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The healthiest food fat known to man
use ONLY Tropical Traditions coconut oil.
After years of neglect by others I have finally convinced the medical community and now important clinical studies are finally increasing at a rapid pace. Our prediction at an international conference of the American Oil Chemist Society(1995) that these tropical oil derivatives were going to be the new health oils for the next millennium is coming true. Not only does monolaurin have antibiotic and antiviral activity but also these remarkable derivatives have been shown not to cause resistance organisms to appear.
In addition, it has now been shown that monolaurin can reduce the resistance of germs to antibiotics.
Never before in recent times has recognition of the positive health effects of tropical oils been stronger.
New and exciting health and industrial uses of monolaurin are available and predictable. Monolaurin derived from coconut and palm kernel oils suggest a bright future for an industry that was once referred to as a "sunset industry".
This means that the oil industry must move quickly to modernize itself in making value added products from these oils which will contribute to a more vigorous and healthy agriculture future.
Another article by Dr. Joseph Mercola: http://www.mercola.com/2001/mar/24/coconut_oil.htm
The purpose of this site is to provide information on the health benefits of coconut products, particularly coconut oil. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is known for being anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal. Studies have been done on its effectiveness in lowering the viral load of HIV/AIDS patients. Coconut oil is also being used by thyroid sufferers to increase body metabolism, and to lose weight. Virgin coconut oil is also used for making natural soaps and other health products, as it is one of the healthiest things one can put on their skin.
At one time coconut oil received negative press in the US because of its high level of saturated fat. However, modern research has shown that not all saturated fats are alike and that the fatty acids in coconut oil, the medium chain triglycerides, do not raise serum cholesterol or contribute to heart disease, but are in fact very healthy. Also, some negative studies done on coconut oil in the past was done on hydrogenated coconut oil, which has been altered from its original form. Other studies have clearly shown that traditional Asian cultures that eat significant amounts of coconut in their diet do not suffer from modern diseases seen in western cultures that promote a low-fat diet.
Much research on the nutritional and medicinal benefits on coconut oil has surfaced in recent years. Much of that research has been done by Dr. Mary Enig. Dr. Enig has classified coconuts as a "functional food," which provides health benefits over and beyond the basic nutrients. She has specifically identified lauric acid as a key ingredient in coconut products:
"Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the anti-viral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid."
As a "functional food," coconut oil is now being recognized by the medical community as a powerful tool against immune diseases. Several studies have been done on its effectiveness, and much research is currently being done on the incredible nutritional value of pure coconut oil. Please browse the links page to read about these studies. To add pure virgin coconut oil to your diet, you can purchase the Tropical Traditions brand made in the Philippines.
I would like to say that I have been on Virgin Coconut Oil for the past 2 months (4 tablespoons daily) and feel better than I have in a long time! My energy levels are up & my weight is down. I am never hungry anymore, & have incorporated a daily exercise routine & have lost 20 pounds. Paula (The Coconut Diet Forums)
The above quote is quite typical of what we are seeing from those who are switching to Virgin Coconut Oil (VCNO) in place of less healthy oils in their diet. Many people are reporting that consumption of VCNO is bringing about increased energy levels, fewer cravings for carbs and sweets, and a more satisfied feeling of being “full” after meals.
Since beginning to use Tropical Traditions Virgin coconut oil, about 8 months ago, I have: experienced a noticeable increase in my energy, rid myself of cravings for carbs, cleared up my complexion (which has always been a problem) gotten the silkiest, most glorious hair from using it internally AND lost 16 pounds. This oil does all that it promises, and more! Sharon Elaine, author
So how does Virgin Coconut Oil provide these weight loss benefits?
Low-fat Diets Don’t Work
Before looking at the specific properties of coconut oil, it is helpful to understand that modern nutrition counsel has made a huge mistake in teaching that low-fat diets are healthy and lead to weight loss. For decades now we have been told to cut back on fat in our diet if we want to lose weight. Marketers of low-fat foods have championed this concept. So what has been the result? According to the US Center for Disease Control:
In 1999–2000, an estimated 30% of U.S adults aged 20 years and older — nearly 59 million people — were obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.
Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2000
In 1999–2000, an estimated 64% of U.S adults aged 20 years and older were either overweight or obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more.
Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2000
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson states: “We’ve seen virtually a doubling in the number of obese persons over the past two decades and this has profound health implications. Obesity increases a person’s risk for a number of serious conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and some types of cancer.”1
Obviously, low-fat diets have not helped Americans lose weight, as today nearly two thirds of all adults in the US are classified as overweight. We’ve been told for years that we should avoid fat as much as possible. Some people have been on a torturous low-fat regimen, trying to avoid all fat in their diet. Now we are learning about the dangers of low-fat diets. Certain fats are necessary and even healthy, but which ones?
Fats in History
Fats have always been a part of human nutrition. Rex Russell, M.D. writes: “It was 1944, and World War II was roaring. A young mother was wasting away with an infection diagnosed as tuberculosis. Antibiotics were unavailable. Her doctor prescribed (1) isolation, (2) bed rest, (3) exercise (eventually) and (4) a diet high in fat. Surprising, but true! High-fat diets were often recommended by the medical profession during those years. Before you scoff, you might want to know that this lady recovered. She is my mother, and she has stayed on this diet through the years. Presently she is enjoying her great-grandchildren”2 So while the experts claimed “fats are good” prior to World War II, now we hear just the opposite.
So what actually constituted a “high-fat” diet back in the 1800s until the 1940s? Basically butter, eggs, nuts and animal fats such as lard and beef tallow. Margarines, which were introduced in the 1860s, were butter substitutes made with animal fats such as lard and tallow or the saturated vegetable oils from coconut oil and palm oils. These high-fat diets, considered then to be healthy, were rich in saturated fats, today seen by many as the worst possible fat one can consume. However, drastically reducing saturated fats from the modern diet has not solved any health problems, and statistics show that obesity rates are at an all-time high. The low-fat advice is losing credibility.
Fats and oils are technically known as “lipids.” If a lipid is liquid at room temperature, it is called an “oil.” If it is solid, it is called a “fat.” Fats can be found in many food sources in nature: animal meats (such as tallow and lard), marine animals (fish oil), vegetables and fruits (such as olives, avocados, coconuts, etc.), nuts and seeds/legumes (soybeans, sesame seeds, peanuts, cashews, grape seeds, etc.), and whole grains (wheat, rice, etc. – must contain the bran and all components to benefit from all the oils present). A diet rich in natural foods will be a naturally high- fat diet! It is virtually impossible to eliminate fats from our diet. And we wouldn’t want to! Fats are an essential part of life. Without them, we could not survive.
Four vitamins—A. D, E, and K—are soluble in fat; fat carries fat-soluble vitamins. When fat is removed from a food, many of the fat-soluble compounds are also removed.
Fat also adds satiety to our meal—a feeling of having had enough to eat. Fat-free and low-fat foods are one of the reasons some people over-eat carbohydrates, which really packs on the pounds. They just don’t feel like they’ve had enough to eat, even when the volume has been more than enough.
I have been taking a tablespoon of coconut oil three times daily with meals. Taking the oil with my meals seems to give me a “full feeling” a lot faster. My sweet tooth has practically vanished—and this is from someone who should have bought stock in Hershey's long ago! Ironically, facilitating weight loss was my main reason for trying the coconut oil diet, but with all the wonderful benefits I am experiencing, the weight loss aspect almost seems like an afterthought. About three days into the routine, I had an energy rush on a Saturday morning that kept me going until well after lunch. I can’t believe how much I got done that day! My mental state of mind seemed to be much sharper. I was able to focus on the tasks at hand without getting sidetracked. I was not exhausted at the end of running my errands, which included traipsing around a huge mall. It seemed like I was practically running, rather than the leisurely walking that was formerly my habit. In addition to my energy level, my mood has been very stable—no up and down mood swings—even with the onset of PMS! My husband commented yesterday on how soft and silky my skin felt, and I have not used any lotion since I started taking the oil. Theresa (The Coconut Diet Forums)
Fats for Animal Feeds
One interesting way to study the role of fats and their affect on weight loss or weight gain is to study the animal feed industry. If ever there was a group of people with economic interest in weight gain, it is the livestock industry.
Back in the days when fat was “in,” the fatter the pig you could raise the better. Lard was a basic staple for cooking in the days of our forefathers. It was found that feeding pigs polyunsaturated fats (primarily soybean and corn oil) would put more fat on them. This is the reaction of the longer chain fatty acids found in vegetable oils, and is well documented in the scientific literature.
Today however, we’ve come full circle with our new low-fat mantra, and the consumer demand is now for low-fat meats. So how does one produce a leaner pork? Well according the Department of Animal Science of North Carolina State University, during the “finishing time” before slaughter, you stop feeding them polyunsaturated oils and start feeding them saturated fats.3 They used beef tallow in their experiment, which they found was a bit hard for the pigs to digest. So some farmers are now actually starting to use coconut oil, a plant-based saturated fat, instead.
So what are the fats found on the shelves of grocery stores today, that make up the majority of the US diet? Polyunsaturated fats: mostly soybean oil, which commonly is referred to as vegetable oil. These are the same fats that have been known to fatten livestock in the animal feed business. The saturated fats, which made up most of the fats in the diet of our forefathers, have been almost banned by modern nutrition advice. The result: lean pigs and obese people!!
Low-Carb Diets: Half the Story
Gary Taubes wrote a startling article in the New York Times in 2002 titled “What If it Were All a Big Fat Lie!” In it he stated:
The cause of obesity [is] precisely those refined carbohydrates at the base of the famous Food Guide Pyramid -- the pasta, rice and bread -- that we are told should be the staple of our healthy low-fat diet, and then add on the sugar or corn syrup in the soft drinks, fruit juices and sports drinks that we have taken to consuming in quantity if for no other reason than that they are fat free and so appear intrinsically healthy. While the low-fat-is-good-health dogma represents reality as we have come to know it, and the government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in research trying to prove its worth, the low-carbohydrate message has been relegated to the realm of unscientific fantasy.
Over the past five years, however, there has been a subtle shift in the scientific consensus. It used to be that even considering the possibility of the alternative hypothesis, let alone researching it, was tantamount to quackery by association. Now a small but growing minority of establishment researchers have come to take seriously what the low-carb-diet doctors have been saying all along. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, may be the most visible proponent of testing this heretic hypothesis. Willett is the de facto spokesman of the longest-running, most comprehensive diet and health studies ever performed, which have already cost upward of $100 million and include data on nearly 300,000 individuals. Those data, says Willett, clearly contradict the low-fat-is-good-health message ''and the idea that all fat is bad for you; the exclusive focus on adverse effects of fat may have contributed to the obesity epidemic.''4
This started the current low-carb tidal wave because people generally have found that it is true: if you cut out refined carbohydrates you will lose weight.
