Journal of Immunity

Vol 3 No 2 April-June 2005

Beets and other methyl donors inhibit interleukin-6. Beets used to treat cancer, MS, nerve damage. Methyl donors used for HIV, chronic fatigue, joint pain, candidiasis, cancer, and heart disease

Wine containing red beet extract and the French Paradox.

C LeBeau / M Konlee

In France where the diet is high in cheese, butter and cholesterol, it is nearly always ingested with a liberal amount of red wine. The French paradox, widely reported in the media, is that in spite of a high fat diet known to cause heart disease, the French live long and have a low incidence of coronary illness.

In an article in Medical Hypotheses (1), Mar and Zeisel report that in France, sugar beets are added in the wine making process both for color and as a source of sugar to increase the alcohol content of the wine. Zeisel and Mar state that beets contain betaine, a source of methyl donors and that methyl donors help to metabolize homocysteine, a known risk factor in causing heart disease. They report that the average glass of French wine contains 3 mg of betaine. While this is not a large dose, the continuous consumption of betaine in the wine may lower homocysteine levels and thus lower the risk of developing heart disease.

The skin of red grapes used in making wine is also loaded with other anti-oxidants, most notably Resveratrol, whose benefits also contribute to lowering other risk factors for heart disease such as the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

"The Link between Adrenal Fatigue and DNA Methylation"

by Susan Solomon MD

Excerpted from the Townsend Letter for Doctors (May 2005) (www.townsendletter.com) (2)

"Adrenal function is vital to life: without cortisol we die. This fact has been known since the 1930s when it was described by Banting and Best.

"Adrenal fatigue begins with a stressor (stressful event such as ) Psychosocial stress, environmental toxins (radon, mercury, mold), infectious organisms (fungal, bacterial, parasitic), food allergies (wheat, corn, sugar, milk), and other toxins (alcohol, drugs) to name a few. In addition, stressful events such as surgery or car accidents place a huge load on the adrenal glands.

"The initial response to each of the above events is to elevate cortisol levels to help cope with the stress. However, over time, the adrenals become weakened and lose their circadian rhythm.

"Over time, there develops a negative feedback and a genuine fatigue causing reduced levels of DHEA-S and cortisol. The end results is increased likelihood of autoimmune disease, heart attacks, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, skin disorders, carbohydrate cravings, fatigue and depression to name a few.

"As DHEA-S levels decrease, the level of homocysteine rises, with a concomitant decrease in most B-vitamins, but especially folate and B12. With the establishment of disease another pivotal biochemical event happens: abnormal methyl metabolism.

Abnormal DNA methylation linked to cancer, depression, joint pain and acid-reflux

Solomon further states: "Multiple reports in the recent literature link abnormal DNA methylation with the onset of cancer in laboratory animals. Undoubtedly, this occurs in humans as well. It is my clinical experience that when the DHEA-S falls to below 160 the ability to make methyl groups nosedives as well. These patients may then present with symptoms of depression (inability to synthesize S-adenosylmethionine AKA SAMe), joint pain (inability to make methylsulfonomethionine aka MSM), and gastric reflux (inability to make betaine or trimethylglycine aka TMG), to name a few.

"Not only does the ability to make methyl groups decrease, but the ability to convert to a methylated product is also compromised. For example, in chronically ill individuals, the use of B12 as either cyancobalamin or the hydroxocobalamin form seems to do little to improve fatigue or mental functioning. The ideal compound is methylcobalamin (Methyl B12)- the only active form. In each case, oral supplementation with the missing methyl-containing substrate ameliorates the symptoms. In each of the scenarios listed, the severity of the illness correlates with the level of the reduced or deficient DHEA-S and the concomitant elevated homocysteine level. The elevated homocysteine level is not only a marker for inflammation, but it is a marker for deficient B vitamins as well. The stage is now set for abnormal DNA methylation and the induction of cancer.

"Efforts to repair adrenal fatigue include nutrients (in their most active form), glandular preparations, DHEA and in severe cases cortisol itself and lifestyle modifications."

