Cancer, Immune System
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A New Weapon in the War Against Cancer

The human body was designed with a built-in defense force, your immune system. If you imagine the immune system as a general coordinating his troops, when your body is threatened, he gives orders to the white blood cells called T cells, to stand at attention poised to fend off foreign invaders – such as malignant cells. When the T cell warrior sees an invader, he raises his weapon and targets that cell for annihilation.

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Diet
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A New Way to Pack Your Lunch

Julia Mirabella is a Washington, D.C. based attorney who grew up enjoying Italian food. When the time came to pack her own lunches for the office, she began designing portable, delicious Mediterranean salads. In her book, Mason Jar Salads and More: 50 Layered Lunches to Grab and Go, she showcases tasty layered meals that fit easily in a wide-mouth jars.

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Natural Cures, Natural Remedies
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Be Healthy with Bee Propolis

Bee product enthusiasts have long touted the health benefits of honey, pollen, royal jelly, and propolis. Bee propolis is sometimes called “bee glue,” and it is a health balm. Research shows it even has anti-cancer properties.

San Diego State University professor, Dr. Seema Patel of the Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics Research Center, completed a review of scientific literature on propolis and cancer. She found animal and laboratory studies that demonstrated that propolis is effective against brain, pancreas, head and neck, kidney and bladder, skin, prostate, breast, colon, liver and blood cancers.

With 300 active compounds, propolis fights cancer in a number of ways. It has anti-angiogenesis properties that inhibit the growth of new blood vessels to supply malignant cells. It inhibits the metatasis of tumors, suppresses the division of malignant cells, and induces apoptosis (programmed cell death). Propolis also supports cancer patients by mitigating the toxic side effects of chemotherapy drugs.

Bees produce propolis from resin they take from pine and other conifer evergreen trees. They combine the resin with flakes of wax and pollen, and carry it back to the hive. With this sticky substance, they patch holes, seal cracks, and construct panels in the hive.

In addition to serving as building material, propolis provides an antiseptic barrier that guards the hive from contamination and from outside attacks from mice, snakes and lizards. The origin of the word propolis is actually from the Greek, for “defense of the city.” Because of its microbial properties, propolis also protects the hive from bacterial and viruses.

Folk medicine practitioners have used propolis for millenia, to heal abscesses, treat wounds, and combat infection. The London pharmacopoeias of the 17th century lists propolis as an official drug.

Contemporary scientific research confirms the health benefits of propolis. There have been more than 2,000 studies on bee propolis, demonstrating the following benefits:

1. Anti-Microbial Action

Propolis fights bacteria, fungi and viruses. In one study, a propolis solution was applied to diabetic rats, and was shown to speed healing.

Propolis is an effective treatment in children to ward off respiratory tract infections, fight symptoms of the common cold, and prevent ear infections.

2. Healing of Burns

A 2002 study from the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine determined that propolis may facilitate the healing of minor burns. The researchers performed a comparison of a propolis skin cream with silver sulfadiazine, a standard drug for treatment of burns. Propolis proved as effective as the drug in treating second degree burns.

3. Prevention of Dental Caries

Greek and Roman physicians recommended propolis as a mouth disinfectant. Modern research shows it can be effective in the treatment of periodontitis and gingivitis. Extracts from propolis also limit bacterial plaque and reduce tooth decay. Other studies indicate propolis may support regeneration of dental pulp, bone tissue and cartilage.

4. Treatment for Parasites

Early studies show propolis may eliminate parasite infestations. In one study, subjects had a 52 to 60 percent success rate in eliminating giadiarsis.

5. Wart Removal

One study of 135 subjects with two distinct types of warts were given oral propolis, echinacea, or a placebo. Results appeared in the International Journal Dermatology. The cure rates were 75 percent for plane warts and 73 percent for common warts, far above cure rates for echinacea or placebo.

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Disease, Health Studies, Healthy Foods, Heart Health, Immune System, Natural Remedies
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Are You Eating Real Cinnamon?

You may be surprised to know that most of the “cinnamon” sold in Europe and North America is actually not cinnamon at all. It is a similar spice more properly known as cassia, and it does not provide the valuable health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is in Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean. Cassia, sometimes called Chinese cinnamon or Saigon cinnamon, is grown primarily in Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Japan and Korea.

Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years to seas food and for its medicinal qualities. Ancient Egyptians used cinnamon in their embalming rituals. The Emperor Nero showed his devotion to his late wife by having a year’s supply of cinnamon burned on her funeral pyre.

There are several differences between the two cinnamons. Ceylon cinnamon costs more and is more difficult to find. It is more refined, lighter and sweeter than cassia, and it is a better choice for use in sweet desserts. The heaver cassia cinnamon is suited to savory dishes.

A more important difference, however, is the level of coumarin, a natural compound that functions as a blood thinner when ingested. Cassia has a much higher level of coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon. In fact, patients on blood thinning medications such as warfarin are encouraged to limit their intake of cinnamon, but this applies much more to cassia than real cinnamon.

Both kinds of cinnamon are very good sources of manganese, a trace mineral essential to healthy bones and the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. They are both rich in dietary fiber, iron and calcium. Fiber and calcium work together to lower the likelihood of colon cancer, reduce cholesterol levels, and relieve constipation and diarrhea.

Here are six reasons to eat the real cinnamon, every day:

1. It lowers blood sugar levels. – Cinnamon normalizes blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics by reducing insulin resistance. Less than half a teaspoon a day reduces blood sugar levels.

2. It improves heart health. – A research study completed in 2003 found that type 2 diabetic subjects who ate between one and six grams of cinnamon (about 2 teaspoons) daily for 40 days lowered their blood sugar levels by 18 – 29 percent, and also reduced triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent, their LDL (bad) cholesterol by 7 to 27 percent, and their total cholesterol by 12 to 26 percent.

3. It assists in blood clotting. – Extensive research has shown cinnamon supports the healthy clotting of blood platelets.

4. It fights bacteria and fungus – Ayurvedic medicine prizes cinnamon for its anti-microbial qualities. Cinnamon fights not just bacteria, but also viruses, fungi and Candida.

5. It boosts memory and protects the brain.- The simple act of smelling cinnamon, or chewing cinnamon flavored gum, improves brain activity. Research shows it improves memory attention, and cognition.

6. It improves digestion. – Traditional Chinese medicine uses cinnamon for flatulence, nausea and diarrhea. It supports digestion of fruit and dairy products.

Although both cassia and Ceylon cinnamon offer some health benefits, spend a little extra month and get the real thing. You will notice it is a lighter shade of brown, a finer texture and a sweeter scent – and it is work the extra expenditure of time and money.

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Diet
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How to Live Well with Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity is a characteristic of three conditions: celiac disease (CD), wheat allergy, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). One percent of the population has celiac disease, the most serious of these conditions, and one in 1,000 people have wheat allergies. The incidence of NCGS is unknown, but it is certainly the most common of the three disorders.

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Diabetes, Diet, Energy, Exercise, Water
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Dehydration and Depression

Depression is a complex issue, with a multitude of physical and emotional causes. If you experience depression, however, or someone close to you does, you may want to consider whether dehydration could be a contributing factor.  Dehydration is dangerous not just to your physical health, but also to your emotional well-being.

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Cancer, Disease, Toxins
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The Dangers of Root Canals

Although root canals continue to be a standard practice in most dental offices, more and more dentists are advising against them. In a root canal, most if not all of the nerve in the tooth is removed. As a patient, you can eat again, and the pain is gone. Unfortunately, however, a root canal is a temporary solution and often the beginning of a chronic problem. Many doctors now believe root canals can damage the immune system and negatively affect your overall health.

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Health Studies, Mental Health
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Mindfulness and Your Brain

Most of us have now heard of mindfulness, but you may have only a vague understanding of the term. Mindfulness is often recommended to reduce stress and anxiety. Scientists have proven its positive health outcomes in terms of neuroscience, and people all over the world are enjoying the benefits of this increasingly popular practice.

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Diet, Health Studies, Natural Remedies
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Why Scientists are Praising Turmeric

If you’re a fan of Indian food, you are probably familiar with turmeric. This bright orange herb gives curry its vibrant color, and it is used in most Indian dishes. What you may not know is that Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, uses turmeric as a medicinal ingredient.

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Digestion, Disease, Immune System
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Understanding Gluten Intolerance

You may have noticed how many grocery products are now labeled “gluten free,” as food producers exploit consumers’ concerns about gluten intolerance. But what is gluten intolerance, and how big a problem is it?

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