Anti-inflammatories are prescribed to address arthritis pain and stiffness. Unfortunately there is not much known about what causes arthritis or how to cure it. There does seem to be a “wear and tear” component and auto-immune component.
Everyone knows that long term anti-inflammatories like aspirin, ibuprofen, advil and prescription drugs have bad side effects. Taking these substances long term inhibit important chemicals called prostaglandins that are involved in maintaining your stomach lining and health of your blood vessels among other things. Sometimes people who take these drugs get stomach ulcers or even heart attacks.
However, it gets even worse. Anti-inflammatories make arthritis worse! Anti-inflammatories inhibit cartilage from regenerating.
If you have wear and tear arthritis and you are taking anti-inflammatories for pain, you will never heal.
Check out this study here on how bad NSAIDs are for your joints.
In human studies, NSAIDs have been shown to accelerate the radiographic progression of OA of the knee and hip. For those using NSAIDs compared to the patients who do not use them, joint replacements occur earlier and more quickly and frequently. The author notes that massive NSAID use in osteoarthritic patients since their introduction over the past forty years is one of the main causes of the rapid rise in the need for hip and knee replacements, both now and in the future.
While it is admirable for the various consensus and rheumatology organizations to educate doctors and the lay public about the necessity to limit NSAID use in OA, the author recommends that the following warning label be on each NSAID bottle:
The use of this nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication has been shown in scientific studies to accelerate the articular cartilage breakdown in osteoarthritis. Use of this product poses a significant risk in accelerating osteoarthritis joint breakdown. Anyone using this product for the pain of osteoarthritis should be under a doctor’s care and the use of this product should be with the very lowest dosage and for the shortest duration of time.
If NSAID use continues, then most likely the exponential rise in degenerative arthritis and subsequent musculoskeletal surgeries, including knee and hip replacements as well as spine surgeries, will continue to rise as well.
– See more at: http://www.journalofprolotherapy.com/index.php/the-acceleration-of-articular-cartilage-degeneration-in-osteoarthritis-by-nonsteroidal-anti-inflammatory-drugs/#sthash.96kPMmzJ.dpuf
In conclusion, NCD (Novel Curcumin Derivative) could enhance erectile function with more efficacy and more prolonged duration of action.
Here’s another study that says it can be effective for up to a week vs a few hours for Viagra.
You can read it here.
Results. In group 2, there was a significant progressive maintained elevation of HO activity and cGMP tissue levels
starting from the first hour in subgroups 3 and 4, whereas, the rise in HO activity and cGMP started from second
hour regarding the other rat subgroups. Sildenafil effect decreased after 3 hours. In group 3, there was a significant
maintained elevation of HO activity and cGMP tissue levels extended to 1 week as compared to controls for all rat
subgroups that received both forms of curcumin. In group 4, long-acting curcumin derivative exhibited more
significant potentiation of intracavernosal pressure as compared to control and to the pure curcumin.
Conclusion. Water-soluble long-acting curcumin derivative could mediate erectile function via upregulating cavernous
I’ve been looking for a water soluble curcumin supplement. They are hard to find, but this looks like an early one:
There’s evidence that ibuprofen could extend lifespan and health for humans up to 15%!
You can read about it here.
According to the article at Sciencedaily,
Regular doses of ibuprofen extended the lifespan of multiple species, according to research published in the journal Public Library of Science, Genetics.
“We first used baker’s yeast, which is an established aging model, and noticed that the yeast treated with ibuprofen lived longer,” said Dr. Michael Polymenis, an AgriLife Research biochemist in College Station. “Then we tried the same process with worms and flies and saw the same extended lifespan. Plus, these organisms not only lived longer, but also appeared healthy.”
He said the treatment, given at doses comparable to the recommended human dose, added about 15 percent more to the species lives. In humans, that would be equivalent to another dozen or so years of healthy living.
Many people are applying Rogaine (Minoxidil) in various strengths to their scalps and eyebrows to increase hair growth. Minoxidil has been talked about since at least the early 80s when tests on monkeys showed it could grow hair. No one really understood why it worked. There are many theories ranging from increased blood flow to some “unknown” growth factor. Recently, studies are focusing in on prostaglandins, specfically PGD2 and PGE2. It seems that balding scalps have very high levels of PGD2 and when scientists studied this, they learned that PGD2 causes hair to go into resting stage and PGE2 signals hair to grow. They have been able to confirm that people who aren’t afflicted with baldness have higher concentrations of PGE2 in their scalps.