  • Susan Solomon MD
  • 12201 Gayton Rd #201
  • Richmond, VA 23238
  • Methyl donors inhibit interleukin-6

    A "methyl" group is -CH3 or one part carbon attached to 3 parts hydrogen. Methyl donors have a critical role to play in detoxification pathways. Italian researchers, Armenante F et al (3) reported in 1999 that reducing DNA methylation correlates with interleukin-6 (IL-6) gene hypomethylation and increases the level of its expression. The researchers found in experiments on a breast cancer cell line that when they suppressed methylation, it increased (IL-6) gene expression in the cancer cells. In layman's terms, lack of methyl donors leads to hypomethylation and causes the IL-6 gene to become more active thus producing more IL-6. IL-6 is a cytokine that stimulates the B cells and the TH2 arm of the immune system. IL-6 and TNF-a are known to be over active in cancer, AIDS, CFIDS, candidiasis and numerous other conditions and plays a significant role in the progression of these conditions.

    In Japan, Yamashiki et al tested the cytokine effects from using Methyl B12 as this form of the vitamin has attracted the attention of physicians in treating rheumatism. They found that "as compared to controls, IL-6 productions induced by PHA and ConA on Day 4 of the culture was suppressed by an average of 60-70% when methyl B12 was added to the medium." (5) Editors note: For the past few years, we have been searching for ways to normalize IL-6 and TNF-a ­ the two cytokines who over activity causes chronic fatigue and depresses Natural Killer cell activity and cell-mediated immunity and thus promoting cancer and HIV progression to AIDS.

    Sources of Methyl donors

    Sources of methyl donors include Betaine (also known as trimethylglycine) from Red Beets or Betaine from Blackstrap Molasses, Choline from lecithin, brewers yeast, wheat germ and other sources, SAMe, dimethylglycine (DMG), MSM (MethylSulfonylMethionine), Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12) and Folic acid. The B vitamin "Choline," (tetramethylglycine) has 4 methyl groups attached to it. When one methyl group (CH3) is donated, it becomes trimethylglycine (TMG). When TMG donates one methyl group, it then becomes DMG (dimethylglycine). Betaine (TMG) as a methyl donor, and other methyl donors, reduce blood levels of homocysteine, a toxic byproduct of cysteine amino-acid metabolism linked to arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis. TMG is referred to as lipotropic and reduces fatty liver and protects against chemical damage and alcohol damage to the liver. TMG and beets have been used in the treatment of liver disease in Europe. (4)

    Note: As a dietary supplement, Betaine hydrochloride is used as a source of hydrochloric acid to support digestion and while it is a source of Betaine or TMG, it should not be used as a primary source of betaine but rather as a source of stomach acid to support digestion.

    Dimethylglycine (DMG) prevents gastric ulcers in rat model

    Researchers have found that 25 to 35 mg of DMG per KG of body weight significantly reduced ulcer size, number and ulcer index in pyloric-ligation, ibuprofen and stress induced ulcers in rats. There was a corresponding reduction free radicals indicating the antioxidant activity provided cytoprotection of the gastric mucosa. (10)

    Note: The dose used by the researchers in the rat model would be the equivalent of 1700 mg daily of DMG for a 150 pound adult person. Since the B vitamin Choline found abundantly in lecithin and TMG found in beets will eventually break down into DMG in the body, these sources might also work in preventing gastric ulcers in the rat model although they were not part of the experiment. Besides lecithin, brewers yeast is an excellent source of Choline.

    Beets for cancer, AIDS, chronic fatigue and candidiasis

    Assuming that vegetable oils (canola, corn, soybean oil, safflower, sunflower, grape seed oil) high in PUFAs (Omega 6) that suppress cell-mediated immunity and including margarine, trans fats and hydrogenated oils are eliminated from the diet, then the use of beets and other methyl donors should have therapeutic value in the treatment of AIDS, Cancer and other conditions. (The oils that benefit cell-mediated immune function are fish oil, olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil and hazelnut oil and other oils high in monounsaturated fatty acids including some high oleic acid strains of safflower).

