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Articles on Human Health and Nutrition

The articles reprinted on this page are by no means comprehensive but meant to entice you to read more on the topic of interest to you. They are also meant to draw your attention to issues and facts of the world of disease prevention by alternative means, which include proper nutrition, micronutrient supplementation (vitamin/mineral supplementation), detoxification and cleansing programs, exercise and good rest and so on. If in doubt it is always a good idea to consult with a nutritionally-oriented physician. The articles are displayed on page with the last posted at the top.

Marijuana in pain medicine
By Stefan A. Hulea

Marijuana in pain medicine

Pain is often associated with disease. It's the way the body tells us that something is not quite right. Chronic pain due to on-going nociceptive stimulation from unresolved medical conditions imparts a heavy burden on sufferer's health, occupational performance, emotional state and financial stability. This has by extension, a serious financial impact on society as a whole (1). In fact, a recent report by the Institute of Medicine (US) showed that pain-related medical services and loss of productivity cost the US economy close to 1 trillion dollars annually (2). The problem is compounded by the growing number of senior citizens who exhibit age-related illnesses such as osteoarthritis, degenerative spine disease, vasculopathy, cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and other conditions that lead to a high prevalence of chronic pain worldwide.
Since many of the current pain-relieving medications have only a limited effect, not to mention their high price efforts have been underway for the last 10 years or so to find a solution to this problem by turning to centuries old folk medicine practices. One such practice is the use of cannabis sativa plant for pain relief.
In this article we will present some research done in the field of chronic pain management that used cannabis or cannabis-based pharmaceutical preparations to alleviate the pain caused by serious medical conditions. There is now compelling evidence that cannabinoids (CBs) exert their anti-nociceptive activity through their control on the descending pain pathways in a manner similar to that of morphine. The role of amygdala (a region in the brain) in modulating analgesia has been demonstrated from experiments in which microinjection of CBs into the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala produced anti-nociception, while bilateral lesions resulted in less sensitivity to powerful CBs agonists.
Pain is a complex psychosomatic perception and there are several points in pain pathways in which CBs are involved (3). Historically, E. Dixon first reported in 1899 that dogs, which inhaled cannabis smoke failed to react to pin pricks (4). Later it was confirmed that CBs are able to suppress behavioral reactions to acute painful stimuli and neuronal injury. Neuroanatomical, behavioral and neurophysiological studies revealed a role for CBs in suppressing pain at spinal, supraspinal and peripheral levels.
Due to the undesired psychoactivity of CBs in the CNS research has led to the discovery of certain agonists that bind to the CB2 receptors (CB2Rs), which are located outside CNS. These CB2Rs agonists exhibit anti-nociceptive properties. Electrophysiological rostral ventromedial medulla studies suggested that CBs have anti-inflammatory and peripheral anti-hyperalgesic properties in several models of persistent nociception. One of them was able to stimulate the release of b-endorphin from skin keratinocytes, which suggests that certain opioid receptors may be involved in its mechanism of action (5). toreThe peripheral CB2Rs stimulation may down-regulate inflammation by suppressing the release of inflammatory mediators, which would otherwise cause nociceptor sensitization. It is noteworthy that accumulating evidence from molecular and cell-signaling studies point to the fact that the opioid and cannabinoid systems can act synergistically to enhance analgesic effects. The clinical effects of the various cannabis-based medications rests primarily on activation of the endogenous cannabinoid receptor system with predominantly centrally located CB1Rs and peripherally occurring CB2Rs.
Extensive research and prolonged exposure of human subjects to CBs have raised concern over safety. Although there are some potentially severe cognitive, locomotor and several E psychotomimetic effects associated with long term exposure to delta 9-THC, CBs have generally a high therapeutic index. Thus, fatalities have not been reported directly related to the toxicity of any CB, even at high doses (1).
In medicinal terms, these adverse effects can be avoided by using non-psychoactive CBs such as cannabidiol (CBD). For instance, CBD given to human subjects at doses of 3-4 mg/kg/day revealed no adverse effects or signs of toxicity (1). However, care should be execised when CBD is administered with other medication since it inhibits several cytochrome P450 isoezymes, which are involved in the catabolism of conventional analgesics (opioids and non-opioids). It is important from a clinical stand point, when dealing with medicinal cannabinoids to consider the various modes of delivery and absorption, potential indications and the respective risks and tolerability (6). It is also worth mentioning that cannabinoids interact with substances that share the same effector systems, leading to mutual enhancement or attenuation of effect (7). Thus, when cannabinoids are taken with psychotropic agents such as alcohol and benzodiazepines or medication like amphetamines, atropine and b-blockers (that act on the cardiovascular system) increased tiredness occured.
There is now an impressive body of evidence suggesting that CBs can impact normal inhibitory pathways and pathophysiological processes influencing nociception in humans. When CBs do have an analgesic effect, it probably occurs in hyperalgesic and inflammatory conditions (8).
A pharmaceutical product (Sativex) comprising both delta 9-THC and CBD was formulated as an oral spray and it contains 27 mg of delta 9-THC and 25 mg CBD per ml. It is a standardized cannabis sativa extract and was approved for medical use in Canada, New Zealand, Israel and several EU countries. The limited efficacy of this product is due to the relative low dose of this combination of CBs.
An exciting field of research deals with the potential enhanced biological activity, in our case pain reduction, of CBs when in combination with terpenes. Terpenes are a class of organic compounds that are widely distributed in the plant kingdom and can influence and potentiate the effects of cannabis-based medicinal preparations. Terpenes are also present in cannabis plants. The most representative are limonene, myrcene, a-pinene, linalool, b-caryophyllene, nerolidol, phytol and others. Terpenes are all flavor and fragrance components of human diets. Of particular interest are the phytocannabinoid-terpene interactions that could result in synergystic action with respect to the treatment of pain and inflammation. The terpene b-caryophyllene selectively binds to CB2Rs and acts as a full agonist. Orally administered b-caryophyllene resulted in strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in wild-type mice.

Evidence from clinical studies

A variety of forms of delivery was used in clinical trials for the treatment of conditions such as Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome, neuropathic pain in HIV patients, spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis, postoperative pain, glioblastoma multiforme, Alzheimer's disease, fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease, and other conditions.
The effect of marijuana on multiple sclerosis (MS) patients has been extensively investigated because these patients exhibit debilitating symptoms and a decreased quality of life as the disease progresses. In a UK clinical trial involving over 600 MS patients two cannabis-based medications were tested: a synthetic delta 9-THC (dronabinol) and a cannabis plant extract containg a mixture of delta 9-THC and CBD (Cannador). There was a lag period of 4 months during which no effect on the primary outcome measure of muscle spasticity, as assessed by the Ashworth score was observed. However, many patients in both groups reported decreased spasticity and better sleep patterns (9). Interestingly, the delta 9-THC patient group experienced significant improvements in the Ashworth score after 12 months of treatment. Moreover, this group appeared to accrue less disability, which suggests that delta 9-THC may have a positive benefit on disease progression. In another randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 24 patients with MS-induced neuropathic pain it was shown that dronabinol at 10 mg/day reduced pain by an average of 21% (10).
In a clinical trial involving 48 patients with neuropathic pain caused by brachial plexus avulsion an oromucosal spray containing 2.7 mg of delta 9-THC and 2.5 mg of CBD per 0.1 ml (Sativex, GW Pharmaceuticals) it was found that both the primary outcome measure and sleep measures showed statistically significant improvements (11). The medications were reported to be generally well tolerated.