To cut to the chase, it appears that one of the mechanisms for Rogaine’s effectiveness is that it can increase PGE2 levels in the scalp! So this could be one of the main reasons why it works.
Unfortunately, many people apply rogaine before sleeping and it can get on pillows and bed sheets. This means it’s getting inadvertently rubbed in around the eyes.
What happens when PGE2 levels increase around the eyes? This:
If you read this article here, it talks about PGE2 contributing significantly to aging of the skin around the eyes and dark circles.
Dark circles, bags and loss of fat tissue are well known side effects of glaucoma medications that mimic prostaglandins used on the eye. One such medicine became a hair growth medication, Latisse.
So if you are not looking as fresh as you once did and you’re a Rogaine user, check out your eyes. Are they baggy with very dark circles? Have they sunk in? It’s not your imagination! Google “rogaine dark circles under eyes” and you’ll see many people suffer from this. Most of the time the sunken dark eyes reverse back to normal after stopping rogaine, but sometimes (after prolonged use) they won’t bounce back and you may have to think about surgery or other corrective measures.
I absolutely love my nutribullet. For those living in isolation who have never heard of it, you can learn about it here . Nutribullet is the best way to eat superfoods. Sometimes I’ll throw my vitamin capsules in there. Pure vitamin C is a good one for this.
It’s basically a blender running at 600 Watts. A new version just came out at 900 Watts which I will get when my current one needs replacing. I use it everyday to make smoothies. I’m not really sure why it’s better than a basic $20 blender, maybe it’s the shape of the container. The marketing hype says it’s “cyclonic action” that blends the contents better than a blender, but I’m not entirely sure about that claim. Nevertheless, it works great, easy to clean and a super way to drink your vegetables with skin, seeds and fiber (unlike traditional juicers). I finder juicers ridiculously hard to clean and feel you lose all the beneficial fiber.
The nutribullet is the best way to add superfoods like cacao beans, gelatinized maca, goji berry and others to your diet. You can’t do this with a juicer. Load up the plastic container with some vegetables and your choice of superfood with some water, almond or coconut milk and you’re good to go.
I love to add fresh ginger and turmeric. You can get these at your local asian supermarket. I am thankful everyday that I live near several Patel Brothers Supermarkets where you can get many hard to find items like fresh turmeric root and other herbs. You can learn more about Patel Brothers here .
Let’s talk about cacao (chocolate beans). It’s an awesome superfood that you can add to your nutribullet for an extra anti-oxidant and nutritional punch. A great place to get a pound of the stuff is here:
These little crunchy nibs disappear in your smoothie. You can also snack on them (two travel bags are included in the purchase) or add them to salads, nut mixes and yogurt. Cacao increases nitric oxide levels in your body for blood flow and immune system benefits. The good things cacao does to your body are too numerous to mention here, but I bet if you are reading this blog you already know how good for you it is. All i’m saying is put it in your smoothie as a really easy way to add it to your daily regimen.
Sometimes I’ll make a basic smoothie with frozen strawberry, whey protein powder and the cacao nibs. It’s amazingly good!
My heart goes out to those who have had to suffer through the pain of a disc herniation. Many times people will have a disc bulge or a disc herniation and experience no real symptoms. However, sometimes the herniation presses on a nerve and it can cause unrelenting and debilitating pain.
Many of us read stories about acute and chronic pain and don’t really understand what it means. For people who do experience it, it’s almost like a private members only club. The pain from a disc herniation can be unrelenting and it’s not really helped with prescription pain killers. Especially when the pain radiates to other parts of the body like the legs and arms, it’s crippling. Imagine being in searing pain constantly and being unable to move for months.
It happened to me. In a panic, I had to call an ambulance to take me to the emergency room. They injected me and filled me up with pain killers and I was still unable to walk. It’s been a couple months and I’m still dealing with it. Things we take for granted like getting in and out of bed or a car are almost impossible. Getting into the car is so painful, it’s like being asked which finger you want broken before you go out for the day.
