‘Hate-Speech’-Policing Big Tech Face Dozens of Defamation Lawsuits After Settlement by SPLC

By Tyler Durden | 24 June 2018

ZERO HEDGE — Over 60 organizations and 47 nonprofit leaders are mulling lawsuits against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) after the organization settled with and apologized to a former Islamic radical, Maajid Nawaz, for $3.375 million because the organization included him in its bogus “Field Giude to Anti-Muslim Extremists.”

Nawaz, a practing Muslim who is specifically fighting Islamic extremism, was included in the “field guide” for criticizing the fringe elements of his own religion.

The SPLC “has lost all credibility,” as explained by WaPo columnist Marc Thiessen:

The SPLC is a once-storied organization that did important work filing civil rights lawsuits against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. But it has become a caricature of itself, labeling virtually anyone who does not fall in line with its left-wing ideology an “extremist” or “hate group.”

Nawaz is a case in point. Since abandoning Islamic radicalism, he has advised three British prime ministers and created the Quilliam Foundation, to fight extremism. He is not anti-Muslim. He is a Muslim and has argued that “Islam is a religion of peace.”

So how did he end up in the SPLC’s pseudo-guide to anti-Muslim bigots? His crime, apparently, is that he has become a leading critic of the radical Islamist ideology he once embraced. Thanks to his courage, the SPLC has been forced to pay a multimillion-dollar penalty and acknowledge in a statement that it was “wrong” and that Nawaz has “made valuable and important contributions to public discourse, including by promoting pluralism and condemning both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamist extremism.”

And now, PJ Media reports that no fewer than 60 organizations and 47 nonprofit leaders are considering lawsuits against the SPLC for similar smears by the radical left-wing organization. […]

The post ‘Hate-Speech’-Policing Big Tech Face Dozens of Defamation Lawsuits After Settlement by SPLC appeared first on The New Nationalist.

Orwellian Algos Financed by CIA ‘Fund’

The Vault 7 Wikileaks material was released. Too no small surprise to us, the story is that CIA survelliance technology has “some how” made its way into the hands of so far undisclosed “third parties”, which is code for the Crime Syndicate. From Wikileaks: 

the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.

The Intercept put out quite an article that everyone should read carefully, avoid skimming. The piece describes algorithms designed to spot an “insider threat” and artificial intelligence (AI) that will sift through large data sets. Over the last decade, the CIA’s In-Q-Tel has made a number of public investments in companies that specialize in scanning large sets of online data.

Thirty-eight previously undisclosed companies are receiving CIA In-Q-Tel funding. The research focus that stands out is social-media mining and surveillance. You can go to the companies and look over the officers and people involved. I can’t possibly do that justice, but it suffices to say that these private data-mining and surveillance firms are rife with foreign and Judaic-sounding names.

Before describing the game being played here, understand that my worldview holds that a super powerful Crime Syndicate is behind this. Government intelligence, law enforcement and judiciary agencies are infiltrated with their moles. These agencies are primarily there to serve and be looted by this Luciferian Syndicate and do not serve the public in the least. Regular readers know that I consider this arrangement much worse than even the most cynical can imagine.

Also, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that an algo is garbage-in, garbage-out and only as good as the program.  Depending on how it is programmed, the Tooth Fairy could be a threat and the AI could be operating in a completely fabricated “Alice in Wonderland” world.

In such a world, terrorist “threats” are about 95% scams and a way to rally public and political support for the psychotic Crime Syndicate to gain more control. The whole scheme also presumes that real terrorists just willy-nilly communicate on the Internet via Twitter, Facebook, et al so as to offer chances to “tip off” law enforcement.

This is ludicrous on its face when one considers that in the 19th and 20th centuries, terrorists successfully and routinely hit high-value targets (people in authority) and rarely low-value targets (innocent civilians). And they did so without any electronics whatsoever. The idea that social media using alleged terrorists today randomly hit low-value public targets has “false flag” and “hoax” written all over it.

The purveyors and scamsters of this data mining technology can scan this blog and presumably determine my name and point of view, and learn that I consider them criminals and liars.

But what do they do with this viewpoint? Put me on a list and call me names? Administer a heart attack? Treat it as a “threat”, or simply conclude some people are waking up and some (pyjama people) are asleep? Well, they can rest assured that from my vantage point the masses are by and large comatose. Frankly, I think this tracking of awareness is about 90% of what this is all about. That and finding ways to compromise and control people.

In fact, one company, Geofeedia, markets its ability to track activist protests on behalf of both corporate interests and police departments. Geofeedia, touts its research into Greenpeace activists, student demonstrations, minimum wage advocates, and other political movements.

The article quotes Lee Rowland, a senior staff attorney with what’s left of the American Civil Liberties Union, as saying, “When you have private companies deciding which algorithms get you a so-called threat score, or make you a person of interest, there’s obviously room for targeting people based on viewpoints.”

Another firm, PATHAR’s product, Dunami, is used by the FBI to “mine Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media to determine networks of association, centers of influence and potential signs of radicalization,” according to an investigation by Reveal. “Radicalization.” There’s that garbage-in, garbage-out term again. 

