Joint Pain and Inflammation Help

TREATMENT OF YOUR JOINT PROBLEMS
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We take the freedom of movement for granted, until it becomes limited. The cause of this for many people comes in the form of arthritis, or the inflammation of one or more of your joints. There are two main kinds, osteo and rheumatoid, both of which affect the joint in different ways. Osteo arthritis is when the cartilage between bones wears down, until bone grates on bone. Rheumatoid is little less straightforward, being caused by an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of the synovial membrane (a soft tissue that protects joints in the body) and that can lead to bone loss. Whichever you experience, there are natural remedies for arthritis to manage the pain and ease the symptoms.

 

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1. Turmeric & Ginger Tea
Turmeric and ginger are both anti-inflammatorys, and will help with oseto and rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric in particular has gotten a lot of attention lately. Its active ingredient is something called curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant. In addition, it lowers the levels of 2 enzymes responsible for causing inflammation (which is what we’re often fighting with arthritis.) You can take these in a capsule form or make a nice spicy tea to enjoy daily.

You will need…
-2 cups of water
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
-Honey to taste

Directions
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, and had ½ teaspoon each ground ginger and ground turmeric. Reduce to a simmer and let it be for 10-15 minutes. Strain, add honey to taste, and enjoy twice daily. This yields 2 servings.

 

Pain and Inflammation Relief

Devil’s Claw Benefits for Pain & Inflammation

Devils claw benefits - Dr. AxeMany are rethinking their stance on traditional painkillers because of the many side effects of these medications. Instead, they’re choosing to relieve pain through natural methods. For people suffering from arthritis and other forms of joint or back pain, this is where devil’s claw benefits come in.Devil’s claw is one of the most frequently used home remedies for arthritis. But that’s not the only way devil’s claw benefits the body. (1) Like turmeric, devil’s claw serves as a natural anti-inflammatory. Like the South American root, cat’s claw, devil’s claw is used to relieve the symptoms of arthritis and digestive problems.It is also used alongside bromelain in some research as a way to relieve joint pain, particularly related to arthritis.Even if you’re not looking for a pain remedy, you may still be interested to know the other devil’s claw benefits scientists have discovered. For example, there is at least one early report that it may have anticancer potential.


 

What Is Devil’s Claw?

To discuss what it does, it’s important to understand what devil’s claw is. The term “devil’s claw” or “devil’s claw root” refers to Harpogophytum procumbens, a plant found in the Kalahari savanna of southern Africa, Madagascar and the Namibian steppes.

In supplement form, devil’s claw is derived from the dried roots of the plant. African and European traditional and folk doctors have prescribed devil’s claw for centuries to treat digestive ills, reduce fever, relieve pain and to treat certain pregnancy symptoms. (2)

Often, it is hypothesized that devil’s claw benefits originate from the valuable iridoid glucosides it contains, including harpagoside. Iridoids are anti-inflammatory compounds found mostly in plants and are bound to glucose molecules. This is why the whole compound is called an iridoid glucoside. (3) Devil’s claw root, according to the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP), should contain at least one percent harpagoside.

Devil’s claw also contains useful bioflavonoids and phytosterols, which are plant-based antioxidants with antispasmodic properties (which supports the use of this supplement for digestive problems).

France has approved the marketing of devil’s claw with a claim that it is “traditionally used for symptomatic relief of painful joint disorders.” ESCOP has also approved its use to treat “painful arthritis, tendonitis, loss of appetite and dyspepsia” (acid reflux).

Harpagophytum is literally translated as “hook plant” in Greek. Growing predominantly (and originally) in Africa, devil’s claw looks as if it is literally covered in hooks. The hooks actually cover the fruit of the plant, which allows it to catch on animal fur and therefore spread its seeds.

Other traditional uses of devil’s claw include boosting heart health, relieving gout symptoms, soothing heartburn and reducing back, chest and headache pain. (4)


Devil’s Claw Benefits

1. Arthritis Relief

The most extensively researched of use devil’s claw benefits is its ability to reduce osteoarthritis symptoms.

According to a Japanese study in 2010, devil’s claw (particularly the harpagoside compound) caused a significant reduction of arthritic inflammation in a group of mice. (5)

In general, devil’s claw is accepted by many medical professionals as a “supportive treatment of degenerative, painful rheumatism.” (6) Rheumatism, or rheumatic diseases, includes diagnoses such as osteoarthritis (from wear and tear), rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune condition), lupus, ankylosing spondylitis and Sjogren’s syndrome. All of these disorders are marked by chronic inflammation and usually joint, muscle and fibrous tissue pain.

