What is your Gout trying to tell you?

The five most common forms of arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gout
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lupus

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, gout is one of the most painful forms of rheumatoid arthritis. Gout affects approximately 3.9% of the US population and has been steadily rising as more and more American’s struggle with obesity and hypertension. Statistically, more men are afflicted with this condition than women because men have higher uric acid levels in their blood than women.

There are four types of gout:

  1. Asymptomatic (without symptoms) Hyperuricemia – Elevated levels of uric acid only. No other symptoms.
  2. Gouty Arthritis or Acute Gout – Often triggered by aggravating diet, stress, alcohol or another illness. Attacks usually happen at night and subside within 3-10 days with or without treatment.
  3. Interval or Intercritical Gout – The symptom-free time between acute gout episodes. These intervals tend to get shorter and shorter over time.
  4. Chronic Tophaceous Gout – Usually develops over a long period of time (like 10 years) with possible permanent damage to the joints or kidneys.

Purines are natural chemical compounds found virtually every type of food. Here is a short video on purines in relationship to gout. Usually the body eliminates uric acid via the kidneys by dissolving it into urine. When excessive uric acid builds up and the kidneys can’t keep up, urate crystals can form. These sharp urate crystals can develop in the kidneys, joints or tissue surrounding joints, causing severe pain and inflammation.

A 12-year study on foods related to gout recommended primarily avoiding high-purine foods like hearts, herring, mussels, yeast, smelt, sardines, and sweetbreads. Moderately-high purine foods are game birds, mutton, veal, bacon, liver, salmon, trout, haddock and scallops.

Risk factors for gout include genetics, obesity, excessive weight gain (especially during youth) moderate or binge drinking, high blood pressure, abnormal kidney function, heart disease, joint injury, chemotherapy, diuretics, some medications (including low-dose aspirin, steroids and immunosuppressive drugs).

Use of steroids and pain-killers may temporary alleviate symptoms of gout, but a diagnosis of gout is a good indication that systemic problems have been brewing for a long time and some lifestyle and comprehensive nutritional changes need to take place.

Improving kidney function and reducing C-reactive proteins (an indication of systemic inflammation) are two key aspects to preventing gout. If you’re a bit fuzzy on what kidneys do, here is a quick three minute video on the critical role kidneys play in filtering the blood and supplying vital nutrients to the body.

Reducing or eliminating high-purine foods would clearly be a smart way to reduce the burden on the kidneys.  Supporting the body’s overall digestive health would also help kidney function and reduce uric acid imbalances. Drinking lots of fresh water and eating a high-alkaline diet full of fresh raw foods and fiber meets those objectives.

Studies have shown that many supplements can benefits gout-sufferers by improving kidney function, reducing systemic inflammation caused by free-radical damage and aiding in digestion. Click on the name of each supplement type below to see how it can address gout related problems:

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Curcumin shows Results in Rebuilding & Protecting Brain Cells after Stroke

The benefits of curcumin just never seem to end. This amazing plant compound (the active ingredient in turmeric) offers a wide array of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits as well as stifling growth of abnormal cells. Curcumin has been shown to be safe when consumed in high amounts (like 12 grams) per day, however benefit is seen in just 100 mgs daily. Curcumin has been shown to improve:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes & Depression
  • Arthritis & Inflammation
  • Several forms of Cancer
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Crohns and other Digestive Problems

A new curcumin hybrid compound called CBN-001 has demonstrated it could protect and restore brain cells after stroke in laboratory models. In tests, CBN-001 administered up to one hour after stroke effectively reduced motor control movement problems. This hybrid compound protected and nourished neurons (brain cells) while repairing stroke damage on a molecular level.

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Studies show natural Resveratrol & Curcumin inhibit Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a systemic chronic autoimmune disease that usually attacks the joints but can also turn against other systems of the body like the eyes, lungs, heart and nerves. RA is distinguished by developing in a symmetrical pattern (both hands, wrists, hips, etc.). Rheumatoid arthritis affects approximately 1% of the population, is most often seen in women, but tends to be more virulent in men. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) affects roughly 50,000 infants, children and teenagers in the US. Rheumatoid arthritis in children is sometimes referred to as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA).

In autoimmune disorders the immune system malfunctions and attacks healthy cells in the body. RA is an autoimmune disease where unique cells called synovial fibroblasts or RASFs develop, invade and destroy tissue.