So let’s go through the article. The algos will (to paraphrase) license stream-of-consciousness ramblings on social media and spot trends for hedge funds among “other clients.” WTF? Translation: Spying for Crime Syndicate types.

Another fairy tale put forth is that it “monitors conditions for journalists,” meaning it monitors Twitter to spot “gang incidents” and threats to reporters. First off, journalists today do little more than read releases from the Crime Syndicate. This also presumes journalists need protection because they do “serious investigations” and thus can be “gang targeted.” Gang targeting by the Crime Syndicate operatives is more likely. Real journalists get no protections.

Skim this Huntington Post article and you will see they are “quietly working with public safety officials with the aim of detecting potential criminal or terrorist activity bubbling up on Twitter before it happens.” Again, we are asked to believe there are nitwits dumb enough to plot online and in the open. Give me a fucking break. What a sham.

The post Orwellian Algos Financed by CIA ‘Fund’ appeared first on The New Nationalist.

Israel’s 1st Trans Officer Helps With Ethnic Cleansing

By Nora Barrows-Friedman | 12 April 2017

THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA — Queer and transgender activists protested an event featuring an Israeli soldier in Seattle on 5 April.

The event was supported by the LGBTQ Commission, a body that advises city leaders on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

Two commissioners resigned in protest just days earlier, criticizing the group’s participation as an act of pinkwashing.

Pinkwashing is a public relations strategy that deploys Israel’s supposed enlightenment toward LGBTQ issues to deflect criticism from its human rights abuses and war crimes and as a means to build up support for Israel among Western liberals and progressives. […]

The post Israel’s 1st Trans Officer Helps With Ethnic Cleansing appeared first on The New Nationalist.

Could This Bean Give Your Brain a Boost and Help Battle Parkinson’s?

By Dr. Mercola

In tropical areas of the world, M. pruriens is not only a well-known protein source, but it is also used as a medicine. This unique-looking bean has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine as an aphrodisiac and nerve tonic, among other applications.

Given the fact M. pruriens contains Levodopa, or L-dopa, a dopamine precursor that affects your energy, motivation and sense of well-being, it has long been used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in developing countries worldwide. Before you decide to supplement with M. pruriens, let’s take a closer look at the research around this ancient legume.

A Short History of M. Pruriens

M. pruriens, also known as velvet bean, kapikacchu and cowhage seed, is a vigorous, annual climbing legume that boasts about 100 varieties. The following information about this unique bean was presented in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine:1

It originated in southern China and eastern India, where it is said to have once been cultivated as a green vegetable crop — if you eat M.pruriens as a legume, be mindful of its high lectin content

M. pruriens now grows in tropical areas worldwide, with its pods and seeds used for human consumption and its young leaves as animal fodder

M. pruriens plants have long slender branches characterized by alternate, lanceolate leaves

They boast white flowers with a bluish-purple, butterfly-shaped corolla

M. pruriens’ dark-brown or speckled seed pods are about 4 inches long and contain four to six seeds each

The pods themselves are thick and leathery and are often covered with stiff hairs

Although the bean itself is highly beneficial, contact with the pod can result in severe skin irritation and itching

M. pruriens is known for its ability to tolerate conditions such as drought, low soil fertility and high soil acidity. It is sensitive to frost and grows poorly in cold, wet soil. Ideal growing conditions for M. pruriens are found in warm, moist areas below 155 meters above sea level that receive lots of rain. Similar to other legumes, M. pruriens shares a symbiotic relationship with soil microorganisms that give it the potential to fix nitrogen into a form that is usable by plants and animals.2

Given its high protein content (ranging from 20 to 35 percent), M. pruriens is considered a viable source of dietary protein, comparable to lima beans and soybeans. When used as a food source, M. pruriens beans are usually soaked until they sprout and then boiled and ground into a paste that is used in cooking.

When used medicinally, M. pruriens beans are boiled to remove the enzyme coat, strained and dried. Dried kernels are then ground into a fine powder that can be mixed with water and taken orally. In developed countries, M. pruriens supplements are presented as a capsule or powder.

How Does M. Pruriens Work?

Most notably, M. pruriens has long been recognized as a natural source of Levodopa (L-dopa), a substance used to treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Medicinal uses of M. pruriens can be traced back thousands of years within the practice of Ayurvedic medicine. Due to the fact M. pruriens seeds contain roughly 4 to 7 percent L-dopa, coupled with L-dopa’s ability to cross your body’s blood-brain barrier, the interest in this bean has increased among people seeking natural treatments for Parkinson’s.

About M. pruriens, the Bulletproof Blog states, “Known as the dopa bean, this natural herbal supplement is an adaptogen used in Ayurvedic medicine that lowers stress, improves focus, boosts the libido and elevates mood. M. pruriens contains high levels of naturally occurring L-dopa, which is the precursor to dopamine.”3,4 Dopamine, a neurotransmitter known as the “feel-good hormone,” is a chemical in your brain involved in your body’s emotions, motivation and pleasure, as well as its reward system.

