Connect with us

Health

Milk Thistle Promotes Liver Function

Published

on

Milk Thistle
Photo Credit: www.medium.com

Dr. MercolaGuest Writer

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a member of the Asteraceae family and an herbaceous perennial native to Southern Europe and Asia. The plant enjoys full sun and grows to a height of nearly 5 feet. It blooms between July and August with deep purple to pink flowers.

Throughout history, people have used the fruit and seeds of the milk thistle plant as a treatment for liver disorders. The plant goes by several other names, including Holy thistle, Mary thistle, Our Lady’s thistle, wild artichoke and St. Mary thistle.

Traditionally, the leaves have been harvested to use in salads and the flower may be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. However, it is the seeds of the milk thistle that were prized for their medicinal activity.

According to the NIH, the oldest recorded use of the plant was by Dioscorides, who believed it could be used as a treatment for snake bites. During the Middle Ages it was used as an antidote for liver toxins and by 1898 physicians were using it to treat liver, kidney and spleen disorders. Currently, the German Commission E lists milk thistle for the treatment of hepatic cirrhosis and toxin-induced liver damage and to support chronic inflammatory liver conditions.

Milk Thistle Protects Your Liver Health

The main bioactive compound in milk thistle is a group of flavonolignans called silymarin. Flavonolignans are a group of flavonoids with known hepatoprotective properties. Silymarin consists of seven different flavonolignans among which silybin has the highest concentration and biological effect. Nearly 70% of silymarin is in the form of silybin A and silybin B.

Silymarin can be isolated from milk thistle seeds, and while the term milk thistle and silymarin have been used interchangeably, it is technically inaccurate. Multiple studies have demonstrated the ability of silymarin to help protect your liver, and it is regularly used in individuals whose liver has been damaged by nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis and liver cancer.

Silymarin also has a protective effect against amatoxin, a deadly toxin produced by the death cap mushroom. Nearly 90% of fatalities from mushrooms worldwide are due to the death cap mushroom. Symptoms manifest six to eight hours after ingestion and are followed by kidney and liver failure.

In one review, researchers found nearly 1,500 documented cases where the mortality was less than 10% in patients treated with Legalon® SIL, a pharmaceutical silibinin compound. In another case report, doctors successfully treated two patients who accidentally ingested the death cap mushroom with a combination of n-acetylcysteine, cimetidine, silibinin and high-dose penicillin.

Benefits to liver health from silymarin likely result from the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic properties of the compound. Silymarin also has demonstrated the ability to reduce virus-related liver damage and has a direct antiviral effect when administered intravenously in patients with hepatitis C.

Silymarin has a positive effect on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is a more advanced form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The compound can also help reduce the fibrotic changes that lead to liver cirrhosis. In combination with vitamin E, researchers found silymarin helps improve liver function tests and can be:

“… an alternative valid therapeutic option particularly when other drugs are not indicated or have failed or as a complementary treatment associated with other therapeutic programs.”

Your Liver: The Great Detoxifier

One of the largest organs in your body is your liver, and for good reason. It performs many metabolic and detoxifying functions, helping to convert toxic substances into harmless substances that are then released from your body.

Your liver is in your upper abdominal cavity just under your right diaphragm, where it sits on top of your stomach. A normal healthy adult liver weighs about 3 pounds and is made of two lobes connected by a band of connective tissue.

Just inside the hollow under the liver is the gallbladder, where your body stores bile. At any given time, your liver holds about 13% of your body’s blood supply, which it filters and then excretes toxins in 800 millilitres to 1,000 millilitres of bile each day. This is emptied into your gallbladder.

In addition to detoxifying your blood, your liver also produces some of the proteins for blood plasma, converts excess sugar into glycogen and helps balance the production of glucose. Your liver is also responsible for regulating blood clotting mechanisms, resisting infections and clearing bilirubin that is formed when hemoglobin breaks down.

Silymarin offers significant benefits to your liver, including the ability to increase glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant crucial for liver detoxification. Researchers have also found it may help your liver cells to regenerate, supporting the only organ in your body capable of regeneration.

Incidence of Liver Disease on the Rise

As you can imagine, liver damage affects these functions and more. Although many tend to equate liver disease with alcohol use, as many as 100 million people suffer from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is associated with obesity. As the incidence of obesity in the U.S. has risen, so has NAFLD. In 2017-2018, the age adjusted prevalence of obesity in the U.S. was 42.4% of adults.