But while these new low-carb diets are now challenging the low-fat hypothesis, there still seems to be mass confusion as to which fats and oils are actually healthy, and which ones are not. And no wonder. Probably no other food group has been politicized more in American nutrition than fats. With all the books and literature written on the subject, and each one practically contradicting each other, there is really only one book written by a lipid expert with no commercial ties to anyone in the edible oil industry. That book is “Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol” by Dr. Mary Enig, a nutritionist/biochemist with her Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Maryland. Much of her work is featured in the Weston Price Foundation that studies traditional foods.
Let’s face it. The low-fat dietary dictum is a multi-billion dollar industry built upon a foundation of sinking sand. Not only does the scientific research show that the polyunsaturated vegetable oils promote weight gain, it also shows that they are not good as an animal feed either. While they do promote weight gain in livestock, they do so at the expense of another essential fatty acid: conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
CLA is found primarily in beef and dairy products, and cannot be produced in the human body. Research has shown that animals grazed strictly on grass, their natural diet, can have levels of CLA hundreds of times higher than animals raised on grain feeds. Also, in a study done by the Department of Animal Science at Southern Illinois University in 2003, it was found that beef finished off on soybean oil directly reduced the amount of CLA produced by ruminant animals.5 What are the known benefits of CLA, now that we have almost lost it from our meat and dairy sources? Among its benefits are: it destroys cancer cells, it reduces tumors, and it promotes weight loss while increasing muscle growth.
So while many people are seeing weight loss on low-carb diets because they are cutting back on refined carbohydrates, many do not see weight loss because they are still lacking proper fats in their diet, and most of the popular low-carb diets are giving mixed messages about which fats are healthy and which ones are not. If you choose the wrong fat and consume large quantities of it, such as hydrogenated polyunsaturated fats full of trans fatty acids, not only will you not have much success in losing weight, you will probably develop a whole host of other health problems.
When a dietary philosophy has been promoted as long as the current low-fat dogma has, and a multi-billion dollar industry feeds off it, we can expect it to die a slow death with much opposition, as America gets fatter and fatter because the popular media continues to propagate the low-fat myth. It is amazing to read new studies conducted that start with this myth as fact, and then construct their whole study to support it, never once questioning the “wisdom” behind the myth that is just accepted without question as fact.
In a study published by British Journal of Nutrition, entitled “Effects of including a ruminally protected lipid supplement in the diet on the fatty acid composition of beef muscle,” the abstract begins like this: “Enhancing the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and decreasing the saturated fatty acid content of beef is an important target in terms of improving the nutritional value of this food for the consumer.” With this “truth” declared without any supporting evidence whatsoever, it goes on to show how one can increase the PUFA content of beef while decreasing the saturated fat content by feeding cows soybean, linseed and sunflower-seed oils.6 And because this entire generation has been brainwashed into believing saturated fats are bad and polyunsaturated fats are good, this is seen as positive!
But wait, it gets even worse. Have you noticed all the news lately about the epidemic of obesity among children? A study was published in 2003 by the Journal of the American Diet Association entitled “Soy-enhanced lunch acceptance by preschoolers.” The objective: “To evaluate acceptance of soy-enhanced compared with traditional menus by preschool children. Soy- enhanced foods were substituted on a traditional cycle menu, and the amount eaten, energy, and nutrient values for traditional and soy-enhanced lunches were compared.”
The conclusion? “Soy- enhanced foods were successfully substituted for 23 traditional foods included in the cycle menus. Soy-enhanced foods tended to be higher in energy, protein, and iron. Traditional lunches tended to be higher in fat, saturated fat, and vitamin A.” Therefore “Preschool programs can substitute soy-enhanced for traditional foods, which will add variety to the diet without sacrificing taste, energy, or nutrient value.”6 Great! So since we start with the presupposition that saturated fats are bad and polyunsaturated fats are good, we can now design a study to “prove” we should be feeding preschoolers soy instead of “traditional foods.” And people continue to ask why children are so overweight today….. Other concerns about soy and children are not even addressed in this study, such as how large amounts of plant hormones (phyto-estrogens) in soy are equal to adult levels and can cause severe damage to the endocrine system of children.7
Traditional Fats are Best
So while we wait for the science to catch up with the truth, here is a better idea. Let’s go back and eat the traditional fats our forefathers and other traditional societies have eaten for hundreds and even thousands of years, and were known to be healthy. These fats are rich in saturated fats, and include healthy traditionally raised meat, dairy, and eggs. In tropical climates it includes coconut oil and palm oil. Coconut oil is unique in nature with medium chain fatty acids that are also found in human breast milk, with volumes of research showing that it leads to greater metabolism and weight loss.
Researchers now know that weight loss associated with coconut oil is related to the length of the fatty acid chains contained in coconut oil. Coconut oil contains what are called medium chain fatty acids, or medium chain triglycerides (MCTs for short). These medium chain fatty acids are different from the common longer chain fatty acids found in other plant-based oils. Most vegetable oils are composed of longer chain fatty acids, or triglycerides (LCTs). LCTs are typically stored in the body as fat, while MCTs are burned for energy. MCTs burn up quickly in the body. Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of MCTs that increase metabolic rates and lead to weight loss. MCTs promote what is called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis increases the body's metabolism, producing energy. People in the animal feed business have known this truth for quite some time. If you feed animals vegetable oils, they put on weight and produce more fatty meat. If you feed them coconut oil, they will be very lean.
There are many studies proving this concept of thermogenesis and MCTs in the scientific literature. In 1989 a study was done in the Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University, at Nashville TN. Ten male volunteers (ages 22 to 44) were overfed (150% of estimated energy requirement) liquid formula diets containing 40% of fat as either MCT or LCT. Each patient was studied for one week on each diet in a double-blind, crossover design. The results: "Our results demonstrate that excess dietary energy as MCT stimulates thermogenesis to a greater degree than does excess energy as LCT. This increased energy expenditure, most likely due to lipogenesis in the liver, provides evidence that excess energy derived from MCT is stored with a lesser efficiency than is excess energy derived from dietary LCT."8
In another study recently conducted at the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, Canada, the effects of diets rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) or long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) on body composition, energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, subjective appetite, and ad libitum energy intake in overweight men was studied. Twenty-four healthy, overweight men with body mass indexes between 25 and 31 kg/m(2) consumed diets rich in MCT or LCT for 28 days each in a crossover randomized controlled trial. Their conclusion: “Consumption of a diet rich in MCTs results in greater loss of AT compared with LCTs, perhaps due to increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation observed with MCT intake. Thus, MCTs may be considered as agents that aid in the prevention of obesity or potentially stimulate weight loss.”9
Another benefit of coconut consumption is it helps me control my blood sugar levels. Have you ever eaten any carb intensive food and had a sugar crash? Try eating some coconut oil along with the carb and it may prevent the sugar crash or at least mitigate them. I try to keep my blood sugar level steady all day and so have a nice level energy all day, and not ups and downs all day long. I use to always be a little chubby. (wonder why?) Eating coconut does help control the chubbiness. So the direct health benefits that I have experienced from coconut oil consumption is: increased thyroid function and the blessings that brings; eliminate yeast infections; and, it also helps me control blood sugar levels. I am sure the increased thyroid function and controlling the blood sugar accounts for not being chubby anymore and the stuff tastes good in food. – Phyllis (The Coconut Diet Forums)
Scientific Studies on the Weight-Loss Effects of Coconut Oil's MCTs
Scientific studies have reported that the fatty acids from MCTs in coconut oil are not easily converted into stored triglycerides, and that MCTs cannot be readily used by the body to make larger fat molecules. One animal feeding study evaluated body weight and fat storage for three different diets--low-fat diet, high-fat diet containing long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), and a high-fat diet containing MCTs. All animals were fed the selected diets for a period of 44 days. At the end of that time, the low-fat diet group had stored an average of 0.47 grams of fat per day; the LCT group stored 0.48 grams/day, while the MCT group deposited only 0.19 grams of fat per day, a 60% reduction in the amount of fat stored. The authors conclude that "the change from a low-fat diet to a MCT-diet is attended by a decrease in the body weight gain.”10
This study points out two important facts: First, when MCTs are substituted for LCTs in the diet, the body is much less inclined to store fat. Second, when we eat sensibly, a diet containing MCTs is more effective than a low-fat diet at decreasing stored fat.
In a human study, researchers compared the metabolic effects of 400-calorie meals of MCTs and LCTs by measuring metabolic rates prior to and six hours following the test meals. The results showed that the MCT-containing meals caused an average 12 percent increase in basal metabolic rate as compared with a 4 percent increase with the LCT-containing meal. The authors concluded that replacing dietary fats with MCTs could "over long periods of time produce weight loss even in the absence of reduced [caloric] intake."11
Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of MCTs. Not only do MCTs raise the body’s metabolism leading to weight loss, but they have special health-giving properties as well. The most predominant MCT in coconut oil, for example, is lauric acid. Lipid researcher Dr. Jon Kabara states “Never before in the history of man is it so important to emphasize the value of Lauric Oils. The medium-chain fats in coconut oil are similar to fats in mother’s milk and have similar nutriceutical effects. These health effects were recognized centuries ago in Ayurvedic medicine. Modern research has now found a common link between these two natural health products---- their fat or lipid content. The medium chain fatty acids and monoglycerides found primarily in coconut oil and mother’s milk have miraculous healing power.”12 Outside of a human mother’s breast milk, coconut oil is nature’s most abundant source of lauric acid and medium chain fatty acids.
I've been over 100lbs overweight for 5 years. I struggled with ear and sinus infections, headaches, fatigue, high blood pressure (never been diagnosed). Everything in life seemed like work. I was miserable emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Well I've been consuming about 3-5 tablespoons of coconut oil per day and I feel amazing! I get a slight cold, but never get the secondary infection and beat the fever in 24 hours! I sleep better and wake up with a smile on my face. I'm more flexible. And I feel more at peace with my body.