    Surprisingly, "The Gerson Primer" reports on cancer patients who had gotten rid of their tumors with the Gerson diet, juices and program only to have the tumors return when they started eating low-fat yogurt or goat's milk yogurt. According to Charlotte Gerson, the cottage cheese must be 100% fat free and then is allowed only after the therapy has been ongoing for 6 weeks and the cancer is in complete remission. She states that the fat in milk and milk products "will cause the cancer to return. "

    Hungarian doctor treats lung, breast and prostate cancer with beets

    At www.unexplainable.net, John Draper reports on the work of Alexander Ferenczi MD of Csoma, Hungary in the 1950's who placed cancer patients on a diet of nothing but raw red beets. Portions of Ferenczi's report were published in the Australian Int' Clinical Nutrition Review for July, 1986.

    Draper states that a man of 50 years of age with lung cancer and confined to a Budapest hospital was treated with red beets for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks , the tumor disappeared and the man gained 22 lbs. A patient with prostate cancer began to improve on the beet root diet. The catheter was removed and the patient gained weight.

    A women in her 30's was treated for breast cancer with beets and soon developed a fever of 104 degrees due to the rapid breakdown of the waste matter dumped into her system.

    In his report published in Hungarian, Dr Ferenczi attributed the anti-cancer strength in beets to their natural red coloring agent, BETAINE.

    "Biotta Beet Juice" and "The Breuss Cancer Cure"

    by Rudolf Breuss

    The Breuss Cancer Cure is a book that was mailed to me 7 years ago by friends (Les and Susan O'Neill) who live in Australia. The book has gathered dust in my office since 1998. However, in my recent discovery of the use of betaine (trimethylglycine or TMG) as a methyl donor to lower and inhibit interleukin-6 (IL-6), I searched for and found the book that I had earlier set aside. It has proved to be a treasure of inspiring ideas on treating chronic illness, especially cancer.

    Breuss's use of organic beet juice as a treatment for cancer is inspiring as the cost is very low and the side effects are few. The potential is there for this source of methyl donors to also effectively treat several other illnesses where overactive IL-6 is a common thread.

    Illness such as Leukemia, Arthritis, Heart disease, Multiple Sclerosis, pinched nerves, liver and pancreas problems, damaged spinal discs and Hodgkin's disease to name a few have been successfully treated with the Breuss juice fast. In his book Rudolf Breuss states that as of 1990, he has followed ovr 45000 cases of cancer and other chronic conditions that have been cured or reversed with his treatment regimen.

    Breuss Beet and vegetable juice mix

    The Breuss Organic Vegetable Juice mix for cancer and other conditions consists of

  • 300 grams Beet root juice
  • 100 grams Carrot juice
  • 100 grams Celery juice
  • 70 grams of Potato juice
  • 30 grams of Radish (Chinese) juice.
  • You can make your own juice at home with a food juicer or use the Biotta brand that has lactic acid added and is imported from an organic farm in Switzerland.

    The juice fast to cure cancer

    About an ounce of this mixture is slowly sipped every hour throughout the day. You can consume up to 500 ml in one day but only 250 to 300 ml is all you need according to Breuss. No solid food is taken for 42 days and this juice is all that is consumed except for an onion soup you can make that is described in the book. Breuss also recommends some herbal teas for specific application like Cranesbill tea for adrenal support and Sage tea that he recommends you drink every day. Persons considering trying the Breuss treatment should get a copy of the book for more details and instructions. Go to your bookstore and ask for "The Breuss Cancer Cure" by Rudolf Breuss.

    Biotta Beet Juice/vegetable mix

    "Biotta" is the trade name of the beet and vegetable juices prepared under the directions of Rudolf Breuss in Switzerland. The bottle label says the juice is pasteurized and lactic acid is added. Local health food stores; internet: www.biotta.com. US Biotta distributor is Repunzel at 518-392-8620. Although raw beets and raw beet juice may be preferred, people are getting results from the Biotta brand and it is possible that benefits could also be derived from boiled or canned beets.

    Note: the Gerson Clinic in Mexico that specializes in treating cancer uses juice made from beet greens as part of its regimen that also includes a number of other freshly prepared vegetable and fruit juices.