When tested on patients with various rheumatic disorders, devil’s claw seems to significantly reduce pain in the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee and back. In addition, the same study found that quality of life improved for most patients. In fact, 60 percent of whom were able to reduce or stop taking their other pain medications. (7)

Another uncontrolled trial found an improvement in pain ratings by over 22 percent and as high as 45 percent for various types of osteoarthritis pain. With only two minor adverse reactions (acid reflux and a “full” sensation) in 75 patients, the research here suggests devil’s claw extract may be beneficial for clinical treatment of arthritis, specifically of the hip or knee. (8)

In 2014, an observational study was conducted to investigate the efficacy of a supplement that includes devil’s claw, turmeric and bromelain on rheumatic pain. Results found all patients experienced a reduction in pain, especially chronic joint pain. Researchers discovered no side effects or withdrawal issues and find this three-plant complex to be a safe alternative to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for patients with degenerative joint disorders, such as osteoarthritis. (9)

In addition to reducing pain, it’s possible that devil’s claw benefits arthritis sufferers by preventing bone loss. Although tests thus far have taken place only in lab and animal tests, there are promising results that suggest devil’s claw prohibits bone loss in inflammatory osteoporosis. (10) These results are conflicting when it comes to hormonally activated osteoarthritis. (11)

2. Might Aid in Weight Loss

Interestingly, this anti-inflammatory root may also be a novel way to lose weight. A university study conducted in Ireland found devil’s claw can help to stop or slow ghrelin (known as the “hunger hormone”) production. (12) By reducing hunger pangs, those with overeating issues may find their appetites at a level closer to average, aiding their weight loss.

Another way devil’s claw may help those with obesity is by potentially helping to prevent weight-related atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by the particular way it suppresses inflammation. (13)

3. Natural Painkiller

While it seems to be effective for arthritis pain, devil claw’s benefits for pain don’t stop there. Although it isn’t understood well, devil’s claw reduces inflammation and inflammatory pain in a variety of conditions, including acute (fast onset) pain, with few adverse effects in somewhere around 3 percent of patients. (14)

In an animal study, neuropathic pain (shooting or burning pain often the result of some type of nerve damage) and postoperative pain were reduced after 21 days of treatment with an extract of devil’s claw. (15)

Research conducted in 2001 found that devil’s claw extract given for a period of eight weeks helped to relieve chronic back pain and improve mobility in 117 patients — all of those evaluated within the study — for a period of at least six months. No serious side effects were recorded. (16)

Some sources also recommend using devil’s claw as a treatment for sciatic nerve pain, also referred to as sciatica. It should be noted, however, that no studies have been conducted on the efficacy of devil’s claw on sciatica at the time of this writing.

4. Potential Lymphoma Treatment?

While the research here is in its infancy, there is surprising evidence that devil’s claw may somehow help to impact follicular lymphoma.

In a cancer unit at a hospital in British Columbia, a doctor noticed a partial regression of one patient’s lymphoma after 10 months with no chemotherapy. The patient shared that he was taking two supplements, including devil’s claw. After hearing about this natural treatment, another patient in a support group with the first began taking devil’s claw, followed by a similar regression 11 months later, sustained for four years.

The doctor is careful here to draw conclusions, as a two-patient observation of regression is not solid scientific evidence that devil’s claw can treat or cure cancer. In some research, some 16 percent of lymphoma patients have spontaneous regression of their cancer. However, the physician found the timing curious enough to suggest more studies be done on the potential for devil’s claw to support cancer treatment for follicular lymphoma patients. (17)

Devils claw benefits - Dr. Axe5. Fights Chronic Inflammation

One of the reasons devil’s claw is so valuable is its ability to help reduce inflammation, which is at the root of most diseases.