Risk factors for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease include obesity, diabetes, high triglyceride levels and poor eating habits. The condition is sometimes called a silent disease because you may not experience any symptoms and many people may live with the condition without developing further liver damage. If NAFLD progresses with signs of inflammation and cell damage, it is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

NAFLD is also the most common type of liver disease found in children. Data released in January 2020 from a large cohort in the U.K. found 20% of young adults had NAFLD.

When the researchers widened the data set, they found over 20% had evidence of NAFLD and 2.5% had developed fibrosis. Breaking out the data further, they found at 17 years, 2.5% had moderate to severe levels, yet by age 24 this had risen to 13%.

Silymarin Reduces Cellular Inflammation

Many of the health benefits attributed to silymarin are the result of the compound’s capacity to help reduce cellular inflammation. Research has suggested silymarin does this using a two-phase process similar to that used by other natural compounds such as curcumin and epigallocatechin gallate, found in green tea.

During the first phase there was a rapid increase in genetic expression that is linked with cellular stress. After this follows a longer sustained depression of genetic expression that is found with inflammation. As described by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, in this study, silymarin:

  • Induced endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Triggered activating transcription factor 4 (ATF-4) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and inhibited mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)
  • Modulated the actions of many types of metabolites
  • Inhibited inflammatory signalling pathways, when given on a prolonged basis (at 24 hours, in this study)

An important factor in those steps is the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). This is an enzyme that sometimes is called the “metabolic master switch” since it plays an important role in regulating metabolism. According to the Natural Medicine Journal, AMPK regulates biological activities to normalize energy imbalances. In addition:

“AMPK helps coordinate the response to these stressors, shifting energy toward cellular repair, maintenance, or a return to homeostasis and improved likelihood of survival. The hormones leptin and adiponectin activate AMPK. In other words, activating AMPK can produce the same benefits as exercise, dieting, and weight loss — the lifestyle modifications considered beneficial for a range of maladies.”

More Health Benefits With Milk Thistle

These factors mean milk thistle offers a wide range of health benefits. Milk thistle extracts have been tested for anticancer actions in prostate cancer both in the lab and in clinical trials. According to one study, “extracts enriched for isosilybin B, or isosilybin B alone, might possess improved potency in prostate cancer prevention and treatment.”

The plant also has neuroprotective effects and has been used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in modern society and neurological diseases such as cerebral ischemia for well over 2,000 years. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may contribute to the neuroprotective effects that help prevent a decline in brain function as you age.

In one study, researchers used silymarin to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in an animal model that helped reduce the potential for dementia in obese animal subjects. Other studies have also demonstrated the ability of milk thistle to reduce amyloid plaques in animal models associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Silymarin has also demonstrated antiosteoclastic activity in animal studies, causing one research team to conclude it significantly prevents bone loss, potentially “either due to direct interaction with Erbeta [an estrogen receptor beta-isoform] or increasing bone formation parameters including calcium, phosphorus, osteocalcin and PTH.”

The American Pregnancy Association writes that blessed thistle has been used for hundreds of years to raise a woman’s milk supply, and it is especially effective when taken with fenugreek.

One published study of 50 healthy lactating women demonstrated oral supplementation with 420 milligrams per day of silymarin boosted their milk supply by 85.94% as compared to the women taking a placebo whose milk supply went up 32.09%. None of the women dropped out and no one reported unwanted side effects.

Considerations Before Planting Milk Thistle at Home

Before planting milk thistle in your garden or picking up a milk thistle supplement, there are a few things to consider. Research has found silibinin is poorly absorbed as it has low water solubility. Using a novel formulation, combining silibinin with phosphatidylcholine, researchers were able to improve the solubility and bioavailability, which markedly improved the therapeutic efficiency.

If you’re hoping to grow your own plants in your backyard and harvest for tea and salads, be forewarned the plant is highly invasive and spreads quickly. While you may not mind having it all over your yard, it doesn’t respect your neighbour’s boundaries and will likely end up in their yard as well.

Milk thistle is also highly toxic to livestock, so if you have grazing animals it’s important you don’t plant it outside. Milk thistle has adapted to growing even in poor quality soil. The plants enjoy full sun and once the flowers have begun to dry, they’ll be ready for harvest.

Cut the flowers and place them in a paper bag, storing the bag in a dry place so the flower heads dry. Once all the moisture is gone, shake the bag to separate the seeds, which can then be kept in a dry airtight container.

