Connect with us

Health

More Evidence Supports Benefits Of Medicinal Mushrooms

Published

on

Medicinal Mushrooms
Photo Credit: Pexels

Dr. MercolaGuest Writer

Major depression is a common mental health disorder in the U.S. for which many have been prescribed antidepressants. Results from a small study using the mushroom compound psilocybin coupled with psychotherapy revealed 67% of participants had a positive response to the intervention by the first week of treatment and 71% by the fourth week. This is a better and faster response than in those taking antidepressants.

In 2017, the National Institute of Mental Health estimated 17.3 million adults living in the U.S. experienced at least one episode of major depression, which was 7.1% of all adults. The prevalence was higher in females than in males and highest in those aged 18 to 25 years. Yet, as arresting as those numbers are, in the current pandemic, experts believe the numbers are rising even further.

As early as April 2020, just three months after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S., a mental health index showed 27% of people surveyed were uncertain of their ability to cope with the coming changes. The same index gave America a mental health score of 67, which places a typical American in the lowest 7% of a customary benchmark.

A study published in August 2020 by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention also showed rising numbers of people experiencing mental health concerns. In their survey, 40.9% of the respondents were struggling with anxiety, depression or symptoms of trauma- and stressor-related disorder (TSRD) attributed to the pandemic.

Disturbingly, 13.3% reported new or increased substance use as a way of managing stress and 10.7% of the adults surveyed said they had seriously contemplated suicide within the past 30 days. Mental health deterioration has also increased the use of sleep drugs to the point some experts have named the condition COVID-somnia.

Psilocybin Helps Treat Major Depression

Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic compound found in certain mushrooms. When improper doses are administered, the compound can produce a list of side effects, including nausea and vomiting, panic attacks, muscle weakness, lack of coordination, psychosis and even death. However, a recent study shows that the compound can be useful in certain situations and when carefully monitored.

A small randomized clinical trial used psilocybin coupled with psychotherapy in patients who had a major depressive disorder (MDD). This study followed other studies that have suggested one or two administrations of psilocybin coupled with psychological support could generate antidepressant effects.

The trial was conducted at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center with 24 adults aged 21 to 75 who had a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. The participants were not on antidepressant medications at the time of the study and did not have a history of psychotic disorders, a serious suicide attempt or hospitalization.

The participants had two sessions using psilocybin coupled with supportive psychotherapy. The primary outcome measure of the study was the severity of depression assessed in the participants using a rating scale, comparing pre-intervention with post-intervention and again at one week and four weeks after treatment.

In the group, 67% of the participants demonstrated clinically significant responses to the psilocybin at one week and 71% at four weeks. The researchers believe the:

“Findings suggest that psilocybin with therapy is efficacious in treating MDD, thus extending the results of previous studies of this intervention in patients with cancer and depression and of a nonrandomized study in patients with treatment-resistant depression.”

Follow-Up Shows Antidepressant Effects Over Six Months

The scientists plan to follow the study participants over a year to determine how long the effects of the intervention might last. A past study published in The Lancet also administered two doses of psilocybin seven days apart in 12 individuals who had been diagnosed with treatment-resistant major depression.

The study had no control group and, like the current study, the participants received psychological support along with the mushroom compound. Assessments made from one week to three months after treatment revealed the symptoms were significantly reduced within one week and remained consistent after three months. The participants also reported “marked and sustained improvements in anxiety and anhedonia [inability to feel pleasure].”

The participants in the study were evaluated for adverse events during the sessions and in their subsequent follow-up appointments. The researchers found no serious or unexpected adverse events. A second study was published with data from six months post-treatment, finding no unexpected adverse events and continued positive results with reductions in symptoms of depression.

In 2018 and 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted “breakthrough therapy” designation for psilocybin. Breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA was developed to speed the development of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions and the subsequent review by the FDA.

To achieve the designation, there must be early clinical evidence the drug produces substantial improvement on at least one endpoint measure over other available therapies. Alan Davis, Ph.D., was one scientist in the study who is quoted in a Johns Hopkins press release, saying:

“The magnitude of the effect we saw was about four times larger than what clinical trials have shown for traditional antidepressants on the market. Because most other depression treatments take weeks or months to work and may have undesirable effects, this could be a game changer if these findings hold up in future ‘gold-standard’ placebo-controlled clinical trials.”

Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, said he was pleasantly surprised by the results since “there are several types of major depressive disorders that may result in variation in how people respond to treatment.”

Effectiveness and Adverse Events With Usual Treatment

Conventional treatments for major depressive disorders typically have limited success and difficult patient compliance “as demonstrated by the number of patients failing to achieve remission.”

In one literature review of interventions that are typically thought of as “treatment as usual,” data from 38 studies, including 2,099 people, were broken into three groups, depending on how many quality criteria the studies met. Overall, the analysis found a range of 27% to 33% of patients responded to treatment.

