Posts tagged: natural health tips

Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame

Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame
Infographic – herbs-info.com – photos © eyewave, psdesign1 – fotolia.com

Millions of people take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat their arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. There is a need to increase awareness of available natural remedies that are possibly safer, at least as effective, easily accessible, and inexpensive. For one, despite decades of research and thousands of preclinical studies indicating the therapeutic value of turmeric, not many people are aware that the common kitchen spice can serve as a valuable alternative for a number of health conditions. [1]

Turmeric For Osteoarthritis

A recent human study published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine clinically confirms the medicinal value of turmeric. Results showed that the turmeric’s curcuminoid extract can reduce inflammation in patients who suffer from knee osteoarthritis. [2]

The study was conducted by randomly dividing patients into two groups. One group was assigned to take 25 mg of diclofenac sodium three times a day for four weeks. The other group was asked to take 30 mg of the turmeric extract (curcumonoid) three times daily for the same period of time. Researchers compared the effectivity of curcuminoid extract to that of the drug diclofenac sodium in reducing the secretion of the inflammatory cycloxygenase-2 enzyme by the synovial fluid’s monocytes. [2]

An egg yolk-like liquid, synovial fluid is found within the synovial joints’ cavities. It reduces friction between the articular cartilages during movement. People who suffer from knee osteoarthritis are known to have increased secretion of the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme in their synovial fluid. [2]

Results of the study show that the turmeric’s curcuminoid extract and the NSAID drug diclofenac sodium are both capable of significantly decreasing the secretion of COX-2 enzymes. The two alternatives displayed nearly identical potency. The exact results were as follows:

In curcuminoid group the average scores were 1.84±0.37 and 1.15±0.28 respectively (p<0.001). In diclofenac group the average scores were 1.79±0.38 and 1.12±0.27 respectively (p<0.001). In curcuminoid group the decreasing score of cycloxygenase-2 secretion was 0.70±0.51 while in diclofenac group was 0.67±0.45. There was no significant difference in decreasing the score of cycloxygenase enzyme secretion between both treatment groups (p=0.89). [3]

A Safer Alternative

The study published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine is not the first to confirm turmeric’s efficacy. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2010 revealed that 2,000 mg of turmeric extract works as effectively as 800 mg of ibuprofen in treating symptoms of inflammation and pain. There are hundreds more of studies that confirm the COX-2 reducing and anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric. What makes the more recent study stand out is what it reveals about the safety of choosing turmeric over pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs, which have been linked to adverse health effects, including seizure, miscarriage, and mortality. [1]

One way to compare the relative toxicity of turmeric’s curcumin and the NSAID diclofenac sodium is by considering their Material Safety Data Sheets, which reveal detailed information on their toxicity. Results reveal that there are considerably higher chances of experiencing adverse health effects from diclofenac sodium compared to turmeric. Considering that there are 100 adverse health effects linked to the NSAID drug – and 600 beneficial effects linked to turmeric, this is not a hard choice to make in terms of risk-benefit analysis. [1]

References:

[1] GreenMedInfo. Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/turmeric-extract-puts-drugs-knee-osteoarthritis-shame

[2] Acta Medica Indonesiana – The Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine. Ability of Curcuminoid Compared to Diclofenac Sodium in Reducing the Secretion of Cycloxygenase-2 Enzyme by Synovial Fluid’s Monocytes of Patients with Osteoarthritis. http://www.inaactamedica.org/archives/2012/22745140.pdf

[3] National Center for Biotechnology Information. Ability of curcuminoid compared to diclofenac sodium in reducing the secretion of cycloxygenase-2 enzyme by synovial fluid’s monocytes of patients with osteoarthritis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22745140

Uses And Health Benefits Of Lemon Juice

21 Uses Of Lemon Juice
Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com

Boosts Immune System: Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants that can help the immune system.

Aids In Digestion: Drinking lemon juice may work as a mild laxative, helping avoid constipation.

