of life and the geographical latitude of Germany. In the winter months, in particular, people often do not receive adequate supplies of the vitamin because of the lack of sunlight,” explained researchers from the Institute for Epidemiology II at the Helmholtz Zentrum München.

“If follow-up studies confirm our results, a targeted improvement in the supply of vitamin D to the general public could at the same time reduce the risk of developing diabetes.” The human body can produce vitamin D itself if it has sufficient exposure to sunlight. The UVB radiation in natural daylight splits the precursor of vitamin D, 7-dehydrocholesterol, in the skin and forms provitamin D3. Further vitamin D synthesis occurs in the liver and kidneys.


The supply can be improved by eating certain foods, such as vegetables, fruits, olive oil, omega 3-richfish, eggs and milk

Diabetes Dietary Foodsproducts and by taking vitamin D supplements.
Over six million people in Germany suffer from Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and the number of undiagnosed cases could be equally high or more. Unfortunately, there has been no cure for this common disease. Type 2 diabetes is a disorder of glucose metabolism. It is characterized by a loss of insulin action and a drop in the levels of the hormone produced by the body.


The mechanisms that trigger the disease have not yet been fully clarified. However, it is known that diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. The objective of the Helmholtz Zentrum München is to understand the mechanisms
that cause common diseases and to develop new approaches with regard to their diagnosis, therapy and prevention.


Story Source: Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen – German Research Centre for EnvironmentalHealth.


Journal Reference: Effect of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D on Risk for Type 2 Diabetes MayBe Partially Mediated by Subclinical Inflammation: Results from the MONICA/KORA
Augsburg study. Diabetes Care, 2011;


Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen – German Research Centre for Environmental Health (2011, October 4). Vitamin D could lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, study suggest.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice,diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

Scientists Now Identify A Previously Unknown Function of Vitamin E

To reduce signs of aging, people massage Vitamin E into the skin and athletes consume it to improve endurance. Now, scientists have the evidence of one of vitamin E’s previously unknown body functions.

This powerful antioxidant vitamin helps repair tears in the plasma membranes that protect cells from outside forces and screen what enters and exits. Georgia Health Sciences University researchers reported their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Everyday activities such as eating and exercise can tear the plasma membrane and the new research shows that vitamin E is essential to repair it. Without the proper repair of muscle cells, such as when muscles eventually waste away and die in a process similar to what
occurs in muscular dystrophy. Another example is the muscle weakness and common complaint from people with diabetes, the condition is associated with inadequate plasma membrane repair.

Century-old laboratory studies linked vitamin E deficiency to muscle problems but how that occurs remained a mystery until now. A  lack of membrane repair caused muscle wasting and death, which promptedthe researchers to look at vitamin E.

Vitamin E appears to assist repair in several ways. As an antioxidant, it helps eliminate destructive by-products from the body’s use of oxygen that impede repair. Because it’s lipid-soluble, vitamin E can actually insert itself into the membrane to prevent free radicals from attacking. It also can help keep important phospholipids, a major membrane component, compliant so they can better repair after a tear.

As a common example…  Exercise causes the cell powerhouse, the mitochondria, to burn a lot more oxygen than normal. “As an unavoidable consequence you produce reactive oxygen species,” the researchers explained.  The physical force of exercise actually tears the membrane. Vitamin E enables adequate plasma membrane repair despite the oxidant challenge and keeps the situation in balance.

When he mimicked what happens with exercise by using hydrogen peroxide to produce free radicals, he found that tears in skeletal muscle cells would not heal unless pretreated with vitamin E.
The next studies will be aided by two recent National Institutes of  Health grants, will include examining membrane repair in vitamin E-deficient animals.

They also want to examine membrane repair failure in diabetes.  The team showed that cells taken from animal models of types 1 and 2 diabetes have faulty repair mechanisms. They discovered high glucose was a culprit by soaking cells in a high-glucose solution for eight to 12 weeks, during which time they developed a repair defect. It’s also well documented that reactive oxygen species levels are elevated in diabetes.