Several randomized, placebo-controlled trials have tested the efficacy of cannabis sativa cannabinoids for pain relief, particularly the neuropathic pain caused by multiple sclerosis. Although the size of the patient population was relatively small by the large epidemiological studies standard, the results were promising. Both synthetic delta 9-THC (dronabinol) and the natural CBs in marijuana plant (a mixture of delta 9-THC and CBD) were effective in significantly decreasing pain and improving sleep patterns in MS patients. Basic science research as well as these clinical trials have provided a strong foundation for the notion that CBs play a fundamental role in nociception. In addition, the documented synergism of CBs with opioid analgesics may reduce opioid requirements. Further large scale trials will certainly draw more adepts at using these inexpensive natural compounds for easing the pain of so many disease stricken people.

1. The Endocannabinoid system, Cannabinoids, and Pain. P.G. Fine and M.J. Rosenfeld (2013) Rambam Maimonides Med.J. 4(4) e0022.
2. IOM Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Education Board on Health Sciences Policy Relieving Pain in America: A Blue Print for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. 2011.
3. Therapeutic potential of cannabis in pain medicine. R.D. Hosking & J.P. Zajicek (2008) Brit.J. Anaesthesia 101(1) 59-68.
4. The pharmacology of cannabis indica. W.E. Dixon (1899) Brit.Med.J. 2, 1354-1357.
5. Cannabinoid CB2 receptors: a therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. I. Guindon & A.G. Hohmann. (2008) Brit.J.Pharmacol. 153, 319-334.
6. Cannabis and its derivatives: review of medical use. L. Leung (2011) J.Amer. Board Fam.Med. 24(4) 452-462.
7. Interactions of marijuana and 9-THC with other drugs. L.E. Hollister in: Marihuana and Medicine. G. Nahas et al., eds. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, pp. 273-277, 1999.
8. Cannabinoids: a real prospect for pain relief? L. Iversen & V. Chapman (2002) Curr.Opin.Pharmacol. 2, 50-55.
9. Cannabinoids for treatment of spasticity and other symptoms related to multiple sclerosis (CAMS study): multicentre randomized placebo-controlled trial. I.P. Zajicek et al. (2003) Lancet 362, 1517-1526.
10. Does the cannabinoid dronabinol reduce central pain in multiple sclerosis? Randomised, double blind placebo-controlled crossover trial. K.B. Svendsen et al. (2004) Brit.Med.J. 329, 253-260.
11. Efficacy of two cannabis based medicinal extracts for relief of central neuropathic pain from brachial plexus avulsion: results of a randomized control trial. I.S. Berman et al. (2004) Pain 112, 299-306.

Finding the "perfect" healthy foods becomes harder and harder.
by Stefan A. Hulea

Every day you get bombarded with so much information, coming mainly from the internet that makes your head spin. That is why we should maintain an open mind and think critically. This is especially true when it comes to choosing sides in the pro-GMO vs anti-GMO dispute. The proponents of GM foods, mostly the biotech industry and their associates are "bitterly" opposed by the anti-GMO groups like, Millions Against Monsanto, GMO Free USA and U.S. Right to Know. These groups draw their support from organizations such as Organic Consumers Association, Applegate, Organic Valley and Stonyfield Organic, to name a few. Which side would you pick? In order to do that you must be well informed by looking at the arguments presented by both sides. The GMO group, represented by the biotech industry, independent science writers (not associated with the biotech industry) and quite often by various government agencies claim that GMO foods are safe and generally beneficial. This applies to both GMO crops used for animal feed and for human consumption.
However, things are not as clear as the GMO proponents would like. In a recent statement by over 300 independent researchers published in the journal 'Environmental Sciences Europe' (27, 4, 2015) titled: 'No scientific consensus on GMO safety' it is said that the document was written in an effort to provide a balanced account of the current state of the consensus / dissent controversy regarding the published evidence on the safety of GMOs. Thus, most published results on the subject are contradictory, due in part to the range of research methods employed, an inadequacy of available procedures and differences in the analysis and interpretation of data. Moreover, rigorous assessment of GMO safety has been hampered by the lack of funding independent of proprietary interests. A particular part of the report is relevant for the North American audiences: "It is often claimed that 'trillions of GM meals' have been eaten in the US with no ill effects. However, no epidemiological studies in human populations have been carried out to establish whether there are any health effects associated with GM food consumption. As GM foods and other products are not monitored or labelled after release in North America, a major producer and consumer of GM crops, it is scientifically impossible to trace, let alone study, patterns of consumption and their impacts. Therefore, claims that GM foods are safe for human health based on the experience of North American populations have no scientific basis."
The joint statement developed by over 300 scientists does not assert that GMOs are safe or unsafe. It merely states that the scarcity and contradictory nature of the scientific evidence published to date prevents conclusive claims of safety or unsafety of GM foods. Claims of consensus on the safety of GMOs are not supported by an objective analysis of the peer-reviewed literature. I highly recommend reading the above article in Environmental Sciences Europe in its entirety.
As for the anti-GMO movement it is interesting to note that its advocates do not seem to mind the use of herbicides / pesticides by the organic growers. As if these chemicals do not accumulate over time in the human body, particularly in the fat tissue and as some research suggests may pose serious health risks to humans. In addition, they also do not appear to be concerned by the fact that for over 50 years crops have been altered by mutagenesis (carried out through radiation and chemical treatment) in order to obtain desirable traits. However, it is safe to say that there is a big difference between plants being modified by mutagenesis, which has been safely performed for over 50 years and plants and animals whose genome has been altered by the introduction of foreign genes, often from distant species on the phylogenetic tree. For those who would like to know more about how delicious mutant foods are produced through mutagenesis here is an article that I am sure you'll enjoy reading.
In conclusion, in finding the "perfectly healthy food" you have to exercise due diligence and decide which foods are better for you, GM foods or truly herbicide / pesticide-free organic foods. For organic animal-based foods it is worth visiting Joel Salatin's organic farm in Virginia.

Cannabis in Health and Disease (Medical uses of marijuana)
by Stefan A. Hulea

I Introduction

Cannabis has been used for centuries by different cultures around the globe for medical and recreational purposes. The latter refers mainly to the psychoactive effects such as euphoria (heightened mood), relaxation and an increase in appetite. In Canada its use, mostly for recreational purposes has increased steadily since 1960's and although still illegal, the possesion and use of marijuana for personal medical purposes has been allowed by the Canadian government after 2001.

