content='1;url='http-equiv='refresh'/> Natural Health Remedy: October 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011


DRINKING alcohol in moderate quantities can
reduce the risk of asthma, while belly fat,
known clinically as central obesity, has been
linked to the development of asthma,
according to new studies by Danish
The studies, presented recently at the
European Respiratory Society’s Annual
Congress in Amsterdam, found that drinking
one to six units of alcohol a week could
reduce the risk of developing the condition
and central obesity as a risk factor for the
The research examined 19,349 twins
between the ages of 12 and 41 years of
age. All participants completed a
questionnaire at the start and end of the
study to compare alcohol intake with the
risk of developing asthma over eight years.
The results showed that the lowest risk of
asthma was seen in the group which had a
moderate intake of alcohol, as less than four
per cent of those who drank one to six
units per week developed asthma.
The highest risk of asthma was observed in
people who drank rarely or never, as they
were 1.4-times more likely to develop the
condition. Heavy drinkers also had an
increased risk of asthma development and
were 1.2-times more likely to develop
The results also suggested that a preference
for beer drinking was associated with an
increased risk of asthma when compared
with no preference.
Previous studies have found a link between
excessive intake of alcohol and asthma
attacks; however, this is the first study of
its kind to show a link between alcohol
intake and the onset of asthma for adults
over a long period of time.
Sofie Lieberoth, from the Bispebjerg
Hospital in Denmark, said: “Whilst excessive
alcohol intake can cause health problems,
the findings of our study suggest that a
moderate intake of one to six units can
reduce the risk of developing asthma. By
examining all the factors linked with the
development of asthma, we can understand
more about what causes the condition and
how to prevent it.”
Meanwhile, excess abdominal fat has been
linked with a number of health effects, such
as diabetes and heart disease, but there has
been little focus on its link with lung
Previous studies have found a link between
asthma and body mass index (BMI), which
is a marker for overall obesity. This new
study looked at waist circumference, which
is a marker for central obesity, to see
whether this form of obesity could also
contribute to asthma risk. The research is
one of the first prospective studies to
investigate the individual and combined
effect of central and overall obesity on
incident asthma in adults.

Preventing Colon Cancer’s Spread To Liver.

University of Illinois, Chicago United States
of America, study reports a promising new
weapon in treating metastatic colon cancer,
particularly in patients who have developed
resistance to chemotherapy.
U of I researcher Elvira de Mejia has found
that the soy peptide lunasin binds to a
specific receptor in highly metastatic colon
cancer cells, preventing them from
attaching to the liver.
“When lunasin was used in combination
with the chemotherapy drug oxaliplatin, we
saw a sixfold reduction in the number of
new tumor sites,” said de Mejia, a U of I
associate professor of food chemistry and
food toxicology.
The study appears in the most recent issue
of Cancer Letters. In a separate study, the
scientists showed that lunasin induces cell
death in highly metastatic human colon
cancer cells.
According to de Mejia, almost all colon
cancer deaths are caused when cancer
metastasizes — or spreads — to the liver.
Until now chemotherapy has targeted the
primary tumor because the process of
metastasis is not well understood, she said.
“In this study, we have learned that lunasin
can penetrate the cancer cell, cause cell
death, and interact with at least one type of
receptor in a cell that is ready to
metastasize,” said Vermont P. Dia, a U of I
postdoctoral fellow in the de Mejia
laboratory and lead author of the study.
When that receptor is blocked, new blood
vessels can’t form and differentiate, and
that prevents cancer from spreading.
Binding such receptors has emerged as a
promising target for developing cancer
therapies, he said.
In the study, which mimicked the spread of
colon cancer in humans, mice were
separated into four groups: a control group;
a group that was injected daily with lunasin;
a group injected with the chemo drug
oxaliplatin; and a group that received both
lunasin and oxaliplatin. After 28 days, the
mice were examined to learn the extent of
cancer’s involvement in the liver.
“The group that received lunasin alone had
50 percent fewer metastatic sites. But an
even more exciting result was seen in the
group that received both lunasin and the
chemotherapy drug — only five new
cancer sites when compared with 28 in the
control group,” de Mejia noted.
“This huge reduction in metastasis was
achieved with the amount of lunasin in only
25 daily grams of soy protein, the amount
recommended in the FDA health claim,” Dia

Garlic, remedy for hypertension?

