Curcumin – The Most Powerful Medicine

Curcumin, The Most Powerful Medicine

Curcumin’s benefits are so diverse that they affect virtually every organ system in the body. It’s no accident that the National Institutes of Health has funded numerous studies investigating curcumin, which include diverse applications such as treatment of cystic fibrosis, the feasibility of controlling the autoimmune disease, scleroderma, and various cancer chemoprevention trials.23 Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies around the world are actively working to derive patentable molecules based on curcumin, which they hope to market, at great profit, as anticancer treatments.24

Among other activities, curcumin has demonstrated antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities.18 It’s even showing great promise in the fight against the most common genetic disorder in Caucasians, cystic fibrosis.14 To this list, add powerful anticancer protection, cardiovascular protection, and protection against neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.8,16,25-29 Additionally, curcumin shows promise as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis,7 and may protect against cataracts30 as well as reverse some of the damage associated with the high blood sugar levels that characterize diabetes.31 Curcumin also shows great promise as a treatment for skin disorders such as psoriasis, and in the treatment of wounds.9, 32

Powerful Cancer Protection

Scientists usually go out of their way to avoid hyperbole when describing the subjects of their inquiries, but curcumin’s amazing properties evidently tempt even
the most staid researcher to throw caution to the wind. “Curcumin appears to possess all the desirable features of a desk-designed, multipurpose drug,” wrote one research team, recently.33 Other investigators focused on promising anticancer activity. “Curcumin… has emerged as one of the most powerful chemopreventive and anticancer agents,” wrote Indian researchers last year. “Its biological effects range from antioxidant [and] anti-inflammatory to inhibition of angiogenesis, and [it] is also shown to possess specific antitumoral activity.”27 Although

anticancer drugs weaken the immune system, curcumin actually enhances it, 12,34-43 acting as an “immunorestorer.”34 It’s little wonder, then, that cancer prevention and treatment has emerged as one of the most avidly researched aspects of curcumin’s potential benefits.

Writing in Cancer Letters, American scientists noted recently, “Pre-clinical studies in a variety of cancer cell lines including breast, cervical, colon, gastric, hepatic, leukemia, oral epithelial, ovarian, pancreatic, and prostate have consistently shown that curcumin possesses anticancer activity in vitro and in pre-clinical animal models.”44 Other investigators wrote: “Carcinogenesis encompasses three closely associated stages: initiation, progression, and promotion. *Curcumin+ has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antitumor properties. [It] has also been shown to be beneficial in all three stages of carcinogenesis.”43

SPECIFIC ANTICANCER MECHANISM DISCOVERED

In mid-2007, scientists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham published a report in the journal Cancer Research, detailing at least one of perhaps many mechanisms by which curcumin functions as an anticancer agent. The investigators grew prostate cancer cells in the laboratory, and exposed them to varying concentrations of curcumin. The curcumin
reduced the cells’ production of a protein known as MDM2, which is associated with the formation of malignant tumors. Simultaneously, curcumin prompted the cells to produce another protein associated with the promotion of programmed cell death (apoptosis).27 Like NF-kB, an inducer of inflammation, MDM2 has been suggested as a novel target for human
cancer therapy.

To test curcumin’s effects in a live model, the scientists grafted human prostate cancer cells onto special mice, which subsequently developed tumors. The mice were then fed either curcumin or a placebo, five days a week, for four weeks. Afterwards, curcumin-fed mice were further divided into three test groups. One group continued to receive curcumin alone, while another received curcumin plus the cancer chemotherapy drug, gemcitabine. The final group received curcumin plus radiation treatment.

“Curcumin inhibited growth of [human-to-mouse prostate cancer grafts] and enhanced the antitumor effects of gemcitabine and radiation. In these tumors, curcumin reduced the expression of MDM2,” wrote the researchers. This suppression, or “down-regulation” of MDM2 expression was declared to be a newly discovered mechanism by which curcumin exerts its anticancer activity. MDM2 down-regulation by curcumin “may be essential for its chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic effects,” the scientists
concluded.27

It’s interesting to note that epidemiological studies show the incidence of prostate cancer among men in India to be among the lowest in the world. One recent study estimated that the annual prostate cancer incidence rate in India ranges from 5.0 to 9.1 per 100,000/year. In contrast, among whites in the United States, the incidence rate is 110.4 per 100,000/year—more than ten times higher compared with men from India. The rate for African Americans is even higher.45 Perhaps not coincidentally, Indian men’s consistent intake of turmeric, in the form or curry, is among the highest in the world. The average intake of turmeric in the Indian population is 2-2.5 g/day, providing 60-200 mg curcumin.

Pancreatic Cancer

Curcumin has also been shown to enhance the efficacy of the chemotherapy agent, gemcitabine, in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Although it is currently the best treatment for this aggressive cancer, gemcitabine often loses its effectiveness as cancer cells develop resistance to the drug. Scientists from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center showed recently that curcumin prevents the development of this resistance, in both cultured pancreatic cancer cells and in living animal models of the disease. “Overall, our results suggest that curcumin potentiates the antitumor effects of gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer by suppressing proliferation, angiogenesis, NF-kB, and NF-kB-regulated gene products,” concluded the scientists.46

COLON AND BREAST CANCERS

Curcumin’s efficacy against colon cancer has received great attention, primarily because curcumin’s bioavailability has been less of an issue, given that the colon is exposed to curcumin as it passes through the digestive tract.17 Its excellent tolerability and safety have been demonstrated in five Phase I clinical trials in colon cancer, and Phase II trials are currently enrolling patients.44 British investigators showed recently that curcumin interferes with the proliferation of various types of colon cancer, and that it enhances the efficacy of an existing chemotherapeutic agent, oxaliplatin.47

Curcumin’s potential role in the fight against breast cancer is nothing short of remarkable. Italian researchers reported recently that curcumin is effective against a common variety of breast cancer cells and a mutant line of cells that has developed resistance to common chemotherapy drugs. “Through analyses of the effects on cell proliferation, cycling and death, we have observed that the antitumor activity of curcumin… is at least equal in the *multi-drug-resistant breast cancer] cell line compared to the *ordinary breast cancer cell line+,” wrote researchers.48 This efficacy also held true for a type of multi-drug-resistant leukemia cell.