Here are some random things I learned that I hope can save someone time and help heal faster.
First, you need an MRI to diagnose a disc herniation. At the emergency room, they took an x-ray and a CAT scan and told me i was pretty much ok, maybe just some soft tissue injury. It would have been nice to know that based on my symptoms, a visit to an orthopedist and an MRI would be helpful. I spent about three weeks afterwards being treated by a well meaning physical therapist for piriformis syndrome. The stretching and exercises made things worse!! Lesson 1..if you throw your back out or feel pain radiating to your sacrum, butt, legs, toes, shoulders, elbows, hands..get an MRI. Be careful with chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists. Xrays and Cat only rule out obvious things like fractures.
Second, your diet affects your pain levels. I noticed I had an uptick in pain after every meal. I very soon made the connection between carbohydrates and other inflammatory foods and pain immediately after eating. I was able to drop my pain levels considerably by adopting a low carb diet. I eat grass fed meats and seafood and it helps immediately. I’ve tested it several times. Something interesting I found was that grass fed yogurt made me feel a lot less pain then regular yogurt. That was very interesting. But the best thing I did was cut out dairy and grains (carbs) and I don’t feel any pain after I eat. This was a big discovery for me and is helping a lot.
Third, you can reduce your pain levels by eating a lot of ginger. I put a tablespoon of powdered ginger in my black coffee in the morning. The coffee is inflammatory and hurts, but the ginger overrides it. I was able to reduce my reliance on ibuprofen by getting raw ginger in smoothies and adding powdered ginger to my coffee.
I use the magic bullet to make smoothies. The magic bullet was the best 90 bucks I ever spent in my life. I use it daily and it gets me my vegetables and other supplements very easily.
The pain from something like a disc herniation is unbearable. It also takes a really long time to heal. This long healing time takes a toll on family and friends. Someone suffering from this pain feels isolated, stranded and very lonely. The emotional toll on someone feeling chronic pain is never really talked about but is very serious. It can literally destroy a person’s life.
Walking vs Running?
Check out this article from Time–it says that walking is similar to running with regards to health benefits such as reduction of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. However, when you read the article, walking is almost TWICE as good as running. Not JUST as good as:
Here’s what the researchers found:
Running significantly reduced the risk for being diagnosed with hypertension by 4.2% while walking reduced the risk by 7.2%
Running reduced the chances of having high cholesterol by 4.3% and walking by 7%
Running lowered risk of diabetes by 12.1% while walking dropped the risk by 12.3%
Running reduced coronary heart disease risk by 4.5% compared to 9.3% for walking.
You can read the whole article here.
The way I read this, walking is almost 2x as good as running for hypertension, almost 2x as good as running for high cholesterol, just as good as running for diabetes, and again 2x as good as running for heart disease.
So forgot running. I feel that too much running increases inflammation in the body and breaks it down.
Go enjoy your walk!
Here’s an interesting research study.
Scientists researching the effects of yogurt on obesity and weight loss fed two groups of mice a Junk Food Diet and a Regular Diet. Then they gave half the mice in each group extra vanilla yogurt.
The mice eating the yogurt grew bigger testicles, had shinier hair and a “swagger” about them. They mated with more females and got to them faster than their counterparts who did not have yogurt.
What does this mean? The researchers think it was due to the probiotics in the yogurt.
They probably need to do more studies to figure out if yogurt increased testosterone or grew the testicles through some other mechanism.
According to the article:
Reflecting on their unpublished results, Erdman and Alm think that the probiotic microbes in the yogurt help to make the animals leaner and healthier, which indirectly improves sexual machismo.
The findings could have implications for human fertility. In ongoing work, a team led by Harvard nutritional epidemiologist Jorge Chavarro has looked at the association between yogurt intake and semen quality in men. “So far our preliminary findings are consistent with what they see in the mice,” Chavarro says.
Bigger Balls Shinier Hair With….Yogurt!
I was really enjoying making my milk based kefir. I got the ratios correct to make creamy, sour milk kefir that was not only delicious, but good for you. Then I saw the video, Forks Over Knives. Suddenly, my delicious and healthy probiotic dairy drink didn’t seem so healthy. For those of you who are not aware of this video, it’s a must see. It’s available on Netflix.