The Nature Communications paper showed that vitamin E treatment in an animal model of diabetes restored some membrane repair ability.
Also, an analogue of the most biologically active form of vitamin E significantly reversed membrane repair deficits caused by high glucose and increased cell survival after tearing cells in culture.

Story Source: Georgia Health Sciences University.

Journal Reference:
Promotion of plasma membrane repair by vitamin E. Nature Communications, 2011;

Georgia Health Sciences University (2011, December 20). Scientists identify an innate function of vitamin E.

Bankrupt government slashing payments to doctors by 43%; medicare patients to be rejected nationwide.

(NaturalNews) As we’ve warned for months, just because Americans are required to have health insurance coverage under regulations contained in the Affordable Care Act, that doesn’t mean that they will have access to care.

If you recall, the entire purpose behind Obamacare, according to the president and the law’s backers, was only to insure something like 14 or 15 million people, because at the time the measure was being debated, the vast majority of Americans — well over 80 percent — had health insurance. What’s more, the bulk of those insured had private sector plans, and most were insured through employers; the number of Americans on taxpayer-subsidized coverage, like Medicaid, was minimal.

Obamacare is beginning to change that dynamic, however, as noted by the administration’s new enrollment figures released a couple of weeks ago: According to CNN/Money, some 8.7 million more Americans are now enrolled in Medicaid as of August than were a year earlier. And Medicaid expansion is at the heart of the Affordable Care Act (though you would think, in a free-market economy, the goal of any health insurance reform effort would be to put more people into private-sector plans, not hook them on a taxpayer-subsidized plan).

There is no doubt that, because of the Affordable Care Act, more Americans are actually covered under health insurance. The bad news, however, is that the insurance “coverage” is going to be little more than coverage in name only.


As reported by The New York Times:

Just as millions of people are gaining insurance through Medicaid, the program is poised to make deep cuts in payments to many doctors, prompting some physicians and consumer advocates to warn that the reductions could make it more difficult for Medicaid patients to obtain care.

This is how the law was designed to “save money” — by placing more Americans on a taxpayer-supported program, then cutting payments to the very doctors who were expected to see and treat the newly covered.

The Times continued:

The Affordable Care Act provided a big increase in Medicaid payments for primary care in 2013 and 2014. But the increase expires on Thursday — just weeks after the Obama administration told the Supreme Court that doctors and other providers had no legal right to challenge the adequacy of payments they received from Medicaid.

So, not only is the Obama Administration, per the Obamacare law, looking to cut payments to doctors, but the White House is further arguing that doctors have no legal right to question the amount that they are being paid.

How’s that for a Catch-22?

Doomed to fail

Well, doctors are having none of it. Their solution will be to simply stop seeing Medicaid patients, because the administration’s wielding of the Obamacare law is leaving them little financial choice.

According to a study by the Urban Institute, the Times reported, the cuts to doctors will vary by state, but the average cut will be around 43 percent. So, more Americans are being covered by a tax-supported entitlement that is cutting payments to providers by nearly half; that will result in fewer providers seeing Medicaid patients.

Primary care family practice physicians — a specialty that typically earns less than other specialties, and one that is already short thousands of providers — will be especially hard-hit by the cuts, according to Stephen Zuckerman, a health economist at the Urban Institute. He goes on to say that cuts of 50 percent or more could hit doctors in states like California, Florida and New York, where there are large concentrations of Medicaid patients.

Obama has proposed extending the current Medicaid payment schedule in the current budget, but there is no indication that there is enough support among members of both parties for that to happen.

Doctors’ groups, meanwhile, are already warning that access to care will suffer for patients on federally subsidized health coverage plans.

Dr. David A. Fleming, president of the American College of Physicians, which represents internal medicine specialists, told the Times some patients would have less access to care after the cuts. As such, it would make no sense to reduce Medicaid payments “at a time when the population enrolled in Medicaid is surging,” he said.

