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Can this rare earth metal be the future of treating fatty liver disease?

strontiumRare earth metals are rarely associated with health and medicinal uses. Strontium is one of the few chemical elements to have been documented for use in the medical field. Though its applications in medicine have mainly concerned bone health, researchers from China explored the effects of strontium on fatty livers and determined these mechanisms may improve nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Their findings were published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

NAFLD is the buildup of excess fat in liver cells that is caused by factors other than alcohol. While your liver does contain some fat, you can develop fatty liver (steatosis) if more than five to 10 percent of your liver’s weight is all fat.

Chinese researchers evaluated how strontium affects the endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) pathways in a fatty liver. They used both in vitro and in vivo models. For the in vitro model of NAFLD, the researchers used human hepatocyte cell line (L02) treated with 0.2 mM palmitic acid. For the in vivo model of NAFLD, they fed Sprague-Dawley rats with a high-fat diet (HFD).

The researchers then determined the total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), and lipid deposition in L02 cells and liver tissues.

They observed that strontium treatment suppressed intracellular TC and TG levels and lipid accumulation in L02 cells. This effect was more pronounced when using high concentrations of strontium.

Strontium also significantly reduced the mRNA and protein expression of glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6), inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1), SREBP cleavage activator protein (SCAP), sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c), and SREBP-2 in L02 cells.

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The researchers observed similar effects in HFD-fed rats. Strontium treatment reduced serum TC, TG, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, as well as hepatic lipid (liver fat) accumulation. Strontium treatment also reduced the expression of GRP78 and SREBP-2 protein in liver tissues.

Overall, strontium alleviated hepatic steatosis (fatty liver) by decreasing ERS-related protein expression. There is evidence to suggest that strontium may be a potential treatment or preventive therapy for NAFLD. (Related: No surprise here: Western diets cause life-threatening fatty liver disease – can we reverse it?)

Strontium and bone health

Strontium is an alkaline metal that has several applications in medicine.

Strontium is similar in nature to calcium. It can be found in the human body – around 99 percent of strontium is found on the surface of human bones. However, it is found in quantities 1,000 to 2,000 times less than that of calcium.

Alternative practitioners view strontium as a remedy for osteoporosis (bone mineral loss). Strontium supplements are said to prevent osteoporosis because a similar medication, called strontium ranelate, was approved for such use in Europe. However, this medication is now restricted for use in postmenopausal women suffering from severe osteoporosis, as it was found that strontium ranelate increased the risk of heart attacks, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.

Strontium ranelate has not been approved for use in the U.S.

Other forms of strontium are also used for medicinal purposes. The radioactive isotope of strontium called strontium-89 is given intravenously to relieve bone pain in people with advanced bone cancer. Strontium chloride hexahydrate is added to toothpaste to reduce pain in sensitive teeth.

Despite the medicinal applications of strontium, calcium remains to be the best mineral for bone health. Head over to Nutrients.news to learn about the different sources of calcium available.

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Originally posted: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-11-rare-earth-metal-for-treating-fatty-liver-disease.html

Researchers: Coriander oil is a safe and effective way to treat MRSA superbug infections

corianderFood-borne diseases are a common public health concern, and with the prevalence of drug-resistant bacteria, or the so-called “superbugs,” the need for viable solutions is only growing bigger. But nature once again offers an effective solution in the form of coriander oil.

Coriander oil is known to be toxic to various strains of pathogenic bacteria. One study, published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, investigated the bactericidal properties of coriander oil against invasive MRSA (methicillin-resistant S. aureus), which infect 80,000 people globally and kill over 11,000 people each year.

Researchers at the University of Beira Interior studied the effects of coriander oil on 12 disease-causing bacteria using flow cytometry and found that it effectively inhibited bacterial growth, most notably that of MRSA and E. coli. In fact, all tested strains showed reduced growth, and most were killed, by solutions containing 1.6 percent coriander oil or less. The findings of the study showed that coriander oil performed better on Gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.

The authors discovered that coriander oil works by damaging the membrane around the bacterial cell. This hinders the cell’s vital functions including respiration, which leads to cell death.

Moreover, the research team found that linalool, a terpenoid that gives coriander its distinct scent, is the main constituent of coriander oil’s antibacterial activity. However, they also found that interactions between the other components of coriander oil made it a more potent bactericidal substance.

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Lead researcher Dr. Fernanda Domingues noted that using coriander oil in foods could help prevent bacterial contamination, and consequently avoid food-borne illnesses.