    The book "The Breuss Cancer Cure" is distributed in the US through Royal Publications in Denver, CO and may be ordered through bookstores and health food stores and may also be located at choosebooks.com or amazon.com.

    Testimonials on the Breuss Beet/veggie juice treatment

    Besides claiming 45000 cases worldwide where people have recovered from cancer using the Breuss Vegetable Juice mix, his book publishes letters from persons who claim to have recovered from leukemia, arthritis, myocarditis, pinched nerves, damaged discs, liver and pancreas problems, blood poisoning and Hodgkin's disease using the same juice fasting treatment that was used to cure cancer.

    "Beet greens" have highest antioxidant (ORAC) activity

    The oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) value was measured in 6 fresh and frozen vegetables by Ninfali and Bacchiocca in Urbino, Italy in 2003 (6). They tested beet greens, spinach, broccoli, carrot, onion and celery in both the fresh and frozen states.

    They reported that 4 of the 6 fresh vegetables had a higher ORAC value, up to 4.5 fold, over the frozen vegetables and that of the 6 vegetables tested, beet greens had the highest ORAC value or antioxidant activity.

    Based on these findings and the use of beet greens at the Gerson clinic, it would appear a wise choice to eat the entire beet, roots and beet tops or to juice the entire plant when making your own vegetable juice.

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    A second study lists six vegetables as having the highest ORAC values

    Huang D et al at Brunswick Labs in Wareham, Mass in 2002 studied 927 freeze-dried vegetable sample for their ORAC and FRAP values to measure antioxidant activity (7). They found that these values were not only dependent on the species but on geographical location and harvest time. Based on ORAC results, they list the top 6 vegetable having the highest antioxidant activity as beets, purple onion, broccoli, spinach, green pepper, and cauliflower.

    Chemo-prevention of cancer by beet root; and inhibition of EBV

    Kapadia and 19 other researchers (8) report that beet root extract was effective against chemically induced skin cancer and liver cancer in laboratory mice. The beet extract was orally ingested in the mice that had skin cancer induced with DMBA followed by UVB. N-nitrosodiethylamine was used to induce liver cancer. The researchers fond that the beet root extract called "betanin" had a very significant inhibition of liver cancer and also significantly inhibited skin cancer. They stated "The most interesting observation is that the cancer chemo preventive effect was exhibited at a very low dose used in the study and thus indicating that beetroot warrants more attention for possible human applications in the control of malignancy."

    Kapadia et al report that an in vitro inhibitory effect of Beta vulgaris (beet root extract) on Epstein-Barr virus early antigen (EBV-EA) induction using Raji cells revealed a high order of activity compared to capsanthin, cranberry, red onion skin and short and long red bell peppers. (9)

  • References
  • 1. Betaine in wine: answer to the French paradox?, by Mar ad Zeisel, Med Hypotheses, 1999 Nov;53(5):383-5
  • 2. Link between Adrenal fatigue and (subnormal) DNA Methylation, by Susan Solomon MD, May, 2005. Townsend Letter, 911 Tyler St, Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-6021 Single Issue $6
  • 3. Repression of the IL-6 gene is associated with hypermethylation, Armenante F et al, Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 May 19;258(3):644-7
  • 4. Clinical results of using Betaine citrate in fatty livers, Hilt G, Tuzin P et al, Med Monatsschr 1973;27:322-5 (Germany)
  • 5. Effects of methylcobalamin (vitamin B12) on the in-vitro cytokine production of peripheral blood mononuclear cells; Yamashiki et al; J Clin Lab Immunol. 1992;37(4):173-82
  • 6. Polyphenols and antioxidant capacity of vegetables under fresh and frozen conditions; Ninfali and Bacchiocca, J. Agric Food Chem; 2003 Apr 9;51(8):2222-6
  • 7. Analysis of antioxidant activity of common vegetablesŠ, by Ou, Huang D et al; J Agric Food Chem; 2002 May 22;50(11):3122-8.
  • 8. Chemoprevention of Šinduced skin andŠliver cancer by extract of beetroot.; Govind J et al; Pharmacol Res 2003 Feb;47(2):141-8
  • 9. Chemoprevention of lung and skin cancer by beet root extract; Kapadia et al, cancer Lett 1996 Feb 27;100(1-2):211-4
  • 10. Effect of dimethylglycine on gastric ulcers in rats; Hariganesh et al; J Pharm Pharmacol 2000 Dec; 52(12):1519-22
  • South African Health Minister on diet for HIV/AIDS