Current research indicates that devil’s claw can help to inhibit tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), a cytokine (cell-signaling protein) that is involved in the normal inflammation that occurs in the body as it regulates the immune system. (18)

This is significant because when TNF-alpha is overactivated, chronic inflammation can occur and lead to a variety of diseases. In fact, inhibition of TNF-alpha is a major subject of study in the prevention of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatic disease, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). (19)

6. Rich in Antioxidants

Another basic way devil’s claw can help prevent disease is due to the many antioxidants it contains. According to The Institute of Biochemistry and Microbiology in Düsseldorf, Germany, devil’s claw is “particularly rich in water-soluble antioxidants.” (20)

In fact, some research suggests that some of the anti-inflammatory benefits of devil’s claw may actually be the result of these antioxidants because of the way they work hand-in-hand. (21)

7. May Aid in Digestion

Remember that I mentioned above how devil’s claw benefits include inhibition of TNF-alpha, which is a treatment consideration for inflammatory bowel disease? Inflammation has a great deal to do with digestion.

The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of devil’s claw may be useful as a supplementary treatment for these diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. (22)

8. Supports Kidney Health

Another underdeveloped area of study on devil’s claw benefits is the way it might help treat a group of kidney diseases known as glomerular diseases. These illnesses are inflammation-related and refer to diseases that injure the kidney’s tiny filters that clean the blood.

An extract of devil’s claw helped to suppress the formation of nitrites as the extract’s antioxidants acted in this lab test, suggesting to researchers that these extracts “may represent potential anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of glomerular inflammatory diseases.” (23)


The History of Devil’s Claw

The exact origin of devil’s claw is unknown, although it is native to southern Africa and found originally in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Madagascar and Zimbabwe. It was first used medicinally in Europe in 1953 to treat arthritis, liver problems, kidney and bladder issues, appetite problems and seasonal allergies.

Devil’s claw is known by a variety of folk names, including grapple plant, wood spider and harpago. These creative monikers refer to the small “hooks” on the fruit of the plant.


How to Find and Use Devil’s Claw

To reap devil’s claw benefits, the roots of the devil’s claw plant are dried and then packaged in capsule or tablet form, or used to create a liquid extract or ointment to use on the skin. Some people make devil’s claw tea to take advantage of the various effects it’s said to have.

As with all supplements, ensure you purchase devil’s claw from a reputable company with transparent ingredients and supplement facts listed. If you choose to try using it to reduce pain, you may want to try both internal (capsule/tablet) and external (ointment) forms to find what works best for you.


Possible Side Effects/Caution

There is a lack of information regarding potential side effects of devil’s claw. Most sources suggest avoiding it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding because the results are unknown. (24)

According to WebMD, people with heart problems, hypertension, low blood pressure, diabetes, gallstones or peptic ulcer disease should avoid devil’s claw. There is at least some evidence that it could affect these conditions. So if you take devil’s claw and have one of these conditions, you should be closely monitored by your health care provider.

Anecdotal reports suggest devil’s claw could increase the production of stomach acid, so if you suffer from chronic heartburn, it may be a factor to consider.

One case report in 2015 found systemic hypertension (high blood pressure) caused in a patient taking devil’s claw. (25)

Certain medications could potentially interact with devil’s claw, including medications changed by the liver, because devil’s claw may slow the liver’s breakdown of these substances. The clotting drug warfarin (brand names include Coumadin and Jantoven) may also be affected by devil’s claw.

Other medications that may interact in minor ways with devil’s claw include P-glycoprotein substrates, H2-blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).


Final Thoughts

  • Devil’s claw is a plant found in parts of Africa. It’s used as a natural remedy for a variety of disorders.
  • One of the iridoid glucosides in devil’s claw, known as harpagoside, is the focus of much of the research into devil’s claw benefits. Other compounds are also responsible for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • A fairly large body of research has been done on the ability of devil’s claw to relieve arthritis pain. Results show that it likely does relieve this pain.
  • Devil’s claw benefits may also include weight management, reducing chronic inflammation and preventing oxidative stress.
  • Devil’s claw benefits those with many types of chronic pain. Plus it has been found to be particularly effective against back pain.
  • Some less-researched possible benefits of devil’s claw include: treatment for follicular lymphoma; prevention of inflammation-induced bone loss in arthritis; and prevention or treatment of certain inflammatory kidney diseases known as glomerular diseases.
  • Devil’s claw does not generally have serious side effects. But limited evidence of its safety means you should always take it (and any supplement) under the supervision of your physician.
  • It’s possible devil’s claw may interact with certain medications. Consult your doctor before starting devil’s claw if you take other medications regularly.

Josh Axe

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Hemp Oil – launching now ….