My spiritual life has improved and I am ready to pursue my dream of being a Christian Counselor. This has marked a pivotal change in my entire life including my marriage. This may sound silly. But I gained weight subconsciously because I didn't want to be noticed by men. And by eating better I have allowed myself to be freed from this bondage. I don't know how much I've lost, and choose not to watch the scales. But my clothes fit better, my muscles are stronger and people have noticed the loss. And now, with coconut oil, I actually have hunger pains. Our society is so focused on lowering the appetite, but a healthy appetite is good! I'm now satisfied with less food and not bound by sugar imbalance hunger. Bridgette (The Coconut Diet Forums)
Over the past 18 months I've lost 107 pounds, going from 316 to 209 and from 52 to 36 pants (19 pounds to go). I lost the weight following a low carb, no sugar or grain, high saturated fat and high protein diet and eliminating ALL soy products and ALL polyunsatured vegetable oils. I used about 2 or 3T of Virgin Coconut Oil daily. Chuck (The Coconut Diet Forums)
Can coconut oil reduce the viral load of HIV-AIDS patients? "Initial trials have confirmed that coconut oil does have an anti-viral effect and can beneficially reduce the viral load of HIV patients", University of the Philippines' Emeritus professor of pharmocology Dr. Conrato S. Dayrit said.
A minimum of 50 ml of coconut oil would contain 20 to 25 grams of lauric acid, which indicates that the oil is metabolized in the body to release monolaurin which is an antibiotic and an anti-viral agent. Among the saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has the maximum anti-viral activity, he said. Based on this research, the first clinical trial using monolaurin as monotherapy on some of the HIV patients was conducted recently. Dr. Dayrit's conclusions after the study: "This initial trial confirmed the anecdotal reports that coconut oil does have an anti-viral effect and can beneficially reduce the viral load of HIV patients. The positive anti-viral action was seen not only with the monoglyceride of lauric acid but with coconut oil itself. This indicates that coconut oil is metabolized to monoglyceride forms of C-8, C-10, C- 12 to which it must owe its anti-pathogenic activity."
The entire results of Dr. Dayrit's study can be found here in PDF format.
On July 19, 1995, Dr. Mary Enig, noted biochemist and nutritionist, was quoted in an article published in The HINDU, India's National Newspaper as stating that coconut oil is converted by the body into "Monolaurin" a fatty acid with anti-viral properties that might be useful in the treatment of AIDS. The staff reporter for The HINDU wrote about Enig's presentation at a press conference in Kochi and wrote the following:
"There was an instance in the US in which an infant tested HIV positive had become HIV negative. That it was fed with an infant formula with a high coconut oil content gains significance in this context and at present an effort was on to find out how the 'viral load' of an HIV infected baby came down when fed a diet that helped in the generation of Monolaurin in the body."
The reporter commented on Enig's observations that "Monolaurin helped in inactivating other viruses such as measles, herpes, vesicular stomatitis and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and that research undertaken so far on coconut oil also indicated that it offered a certain measure of protection against cancer-inducing substances."
Enig stated in an article published in the Indian Coconut Journal, Sept. 1995 that Monolaurin, of which the precursor is lauric acid, disrupted the lipid membranes of envelope viruses and also inactivated bacteria, yeast and fungi. She wrote: "Of the saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has greater anti-viral activity than either caprylic acid (C-10) or myristic acid (C-14). The action attributed to Monolaurin is that of solubilizing the lipids ..in the envelope of the virus causing the disintegration of the virus envelope."
Dr. Mary Enig has also written a book entitled "Nutrients and Foods in AIDS," and one of the chapters is published on her website here.
In a July 1997 newsletter entitled "Keep Hope Alive" an interview with Chris Dafoe was recorded. Chris Dafoe of Cloverdale, IN who, based on his lab numbers, thought the end was near in September, 1996. His HIV viral load was over 600,000, CD4 count was 10 and CD8 at 300. He prepaid his funeral and decided to take his last vacation in the jungles of South America with an Indian tribe in the Republic of Surinam. Around October 14, 1996, he began eating daily a dish of cooked coconut which was prepared by the local Indians. By Dec. 27th, 1996, a mere 2 and 1/2 months later, his viral load was at non-detectable levels and he had gained 32 lbs and was feeling great. He had some other people he knew with HIV try using coconuts in their diet, and they experienced the same results. The entire interview is recorded here.
Recently the PATA International-Potato and Products Aid Alliance To Africa committed to purchase and send several hundred container loads of Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil to Africa for distribution among HIV - AIDS sufferers. They state:
"AIDS is the modern day Black Plague. Millions have all ready died from this disease, leaving behind millions of orphans. Millions more will follow in death, unless a low cost way of controlling this illness is found quickly.
Several long term world studies sponsored by various health organizations have found that the high content of lauric acid in unrefined coconut oil can prolong the lives of AIDS patients by dissolving the covering of the virus itself. This same action has been found effective against other infectious, tropical based diseases as well."
If the results from the smaller studies duplicate themselves in the clinics in Africa, PATA intends to extend the distribution of Virgin Coconut oil in Africa.
Tropical Traditions unrefined Virgin Coconut oil can be ordered here.
There are two general groups of parasites. One consists of worms such as tape worms and roundworms. The second category is the protozoa, one-celled organisms. Parasites infect the intestines of both humans and animals and can cause a great deal of intestinal distress. We often associate parasites with Third World countries and poor sanitation, but parasites are a problem everywhere, even in North America. In countries where sanitation is a priority people mistakenly assume that no problem exists and they don't need to worry. Parasites are everywhere, waiting for the opportunity to latch onto an unsuspecting host. Backpackers have long been aware of the danger of drinking water from streams and lakes. Open water even in the backcounty is often contaminated with parasites waiting for a host.
Bert Thomas, a 45-year-old geologist, was a wilderness enthusiast. He loved hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking and was an excellent athlete. In the spring of 1994 he took his three children and went backpacking in the Wyoming wilderness. Always mindful about the dangers of drinking surface water, even in a seemingly pristine wilderness, he made sure to boil or filter every drop of water they drank.
On his return home he began to experience bouts with diarrhea and became increasingly fatigued. He lost all energy and stopped participating in the outdoor sports that had become a regular part of his life. He began to lose weight, suffer from dizzy spells, and became short of breath. Doctors were unable to find a cause for his problems. Because the illness began soon after his return home from Wyoming, a stool sample was tested for parasites. The tests came back negative.
Over the next six months in an attempt to find the cause of his illness he was treated for ulcers, had blood tests, abdominal scans, and X rays. Symptoms became worse. He began having blackouts and heart palpitations and was hospitalized. Monitoring his heart revealed a serious abnormality called arrhythmia. It was assumed this was the cause of his dizzy spells and blackouts. He was given medication to control the arrhythmia but after a while stopped taking it because of the side effects. Despite the negative tests from the stool specimen, his doctor gave him medication to treat giardia because there was little else they could do.
He felt dramatic relief of the diarrhea and regained much of his former energy. As Bert found out, a common problem with tests for parasites is that they are often wrong. A negative reading doesn't necessarily mean there are no parasites present.
His heart palpitations and dizziness continued and seemed to become aggravated when he attempted to exercise. He went to another doctor, an expert in intestinal disease, who recognized the symptoms immediately as giardiasis. Another stool test was performed to make sure that the giardia has been eradicated. It was.
While the parasites may have been removed, the damage done by them wasn't. Intestinal permeability tests showed Bert was having trouble absorbing nutrients and was suffering from a mineral deficiency. He was given a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement. Within a month Bert reported a 90 percent reduction in heart palpitations and dizziness and was able to resume his favorite sports. It took nine months on high doses of supplements for his body to recover completely from the damage caused by the giardia infection.
It was assumed that Bert became infected with giardia while he was in the wilderness, but that may not be so. Tap water can also be a source of contamination. The water treatment process doesn't remove all contaminants and parasites. Single-celled organisms such as cryptosporidium and giardia are particularly troublesome because they can often slip through water purification treatment unharmed. Since these organisms are protected by a tough outer coat, the chlorine added to municipal water supplies to kill germs has little effect on them. Because of their small size, very fine filters are needed to trap them, and complete elimination of these parasites from tap water isn't possible.
Drinking-water regulations are designed to reduce, but not necessarily eliminate, parasite contamination; so even water systems that meet government standards may not be free of parasites. Water supplies must be constantly monitored to detect levels above acceptable limits, even then there exists the potential for giardia infection. The most susceptible are those who have a weak immune system incapable of mounting an effective defense against the organism. This is seen mostly in the very young and the elderly and those affected with other immune-suppressing illnesses such as AIDS.
Giardia and cryptosporidium normally live in the digestive tracts of many mammals. Public water supplies can become infected with these organisms when they are contaminated by sewage or animal waste. Although you may not hear about it, outbreaks occur all the time, usually in smaller cities and occasionally in large metropolitan areas. In 1998 the three million residents of Sydney, Australia were advised by the Health Department to boil all their tap water because high concentrations of giardia and cryptosporidium were detected in the city's water supply. In this instance most people were spared from infection because they were warned in time.
Unsafe water is an embarrassment to the water department of any city and sometimes officials are unwilling to admit that a problem exists until it's too late. This is apparently what happened in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1993. A breakdown in water sanitation permitted cryptosporidium to contaminate the city's drinking water for a week. As a result, a hundred people died and 400,000 suffered stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever that are characterized by the parasite. Recent outbreaks have occurred in several cities in California, Colorado, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts to name just a few.
Cryptosporidium is believed to be in 65 to 97 percent of the nation's surface waters (rivers, lakes, and streams), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About half of our tap water comes from treated surface water. Giardia is a much bigger problem. It is commonly found in the pretreated water system used by some 40 million Americans and has caused epidemics in several small cities.
Giardiasis ranks among the top 20 infectious diseases that cause the greatest morbidity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It is the most common parasite diagnosed in North America. The CDC estimates that two million Americans contract giardiasis every year.1
Giardia can live in a variety of water sources: streams, ponds, puddles, tap water, and swimming pools. Infection is spread by contact with an infected source. You don't have to drink contaminated water to become infected. Giardiasis can spread by sexual contact, poor personal hygiene, hand- to-mouth contact, and from food handlers who don't wash their hands thoroughly. If hands are exposed to contaminated water, animals, people, or feces (e.g., litter boxes, diapers) it could spread to you. Shoes can come in contact with animal droppings and bring it inside the home. Veterinary studies have shown that up to 13 percent of dogs are infected. Any pet can become a source of infection for humans although they may not show signs of infection.