    In an article published by "The Washington Post" (www.washingtonpost.com) and written by Craig Timberg on Oct 21, 2004 is titled "South Africans Shun a Remedy for AIDS." The article reports on the widespread fear of taking pharmaceutical antiviral drugs for HIV due to adverse side effects like thinning arms and fat accumulation at the base of the neck called "buffalo hump." South African natives more often trust their local native medicine men. Francois Ventor, a physician who treats AIDS patients at Johannesburg General Hospital estimates that a third of the patients who need antiviral drugs refuse to accept them even when they are offered free.

    Instead of pushing antivirals, President Mbeki and his health minister have repeatedly emphasized good nutrition and clean water as keys to treating AIDS. Tshabala-Msimang , the health minister, "has recommended a diet including the African potato, garlic, beets and olive oil." The article did not cite the research behind the dietary recommendations.

    Published research indicates that sterols in African potato would help inhibit IL-6 as would the betaine (TMG) in beets. However, the effectiveness of any protocol, whether antiviral or immune-based, that effectively inhibits/normalizes IL-6 depends on research to develop a consistent and effective dose. As far as many IL-6 inhibitors are concerned, this type of research remains to be done.

    Another web site I came across discussed the side effects of taking AZT and recommended beets be added to the daily diet for another reason ­ to build up red blood cells and counter this side effect of AZT.

    A Time Capsule report from 1986

    Beets and licorice root used in physicians AIDS treatment protocol

    Sitting on my book shelf and gathering dust for several years is a book originally published in 1987 called "The AIDS Fighters" by Ian Brighthope MD of Melbourne, Australia. I reviewed the book in a search of old, really older treatment protocols that claimed success at a time when not even AZT could stop AIDS progression to see if beets were part of the treatment protocol. When I turned to page 123, there is was ­ item no 19 Juices: Beet root and Carrot -7 ounces of each twice a day. Now that is a lot of beet root juice ­ as much as you would find in the Breuss beet and vegetable juice cure for cancer.

    Other parts of his protocol that I would agree with to this day include licorice root extract (supports adrenal production of cortisol) and cortisol lowers IL-6. Other parts included high doses of Vitamin A (20000 i.u daily) selenium 1000 mcg daily, Evening Primrose oil ­ 1000 mg 3X, thymus tablets 3X, Aged Kyolic garlic, Vitamin C and E, B complex, and zinc, magnesium and manganese plus aloe vera juice ­ 100 ml daily. All this plus a good diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably raw. Ocean fish was highly recommended 2 or 3 times a week and plenty of rest. (The Ocean fish would be a source of DHA/EPA and would also inhibit IL-6).

    The results claimed by Dr Brighthope ­ 100 HIV+ patients not progressing to AIDS and of 20 AIDS patients on his program, all doing well except for one patient who did not comply with all parts of the program and died. What was missing from this book was data on the effects of his program on the CD4 helper cell counts.

    Summary of IL-6 inhibitors

    1. Low-dose cortisol ­ 5 to 10 mg Cortef (Pfizer) taken early 8 and/or 9 am and again at 1 or 2 pm. According to David Brownstein MD, do not exceed 30 mg daily without medical supervision as amounts higher than this may stop adrenal production of cortisol. Note: Some people use hydrocortisone cream 1% in place of the oral Cortef (hydrocortisone). One-half teaspoon contains about 20 mg hydrocortisone. This can be applied first thing in the morning on the skin. If used daily, change locations on the body where it is applied. Low dose prednisolone (5 to 7.5 mg daily) will also lower IL-6 and will work as well as hydrocortisone in most cases.

    Use low-dose thyroid ­ 1/2 grain once or twice daily as prescribed ­ increases IgA, helps the liver process cortisone into cortisol. Avoid using cortisol long term without also using a thyroid supplement at the same time.