When you lack sufficient dopamine, you may feel lethargic, unfocused and maybe even depressed. Karen Kurtak, traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and head of the Longevity Nutrition Department at Grossman Wellness Institute in Denver, says, “M. pruriens has an almost magical ability to improve motivation, well-being, energy and sex drive, along with decreasing the tendency to overeat.”5 It’s well-known those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease lack sufficient dopamine.

Because the L-dopa in M. pruriens boosts dopamine levels in your brain, it continues to be used in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Even though clinical trials have shown M. pruriens to produce equivalent or better results,6 and no side effects, Western medicine continues to use and promote a synthetic form of L-dopa. Beyond Parkinson’s treatment, in Ayurvedic medicine M. pruriens is known as an aphrodisiac, remedy for anxiety, depression and infertility and acts as an all-around nerve tonic.7,8

M. Pruriens and the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

As highlighted in the video above, a small 2017 study published in the journal Neurology,9 sought to determine if M. pruriens could be used as an alternative source of L-dopa for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Specifically, the researchers sought to determine if patients treated with non-pharmacologically processed M. pruriens powder from roasted seeds would fare as well as those taking commercially marketed levodopa preparations as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

During the research, 18 patients with advanced Parkinson’s received six treatments in a randomized sequence over six days. The treatment types included the standard marketed treatment of dispersible levodopa at 3.5 milligrams/kilogram (mg/kg) combined with the dopa-decarboxylase inhibitor benserazide (LD+DDCI), as well as both high-dose (17.5 mg/kg) and low-dose (12.5 mg/kg) M. pruriens from locally processed, roasted seeds.

The objective of the research was to observe changes in patient motor response at 90 and 180 minutes. With respect to the outcomes, the researchers observed both the low- and high-dose preparations of M. pruriens performed as well or better than the marketed treatment of LD+DDCI.

The low-dose M. pruriens showed similar motor response with fewer dyskinesias (impairments in voluntary movement) and adverse events, while the high-dose M. pruriens resulted in greater motor improvement at 90 and 180 minutes and fewer dyskinesias.

As such, the study authors stated, “This study demonstrates the acute intake of M. pruriens powder at both high and low dose is noninferior to dispersible levodopa/benserazide in terms of all efficacy and safety outcome measures. M. pruriens could be a sustainable alternative to marketed levodopa … provided that it is tolerated in the long term.”10

Using M. Pruriens to Soothe Anxiety and Depression

Because dopamine is an essential ingredient necessary to regulate your emotions, mental function and mood, it’s no surprise M. pruriens, as a nervine tonic, has been shown to play a role with respect to the treatment of anxiety and depression. With respect to anxiety, a 2014 study published in the American Journal of PharmTech Research11 suggests M. pruriens has anxiety-reducing effects.

During a two-week period, five groups of lab rats (six rats per group) were administered M. pruriens in oral daily doses of 250, 500 or 750 mg/kg. M. pruriens’ use was compared to 1 mg/kg of the standard anti-anxiety drug diazepam (Valium). Rat behavior was observed and analyzed using three pharmacologically validated models: an elevated maze, bright and dark arenas and an open-field test.

The researchers noted any dose of M. pruriens resulted in the rats spending significantly less time in the closed arm of the maze and dark arena and more time in the open arm of the maze and open field. The study authors stated, “[T]he present study demonstrates the anxiolytic activity of chronic administration of M. pruriens in Wistar Albino rats.”12

In terms of depression, M. pruriens also shows promise in research involving lab rats. A study published in the journal Ayu13 analyzed rats under the influence of 100 and 200 mg/kg doses of a hydroalcoholic extract of M. pruriens seeds. Three test models were applied to evaluate rat behavior: forced swimming test (FST), tail suspension test (TST) and chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS). About the outcomes, the study authors noted:14

“M. pruriens produced a significant reduction of the immobility time in the FST and TST. Twenty-one days of M. pruriens treatment produced protection in CUMS. Taken together, the findings … show M. pruriens displays a behavioral profile consistent with an antidepressant-like action.

… [I]ntermittent administration of M. pruriens as a dopamine agonist may merit clinical investigation as a novel strategy for the treatment of depression, particularly in patients with Parkinson’s.”

M. Pruriens May Be Useful to Address ADD; Also Promotes Learning

One small study15 suggests M. pruriens may be useful to help your mind stay focused. Similar to the attention deficit disorder (ADD) drug Adderall, a 200-mg dose of levodopa was shown to positively affect information processing in healthy humans, mainly because it is a precursor to dopamine. Specifically, levodopa absorption increases the concentration of dopamine in your nervous system.

Said the study authors, “These results show levodopa specifically affects the stimulus preprocessing stage, which suggests that the dopaminergic system plays a role in sensory processing, possibly by acting on the level of arousal.”16 In another study,17 M. pruriens, again in the form of levodopa, was shown to enhance the learning of new words.

During the one-week test period, participants completed five learning sessions with either 100 mg of levodopa or a placebo administered at each session. The study authors stated, “The levodopa group showed superior recall accuracy for new words over five learning sessions compared with the placebo group, and better recognition accuracy at a one-month follow-up for words learned with a semantic description.”18

M. Pruriens Shown to Promote Fertility, Protect Against Brain Damage From Stroke

In terms of addressing infertility, a study19 involving 120 infertile men demonstrated M. pruriens can be successfully used to reduce stress and improve semen quality. The research compared 60 men undergoing infertility screening, who were given an oral 5 g dose of M. pruriens powder daily, with a control group of 60 healthy men who had successfully initiated at least one pregnancy.