 NEW PRODUCT BIO-SIL is proud to present :

HempOIL Elixir from CannaChi

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WONDERFUL BENEFITS, including :

Relieves Anxiety & Stress                                                                                                             One of the most popular and well-known uses of Hemp Oil is to get relief from stress and anxiety. The natural compounds found in this oil, including the famed THC, which is what gives Hemp the distinction of a drug in many countries, are very good for releasing pleasure hormones and relaxing the mind, reducing stress and inducing a sense of calmness and relaxation.

Promotes Good Sleep
For people who suffer from insomnia, constant anxiety during the night, or simply struggle to get a sound, restful night of undisturbed sleep, Hemp Essential Oil works like a charm. By relaxing the body and mind, and inducing a lower energy level, it will be easier to get your heart rate down and clear your head before a long night of peaceful slumber.

Appetite Booster
It is well known that people who consume Hemp in other forms notice increased appetite, famously called “the munchies”. However, Hemp Essential Oil can help regulate your appetite and induce hunger, while also stimulating your digestive system to operate at a regular level. This can help people who want to gain weight quickly, particularly after an extended illness or injury recovery.

Pain Reliever
Hemp Essential Oil works as a great pain reliever and is regularly suggested for people with inflammation, chronic pain, and even emergency pain relief. There is a very good reason why people who suffer from cancer often turn to hemp related options, including Hemp Essential Oil, when the pain of chemotherapy or the disease itself becomes unbearable.

Helps Prevent Cancer
Although there is still some controversy over this, and a great deal of research still ongoing, early reports have shown that the active ingredients in Hemp Essential Oil can have preventative effects on cancer, and can also cause reduction in tumor size, thereby making it easier to effectively beat cancer for those patients already suffering from this tragic disease.

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Improves Heart Health
The volatility in Hemp Essential Oil can also help to improve heart health by balancing out the negative oils in your system. It can stimulate antioxidant processes as well, scraping off excess cholesterol and maximizing the health of your cardiovascular system.

Skin Care
The powerful components of Hemp essential oil are used to protect the skin, and can be consumed both internally and applied externally to achieve this important side effect. It can stimulate the shedding of dead skin and faster re-growth of healthy, glowing skin. It is also known to prevent wrinkles and signs of aging, while also protecting against eczema and psoriasis.

Reduces Glaucoma
In terms of eye health, Hemp and Hemp Essential Oil have been linked to a reduction in glaucoma and a prevention of macular degeneration. Eye health is one of the major reasons why people turn to Hemp essential oil as they age.

Eliminates Headaches
Topically applying some Hemp Essential Oil at the temples or the spot of intensity for a migraine or a headache can be an effective way to get relief. Many people turn to prescriptions for Hemp and Hemp essential oil due to its potent defense against crippling headaches and pain.

Word of Caution

Although this list clearly shows that Hemp Essential Oil can be an effective remedy for many common health conditions, it is still a potent chemical substance extracted from a plant with psychotropic substances. Therefore, you should always be very careful while using such an essential oil, including the amount you use and the conditions under which you use it. Speak to a professional about mixing essential oils and present medications before adding any new elements to your health regimen. Also, use of Hemp is restricted/banned in many countries, so consult a local health specialist before use.

Order yours today

Did you know …. Diatomaceous Earth (D/E)

 

 

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH – MOTHER NATURE’S WONDERFUL SECRET

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a powerful, inexpensive solution to most of your health issues. It’s probably the simplest and most straightforward health product out there on the market. It can be used as a beauty product, an internal cleanser, or a deep revitalizer for the whole human body.

There it is—a bit of diatomaceous earth resting at the bottom of my water glass. It might not taste delicious, but its ability to cleanse my body and fill it with sought-after nutrients more than makes up for it.

Where Does DE Come From?

Diatomaceous earth is the waste product of unicellular algae. Over a 30 million year period, it has taken the form of white sedimentary rock that is typically harvested from the bottom of oceans, lakes, and rivers around the globe. After it is harvested and dried, DE is a fine, white dust.

 

 

What Is Diatomaceous Earth Predominantly Used for and Known for at the Present Time?

