Mind Body Connection Science: The Interconnectedness Between Anxiety and Inflammation

(Dr. Joseph Mercola) Dr. David Hanscom, an orthopedic surgeon whom I’ve previously interviewed about strategies for chronic back pain, quit his practice to focus on educating others on becoming pain-free without surgery. Most recently, after surviving COVID-19, he turned his attention to prevention and surviving it, which is an important part of this discussion.

The post Mind Body Connection Science: The Interconnectedness Between Anxiety and Inflammation appeared on Stillness in the Storm.

This Compound in Kale and Other Brassica Vegetables may Prevent Colon Cancer

Good news vegetable-lovers: research shows that vegetables like kale, cabbage, and broccoli contain chemicals that may prevent colon cancer. [1]

When mice were fed a diet containing a chemical found in the brassica family of vegetables – including broccoli, cabbage, collards, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, swede, turnip, bok choi, and mizuna – scientists realized the animals were less likely to develop inflammation and colon cancer. [1] [2]

Colon cancer is the third most common form of cancer in men and women. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be more than 97,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. in 2018. [2]

Vegetables from the Brassica genus produce a chemical called indole-3-carbinol (I3C) when they are digested, the study shows. I3C may prevent colon cancer by activating a protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). [1]

This protein signals immune cells and epithelial cells that line the gut, preventing it from becoming inflamed when introduced to a bacteria that can live in the digestive system. Both types of cells are considered the first line of defense against harmful bacteria and viruses.

The role of AhR in the gut is to “inform” immune cells and other cells in the lining of the intestine to the presence of environmental signals that are vital for preventing bacteria in the digestive tract which give off inflammation-promoting signals. [2]

Read: 5 Immune-Boosting Ingredients for an Anti-Cancer Smoothie

When a person lacks AhR or has a faulty version of it in their gut, the stem cells fail to convert into working cells in the gut lining but “divide uncontrollably.” This can lead to abnormal growths that become cancerous.

First author Dr. Amina Metidji from the Francis Crick Institute explained: [3]

“We studied genetically modified mice that cannot produce or activate AhR in their guts, and found that they readily developed gut inflammation which progressed to colon cancer.

However, when we fed them a diet enriched with I3C, they did not develop inflammation or cancer. Interestingly, when mice whose cancer was already developing were switched to the I3C-enriched diet, they ended up with significantly fewer tumors which were also more benign.”

America is in the grip of an obesity crisis that is setting overweight and obese people up for serious health complications, including colon cancer. This is no small part due to Americans’ embrace of the Western diet, which is loaded with unhealthy fats and sugar, and low on vegetables.

Dr. Gitta Stockinger, group leader at the Francis Crick Institute and senior author, said the study’s results “suggest a mechanism behind this observation.”

That may be a sad reality, but it comes with a glimmer of hope. What you eat can stave off a cancer diagnosis, and lowering your risk of developing a form of the disease is as easy as changing your diet.

Read: Broccoli as a Medicine – Why You Should be Growing Broccoli Sprouts

Stockinger said:

“These findings are a cause for optimism; while we can’t change the genetic factors that increase our risk of cancer, we can probably mitigate these risks by adopting an appropriate diet with plenty of vegetables.”

And if you’re not a fan of kale, there are plenty of other Brassica family veggies to choose from.


[1] Newsweek

[2] Medical News Today

[3] Independent

Fend off Illness by Fueling Your Own Disease-Fighting Stem Cells

The popular view of stem cells is typically that of high-tech treatments reserved for “the future,” far-off foreign clinics the “authorities” usually tell us to avoid. But there is being a lot of progress in the stem cell world for treating numerous conditions. What’s more, studies are showing that we may be able to harness the power of our own stem cells, using nutrients that are already accessible in ways that are more in line with traditional natural medicine than science fiction.

One of the underlying drivers of aging is a decline in the number and function of our own stem cells, which we need to aid in tissue regeneration. Of course, one way to fight aging is therefore to protect and nourish these stem cells.

Research is showing now that extracts from green tea and berries, carnosine, and vitamin D, are actually able to influence gene expression in ways that assist these cells. One of these studies is based on other research showing that substances in older animals’ blood can speed aging in younger animals, and young blood can fight aging in older animals.

This time, both young and old rats were given either a mixture of blueberry extract, green tea extract, carnosine, and vitamin D, or a placebo. Their blood serum was then administered to cultures of rat stem cells to compare their effects.

While the blood of old rats on the control diet had harmful effects on the stem cells, that of the younger (and the older) supplemented rats did not. These nutrients have protective effects on cells, where older animals’ blood is likely to contain high levels of oxidizing, inflammatory substances that cause damage.

In another study using the same nutrient combination, supplemented rats were showing a great amount of changes in gene expression, including changes that reduce the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals and increase the amount of anti-inflammatory ones. This could have significant protective effects on stem cells, guarding their ability to repair tissue.

The researchers also found another amazing discovery: this combination boosted the expression of genes that trigger stem-like cells in brain tissue to become adult neurons – creating healthy, new neurons that could replace damaged and dying cells. Properties like this could be tremendously beneficial for people living with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Another similar nutrient combination has seen success in human clinical trials. This time, it was a commercially-available formula of green tea, astragalus and goji berry extract, with vitamin D3, ellagic acid, beta-1,3 glucan and food-derived Lactobacillus fermentum (probiotics).

Eighteen adults aged 20-72 took 2 capsules twice daily for 2 weeks, and their levels of immune cells, haematopoietic and endothelial progenitor cells were measured at several points.

Even just one day after supplementation began, their numbers of 2 types of immune cells and the 2 types of partially-transformed stem cells significantly increased, and stayed that way over the 2 weeks.

A previous pilot study also showed that endothelial progenitor cells significantly rose after supplementation began. Besides being a natural, accessible alternative to experimental procedures, it could also be much more cost-effective. The difficulty in producing growth factors or directly injecting stem cells means that only a few specialized institutions are able to pull it off, and commercial viability can be poor.

Overall, these nutrient combinations may be an effective way to fight aging, targeting multiple causes such as oxidative stress, inflammation and stem cell degeneration.

Additional Sources:


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