The Italians’ research indicates that curcumin seems capable of adapting its anticancer activity according to need. “Remarkably,” wrote the scientists, “*curcumin and one of its derivatives+ appeared to modify their molecular effects according to the diverse gene expression patterns existing in the [multidrug-resistant and ordinary breast cancer cell line]. Clearly, the structure and properties of curcumin can form the basis for the development of antitumor compounds…”48

Novel Curcumin Formulation:
What You Need To Know!

  • One of today’s most promising natural disease-fighting agents is curcumin. Derived from the curry spice turmeric, curcumin has been used for millennia to target disease and promote good health.
  • Curcumin promotes health by diverse mechanisms. Scientists have documented curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, cancer-fighting, and immune-enhancing abilities.
  • Studies suggest that curcumin may help prevent or fight prostate, pancreatic, breast, and colon cancers.
  • Curcumin may help protect the brain against the devastating consequences of stroke and exposure to toxic heavy metals.
  • Individuals who consume more curcumin-rich curry are less likely to experience cognitive decline, suggesting curcumin could help protect the nervous system against aging. In laboratory and animal models, curcumin shows promise in preventing the pathological changes seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers.

POWERFUL NERVOUS SYSTEM PROTECTION

Among curcumin’s many benefits, protection from neurological damage ranks high on many researchers’ lists. “Curcumin has at least 10 known neuroprotective actions and many of these might be realized in [living subjects]…” wrote American scientists recently, in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. “Dietary curcumin is a strong candidate,” they added, “for use in the prevention or treatment of major disabling age-related neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke.”16

These scientists are not alone in their assessment of curcumin’s potential for protection against dreaded diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Numerous researchers are investigating curcumin’s protective activities in the brain. For example, Chinese scientists reported in early 2007 that curcumin protects the brains of laboratory animals from a type of injury that often follows stroke. Known as ischemia/reperfusion injury, this damage to brain tissue is believed to occur due to stroke-related deficits in the blood-brain barrier. A single injection of curcumin dramatically reduced ischemia-reperfusion damage, neurological deficits, and death, among animals with experimentally induced stroke.49

As another example, South African investigators wondered if curcumin could protect rats’ brains from lead poisoning.One way lead damages brain tissue is by inducing lipid peroxidation.50 Brain tissue is largely composed of lipids, so it’s especially vulnerable to this type of damage. By adding curcumin to test animals’ diets, lead toxicity was significantly reduced, possibly by raising concentrations of the antioxidant glutathione.51 Previously, Indian researchers reported that curcumin raised concentrations of glutathione and two potent antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase and catalase, in the brains of lead-poisoned rats, significantly attenuating lead-induced damage.52

Other researchers report that curcumin may chelate, or bind to, toxic heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium, greatly reducing their toxicity to neurological tissues.53

Furthermore, scientists have reported that curcumin protects brain tissue against oxidative stress by promoting production of a protective enzyme, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). “In the *central nervous system+,” wrote the researchers, “HO-1 has been reported to operate as a fundamental defensive mechanism for neurons exposed to an oxidant challenge.”54 Traumatic injury to the brain also results in oxidative stress, often affecting cognition and “synaptic plasticity,” which is believed to play a crucial role in healthy learning and memory. In animal experiments, US researchers showed, “Supplementation of curcumin in the diet dramatically reduced oxidative damage and… counteracted the cognitive impairment caused by *traumatic brain injury+.”55

Cognitive Decline & Dementia

Even in the absence of injury or toxicity, loss of cognitive function is a hallmark of aging. Memory loss is believed to begin by age 50, and, by age 80, it’s predicted that nearly half of all individuals will advance to some form of dementia.56 Wondering if curcumin might protect aging brains from cognitive decline, Asian scientists conducted an epidemiological study of curry consumption and cognitive function among the elderly. They found that men and women who consumed turmeric-laced curry “occasionally,” “often,” or “very often,” had significantly better scores on a standardized test of mental status than subjects who “never or rarely” consumed curry. The investigators described these findings as “tentative evidence of better cognitive performance from curry consumption in nondemented elderly Asians…”25

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PROTECTION

Curcumin may offer protection against the most common cause of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the accumulation of a malformed protein, amyloid-beta. Ordinarily, immune cells known as macrophages identify these defective proteins, engulf them, and destroy them. But for reasons that are not entirely clear, macrophages fail to perform this crucial function in Alzheimer’s disease.57 Using animal models of Alzheimer’s, scientists have shown that curcumin can enhance clearance of amyloid-beta, while reducing fibrils, which are also associated with Alzheimer’s pathology. Curcumin’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and directly bind to plaques may be important in its anti-amyloid activity.58

Los Angeles-based researchers tested the anti-amyloid activity of human macrophages taken from Alzheimer’s disease patients. After incubation with curcumin in the laboratory, uptake of amyloid-beta by macrophages from half of the patients significantly increased. The researchers concluded that this modification of the innate immune system by curcumin, “might be a safe approach to immune clearance of [abnormal amyloid-beta accumulation+ in Alzheimer’s disease brain.”59 These data appear to indicate that curcumin is protective against the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and that it may even help reverse the disease process, once begun.