Close-up of THC-filled trichomes on a Cannabis sativa leaf

Among all plant-based drugs cannabis has constantly evoked tremendous interest or controversy within both the public domain and biomedical research community. Efforts have been made in several countries by non-governmental organizations to decriminalize the use of marijuana. In U.K. the Science and Technology Select Committee issued a report in 2006 suggesting that heroin, cocaine, alcohol, benzodiazepines, methamphetamine and tobacco have high risk of harm or abuse potential, whilst cannabis, LSD and Ecstasy are below the two legal drugs in harm or abuse potential. A 2007 report in the medical journal The Lancet suggested a new classification system that put alcohol and tobacco in the mid-range of harm, while cannabis, LSD and MDMA are less harmful than the two legal drugs.

II The biologically active compounds of Cannabis sativa and their mode of action

Pharmacologically, the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There are some over 80 other cannabinoids present in the plant such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and others.

The chemical structure of -9-tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is an aromatic terpenoid.

The cannabinoids act on two types of cannabinoid receptors, the CB1 (in the brain) and CB2 (cells of the immune system). THC activates the CB1 receptor in the plasma membrane of neurons in the brain, triggering a signaling cascade that involves the mitogen-activated protein kinases pathway. The normal ligands for the CB1 receptor are endocannabinoids such as anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide) and 2-arachidonylglycerol.

Cannabidiol (CBD) exhibits multiple peripheral mechanisms, including interaction with vanilloid receptors, modulation of adenosine signaling, interference with pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as immunosuppressant and antioxidant activity (1). It is worth mentioning that medications active as analgesics, immunosuppressants, anti-inflammatories, appetite modulators, antidepressants, neuroleptics, antiallergens, anti-neoplastics are all possible because of the endocannabinoid system, which has a pleiotropic homeostatic function (2).

III Cannabis-based commercial drugs

1. Marinol - a schedule III drug.

The main ingredient in Marinol is dronabinol, which is a pure isomer of -9-THC and it is prepared by chemical synthesis. Marinol is a registered trade mark of Solvay Pharmaceuticals. Marinol has been approved by the FDA for the treatment and of anorexia in AIDS patients and refractory nausea, vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy. In 1999 Marinol was rescheduled from Schedule II to Schedule III of the CSA reflecting that THC had a potential for abuse less than that of cocaine and heroin. As Jon Gettman noted in a 2002 petition: "Cannabis is a natural source of dronabinol (THC), the ingredient of Marinol, a Schedule III drug. There are no grounds to schedule cannabis in a more restrictive schedule than Marinol".

2. Nabilone - an analog of dronabinol is available commercially in Canada under the trade mark of Cesamet (manufactured by Valeant Pharmaceuticals).

Finally, in Canada an additional agent, Nabiximol (Sativex), which is a standardized cannabis extract is now in phase 3 clinical trial. The extract more closely approximates the beneficial delivery method of smoked cannabis without the risk for high abuse potential and other side effects (3). It contains both cannabinoids, THC and CBD and since they work synergistically the noxious effects of unopposed THC would be reduced. It is recommended as a painkiller in terminally ill cancer patients and multiple sclerosis patients.

IV Health benefits of cannabis

What is not appreciated at a time when cannabis use is still demonized by governments and a large part of the population is the fact the cannabis story mirrors that of the poppy, Papaver somniferum, which was for centuries highly praised both as a renowned painkiller and as a tantalizing drug that get users "high". From this plant morphine was identified in modern times and for which many medical uses were found. Basic research into morphine pharmaco-biological action led to the discovery of opioid receptors, endogenous opioids and an internal opioid system. In a paper by Baker et al. (4) it is stated that "studies into drug-producing plants led to the discovery of an endogenous control system with a central role in neurobiology". This has far reaching implications for both preventive as well as curative medical practice.

Observational studies indicated that cannabinoids appear to be able to modulate pain, nausea, vomiting, epilepsy, ischemic stroke, cerebral trauma, multiple sclerosis, tumor growth and other conditions.

The following is a partial list of medical conditions for which cannabinoids show real promise.

1. Neurologic (CNS) disorders.

CBD as a non-psychotropic component of Cannabis sativa has been in pre- and clinical studies for the treatment of several CNS disorders (5, 6). In Parkinson's disease (PD) patients administration of cannabinoids yielded mixed results; for example, THC improved motor control in a patient with musician's dystonia (7) while other studies reported no effect of cannabinoids on PD as orally administered cannabis extracts resulted in no objective improvement in either dyskinesias or parkinsonism (8). Interestingly, 25% of the patients who attended the Prague Movement Disorder Centre took cannabis and of these 46% described some form of benefit (9).

2. Tourette's syndrome

Tourette's syndrome (TS) is a complex inherited disorder of unknown etiology, characterized by multiple motor and vocal tics. There was a significant reduction of motor and vocal tics as well as obsessive-compulsive behavior after treatment with THC. Peak plasma concentration of the THC metabolite 11-OH-THC positively correlated with tic improvement, which suggests a possible role of THC in TS management (10).

3. Gastrointestinal and liver diseases.

Basic and clinical studies suggest that cannabinoids, in particular CBD have a potential for therapeutic aplication in gut and liver diseases (11, 12). The endocannabinoid system with its ubiquitous presence can affect at gut level functions as diverse as regulation of the physiology and pathfood intake, visceral sensation, gastrointestinal motility, gastric secretion, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation. That is why CBD may have huge medical benefits in a host of disorders affecting the gastrointestinal tract and organs such as the liver.

4. Cardiovascular disease

Animal and human subjects experiments revealed that cannabinoids exert a direct vasodilatory effect coupled with bradycardia and a decrease in blood pressure pointing to a role of these substances in the regulation of blood pressure and heart rate. They also have been associated with beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system such as a protective role in atherosclerosis progression and in cerebral and myocardial ischemia (13). In a murine model of atherosclerosis oral administration of THC resulted in a significant inhibition of disease progression (14). The cannabinoid receptor CB2 (expressed on immune cells) was detected in both human and mouse atherosclerotic plaques. Macrophage chemotaxis, which is a crucial step in the development of atherosclerosis was inhibited by the THC treatment. These results suggest that cannabinoids with activity at the CB2 receptor may be valuable targets for the treatment of atherosclerosis.

The involvement of cannabinoids in the physiology and pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system is very complex and requires further studies. Unfortunately, the cannabinoid research is still the focus of legal and moral controversy, which has hampered the development of cannabinoid-like drugs for the treatment of heart disease and atherosclerosis.