The usefulness of diatomaceous earth ranges from an internal one (as a natural medicine or supplement), to a solution you can apply in-and-around the house in order to protect yourself from unwanted vermin. DE, amazingly, can also be made into a beauty product with its special and unique properties highly effective against “aesthetic defects” which tend to appear as Father Time catches up with all of us. Here’s a quick list to showcase its numerous benefits:

  • Osteoporosis: As silica helps with the absorption of calcium, taking a silica supplement along with a calcium supplement can effectively offset chronic illnesses like osteoporosis, which are due to chronically depleted calcium stores.
  • Detoxifying the body
  • Losing weight
  • Revitalizing the skin
  • Promoting hair growth
  • As a cough decreasing agent
  • Fighting kidney stones and healing infections of the urinary tract
  • Reducing inflammation in the intestines and stomach
  • Protecting vital lung tissue from pollution and restoring its elasticity
  • Normalizing hemorrhoidal tissue
  • Preventing side-effects of menopause like stress
  • Eliminating bacteria and parasites

Such a powerful force of action begs the question: how can a product do so much without it hurting the organism?

Diatomaceous Earth Is Completely Safe

For example, DE makes your body bug-free, not with a chemical but by physical action. The hundreds of particles that attack the insect are so small, so microscopic, they cause no harm whatsoever to people or pets. So it’s completely safe to ingest orally, as long as it’s food grade!  It can also be an ingredient in natural toothpastes such as this one :

 

 

 

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth (Food Grade)

#1: Internal Use

  1. First week: 1 teaspoon of DE in a glass of water or favorite juice, first thing in the morning (the body needs time to get used to it).
  2. Week 2, 3, and 4: 1 tablespoon of DE in a glass of water, again, first thing in the morning.

The following is only if you wish to do a full detox or have a parasitic infection 

  1. For the next 3 months, take 2-3 tablespoons of DE every single day.

Note: drink a lot of water to help flush out toxic metals and dead parasites out of your system.

#2: External Use

Step 1: Mix diatomaceous earth and some water in a bowl (roughly 1 part DE to 3 parts water).

Step 2: Choose whether you prefer a mask or a facial scrub. If you want a mask, just add more of DE to the mixture. If you want a scrub, just add more water to dilute the solution even more.

Step 3: Whatever you have decided, spread the mixture across your forehead, your nose, your chin, and your cheeks.

Step 4: Leave it on your face for 2-5 minutes, allowing it to dry.

Step 5: Finally, thoroughly wash your face with some water and a wash cloth. And that’s it, my friend. You should be good to go now—your skin, delicately exfoliated by the sweet action of diatomaceous earth.

 

 

 

 

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Are you taking good care of your “other” brain?

HEALTHY GUT
HEALTHY BRAIN

“When you think of your nervous system, you probably picture your brain and spinal cord. But that’s just the central nervous system. You must also consider your intestinal or enteric nervous system, the one that’s intrinsic to the gastrointestinal tract.

The neurons in the gut are so innumerable that many scientists are now calling the totality of them “the second brain”.You may be surprised to find out that an estimated 80 to 90 percent of the amount of serotonin in your body is manufactured by the nerve cells in your gut. In fact, your gut’s brain makes more serotonin – the master happiness molecule – than the brain in your head does. Many neurologists and psychiatrists are now realizing that this may be one reason why antidepressants are often less effective in treating depression than dietary changes are.

In connecting the dots from the gut to the brain, it helps to consider the body’s general response to stress, both physical (e.g. running from an armed intruder in your house) and mental (e.g. avoiding an argument with your boss). Unfortunately, the body isn’t clever enough to distinguish between the two, which is why your heart can pound just as hard before you prepare to run away from a burglar as when you’re walking into your boss’s office. Both scenarios are perceived as stress on the body even though only one – escaping the intruder – is a real threat to survival. So in both instances your body will flood with natural steroids and adrenaline, and your immune system will release chemical messengers called inflammatory cytokines that send the system into high alert. This works well for episodic moments for duress, but what happens when the body is constantly under stress (or thinks it it)?

Rarely do we find ourselves constantly running from a burglar, but physical stress also includes encounters with potentially deadly toxins and pathogens. And these we may face daily through our dietary choices alone. Although the body may not necessarily go into fight-or-flight mode with a pounding heart when it meets a substance or ingredient it doesn’t like, it most definitely will experience an immune response. And chronic immune activation and resulting inflammation from such encounters can lead to chronic disease, from heart and brain diseases like parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, depression, and dementia to autoimmune disorders, ulcerative colitis, and cancer…. all manner of disease is rooted in inflammation run amok, and your immune system controls inflammation.”

Based on David Perlmutter’s research on the body reacting to deadly toxins and pathogens, it is vital to ensure the body’s immune system is strong and balanced. EM Probiotics assist in the prevention of the build-up of harmful bacteria caused by stress.