    2. Fish oil ­ DHA and EPA ­ Sardine and/or Salmon oil. Max DHA from Jarrow Formulas and/or EPActive. Three capsules twice daily should lower IL-6 based on the scientific literature. Fish oil lowers tumor necrosis factor as well as IL-6. Critically needed for all cancer, CFIDS and HIV patients.

    3. Methyl Donors

  • a. Betaine or Trimethylglycine from Beets. 7 to 14 ounces daily.
  • b. Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12) 1000 mcg to 5000 mcg daily.
  • c. Folic acid
  • d. Choline from lecithin, brewers yeast, wheat germ and other sources. Choline breaks down into TMG, then DMG.
  • e. SAMe,
  • f. MSM (MethylSulfonylMethionine),
  • 4. Licorice root. One study suggested that the use of the herb "licorice" helps the liver convert cortisone to cortisol. Should be used in the morning and at noon only. Too much licorice will raise blood pressure. Suggestion: Find an herbal tea with licorice root as the 2nd, 3rd or 4th ingredient mentioned on the label. (e.g. Red Zinger" by Celestial Seasonings")

    5. Royal Jelly supports Adrenal function­ fresh only 1000 mg to 2000 mg daily.

    6. Avoid vegetable oils high in Omega 6 (poly unsaturated fatty acids) that stimulate the secretion of inflammatory TH2 cytokines. These oils include canola, soybean, corn oil, sunflower and safflower oil primarily. Avoid butter and milk products with fat in them. Avoid eating in restaurants where fats of unknown origin are used. Oils to use: Olive and other oil high in monounsaturated fatty acids.

    7. Sleep ­ get adequate amounts and minimize stress levels. Lack of restful sleep elevates IL-6 the next day. Use Coral calcium - 2000 mg daily, sunshine ­ 20 minutes daily or day indoors and use one Skullcap herbal capsule before bedtime.

    Other helpful suggestions to lower and balance IL-6 and Th1/Th2

    1. A Hypoallergenic diet reduces stress on the digestive tract and thus IL-6 levels. (Avoid milk, ice cream, soy flour, and gluten from wheat if you are gluten intolerant etc). Note: You can try cultured soy products (Tofu, Miso). Soy milk is usually well tolerated while soy flour causes digestive problems. Consider using fiber and probiotics together daily.

    2. Complex carbohydrates (with no added fat or protein) help normalize IL-6 and other inflammatory cytokines. For an anti-inflammatory breakfast, consider plain whole grain toast with natural applesauce and tea (green/licorice). Whole grains, fruits and vegetables with little or no oils added and some fish are the ultimate diet for balanced immunity and health.

    3. Aspirin (salicylates) ­ an Aspirin a day can help to lower IL-6 (Sotirios C et al.Anticancer Res 1999 Jul-Aug;19(4B):2997-3006. ATN by John James reported in the early 1990's that the daily use of Aspirin increases the CD4 helper cells.

    4. Cox-2 inhibitors, NF-Kappa B inhibitors [Tumeric, Holy Basil, Skullcap, Green tea, Hu Zhang aka Solomon's Seal (high in Resveratrol), Rosemary, Ginger, Red grapes, Oregano, Hops)

    5. Vitamin E ­ use "mixed tocopherols" only for best results­ for adults 400 i.u daily.

    6. DHEA lowers IL-6 Adult dose: ­ 25 mg daily for men. Five to 10 mg daily for women. Test for DHEA levels before and after 2 months of continuous use.

    From Medline (NLM)

    Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) prevents development of arteriosclerosis in rabbits

  • Bobek P, Galbavý S.
  • Ceska Slov Farm. 1999 Sep;48(5):226-30.
  • [Article in Slovak] Bratislava.
  • The addition of 10% dried fruiting bodies of the oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) to the diet containing 1% of cholesterol reduced serum cholesterol levels by 65% and cholesterol content in the liver, heart, long extensor muscle and aorta of male rabbits (Chinchilla) by 60; 47; 25 and 79%, respectively. Oyster mushroom diet reduced the content of conjugated dienes by 60-70% in the plasma, erythrocytes and liver. However, it did not significantly affect the activities of antioxidant enzymes.