5. Inflammatory disorders

Several conditions fall under the inflammatory disorders category. They are autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes mellitus and inflammatory liver injury. It is now well documented that Cannabis sativa cannabinoids mediate their effects through the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. The cannabinoid system is invloved in the regulation of the immune system through its immunomodulatory properties. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory response and in so doing attenuate disease symptoms (15). This is achieved through multiple pathways such as induction of apoptosis in activated immune cells, suppression of cytokines and chemokines at sites of inflammation and up-regulation of FoxP3+ regulatory T cells. The induction of multiple anti-inflammatory pathways by cannabinoids has been tested in several models of the afore mentioned conditions and the results indicated a marked reduction of the inflammatory process.

6. Cancer

In an ErbB2-positive breast cancer mouse model, THC treatment resulted in the inhibition of cell proliferation, increased apoptosis and impaired tumor angiogenesis (16). THC exerts its action by binding to the CB2 cannabinoid receptor on tumor cells and that triggers the inhibition of the pro-tumorigenic Akt signaling pathway leading to cell death.

7. Obesity

Cannabis has long been associated with increased appetite and food consumption. The CB1 receptor was shown to have a role in central appetite control, peripheral metabolism and body weight regulation. Rimonabant, a CB1 receptor agonist selectively reduces sweet rather than regular food intake in primates, which suggests that rimonabant is more active on the hedonic rather than nutritive properties of diets. Intake of rimonabant by obese human subjects led to a significant reduction in body weight and improved biochemical markers. Thus, there was an increased plasma level of HDL and adiponectin and a decreased level of triglycerides (17). Rimonabant was also shown to be safe and effective in reducing insulin resistance and the risk of developing the metabolic syndrome. The increased plasma concentration of adiponectin suggests a direct peripheral effect of rimonabant.

8. Pain reduction

A meta analysis of randomized controlled studies on the efficacy of cannabinoids in alleviating chemotherapy-induced nausea and emesis (vomiting) showed that cannabinoids were more effective antiemetics than most standard medication used for this purpose. In selected patients, the cannabinoids tested in the trials may be useful as mood enhancing adjuvants for controlling chemotherapy related sickness. It was also apparent that many cancer patients have a strong preference for cannabinoids (18).

IV Final thoughts

The health benefits of cannabis has been known for centuries and with the unraveling of the mysteries of the endocannabionid system in the last 30 years or so new avenues for research and clinical applications were opened for the biologically active compounds of Cannabis sativa. Cannabis-based drugs have been developed since mid 1980's and they have shown good results in controlling obesity and its associated metabolic syndrome, managing pain in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and providing some relief in some neurological disorders. For more serious diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders there are no cannabis-based drugs on the market at this time. Many laboratories around the world are actively engaged in studying the molecular mechanisms underlying the mode of action of cannabinoids and efforts are underway to design new cannabinoid-like compounds that may be used for the treatment of such conditions. This is a more natural approach to disease treatment than by using synthetic drugs, which in many cases have caused harmful side effects. Following the recent regulations by Health Canada regarding the growing of Cannabis sativa plant by licensed organizations a new environment has been created in Canada that is conducive to more basic and applied biomedical research into the use of marijuana for medical purposes but possibly also in other fields of economic activity.


1. Zuardi, A.W. (2008) Rev.Bras.Psiquiatr. 30(3) 271-280. Cannabidiol: from an inactive cannabinoid to a drug with wide spectrum of action.
2. Di Marzo, V. (2008) Nat.Rev. Drug Discov. 7(5) 438-455. Targeting the endocannabinoid system: to enhance or reduce?
3. Robson, P. (2011) Expert Opin. Drug Saf. 10(5) 675-685. Abuse potential and psychoactive effects of THC and cannabidiol oromucosal (Sativex), a new cannabinoid medicine.
4. Baker, D. et al. (2003) Lancet Neurol. 2(5) 291-298. The therapeutic potential of cannabis.
5. Scuderi, C. et al. (2009) Phytother.Res. 23(5) 597-602. Cannabidiol in medicine: a review of its therapeutic potential in CNS disorders.
6. Roser, P. et al. (2010) World J.Biol. Psychiatry 11(2, pt.2) 208-219. Potential antipsychotic properties of central cannabinoid (CB1) receptor antagonists.
7. Jabusch, H.C. et al. (2004) Mov.Disord. 19, 990-991. THC improves motor control in a patient with musician's dystonia.
8. Carroll, C.B. et al. (2004) Neurology 63, 1245-1250. Cannabis for dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease: a randomized double-blind crossover study.
9. Venderova, K. et al. (2004) Mov.Disord. 19, 1102-1106. Survey on cannabis use in Parkinson's disease: subjective improvement of motor symptoms.
10. Muller-Vahl, K.R. et al. (2002) Pharmacopsychiatry 35, 57-61. Treatment of Tourette's syndrome with THC: a randomized crossover trial.
11. Izzo, A.A. and Camilleri, M. (2008) Gut 57(8) 1140-1155. Emerging role of cannabinoids in gastrointestinal and liver disorders: basic and clinical aspects.
12. Di Marzo, V. and Piscitelli, F. (2011) Neurogastroenterology Motil. 23(5) 391-398. Gut feelings about the endocannabinoid system.
13. Mendizabal, V.E. and Adler-Graschinsky, E. (2007) Br.J.Pharmacol. 15(14) 427-440. Cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in cardiovascular disease: a tale of passions and illusions.
14. Steffens, S. et al. (2005) Nature 434(7034) 782-786. Low dose oral cannabinoid therapy reduces progression of atherosclerosis in mice.
15. Nagarkatti, P. et al. (2009) Future Med.Chem. 1(7) 1333-1349. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.
16. Caffarel, M.M. et al. (2010) Mol. Cancer 9, 196. Cannabinoids reduce ErbB2-driven breast cancer progression through Akt inhibition.
17. Kogan, N.M. and Mechoulam, R. (2007) Dialogues Clin.Neurosci. 9(4) 413-430. Cannabinoids in health and disease.
18. Tramer, M.R. et al. (2001) Brit,Med.J. 323(7303) 16. Cannabinoids for control of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting: quantitative systematic review.