While antioxidant interventions have been shown to benefit RA in general, newer studies exploring the reduction and/or elimination of synovial fibroblasts in rheumatoid arthritis have yielded interesting outcomes.

The American College of Rheumatoidology published a 2007 study which set out to observe the behavior of natural resveratrol on human synovial fibroblasts. The study observed that natural resveratrol disrupted and triggered cellular death in synovial fibroblasts and concluded that resveratrol may be a “novel therapeutic agent for rheumatoid arthritis”.

Curcumin is another natural compound with potential for helping RA as well. While the anti-inflammatory aspects of curcumin have been well documented and studied in animals, to date only a few human trials have been completed. However, the results of a study of eighteen RA patients using 1200 mg of curcumin daily for two weeks found significantly less morning stiffness, joint swelling and improved walking time compared to another RA group using NSAID therapy (300 mg of phenzlbutazone daily).

A 2009 study focused on using resveratrol and curcumin together and proposed that these two natural substances be used in unison to reduce inflammation in osteoarthritis.

An important aspect of natural resveratrol and curcumin is that these compounds tend to have low bioavailability. Therefore, the quality of a resveratrol or curcumin supplement is paramount if it to be utilized effectively. Absorption is key.

Isotonix® Resveratrol has a synergistic blend of three patented forms of resveratrol (BioVin® Advanced, VitaBlue®, and Resveravine®). Isotonix® Resveratrol is also delivered in a drinkable isotonic form which provides up to 95% absorption into the bloodstream in approximately 5 minutes. Read more on what makes Isotonix® Resveratrol special.

Curcumin Extreme™ contains a patented form of curcumin called BCM-95®. BCM-95® is dramatically more available to the body than standard forms of curcumin. Read more on what makes Curcumin Extreme™ unique.

Curcumin looks like a Winner against Diabetes and Breast Cancer

Curcumin is the active ingredient in the tumeric herb and has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Today studies continue to confirm the benefits of this amazing compound.

Researchers in the United States and Korea recently published a study which found  curcumin lowered blood glucose levels, cholesterol and triglycerides in diabetic mice after being supplemented with curcumin for just six weeks. No changes were observed in the the healthy non-diabetic mice. The researchers concluded: “These results suggest that curcumin seemed to be a potential glucose-lowering agent and antioxidant in type 2 diabetic db/db mice”.

A 2009 study released by the Department of Internal Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Michigan observed that curcumin enhanced with piperine decreased the number of cancerous cells in breast tissue. Once again no changes or toxicity were observed in normal healthy cells.

“This shows that these compounds are not toxic to normal breast tissue,” researcher, Kakarala says. “Women at high risk of breast cancer right now can choose to take the drugs tamoxifen or raloxifene for prevention, but most women won’t take these drugs because there is too much toxicity. The concept that dietary compounds can help is attractive, and curcumin and piperine appear to have very low toxicity.”

Some products add piperine to boost the absorption of curcumin because curcumin typically has low bioavailability. Bioavailability is the extent to which a substance can be absorbed. How much you consume of a supplement is less important than how much you absorb.

Curcumin Extreme™ is a unique product formula containing a patented form of enhanced bioavailable and 100% natural curcumin called BCM-95® . BCM-95® is six times more readily absorbed than standard curcumin.

Curcumin Extreme™ promotes liver detoxification, healthy glutathione levels and normal cell regeneration. In addition, Curcumin Extreme™ contains broccoli seed extract known as another antioxidant that supports immune system function and selenium, which is an essential mineral that reduces oxidative stress and supports healthy thyroid function.

Curcumin – Nature’s Antidepressant

Curcumin is the most biologically active ingredient found in the herb, turmeric, which is part of the ginger family. Grandpa and sonUsed for centuries in Indian cooking, this potent phytochemical (plant chemical) has been identified as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-amyloid (inhibits abnormal protein deposits – like brain plaque), anti-tumor (causes apoptosis or cell death in cancerous cells) and enhances immune system function by increasing the production of glutathione.

If that wasn’t enough – there’s more!

A recent study published in Psychopharmacology on curcumin found that it behaves like a natural antidepressant by increasing serotonin as well as dopamine levels.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), is often treated with antidepressants to balance MAO’s (monoamine oxidase enzymes). A safe and natural compound like curcumin could be a very welcome option for many.