The seeds can be powdered in a coffee grinder and sprinkled on your salads, added to smoothies or even raw juice. You can use the seeds to make your own tea, which you’ll find a recipe for in “Magnificent Milk Thistle.”

Originally published at mercola.com and reproduced here with permission.

Recommended Articles by Dr. Joseph Mercola
About the Author

Born and raised in the inner city of Chicago, IL, Dr. Joseph Mercola is an osteopathic physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Mercola served as the chairman of the family medicine department at St. Alexius Medical Center for five years, and in 2012 was granted fellowship status by the American College of Nutrition (ACN).

While in practice in the late 80s, Dr. Mercola realized the drugs he was prescribing to chronically ill patients were not working. By the early 90s, he began exploring the world of natural medicine, and soon changed the way he practiced medicine.

In 1997 Dr. Mercola founded Mercola.com, which is now routinely among the top 10 health sites on the internet. His passion is to transform the traditional medical paradigm in the United States. “The existing medical establishment is responsible for killing and permanently injuring millions of Americans… You want practical health solutions without the hype, and that’s what I offer.”

Visit Mercola.com for more information, or read Dr. Mercola’s full bio and resumé here.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Awareness

The Sun And Skin Cancer: Examining The Truths, Pseudo-Truths And Lies Of Mainstream Science

Published

on

Sun bathing
Photo Credit: https://medium.com/@lisatunstall12

Dr. Michelle KmiecGuest Writer

So we hear the sun is good for you… and then the sun is bad for you… and then later the sun is good for you again. Or is it bad for you now? … I just can’t keep it straight. Isn’t this game of ‘good-bad-good’ played on just about every topic under the sun? (Terrible pun, I know… sorry about that)?

We are a society immersed in fear… fear… and more fear. So the sun being another object of fear isn’t any big surprise.

The notion that we, people that live on the surface of this planet, should cover-up and stay out of the sun as much as possible has always struck a strange chord with me. I could believe something like this if we, in fact, lived underground and were nocturnal cave dwellers; only to come out at night to work and play.

But we are not nocturnal by nature. We sleep at night and are active during the day. Did nature get this wrong? Could this perhaps be nature’s biggest joke on us? Or are we the ones who are confused? To find out, let’s take a look at how our bodies interact with natural sunlight…

There are reasons why we are active during the day rather than at night, and our physiology proves it:

  1. The pineal gland provides melatonin at night and serotonin during the day.
  2. We have excellent day vision and poor night vision.
  3. Vitamin D is a vitamin-like hormone that our body makes only with direct sun exposure.
  4. Not to mention that we are “programmed” to be drawn to the sun. Don’t we all just love that warm sunny day?  Doesn’t it do absolute wonders on your state of mind?

Nonetheless, we’ve been told to stay out of the sun, cover up, and lather on the sunscreen on. And aren’t we totally brain washed regarding sunscreen? We are told that if we don’t put on the sunscreen, we’ll get wrinkles and/or get skin cancer. Right? Sound familiar?

And now the latest myth about being out in the sun… it is becoming more dangerous due to the shrinking ozone layer causing the sun rays to be stronger than ever before, of course causing more skin cancer. But that’s another topic altogether.

UVA and UVB Rays:

Before we go into more detail, here’s a little refresher on UVB and UVA rays.

UVA rays:
  • Passes through window glass.
  • Is always present despite changes in altitude or weather.
  • Penetrates deep into skin layers
  • Totals 5% of the sun’s rays
  • Are 20 times more abundant than UVB rays
UVB rays:
  • Do not pass through window glass
  • Cause the skin to burn and tan
  • Are responsible for normal vitamin D production
  • Vary in intensity with the weather conditions, altitude, season and time of day
  • Totals 0.5% of the sun’s rays
Truth, Pseudo-Truth, and Lies

So let’s take a good look at what is truth, what is pseudo-truth, and what is a flat out lie.

Truth: There has been an increase in skin cancer rates in the United States, as reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Question: Why would there be an increase of skin cancer despite our use of sunscreen?

Pseudo-truth: While most sunscreens advertise that they protect against UVB rays, they actually do little to protect from UVA rays. There are, however, sunscreens that do protect against UVA rays, such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide as well as products that contain mexoryl.

Flat out lie: So instead of asking the question as to why skin cancer is on the increase, we continue to slap on the sunscreen or worse, stay out of the sun altogether. But is it the sun that is really so dangerous or is there another cause that is conveniently overlooked?