The Dark Side of the China Study Story Supporting Vegetarianism…
By Dr. Joseph Mercola

I have sought to apply science to improve my health, and that of others, for over forty years. The topic so intrigued me that I went to medical school to increase my understanding of the way the body works. I have learned many things along this health journey. Clearly one of the major lessons is that there is enormous controversy when it comes to understanding what the human body was designed to thrive on. Fortunately, as a practicing physician I have had the distinct advantage of having the opportunity to treat over 25,000 patients who were willing to implement suggestions I made to improve their health. Over the years, I certainly have made my share of mistakes, and some people did not improve after implementing what I thought was very solid advice. Interestingly, most of my initial failures were related to encouraging many thousands of patients to eat too many vegetables in relation to fats and animal protein. This may sound shocking to some, and staunch vegetarians, or vegans, might wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that you could possibly eat too many vegetables. In fact, many have absorbed Dr. T. Colin Campbell's writing's on this topic, particularly his book The China Study, which makes a radical case against the wisdom of eating animal protein at all, by linking protein to all manner of ill health, including cancer.
Is Eating Meat Harmful, Like Popular Pro-Vegan Book Proclaims?
Many who hold strict vegetarian views) still hold up The China Study as the authoritative "proof" that eating meat was harmful. This work flies in the face of many nutritionally oriented physicians, like myself, who have collectively treated tens of thousands of patients and found that forcing an animal-free protein diet on everyone will invariably cause harm and suffering in many whose biochemically and genetically determined nutritional type requires large amounts of fat and protein. Since this book is widely trusted and used to defend a no animal protein position I thought it was important to provide my views on why I believe this work has some fundamental flaws. Another nutritional physician who has taken a hard look at Dr. Campbell's book, and the studies that form the basis of his conclusions, is Dr. Michael R. Eades, M.D. Dr. Eades has been in full-time practice of nutritional and metabolic medicine since 1986, and like myself, has treated tens of thousands of patients. Interestingly, Campbell, on the other hand, is not a practicing physician and has no real-world experience to support the veracity of his nutritional recommendations for the population at large.
Major Reason Why the China Study is Fatally Flawed
The very title of the book is inaccurate. It is NOT a study but a comprehensive set of observations. While this approach can be valuable, it can never prove his assertion that animal protein should be avoided, as he never TESTED that theory on real live patients... The data from Dr. Campbell's China study was first published in the tome Diet, Life-Style and Mortality in China. It contains several thousands of statistical correlations, which Campbell insists show that animal protein intake is convincingly associated with prevalence of cancer. However, it's important to realize two things: The China study was an observational study. Correlations deduced from an observational study do not – in fact, cannot -- prove causation. As Dr. Eade points out, all you can really do with data from an observational study is to form a hypothesis, which must then be tested in randomized, controlled trials, to ferret out the truth about whether or not x actually causes y. In many cases, the data (presented in arduous detail in the book Diet, Life-Style and Mortality in China) do not show statistically significant correlations between animal protein consumption and disease such as cancer at all. On the contrary. It would seem that sugar and carbohydrates are correlated with cancer – not animal protein. In addition, the data indicate that fat is negatively correlated with cancer mortality, which again contradicts the claim that meat is harmful. For more information, I highly recommend reading through Dr. Eade's critique of The China Study. You can also review another critique of the China Study by Science Based medicine. It is particularly interesting because the reviewer was initially a strong supporter of the ":study": until faced with the facts.
Two Physicians' Experiences with Using Vegetarian Diets for Everyone
After finishing my family practice residency in 1985 I read the book Fit for Life. The book made some very compelling arguments encouraging the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables. So I started its recommendations and had fruit for breakfast. After a few weeks I tested my blood work and was shocked to find my fasting triglycerides were nearly 3,000. That is not a typo. Nearly three thousand...This was surprising because they had never been over 100 in the past. Clearly this diet was killing me and I am convinced I would have died long ago had I remained on it. I now realize that this approach probably helps some, but was a disaster for me personally. Dr. Eades is another nutritional physician. He and I have never met and do not personally know each other. However, we both started our medical practices about the same time and were both passionate about helping people with nutritional interventions and helping them with alternatives to drugs and surgery. We had no predisposition to the outcome and were impartial observers to the results of our nutritional interventions. We were both busy clinicians and never had the luxury to take months out of our lives to publish our observations in the medical literature. Nevertheless the lack of publications does not make the observations any less valid. Interestingly we both observed the same results, namely that large numbers of sick people failed to improve when they implemented vegetarian or vegan diets. This shocked us as we were compelled by many of the arguments that Campbell makes and believed that all our patients should have improved on this regimen. Initially I questioned their compliance and believed many of them were "cheating." But after this started happening to more and more people, it became clear my approach was flawed. Many of these patients significantly worsened and nearly died. Many even left our practices because they lost faith in our ability to use diet as a tool to help them regain their health. What we both realized after these well-intentioned efforts is that.
There is No Perfect Diet that Works for Everyone
Most of the confusion in this debate results from this reality. Vegetarian diets described by Campbell do work for large numbers of people. From my observations, perhaps about one third of the population would benefit from it. These people thrive on these foods and have spectacular health. The problem is that there is an equally large, or even larger, population whose health is devastated by restricting animal protein and fats. About ten years ago I was exposed to concepts that helped me understand this shocking observation. I realized that there is an enormous level of biochemical and genetic individuality that essentially guarantees that there is no perfect food plan that will work for everyone. What I gradually came to appreciate is that we are all uniquely designed and require customized plans. I eventually adopted a program called Nutritional Typing, which is a central part of my health plan and is available for free on my site ( This plan categorizes people into three different groups: Protein: High amounts of healthy fats and protein and lower amounts of vegetables Carb: High amounts of vegetables and lower amounts of protein and fat Mixed: Somewhere between the above options The population is divided equally between the groups, with about one third of the population of the US in each group. If you go to certain countries however, you will find high percentages in one group, but the US is a wide mixture and has a widespread heterogeneity.
Nutritional Typing Produced Dramatic Improvement
Once I began implementing Nutritional Typing in my practice I noticed a remarkable decrease in those that did not respond favorably to dietary changes. Nearly everyone seemed to notice improvement, and for many it was quite dramatic. One of the underlying principles of the program is to "Listen to Your Body" and adjust your foods based on how you feel mentally and physically after consuming them. Many who claim to have tried nutritional typing and report feeling worse, have clearly missed this most essential point. If, after a meal, you feel sluggish, tired, nauseous, or depressed, your meal was not ideal. If you are indeed following the nutritional typing program, this will be a giant clue that you need to modify your diet. You make a great mistake if you simply take the test once and strictly follow the food choices recommended for that type – you must continuously check in with yourself and keep modifying your food choices until you find the right balance of fats, healthy carbs and protein for you. Nutritional typing is a way to determine what YOUR customized diet is, and it is not even a one-size-fits-all within each nutritional grouping. If you take nutritional typing seriously, its guidelines will help you modify your food intake until you find the right balance. That said, some of the most dramatic improvements I saw were from individuals who were protein types but were eating mostly carbs, in the way of vegetables. It was very common for these people to have strong ethical positions about refusing to eat animal products. I would never ask someone to eat animal foods if they had spiritual convictions against doing so. However, many in this category were just confused about this issue – thinking this is what was healthiest for their body. They couldn't understand why they felt so sick and had so many health problems. Once we were able to clear up that confusion, and experiment with the program, the result was typically quite impressive.
Don't Listen to Me or ANYONE Else About What You Should Eat
It is sad to see that many staunch vegans and vegetarians fail to even acknowledge that anyone is designed to have animal protein. Unfortunately they are able to convince many with seemingly compelling information like Campbell's China Study and as a result, many people continue to suffer from not including vital nutrients in their diet -- nutrients they were designed to eat. Ultimately, if you are sincerely honest and seek to understand what diet is best for you, it is my recommendation to abandon any previously held convictions you might have about diet and listen to your body. Let your body tell you what foods you were designed to eat. Don't listen to me or Dr. Eades or a researcher like Campbell who has never treated patients. Just listen to your own body. You can experiment for yourself and observe your reactions, but if you would like a systemized way to approach this and record your results so you can reach your own independent conclusions about what you were designed to eat, then I would encourage you to take the FREE Nutritional Typing Test.
Should Meat Be Avoided Because of the Cholesterol Issue?
Many, if not most, conventional physicians still maintain the position that cholesterol is harmful and should be avoided. However, this misconception has been carefully debunked in more recent years. Alas, the conventional system is not known for its speed to embrace corrective action even when a fallacy has been clearly revealed. I won't repeat all the arguments here but if you are interested in getting a more in-depth review, please read my most recent cholesterol report. The truth is, many of the health problems attributed to fat and cholesterol are in fact caused by SUGAR, not fat! If you do not understand this vital concept, you will likely continue to sabotage your health – avoiding health promoting foods, and substituting them with some of the most health-harming…
Is Vegetarianism Right for You?
I have long advocated consuming plenty of fresh, organic, locally grown raw vegetables, but it's important to understand that different ratios are appropriate for depending on your nutritional type. This means that some people will thrive on very large amounts of vegetables and very little animal protein. For others, this ratio would spell disaster for their health. Again, it's highly individual. The people who fare the worst on a vegetarian diet are those who are naturally protein types, as they're depriving their bodies of essential fuel, determined by their genetic and biochemical makeup. Some of my views on eating animal protein were directly influenced by the work of Dr. Weston Price but although his contribution was great, since then countless peer-reviewed studies have been published that support these views. It's also worth mentioning that I have no competing commercial interests that might sway me from providing the most accurate, health-promoting information I possibly can share on this or any other health related subject. As you may know already, my business model does not allow outside advertisers. The only commercial items sold on my site are ones that I firmly believe in and most of which I personally use – and that includes grass-fed, organically-and humanely (non-factory farmed) raised meats and wild fish providers whose food products I have tested for purity by an independent lab prior to endorsing them. But to recap: a largely vegetarian diet may be appropriate for some, but to promote it as the only, or even the best, way to improve health is foolhardy at best, because some two-thirds of people simply cannot and will not thrive on a meatless diet.
What About the Other Animal Protein: Milk… Is it Good or Bad?
Another important distinction that must be taken into account when discussing animal protein sources is the difference between raw and pasteurized dairy. When you heat a protein to the temperature required to achieve pasteurization you denature the tertiary and quaternary structure of the protein making it essentially a new molecule. Additionally, any time you see studies where casein is given to animals and adverse health effects ensue, there's really little cause for surprise.
Because any time you process foods you damage them, and you can therefore experience a variety of adverse health effects when you consume them. This should not be misconstrued as being a reflection of the same food in its raw and/or unadulterated state!
My recommendation to everyone is to try cheeses made from raw milk and compare them to cheeses made from pasteurized milk. I'm willing to bet that most of you would agree the taste of raw cheese is far superior. This is so well known, no self-respecting cheesemaker would ever choose pasteurized milk over raw when making cheese, because the properties are entirely different – it's basically damaged goods.
For those who claim there's no significant health benefits of raw over pasteurized, the inherent differences in flavor and consistency between raw and processed cheeses alone will clue you in on the fact that there ARE significant differences between the two types of milk – otherwise the cheeses would also be identical, wouldn't they?
Another common misconception many people have is that you should avoid milk because no other animal in nature consumes it after they're weaned. While this may be logistically true, observation will show you that most animals will eagerly and readily consume raw milk when given the opportunity.
Few would argue with the fact that human breast milk is probably the ideal and most perfect food designed for human infants -- a truly custom-made whole food for a baby -- yet virtually no adult is able to consume this as a source of nutrition for logistical unavailability.
However, throughout history, ancient people across the world have continued drinking similar raw milk from cows, sheep and goats, well past being weaned from their mother's breast.
Final Recommendation
This is obviously a very sensitive issue for many. It has been my experience that many make choices to eat certain foods based on philosophical or intellectual reasons. While I believe that should always be an important part of the process, I believe it is equally important to listen to the important feedback that your body provides you when you consume a certain diet. If your current diet allows you to function at the highest level of energy and fitness and you rarely feel hungry or crave sweets that is a fairly good sign that you are eating food appropriate for your nutritional type. However if you are struggling with health challenges and have rigidly adhered to a diet that severely limits or avoids animal protein, because you believe you should or you are choosing it for ethical reasons then I would encourage you to consider changing your diet to include some animal proteins. Just be honest with yourself and objectively evaluate your body's response. Your body is the most awesome instrument to make this assessment. Ultimately it is the best resource and far superior to anything you read on the Internet or in any published study. Please feel free to use our free Nutritional Typing Test as tool to help you explore what foods you were designed to eat. So my final words are to trust the body God gave you to tell you the truth.