The video is all about how we should be eating a plant based diet and eschew any animal based products from our diets. Doing so can virtually start to eliminate risks for so many diseases that affect us. It’s never too late to start!
But this isn’t about a vegetarian diet and it’s health benefits. It’s about Coconut Milk Kefir and how darn good it tastes!
So, take those milk kefir grains and instead of adding fresh milk, add a can of coconut milk. It will be ready in 24-36 hours depending on how much kefir grain and coconut milke you use. I used to think there were alot of calories in coconut milk until a checked yesterday. A can of coconut milk only has about 200 calories. There’s a good video at this site that shows you how easy it is to make.
I think Coconut Milk Kefir is a great compromise. You get the super benefits of probiotics and the great health benefits of coconut fat..and you don’t consume dairy products.
I’m still working out how to make kefir. I put too much milk one time and the kefir was a little watery. One night this week I made it perfectly. The next day it was creamy and fizzy..something like a light beer mixed with creamy milk. Sounds weird, but it was delicious. However, one thing I noticed was extremely vivid dreams..I mean full length feature films all night.
I’m curious about the gut/dreaming connection. I noticed a lot of people on the net are reporting vivid dreams and probiotics. Home-made kefir is a super probiotic. Kefir Vivid Dreams Try it!
Most people know yogurt, but not many people know Kefir. Kefir has almost 10x as much probiotic power than yogurt, and it’s really easy to make.
First, get some Kefir cultures. They look like this:
And you can get them here from Fusion Teas on Amazon
Then get some whole milk and add these to them. Let it sit overnight in a glass jar and you’ll have some awesome, tangy life giving liquid. Like it stronger? Let it stand 24-48 hours.
Strain out the grains (they would have grown a little) and add them to a new batch of milk.
I like the idea of trillions of beneficial bacteria vs billions in yogurt. These bacteria make vitamins in your gut and can cure lactose intolerance!
My first batch tasted pretty good but will need to keep working at it. The Kefir grains reportedly will last forever!
I found out there are many forms of turmeric. Some sources indicate there are over 70 different types of this wonderful herb used in cooking and medicine. Many people are familiar with the popular type used in most curries and other recipes. It is sometimes called “Madras.” It contains the main chemical curcumin, which is the star of this herb due to it’s anti-inflammtory, anti-bacterial and overall healing properties. There are thousands of studies of this chemical and herb that you can read about on the net.
However, I recently learned there’s another main form of this herb called “Allepey”. It’s a darker orange color and has about 6.5% curcumin vs 3.5% for Madras turmeric.
The lesson here is find out what kind of turmeric your application or recipe calls for. Allepey turmeric has a different taste and aroma since it’s much stronger than Madras turmeric.
You can buy both versions of the spice at my favorite shop in NYC, Kalustyans. This site has a good overview of the different types of turmeric.
Turmeric is a “must have” addition to your health regimen. The research abounds with reports of reduced inflammation and many other benefits for the immune system.
Turmeric is a main ingredient in curry, however, you don’t need to make or buy curry to enjoy it’s health benefits.
Here’s a great way to take a teaspoon or two of turmeric:
Scramble two or three raw eggs with a couple teaspoons of turmeric powder and cook your eggs as usual.
Turmeric is often used as a dye, so your eggs will have a beautiful orange color.
It’s a tasty way to take turmeric!
Believe it or not, there’s a very simple way to raise testosterone naturally and reduce cortisol. You don’t have to ingest anything nor do you have to take any injections! You can raise your testosterone levels by merely assuming a “power pose” for 2 minutes. Power poses are natural postures you assume when you feel dominant or powerful. For example, standing with your fists on your hips or with your arms in the air like a victory pose. The research proves you can boost testosterone by only doing this!
Here’s a awesome video of Amy Cuddy speaking about the research:
If you find yourself hunched over, collapsed or submissive, you’re not only feeling low, your cortisol levels are higher than they should be and your testosterone levels are low! Don’t do it anymore! Straighten up and take up space. As Amy says in the video, “Fake it till you make it!”.
Btw, I didn’t know that you can feel happier by faking a smile too. Very interesting.
The chinese are well known for making tonics for drinking and for applying to injuries. Anyone who has practiced chinese martial arts is familiar with ‘dit da jow’ or ‘hit medicine’. Dit da jow is usually a secret combination of herbs soaked in alcohol for several months to years and applied to injuries to speed up healing.