SAFETY AND DOSING

Given that turmeric is a food that has been safely consumed for millennia, curcumin would appear to be the perfect dietary supplement.3 In fact, “Curcumin has an outstanding safety profile and a number of *multifunctional+ actions…” wrote US researchers recently.16 Phase I clinical trials, using massive doses of curcumin (up to 8 g/day for four months) in human volunteers, “did not result in discernible toxicities…”17

Of course, not everyone finds curry palatable, especially on a routine basis. But virtually anyone can swallow a simple daily supplement. Most commercial products provide 300-500 mg per pill, standardized to 95% curcumin. Reported adverse reactions have been limited to mild gastrointestinal distress, which may be minimized by consuming curcumin with food.60

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References

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2. Araujo CC, Leon LL. Biological activities of Curcuma longa L. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2001 Jul;96(5):723-8.
3. No authors. Curcuma longa (turmeric). Monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2001 Sep;6 Suppl S62-6.
4. Limtrakul P. Curcumin as chemosensitizer. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:269-300.
5. Lin JK. Molecular targets of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:227-43.
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7. Bright JJ. Curcumin and autoimmune disease. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:425-51.
8. Miriyala S, Panchatcharam M, Rengarajulu P. Cardioprotective effects of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:359-77.
9. Thangapazham RL, Sharma A, Maheshwari RK. Beneficial role of curcumin in skin diseases. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:343-57.
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15. Funk JL, Oyarzo JN, Frye JB, et al. Turmeric extracts containing curcuminoids prevent experimental rheumatoid arthritis. J Nat Prod. 2006 Mar;69(3):351-5.
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23. Available at: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/html/reports/fy2004/niddk.html; http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/html/reports/fy2001/orwh.html; http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/html/reports/fy2000/nci.html. Accessed August 1, 2007.
24. Mosley CA, Liotta DC, Snyder JP. Highly active anticancer curcumin analogues. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:77-103.
25. Ng TP, Chiam PC, Lee T, et al. Curry consumption and cognitive function in the elderly. Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Nov 1;164(9):898-906.
26. Lim GP, Chu T, Yang F, et al. The curry spice curcumin reduces oxidative damage and amyloid pathology in an Alzheimer transgenic mouse. J Neurosci. 2001 Nov 1;21(21):8370-7.
27. Li M, Zhang Z, Hill DL, Wang H, Zhang R. Curcumin, a dietary component, has anticancer, chemosensitization, and radiosensitization effects by down-regulating the MDM2 oncogene through the PI3K/mTOR/ETS2 pathway. Cancer Res. 2007 Mar 1;67(5):1988-96.
28. Singh S, Khar A. Biological effects of curcumin and its role in cancer chemoprevention and therapy. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2006 May;6(3):259-70.
29. Surh YJ, Chun KS. Cancer chemopreventive effects of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:149-72.
30. Suryanarayana P, Krishnaswamy K, Reddy GB. Effect of curcumin on galactose-induced cataractogenesis in rats. Mol Vis. 2003 Jun 9;9:223-30.
31. Arun N, Nalini N. Efficacy of turmeric on blood sugar and polyol pathway in diabetic albino rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2002;57(1):41-52.
32. Dujic J, Kippenberger S, Hoffmann S, et al. Low concentrations of curcumin induce growth arrest and apoptosis in skin keratinocytes only in combination with UVA or visible light. J Invest Dermatol. 2007 Aug;127(8):1992-2000.
33. Salvioli S, Sikora E, Cooper EL, Franceschi C. Curcumin in Cell Death Processes: A Challenge for CAM of Age-Related Pathologies. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2007 Jun;4(2):181-90.
34. Bhattacharyya S, Mandal D, Sen GS, et al. Tumor-induced oxidative stress perturbs nuclear factor-kappaB activityaugmenting tumor necrosis factor-alpha-mediated T-cell death: protection by curcumin. Cancer Res. 2007 Jan 1;67(1):362- 70.
35. Churchill M, Chadburn A, Bilinski RT, Bertagnolli MM. Inhibition of intestinal tumors by curcumin is associated with changes in the intestinal immune cell profile. J Surg Res. 2000 Apr;89(2):169-75.
36. Pal S, Bhattacharyya S, Choudhuri T, et al. Amelioration of immune cell number depletion and potentiation of depressed detoxification system of tumor-bearing mice by curcumin. Cancer Detect Prev. 2005;29(5):470-8.
37. Perkins S, Verschoyle RD, Hill K, et al. Chemopreventive efficacy and pharmacokinetics of curcumin in the min/+ mouse, a model of familial adenomatous polyposis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2002 Jun;11(6):535-40.
38. South EH, Exon JH, Hendrix K. Dietary curcumin enhances antibody response in rats. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 1997 Feb;19(1):105-19.
39. Kurup VP, Barrios CS, Raju R, et al. Immune response modulation by curcumin in a latex allergy model. Clin Mol Allergy. 2007;51.
40. Xu Y, Ku B, Tie L, et al. Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB. Brain Res. 2006 Nov 29;1122(1):56-64.
41. Kim GY, Kim KH, Lee SH, et al. Curcumin inhibits immunostimulatory function of dendritic cells: MAPKs and translocation of NF-kappa B as potential targets. J Immunol. 2005 Jun 15;174(12):8116-24.
42. Bhattacharyya S, Mandal D, Saha B, et al. Curcumin prevents tumor-induced T cell apoptosis through Stat-5a-mediated Bcl-2 induction. J Biol Chem. 2007 Jun 1;282(22):15954-64.
43. Thangapazham RL, Sharma A, Maheshwari RK. Multiple molecular targets in cancer chemoprevention by curcumin. AAPS J. 2006;8(3):E443-9.
44. Johnson JJ, Mukhtar H. Curcumin for chemoprevention of colon cancer. Cancer Lett. 2007 Apr 18.
45. Hebert JR, Ghumare SS, Gupta PC. Stage at diagnosis and relative differences in breast and prostate cancer incidence in India: comparison with the United States. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2006 Oct;7(4):547-55.
46. Kunnumakkara AB, Guha S, Krishnan S, et al. Curcumin potentiates antitumor activity of gemcitabine in an orthotopic model of pancreatic cancer through suppression of proliferation, angiogenesis, and inhibition of nuclear factor-kappaBregulated gene products. Cancer Res. 2007 Apr 15;67(8):3853-61.
47. Howells LM, Mitra A, Manson MM. Comparison of oxaliplatin- and curcumin-mediated antiproliferative effects in colorectal cell lines. Int J Cancer. 2007 Jul 1;121(1):175-83.
48. Poma P, Notarbartolo M, Labbozzetta M, et al. The antitumor activities of curcumin and of its isoxazole analogue are not affected by multiple gene expression changes in an MDR model of the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line: Analysis of the possible molecular basis. Int J Mol Med. 2007 Sep;20(3):329-35.
49. Jiang J, Wang W, Sun YJ, et al. Neuroprotective effect of curcumin on focal cerebral ischemic rats by preventing bloodbrain barrier damage. Eur J Pharmacol. 2007 Apr 30;561(1-3):54-62.
50. Lidsky TI, Schneider JS. Lead neurotoxicity in children: basic mechanisms and clinical correlates. Brain. 2003 Jan;126(Pt 1):5-19.
51. Dairam A, Limson JL, Watkins GM, Antunes E, Daya S. Curcuminoids, curcumin, and demethoxycurcumin reduce leadinduced memory deficits in male Wistar rats. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 7;55(3):1039-44.
52. Shukla PK, Khanna VK, Khan MY, Srimal RC. Protective effect of curcumin against lead neurotoxicity in rat. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2003 Dec;22(12):653-8.
53. Daniel S, Limson JL, Dairam A, Watkins GM, Daya S. Through metal binding, curcumin protects against lead- and cadmium-induced lipid peroxidation in rat brain homogenates and against lead-induced tissue damage in rat brain. J Inorg Biochem. 2004 Feb;98(2):266-75.
54. Scapagnini G, Colombrita C, Amadio M, et al. Curcumin activates defensive genes and protects neurons against oxidative stress. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2006 Mar;8(3-4):395-403.
55. Wu A, Ying Z, Gomez-Pinilla F. Dietary curcumin counteracts the outcome of traumatic brain injury on oxidative stress, synaptic plasticity, and cognition. Exp Neurol. 2006 Feb;197(2):309-17.
56. Braverman ER, Chen TJ, Prihoda TJ, et al. Plasma growth hormones, P300 event-related potential and test of variables of attention (TOVA) are important neuroendocrinological predictors of early cognitive decline in a clinical setting: Evidence supported by structural equation modeling (SEM) parameter estimates. AGE. 2007; [Epub ahead of print].
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58. Yang F, Lim GP, Begum AN, et al. Curcumin inhibits formation of amyloid beta oligomers and fibrils, binds plaques, and reduces amyloid in vivo. J Biol Chem. 2005 Feb 18;280(7):5892-901.
59. Zhang L, Fiala M, Cashman J, et al. Curcuminoids enhance amyloid-beta uptake by macrophages of Alzheimer’s disease patients. J Alzheimers Dis. 2006 Sep;10(1):1-7.
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Success in Weight Loss Requires a Multi-faceted Approach