Proper food combining - a recipe for good health.
by Stefan A. Hulea

The old adage: "You are what you eat" may be better phrased as: "You are what your food combining is". In other words, the type of foods we serve at the same meal and the order in which they are eaten matter a great deal. For instance, protein foods (red meat, poultry, fish, nuts, seeds) and starchy foods (potatoes, bread or pasta) served on the same plate do not bode well for the body. Why? Simply because these foods require different sets of enzymes and different pHs to be fully digested. Proteins are broken down by enzymes that only work in a strong acidic environment such as that created by the hydrochloric acid secreted in the stomach. This process usually takes over 2 hours to complete. If starchy food is also present in the stomach, the break down of protein is greatly reduced because part of the acid is adsorbed on the starch, which results in a less acidic milieu in which case the proteolytic enzymes become less active and the digestion of protein is slowed down. In turn, starch is not properly digested because the enzyme responsible (amylase) does not work well at lower pH. The end result is that food stays in the stomach longer than it should and this leads to fermentation that will cause in many people indigestion with symptoms like heartburn, bloating, nausea and constipation. Furthermore, undigested protein reaches the colon and become food for the resident anaerobic bacteria, which generate waste (toxins) as a result of metabolic activity. These toxins cross the colon wall and spread throughout the body poisoning it. Not to mention the fact that undigested hard to digest foods such as grilled meat products end up as deposits on the colon wall, which interfere with the normal functioning of this segment of the digestive tract. Over time, this can lead to all kind of medical conditions such as allergies, skin problems, autoimmune disorders, arthritis and so on. One can safely say that many human illneses are food digestion related. Poor digestion and food combining is the cause that many nutrients, including vitamins and minerals are not absorbed by the body, which needs them for growth and repair as well as normal biological functions.

