Tag Archives: men health

Chaga: A potent immune enhancing fungus

Recently my wife and I were walking in the woods when I spotted a rotting birch tree. All over the decaying trunk were clusters of a gnarly black growth, which I quickly recognized as chaga (Inonotus obliquus).  Relatively unused in the west, chaga is a potent immune enhancing agent that is highly popular in Russia and parts of Europe, and it enjoys a major body of science for its health benefits. Unlike most fungus, chaga is hard and woody, bearing no resemblance to mushrooms. Instead, it looks more like a cracked piece of burned charcoal. Chaga’s black color is due to a concentration of melanin, the same pigment that colors human skin. Because chaga can be used to start fires, it is also known as the “tinder fungus.” The name chaga derives from the Komi-Permyak language of Russia’s Kama River Basin, where the fungus has played a role in traditional medicine for centuries. Chaga can be found throughout northern Asia and in Canada, Norway, northern and eastern Europe and northern parts of the United Sates. Chaga is rich in natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phenols, containing the compounds betulin and betulinic acid – which derive directly from host birch trees. Both betulin and betulinic acid demonstrate anti-tumor effects, which explain why chaga is known as an anti-cancer agent. Additionally, some science shows that betulin can play a beneficial role in controlling metabolic disorders, such as obesity and metabolic syndrome. A group of compounds in chaga called lanostanoids also appear to play significant anti-cancer roles. The exact anti-cancer activity of chaga is not completely understood, but some compounds in the fungus boost immune activity, some specifically prevent cancer cells from replicating, and others cause premature cancer cell death. This argues for the utilization of a whole chaga extract, rather than isolating a single compound. In chaga, many agents appear to be active against cancer. One of the most surprising benefits of chaga is in regards to psoriasis. In one Russian study, psoriasis patients who took chaga recovered from their condition. Given that psoriasis is notoriously difficult to treat and responds to very little therpaies, this effect alone could be of enormous benefit to many. The compound ergosterol in chaga, along with related agents, shows anti-inflammatory activity. This may account for why chaga is thought of as a life-extending agent in China, as inflammation is part of every chronic, degenerative disease. Reducing systemic inflammation can mitigate or help prevent a variety of health problems, leading to a healthier life – and presumably a longer one. Traditionally, chaga has been used for a variety of purposes. Scientific investigation chaga’s use as an anti-allergy agent shows that in animals, the fungus has the ability to prevent anaphylactic shock – a serious and potentially fatal consequence of a severe allergy. In another study, administration of an extract of chaga reduced infection due to the Herpes simplex virus. In a cell study, chaga showed potent activity against the hepatitis C virus. Whether this same activity will prove true in living humans remains to be seen, but if it does, then chaga will benefit thousands of people who often suffer for many years with this crippling disease. Chaga products are widely available in natural food stores and on the Internet. One chaga product I like is made in Vermont and is available at www.Mariefrohlich.com. Considering that spring is here and chaga demonstrates value against allergies, this may be an excellent time to try chaga, whose nickname “Mushroom of Immortality” appears to be far more than just a clever slogan.Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to Siberia. He teaches ethnobotany at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is Explorer In Residence. Chris advises herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies and is a regular guest on radio and TV programs worldwide. His field research is largely sponsored by Naturex of Avignon, France. Read more at& MedicineHunter.com.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/29/chaga-potent-immune-enhancing-fungus/

Pesticide exposure tied to Parkinson’s disease

Need another good reason to go organic? According to data published in the journal Neurology, exposure to weed killer, solvents and pesticides increases people’s risk for Parkinson’s disease by 33 to 80 percent, Medical Daily reported. Researchers collected data from 104 studies from around the world to analyze how pesticides, insecticides, weed killers, and many other agricultural chemicals influenced an individual’s risk for Parkinson’s disease. Though researchers found links between many chemicals and Parkinson’s, they found no link between Parkinson’s and the chemical dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), which has been banned in the United States for decades, Medical Daily reported. However, people who were exposed to the weed killer paraquat or the fungicides maneb and mancozeb had a two-fold greater risk for contracting the disease. Additionally, researchers showed a direct link between the length of time people were exposed to pesticides and their likelihood of contracting Parkinson’s. The data also indicated that agricultural workers had a 33 percent higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than people who didn’t work in agriculture.  The study did not distinguish between people who came in contact with pesticides through their skin or through breathing the chemicals. Parkinson's disease is a neurological condition, characterized by a decrease of the brain’s ability to produce the neurotransmitter dopamine, which ultimately leads to tremors and a decrease in motor control.  Treatment options for Parkinson’s patients are limited. Click for more from Medical Daily.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/28/pesticide-exposure-tied-to-parkinsons-disease/

5 ways to shed weight for summer

Memorial Day Weekend kicks off bathing suit season – and diet season, too. Tempting as it may be to go on a crash diet to shed some extra pounds, think again. Starving yourself skinny is neither easy nor healthy. And quick fix diets, if they work at all, don’t keep weight off for very long. The truth is, you can eat well, enjoy treats, drink alcohol, and still lose weight. Here’s how: Eat more to lose more Restricting food can actually slow down your metabolism. Why walk around hungry when you can fill up on delicious foods that are satisfying and naturally low in calories? The secret is to eat foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables - some have a few as 25 calories per cup.   Sip more water Did you know that dehydration mimics the symptoms of hunger?  For good health and to keep hunger at bay your goal should be to drink eight 8-oz glasses of water a day. It’s easy to do if you keep a full glass on your desk at work and pack a water bottle when you are on the go. Give ordinary water a favor boost with sugar-free powdered flavoring, some fresh fruit wedges, or some cool refreshing cucumber slices. Get moving You don’t have to go for a run to lose weight.  Your best bet is to focus on simple strength training. By building muscle you stoke your body’s calorie-burning machine while giving your body a lean, toned look.  Do this a variety of ways: resistance exercises, hand weights, yoga, or take a Pilates class. Spice it up Spicy foods have metabolism boosting properties. Chili, red pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and ginger all raise the body’s temperature and heart rate, which in turn actually burns more calories.   Banish bloating Salty foods can leave you looking and feeling bloated and you can counter that by eating foods that are rich in potassium such as bananas, papayas, kiwis, strawberries, spinach, cooked beets and broccoli.     For more tips, delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes, and proven ways to lose weight and look great, check out my new book The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber! Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the bestselling author of The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber, and The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss.  Follow Tanya on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit her website Ffactor.comsource : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/28/5-ways-to-shed-weight-for-summer/

France reports first death from new SARS-like coronavirus

The first person to fall ill in France with the new SARS-like coronavirus, a 65-year-old man who had been travelling in Dubai, has died in hospital from the illness, the health ministry said on Tuesday. Health Minister Marisol Touraine sent her condolences to the family of the man, whose death in the northern French city of Lille brings to 23 the number of people killed worldwide by the new virus. The man was diagnosed with the new virus strain, known as nCoV, on May 8, after being admitted to hospital on April 23, shortly after his return from Dubai, with what seemed at first to be a severe stomach bug and breathing problems. A second man, aged 50, is critically ill with the virus in the same hospital. The two men had shared a ward in April at a different hospital. While there is little evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission of the novel virus, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, health experts are concerned about clustering as it has spread from the Gulf to France, Britain and Germany. The nCoV is from the same viral family that triggered the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that swept the world in late 2003 and killed 775 people. French health officials have screened dozens of people who had come into contact with the two carriers in Lille.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/28/france-reports-first-death-from-new-sars-like-coronavirus/