The Content on this page was taken from the book, Brain Maker by David Perlmutter. 
Have you had your EM today?

Health Booster

HUMAN HEALTH

The human body contains tens of trillions of bacteria. There are, in fact, ten times more bacteria in the human body than there are human cells.

Prior to the industrial revolution humans would get all the natural bacteria they need from the vegetables and meats that they ate. Today, chemical farming and the use of pesticides have depleted the bacteria from the soils to a huge extent, limiting the bacteria we get through our foods. Without these bacteria, the body cannot function optimally, disease resistance is lowered and one cannot correctly use the nutrition from food. To make matters worse, use of antibiotics can virtually eradicate the good bacteria in your gut.

EM (Efficient Microbes) products are based on a unique combination of effective beneficial bacteria that enable your body to function to its full potential. The groups of microorganisms in EM are lactic acid bacteria (commonly found in yogurt, cheeses), beneficial yeasts (found bread, beer), and phototrophic (light-converting) bacteria.

Beneficial bacteria in the body are responsible for the following:

• Up to 80% of the body’s immune function.
• Preventing the build-up of disease-causing bacteria
• Digestion and healthy bowel movements, and reducing constipation
• Improving the uptake of nutrition and minerals from food
• Creation of the body’s own natural vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 B12, A, D and K, and essential fatty acids
• Producing natural antibiotics and anti-fungals
• Reducing and preventing Candida

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Gut bacteria linked to rheumatoid arthritis

 

Just another call for the magic trio : Kefir, Kombucha and Cultured Vegetables

See this Facebook page for loads of information : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pretty-Pickled/718427801534992

and http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/three-foods-that-can-change-your-life-the-trilogy/

 

 

The Trilogy

New York chef Seamus Mullen adopted a strict diet after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. He believes there’s a direct link between food and the variety of bacteria in the gut. (Brian Harkin/for the Chicago Tribune)
By Julie Deardorff, Tribune Newspapers Medical ResearchNutrition ResearchScientific ResearchDiseases and IllnessesArthritisCrimeNew York University

Scientists can’t predict what triggers rheumatoid arthritis, a mysterious and painful autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the joints. But they’re targeting an intriguing new suspect: the trillions of microbes living and working inside the gut.

Animal models have long suggested that intestinal bacteria can influence the development of some autoimmune diseases. This may also be the case with rheumatoid arthritis, according to emerging research, a finding that could lead to novel treatments and diagnostic methods.

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Autism diagnostic changes shuffle the puzzle
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8

Though long ignored by researchers, “these bacteria clearly exert a great deal of influence on many physiological processes in the body, including metabolism, digestion and the nutrients we take in,” said Dan Littman, professor of pathology and microbiology at the New York University School of Medicine and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. “The part that’s less appreciated is the profound influence the microbiota can have on the immune system.”

Bacteria and other microbes, such as viruses and fungi, form the microbiota that reside in and on the human body. These germs outnumber the body’s own cells 10 to 1, helping us break down food and overwhelm infectious germs. In exchange, we give them a nice place to live.

But when certain bacteria are allowed to proliferate, upsetting the internal ecosystem, health problems may develop. Changes in gut bacteria may have a role in everything from obesity and circadian cycles to irritable bowel syndrome and multiple sclerosis, research suggests.

Littman’s team of scientists was the first to show in humans that disturbances in the digestive tract may play a role in autoimmune attacks on the joints, according to 2013 research published in the open-access journal eLife.

An estimated 1.3 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis, in which the immune system attacks tissues, inflaming joints and damaging organs.

The condition is known to have a strong genetic component. But not all patients carry the genes, so environmental factors — smoking, hormones, aging and infections — must be involved too, said researcher Veena Taneja, an associate professor of immunology at the Mayo Clinic.

“The gut seems to be the common link,” said Taneja, whose work looks at whether bacteria can be manipulated to change the course of disease. “The gut microbiome is influenced by the genes and exposed to these things every day.”

The relationship between bacteria and the immune system begins at birth as the baby passes through the birth canal, collecting microbes that will colonize its body. As the child’s environment and food habits change, so do the bacteria.

“If there is immune system dysfunction, there can be an imbalance that results in disease and in inflammation,” Littman said.