But the problem is that taxpayers are on the hook for the extended coverage, and at a time when the federal budget deficit is more than $18 trillion — with unfunded liabilities (like Obamacare) raising that amount to more than $120 trillion — it is obvious that the program is not sustainable.


Learn more:

Low Levels of Vitamin C Increase Risk For Heart Failure Patients

Important New Research From University of Ulsan In Korea Reported.

The American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Nursing Research funded the study.

Low levels of vitamin C were associated with higher levels of high sensitivity C – Reactive protein (hsCRP) and shorter intervals without major cardiac issues or death for heart failure patients,
in research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2011.

Compared to those with high vitamin C intake, heart failure patients in the study who had low vitamin C intake were 2.4 times more likely to have higher levels of hsCRP, a marker for inflammation and a risk factor for heart disease.

The study demonstrates that low vitamin C intake is associated with worse outcomes for heart failure patients.

Study participants with low vitamin C intake and hsCRP over 3 milligrams per liter (mg/L) were also nearly twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease within one year of follow-up.

“We found that adequate intake of vitamin C was associated with longer survival in patients with heart failure,” said researchers from Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, in the University of Ulsan in Korea.

The average age among the 212 patients in the study was 61, two thirds were men and about one-third were women. Approximately 45 percent of the participants had moderate to severe heart failure.

Participants completed a four-day food diary verified by a registered dietitian and a software program calculated their vitamin C intake. Bloods tests measured hsCRP.

Researchers divided participants into one group with levels over 3 mg/L of hsCRP and another with lower levels. Patients were followed for one year to determine the length of time to their first visit to the emergency department due to cardiac problems or death.

Researchers found that 82 patients (39 %) had inadequate vitamin C intake, according to criteria set by the Institute of Medicine. These criteria allowed the researchers to estimate the likelihood that the patient’s diet was habitually deficient in vitamin C based on a four day food diary.

After a year follow-up, 61 patients (29 percent) had cardiac events, which included an emergency department visit or hospitalization due to cardiac problems, or cardiac death.

The researchers found that 98 patients (46 percent) had hsCRP over 3 mg/L. Inflammatory pathways in heart failure patients may be why vitamin C deficiency contributed to poor health outcomes, the data suggests.

“Increased levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein means a worsening of heart failure,” the researchers explained. “An adequate level of vitamin C is associated with lower levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. This results in a longer cardiac event-free survival in patients.”

The use of diuretics may also play a role because vitamin C is water soluble and diuretics increase the amount of water excreted from the kidneys, explained researchers also participating in the study and co-authors from College of Nursing at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.

Vitamin C Rich Foods
“Diet is the best source of vitamin C,” the researchers said. “Eating the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables each day provides adequate amount.” More randomized controlled trials and studies are needed to determine the impact of other micro-nutrients on survival or re-hospitalization, they said.

The American Heart Association,  the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research funded the study.

Story Source: American Heart Association.

American Heart Association (2011, November 13).
“Low vitamin C levels may raise heart failure patients’ risk.”

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;
It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

Coffee Compounds Protect Pancreas Function

coffee beans, scoops  & sack

Previous studies have shown that regularly drinking coffee
may help protect against type-2 diabetes, but exactly how
has remained a mystery.

Now a new Chinese study reports that compounds in coffee may inhibit the formation of protein compounds that are known to contribute to the death of cells in the pancreas, which produces insulin.

Researchers focused on a chlorogenic acid naturally found in coffee, demonstrating in the lab “significant inhibitory effects” on the compounds linked to pancreatic cell death.

They also looked at caffeine and found a “weak inhibitory effect” on the damaging proteins and on the protection of pancreas cells.

This is the first time, scientists noted, that caffeine has been shown to have beneficial effects on the pancreas; in type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce adequate insulin or the body doesn’t respond properly to insulin.