Other studies have investigated the effects of coriander in other forms. One study published in the International Journal of Food Nutrition and Safety focused on the inhibitory effect of water extract of coriander on E. coli and Bacillus subtilis.

Another study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition showed the antibacterial properties of coriander seed oil against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria – along with some yeasts and fungi.

Other research on coriander’s bactericidal qualities has used other forms, such as freeze-dried powder.

More on coriander

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.), also known as cilantro and Chinese parsley, is a herb widely used in Mediterranean, Asian, Indian and Mexican cuisines, lending its spicy flavor to dishes like chutneys, pickles, sauces, and salads. Its essential oil is widely used, and it can also be a food additive.

Coriander oil is produced from the seeds. It possesses strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities and has been noted for its numerous health benefits, including pain relief, easing cramps, relieving nausea, aiding digestion, and treating fungal infections. (Related: Natural remedies for lead poisoning: Cilantro, also known as coriander, naturally protects the liver and lowers lead concentration.)

Coriander has been a staple in traditional medicine for centuries. The seeds have even been used as a relaxant, exhibiting anxiety-easing and mood-elevating properties. The diluted essential oil has been used to treat topical skin infections.

Key facts about MRSA

MRSA is a form of bacterial infection. As its name suggests, it is resistant to numerous antibiotics, such as methicillin. Staphylococcus aureus is commonly found inside the nose and on human skin.

Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections, and around one in three people carry staph in their nose, although usually without any illness.

On the other hand, two in 100 people carry MRSA, and most cases of invasive MRSA infections are contracted with healthcare settings. MRSA infections result in mild to life-threatening conditions, such as:

  • Endocarditis (heart valve infection)
  • Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
  • Pneumonia (lung infection)
  • Urinary tract infection (bladder infection)
  • Septicemia (blood poisoning)
  • Septic bursitis (small fluid-filled sacs under the skin)

Learn more about the antibacterial properties of coriander at FoodScience.news.

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Originally posted: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-08-12-coriander-oil-is-a-safe-and-effective-way-to-treat-mrsa-superbug.html


South African herb lance-leaved waxberry found to offer antimicrobial and antitumor benefits

cancerThe use of medicinal plants as an alternative treatment to various health conditions is a common practice in many cultures. Many plants have natural antimicrobial activity and other medicinal properties that have yet to be fully explored. One South African herb became the focus of a study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine investigating its antimicrobial and cytotoxic properties.

The South African medicinal plant Morella serrata (Lam.) or the lance-leaved waxberry is a densely leafed, multi-stem shrub known in African folkloric medicine to treat various human and livestock diseases, as well as reportedly enhance male sexual performance. In other African traditional practices, M. serrata is used to treat respiratory problems such as asthma, coughing, and shortness of breath. The decoction of its root is used to manage menstrual cramps, colds and headaches, and as a laxative to ease constipation.

M. serrata can grow to two meters tall in colonies of damp grassland. They are indigenous to South Africa, growing along streams on grassy hillsides and on forest fringes. They are widely distributed within South Africa virtually in all the provinces as well as in Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and northern Botswana.

The study titled “Medicinal potential of Morella serata (Lam.) Killick (Myricaceae) root extracts: biological and pharmacological activities” investigated M. serrata root extracts for antibacterial and antifungal activity as well as cytotoxicity (toxicity to living cells). The root was oven-dried at 40 degrees Celsius to a constant weight and pulverized. The extracting solvents included water, acetone, and ethanol.

The phytochemical screening detected the presence of bioactive compounds such as flavonoids, saponins, steroids, tannins, and terpenoids.

To evaluate the antibacterial activity, several bacterial strains were used as test organisms, which included both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coliSalmonella typhiBacillus pumilisListeria spp., and Staphylococcus aereus, to name a few. The test results showed that all the extracts were able to inhibit all the bacterial strains at relatively low concentrations. (Related: Antibacterial activity of Mentha spicata (spearmint) leaves and infusion.)

The findings support the idea that M. serrata has antibacterial activity that can suppress several human pathogenic bacteria and fungi. This validates the efficacy of this medicinal plant for the treatment of various human and livestock diseases in African folkloric medicine.

M. serrata could also be a potential source of antitumor compounds after the methanol and ethanol root extracts displayed potent cytotoxicity against brine shrimp (Artemia salina) larvae. This particular species is known to be sensitive to toxic substances, which makes them common test organisms for toxicity assays in pharmacology.