The answer is surprising, and it comes straight from the FDA as well as The American Skin Cancer foundation (believe it or not).

In one word: photosensitivity

The Truth About Sunscreens

A report from the FDA states the following:

The FDA reports that the following list of substances cause photosensitivity or have photo-reactive agents in them, and that chronic Sun exposure while using these chemicals can cause Skin Cancer:

  • Medications
  • Food additives
  • Deodorants
  • Antibacterial soaps
  • Petroleum products (including Vaseline)
  • Antihistamines
  • Cold and allergy medicines
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) (including aspirin (Amigesic), ibuprofen (Motrin), Aleve (naproxen sodium), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine))
  • Antibiotics (including the tetracyclines and sulfonamides)
  • Sunscreens (containing bergamot oil, sandalwood oil, benzophenones, PABA, cinnamates, salicylates, anthranilates, PSBA, mexenone, and oxybenzone)

Know anybody that uses any of these products? You perhaps? Can we really say that only the sun that causes skin cancer?

Isn’t it interesting there are no warning labels on any of these products? Especially sunscreens?!Makes you wonder doesn’t it? But wait… it gets better.

The FDA states, in the same report, that chronic exposure to photo-reactive chemicals (like those listed above) can cause:

  • Premature skin aging: Due to the sun…. or chemicals?
  • Stronger allergic reactions: Why are human beings seemingly allergic to Earth?
  • Cataracts: Visual disorders?
  • Blood vessel damage:  Cardiovascular Disorders?
  • Weakened immune system: Autoimmune Disorders?
  • Skin cancer: Is this really a surprise?

You don’t have to be a scientist to put some logic to the test here: Sunscreens cause photosensitivity, and those with photosensitivity are more likely to develop cancer than those with “normal”skin.

Referring to the FDA’s report on the substances that cause photosensitivity, an article in Science Daily ‘Medications May Increase Sensitivity to Sunlight reported:

“Though these drugs do not directly increase the risk of skin cancer, serious sunburns, particularly in children, have been associated with an increased incidence of skin cancers later in life

If you take another look at that list, we are talking about a lot more than just drugs! Food additives, deodorants and soaps all appear on that list.

It amazes me that we continue to be told that the solution to this problem is to simply put on sunscreen! But wait, oops… sunscreen is on that list too!

Why aren’t there warning labels on the sunscreen informing us that it can cause photosensitivity and cancer? Sounds a little counter-productive to me.

Sun Exposure

Flat out lie: Those who spend more time in the sun are more likely to get skin cancer. Thus, the reason it is so important to cover up and stay out of the sun as much as possible.

A must read is the latest report out of the United Kingdom, “Sunlight Robbery”. An excerpt states the following [I have bolded areas for emphasis]:

“…there are real doubts about the way in which sun exposure causes melanoma. Adults who work outdoors and children who play outdoors are regularly exposed to the sun and are less likely to develop melanoma than those who work or play more indoors. While people who have irregular exposure to the sun and those who recall being sunburnt have a higher risk of melanoma, especially if they have a fair skin type. Occasional exposure of skin to sunlight appears to carry the greatest risk of melanoma, while regular exposure of skin to sunlight appears to protect against melanoma, probably because it provides higher levels of vitamin D which are protective against cancer in general.”

Of course, sunscreen does a great job of protecting us from UVB rays, but there is a problem. It’s the UVB rays that our body needs for vitamin D production. And if Vitamin D is protective against cancer… well…

So What Are We To Do?

Firstly, use natural alternatives of the products listed in the FDA report.

Sure, there are some substances in nature that cause photosensitivity as well. But if the only interest of the FDA, and other groups such as The American Skin Cancer Foundation, is to protect the general public, then why aren’t  they looking at the chemical ingredients that are in the products which are known to cause photosensitivity? Why isn’t more interest being given to alternative treatments that could prevent these photosensitive reactions from medications? Not to mention all the other side-effects?

Instead, mainstream science stands steadfast in its ideology against alternative treatments. Puzzling, isn’t it?

Recommended Articles by Dr. Michelle Kmiec
About the Author

Dr. Michelle Kmiec is a board-certified chiropractic physician who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, and a minor in Medical Research. She is a life-long athlete who after curing herself 100% naturally from MS and chronic anxiety, became an avid nutrition health researcher/promoter.