    Oyster mushroom diet reduced significantly the incidence of atherosclerotic plaques as estimated by sudanophilia (absence of a positive reaction in 3 of 5 animals) as well as plaque size (26% vs. 2% of the area with a positive reaction in control and oyster mushroom-treated animals, respectively). While all animals on control diet showed atheriogenic changes in the aorta, oyster mushroom diet prevented the development of these changes in three animals.

    Fatty streaks and fibromatous plaques were found in the remaining two animals from this group. The oyster mushroom prevented the formation of atheroma plaques (found in three cases from the control diet group) and reduced the incidence of segmental injury of the coronary artery and of focal fibrosis of the myocardium. The oyster mushroom caused lower incidence of foam cells in all types of lesions.

    Editors Note: Oyster mushrooms, dried or fresh, but not cooked, are also a source of beta glucan, that enhances macrophage activity. There are several articles published on Medline on the benefits of Oyster Mushrooms, raising the HDL and lowering the LDL cholesterol and the anti cancer effects of various mushrooms. A study by Dr Abrams of San Francisco is underway to use Oyster Mushrooms in persons with HIV taking protease inhibitors for their lipid lowering effects and as a substitute for Statin drugs that are sometimes contraindicated for use with protease inhibitors.

    Ionic (colloidal) Silver used in small quantities as a food preservative -doubles the shelf life of fresh foods

    C LeBeau:

    Normally, fresh juices, coconut milk, home-made salsa, soups and nut milk under refrigeration are used up between 3 to 5 days. Most fresh foods are recommended to be consumed in 3 days and those that acquire an off or sour taste are discarded. Certainly, any product with mold (usually greenish in color) must be avoided. That short time period can lead to a lot of waste. I have found that by adding 4 drops of colloidal silver to a pint or 8 drops to a quart of product that the usable shelf life is doubled to 7 to 10 days. The colloidal silver I use had 10 ppm (parts per million).

    As a food preservative this is an extremely small amount. The taste of the nut milk, fruit or vegetable juice stays like it was freshly made. I would say that in the average refrigerator adding this small amount of silver solution could extend the life of numerous products up to a week instead of 3 to 5 days. Naturally, if you use colloidal silver to extend the shelf life of fresh food, have someone with a good sense of taste monitor the products and note the days it has been stored before it goes bad. It also helps to keep the temperature near freezing ­ around 34 to 36 degrees F.

    Note: I have read from different sources on the history of "colloidal silver" that our forefathers in the 1700s and 1800s would place a silver dollar in a gallon of milk to extend its shelf life. The reality today is that most of the silver solutions on the market are actually ionic and not colloidal. Colloidal is the wrong choice of words to describe a silver solution made with electricity. It actually is "ionic" and should be called that.

    Phthalates, estrogen and plastics

    May 27, 2005: Susanne Quick of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that "phthalates" that leach out of soft plastics and are also found in many personal care products are causing genetic abnormalities in small boys.

    In rats, researchers have found that phthalates can cause genital defects, infertility and testicular cancer. Phthalates can be detected in plastics by their sweet smell. Professor Tim Oswald of UW Madison says "phthalates can be detected by their sweet aroma. If it smells sweet, throw it out." While some state legislators are considering what to do about phthalates, the European Union has already banned phthalates from children's toys and cosmetics.

    Feldman D et al writing in Environ Health Perspect 1995 Oct, report that autoclaving yeast in polycarbonate plastic caused estrogen to be added to the medium. The problem was caused by bisphenol-A (BPA) that was leached out of the plastic. They state: "The BPA findings raise concerns about the possible addition of this estrogenic molecule to the food supply since polycarbonate plastic is used in myriad applications in the packaging of food products and beverages."

    Question: Could BPA and other estrogenic compounds in plastics be linked to the national obesity epidemic and what is it doing to erectile function in males? Estrogen is also known to stimulate fat gain and water retention. Look at the millions of bottles of soda consumed from plastic bottles each year. Add to that the amount of salt and fat we consume as a nation and is setting up millions of people for a myriad of obesity related health problems (high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer to name a few).

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