African medicinal plants

Other African medicinal plants used in traditional healing methods against infections and certain chronic conditions include:

  • African ginger (Siphonochilus aethiopicus) – This is one of the most frequently used medicinal herbs in South Africa for treating certain health issues, such as coughs, colds, asthma and flu, as well as menstrual cramps.
  • African potato (Hypoxis) – This is a well known immune system booster and is reputed to be effective against a host of chronic conditions such as tuberculosis, asthma, HIV and aids, and even cancer.
  • Buchu (Agathosma betulina) – The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic nature of its essential oil make it an effective alternative remedy for high blood pressure, UTI infections, arthritis, and gout.
  • Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum) – The large tuberous roots of the devil’s claw are dried to form powders, tinctures and extracts. It is commonly used to relieve pain, enhance mobility and relieve symptoms of musculoskeletal conditions, diabetes, headaches, and menstrual problems.
  • South African geranium (Pelargonium sidoides) – Its potent antibacterial and antiviral properties are ideal in the treatment of chronic respiratory problems such as bronchitis, sore throat, sinusitis, colds and flu.

Other studies have explored the efficacy of African medicinal plants in treating malaria, a deadly infectious disease. Find out more about this and other stories on traditional medicine at NaturalCures.news.

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Originally posted: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-03-05-south-african-herb-lance-leaved-waxberry-found-to-offer-anti-microbial-and-antitumor-benefits.html


Peppers, berries, leafy greens: What to eat to protect your brain from dementia, Parkinson’s

Eating fruits and vegetables offer a wide range of vitamins and minerals — and just about every nutrient that is beneficial for overall health. So it’s no surprise that they can also decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life. However, particular fruits and vegetables are especially good at fighting off dementia, and they are some of the easiest to obtain.

Keep dementia at bay with these foods

While fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients in general, some of them contain particular compounds that can reduce the risk of dementia.

  • Peppers – Eating peppers is associated with a significantly lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. Researchers at the University of Washington led by epidemiologist Dr. Susan Searles Nielsen, surveyed the diets of 490 individuals with Parkinson’s disease to assess their lifetime dietary habits. She found that eating vegetables from the Solanaceae or nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines, and peppers) in general – peppers in particular – were associated with significantly reduced the risk of Parkinson’s disease by more than 30 percent overall compared to control groups. The highest advantage was seen with people who ate over two to four peppers per week. In general, red, orange and yellow peppers are more nutrient-rich than green.
  • Berries – Berries are known for their high antioxidant content; in fact, they are some of the most antioxidant-dense foods around, which means they are great for fighting off oxidative stress. Previous research by scientists from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthWashington State University, India’s Annamalai University and Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University College of Medicine and Health Sciences found that all berries are linked to a reduced risk of various forms of dementia. For instance, they found that strawberries decrease cyclooxidation and increased neurological health; bilberries provide antioxidant protection against damage to arteries and neurons; and blueberries were found to be associated with increased memory and learning. (Related: Beat diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and dementia by choosing the right foods.)
  • Salads and green leafy veggies – According to an entry on the MedicalXpress.com, a study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found that “eating one serving of leafy green vegetables a day may aid in preserving memory and thinking skills as a person grows older.” Besides numerous vitamins and minerals found in leafy greens, they also contain folate, a major nutrient that is said to decrease the risk of dementia.

Fast facts about Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. It affects around 130,000 people in the U.K. alone, usually targeting those over 50 years old.

The disease is caused by the death of dopamine-producing brain cells, or nerve cells in a region of the brain that controls movement. The early stages are marked by hand tremors, speech changes, limb stiffness, impaired balance, difficulty walking and rigidity, which can progress into cognitive plights like depression and dementia. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but some drugs have been used to manage its symptoms.

Toxic pollutants in the environment can be a major driver for developing Parkinson’s disease, as they can build up in the food supply and affect consumers. For instance, poultry and tuna are leading sources of arsenic; dairy is the top source of lead; and seafood is a major source of mercury.

Minimizing your exposure to pesticides, heavy metals, dairy and other animal products may help prevent the development of this disease, and other health problems. For more stories on what foods are good sources of dementia-fighting nutrients, visit Fruits.newstoday.

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Originally published: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-02-10-peppers-berries-leafy-greens-what-to-eat-to-protect-your-brain-from-dementia-parkinsons.html