She has been featured in many Health magazines and has been a guest on radio talk shows in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. She is the author of the book “Healthcare Freedom Revolution: Exposing the Lies, Deceit and Greed of the Medical Profession”, Founder of Online Holistic Health, and a contributing writer for other popular informative health website/blogs. She is also co-founder of Crazy Meets Common Sense! – the Podcast that makes sense out of the crazy, to help you live a more healthy, fulfilling and empowering life!

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Health

The Truth About Insomnia, Depression And Anxiety

Published

on

Woman in park stressed
Photo Credit: Pexels

Dr. Michelle KmiecGuest Writer

In today’s fast-paced society, it isn’t any wonder that so many people suffer from depression. But is the answer to this modern day epidemic really found with big pharma meds? The answer is unmistakably NO! Depression is generally a symptom of a much bigger problem – the general health of America (and other countries) has been on a dramatic decline due to chronic exposure to multiple stressors. Some of these stressors include:

  • Environmental (air, water pollution, processed and chemical ridden foods, etc)
  • Emotional (work, societal, family, etc)
  • Physical (lack or over exercise, smoking, excess alcohol, etc)

… all of which significantly deplete the body of vital nutrients. If the nutrients the body requires for optimal health are not replenished, symptoms of disease are soon to follow. So let’s talk a bit about these nutrients.

Without amino acids, life would not be possible. However, in order for amino acids to function properly, a balance must be maintained in conjunction with vitamin, minerals and other substances which are necessary for good health. For example tryptophan (precursor to serotonin), must first react with Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. Water-soluble vitamins like B vitamin and Vitamin C are easily destroyed. And if they are not replaced daily, a deficiency is sure to follow. In the case of tryptophan, if there is insufficient Vitamin B6 and/or Vitamin C in the body, the tryptophan-serotonin pathway is then blocked resulting in low serotonin levels in the body. And the effects of low serotonin levels in the body are extremely well-known. They are:

  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eventual hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Many people have tried to use tryptophan to help with these conditions only to later give up because they did not achieve the results they were hoping for. Without addressing all of the deficiencies, you can see that the result would be impossible to achieve. Unfortunately, even modern medicine hasn’t made this obvious connection. Instead of addressing the cause, countless big pharma meds have been created to treat the symptoms of these conditions (many based on serotonin, the very hormone that is dependent upon tryptophan). Popular prescriptions for insomnia have recently made headlines due to “Risk of Death”. The following are only some that have been named:

  • Ambien
  • Restoril
  • Sonata
  • Lunesta

A recent article on FOX News.com stated,

“People who took more than 132 pills a year were not only  five times more likely to die, but were also atgreater risk of developing several types of cancer, and 35% more likely to be diagnosed with any type of cancer, overall”

In the UK, the following was said in an eye opening article;

“Experts have warned that sleeping pills prescribed in the UK could increase the risk of death more than four-fold.” also finding that… “The meagre benefits of hypnotics, as critically reviewed by groups without financial interest, would not justify substantial risks.” – Sleeping Pills ‘Quadruple Risk Of Death’

The list of drugs used for treating anxiety is almost endless, however some of the more popular include:

  • Cymbalta
  • Ativan
  • Lexapro
  • Paxil
  • Valium
  • Xanax

Dr. Peter Bongiorno, naturopath, wrote an interesting article in Psychology Today. He states,

“These anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications are among the most prescribed in the United States – and possibly the most dangerous. According to a report in the 2010 Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, people who use anti-anxiety medication have a 36% increased mortality risk. That means persons using these drugs are almost 40% more likely to die than people who do not use them…”

To further support this argument was a Canadian study done 2010 finding that the dangers of anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs were significant enough to conclude the following;

“…physicians should systematically consider possibilities for non-pharmacological treatment of sleep disturbances and anxiety.”

A highly recommended read is Anti-Anxiety Drugs: The Facts About the Effects published by Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Anti-depressants are not in short supply. The list of these drugs grows every year, no doubt to the high demand and obvious profit that is tied to this modern day epidemic. Some of the more popular are:

  • Wellbutrin
  • Cymbalta
  • Paxil
  • Prozac
  • Zoloft

But these drugs are not what they were advertised to be. The following movie is revealing:

Depression is NOT a Chemical Imbalance Here is the PROOF!

Furthermore, recently the FDA warned patients and physicians of the link between SSRI antidepressants and Birth Defects. For more, see Natural Cure for Depression Silenced?