VISCERAL OR TRUNCAL fat is metabolically active fat. Excessive amounts of visceral fat is considered a crucial indicator for metabolic syndrome, and is also associated with cardiovascular disease, liver injury and increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. Early detection is essential for prevention of these diseases. Waist circumference (WC), fat mass, body mass index (BMI), body volume index, visceral fat area and waist-hip-ratio, all can predict visceral adiposity in abdominal obesity.

Waist circumference is found to be the best predictor of intra-abdominal fat thickness and central obesity. The absolute waist circumference (>102cm in men and >88cm in women) and the waist-hip ratio (circumference of the waist divided by that of the hips of >0.9 for men and >0.85 for women), are both used as measures of central obesity. For a given WC, the type of obesity can be determined by bioelectrical impedence and body volume index measurement. Visceral fat area (VFA) at the umbilicus level measured by CT is adopted as the gold standard, but it has many limitations. Recently, application of abdominal bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) for measuring VFA is widely used.

The measurement of ALT liver enzyme is associated with truncal/visceral fat accumulation, metabolic syndrome, raised BMI, hyperleptinemia, and hyperinsulinemia. This metabolically active fat induces non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with raised ALT levels. Obesity raises serum resistin levels, which in turn directly correlate to insulin resistance. Studies have also confirmed a direct correlation between resistin levels and Type 2 diabetes; and it is central obesity which seems to contribute to increasing levels of serum resistin. Serum resistin levels have been found to decrease with weight loss. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests detect circulating resistin protein levels. This is, therefore, a useful test to confirm metabolic syndrome.

Low Calorie
Diets

It has long been known that low calorie diets increase longevity and help prevent leading causes of death such as inflammatory diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer. The mechanisms through which life extension occurs include improved mitochondrial functioning, activation of sirtuin genes (longevity genes), obesity reduction, and anti-inflammatory effects.