to the hospital have not yielded a desirable
result, according to her, since all the doctors
could do was manage her hypertension.
After narrating her experience to her next-
door-neighbour, she was given some garlic
to chew, with the assurance that they
would help cure her disease. Mrs Adebayo
later said that there was a marked
improvement in her health, vowing that her
doctors could testify to the fact.
Dr Olutayo Aderounmu, a practitioner with
Life Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, said despite
the health benefits of garlic, it could only
lower the risk of hypertension in people
and not cure it, saying that hypertension in
itself, could not be cured, but managed.
Garlic's abilities to curb many health
ailments and to naturally lower blood
pressure, including pulmonary
hypertension, have been documented for
over 5,000 years; thus making it one of the
most effective herbs to lower blood
pressure and increase your overall heart
health, Jon Butts wrote in his article on
Garlic and Hypertension.
He added that “even without first-hand
scientific proof, people throughout the ages
have been benefiting from these marvelous
cloves of the earth.”
Folks in some rural parts of Nigeria such as
Igangan, Ibarapa, Oyo State; Ibeto, Magama
Local Government of Niger State, and some
other eastern parts, have over the years,
employed the healing particles in garlic to
fight infections and, as a preservative. In
the ancient Egypt, garlic is used to increase
a soldier’s strength in battle. They also have
been known to bury their royalty with it.
References to garlic’s healing property have
also been found in Egyptian, Greek, Roman,
Chinese, and Indian medical texts.
As such, “it should be no surprise that the
power of garlic has finally been proven to
lower high blood pressure and the
propensity for other cardiovascular
diseases,” Butts concluded.
A study has found that garlic may be useful
in treating high blood pressure. In the study
conducted by Australian doctors, 50
patients were enrolled in a trial to see if
garlic supplements could help those whose
blood pressure was high, despite
The result of the study, reported in the
Scientific Journal Maturitas, suggested that
respondents who were given four capsules
of garlic extract a day had lower blood
pressure than those on placebo.
In a latest study conducted by researchers
from the University of Adelaide, Australia,
garlic was found to be good for the heart.
The head of the research, Karin Ried, while
reporting on the result of the study, said,
"Garlic supplements have been associated
with a blood pressure lowering effect of
clinical significance in patients with
untreated hypertension.
"Our trial, however, is the first to assess the
effect, tolerability and acceptability of aged
garlic extract as an additional treatment to
existing antihypertensive medication in
patients with treated, but uncontrolled,
In the study, the researchers looked at the
effects of four capsules a day of a
supplement known as aged garlic for 12
weeks. Their findings indicated systolic
blood pressure was around 10mmHg lower
in the group given garlic compared with
those given a placebo.
Garlic supplements have previously been
shown to lower cholesterol and reduce high
blood pressure in those with untreated
A senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart
Foundation, Ms Ellen Mason, while speaking
on the effects of garlic on hypertension
patients, said the use of garlic for medicinal
purposes dates back to thousands of years.
According to her, it is essential that scientific
research proves that garlic can help
conditions such as raised blood pressure.
"This study demonstrated a slight blood
pressure reduction after using aged garlic
supplements but it's not significant enough
or in a large enough group of people to
currently recommend it instead of
"It's a concern that so many people in the
United Kingdom have poorly controlled
blood pressure, with an increased risk of
stroke and heart disease as a consequence.
So enjoy garlic as part of your diet but don't
stop taking your blood pressure
Additionally, a study conducted at the
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB),
attributed garlic's ability to lower high
blood pressure to hydrogen sulfide content.
In a report by Foushee DD, Ruffin J and
Banerjee U, Garlic As a Natural Agent for the
Treatment of Hypertension: A Preliminary
Report, the major objective of the study
was to re-evaluate the effects of garlic on
blood pressure with respect to its ability to
provoke a decrease in blood pressure and
to determine the length of time that this
decrease would require.
They wrote that some hypertensive rats
were given three doses of garlic extract of
0.1 ml/kg, 0.25 ml/kg, and 0.5 ml/kg by oral
injection. The blood pressures of these
ether-anaesthetised rats were measured
immediately before the extract was given,
and then 0.5, 2, 4, 6, and 24 hours after the
extract were given. A blood pressure
measurement was also taken at 48 hours
after extract administration for the 0.5 ml/
kg dose.
Consequently, “there was a marked
decrease in the systolic blood pressure of all
of the rats after three doses and the
decrease occurred within 30 min in each
“Even though the average decreases for the
0.1 ml/kg and the 0.25 ml/kg doses were
calculated as 51,25 mm Hg and 56.25 mm
Hg, respectively, these doses were not
sufficient to sustain the blood pressure in a
normal range for more than one or two
hours The 0.5 ml/kg dose, showing an
average decrease of 65.7 mm Hg, was
sufficient to provoke a decrease to a normal
level and to sustain this decrease for up to
24 hours.
“The results indicate that garlic is effective
as a natural agent for the treatment of
Professor Helen Ekaete, a researcher,
explained that allicin, a compound found in
garlic is beneficial to the arterial health. She
said that allicin (a polysulfide) is the primary
biological compound found in garlic and is
widely accepted as the standard substance
responsible for garlic's ability to lower high
blood pressure and curb subsequent
cardiovascular problems.
“In short,” Butts wrote, “allin is the garlic
plant's primary immune system; thus
keeping it safe from the myriad of soil
microbes eager to feast on the tasty bulbs.
“Although toxic in large amounts, hydrogen
sulphide is naturally produced by the body
to serve a very beneficial purpose: to
control blood pressure naturally. In a sort of
paradoxical way, the same gas that offers
the pungent smell of rotting eggs and
odiferous sewers is now attributed to
reducing hypertension. This is amazing
“Once released, the hydrogen sulphide
targets unique cell-membrane channels to
begin smooth muscle relaxation up to 72
per cent in laboratory animals. Such results,
therefore, classify hydrogen sulphide as a
local signaling gas: e g. a gas acting as a
catalyst within a cell.”
Professor Ekaete, who warned that even
though there were documented
cardiovascular benefits of allicin and
hydrogen sulphide, said it was important to
understand the limits to their benefits, said
to enjoy allicin in garlic, it should be
crushed, not sliced, among others.