The research included tests for cortisol levels and psychological stress. Semen samples were collected prior to treatment and at the end of the three months of treatment. Notably, the men given M. pruriens showed a significant decrease in cortisol and increases in sperm count — with levels comparable to those of the fertile men. With respect to the impact of M. pruriens on fertility, the study authors said:20

“Treatment with M. pruriens significantly ameliorated psychological stress and seminal plasma lipid peroxide levels along with improved sperm count and motility. … M. pruriens not only reactivates the antioxidant defense system of infertile men, but it also helps in the management of stress and improves semen quality.”

A study involving lab rats suggests M. pruriens may have therapeutic neuroprotective potential with respect to minimizing brain damage from stroke. After examining the brains of Wistar rats who received M. pruriens over a 10-day period, researchers concluded:21

“Cerebral ischemia resulted in significant neurological damage in the brains of the rats that were not treated by M. pruriens. The group subjected to treatment with the M. pruriens extract showed significant protection against brain damage compared with the negative control group, which indicates the therapeutic potential of this plant in ischemia.”

Should You Supplement With M. Pruriens?

Given its potential beneficial uses, you may be tempted to begin supplementing with M. pruriens. Before you run out to buy a M. pruriens capsule or powder, it’s important to remember that proper dosing is greatly influenced by your age, health and several other important factors.

For this reason, I advise you to first consult with your doctor or another qualified health care professional before you begin taking M. pruriens. If you suffer from Parkinson’s disease and have been prescribed a synthetic form of L-dopa, be sure to consult your doctor before taking M. pruriens and don’t stop taking your prescription medication without your doctor’s approval.

Make These Lifestyle Changes Today to Help Prevent Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is still classified as idiopathic, meaning it has no identifiable cause. Research on the disease is ongoing and lapses in a few areas have been shown to increase your risk. As such, there are steps you can take to reduce your susceptibility to Parkinson’s, including:

Avoid exposure to pesticides and insecticides as well as other environmental toxins like heavy metals and solvents

Exercise regularly because it’s one of the best ways to maintain balance, mobility and the ability to perform your activities of daily living

Consider supplementing with coenzyme Q10 or its reduced form, ubiquinol

Get plenty of sunshine to optimize your vitamin D level; aim for a level between 60 and 80 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml)

Eat more vegetables high in folate (vitamin B9) such as asparagus, avocado, beets, broccoli, cauliflower and dark leafy greens22

Make sure your body has healthy levels of iron and manganese (not too much and not too little)

While M. pruriens has the potential to be a beneficial alternative treatment for Parkinson’s disease and a number of other medical conditions, prevention is always your best strategy. Choose at least one item from the table above and begin today to lower your risk of Parkinson’s disease. Also, talk to your doctor or an Ayurvedic medicine practitioner before supplementing with M. pruriens to find out if it’s right for you.

Find Out Why Black Cumin Seed Oil Has Stood the Test of Time

The use of medicinal plants to help treat various diseases is a practice that’s as old as mankind. For example, the Egyptian medical book known as the Ebers Papyrus, written in 1550 B.C., details the use of 700 different plant species for therapeutic purposes. Mentioned plants include pomegranate, garlic, willow, coriander, juniper and onion. During the seventh century, Slavic people used cucumber, nettle and yarrow to help fight against various insect bites.1

Another plant that has stood the test of time is black cumin, also known as the Nigella sativa (N. sativa) plant. In Indian Ayurveda and Unani traditional medicine, black cumin figures greatly in their practice. For Muslims, black cumin seed is known as the “Habbatul barakah” or the blessed seed. In fact, it is believed that the prophet Mohammed considered it to be a “remedy for all diseases except death.”2 One of black cumin’s most popular applications is as an herbal oil, which is extracted from the seeds.

Potential Benefits of Black Cumin Seed Oil

Plenty of research has been conducted regarding the potential benefit of black cumin seed oil. Here are some of the most notable ones:

Helps fight fungal infections: In a study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences, researchers studied the cytoprotective effect of black cumin seed oil in male rats. Results show that the group of rats treated with the oil experienced reduced effects of AFB1 (aflatoxin-B1), a toxin produced by the Aspergillus flavus group of fungi.3,4

Helps manage diabetes: In a study published from Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia, researchers tested the ability of black cumin seed oil to manage diabetes in rats. They discovered that upon administration of the oil, all immunological parameters (serum glucose, Pan T- and B-lymphocytes and innate cell marker) were reduced while simultaneously increasing serum insulin levels.5

Controls inflammation: Black cumin seed oil contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may help manage certain conditions, an observation exhibited in a study published in the American Journal of Otolaryngology. Researchers noted that the oil was able to reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis in test subjects.6

Helps reduce cancer risk: Various studies have been conducted regarding the potential anticancer benefits of black cumin seed oil. Researchers have found that it may be helpful against these cancers:7