To keep in mind, though, being on a low calorie diet is not to become nutritionally compromised, or nutrient depleted or osteopenic or osteoporotic. Often, dietary supplementation may become necessary with low calorie diets. Of great help would be to make use of calorie restriction mimetics. These mimetics give one the same effects of decreased calorie intake without the need to starve oneself and don’t have the weight loss effects associated with low calorie intake, but do have the life extending effects comparable to those seen with low calorie intake. These mimetics switch off cancer genes, switch on longevity genes, and reduce inflammation and improve mitochondrial functioning, too.

Mimetics

While all diets don’t offer the secret to living life thinner, calorie restriction certainly has far-reaching benefits for longevity. This is where calorie restriction mimetics (CRM) come into play. There are a number of naturally occurring actors (from peptides and alkaloids to polyphenols and amino acids) that mimic the anti-aging effects of calorie restriction and show the same physiological effects. CRM can be described as a chemical compound or natural agent that can reproduce (or mimic) one or more principle biological effects of calorie restriction. There is a great deal of versatility in using CRM, as some may affect genetic controls of aging and others may be more specific to glucose metabolism, for example.

CRM isn’t a magic bullet in terms of weight loss. However, the longevity effects are far too considerable to be taken lightly. Speak to your healthcare practitioner about taking CRM supplements to induce long life, wellness and overall well-being.

CRM Protocol

  • Resveratrol (100mg twice daily)
  • Pterostilbene (50mg twice daily)
  • Carnosine (500mg twice daily)
  • Grape seed extract (100mg twice daily)
  • Alpha lipoic acid (R-forms) (150mg twice daily)
  • Acetyl-l-carnitine (500mg to 1,000mg twice daily)
  • Metformin (on prescription only) with vitamin B12 if insulin resistant
  • Good quality complete antioxidant formula

Success in Weight Loss
Requires a Multi-faceted
Approach

Cortisol Excess and Adrenal Fatigue
Elevated cortisol caused by stress or aging puts the body into a fat-storage mode. Adrenal stress causes cravings for coffee, soft drinks and sugar.

DHEA
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is an adrenal hormone that decreases in tandem with the aging process. DHEA opposes the fat-storage effects and cravings caused by elevated cortisol.
Rx Women: 0.5 to one tablet (12.5mg to 25mg) daily.
Rx Men: one to two tablets (25mg to 50mg) daily, as a single daily dose (after breakfast)

Herbal Adaptogens  
Herbal adaptogens contain adrenally-supportive herbal extracts (Rhodiola rosea and Ashwagandha). These stimulate the adrenals during low adrenal function  (adrenal fatigue), and calms adrenal function (and excessive cortisol release) during adrenal stress.

Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome and PCOS

Insulin resistance is a common cause of weight gain and PCOS, and makes weight loss difficult.

D-Chiro-Inositol 

  • D-Chiro-Inositol is an insulin-sensitising nutrient that improves the body’s responsiveness to insulin.
  • Rx: one capsule daily or twice daily, after meals

Other nutrients to aid with insulin resistance include: 

  • Irvingia Plus Fat Burner: one capsule twice daily, 20 minutes before meals
  • HCA and chromium: one to two caplets, 20 minutes before each meal (with chromium for decreasing insulin  resistance)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid: one capsule twice daily
  • 7-Keto DHEA: 25mg per day
  • Krill Oil OR Fish Oil Extract Omega 3: two capsules daily
  • Vitamin D3: typically doses of 2000iu per day depending on vitamin D levels

Leptin

Leptin resistance has a lot in common with insulin resistance. Adipocytes (fat cells) are the primary cells for fat storage. Leptin is released by adipocytes to perform two critical functions. First, it signals the brain that enough food has been ingested and shuts down appetite. It then seems to initiate a process whereby the stored triglycerides (the form that most fat exists in the body) in the adipocytes are broken down into fatty acids that can be used for energy production.

The size and number of adipocytes increase with weight gain. They then release more and more leptin into circulation in an attempt to tell the brain that fat stores are adequate, and appetite needs to be controlled. However, because these same fat cells are now constantly surrounded by elevated levels of leptin, they progressively lose sensitivity for this leptin that they are producing in excess. Inadequate sensitivity results in reduced responsiveness, with two outcomes: first, normal fatty acid oxidation (fat burning) within the adipocyte is significantly reduced, and second, the adipocyte becomes less likely to absorb free fatty acids from circulation. This resulting excess of fatty acids floating in the bloodstream causes a functional insulin resistance in tissues.

Cortisol Excess and Adrenal Fatigue
Elevated cortisol caused by stress or aging puts the body into a fat-storage mode. Adrenal stress causes cravings for coffee, soft drinks and sugar.

DHEA
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is an adrenal hormone that decreases in tandem with the aging process. DHEA opposes the fat-storage effects and cravings caused by elevated cortisol.
Rx Women: 0.5 to one tablet (12.5mg to 25mg) daily.
Rx Men: one to two tablets (25mg to 50mg) daily, as a single daily dose (after breakfast)

Herbal Adaptogens  
Herbal adaptogens contain adrenally-supportive herbal extracts (Rhodiola rosea and Ashwagandha). These stimulate the adrenals during low adrenal function  (adrenal fatigue), and calms adrenal function (and excessive cortisol release) during adrenal stress.

Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome and PCOS

Insulin resistance is a common cause of weight gain and PCOS, and makes weight loss difficult.