The outcome measure was symptom reduction by at least 50%, well below the outcome found in the psilocybin study. The literature review also found 12% of the group experienced more severe depressive symptoms and a deterioration in mental health. Conversely, the results from the most recent psilocybin assisted intervention demonstrated no serious adverse events during the trial.

Other non-serious side effects that were reported during the trial included feelings of fear or sadness, and physical effects such as trembling and mild to moderate transient headaches. Yet, “most if not all antidepressants can cause bothersome adverse events,” and patients who stop taking the medication can be as high as 60%, which is “probably governed by a trade-off between perceived benefits and drawbacks.”

Measurements of depression in older adults before the pandemic showed from 10% to 15% struggle with depressive symptoms, even though they have not been diagnosed with major depression. A study published in The British Journal of Psychiatry found there had also been a major rise in the number of antidepressant medications prescribed for older adults, without a concurrent increase in the number diagnosed with depression.

This study also suggests that seniors may be overprescribed antidepressant drugs. This may have serious implications for their health, based on the number of side effects associated with the drugs in combination with a population that also struggles with other physical and mental health concerns.

According to a 2013 study in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, major depression may be vastly overdiagnosed and over treated. The data revealed of the 5,639 participants with clinician-identified depression, only 38.4% of them actually met the DSM-4 criteria for a major depressive episode, and in seniors over the age of 65, only 14.3% met the criteria.

What Is Major Depression?

Clinical depression or major depressive disorder is more than feeling a little sad. Symptoms occur nearly every day and can include feelings of:

SadnessEmptinessHopelessness
TearfulnessAngerIrritability
FrustrationLack of energyTiredness
AnxietyRestlessnessAgitation
GuiltWorthlessnessMemory difficulties

People who are depressed may also experience:

  • Slowed thinking and trouble concentrating and making decisions
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and sleeping too much
  • Loss of pleasure and interest in normal activities such as hobbies, sports and sex
  • Reduced or increased appetite
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Major depressive disorder creates a long-term financial burden on society, the total of which is estimated to be close to $210.5 billion each year, rising 21.5% between 2005 and 2010. A 2019 study found those who experience relapse or recurrence of a major depressive episode had higher costs associated with an increase in inpatient services, emergency department visits and admissions.

Dietary Changes That Lower Inflammation Help Major Depression

The positive results of using psilocybin to treat major depression have been achieved under supervision and only with accompanying psychotherapy during the intervention. It is crucial you don’t try this treatment at home as other data reveal that the positive effects only happen with a quality experience that can be clinically managed.

However, you have other options to help reduce your risk of depression. Since inflammation increases your risk of depression, one way to reduce your risk is to employ strategies that reduce the inflammatory response in your body. In one analysis, scientists reviewed the safety and effectiveness of anti-inflammatory agents in people suffering with major depression.

Agents that they found can play a role in reducing inflammation and ultimately symptoms of major depressive disorder included nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and omega-3 fatty acids. A second meta-analysis found similar results.

Inflammation is the root cause of many conditions and reducing inflammation can help improve your mental and physical health, and there are nonpharmacological options that help to reduce depression by reducing the inflammatory response in your body.

As you consider the following suggestions, remember they do not have to be done all at once and you can achieve beneficial results no matter your age or current physical abilities. The journey to better health begins with taking small permanent steps.

•Exercise — Exercise normalizes your insulin and leptin sensitivity, which in turn reduces inflammation. For example, adipose or visceral fat produces proinflammatory responses in the body, but exercise helps reduce adipose tissue and subsequently inflammation. Exercise also increases vagal tone, which some experts believe has an influence on inflammation.

As research from the University of California demonstrated, just one 20-minute exercise session could produce an anti-inflammatory response.

•Sleep — In past articles I’ve covered some of the powerful effects sleep has on your health. Acute sleep loss increases inflammation. Even healthy subjects showed subclinical shifts in inflammatory cytokines after sleep had been restricted by 25% to 50% of an eight-hour slumber.

Sleep also enhances your immune system. Sleep disturbances can have a significant effect on that regulation, contributing to an inflammatory response and dysregulation of the viral response.

•Nutrition — There are several nutritional factors that affect your mood and emotions, not the least of which is eating too much sugar. Excessive amounts of sugar disrupt your leptin and insulin sensitivity, affect dopamine levels and damage your mitochondria, all of which affect your mood.

Nutrients such as omega-3 fats, magnesium and B vitamins influence your mood and brain health.

•Light therapy — Light therapy is an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder, and researchers find it is also effective against moderate to severe nonseasonal major depressive disorders. One method is to use a white lightbox for 30 minutes each day as soon as possible after waking up.

•Mindfulness meditation or Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) — In one study of moderately to severely depressed college students, students were given four 90-minute EFT sessions.

Those who received EFT showed significantly less depression than the control group when evaluated three weeks later. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy also shows promise in helping to prevent recurrent episodes of depression.

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.