Unfortunately, most natural forms of curcumin are not very bioavailable. By the time they pass from the stomach into the small intestine for absorption the active ingredient is quite degraded and has lost its potency. However, a naturally-occurring and patented form of curcumin has been developed called BCM-95®, which delivers six times more bioactive curcumin into the blood than typical curcumin.

Curcumin Extreme contains this optimal type of pharmacologically bioactive curcumin known as BCM-95® in a unique synergistic formula.

The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published study results recommending that vitamin D3 be used in conjunction with curcumin to prevent Alzheimer’s and cellular damage/destruction to brain cells caused by free radicals through oxidative stress.

According to Dr. Milan Fiala, study author and a researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, “We hope that vitamin D3 and curcumin, both naturally occurring nutrients, may offer new preventive and treatment possibilities for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Isotonix® Vitamin D with K2 is a drinkable, highly bioavailable and active form of D3. Using Isotonix® Vitamin D with K2 along with Curcumin Extreme™ would be an excellent response to Dr. Fiala’s suggestion.

Getting More Glutathione and Antioxidant Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

The elusive nature of multiple sclerosis has been a source of clinical studies for years.  Researchers at the VU reaching-manUniversity Medical Center in Amsterdam released the results of a study treating 14 multiple sclerosis patients with a combination of antioxidants and other nerve-protecting agents.  The treatment resulted in reductions of relapses by two to three fold, plus decreases in corticosteroid medications.

The study concluded that oxidative stress can be counteracted by naturally occurring antioxidant enzymes which go on to provide protection against future oxidative damage to cells and tissue.

Glutathione is a naturally occuring antioxidant which is produced within the cells of our bodies providing protection against toxins.  Lack of glutathione is seen in virtually every instance of disease, including multiple sclerosis.

Glutathione can only be internally generated, therefore it is important to ingest supplements which will stimulate glutathione production.  Vitamin D3, vitamin K, pycnogenolalpha-lipoic acid, curcumin, resveratrol, B vitamins, and L-tryptophan all stimulate the cellular production of glutathione.

Isotonix® D with K2
Isotonix OPC-3®
Curcumin Extreme™
Isotonix® Resveratrol
Isotonix® B Complex
Isotonix® L-tryptophan
Prime™ Astaxanthin Cardio & Visual Vitality Formula

Combination of Curcumin & Omega-3 Fish Oil Reduced Pancreatic Tumors by 70%

pills-and-fishOne of the deadliest forms of cancer is pancreatic cancer with approximately 3% survival rate five years after diagnosis.  A primary chemotherapy drug used to treat pancreatic cancer is Gemcitabine.  Possible side affects of using gemcitabine include lower resistance to infection (reduced white blood cell production), anemia, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

Dr. Rao at the Medical Oncology and Cancer Chemoprevention Program in the University of Oklahoma Cancer Institute states “Our aim is to develop alternative strategies to prevent and treat high-risk pancreatic cancer patients using non-toxic, naturally occurring agents.”

Anti-inflammatory nonsteroidal medications (NSAIDs) are typically used to deal with the inflammatory response which occurs when pancreatic cancer is developing.  However these drugs often introduce complications including serious heart problems.  Natural compounds like curcumin and Omega-3 fatty acids (which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties on their own) were studied to see if combining them would enhance their cancer-fighting benefits.

The results of a 2008 published study using a combination of curcumin and Omega-3 fish oil demonstrated a four to eight-fold increase in cancer cell death compared to using these compounds separately.   The mice with pancreatic cancer experienced a 70% decrease in the size of their tumors after using this combination.

No negative side effects were observed when using this natural treatment.

Article from Cancer Monthly
Abstract of study
Curcumin Extreme™
Heart Health™ Omega III Fish Oil

Curcumin Protects Heart during Cancer Treatments

heart-in-hand1The Times of India reported on a fascinating study conducted by the Maharaja Sayajirao University and published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology on the benefits of using curcumin and green tea to protect the heart during anti-cancer treatments.

Doxorubicin is a widely used drug in the treatment of cancer.  Unfortunately doxorubicin creates free radical damage in the heart which, with prolonged use, can cause congestive heart failure.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in an herb called turmeric.  Experiments showed that curcumin and green tea produced antioxidant benefits which reduced cardiotoxicity in test animals.

The reduction of free radical formation did not compromise the anti-cancer fighting properties of doxorubicin.