Infection can come from the most unsuspected sources. One family get-together proved this point. A few days after a party 25 people who attended reported gastrointestinal distress. They were all found to be infected with giardia. On investigation, suspicion fell on the fruit salad. It was discovered that the salad became infected by the food preparer who hadn't properly washed her hands. She had a diapered child and a pet rabbit at home both of which tested positive to giardia.
A study at Johns Hopkins Medical School a few years ago showed antibodies against giardia in 20 percent of randomly chosen blood samples from patients in the hospital. This means that at least 20 percent of these patients had been infected with giardia at some time in their lives and had mounted an immune response against the parasite.
Giardia is rampant in day-care centers. A study in 1983 showed 46 percent of those who were infected were associated with day-care centers or had contact with diaper-age children. It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of workers in day-care centers harbor giardia.2 In a study done in Denver, Colorado with 236 children attending day-care centers, it was found that 38 (16%) were infected.3
Symptoms of infection are similar to those of the flu and often misdiagnosed. We don't usually think of parasites when be feel "under the weather." I wonder how many times when the "flu" goes around that the real cause is parasites in the water supply? Symptoms vary. In acute cases symptoms are usually most severe and can include any of the following listed in order of prevalence:
malaise (a sense of ill being)
greasy, foul-smelling stools
Infection can persist for weeks or months if left untreated. Some people undergo a more chronic phase that can last for many months. Chronic cases are characterized by loose stools and increased abdominal gassiness with cramping, depression, fatigue and weight loss. Some people may have some symptoms and not others while some may not have any symptoms at all.
Giardiasis can be mistaken for a number of other conditions including the flu, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Many people are diagnosed and treated for these other conditions without finding relief.
Even if giardia is diagnosed and treated, it can damage the intestinal lining causing chronic health problems that persist for years after the parasite is gone. Food allergies, including lactose (milk) intolerance can develop. Damaged intestinal tissues become leaky. This is often referred to as leaky gut syndrome. Toxins, bacteria, and incompletely digested foods are able to pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, initiating an immune response. Sinus congestion, aches and pains, headaches, swelling, and inflammation—all typical symptoms of allergies—are the result.
Loss of intestinal integrity can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Dr. Leo Galland, an expert in gastrointestinal disease, demonstrated that out of a group of 200 patients with chronic diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and bloating, half of them were infected with giardia. Most of these patients had been told they had irritable bowel syndrome. He notes that parasitic infection is a common event among patients with chronic gastrointestinal symptoms and many people are given a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome without a thorough evaluation.
Another consequence of poor intestinal integrity is fatigue resulting from malabsorption of important nutrients. If the condition persists it can lead to chronic fatigue syndrome. A giardia infection can be so draining on the immune system that it causes fatigue. Again the cause is often misdiagnosed. A giardia epidemic in Placerville, California, for example, was mysteriously followed by an epidemic of chronic fatigue syndrome. In 1991 Dr. Galland and colleagues published a study of 96 patients with chronic fatigue and demonstrated active giardia infection in 46 percent. In another study of 218 patients whose chief complaint was chronic fatigue, Dr. Galland found that 61 patients were infected with giardia.4 His conclusion is that giardia may be an important cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Coconut oil may provide an effective defense against many troublesome parasites including giardia. Like bacteria and fungi, giardia can't stand up against MCFA found in coconut oil. Research has confirmed the effectiveness of MCFA in destroying giardia and possibly other protozoa.5,6,7 By using coconut oil and other coconut products every day, you may be able to destroy giardia before it can establish a toehold. In so doing you also eliminate the possibility of developing food allergies, chronic fatigue, and other related symptoms. If you're currently troubled with these conditions, coconut oil used liberally with meals may provide a source of relief. Because MCFA are quickly absorbed by the tissues and converted into energy it seems logical that those suffering from chronic fatigue would gain a great deal of benefit. Foods prepared with coconut oil, or even fresh coconut make a great energy booster.
Another possible use for coconut is for the removal of intestinal worms. In India it has been used to get rid of tapeworms. In one study it was reported that treatment with dried coconut, followed by magnesium sulfate (a laxative), caused ninety percent parasite expulsion after twelve hours.8 The authors of some pet books apparently have had success with coconut and recommend feeding animals ground coconut as a means to expel intestinal parasites. In India coconut oil is rubbed into the scalp as a treatment to remove head lice.
Tapeworms, lice, giardia, Candida, bacteria, viruses, and germs of all sorts can be eliminated or at least held in check with coconut oil. For infections and intestinal complaints it seems like coconut oil is one of the best natural medicines you can use.
Why should you be using coconut oil versus any other type of oil? Because it can:
Help you lose weight, or maintain your already good weight
Reduce the risk of heart disease
Lower your cholesterol
Improve conditions in those with diabetes and chronic fatigue
Improve Crohn's, IBS, and other digestive disorders
Prevent other disease and routine illness with its powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents
Increase metabolism and promotes healthy thyroid function
Boost your daily energy
Rejuvenate your skin and prevent wrinkles
Coconut oil is now starting to get the respect it deserves as not only the healthiest oil you can consume, even superior to olive oil which contains trans-fat, but as one of the most nutritious of all foods.
Coconut Oil seems to be one of the most powerful of all oils when ingested. I was watching the Larry King Show on CNN the other night. He was interviewing Dr.Weise. They were talking about both types of major thyroid problems, over-active and under-active. Both of which affect my family and my editorial staff. One had her thyroid removed and swears by coconut oil. Her husband also joins her and swears it gives him more energy. Her testimony is below.
Dr. Weise said that there has been a two year study that concluded that people should use three teaspoons of Coconut Oil a day.
The Study showed that after doing this daily for one year the person that did this had their Thyroid in a perfect balance and the people who were given a placebo, (the thought they were taking the oil), Thyroid stayed the same or their condition got worse.
You can put the oil in a drink, a salad dressing or cook with it.
Author's Note: I have received more e-mail than ever on this particular subject and all are saying we are right on and that they have found this to be very true. I am just starting the regimen myself. -Dolen.
Judea Bentley on Coconut Oil
I am by know means a expert on Coconut oil, but please let me tell you what it has done for me. I am 45 years old. Married with 5 children and 1 grandchild.
At the age of 32 I had a total hysterectomy. It seemed like after that was over, I was always sick. No energy what so ever. After going to countless doctors it was finally determined that I had fibromayaliga, and lupus along with a cholesterol count of 328. The doctors always tell you that there is nothing they can give you to make you better, just deal with it. Except for the cholesterol they can medicate that.
I spent the 10 years trying everything under the sun to feel better. I was so exhausted all the time that I had to quite my job of 15 years teacher school. I just felt that life was hopeless.
Three years ago they told me that I had a tumor on my thyroid and that it had to be removed immediately. They removed half of my thyroid. After the operation I felt worst then before. I was in severe muscle pain all the time, could not sleep, I felt as if my reaction time was slowed down. And most of the time my head had this feeling, which is hard to explain, you are there but not really. It is like you are in a fog. I was ready to give up, what else could happen.
April of 2003 I was still feeling the same. I woke up on morning and had this lump the size egg protruding out of my neck. Back to the doctor. He said that I had to have surgery the next day. I was devastated. I can home and cried to my husband, I don’t want to do this!!!
I went in the next day everything went fine. They took out the total thyroid. And the biopsy came back that it was borderline cancer. So I am so blessed that we caught it!!!
After three days in the hospital, I came home, I though I cannot go through this again. I feel terrible. I was on the Internet looking up thyroid cancer when I can across the Coconut Oil. My husband was so excited that we called every store in town that could handle it. We finally found it 75 miles away. So Bill went and brought it home. I was very skeptical at first.
The first day I took 2 tablespoons and added it to my coffee in the morning. That night I slept all night threw. The first time in about 15 years, and the next morning I noticed that the pain was not a severe. So the next day I took 1 tablespoon in the morning with coffee, and at lunchtime I put 2 tablespoons on toast with peanut butter. After 3 days I could not believe the difference. I felt almost good. I had not felt that good in18 year. I was so pleased.
The end of July I went to the doctor. I still have the fibromayaliga, and lupus, but I am almost pain free. Except for little aches and pain that we all have. My cholesterol was down to 214, which is great, since I went off of medicine in April because of liver damage. After surgery I developed diabetes, I have been able to control this with diet and the coconut oil, I believe. My doctor could not believe his eyes when he saw me, nor the medical test that he had preformed. He told me “Keep up with the Coconut Oil”. And that I have done.
I am doing fantastic, I feel good mentally and physically. Before Coconut oil, I was taking 15 prescriptions a day. Now I just take vitamins, coconut oil, and my synthyroid pill. I hope to stop taking that soon. But for now I am a little scared to change things.
I know that it is an old saying: but Coconut Oil has given me back my life. I am able to function mentally and physically now. I have all my family taking it. My husband claims that it charges him up for the day. If you miss a serving you do notice it.
Coconut oil has so many healing properties. I know for a fact that it clears up skin infections. And not to change the subject, but we a Saint Bernard Dog “Dudley” He would get such severe ear infections, over the past year we spent $425.00 just in office visits and ear cleaning, and medicine. I place about ½ teaspoon of coconut oil in Dudley’s ears twice a week. He has not had an ear infection since April. So I have passed this tidbit of information on to the Dog Community.
If you are interested in knowing more about Coconut Oil. MabelWhite.com will have a new e-book coming out August 15. It will be available in the download section for subscribers. “Coconut Oil and its Healing Properties”. This e-book will contain information about coconut oil, and how to use it. Along with recipes for soap, lotions, balms, etc. Included will be recipes for cooking with coconut oil and coconut products.
C.A. Sutton on Coconut Oil (Subscriber)
Just a note about your virgin coconut oil. I am following the Atkins diet and 1 tab. of the oil with each meal (use to sauté in or just put in some cottage cheese) and you will absolutely not get hungry. It is almost 2pm before I realize I've not had lunch. 45 lbs. so far. C.A. Sutton
Maria Morris on Coconut Oil (Subscriber)
I've been finding some great personal uses for the coconut oil. The discussion group mentioned using a thin film of it underarms...you know it is the best I've used in the 'natural' realm; even better than my mineral stone. Also on a gum or tooth sensitivity flare-up. I had a filling and the gum tissue was scraped, almost immediately after allowing some of the virgin coconut oil on it, the pain/irritation disappears. I'm sure that adding some oils etc to the 'recipe' would still work as well and you would have some new additions for your monthly menus. Her name is Maria Morris and she swears by eating a few teaspoons of coconut oil a day.