D-Chiro-Inositol 

  • D-Chiro-Inositol is an insulin-sensitising nutrient that improves the body’s responsiveness to insulin.
  • Rx: one capsule daily or twice daily, after meals

Other nutrients to aid with insulin resistance include: 

  • Irvingia Plus Fat Burner: one capsule twice daily, 20 minutes before meals
  • HCA and chromium: one to two caplets, 20 minutes before each meal (with chromium for decreasing insulin  resistance)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid: one capsule twice daily
  • 7-Keto DHEA: 25mg per day
  • Krill Oil OR Fish Oil Extract Omega 3: two capsules daily
  • Vitamin D3: typically doses of 2000iu per day depending on vitamin D levels

Leptin

Leptin resistance has a lot in common with insulin resistance. Adipocytes (fat cells) are the primary cells for fat storage. Leptin is released by adipocytes to perform two critical functions. First, it signals the brain that enough food has been ingested and shuts down appetite. It then seems to initiate a process whereby the stored triglycerides (the form that most fat exists in the body) in the adipocytes are broken down into fatty acids that can be used for energy production.

The size and number of adipocytes increase with weight gain. They then release more and more leptin into circulation in an attempt to tell the brain that fat stores are adequate, and appetite needs to be controlled. However, because these same fat cells are now constantly surrounded by elevated levels of leptin, they progressively lose sensitivity for this leptin that they are producing in excess. Inadequate sensitivity results in reduced responsiveness, with two outcomes: first, normal fatty acid oxidation (fat burning) within the adipocyte is significantly reduced, and second, the adipocyte becomes less likely to absorb free fatty acids from circulation. This resulting excess of fatty acids floating in the bloodstream causes a functional insulin resistance in tissues.

Consistent overeating confuses the efficient transmission of messages, causing a breakdown that leads to weight gain,

and additional consequences such as heart disease. Fat used to be viewed only as a storage place in the body for extra calories. However, we now know that it’s actually an endocrine organ.

Eating habits can cause havoc in the body’s communication system that dictates metabolism and appetite. Consistent overeating confuses the efficient transmission of messages, causing a breakdown that leads to weight gain, and additional consequences such as heart disease. Fat used to be viewed only as a storage place in the body for extra calories. However, we now know that it’s actually an endocrine organ. The fat that we moan and groan about when it accumulates on our thighs, buttocks and abdomen could ironically keep us lean. This white adipose tissue secretes the hormone leptin, which informs the brain about our levels of fat, telling us when to eat and when to stop eating.

Leptin is normally secreted in a circadian rhythm, with as many as 32 pulses of activity occurring over a 24-hour period. The highest levels are found during the first few hours of sleep, decreasing to the lowest in the morning. In obese people, the change in blood leptin levels is less significant than in lean people. One of the reasons for this is that an excess consumption of food has a negative impact on leptin’s ability to communicate adequately with the brain. This results in insulin, thyroid, epinephrine and leptin resistance, and potential weight gain.

If there’s leptin resistance, the brain doesn’t register signals to reduce appetite, leaving a person feeling constantly hungry. Normally, when you’ve eaten sufficiently, the brain receives a signal that leptin levels are high, and it increases metabolism and decreases appetite. Conversely, when your body needs food, the brain tells you to eat. When this process is inhibited by bad eating habits, your brain doesn’t know to tell you when to stop and excess calories are sent to storage as fat. Increased levels of triglyceride (a type of fat found in your blood) caused by overeating, have been linked to leptin resistance. This fat decreases the transport of leptin across the blood brain barrier, preventing leptin from entering the brain.

Leptin inhibits insulin secretion in the pancreas, and when your body is resistant to leptin, the pancreas isn’t able to sense it and keeps making insulin, leading to an excess and the possibility of insulin resistance – another cause of weight gain.

Yet another cause of leptin-resistant weight gain is tied in with epinephrine, a hormone and a neurotransmitter that is a prime factor in the body’s fight or flight response, increasing heart rate, constricting blood vessels and dilating air passages when the body senses danger. Epinephrine has short-term control of leptin and when the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated in quick bursts during moments of panic, leptin production is depressed. The brain uses epinephrine to stimulate metabolism in fat cells and if the brain is repeatedly attempting to use this hormone to no effect, unusually high levels can occur, and fat cells eventually become immune to it. This resistance leads to weight gain, specifically in the abdominal area, which is most often associated with reproductive organ cancer and heart disease.

A resistance to leptin produces “false starvation”, slowing thyroid function even in overweight people. Leptin and thyroid resistance restrict the natural heat production in the body, so fat and calories aren’t efficiently burned away.

To ensure the body’s optimal functionality, it’s important to listen to the brain’s messages. However, if our bad habits inhibit the brain’s ability to communicate effectively, we can get stuck in a rut of silent rebellion. A lifestyle change, specifically in terms of eating habits, as well as supplementation, will greatly assist in getting your body back in line. While a diet high in carbohydrates and saturated fats is a definite no-no if you are leptin resistant, a “high good fat” diet has shown successful results. Stock your pantry (and plate) with monosaturated fats like olive oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, olives and dark chocolate, and listen up for leptin’s long-forgotten call.

Protocol for Decreasing
Leptin Resistance

Irvingia Gabonensis is a herb showing remarkable success as a viable form of leptin resistance treatment. This herb also lowers cholesterol levels as well as fasting glucose levels. It also reduces the C-reactive protein that binds leptin and makes one resistant to it. Using this herb alone can help correct leptin resistance. Resveratrol and green tea extracts such as EGCG are also useful.

Neurotransmitters and Weight Loss

Low levels of brain serotonin are commonly associated with food cravings.