Taken internally, the tonics are often called ‘Spring Wine’. You can make your own chinese tonic spring wine with just a little bit of money and lots of time! I believe these home brews are much more powerful than anything you can buy in a bottle or pill at an herb shop.
I love to drink Shou Wu Chih and decided to make my own a few months ago. I bought a bottle in a chinatown herb shop and asked the owner to make up a batch of the raw herbs so I can soak them in rice wine and enjoy a fresh powerful home made batch. I had to buy 4 bottles of the highest percentage alcohol (38%) rice wine at the liquor store around the corner. When I got home, I added a bit of Rou Cong Gong, baji tian, du zhong and American Ginseng to add some kick to it. I tried a bit the other day to see how it was progressing and it was powerful! First of all, I slept like a baby after drinking a few shots. It was so strong, I had to mix some raw honey in there to make it palatable. Also, I have to say that this stuff increases nitric oxide production in the body. After a few days on this, my thinking was clearer, I easily felt 10 years younger. It makes you feel strong and powerful. So now I have a gallon of this stuff to work through! I didn’t measure my testosterone levels, but if I had to go by physical indicators, this stuff boosts testosterone levels!!
So, not stopping there, I found a great recipe for another batch here. This site has a jpg you can print out with the formula. It costs $15 in the united states to make up this batch (plus the alcohol). The owner remarked that this was a great formula and was really impressed that came in the store with it. However, I wanted to kick it up a few more notches. I added deer anter glue, korean ginseng, shou wu (fo ti) and goji berries. The blogger, happyhomemaker88 also had the same idea to add goji berries but complained they soaked up a bit of the wine.
The herbalist was impressed with my knowledge of chinese herbs and confirmed those were good additions. I wanted to do even more but was told “enough”..it was strong enough! Now I have to let this stuff soak a few months. I’ll try an early taste in 2-3 months and give a good 6 months.
Low Carb diets are making a huge comeback after news that an Atkins style diet can burn up to 300 calories a day more than a low fat diet! However, there’s a catch–researchers are saying inflammation markers and cortisol could increase. A good compromise? They recommend a low glycemic diet instead. It won’t burn as much extra calories as a really low carb diet, but you won’t have as much cortisol and inflammation.
Check out this newstory here.
Everyone knows that resveratrol has been shown to delay aging and has remarkable effects. However, I stumbled upon something very interesting. Did you know that aloe vera, the plant that you can grow in your home for almost nothing, has similar effects?
How come nobody is interested in exploring this study further? Click to see the study on Pubmed. Or here’s the abstract:
“Longevity extension in Drosophila melanogaster by feeding diet supplemented with chemicals throughout adulthood can cause harmful side effects. We tested the effect of larval diet supplementation with five different concentrations of resveratrol and one concentration of Aloe vera extract on the adult longevity of short-lived D melanogaster populations. Resveratrol and A vera extract supplementation of larval diet extended adult longevity in both the male and female flies without reducing fecundity but by efficient reactive oxygen species scavenging through increased antioxidant enzymes activity and better neuroprotection as indicated by increased locomotor activity in adult males.”
I remember years ago bringing an aloe vera plant home. We planted it outside and within a few years we had a farm of them. Too bad I wasn’t aware of it’s anti-aging free radical scavenging effects back then.
Many people know that you can put aloe vera on your skin to speed up healing of burns and cuts, but many people don’t know you can and should drink the stuff! Don’t grind up the skin, filet it and mix up the inner gel in a blender with some fresh squeezed orange juice. Or if you’re brave, drink it straight up!
I found this cool guy on the ‘net who loves his aloe and it works for him. Check him out!
Here’s a youtube clip showing a good way to prepare a refreshing and healthy drink.
I heard it helps you lose weight too!
I’m trying Bee Pollen. I found a local, dark, raw and unfiltered honey to take with it. Feeling pretty good after only a day on this stuff. I’ve tried bee pollen years ago and didn’t notice much. I’m thinking that maybe it’s true that you should try as much as possible to get bee products locally. Bee Pollen has been reported to kick the libido into high gear as well as heal prostate issues. It also reportedly helps you lose weight!