Found at: http://www.mabelwhite.com/CoconutOil.htm
EXCERPT FROM WEB SITE
Most animal and vegetable fats and oils are long-chain fatty acids. Coconut oil and palm kernel oil are medium chain fatty acids, and so these fatty acids rarely end up as body fat. Instead they are burned by the body for energy.
Coconut oil melts at 76ºF.
It is a good idea to eat some fats with each meal, because they make you feel "sated" or "full" and help transport fat-soluble nutrients into the body. Healthy saturated fats include coconut oil and organic butter (or ghee made from organic butter). We emphasize "organic butter" because many pesticides are fat soluble and become concentrated in butter and cheese.
It is good to eat three to four tablespoons of coconut oil daily. Coconut oil may be the healthiest oil for cooking, followed closely by olive oil. Most cooking oils break down at about 350°F. In general, it is better to cook longer at lower temperatures so that oils used in cooking are not damaged. Butter and ghee are also good for cooking.
From "Saturated Fats and the Kidneys" by Mary G. Enig, PhD. "the conversion of the flax oil-type omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid) to the fish oil-type omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) is enhanced when the diet contains saturated fat such as coconut oil. This conversion is hindered when there is extra omega-6 oils in the diet.4" 4. Gerster, Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1998;68:159
IS VIRGIN COCONUT OIL THE HEALTHIEST OIL ON EARTH?
Dr. Bruce Fife, a naturopathic doctor and the author of the book The Coconut Oil Miracle, thinks so. Modern research seems to back up this bold statement. Once wrongly accused of increasing cholesterol levels, coconut oil is now actually being used by doctors in the treatment of a variety of disorders, including Candida, Hypothyroidism, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and others. Studies show the medium chain fatty acids, while having anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects, also speed up metabolism and promote weight-loss.
The Coconut Oil Miracle (Previously published as The Healing Miracle of Coconut Oil) (Paperback) by Bruce Fife, Jon J. Kabara "If you were to travel the world looking for a people who enjoy a degree of health far above that found in most nations, a..." Buy at Amazon at:
LETTER FROM A WEB SITE
We just returned from our trip. Thanks for posting your information. I'll need to gather my thoughts tonight and then post tomorrow. Glad you got the coconut oil. Someone mistakenly said on the hypothyroid thread here that coconut oil is high is saturated fats and she was worried about that. We must start to learn very quickly that there are good fats and bad fats. Oils such as corn, canola, soybean and sunflower are NOT good oils as they are not assimilated properly in the body. Oils such as palm, rice bran, coconut, olive and sesame are all great, easy to assimilate and contribute to a multitude of healing benefits. I'm working with a lupus patient right now who is thriving since she started copious amounts of coconut oil and rice bran oil. Thinking more clearly, less agitated, symptoms settling down, better looking skin, etc. Essential fatty acids such as the good ones I mentioned are imperative to anyone wishing to live long and resist opportunistic illness. We are being slowly (some would say rapidly) killed by the consumption of trans fats and cheap cooking oils that do nothng but block our body's ability to operate and our brain's ability to think and reason with clarity.
TRANSITION: We now move on to Lupus considerations.
The reason why this Lupus discussion is here is that coconut oil is a powerful help with Lupus. Coconut oil boosts the immune system, and it frees the system up by replacing the sludge producing modern oils. Lupus is a metabolism warping disease which causes bone trouble and weight retention. Coconut oil helps decrease these effects.
EXCERPT FROM A WEB SITE
CoQl0 This vital antioxidant plays a special biochemical role in the production of ATP, the basic energy molecule of all cells. CoQl0 plays a crucial part in immune system enhancement and anti- aging processes. Dr. Emile Bliznakov of the Lupus Research Institute in Ridgefield, CT, showed that CoQI0 supplementation can double the immune system’s abilitv to clear invading organisms from the blood; double antibody levels; protect against chemically induced cancer; increase resistance to viral infections; reduce the toxicity of immunosuppressive drugs used in cancer treatment; and quench free radicals associated with arthritis and other chronic degenerative diseases.(s) Not well-absorbed when taken in two-piece hard gelatin capsules or tablets produced by standard methods, CoQI0 becomes more bioavailable when chewed and swallowed with vitamin E, encouraging absorption through the lymphatic system.
Sources of Antioxidants
Hundreds of scientific studies over the past four decades indicate that to increase our chances of living longer in a healthier state, we must take aim at free radicals and confront them head-on with an optimal barrage of antioxidant Studies indicate that optimal protective amounts of some antioxidants, such as vitamin E and possibly zinc, cannot be obtained solely through the diet. A diet high in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, as well as a wide selection of natural nutritional supplements, are easily available for encouraging your optimal health.
Free radical pathology encompasses many disease states and degenerative conditions including atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, various cancers, cataracts, macular degeneration, arthritis, diabetes mellitus, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus, Alzheimer's disease, asthma, sickle-cell anemia, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Meniere's disease, some prostate problems, psoriasis, senility, diverticulitis, tinnitis, memory loss, emphysema, cholesterol oxidation, immune dysfunction, high blood pressure, heart attacks, chronic bronchitis, periodontal disease, stroke, hypertriglyceridemia, vertigo, hearing loss due to reduced blood flow, abnormal blood clotting, congestive heart failure, inflammation, autism, allergies, hemorrhoids, AIDS and many others.
Q. Are there any homeopathic medicines that are good for treating lupus?
(Published 9/3/96) Lupus is a serious autoimmune disease that is imperfectly managed by conventional medicine. It can be mild or life threatening and may cause a variety of symptoms, including arthritis, skin eruptions, neurological problems, and kidney disease. Four times as many women as men have lupus, and there isn't much known about its cause. Some think a viral infection may trigger immune-system dysfunction.
The drugs that conventional doctors use for lupus are immune-suppressive and toxic. They may be necessary when symptoms are most severe, but they reduce the chance that the disease will go into remission naturally.
Homeopathic medicine would not be my first choice to treat lupus. Instead, I've seen very good results in lupus patients who modify their diet and use anti-inflammatory supplements and herbs like blackcurrant oil, ginger, and turmeric - as well as in patients who employ mind-body healing techniques, like hypnotherapy and guided imagery.
You also may want to experiment with Native American, Ayurvedic, or Chinese medicine. I'd start by eating as little protein as possible and eliminating dairy. Try to get lots of starches and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Eat sardines packed in sardine oil (without salt) three times a week, or take supplemental flaxseed meal. These provide omega-3 fatty acids. Blackcurrant oil is a natural source of another fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid, which is an effective anti-inflammatory. Take 500 mgs twice a day. Take Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), an anti-inflammatory herb, to help with any arthritis (one capsule of the freeze-dried leaves twice a day for as long as you notice symptoms).
Exercise regularly. If you're hurting from arthritis, you can swim. Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. Seek out ways to avoid stress and fatigue in your life.
It's especially important not to stay with a conventional doctor who encourages you to feel hopeless or negative. Lupus has a high potential to go naturally into remission, and the attitude of your physician can be a powerful influence on your ability to feel well. For insight into one woman's encounters with conventional and alternative medicine in her efforts to manage this disease, read Laura Chester's book "Lupus Novice: Towards Self-Healing" (Stations Hill Press, 1987).
One of the major autoimmune diseases, affecting young women mostly, lupus can be mild or life threatening. It frequently causes arthritis that behaves like rheumatoid arthritis, skin eruptions, and kidney disease that can result in hypertension. The drugs that allopathic doctors use to treat lupus are suppressive and highly toxic. They may be necessary for brief periods of crisis, but it is important to hold them in reserve for times of need and to get off of them as soon as possible. If you take them regularly, you will reduce the chance of having the lupus go naturally into remission. Here are the recommendations I give patients with this disease:
* Eat a very low protein diet, with lots of starches and fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid milk and all milk products.
* Avoid all polyunsaturated oils. Use only extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and fish oils as your only source of dietary oils
* Eat sardines packed in sardine oil three times a week; or take supplemental linseed oil.
* Take black currant oil, 500 milligrams twice a day.
* If arthritis is a problem, take an herb called Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium). Use only freeze- dried Feverfew leaves (available at most health-food stores) and take one capsule twice a day. This has an anti-inflammatory effect, helpful in cases of autoimmune arthritis. Use it as long as symptoms persist.
* Drink plenty of water (mouthful every 30 minutes).
* Get plenty of rest.
* Do aerobic exercise regularly. Swim if arthritis is a problem.
* Do not stay in treatment with any medical doctors who make you feel hopeless about your condition. Lupus, like all autoimmune diseases, has a high potential to go into remission. The suggestions of practitioners, for good or ill, can be powerful influences on your state of health.
* Experiment with traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Native American medicine, and other forms of unorthodox medicine, including healers.
* Use breathing exercises and work with other techniques of relaxation and stress reduction.
* Use visualization and hypnotherapy to increase the likelihood of remission.
* Read Lupus Novice: Towards Self-Healing by Laura Chester (Barrytown, New York: Station Hill Press, 1987) for the story of one woman's adventures with this disease and her encounters with regular and alternative medicine.
Most of the time your immune system is your best friend, fighting off invading microbes and keeping you healthy. But in certain cases--in someone with lupus, for example--the immune system gets confused about who the enemy is.
A painful and potentially life-threatening illness, lupus occurs when the immune system turns renegade and attacks the body's own tissues, causing inflammation and damage. Skin, kidneys, blood vessels, eyes, lungs, nerves, joints--just about any part of the body can be involved.
At the same time, in severe cases the immune system sometimes shirks its normal protective duties, making infections of all sorts more likely. "No one knows what sets off the immune system in the first place, but a genetic tendency and exposure to some sort of outside trigger, perhaps a virus, may be involved," explains Sheldon Paul Blau, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and co-author of Living with Lupus.
Lupus affects about 1 in 2,000 people, mostly women between puberty and menopause (ages 13 and 48) and, more frequently, African-American women. Some get the more common form of the disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, which affects the entire body. Another form of the disease, discoid lupus erythematosus, can cause disfiguring skin problems. Both conditions can flare up, then subside.
Lupus may be treated with corticosteroid drugs, such as prednisone (Deltasone), which reduce inflammation and suppress the immune response. "But most people newly diagnosed with lupus don't need steroids," Dr. Blau says. "They may do well on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or with some dietary changes."
It's still important to see a doctor, preferably a rheumatologist (one who specializes in arthritis and autoimmune diseases), for assessment and long-term follow-up, Dr. Blau says. One good reason: People with lupus can develop inflammation in their kidneys, blood vessels and other organs but have no obvious symptoms until damage is severe. Your doctor can periodically check your kidneys with blood and urine tests.