  • Colon
  • Pancreatic
  • Fibrosarcoma

Regular black cumin seeds may also be helpful in preventing certain cancers. Studies have found that black cumin seed may help fight these cancers:8

  • Liver
  • Lung
  • Breast
  • Blood
  • Cervical

Promotes healthy blood pressure: Black cumin seeds have been traditionally used for helping relieve hypertension, and this hypothesis was tested out in a study published in Phytotherapy Research. In a double-blind, randomized experiment, results showed that test subjects who were treated with black cumin seed oil showed a decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to those who only took placebos.9

Helps ease skin infections: Research has shown that black cumin seeds contain strong antibacterial properties that may help fight Staphylococcus aureus, a common bacteria that can cause a variety of topical infections.10

Historical and Culinary Uses of Black Cumin Seed Oil

Black cumin seeds have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. According to the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, the seeds and the oil were historically used to treat various disorders pertaining to the following areas:11

Respiratory system

Digestive tract

Kidney function

Liver health

Cardiovascular system

Immune system

Culinary uses of black cumin seed oil include drizzling over salads and adding to juices or shakes. It can be taken on its own by consuming a teaspoon of it. When used for eating, remember that you should not cook the oil because the heat may damage the valuable compounds.12

Black cumin seed oil can be diffused to help with asthma attacks. A study published in the Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal notes that black cumin seeds contain anti-inflammatory properties that show promising results against asthma inflammation.13

The Composition of Black Cumin Seed Oil

Scientists have been able to isolate the various active compounds that make up black cumin seed oil. Chief among them include:14

Thymoquinone (30 to 48 percent)



P-cymene (7 to 15 percent)

Carvacrol (6 to 12 percent)

4-terpineol (2 to 7 percent)

T-anethol (1 to 4 percent)

Sesquiterpene longifolene (1 to 8 percent)



According to published in vitro tests, thymoquinone (often shortened to TQ) is considered a potent antioxidant. A study in Drug and Chemical Toxicology notes that TQ may be helpful in eliminating superoxide anions.15 Another study indicates that alpha-hederin, a pentacyclic triterpene saponin, has been reported to have strong potential in fighting tumor growth.16 Black cumin seeds are also rich in various unsaturated fatty acids, including:17

  • Linoleic acid (50 to 60 percent)
  • Oleic acid (20 percent)
  • Eicosadienoic acid (3 percent)
  • Dihomolinoleic acid (10 percent)

How to Make Black Cumin Seed Oil at Home

Making homemade black cumin seed oil is a great way of obtaining the benefits while avoiding the problems that come with commercially made oils. This also means that your stock is always fresh, since you can always make the oil whenever the need arises. The only things you need are an oil press machine and organic black cumin seeds. Once you have both, follow this procedure:18


1. Clean and dry the black cumin seeds to ensure that you get a pure oil.

2. Clean the oil press machine thoroughly to prevent contaminants from getting into the final product.

3. Place the oil bottle in the receptacle, as well as a container to catch the waste from the seeds.

4. Heat up the machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then place the seeds into the funnel.

5. Turn on the machine, then allow it to extract the oil from the seeds.

6. Continue the process until your container is full.

7. Leave the oil to sit in a warm, dry place, then allow the remnants to settle at the bottom of the bottle.

How Does Black Cumin Seed Oil Work?

Black cumin seed oil contains different fatty acids, nutrients and active compounds that work together to benefit your health. Several studies have looked into how black cumin seeds oil work and discovered that TQ plays a crucial role in its health benefits.

In one example published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, TQ was tested against 11 human pathogenic bacteria strains. Researchers were able to observe that TQ exhibited significant antibacterial activity, especially against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923.19 In another study, TQ has been found to be effective in fighting against fungi, most notably Candida albicans strain.20

Other studies have examined the cancer-fighting abilities of TQ. Researchers found that it induced a growth inhibition and apoptosis in human osteosarcoma cells,21 as well as cytotoxicity in human cervical squamous carcinoma cells.22

Potential Side Effects of Black Cumin Seed Oil

While black cumin seed oil may potentially benefit your health, it is not without its own side effects. A study published in Phytotherapy Research notes that topical application caused contact dermatitis in two persons. However, no adverse effects have been reported regarding internal use.23

Pregnant women may consume real black cumin seeds as part of a healthy diet, but high doses for therapeutic applications are generally not recommended, as it may slow down or stop the uterus from contracting. Likewise, breastfeeding mothers are advised to avoid black cumin seed oil, as there’s not much information about its effects on your and your child’s health.24

Go Ahead and Give Black Cumin Seed Oil a Try

Based on published studies, as well as thousands of years of history, it’s safe to say that black cumin seed oil may potentially benefit your health in various ways. If you want to try it, remember that it should not be heated or you will risk damaging the beneficial compounds. Furthermore, try making your own black cumin seed oil at home to ensure freshness at all times if you have the resources to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions About Black Cumin Seed Oil

Q: What is black cumin seed oil good for?

A: Based on numerous studies, black cumin seed oil may help in various ways such as fighting microbes and managing inflammation promoting healthy blood pressure.

Q: Where can you buy black cumin seed oil?