Increases Concentration: Lemon water mixed with hot water may help keep you focused and concentrated.

Flushes Liver And Kidneys: Lemons are a good source of citrate that is believed to prevent the formation of kidney stones [1].

Suppress Appetite: Lemon water may help suppress appetite and is often employed by weight loss programs.

May Help Prevent Heart Failure: According to one study, lemon juice lowers the levels of cholesterol in the body and this may help prevent atherosclerosis. [2]

May Help Wounds To Heal Faster: One study found that wound healing times were shortened with the use of lemon juice extract. [3]

Help The Body To Remove Toxins: Fresh lemon juice in lukewarm water is often employed in detox regimens in order to help eliminate toxins from the body.

Infection: One study has found lemon with green tea to be effective in the prevention of urinary tract infectious agents [4].

Cough And Cold: Lemon juice combined with honey can be used as a herbal cough suppressant. [5]

Asthma: Lemon juice is rich in antioxidants that boost the immune system and may help reduce allergic reactions in the body.

Nausea, Vomiting, And Travel Sickness: Lemons contain citric acid that can help in digestion and soothe the stomach.

Bone-Related Diseases: High amount of calcium and vitamin C keeps the bones strong and healthy.

Acne Spots And Pimples: The topical use of lemon juice on acne spots may help remove them.

Hair: Vitamin C in lemon juice strengthens the hair and avoid hair loss.

Sore Throat (gargle): Lukewarm water mixed with lemon juice may help alleviate sore throat pain.

Further Reading On The Health Benefits Of Lemons:

5 Reasons To Drink Lemon Water In The Morning: https://herbshealthhappiness.com/5-reasons-to-drink-lemon-water-in-the-morning/

Uses And Benefits Of Lemon Essential Oil: https://www.herbs-info.com/essential-oils/lemon-essential-oil.html

How To Grow A Lemon Tree From Seed: https://herbshealthhappiness.com/how-to-grow-a-lemon-tree-from-seed/

References:

[1] Goldfarb, G., How To Heal From Kidney Stones With Diet–6 Steps. Kidney, 2018. https://www.theguerrilladiet.com/how-to-heal-from-kidney-stones-with-diet-6-steps/

[2] Khan, Y., et al., Evaluation of hypolipidemic effect of citrus lemon. Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 2010. 6(1): p. 39-43. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rafeeq_Khan/publication/261276322…/.pdf

[3] Oguwike, F. and D. Onubueze, Evaluation of Efficacy of Lemon Juice Extract (Citrius Lemoni Risso) on Wound Healing and Haemostatic Mechanism of Albino Wister Rats. International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), 2013. 2(9): p. 190-193. https://www.ijsr.net/archive/v2i9/MTkwODEzMDI=.pdf

[4] Jaafar, Z.S., The antimicrobial effects of green tea and lemon juice on Escherichia coli isolated from patients with urinary tract infection in holy Karbala city. International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies, 2016. 18(1): p. 318. https://search.proquest.com/openview/2228f068911bcf74d5c405df7a40f951/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=2031961

[5] Sultana, S., et al., Cough suppressant herbal drugs: A review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science Invention, 2016. 5(5): p. 15-28. http://www.ijpsi.org/Papers/Vol5(5)/D0505015028.pdf

Eating Mangoes Could Benefit Your Cardiovascular And Bowel Health

Eating Mangoes Could Benefit Your Cardiovascular And Bowel Health
Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com Image © shutterstock.com (under license)

This tropical fruit has more benefits than being a prime ingredient for shakes and desserts. While this fruit is already quite popular because its delicious, recent studies have shown that not only are mangoes yummy, they are good for you as well. So, the next time you order (or make your own!) mango shake or parfait, think about these benefits.

There are several studies that have focused solely on the benefits of mangoes. On a side note, there has been some bad rep surrounding mangoes because of high sugar (fructose) content, but in moderation, its benefits definitely overweigh the disadvantages. Mangoes are rich in antioxidative compounds called polyphenols. These antioxidants help clear out free radicals from the blood stream, which damage cells and cause oxidative stress. However, the bioavailability of these antioxidants vary from person to person; a factor involved is body weight.