Researchers speculated that coffee compounds might be considered for future anti-diabetes drug development.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;
It is not intended to provide medical advice,diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

Milk Thistle Extract Stops Lung Cancer In Laboratory Mice, New Study Shows

Tissue with wound-like conditions allows tumors to grow and spread. In mouse lung cancer cells, treatment with silibinin, a major component of milk thistle, removed the molecular billboards that signal these wound-like
conditions and so stopped the spread of these lung cancers, according to a recent study published in the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis.


Though the natural extract has been used for more than 2,000 years,
mostly to treat disorders of the liver and gallbladder, this is one of the first carefully controlled and reported studies to find benefit.


Milk thistle plant - flower

How it works…


Basically, in a cell there can be a chain of signals, one leading to the next, to the next, and eventually to an end product. And so if you would like to eliminate an end product, you may look to break a link in the signaling
chain that leads to it. The end products COX2 and iNOS are enzymes involved with the inflammatory response to perceived wounds — both can aid tumor growth. Far upstream in the signaling chain that leads to these
unwanted enzymes are STAT1 and STAT3.

These transcription factors allow the blueprint of DNA to bind with

proteins that continue the signal cascade, eventually leading to the production of harmful COX2 and iNOS.


Stop STAT1 and STAT3 and you break the chain that leads to COX2 and iNOS — and the growth of lung tumors along with them.


“This relatively nontoxic substance, a derivative of milk thistle silibinin was able to inhibit the upstream signals that lead to the expression of COX2 and iNOS,” say research scientists from the University of Colorado – Skaggs School of Pharmacy and the laboratory of University of Colorado Cancer Center.


In addition, the researchers compared the effects of silibinin to drugs currently in clinical trials for lung cancer. Would drugs that target other signaling pathways, other linked chains, similarly cut into the production
of COX2 and iNOS?


It turned out that inhibiting the chains of JAK1/2 and MEK in combination and also inhibiting the signaling pathways of EGFR and NF-kB in combination blocked the ability of STAT1 and STAT3 to trap the energy
they needed to eventually signal COX2 and iNOS production.


Compared to these multi-million dollar drugs, naturally-occurring silibinin blocked not only the expression of COX2 and iNOS, but also the migration of existing lung cancer cells.


“What we showed is that STAT1 and STAT3 may be promising therapeutic targets in the treatment of lung cancer, no matter how you target them,” the researchers reported. “And also that naturally-derived products like silibinin may be as effective as today’s best treatments.”
This work was supported by NCI RO1 grant CA113876.


Story Source: University of Colorado Denver.


Journal Reference:  Silibinin modulates TNF-α and IFN-γ mediated signaling to regulate COX2 and iNOS expression in tumorigenic
mouse lung epithelial LM2 cells. Molecular Carcinogenesis, 2011;


University of Colorado Denver (2011, November 15). Milk thistle extract stops lung cancer in laboratory mice, study shows.


This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.


Low B6 Linked to Inflammation

New Tufts research has linked low blood levels of vitamin B6 to markers of inflammation that contribute to heart disease and other chronic conditions. 

Researchers analyzed data on 2,229 men and women from the “Framingham Offspring” study. They  found that levels of PLP, an indicator of vitamin B6 levels in the blood, correlated with 13 different markers of inflammation. 

The same associations weren’t seen with the other B vitamins, suggesting a specific link, 
although the observational study couldn’t prove cause and effect. 

“Low vitamin B-6 status, based on plasma concentrations of PLP, has been identified 
in inflammatory diseases, including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes,” the researchers noted. 

“This study, in combination with past findings, further supports our hypothesis that 
inflammation is associated with a functional deficiency of essential vitamin B6.” 

Story Source:  
Tufts University  

Journal Reference:
Journal of Nutrition 

 This article is for informational and educational purposes only;  It is not intended to provide  

medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

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