A: Black cumin seed oil can be purchased online. However, what’s more important is to thoroughly review the product you’re buying and make sure it’s made from high-quality ingredients by a reputable company.

How Aging Affects Mitochondria in Brain Cells and Contributes to Age-Related Diseases

By Dr. Mercola

In recent years, it’s become increasingly apparent that most of what we refer to as health and disease really links back to the function of your mitochondria — tiny organelles inside your cells that play an important role in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), required for all biological functions. If your mitochondria are not functioning well, your risk for chronic degenerative diseases will radically increase. Not surprisingly, optimization of mitochondria is also vital for life extension strategies.

Your brain, being the most energy-dependent organ (consuming up to 20 percent of the energy used by your entire body1), is therefore particularly susceptible to impaired energy production due to faulty mitochondria, and researchers now suggest this appears to be what makes the human brain susceptible to age-related diseases in the first place. As reported by Salk News:2

“Salk researchers used a new method to discover that cells from older individuals had impaired mitochondria — the power stations of cells — and reduced energy production. A better understanding of the effects of aging on mitochondria could reveal more about the link between mitochondrial dysfunction and age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”

Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Age-Related Brain Disease

The research3 in question, published in the May issue of Cell Reports, supports “a bioenergetic explanation for the high susceptibility of the brain to aging.” With age, your mitochondria tend to decrease both in number and function, and this age-related dysfunction is caused by impaired ATP production and an increase in oxidative damage. According to the authors:

“Mitochondrial dysfunction is characterized by the loss of the mitochondrial membrane potential, which is directly linked to a loss of energy generated through the electron transport chain that performs oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS); the failure of OXPHOS is believed to set the stage for the development of age-related disorders.

Interestingly, inherited mitochondrial diseases that can be caused by mutations in genes encoded on the nuclear DNA, which encodes the vast majority of mitochondrial genes, or in genes that are encoded in mtDNA are often associated with neurodegenerative phenotypes, indicating a particular vulnerability of brain neurons to mitochondrial defects.

Similarly, the human brain is an organ that is strongly affected by aging, and advanced age is by far the strongest risk factor for most neurodegenerative disorders.”

While most investigative methods employ chemical stressors on cells to simulate cellular aging, the Salk group, led by Rusty Gage, a Salk Laboratory of Genetics professor, used a novel method previously developed by Gage that directly converts skin cells into neurons, referred to as “induced neurons” or iNs. These iNs allowed them to observe the effects of natural aging on mitochondria.

Mitochondrial Genes Related to Energy Generation Are Turned Off in Older Individuals

For the featured study, the team collected skin cells from individuals ranging in age from newborn to 89, and then created iNs from each donor. They then studied the mitochondria within each set, using a variety of different methods. Interestingly, while the mitochondria in the skin cells showed few variations between age groups, once the cells were converted to neurons, significant differences emerged.

In the iNs of older individuals, mitochondrial genes related to energy generation were turned down. The mitochondria were also less dense and more fragmented, and generated much lower amounts of energy. The mitochondrial membrane potential was on average 43 percent lower in old iNs compared to young iNs.

“Pretty much every area we looked at — functional, genetic and morphological — had defects,” Jerome Mertens, a Salk staff scientist and co-corresponding study author said. The authors also noted that the differences in susceptibility to mitochondrial aging between various cell types appears to depend on the level of oxidative phosphorylation the cell in question performs, and that “the metabolic profile of neurons might render them particularly vulnerable to mitochondrial aging.” As reported by Salk News:

“The researchers hypothesized that the reason the mitochondria of iNs were more impacted by aging than the mitochondria of skin cells was that neurons rely more heavily on mitochondria for their energy needs. ‘If you have an old car with a bad engine that sits in your garage every day, it doesn’t matter,’ Mertens says. ‘But if you’re commuting with that car, the engine becomes a big problem.’

The finding shows how aging can impact organs differently throughout the body. The researchers next want to begin to apply their method to study age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In the past, mitochondrial defects have been implicated in these diseases.

By collecting skin cells from patients and creating iNs, the team can look at how neuronal mitochondria from patients with those diseases are different from neuronal mitochondria from unaffected older individuals.”

Mitochondrial Function Is Important for Tumor Protection

Aside from turning the food you eat into energy, your mitochondria also have other radically important functions. For example, they act as the coordinator for apoptosis, or programmed cell death — an important process that ensures the death of malfunctioning cells that might turn into tumors lest they be cleaned out. Over the course of a cell’s life, damage will inevitably occur. Once that damage reaches a certain threshold, signals are sent to the cell with instructions to self-destruct.

Your mitochondria determine whether that threshold has been reached, and are the initiators of the subsequent cell suicide program. If your mitochondria are not functioning well, they might not be able to make a proper determination of when the damage threshold has been reached, and/or may not give the damaged cell the signal for apoptosis. The result is obvious: You end up with severely damaged cells hanging around, accumulating and contributing to further dysfunction.

Moreover, in order for the apoptosis cascade to happen, energy input is required. So, even if your mitochondria are able to make the determination that the threshold has been reached and are able to signal apoptosis, if there’s insufficient energy, defective cells will still survive and multiply. This, in a nutshell, is how dysfunctional mitochondria end up causing cancer.