Dysbiosis, or the abundance of certain bacteria because of factors such as antibiotics, stress and diet, can change the profile and trigger inflammation, Taneja said. If so-called unfriendly bacteria outnumber good bacteria, “it leads the body to produce a lot more of the pro-inflammatory cytokines,” or substances secreted by cells of the immune system, she said. “We’ve shown in mouse models that the presence of certain bacteria is associated with the pro-inflammatory status of the gut.”

According to one theory, if there is an imbalance in good and bad bacteria, metabolites are also unbalanced, Taneja said. This can cause a leaky gut, allowing for various metabolite or bacterial products to move outside the gut into the body. “Outside of the gut, these bacterial products may be seen as foreign, and the body starts to make an immune response to them,” she said.

It’s possible to change the type of bugs in the digestive tract by altering diet and using antibiotics, “but not in a way we can control very well,” Littman said. One day, scientists hope to develop pills containing particular microbes “that will establish themselves and change the composition of the microbiota from one that may make someone prone to disease to one that is beneficial,” he said.

For now, the best way to alter gut flora seems to involve permanent dietary and lifestyle changes. New York chef Seamus Mullen, 40, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2007 after living with symptoms for several years. He tried the usual treatments, starting with anti-inflammatory drugs, biologics and steroids, with no luck. Finally, he saw a doctor who suspected his arthritis was driven by an imbalance in his microbiome because of an infection.

Mullen said he followed a strict yearlong protocol, one that involved more exercise, more rest and the elimination of refined sugars and grains. He ate more fermented foods, which are naturally high in probiotics, took supplements and low-level antibiotics and avoided meat and poultry unless they came from grass-fed animals. Mullen also used acupuncture and diligently monitored how he was feeling.

After nine months, his blood values had returned to normal for the first time in a decade, and his arthritic symptoms had receded, he said. Though he realizes his case is anecdotal, he’s convinced “there’s a direct correlation between the foods we eat and the spectrum of bacteria in our guts,” he said.

Food “is a fundamental part of the journey,” Mullen said. “It’s not enough to say, ‘Oh, I’ll have some ginger today and some greens tomorrow,’ and expect a turnaround in your health.
“To really see change, it requires a wholesale reboot of how you live your life. Compliance isn’t easy, but it’s a small price to pay.”

Source: jdeardorff@tribune.com

Other helpful links:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pretty-Pickled/718427801534992

http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/category/recipes/cultured-vegetables/

 

Terrific turmeric

 

Awesome Uses for Turmeric!

image

By Joshua Rogers

Posted Friday, March 14, 2014 at 01:03pm EDT

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Turmeric is a commonly found spice and herb that is increasing in popularity, and for good reason. Below we’ll uncover what turmeric is great for when it comes to healing and wellness.

Most typically ingest turmeric by using its powdered form (either for cooking or in tea), but various types of capsuled forms are available on the market also. As with any supplements, of course, quality matters a great deal. It also happens to be one of the primary spices employed in many of the South Asian and Middle-Eastern foods.

A lot of medical benefits of the spice come from the effective compounds, called curcuminoids, that it includes. It’s a good source of a number of vitamin Bs, as well. A number of the important nutrients identified in turmeric contain Vitamin C, Vitamins B1-B3, Calcium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Zinc, and so much more.

Scientific Studies of Turmeric
Studies abound that discuss the various advantages of this spice. The active component in curcumin has been associated with possible antidepressant results. Additionally, it has shown promise with reference to treating clogged arteries, as well as in enhancing autoimmune diseases, among other issues.

As an Antiinflammatory
Your body could experience a scenario whereby aggressive inflammation and tissue destruction happens at once, causing your poor body to try and repair both simultaneously. This is a characteristic of persistent inflammation, which is something which may last for months, if not longer in some individuals. Prospective causes of long term inflammation are protracted exposure to dangerous agents, constant illnesses, and autoimmune issues. The advantages of turmeric can assist in the recuperation from this in a much more rapid time frame than your body would do on its own, and can help relieve a few of the painful sensations connected with inflamation.

It is often said that in the event that you suffer any of the following: digestive difficulties, constipation, allergies, low-energy, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, infertility, sleeplessness or acne eruption, that liver issues might be a part of the inherent reason. Making a tea from turmeric can give your liver a nice boost, cleanses the body, and even helps with an upset stomach. Drink some today, you’ll be glad you did!

Read more natural health articles by Joshua Rogers at Natural Alternative Remedy. You can also follow him on Google+ and on Facebook.

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