5-HTP 

  • 5-hydroxy-tryptophan (an amino acid) is the direct precursor of serotonin. Unlike SSRIs, which are serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, and can cause weight gain, serotonin precursors, such as 5-HTP, reduce appetite and cause weight loss.
  • Rx: one to two capsules (100mg to 200mg) twice daily, on an empty stomach

Fiber Intake and Weight Loss
An adequate intake of fiber is important for weight loss because it lowers the glycemic index (GI) of meals and promotes a feeling of fullness.

Inflammation, Liver Detoxification and Weight Loss
Fat is metabolised under the control of a hormone called leptin. Sub-clinical inflammation causes the release of leptin-desensitising inflammatory molecules such as C-reactive protein (CRP). When leptin sensitivity is reduced, weight loss becomes more difficult. Furthermore, any weight loss program places an increased toxic burden on the liver, due to metabolised fat releasing accumulated stored toxins into the blood stream. Supporting Phase 2 liver metabolism, to flush out circulating toxins, is an important part of any weight loss program.

An adequate intake of fiber  is important for weight loss because it lowers the glycemic index (GI) of meals and promotes a feeling of fullness. 

  • Curcumin: Curcumin is extracted from turmeric spice. It reduces CRP and other inflammatory markers. Curcumin also supports Phase 2 liver detoxification with piperine for enhanced absorption.
  • Silibinin: milkthistle extract is extremely useful in detoxifying the liver and helping with blood glucose and cholesterol management.

Sleep, Melatonin and
Weight Loss

Studies show that lack of sleep is associated with weight gain, insulin resistance and elevated cortisol. Elevation of yet another hormone called ghrelin also leads to weight gain with sleep deprivation.

Melatonin and Melatonin Slow Release 

  • Melatonin is responsible for healthy sleep architecture. It exhibits no addictive or tolerance-inducing properties. It is vailable in standard formulation for patients exhibiting difficulty falling asleep, and in slow release form, for patients who can’t maintain sleep.
  • Rx: one tablet (3mg) at bedtime

Additional Weight Loss Nutraceuticals

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) 

CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid. Clinical trials have shown that usage promotes weight loss (2000mg twice daily after food).

L-Carnitine
Studies show that L-carnitine (an amino acid) aids in weight loss by converting stored body fat into energy. Taking 1400mg of L-carnitine twice daily, with or without food, may assist with weight loss.

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References:

  • Hursting SD, Lavigne JA, et al. Calorie restriction, aging and cancer prevention: mechanisms of action and applicability to humans. Ann Rev Med. 2003;54:131-152
  • Holt S Specific anti-aging factors for natural clinicians. Townsend Letter Jul 2008:90-6
  • Tsai AG, Wadden TA. Systematic review: an evaluation of major commercial weight loss programs in the United States. Ann Intern Med 2005;142:56
  • Melanson E, Astrup A, Donahoo W. The Relationship between Dietary Fat and Fatty Acid Intake and Body Weight, Diabetes, and the Metabolic Syndrome. Ann Nutr Metab 2009;55:229-243
  • Stern L, Iqbal N, Seshadri P, et al: The effects of low-carbohydrate versus conventional weight loss diets in severely obese adults: one-year follow-up of a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2004;140:778
  • Skov AR, Toubro S, Bulow J, et al: Changes in renal function during weight loss induced by high vs low-protein low-fat diets in overweight subjects. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1999;23:1170
  • Votruba SB, Horvitz MA, Schoeller DA: The role of exercise in the treatment of obesity. Nutrition. 2000;16:179
  • Trayburn P, Beattie J. Physiological role of adipose tissue: white adipose tissue as an endocrine and secretory organ. Proc Nutr Soc. 2001;60:329-39
  • http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage =online&aid=804764
  • Radi R, Nikolić V, et al. Circadian rhythm of blood leptin level in obese and non-obese people. Coll Antropol. 2003;27:555-61
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14746143
  • Kalra S. Central leptin insufficiency syndrome: An interactive etiology for obesity, metabolic and neural diseases and
  • for designing new therapeutic interventions. Peptides. Jan 2008;29(1):127-38
  • http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196978107004305
  • Banks W, Coon A, et al. Triglycerides induce leptin resistance at the blood-brain barrier. Diabetes. 2004;53:1253-60
  • http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/53/5/1253.short
  • Seufert J. Leptin effects on pancreatic beta-cell gene expression and function. Diabetes. 2004;53(1):152-8
  • http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/53/suppl_1/S152.short
  • Zhang C, Rexrode K, et al. Abdominal Obesity and the Risk of All-Cause, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality. Sixteen Years of Follow-Up in US Women. Circulation. 2008;117:1658-67
  • http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/117/13/1658.abstract
  • Huo L, Munzberg H, et al. Role of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 in regulation of hypothalamic trh gene expression by leptin. Endocrinology. 2004;145:2516-23
  • http://endo.endojournals.org/content/145/5/2516.short
  • Wiegle D, Cummings D, et al. Roles of Leptin and Ghrelin in the Loss of Body Weight Caused by Low Fat, High Carbohydrate Diet. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Apr 2003;88(4):1577-86
  • http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/88/4/1577.short

Amazing Health Benefits of Spirulina and Chlorella

Amazing Health Benefits of Spirulina and Chlorella

Microalgae supplements containing spirulina and chlorella are very cost effective,  and are in fact, one of the best investments you can make in your economic and health future, because by consuming superfood supplements in the form of spirulina, chlorella blue-green algae, you can prevent many chronic diseases and metabolic disorders and thereby dramatically reduce the amount of dollars you’ll spend on healthcare costs and lost productivity down the road. In this sense, I’ve always said that supergreens and superfood supplements were free of charge — they actually pay you back, because they give you longer life, higher productivity, more energy, plus the opportunity to avoid high-priced prescription drugs, doctor visits, surgical procedures, and other useless procedures promoted by organized medicine.