Peroxynitrite Likely Causes Most of the Damage

While your mitochondria can be damaged in a number of ways, much of it stems from superoxide free radicals — created when electrons leak out of the electron transport chain (ETC) and react with oxygen. This is a normal and healthy process, but when superoxide is created at higher levels than healthy, it will damage the DNA in your mitochondria.

What causes excess leakage of electrons out of the ETC in your mitochondria?  In short, not being metabolically flexible and burning a higher percentage of carbohydrate than fat, which leaks far more of these electrons that combine with molecular oxygen to form superoxide.

With a name like superoxide, you would think this molecule would be really damaging and dangerous but it is relatively benign. It was thought that its conversion to hydrogen peroxide and combining with iron (Fenton reaction) to form hydroxyl free radical caused most of the damage.

However, this view has radically shifted this century. It is now appreciated that while hydroxyl radicals are damaging, they don’t travel very far, only the distance of one protein, and their damage is relatively restricted. The major problem with generations of excess superoxide is that it is available to combine with nitric oxide to form what is likely the most dangerous molecule in your body, peroxynitrate. 

EMF Exposure

I just concluded hundreds of hours of reading thousands of pages on this topic and finished writing a 30-page paper for a peer reviewed publication that extensively details the concept of how one can use molecular biology to understand and remediate most chronic disease. I hope to publish it on the site later this year, once it is accepted for journal publication.

But briefly, the perfect storm of DNA, cellular protein and membrane destruction is created when you aren’t burning fat for fuel and creating excess superoxide and then get exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). This causes a radical increase in nitric oxide release that nearly instantaneously combines with superoxide to create enormous levels of peroxynitrate, which triggers a cascade of destructive events to your cellular and mitochondrial DNA, membranes and proteins.

Although all biologic damage is of concern, it is the DNA strand breaks that are most concerning as they will lead to a radical increase in inflammation and virtually all degenerative diseases. Thankfully, your body has the ability to repair this damaged DNA with a family of enzymes called PARP (poly ADP ribose polymerase). It is a very effective repair system and works wonderfully to repair the damage as long as it has enough fuel. 

And what is that fuel? It is NAD+ that you might have heard a bit of in the news recently. When excess peroxynitrate activates PARP to repair the DNA damage, it consumes NAD+ and if you run out you can’t repair the damage, which is likely the central cause for most of the diseases we are seeing in the modern world now.

I have previously written extensively about EMF and how you can mitigate your exposure. The key here is to understand that it is the combination of EMF exposure and the inability to burn fat as a primary fuel that causes the domino cascade of biologic destruction that we are currently observing.

NAD+ Is Central to Maintaining Cellular and Mitochondrial Health

Improving NAD+ levels is a very complex topic and really requires a book to carefully explain, which I am actually in the process of writing. But optimizing NAD+ levels may be the single most important strategy for improving your mitochondrial health.

The first step is to reduce NAD+ consumption by the correct diet, along with EMF avoidance. Then there are inhibitors of inflammatory pathways, like CD38, that consume NAD+ that can also increase NAD+ levels. Finally, there are strategies to convert NADH to NAD+, which is the beneficial form of NAD.

There is one simple inexpensive supplemental strategy to increase NAD+ from a biological precursor. There are four primary ones that will not be reviewed here but the least expensive one is simple nontimed-release niacin (vitamin B3) — yes, the same vitamin used to cure pellagra and improve heart disease for the last 50 years. Although niacinamide works, evidence suggests it is not as effective, and additionally suppresses important and beneficial sirtuins.

Niacin will cause a flush in virtually everyone using it for the first time at a dose of 300 milligrams (mg), so starting with smaller doses of 25 mg makes far more sense, and working your way up to 200 to 300 mg a few times a day seems prudent. I prefer niacin powder, as it is less expensive and doesn’t have any flow agents added like magnesium stearate.

Efficient Fat Burning Minimizes Mitochondrial Damage

So, hopefully, you are now even more motivated to optimize your diet by what I just shared. The central theme of my book “Fat for Fuel,” details strategies aimed at minimizing the production of excess superoxide by teaching your body to burn fat as a primary fuel. What we’re now finding is that it’s the divergence from our ancestral diet — the massive prevalence of processed, unnatural foods and excessive amounts of added sugars, net carbs and industrial fats — that causes a majority of the damage.

High-carb, processed food diets prevent your body from efficiently burning fat as its primary fuel, and burning fats and ketones is far more efficient, inducing far less oxidative stress, than burning carbs. So, a foundational dietary strategy to optimize your mitochondrial health is to eat the right fuel. Once you become an efficient fat burner, you automatically minimize the oxidative stress placed on your mitochondria, which is key. Other effective strategies include calorie restriction (fasting) and exercise (see section below).

Meal timing is another important factor. One of the worst things you can do to your mitochondria on a regular basis is eating shortly before going to bed. Ideally, you would eat your last meal at least three hours or more before bedtime.

By supplying your body with food at a time when your body needs it the least (since you’re sleeping), excessive amounts of free radicals end up being formed, which then spill out and damage mitochondrial DNA. Excess carbohydrates, in particular, result in a backup of electrons that causes the production of superoxide.