So for many it’s a question of, “What do I do now?” And the answer has been here all along. Real nutrition, supplement the deficiencies, stress management, and moderate exercise. Personally, I experienced all three symptoms on that list: insomnia, anxiety and possibly depression. Never did the medical doctors (and I went to four looking for answers):

  • Show concern about my lifestyle habits (stress, exercise, etc)
  • Show concern for chemicals in the air, water and food supply
  • Show concern about nutritional deficiencies
  • Show concern as to WHY I felt these symptoms
Medication tablets on table
Yale Study Reveals 1 In 3 Drugs Have Safety Issues Even After FDA Approval. Click here to read the article.

What they did however, was give me free sample of drugs to, “Try it and see if they help, and if it doesn’t, we’ll try a different drug (or add another one)”. (See “My Story of Healing“) Another example an amino acid deficiency and disease can be found with arginine. An arginine can potentially cause high blood pressure and eventual cardiovascular disease. This is because arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide (NO), which is vital for healthy cardiovascular health. This is evident by the drugs most commonly prescribed for angina pectoris (severe chest pain due to a lack of blood, thus oxygen supply to the heart muscle). For more, see Heart Disease: Nitric Oxide/Arginine Cure? Some of the more popular drugs include:

  • Caduet
  • Coreg
  • Nitrostate
  • Ranexa

The key to true health lays in cause, not masking the symptoms. With depression/anxiety and cardiovascular/heart disease being major health issues of today, you can see the importance of having amino acids in balance with other nutrients. Without amino acids, many vitamins and minerals could not be utilized in the body. And with the U.S. steadfast in a nutrient deficient diet consisting of never-ending processed foods, fast-foods, and with added chemicals, preservatives, and food additives…as well as the increasing dispersal of prescription drugs for everything under the sun, it’s more than likely that we suffer from amino acid imbalances at a greater extent than we once thought. If this wasn’t the case, wouldn’t people be getting healthier rather than sicker!

References
Recommended Articles by Dr. Michelle Kmiec
About the Author

Dr. Michelle Kmiec is a board-certified chiropractic physician who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, and a minor in Medical Research. She is a life-long athlete who after curing herself 100% naturally from MS and chronic anxiety, became an avid nutrition health researcher/promoter.

She has been featured in many Health magazines and has been a guest on radio talk shows in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. She is the author of the book “Healthcare Freedom Revolution: Exposing the Lies, Deceit and Greed of the Medical Profession”, Founder of Online Holistic Health, and a contributing writer for other popular informative health website/blogs. She is also co-founder of Crazy Meets Common Sense! – the Podcast that makes sense out of the crazy, to help you live a more healthy, fulfilling and empowering life!

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Healthy Living

The Link Between Stress And Intestinal Parasites – And What To Do About Them

Published

on

Gut health
Photo Credit: Pexels

Dr. Michelle KmiecGuest Writer

Many of you already know that I was extremely ill just over ten years ago. My symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis were text book. I could barely walk, was dangerously thin (98 pounds), and suffered with electrical symptoms in my limbs and torso. Needless to say… it was awful! (see my story here: Crossroads in Life – A Journey Back to Health)

However, I did not want to believe that my only option was to take big pharma drugs, and live my life bound to a wheelchair; and that was my predicted future. So I decided to be my own guinea pig, and try as many different holistic treatments that offered hope. The first thing, on my holistic menu of options was to totally detox my body, and this included clearing out any intestinal (as well as liver and heart) parasites.

At first I, like many of you, couldn’t believe that it was possible to have parasites in the first place! After all, I live in the United States! And besides, if you just Google “intestinal parasites”, you’ll find that websites such as WebMD state that parasites in the USA are rare. But other sites such as CureZone offer thousands of anecdotal stories of people who 100% disagree.

Yeah I know… ”anecdotal” is hardly “evidence based”. Yet, as far as I am concerned, anecdotal stories are far more accurate than what western medicine tells us, especially since people are sicker today than ever before. Furthermore, you can now add my name to the “anecdotal” list!

When I decided to cure myself naturally, I was not prepared for the amount of research I was going to have to do. But I was scared, and I wanted treatments, remedies, and therapies that at least had a track record of helping others. Happily, as I learned more and more, I found these “holistic” treatments were actually more physiologically sound than the current medical options for health conditions and disease that are offered today.