Nutritional therapy for lupus involves correcting drug-induced deficiencies and eating a balanced diet to help prevent heart disease. Women with lupus are much more likely than normal to develop heart disease. People with kidney disease also need to follow special protein restriction guidelines.
In addition, some doctors recommend so-called antioxidant nutrients that may help reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease. "There's good evidence that vitamins C and E can help prevent heart disease, and since that's such a big risk, even in these young women, I feel these vitamins are essential," Dr. Blau says.
Some doctors also recommend fish oil, which helps fight inflammation.
Antioxidants May Offer Protection
Inflammation produces unstable molecules called free radicals, which damage cells by grabbing electrons from healthy molecules in a cell's outer membrane. Antioxidants help stop a free radical free-for-all by generously offering up their own electrons.
There's no doubt that inflammation produces free radicals. And lupus creates inflammation, sometimes all over the body. Doctors who recommend vitamins C and E, the mineral selenium and beta-carotene (the yellow pigment found in carrots, cantaloupe and other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables) to people with lupus are hoping that over time, these nutrients will help reduce the inflammation by mopping up some of the free radicals.
"Studies of animals with lupus do show that these nutrients can help stop the damage from inflammation," Dr. Blau says. "I give these nutrients to all of my patients, from day one." He recommends a daily intake of 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, 1,000 international units of vitamin E, 25,000 international units of beta-carotene and a supplement that includes 50 micrograms of selenium and 15 milligrams of zinc, which is used by the body to produce a free radical dousing enzyme. Dr. Blau urges all people with lupus to discuss any vitamin or mineral treatment with their doctors.
In two studies, people with discoid lupus, a form of lupus typically characterized by red, inflamed skin in a butterfly pattern on the nose and cheeks, who took more than 300 international units of vitamin E daily (most took 900 to 1,600 international units daily) saw clearing of their inflamed skin. And a British doctor reported that large doses of beta-carotene (50 milligrams, or 83,000 international units, three times daily) completely cleared up sun-induced skin rashes in three of his patients with discoid lupus.
Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene are considered safe, even in fairly large amounts. Both selenium and zinc have much smaller ranges of safety. It's best not to take more than 100 micrograms of selenium or 15 milligrams of zinc a day without medical supervision, experts say.
Should Fish Be Your Dish?
If you have lupus, you may have heard about the potential beneficial effects of fish oil for this condition. Doctors sometimes suggest fatty fish for several autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Raynaud's disease, psoriasis and scleroderma. (Autoimmune diseases are the result of the immune system turning on the body.) These conditions involve inflammation, or pain and swelling, of the joints, skin and vital organs. But since they don't involve infection, drugs such as antibiotics usually don't help.
"Fish oil apparently reduces inflammation by substituting for other fats when your body makes inflammation-generating biochemicals," explains William Clark, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, and a leading researcher of lupus and fish oil.
Your body normally makes two groups of potentially inflammatory biochemicals; prostaglandins and leukotrienes, using whatever fats are available. If you eat meats and eggs, your body uses a component of the fats found in these foods, arachidonic acid, to make very potent forms of these biochemicals. (To a much lesser extent, your body can also use corn oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil to make these biochemicals.) If fish oil is abundant, however, your body uses it to produce forms of prostaglandins and leukotrienes that are less likely to cause inflammation.
Does fish oil really help control the symptoms of lupus? "Studies of mice with lupus that were fed large amounts of fish oil instead of other dietary fats show that these diets do help reduce inflammation and improve kidney function and immunity," says Richard Sperling, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a rheumatologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "In the few studies done so far with humans, however, results have been disappointing, with no clear benefits."
That doesn't mean that fish oil is a bust, however. It's possible that the people in these studies got too little fish oil and too much of other fats, says Dr. Sperling. It's also possible that they started the diet too late in the course of their disease or were followed for too short of a time to see benefits, he speculates.
If you have lupus and want to try fish oil, your best bet may be to substitute fatty fish (broiled or poached--not fried!) for meats and eggs, experts say. Amounts as small as 6 grams a day may help reduce inflammation, but up to 15 to 18 grams a day may be necessary for cardiovascular protection, Dr. Clark says. One fish oil capsule contains only 300 milligrams (or 0.3 gram) of fish oil, so you'd still have to take about 60 capsules a day (ugh!) to reach the 18-gram level.
One seven-ounce serving of mackerel, Pacific salmon or fresh albacore tuna offers 5 grams of omega-3's, about as much as you'd get in 16 capsules. (Omega-3 fatty acids are the beneficial part of the oil found in fish and marine mammals.) The same amount of Atlantic herring has 4.24 grams of omega-3's; canned anchovies, 4.1 grams; canned pink salmon, 3.38 grams; and bluffing tuna, about 3 grams.
Some doctors worry that combining fish oil with anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin may prolong the amount of time it takes for blood to clot. But in one study of people with rheumatoid arthritis who had been taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, there was no increase in bleeding time, Dr. Sperling says.
Revamping your eating habits can go a long way toward controlling the symptoms of lupus and warding off heart problems and kidney damage, its worst side effects, says Sheldon Paul Blau, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and co- author of Living with Lupus.
Don't chew the fat. Saturated fat, that is. "Evidence that this fat contributes to inflammation and may promote heart disease is a good reason to keep the fat out of your diet as much as possible," Dr. Blau says. One way to do that: Stick to small servings of lean meats and reduced-fat salad dressings and cheeses. Instead, load up on whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Avoid alfalfa. According to Dr. Blau, alfalfa sprouts, tablets and tea all contain an immune system stimulating compound called canavanine. In large amounts, this compound can trigger immune problems, says Dr. Blau.
Only two cases have been reported of people whose symptoms flared in response to alfalfa. One took 15 tablets a day for nine months; the other, 8 tablets a day for more than two years. Since alfalfa could be a problem for people with lupus, Dr. Blau recommends that his patients avoid it.
Stay away from cured meats and hot dogs. Both contain compounds that in large amounts can aggravate symptoms in people with lupus, says Joseph McCune, M.D., associate professor of rheumatology at the University of Michigan Hospitals in Ann Arbor.
Take it easy on mushrooms and beans. They add flavor to any dish, but both contain hydrazines and amines, compounds that in large amounts can aggravate symptoms in people with lupus, says Dr. Blau.
Load up on garlic. Numerous studies show that garlic has a remarkable ability to reduce blood cholesterol levels and help prevent the clotting of arteries.
Declining levels of DHEA may have just as much to do with the autoimmune disease lupus as they do with growing old, reports the June 1998 issue of Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism.
Lupus is characterized by immune changes akin to those associated with normal aging. DHEA, short for dehydroepiandrosterone, is an adrenal hormone that drops significantly with age. In addition to calming stress-induced hormonal reactions such as inflammation--a symptom of lupus- -DHEA is also linked to immune function.
In one study, animals given DHEA avoided some of the immune function disruptions caused by aging and survived what are normally lethal infections. Previous research shows that people with lupus have low DHEA levels, and now studies indicate DHEA may help treat the disease.
In the first trial, 10 women with lupus received 200 mg DHEA daily for six months and showed improvement. A controlled clinical trial followed, involving 28 women with lupus who also received 200 mg DHEA or a placebo daily for three months. The women who took DHEA felt better and were able to decrease their daily dose of prednisone, a corticosteroid commonly prescribed for lupus.
The researcher suspects that low DHEA levels may be linked to the immune system changes that characterize both lupus and aging and calls for further clinical studies.
"A Word On Health Online" is a monthly column featuring readers' questions.
My mother has been diagnosed with lupus. Is it hereditary and what are some natural ways to treat it?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakes its own tissue as foreign and reacts against it. Lupus affects the skin, heart, kidneys and brain and can be life threatening if it damages the kidneys permanently. The cause of lupus isn't known. Theories suggest that toxic exposure or genetic factors trigger the immune system to become aggressive. In its milder form, discoid lupus erythematosis, lupus manifests mostly as a skin rash. The severe form, systemic lupus erythematosis, may involve fever, arthritis, inflammatory rashes, kidney damage, heart problems, and neurological problems including dementia.
Here are some natural treatments that might help. Check with your doctor to determine if these therapies are right for you.
1. Lupus treatment usually begins with the digestive system because food can possibly trigger immune responses. I often place people on a restrictive diet for three weeks, removing foods that commonly cause allergic problems, then analyze the results. These foods include dairy foods, wheat, yeast, citrus, sugar, caffeine and various preservatives.
2. I also look at digestive function. Lab tests can determine whether the digestive system breaks down foods properly and whether an overgrowth of yeast or unfriendly bacteria, which can trigger immune responses, is present in their digestive tract. I often recommend garlic, extracts of tannic acid or grapefruit seed extract to suppress yeast. Acidophilus and digestive enzymes replenish the digestive tract's beneficial bacteria, and herbal bitters stimulate digestion.
3. Because lupus is a disease involving inflammation, I recommend anti-inflammatory substances such as omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil capsules or omega-6 fatty acids in the form of blackcurrant, primrose oil or borage oil. I also recommend high doses of vitamins B6 and C. B6 produces stress hormones, thus helping the body cope with illness; vitamin C helps normalize immune function. Pantothenic acid, a B vitamin, is useful in chronic stress situations including chronic illness.
4. Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is an adaptogen that aids the adrenal glands' stress response, boosting the body's ability to cope with chronic illness.
5. Ayurvedic boswellia cream can be rubbed on skin to reduce joint inflammation.
6. Acupuncture eases arthritis symptoms.
7. The hormone DHEA can convert to stress hormones, helping the body handle chronic illness.
Have a doctor measure your body's DHEA levels before supplementing.