Indian Journal of Pharmacology paper

Curcumin Extreme™

Top 10 Health Breakthroughs of 2008

byron_richardsNutrition expert and author, Byron J. Richards nominates his top 10 health breakthroughs of 2008 in an article on NewsWithViews.com.

Here is his list along with a brief summary (click keyword links for related blog posts):

#10 – The Mayo Clinic Places One Foot in the Door of the Real World

The breakthrough here is that the Mayo Clinic actually began acknowledging the value of certain nutritional supplements such as fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids.

#9 – Bone Health Is One Key to Longevity

Good bone health is not just about avoiding osteoporosis, scientists have found that healthy bones contribute to better health in other ways as well.

#8 – Grape Seed Extracts Stop Alzheimer’s Plaque

Brain plaque is the cause of many brain aging symptoms and grape seed extract has been found to prevent its growth.

#7 – Vitamin D for Anything and Everything

New evidence was found regarding vitamin D’s power as a gene-regulating super nutrient.  It turns out that vitamin D can help with a huge array of health issues.  More interesting are Byron’s comments regarding the American Cancer Society and FDA’s reluctance to disseminate the news.

#6 – Resveratrol Turns Back the Clock

Readers of this blog know all about the remarkable research on resveratrol, the compound in red wine that activates the SIRT1 green and in turn, slows the aging process and prevents certain diseases.

#5 – The Digestive Genome Marks the New Frontier of Health

Scientists are learning more about how the contaminants and flora in our intestinal tract influence the health of our entire body in ways we didn’t previously understand.

#4 – The Changing World of Fat, Cholesterol, and Heart Disease

It is not just about reducing “bad” cholesterol and increasing “good” cholesterol anymore.  There is a whole new concept of Cholesterol health that contributes to true cardiovascular health.

#3 – How Much BDNF is In Your Bank Account?

Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) has been found to be a key to nerve and brain development.  It turns out that fish oil, blueberries, curcumin, and pantethine all help boost the production of BDNF.

#2 – Run for Your Life

New research this year proves that running is not only great exercise, but is particularly helpful for people over 50.

#1 – Thyroid Health is for Everyone

The latest research on thyroid function shows that even a slightly malfunctioning thyroid is directly related to increased mortality, fatal heart disease, elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, risk of breast cancer, Alzheimer’s risk, and many other issues.  How do you keep your thyroid healthy?  A cleaner diet, exercise, and antioxidants.

What makes Curcumin Extreme unique?

I’ve posted several articles on the health benefits of curcumin, the powerful antioxidant found in the spice turmeric.  The product that my husband and I take is Curcumin Extreme™ from SHOP.COM (powered by Market America).  So what makes Curcumin Extreme™ different from other curcumin products on the market?

BCM-95®

One of the issues with curcumin is that it is not very bioavailable, which means that your body can’t readily absorb it.  Studies have shown that we can only absorb a small amount of curcumin when ingested.  However, a special formulation called BCM-95® by DolCas Biotech has been shown in clinical studies to be over 6 times more bioavailable than regular curcumin.  BCM-95® contains the natural spectrum of the turmeric rhizome and is 100% natural.

(Additional information on BCM-95 is available at www.bcm95.com)

Broccoli Seed Extract

Curcumin Extreme™ also includes 167mg of broccoli seed extract, a powerful source of sulphoraphane glucosinolates. Sulforaphanes support the normal production of Phase II liver detoxification enzymes including glutathione synthase, heme-oxygenase and catalase. Sulforaphanes also support gene transcription, the process by which genetic information is copied from DNA to RNA. They also support the body’s natural defense systems. Glutathione is the master antioxidant in the human body which serves to preserve and protect the brain and other body tissues by protecting them from the damage of free radicals. Furthermore, glutathione recycles vitamins C and E which are also powerful antioxidants.

Related research:  Immunomodulatory activity of sulforaphane, a naturally occuring isothiocyanate from broccoli (Brassica oleracea). Phytomedicine vol. 14: 538-545, 2006.

Selenium

Selenium is a required cofactor for selenoproteins such as glutathione peroxidase. Selenomethionine is incorporated directly into proteins because selenomethionine cannot be distinguished from methionine during the translation of mRNA into protein. This serves as a storage form of selenium and is liberated upon protein catabolism. Selenium accumulates in the prostate, promoting the health of the prostate. Selenium supports immune function by promoting normal growth and development of T helper cells.

Related research:  Selenium, selenoproteins and human health: a review. Public Health Nutrition vol. 4: 593-599, 2001

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