Anti-Aging

Natural Detox: Detoxing As A Way Of Life

Published

on

Strawberry photo
Photo Credit: Pexels

Marie Be, Guest Writer

The link between increased toxicity and a range of diseases is now becoming well recognized by medical authorities. Many studies describe a general health decrease as well as specific ailments that occur in the body with increasing levels of toxins.

In toxin-free conditions, the body is efficient at detoxifying and eliminating free radicals, but the rising quantities of toxic compounds we breathe in, ingest or absorb daily demand more of the body’s resources, and drastically impede the body’s optimal performance. That’s why detoxing needs to be a way of life. As the environment around us, the foods we consume and the water we drink become more and more toxic, the body’s natural detoxification systems become overloaded. And as the body cannot perform optimally, toxicity slowly increases over time, reducing the body’s natural capabilities to maintain good health. That’s when disease occurs.

The equation is simple; the less toxins that accumulate in tissues and organs, the stronger the body’s natural healing capabilities.

When the body is clean from toxins, it doesn’t have to invest a lot of energy in combating toxic compounds, and has extra energy to invest in building and running its natural defence mechanisms, fighting diseases and dealing more efficiently with new toxins as they inevitably enter the body. Detoxing the body of accumulated toxicity and reducing environmental and dietary exposure strengthens the function of the immune system, benefits the cardiovascular system, and increases overall vitality.

Other Health Benefits Include
Improved Liver Function

Detoxing improves the function of your liver which can have a positive influence on regulating your blood cholesterol level, a key predictor connected with heart attacks, strokes and premature death in many individuals.

Improved Digestion

By eliminating waste materials, parasitic infections and built-up contaminants from the digestive track, a ‘detox’ lifestyle improves the body’s digestive functions. This enables proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Cleansing the digestive track also has the potential to re-establish flavour appreciation of healthy and balanced natural food products, as well as reduce food cravings.

Reduced Inflammation

Detoxing the body reduces inflammation of the muscles and joints by eliminating toxic pockets in these areas, and reducing the body’s self protective response (which is what typically causes inflammation in the first place).

Rebalanced Hormones

By getting rid of agrichemicals absorbed from “enhanced”foods contaminated with fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, insecticides, antibiotics and growth hormones, a detox can assist the body to naturally rebalance hormone levels.

Improved Mood

When toxins circulate through the body, they inevitably reach the brain and your central nervous system. Such toxins will negatively affect mood, sleep, cognitive function and the ability to concentrate. Toxicity also increases stress, anxiety, lethargy and even depression. Eliminating toxins can improve your mood and overall sense of wellbeing.

Reduced Effects of Skin Aging

When the body is overloaded with toxins, the body tries getting rid of them through the skin, a main component of the body’s elimination system. Toxicity can lead to premature aging, poor complexion, pimples and blemishes. Reducing the body’s toxic load can result in significantly younger looking skin.

Detox as a Way of Life

The human body is designed to constantly gather and remove toxins from its cells and organs. Ideally, detoxing the body should be more than an occasional cleansing diet – it should be a way of life – especially with the unprecedented levels of toxicity to which we are exposed each day.

Avoid cosmetics, body lotions and skin-care products made with chemical ingredients. To find more tips on natural daily detox products, as well as safe cosmetics and skin care products, checkout EarthSun. Or why not try out my Skin and Body Detox Cream easy make-at-home recipe?

To maintain a cleansed body, it is also important to minimize your exposure to chemical toxins. Toxins are present in many foods, water supplies and cosmetics. To learn more about foods that create toxicity in the body, check out my recent article: Preventative Detox: 6 Foods to Avoid for a Clean Healthy Body

Resources
  1. David O Carpenter, Kathleen Arcaro, and David C Spink, Understanding the human health effects of chemical mixtures. Environ Health Perspect. Feb 2002; 110(Suppl 1): 25–42.
  2. Environmental toxins and health–the health impact of pesticides.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18075622
  3. Chemical Exposures: The Ugly Side of Beauty Products  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1253722/
  4. Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491930/
About the Author

Marie Be’s inspiration comes from her mom who always challenged common assumptions and sought to understand for herself the major issues concerning her family and the choices she made on their behalf. She raised Marie and her brother in a rural environment, feeding them the best organic foods, and focused on building strong immune systems in her children through the use of natural plants, herbs and minerals.

As a fiery teenager, Marie travelled the world in search of purpose and dreamed of positively influencing our society. While earning her first two degrees, in architecture and sustainable development, she worked for Greenpeace and many other organizations of change. Her experience taught her that change cannot be imposed; she now aims at inspiring individuals through education and awareness.

Marie moved to Vancouver to undertake a Masters in Regenerative Sustainability under the supervision of a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Teaching workshops on well-being, she started observing a widespread desire in our society for both physical and environmental health and sustainability. Feeling the winds of change, Marie founded EarthSun. By tuning into nature as our source of life, and acquiring knowledge of ancient herbal traditions as well as new technologies, Marie believes it is possible to use nature’s intelligence to create simple and effective health products.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

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
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending Now