IMPORTANT UPDATE - CQ 10 ENZYME
Everyone is concerned about developing the number one killer, heart disease. Well there is no need. A wonderful book written about COENZYME CQ 10, otherwise known as CQ 10 will surprise you. CQ 10 enzyme not only protects the heart, but can also reverse heart disease according to the research findings. It also cures gum and teeth problems, boosts and balances the immune system and slows downs the aging process dramatically. The book was written by Dr. Emile G. Bliznakov, President and Research Director of the Lupus Research Institute. The Institute was doing research on CQ 10 because many Lupus patients develop heart disease. What they uncovered not only affected Lupus patients, but normal healthy people. CQ 10 is produced by the body from other co-enzymes. However, as the body ages, less CQ 10 is manufactured. The research studies showed the heart, other vital organs and the immune system need this crucial enzyme within cells because it gives cells the energy to function properly. Without it, cells become abnormal, stop functioning and die before they should. This is a must read for anyone that wants to be healthy. The book first published in 1987 by Bantam is in its 11th printing.
page at Barnes and Noble:
Q: What is the best diet for my friend with lupus? She's been on a real clean-out vegetarian diet for about ten weeks. - Trish S., Eureka, CA
A: When suffering from lupus or any degenerative disease, favor easy-to-digest, nutritionally balanced foods. It takes minimal effort to extract nutrients from soft, well-cooked foods like porridge and soups. When energy is limited, don't squander it on a wrestling match with a slice of pizza. Favoring easily digested foods frees our energy for important repair work.
Lupus is named from the Latin word for wolf because about half of those who have it develop a red facial flush that was said to give a wolf-like appearance. Other symptoms include intermittent fever, severe joint pain and bouts of extreme fatigue. Sunlight aggravates the flush and it can cause it to develop into a rash and scaly lesions or patches. Over 90% of the sufferers of this autoimmune disease are women and it is typically diagnosed in young adulthood.
With lupus, as with many autoimmune and degenerative conditions, the digestive system is compromised. Therefore, it is critical to first determine if there are any food sensitivities or allergies (See Identify Food Allergies.) Then follow the guidelines to Cure Food Sensitivities.
Not so curiously, the best diet for lupus is the best diet for all of us. Enjoy moderate amounts of freshly prepared organic foods. Favor a variety of quality whole foods. Avoid highly processed, refined, denatured foods—including leftover or stale foods. While these lesser quality foods offer calories and fill the belly, they're not deeply satisfying or energizing. Be careful to not over consume carbohydrates.
Because people with lupus have challenged digestive systems and it is imperative to have ample and easily digested protein, I do not recommend a vegetarian diet. Fish or chicken soup will be easier to assimilate than a bean burrito.
Neither do I recommend any strict “clean-out” diet. Cleansing diets work well for people with robust energy. Because lupus is a degenerative disease, those afflicted are frail and chronically fatigued. Their primary needs are to rebuild and strengthen. Fortunately, a daily diet of good quality food enables gentle cleansing over a long period of time without stressing an already over- stressed system.
A critical dietary supplement for those with lupus is essential fatty acids (EFAs). When there is an EFA deficiency, the whole body declines and eventually dies. Flax seed and fish oil are superior sources of these essential nutrients.
Mature alfalfa leaves are medicinal for lupus. However, immature alfalfa sprouts (those that have not yet set forth their first two leaves) contain the amino acid canavanine, which exacerbates the inflammations of lupus and other autoimmune diseases.
Also, members of the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers, aggravate lupus symptoms, so people with lupus should eat these foods rarely, if at all.
Lupus and other degenerative illnesses cannot always be eradicated but quality of life can be greatly improved.
The featured recipe, Congee (Rice Porridge), is an easy-to-digest and strengthening medicinal soup.
EXCERPT FROM WEB PAGE
In their report, published in the current issue of the Journal of Autoimmunity, Gosh and colleague So-Yon Lim, PhD, report that all commonly used types of phthalates are harmful to susceptible strains of mice. Normal mice, however, soon block the antiphthalate antibodies and suffer no ill effects.
Ghosh is quick to point out that the doses of phthalates given to mice in this study have no relation to human exposure to the phthalate compounds that leach into the environment from plastics, cosmetics, dyes, flexible PVC products, artificial leather, adhesives, and many other products.
While noting that the study has no direct relevance to humans, the findings are quite interesting, says lupus expert Jennifer Anolik, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and an investigator at the autoimmunity center of excellence at the University of Rochester in New York.
"In autoimmune diseases and in lupus, we know there are strong genetic and environmental influences -- but we do not know what the environmental factors are," Anolik tells WebMD. "Because that is such an unknown, it makes this paper interesting. There might be chemical exposures in the susceptible individual that might contribute to autoimmunity."
Are chemical compounds found in many plastics and beauty products -- may trigger lupus, suggests an Indiana State University study published in the July issue of the Journal of Autoimmunity.
The finding comes on the heels of research linking phthalates to reproductive abnormalities in humans. Male babies of pregnant women who used beauty products containing phthalates were found to have smaller genitals, according to recent research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Researchers in Indiana State’s life sciences department found that injecting mice with phthalates triggered lupus, caused development of glomerulonephritis, and considerably shortened the lifespans of mice that had a genetic disposition to the disease. However, the injections did not have the same effect in mice that were not predisposed to lupus.
By Virginia A. Smith
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (KRT)
It smells like vomit or rancid cheese. And for a tropical fruit, it sure ain't pretty.
But enterprising entrepreneurs have sweetened the stinky brown liquid from the grenadelike noni fruit and brought forth a miracle elixir that devotees say cures high blood pressure and menstrual cramps, arthritis and depression, cancer, lupus, AIDS, and so on. There's no scientific evidence noni cures anything in humans. No matter. Consumers don't seem to care.
Juice from the foul little fruit has become one of the hottest herbal supplements on the market. Sales in this country have zoomed from $10 million in 1997 to more than $200 million in 2003, with worldwide sales pushing $700 million annually, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, which tracks the industry.
"It's mind-boggling how this has taken off," said Brian F. Issell, an oncologist at the University of Hawaii's Cancer Research Center. Issell is studying dehydrated noni's effects on tumor growth, fatigue, nausea and pain in cancer patients.
Recent studies, mostly animal and laboratory, suggest noni may indeed boost the immune system and contain antioxidants, which are thought to help prevent cancer, heart disease and stroke. But Issell's project is the first credible clinical trial involving humans.
And results will take years.
For Donald J. Mantell and millions of others, the funny-sounding fruit with the outsized legend already is a godsend.
Mantell, a physician with an alternative medicine practice in Sarver, Pa., prescribes the juice, along with vitamins and other nutritional therapies. So it's hard to pinpoint what caused the "significant improvement" he's seen in children with attention deficit disorder or the higher T-cell count — indicating a strengthened immune system — in an AIDS patient. "Noni is definitely part of it," he said.
Once he prescribes the juice to patients, Mantell — a distributor of the Tahitian Noni brand — then sells it to them. (The stuff is not cheap. A 33-ounce bottle could sell for $42, a 40 percent markup for Mantell).
Mantell also has used noni juice himself. He claims that an ounce a day for a month cured his gout and that after his wife applied diluted noni to her eyes, she no longer needed glasses. "I don't have millions of dollars to test it but if a patient is better, if the product is safe and has no side effects, what's the difference if it's real or a placebo?" he asked. "It's very beneficial."
Noni is generally considered safe, but doctors warn that it's high in sugar and potassium, a potential problem for people with diabetes or kidney problems.
And buyers beware: 68 companies sell noni in the United States but, like other dietary supplements, their products are not standardized. There are no guarantees that what you see is what you get or that one company's product is the equivalent of another's.
The market is dominated by Tahitian Noni International in Provo, Utah, which was founded in 1996, and last year reported sales of $502 million in 73 countries. Recently, it began selling in China.
Like many herbal products, noni owes much of its popularity to the Internet. There, hyperbolic testimonials speak to legions of people hungry for a simple cure-all.
Cognizant of federal prohibitions against cure claims, however, manufacturers emphasize their product's role in promoting "wellness," rather than curing disease, said Tahitian vice president Shon Whitney. Here's one example from the Tahitian Web site: "Noni Juice contains compounds that work at the cellular level to actually increase the positive functionality of cells in the body."
In 1998, Morinda, Inc., now the parent company of Tahitian Noni International, reached a $100,000 settlement with four states' attorneys general, including New Jersey, in which the company agreed to stop making miracle claims to cure, treat or prevent disease.
Such claims, which the company blamed on zealous distributors, would have changed noni's legal classification from dietary supplement to new drug, subject to federal regulation.
Tahitian now has 34 compliance officers who monitor what its distributors say. "Unfortunately, that doesn't always stop others," Whitney said of the online testimonials. "People like to talk about their personal experiences."
Wallace I. Sampson, editor of the journal Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine and spokesman for the American Cancer Society, calls noni users' ubiquitous healing claims "part of the panacea myth."
"Anything that's good for everything obviously doesn't work for anything," said Sampson, a California oncologist. "Eighty percent of symptoms get better on their own anyway."
Noni juice is extracted from the evergreen Morinda citrifolia or Indian mulberry plant, which has been used for centuries as topical medicine by cultures across the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Historically, the leaves were used as bandages or salves for wounds and burns, the roots and bark for inflammation and infection. The knobby fruit served as a poultice.
Newer uses of noni stem mainly from a 1985 article written for the Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden Bulletin by Ralph M. Heinicke, a retired University of Hawaii biochemist who has achieved cult status in the noni world.
He could not be reached.
Heinicke has claimed that noni fruit contains a compound called proxeronine that converts to xeronine, which can regenerate and repair cells to slow aging and treat depression, senility, drug addiction and pain. Most of the other claims — that noni fights cancer, for example — came later.
Noni expert Will C. McClatchey, a University of Hawaii pharmacist and ethnobotanist, called Heinicke's compounds "made up," noting that they cannot be found in the medical literature.
"Noni does not need more white knights supporting it," McClatchey wrote in an e-mail from Hawaii. "It simply needs to have one question clarified by science. What are the biological activities of noni plants that explain the many traditions of usage that make this the most important medicinal plant in the tropical Pacific region?"
Many successful drugs come from plants, among them aspirin, quinine and cancer-treating Taxol. And more researchers now are expected to build on the promising results of noni lab and animal studies.
"Like any good scientist, I would say more work needs to be done," said A. Douglas Kinghorn of Ohio State University, an expert on noni and other botanicals.
Although there are intriguing hints of noni's possible benefits, he said, "I wouldn't say it's the best thing since sliced bread till the evidence is in."
FRIDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Green tea, already lauded for its cancer-fighting ability, may also protect against certain autoimmune diseases, new research suggests.
Green teas inhibit the expression of antigens made by the body, substances that can trigger an immune response, explained study author Stephen Hsu, an associate professor in the School of Dentistry at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. He is to report on the research Sunday at the Arthritis Foundation's Arthritis Research Conference in Atlanta.
He focused on EGCG, a substance found in green tea known to suppress inflammation, and its effect on skin and salivary gland cells. In one autoimmune disorder, Sjogren's syndrome, the salivary glands are affected, causing dry mouth. In another autoimmune disorder, lupus, the skin is affected.