As it turns out, the more your body becomes acidic, the more fertile your system becomes for the exponential growth of parasites, reduction of good intestinal flora, and the decrease of nutrients. This all leads to a weakened immune system which can then reach a point of disease.

How does your body become acidic?

Chronic Stress!

This stress can take the form of many things… such as:

  • Constant worry
  • Always wanting to be in control
  • Always too hard on yourself
  • Issues surrounding money
  • Emotional conflicts with family and loved ones
  • Living your life to someone else’s expectations

I’m sure you can come up with a few more solid reasons for chronic stress. Of course, what do many of us do to counteract all this stress? Well, we drink too much, smoke, eat too much, and take big pharma meds. for the depression  and  anxiety that all of this stress ultimately causes — all of which contribute to the acidity of the body (and other stress factors).

I was no exception! My body had become so depleted nutritionally that I couldn’t even absorb the nutrition I so desperately needed.

The proof was the result of a parasite cleanse – the release of literally hundreds of parasites via elimination! Hands down, not a pleasant experience, but in the end (no pun intended) it was the beginning of my journey back to health.

So what did I do to eliminate the parasites? I used a product that is found in most health food and grocery stores: ParaGONE by Renew Life. Could there be better formulas out there? Maybe… But this is the one I used, and found it 100% effective.

Oddly enough, at the same time I developed a craving for a variety of seeds and spices. Sure it could have been because I was deficient in zinc, magnesium, etc, which are found in many seeds… but honestly, I was deficient in everything at this point! After a bit of research, I found something that hit the nail on the head a bit more accurately…

Seeds, Spices, and Oil Kill Parasites!

That’s right, many seeds, spices, and oils kill parasites.

  • Pumpkin seeds, sunflower, and sesame are known to kill and/or “stun” parasites.
  • Papaya seeds (in combination with honey) kill/remove parasites.
  • Garlic and onions are high in amino acids which contains sulphur; thus the strong door. It is because of the sulphur that they are deadly to parasites.
  • Grapeseed oil and coconut oil are both known for their anti-parasitic properties.
  • Cayeene & Turmeric, which are anti-parasitic AND anti-inflammatory, can also help heal the damage done to your gut by parasites.
This blew me away!  

So, I made a gourmet snack with my new seed appetite!  I bought raw pumpkin and papaya seeds and covered them with grapeseed oil. I added garlic, sea salt, cayenne, and turmeric. Then baked them for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit. Delicious!

You should be aware, however, that in some cases you may experience something that is known as healing reaction/crisis. Also known as the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction, it is a reaction to endotoxins released by the death of harmful organisms in the body. This means that you may have gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, chills, nausea, fever, and aches-pains. Don’t worry though, this typically doesn’t last for more than a few days and the symptoms are mild, and it simply means you are experiencing “die-off” – the parasites are dying, and that’s a good thing!

It’s important to drink a lot of water to help flush out your system. Yes, this means flushing out the parasites too, and you may notice these parasites in your stool. I know this sounds scary, but it truly isn’t. Better in your stool than in your gut, right?

Luckily, the die-off symptoms from treating yourself with seeds and spices are far less than die-off symptoms from taking products such as ParaGONE. However, if you choose to take the more aggressive treatment, keep in mind to start the detox SLOW. And if your die-off symptoms become a bit too much…. slow down some more.

Man in sea drinking water from a bottle
10 Foods that Detox the body. Click here to read the article.
One more thing!

Parasites secrete ammonia in small amounts when alive, and even more when they die off. When this happens, it significantly adds to the symptoms of the healing crisis. Though drinking a lot water helps, there is something else that I consider very vital – the amino acid L-ornithine.

“L-ornithine acts like sponge or magnet. Because of its affinity to ammonia (due to its involvement during the Krebs cycle), l- ornithine helps the body remove the ammonia. This can significantly reduce the effects of the healing crisis.”

Remember, healing takes time… so be kind to your body!

Recommended Articles by Dr. Michelle Kmiec
About the Author

Dr. Michelle Kmiec is a board-certified chiropractic physician who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, and a minor in Medical Research. She is a life-long athlete who after curing herself 100% naturally from MS and chronic anxiety, became an avid nutrition health researcher/promoter.

She has been featured in many Health magazines and has been a guest on radio talk shows in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. She is the author of the book “Healthcare Freedom Revolution: Exposing the Lies, Deceit and Greed of the Medical Profession”, Founder of Online Holistic Health, and a contributing writer for other popular informative health website/blogs. She is also co-founder of Crazy Meets Common Sense! – the Podcast that makes sense out of the crazy, to help you live a more healthy, fulfilling and empowering life!