What’s more, should you happen to have high iron levels — which is far more common than low iron — combined with high superoxide, then hydroxyl free radicals are produced, which are among the most harmful. The chemical reaction that creates these hydroxyl free radicals is known as the Fenton reaction.

While you certainly need enough iron, having too high an iron level can cause severe damage, and this is one way in which it does that. To learn more about the hazards of high iron, and simple ways to screen for and lower it, please see “Why Managing Your Iron Level Is Crucial to Your Health.”

Other Practical Strategies to Optimize Your Mitochondrial Function

Thanks to living in a toxic environment, feeding your body inappropriate fuel, eating at the wrong time and not exercising enough, most people have less than optimized mitochondria. The good news is there are many ways to improve your mitochondrial function. The two best and most researched ways to optimize mitochondrial function are exercise and calorie restriction.

Exercise upregulates genes like PGC-1 alpha and nuclear gene factors like Nrf2. These genes help your mitochondria become more efficient. They also boost mitochondrial growth and division, so that you end up with a larger number of mitochondria. In simplified terms, the reason exercise benefits your mitochondria is because it places an increased energy demand on your cells.

In response, free radicals signal that you need more mitochondria. So, over time, your body adapts to higher levels of physical activity by triggering the creation of more mitochondria, and improving their efficiency.

As your fitness level improves, each individual mitochondrion is placed under considerably less stress (since there’s more of them), and as a result, fewer free radicals are generated. As noted by Dr. Lee Know, author of “Mitochondria and the Future of Medicine,” this is “one of the reasons why physically fit individuals have a lower risk of pretty much all degenerative diseases, including cancer, as well as a longer life span.”

Helpful Supplements

In addition to diet, meal timing and exercise, certain dietary supplements can also be useful. The following are particularly beneficial for optimizing mitochondrial function throughout your body:4

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) or its reduced (and more absorbable) form, ubiquinol, if you’re over 40. CoQ10 is intimately involved in the energy production process, and having an excess amount of CoQ10 is by many considered an effective therapeutic strategy to ensure well-functioning mitochondria. CoQ10 also acts as a signaling molecule and helps protect cell membranes from damage.

Quercetin, an antioxidant that belongs to a class of water-soluble plant substances called flavonoids, which are present in certain fruits and vegetables. Aside from antioxidant properties, quercetin is known to have anticarcinogenic and anti-artherogenic capabilities, but for purposes of this discussion in can also increase NAD+ levels.

Pau D’Arco has been used for centuries to treat cancer and malaria. It is loaded with flavones, quercetin, alkaloids and other nutrients that can increase NAD+ levels.

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), a vitamin-like substance and a cousin to CoQ10, helps with mitochondrial biogenesis. The greater number of mitochondria you have, the more energy your cells are able to produce, and the better they function overall. So, having sufficient amounts of PQQ encourages the proliferation of mitochondria.

Both animal and human studies using doses between 10 and 20 milligrams (mg) of PQQ shows significant improvement in mental processing and memory. The best results are obtained when you take PQQ in combination with CoQ10. PQQ has also been shown to protect against the development of alpha-synuclein, a protein associated with Parkinson’s disease, and beta-amyloid, associated with Alzheimer’s.

Berberine also benefits mitochondrial function and is a powerful AMPK activator, thereby stimulating mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) and mitochondrial biogenesis. It also helps protect against the type of oxidative stress that leads to Parkinson’s disease.

Magnesium also plays an important role in the production of ATP, and is a required cofactor in the mitochondrial repair process. To learn more about how magnesium impacts your mitochondrial health, see “Magnesium — A Key Nutrient for Health and Disease Prevention.”

D-ribose is a five-carbon sugar required by ADP. While being a sugar, it has no impact on your blood glucose, so it’s safe to consume even for diabetics. Ribose enters cells and converts into the adenosine base required for the creation of ADP and ATP.

While your body produces D-ribose on its own, it’s a very slow process. According to Know, D-ribose is often a rate limiting factor in recovery for patients with cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attack and chronic fatigue.

It’s nontoxic and is virtually impossible to overdose on, and if you’ve suffered a stroke, heart attack or struggle with chronic fatigue, it’s a really important supplement to include in your regimen. Taking D-ribose prior to cardiac surgery can also help minimize damage associated with reperfusion injury. Since most people have some degree of mitochondrial dysfunction, it may also be helpful for general health, especially if you exercise regularly.

Steroid injections given in the hip are associated with risk of bone death

(Natural News) Undergoing hip steroid injection treatment may do more harm than good in patients with osteoarthritis (OA), recent research shows. A team of health experts found that while steroids and anesthetics are commonly given to OA patients to relieve joint pain, the treatment may significantly increase the likelihood of suffering from subsequent bone death and…

People in their silver years are golden geese to Big Pharma: More than half are on at least 5 prescriptions, some more than 20

(Natural News) A recent study published in the journal Age and Aging has revealed that seniors and pensioners across the U.K. are being overly medicated for various diseases, making them an instant target among big pharmaceutical companies. A team of researchers at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health pooled data from more than 15,000 older people in…