Hsu's team isolated 130 autoantigens from cells and exposed them to EGCG. Autoantigens are molecules in the body with useful functions, according to Hsu, but changes in either their amount or their location can result in an unwanted immune response.
Of the 130 autoantigens "most were inhibited or without changes" when exposed to the EGCG, he said. "Among them, a group of key autoantigens were inhibited." While the research is very preliminary, he said, eventually green tea might help protect cells from being attacked by the autoantigens. Besides applications for the dry mouth that affects those with Sjogren's, Hsu said green tea might prove useful for the skin found in lupus.
The Georgia researcher speculated that EGCG modulates the presence of the autoantigens, in addition to its ability to suppress inflammation.
According to Hsu, other research with green tea in animal models has shown it can reduce arthritis.
The new study is "a significant beginning," said Nihal Ahmad, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, who was part of a team in 1999 that showed that polyphenols (of which EGCG is one) in green tea could prevent induced arthritis in mice.
The Hsu research, he said, "appears to have great potential," though it "needs more work." However, "based on the cell culture study, we can only say that we can be hopeful."
A specially designed, naturally occurring set of regulatory molecules proven effective for diabetes, lupus, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and some forms of cancer is making medical history.
(PRWEB) April 25, 2005 -- Biogenic Nutraceuticals has announced that it has been appointed as the exclusive, licensed, international distributor for the products of Berean Development, Inc., an emerging biotechnology company focusing on the development and commercialization of naturally occurring compounds for the treatment of Diabetes, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis and Cancer. Berean’s main patented, non-presciption products are Mirac®, for lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and certain types of cancer; and Allbaid® for diabetes.
Science driven Mirac® is a specially designed, naturally occurring set of regulatory molecules proven effective for lupus, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and some forms of cancer. Mirac® is a safe, non-toxic bioflavonoid complex whose mechanism of activity targets the blocking of ion channels in certain lymphocytes. Lupus is caused by Natural Killer (NK) CD4-- and CD8-- T-Lymphocytes, also called T-cells. These T-cells multiply using a potassium gene channel. These same cells cause diabetes. By blocking these ion channels, Mirac® prevents the cascade of events leading to inflammatory responses seen in autoimmune and neuroinflammatory type diseases such as lupus.
The efficacy of each of these products is well supported by highly qualified doctors, scientific research, and actual clinical and/or blood tests. Both Mirac® and Allbaid® have been approved under the Dietary Supplements Health Education Act of 1994 (“DSHEA”) as being safe and free of side effects with one exception: people with an allergic reaction to pineapple cannot take Mirac.
Physicians working in the field of Rheumatology, or with diseases of the autoimmune system, or individuals suffering from an inflammatory disease such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia; some forms of cancer; or diabetes; should seriously consider these ground-breaking products.
10. Key Regulator of Autoimmunity Discovered -- The North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (NARAC), funded by the Arthritis Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, has discovered a variation in a gene linked with an increased risk for RA, lupus and other autoimmune disorders. The gene is responsible for the production of an enzyme, PTPN22, which keeps the immune system from getting out of control. When a variant of the gene is present, control mechanisms of the immune system are reduced or absent which contribute to immune hyperactivity and autoimmunity. Additionally, researchers have shown that other genetic regions on chromosomes 1, 6, 11 and 18 are likely to contain genes involved in RA. This work is making significant progress in the search for specific genes involved in RA and providing insights about its underlying causes. Researchers showed that when the PTPN22 gene variant is present, the immune system isn’t able to shut down appropriately, resulting in chronic inflammation and tissue damage. PTPN22 is considered to be the first RA gene found outside of the major histocompatability complex (MHC), a large cluster of genes essential to the immune system (Arthritis Foundation Research Conference, June 2005).
In the Year Ahead: Within the next five years, NARAC researchers expect to identify the various genes involved in autoimmune conditions such as RA, lupus and type 1 diabetes. Identifying and understanding the genes that contribute to autoimmune conditions will lead to better ways to diagnose and predict the severity of a disease and the development of new therapeutic approaches, and will enable doctors to individually tailor treatment recommendadations.
Lupus "Gatekeeper" Gene Discovered
Bridget M. Kuehn
Cancer Drug Also Fights Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis
THURSDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- The cancer drug rituximab may benefit lupus patients with central nervous system (CNS) complications, according to a new U.S. study.
"Rituximab appears to be quite effective. It is a kinder, gentler form of treatment lasting up to six months with a low risk of side effects, compared to previous treatments of high-dose steroids and chemotherapy," researcher Michael Neuwelt of the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford University, said in a prepared statement.
The small 16-month study included 22 patients. More than half of them received rituximab alone, others took the drug in combination with steroids, and a third group took the drug with the chemotherapy agent cyclophosphamide, the current standard treatment for severe CNS lupus.
Sixteen of the patients showed significant improvement and the condition of four others was stabilized, the study said. Brain scans revealed improvements in adverse changes caused by the disease.
Neuwelt stressed that randomized-controlled clinical trials still need to be conducted to determine the effectiveness of rituximab in treating CNS lupus. The findings were presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the European Congress of Rheumatology in Vienna, Austria.
Another study presented at the meeting found rituximab to be a safe and effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. The U.K. study, which included 465 men and women who had had arthritis for about 10 years, examined the effects of two doses of the drug.
"The results of the study's 24-week analysis showed that both doses of rituximab were highly effective, and significantly better than placebo. It seems that the higher of the two doses produced the best effects," Professor Paul Emery of the University of Leeds, said in a prepared statement.
Rituximab targets a specific type of immune cell and helps control inflammation and pain in arthritis patients.
-- Robert Preidt
VE Kelley, A Ferretti, S Izui and TB Strom
Dietary supplementation of fish oil as the exclusive source of lipid suppresses autoimmune lupus in MRL-lpr mice. This marine oil diet decreases the lymphoid hyperplasia regulated by the lpr gene, prevents an increase in macrophage surface Ia expression, reduces the formation of circulating retroviral gp70 immune complexes, delays the onset of renal disease, and prolongs survival. We show that a fatty acid component uniquely present in fish oil but not in vegetable oil decreases the quantity of dienoic prostaglandin E, thromboxane B, and prostacyclin normally synthesized by multiple tissues, including kidney, lung, and macrophages, and promotes the synthesis of small amounts of trienoic prostaglandin in autoimmune mice. We suggest that this change in endogenous cyclooxygenase metabolite synthesis directly suppresses immunologic and/or inflammatory mediators of murine lupus.
THIS LOOKS INTERESTING
Stem cell treatment shows promise for lupus
Study: Procedure can reverse effects of inflammatory disease
Updated: 4:14 p.m. ET Jan. 31, 2006
CHICAGO - Stem cells from the bone marrow of patients with severe cases of lupus can help reverse the course of the chronic inflammatory disease when transplanted back into the same patients, according to a study published on Tuesday.
Of 50 patients who underwent the procedure, half were disease free after five years, doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago said. Those involved in the study had either life-threatening or organ-threatening lupus and had exhausted all treatment options.
The patients’ bone marrow stem cells were taken from their blood and separated out. High doses of chemotherapy were used to almost destroy the stem cells’ immune systems before they were reintroduced to try to regenerate a healthier immune system, the study said.
“The idea is that if you turn back the clock and let the immune system heal itself, the patient should have a chance of ending up without the disease,” said Richard Burt, the physician who led the study.
Burt did the first U.S. stem cell transplant for lupus in 1997. His study ran from 1997 through January 2005. The results, he said, justify a larger study comparing transplants to other methods of treatment.
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that affects the skin, joints, blood, kidneys and other parts of the body, causing inflammation and pain.
The study was published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association. Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic, clinically and genetically heterogenous disease characterized by diffuse tissue damage mediated in great part by autoimmune pathogenic reactions. Notwithstanding impressive therapeutic progress and significant amelioration of quantity and quality of life, there are still intractable cases which demand more incisive interventions. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) was first proposed in 1993,1 and the first two patients underwent autologous transplants (ASCT) in 1997.2,3 Since then, the procedure has been performed worldwide, including the largest ongoing single center study at Northwestern University, Chicago4-6 and a multicentric registry study by the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) and the European League against Rheumatism (EULAR);7 summarizing individual center experience in Europe. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded phase III clinical trial of HSCT for refractory SLE is anticipated to begin in 2003/2004. Encouraging results are raising new questions about the role of HSCT in SLE, as well as in other severe autoimmune diseases.8ss
This is an article that is pretty messy editorially, but I wanted you to have the data from the sources I found so that you would see that I am not inventing any of the facts.
Also, for the record, almost every particular of coconut oil is identical with palm oil. Palm oil is simply red in color and neutral in flavor. It does make many dishes more interesting in color though. Also, almost all modern and polyunsaturated oils in our Western markets are rancid when they get to the market place. The frightening thing is, polyunsaturated oils do not taste rancid, so the producers can feed them to you and brag about how good they taste. They are, in fact, old and deteriorated when you buy them. Coconut oil and palm oil simply do not go rancid, even retaining their qualities in tests for up to three years.
When I was a little brat, sitting on my great grandmother's knee (move over, John Henry), she used to give me a spoon full of butter every chance she could. My Mom asked her why she did that, and she gave the Missouri Blue Blood answer, "It will grease his innards." As it turns out, her disdain for Oleo, the 1940s hydrogenated oil we now call margarine, was well founded. We have come full circle, and we are back to saturated oils, the oils God gave us-- butter, olive oil, and palm tree products.
Ah yes, and since Peter was told, "Kill and eat" ion the roof top in Acts, we are free to eat lard in our biscuits and pie crust. Here in Tennessee, Billy Bob will tell you, "If you cain't cook it with lard, it ain't worth eatin". The Polynesians are said to be among the healthiest people on earth, and they live on coconut oil, pork, and taro root, at least they did long ago when scientists first noticed how healthy they were. Now, I see in Web news photos that they are getting fat, and I know from surfing around that they are eating their coconut oil hydrogenated now. Go figure!
In Christ Jesus
Steve Van Nattan
We buy our products here. We like the
quality standards, the price, and the flavor.
SWANSON'S COCONUT PAGE
These are good people-- get our vitamins here.
WE HAVE BOUGHT HERE--
Good products and sales
COMMERCIAL COCONUT OIL IS ON THE SHELF AT WAL-MART
Brand name-- LouAna-- Usually a white bottle with a green cap
Problem-- I do not know if they heat process it. That is entirely possible.