Here are some simple rules that ensure the food we eat is properly broken down to its simple components.
1. Avoid mixing protein foods (red meat, poultry, fish, cheese) with starchy foods (bread, potatoes) at the same meal. Proteins, green vegetables and acid fruits are a good combination.
2. Avoid protein foods and fats at the same meal.
3. Avoid eating starchy foods and acid fruits at the same meal. Starches, fats, green vegetables and sweet fruits are a good combination.

Ideally, foods should be consumed in sequence, that is one at a time so that distinct layers are formed in the stomach. For instance, meat and vegetables (good combination) should be eaten in this order: vegetables first, meat second. Vegetables (raw tossed salad - tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, celery, green/red pepper), which contain plenty of water will take 30-40 min to digest after which they leave the stomach. Meat is then digested with the full enzyme complement (active at low pH) of the stomach in action. Meat (beef, lamb and pork) takes more than 3 hours to digest. By following this pattern, most nutrients in vegetables, some of which are not stable in an acid environment, are moved along faster to the small intestine and absorbed. The idea is to get most nutrients absorbed without delay and with minimal losses.

A good practice for a day's meals is:
1. Breakfast: Light protein food (chicken breast, fish/cheese, eggs), vegetable salad, acid fruits (pineapple, grapefruit, lemon), in the order fruits, salad, meat.
2. Lunch: starchy foods (bread, potatoes), butter, cheese, vegetable salad, sub-acid fruits (bananas, apples, pears), last eaten first.
3. Dinner: protein foods (red meat, fish, soybeans), vegetable salad, acid/sweet fruits, last eaten first. Sweet fruits: oranges, figs.
4. Before bedtime (one hour) you can drink a glass of freshly prepared vegetable juice.
Drink 1-1.5 l of water per day, between meals. Don't drink water or juices during the meal.

And don't forget to add 1-2 capsules of a good brand of probiotics such as Acidophilus bifidus and Bifidobacterium lactis. These bacteria compete for both food and binding sites on the colon wall with other less-than-friendly bacteria. The latter eliminate waste products, most of them toxic compounds as part of their metabolic activity. These toxins cross the colon wall into circulation and are dealt with by the immune system. If this process continues for a long time the immune system is put into an over-drive mode, which in the long run will affect its ability to deal with other important tasks such as fighting pathogenic bacteria and viruses or removing abnormal cells than arise from time to time. Left unchecked, these cells can turn malignant.

As for the "classical" dessert as you know it (fruits, cakes, ice cream) at the end of a rich meal, forget it. Fruits should always be served at least 30 min before a meal or between meals. This is to maximize the absorption of all vitamins, minerals and antioxidant factors contained therein. See also this short slide show.

In conclusion, the idea behind good food combining is that food should be "arranged" in such a way in the stomach so that it is fully digested. It all boils down to getting most nutrients across the intestinal wall for the body to grow, repair and run this wonderful machine that is the human body.

Further reading:
1. Sequential eating and food combining
2. Healing foods: Chapter 1-5, General diet rules

Many Uses For The Humble Dandelion
by mcomo

Many people think of Dandelions as a nuisance. This time of year, I always hear folks sharing ideas on how to get rid of those darn dandelions and which poisons work the best. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those throughout the world who welcome and embrace the dandelion as both food and medicine. The dandelion is a wild vegetable that is abundant, extremely nutritious and still free. The parts used are mostly the leaves and root. They are high in vitamin A, B, C, beta carotene, minerals and fiber. Dandelions act as a natural diuretic and are a popular blood and liver cleanser. They are also considered a general tonic to help nourish and strengthen the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, stomach and intestines. Dandelions have been known to help with anemia, cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, and jaundice, reducing serum cholesterol and uric acid levels. Dandelions have even relieved menopausal symptoms for some. Hot flashes have been linked to liver congestion in certain individuals. When there is liver congestion, previously used hormones that are ready for discard become trapped in the liver, recycled and used repeatedly, eventually causing toxicity.

Then there are those who just love to cook with dandelions. Dr Peter Gail, founder and president of The Defenders of Dandelions, has researched recipes and folklore on wild plant use by people throughout the world. He has collected over 3000 recipes for 105 plants, including over 600 for dandelions. He began eating weeds as a young boy as a necessity for survival after a friend introduced Gail's family to them. In 1994, to promote the use of dandelions, Dr Gail's company, Goosefoot Acres, decided to sponsor a national dandelion cook off in Dover Ohio. It is held the first weekend in May every year and draws people from all over the country eager to enter their favorite dandelion dish in the contest.

If you are ready to go out and pick some dandelion greens, it's best to pick the leaves when they are young and tender, especially if you are going to eat them raw. This is before it flowers. After it flowers, merely cut the plant back to the root and in about 2 weeks or so you will have more tender leaves. This can be done all summer. It may be unhealthy to pick and eat dandelions from soil that has been exposed to repeated applications of herbicide. Chris Atzberger of Columbus Ohio has a recipe for the Classic Dandelion Salad that serves 4. Half lb. fresh dandelion leaves, chopped, 1 small onion minced, 8 oz. fresh mushrooms chopped, 2 T. balsamic vinegar, 3 T. olive oil, half t. salt, 0ne eighth t. black pepper. Toss and serve. I also like mixing dandelion greens in with my other salad greens. They can also be cooked like any green. I wouldn't discard the water after draining, for that's were most of the nutrients are. My wife prefers steaming the greens in a little water or sautéing them in a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Here is a refreshing dandelion and tomato appetizer recipe offered by Gail Harshbarger of Akron Ohio that would complement at any summer picnic. 15 Roma tomatoes or 8 other tomatoes, half c. onions, finely chopped, 1 clove garlic finely minced, one fourth c. sweet yellow pepper diced, one fourth c. sweet red pepper diced, 2 c. dandelion leaves, chopped, 1 c. feta cheese crumbled. One half to three fourth cup c. red wine or Italian dressing, half teaspoon of your favorite mixed dry herbs, 1 t. Worcestershire sauce, One fourth c. Parmesan cheese. Mix all ingredients in a bowl except for the tomatoes. Chill for 1 hour. Cut tomatoes in half and scoop out the inside. Stuff dandelion mixture into the tomatoes and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. My wife usually adds what she scooped out of the tomatoes to the dandelion mixture before chilling. It can also be baked.

The dandelion root is the part used mostly for medicinal purposes. It may be dug up, dried, cut up then made into a tea. It must be simmered for 30 minutes or so. If you would like to enjoy some of the health benefits of dandelion but are not that adventurous, dandelion tea may be purchased as well as the capsules.

The dandelion root is also used to make a tasty and nutritious coffee substitute called, dandy blend. Dandy blend had a delicious coffee-like flavor that can also be used in baking or added to vanilla ice cream to give a delicious creamy coffee flavor.

When I see dandelions, I admire their beauty and give them thanks for all their medicinal gifts…so please be kind to your dandelions.

This article provided by Michael Comeau and is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to diagnose treat or cure any disease. Always consult with your doctor when seeking medical advice.