Mangoes And Cardiovascular Health

In the 2017 Experimental Biology Conference, lead researcher Dr. Susanne Mertens-Talcott presented findings from their research on mango benefits on cardiovascular health. Focusing on the absorption, metabolism, and excretion of gallic acid, galloyl glycosides, and gallotanins (which are antioxidants), Dr. Mertens-Talcott and Dr. Talcott found that consuming mango over a course of six weeks had significant anti-inflammatory benefits compared to sporadic consumption of the fruit. However, the researchers reported that there was no significant difference in absorption between lean and obese individuals after six weeks of eating 400 grams of frozen mango pulp. While gut microbiota was much lower in obese individuals, after six weeks the benefits of consuming the mangos were the same in both groups, lean and obese. The same study yielded results that showed that obese individuals benefited more because of a significant decreased risk in atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and inflammatory markers associated with cardiovascular disease. [1]

While Dr. Mertens-Talcott touched on the subject of gut microbiota and the absorption of the tannins from mangoes, a randomized pilot study was conducted by lead researched Dy. Hyemee Kim, focusing on the role of mangoes in changes in the gut microbiota. Gut microbiota plays a big role in the absorption of nutrients from food. Dr. Kim found that intake of frozen mango pulp, the same as the previous study, was able to significantly reduce inflammation in the gut, which affects gut microbiota and nutrition. Because of the antioxidant effects of mangoes, inflammation was reduced and the gut was able to absorb the nutrients better, which paints a better picture for people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases like gastric ulcers. [2]

The third significant study was published by lead research Dr. Fang (also with Dr. Mertens-Talcott and Dr. Talcott) in the same year, 2017, and focused on mango intake and how it affects metabolism and inflammation in both lean and obese individuals. The researchers report two significant results: (1) mangoes are able to reduce systolic blood pressure significantly in lean individuals (but not in obese individuals) and (2) improved glucose control in obese individuals (but not lean individuals). The study was conducted over 42 days and involved a consumption of 400 grams of frozen mango pulp. [3]

Another study was also presented in the conference by lead researched Dr. O’Hara and also focused on glucose response, specifically post-prandial responses. The study included young adult males aged 18 to 25 years old and assessed their post-prandial glucose levels after taking freeze-dried mango pulp. One hour after the meal, post-prandial glucose was significantly lower in the individuals who had mango included in their diet than individuals who didn’t. These effects were reported as modest and the researchers suggested that further studies be done to see what benefits mangoes have. [4]

The health benefits on mangoes still need to be studied further but the ones that were presented in the 2017 Experimental Biology Conference suggest that there may be more to this fruit than its role as a drink or dessert ingredient. If possible, include mango in your daily diet; fresh mangoes are the best choice over processed drinks and snacks which are much too high in sugar.

References:

[1] Mertens-Talcott, S. & Talcott, S. (2017). Human Bioavailability and anti-inflammatory
properties of Mango Polyphenols. http://www.mango.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Human_Bioavailability_antiinflammatory_Mango_Polyphenols_Eng.pdf

[2] Kim, H. (2017). Mango Polyphenolics Reduce Inflammation in Intestinal Colitis—Involvement of the miR-126/PI3K/AKT/mTOR Axis In Vitro and In Vivo. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5053910/

[3] Fang, C., et. al. (2017). Daily Mango (Mangifera Indica L.) Consumption for 42 Days Differentially Modulates Metabolism and Inflammation in Lean and Obese Individuals. https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.31.1_supplement.431.3

[4] O’Hara, C., et. al. (2017). The Effects of Acute Freeze-Dried Mango Consumption with a High-Fat Meal on Post-Prandial Responses in Healthy Young Adult Males. https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.31.1_supplement.166.3