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Awareness

Study: Organic Diet “Significantly Reduces” Urinary Pesticide Levels In Children & Adults

Published

on

Photo of organic apples on branch
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

What Happened:  A 2019 study published in the journal Environmental Research titled, “Organic diet intervention significantly reduces urinary pesticide levels in U.S. children and adults” highlighted that diet is the primary source of pesticide exposure in both children and adults in the United States. It found that an organic diet significantly reduced neonicotinoid, OP pyrethroid, 2,4-D exposure, with the greatest reduction observed in malathion, clothianidin, and chlorpyrifos.

The researchers noted that all of us are exposed “to a cocktail of toxic synthetic pesticides linked to a range of health problems from our daily diets.” They explain how “certified organic food is produced without these pesticides,” and ask the question, “Can eating organic really reduce levels of pesticides in our bodies?” They tested four American families that don’t typically eat organic food to find out. All pesticides detected in the body dropped an average of 60.5% after just six days on an organic diet.

First, we tested the levels of pesticides in their bodies on a non-organic diet for six days. We found 14 chemicals representing potential exposure to 40 different pesticides in every study participant. These included organophosphates, pyrethroids, neonicotinoids and the phenoxy herbicide 2,4-D. Some of the pesticides we found are linked to increased risk of cancer, infertility, learning disabilities, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and more. (source)

The most significant drops occurred in a class of nerve agent pesticides called organo-phosphates. This class includes chlorpyrifos, a highly toxic pesticide linked to increased rates of autism, learning disabilities and reduced IQ in children. Organophosphates are so harmful to children’s developing brains that scientists have called for a full ban. (source)

A lot of the food we now spray on our food were initially developed as nerve gases for chemical warfare:

To understand this controversial issue it is helpful to look at the history of pesticide use. Prior to World War II, the pesticides that we use now did not yet exist. Some pesticides currently in use were in fact developed during World War II for use in warfare. The organophosphate insecticides were developed as nerve gases, and the phenoxy herbicides, including 2,4-D (the most commonly used herbicide in Canada), were created to eradicate the Japanese rice crop, and later used as a component of Agent Orange to defoliate large areas in jungle warfare. After World War II, these chemicals began to be used as pesticides in agricultural production, for environmental spraying of neighbourhoods, for mosquito eradication, and for individual home and garden use. –  Ontario College of Family Physicians

It’s also noteworthy to mention that A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition carried out a meta-analysis based on 343 peer-reviewed publications that indicate “statistically significant and meaningful differences in composition between organic and non-organic crops/crop based foods.” The study found that

The study found that Phenolic acids are 19% higher in organic foods,  Flavanones are 69% higher in organic foods (linked to reduced risk of several age-related chronic diseases), Stilbenes are 28% higher in organic foods, Flavones are 26% higher in organic foods, Flavonol is 50% higher in organic foods and Anthocyanins are 51% higher in organic foods.

Apart from nutritional content, the study also measured for concentrations of the toxic metal Cadmium (Cd), finding that in conventional foods, “significantly higher concentrations” were found. Conventional foods appear to have nearly 50% more of this heavy metal than organic foods. Furthermore, significant differences were also detected for other minerals and vitamins.

When it comes to pesticide residues on non-organic foods, the authors found that the volume of pesticide residues was four times higher in conventional crops.

Another study conducted by researchers from RMIT university nearly 5 years ago published in the journal Environmental Research found that eating an organic diet for just one week significantly reduced pesticide exposure in adults by up to 90%.

Photo of alkaline rich foods
How does the Alkaline Diet Affect Gut Health? Click here to read the article.
The Takeaway

At the end of the day, people are and have been voting with their dollar. More grocery stores and brands are offering organic options, and the industry is starting to recognize that it’s in demand. Furthermore, more people are growing whatever food they can. At the end of the day, sprayed food not only has implications for human health, but it’s detrimental to the environment as well. This is a big problem on planet Earth, we are constantly told that GMO food and the spraying of crops is the only way to combat world hunger and changes in climate, but this sentiment goes against a plethora of information showing that local organic farming/agriculture is the most sustainable.

This article (Study: Organic Diet “Significantly Reduces” Urinary Pesticide Levels In Children & Adults) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending Now