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Michael Comeau has been owner of many successful businesses over the years including his current online business which can be viewed at You may also find more articles by Michael Comeau at:

Your Body Detox and Diet Work Together
by Candice Humdsly
Internal cleansing should be done every 6 months for those practicing wellness. For those starting their first internal cleanse, it best to start with 60 days, and then see if you need an additional month. A cleanse will range from 30 to 90 days, depending on the amount of toxins that have built up in your system. Once you have finished your cleanse, support your revitalized body with a fiber intake product. Detoxologie's "Maintain" formula coupled with the men's or women's support is the best product we have found.

Fresh juices and your cleanse
During your cleanse you can supply vital enzymes to your body's immune system which will energize the body's natural ability to fight toxins. Fresh fruit juices provide these enzymes and are a very effective way of enhance the body while detoxifying.

Your cleanse and acidic fruits
Try staring your day with a refreshing and detoxifying fruit drink. Citrus fruit and other acidic fruits such as pineapples and tomatoes help stimulate your cleansing process. Try a good breakfast drink of three squeezed oranges, two mandarins and half a red grapefruit. But be careful cut to back on acidic fruits when you are sick. Your body is in a state of accelerated detoxification when you are ill and drinking acidic fruit juices will stimulate the process even more. This may sound like a good thing, but if you detox too fast while ill, your body can overreact and remove essential nutrients along with the toxins.

Raw Fruits and Veggies with Detoxification
Eating raw and unprocessed vegetables and fruits provides live anti-toxin to your system. When cooked, vegetables and fruits loose many of these healthy enzymes. Try a vegetable platter instead of cooked vegetables. You will find easy and regular elimination, nearly odorless bowel movements and greater resistance to diseases.
Look to raw food in increase your fiber intake. This will aid in digestion as it cleanse the blood. It is especially recommended for healthy young people who eat a lot of today's fast foods.

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We are, what we absorb, not what we eat.
by Mich Crawley

It has long been recognized and acknowledged by the medical profession that to maintain a healthy lifestyle we need a balanced diet which includes all of the basic elements – minerals, vitamins, amino acids and various enzymes.

Many people are finding that despite eating healthily they cannot source the nutrients needed. Due to the consumer demand for cheap food, we have encouraged and pressurized the food industry, from farmer to supermarket, to mass produce our food. From battery poultry farming to mass growing fruit and vegetables, most of the products we buy to consume are produced on a large scale.

The side effect of this mass production is food with poor or no nutritional value. On the television last night I watched a report on the news which highlighted that most of the western world are consuming thousands of calories a day while suffering from more malnutrition related diseases than ever.

The reason is down to our food production. We have depleted the soil by over farming and the use of modern farming techniques – which no longer include crop rotation but do include a vast number of fertilizers and pesticides. Because we source a vast amount of food from out of the country, which requires travelling great distances – the produce is picked before it is ripe and before it has reached its nutritional potential.

This is also happening in our livestock production. It has also been reported on the news recently that turkeys are slaughtered at the age of 12 weeks. You might ask why - this is because we, as the consumer want a succulent smaller turkey – which means younger underdeveloped poultry. This results in a lack of nutritional value and for the more discerning consumer – a lack of taste and flavour.

In the last few years there has been more awareness of what we are eating, where it has come from and how we are abusing our power as consumers. The changes have been slow to start with but there is now a more noticeable change in the food being stocked in the supermarkets.

Initially the changes related to organic produce and there have been many discussions about the best not always being beautiful !!! But with more awareness of nutrition values there has been a swing away from organic food, to food which is locally produced and sourced. It is now well known that the longer it takes for your food to reach your plate from its source, the less nutritional value it will have. Obviously with some foods we have no choice – this country does not have the suitable climate to grow citrus fruit, bananas and olives etc.

As well as the nutritional benefits of a shorter chain from producer to shop, there are less transportation costs and the carbon footprint is minimised. Also consumer confidence is increased as labels often clearly show the farm where it was produced.

Fish has also been affected by consumer demand with fishing restrictions and quotas common place as we have come very close to wiping out some species with over fishing. The knock on effect for the consumer is that this once cheap and abundant food has become more expensive, consequently less fish is now being eaten.

This consumer awareness has also led to a growth in the nutritional supplement industry, which is now worth billions. This industry had traditionally been led by the vitamin pill, which has received substantial amounts of bad publicity. Because of the content of many of these tablets our body is unable to break them down and absorb them. There have been many studies and it is estimated that only 10-20% of each of the pills we take are absorbed. So 80-90% of what you paid for your tablet supplements is flushed down the toilet.

Most tablets and capsules have been designed and tested to dissolve in the stomach but not all pills and capsules produced in the same way. Some are compressed at extremely high pressures during manufacturing and do not break down properly in the stomach. I found an interesting fact about this – in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA – each month the filters of their sewage system gets clogged with over 150 gallons of undigested supplement pills.

As with all industries, there is ongoing research and development, and technological leaps forward – the nutritional supplement industry is no different. With the realization that tablets aren't effective and the consumer becoming aware that they are flushing away their money – new delivery systems have been developed.

Now you have multiple options – there are capsules, liquids and gels.

Capsules – these are normally herbal based supplements that can easily be broken down by the stomach acid and absorbed. An alternative method that can be used, is to split open the capsule and add it to another food product such as juice or smoothie.

Liquids – these are a great way to absorb vitamins and minerals, you body can start absorbing them as soon as you swallow as it is already in a form that does not need to be broken down by your digestive system. Liquids are also becoming more popular because a lot of people either don't want to swallow pills or they are unable too, which makes this a more attractive option to older and younger people. Gels – there are the latest delivery system to hit the market. Nutritional supplements are most effective when ingested according to the optimal timing guidelines for each individual supplement. Some nutrients are better absorbed when taken with meals. Others are best when consumed at pre–determined intervals prior to food ingestion in order to maximize the effect of their active ingredients, or to avoid conflicting uptake mechanisms with other food particles.

Gel supplements are packaged in convenient gel packs that are highly portable, allowing availability at the appropriate time—no matter when it is. In addition, the gel can often be ingested without water, which means you can take them out and about with you, where ever you go. By encouraging and allowing the correct timing and ingestion of food supplements, gel technology enhances the absorption and utilization of each nutrient. The introduction of gel technology means all nutrients remain in their natural state, optimizing bioavailability, and increasing the absorption and digestion of essential vitamins and minerals. In a nutshell, Gel supplements have the potential to change the way we take nutritional supplements. By increasing the ease–of–use and enhancing absorption, gel technology widens the scope of supplementation—allowing a wider audience to benefit from dietary and nutritional improvements.

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Mich Crawley is an Independent distributor for Neways, which is a long established company that manufactures powerful nutritional products. Find more about our range of Neways Productsfrom Unreasonable Risk, Neways distributors. All of the products Neways produce and sell are free from toxic chemicals and harmful carcinogens, and are endorsed by the Cancer Prevention Coalition.