From aluminium in deodorant to mercury in dental fillings, metal toxicity comes at us from every angle these days. The presence of these heavy metals (and others such as arsenic, cadmium and lead) has increased as industrialization and its waste products spread. We can work to avoid these substances as much as possible, but some exposure will still occur at times. Since even small amounts of heavy metals in the body can cause negative side effects like fatigue, headaches, digestive problems and skin conditions, it’s important to use natural methods to cleanse your body of these toxins.

Why Spirulina and Chlorella Are Effective for Heavy Metal Detox

The answer to natural heavy metal detoxification is as simple as a single-celled organism. Spirulina and chlorella are two separate micro-algae organisms which have existed on earth since the dawn of time. Both were revered as powerful superfoods in many traditional societies, and today are more relevant than ever for achieving overall health and well-being.

Spirulina has been shown as an effective chelating agent for removing toxins such as mercury, and radioactive substances from the body. It has also been used to remove cadmium and lead from waste water.

While some detoxifying supplements simply release toxins from cells and tissues, chlorella is particularly adept at binding to toxic metals and ushering them out of the entire system. Chlorella contains proteins and peptides which are designed to bind to these substances and carry them out of the body. The chlorophyll in chlorella also aids heavy metal detoxification.

Other Amazing Health
Benefits

Just as important as their ability to detox heavy metals, both spirulina and chlorella exhibit strong healing and regenerating capabilities. They are filled with beneficial vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats which work together in a synergistic way to provide energy and vitality.

Appropriate Dosage

Spirulina and chlorella can be used in very high doses for heavy metal detox. Because they are so effective at binding toxins and purging them from the body, they can actually reduce some of the common side effects associated with detoxification. A typical dosage of spirulina or chlorella for heavy metal detox is about 20 – 30 grams per day. They can be used together if desired. You may want to start with as little as 500mg daily and work up as needed to allow your body to adjust. After completing detox, you can taper down to a maintenance dosage of 3 – 6 grams per day.

It’s important to find a manufacturer of spirulina or chlorella who takes the proper steps to ensure a clean and digestible product free from fillers and additives. A little research can reveal which manufacturers are the most reputable.  (For further reading visit www.naturalnews.com)

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5 Immune-Boosting Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushroom

Medicinal Mushrooms are well known for their potent medicinal qualities. All medicinal mushrooms are effective at supporting immune health if they:

1. Are hot water extracts and 

2. contain effective levels of beta glucans

  • Beta glucans (non-linear polysaccharides) are structurally unique and have potent immune stimulating properties
  • β-glucans are known as “biological response modifiers” because of their ability to activate the immune system.
  • β-glucans seem to make the immune system work better without becoming overactive
  • Immunologists at the University of Louisville, discovered that a receptor on the surface of innate immune cells called Complement Receptor 3 (CR3 or CD11b/CD18) is responsible for binding to beta-glucans, allowing the immune cells to recognize them as “non-self.”

While there is an abundance of mushrooms with medicinal properties, one of the most well-known is Trametes versicolor, also known as Coriolus versicolor.

Commonly called turkey tail due to its striking colors, Trametes versicolor has been used around the world for centuries to treat various conditions. Perhaps the most impressive quality of the turkey tail mushroom is its ability to enhance the health of your immune system. Here are 5 immune-boosting benefits of the turkey tail mushroom.    (Info below summarized obtained from article written by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD)

5 Immune-Boosting Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushroom

1. Rich in antioxidants

Oxidative stress results from an imbalance between antioxidants and unstable molecules known as free radicals. This can result in cellular damage and chronic inflammation. This imbalance has also been linked to an increased risk of developing health conditions, for example cancer and heart disease. disease.

Turkey tail contains a wide variety of phenol and flavonoid antioxidants which help promote your immune system health by reducing inflammation and stimulating the release of protective compounds.

2. Contains
Immune-Boosting
Polysaccharopeptides

Polysaccharopeptides are protein-bound polysaccharides (carbohydrates) that are found in, for example, turkey tail mushroom extract. Krestin (PSK) and Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP) are two types of polysaccharopeptides found in turkey tails.

PSK stimulates dendritic cells that promote immunity to toxins and regulate the immune response. In addition, PSK activates specialized white blood cells called macrophages, which protect your body against harmful substances like certain bacteria.

3. May Improve Immune Function in People With Certain Cancers

Research has demonstrated that turkey tail mushrooms may have antitumor properties, thought to be related to its immune-boosting effects.
One test-tube study found that PSK, the polysaccharopeptide found in turkey tail mushrooms, inhibited the growth and spread of human colon cancer cells (.

What’s more, a certain type of polysaccharide found in turkey tail mushrooms called Coriolus versicolor glucan (CVG) may suppress certain tumors.
Researchers attributed this development to enhanced immune response.

4. May Enhance the
Efficacy of Certain
Cancer Treatments

Several research studies have demonstrated that turkey tail mushroom enhances the efficacy of both chemotherapy and radiation in people with certain cancers.

5. May Enhance Gut Health

Keeping a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut is critical for maintaining a strong immune system. Your gut bacteria interact with immune cells and directly impact your immune response
Turkey tail contains prebiotics, which help nourish these helpful bacteria.

Turkey tail mushroom may positively impact gut bacterial balance by enhancing the growth of beneficial bacteria while suppressing harmful species.

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Coriolus (Turkey Tail)
@ Dr Golding’s Medical Practice

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