Tag Archives: diabetes

A Spicy Solution

Do you like spicy foods? I don’t. But science says cayenne pepper is good for something other than making me cry. There is nearly 20 years of clinical research which fairly conclusively shows cayenne pepper aids the body in fighting inflammation. And seeing all that evidence changed my mind. Maybe it will change yours too.

How Does It Work?

So the simple answer is cayenne pepper also contains a wide range antioxidants that work at a cellular level and actually disarm free radicals that can lead to cellular inflammation.

The more technical answer is that cayenne contains a substance known as capsaicin that gives the spice its “heat” and creates a burning sensation on any tissue it touches. Capsaicin triggers a biochemical reaction that is both analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory. I should note here that rubbing raw peppers on your skin is not the preferred method of use though.

Capsaicin is classified as a neurotoxin. This sounds scary, but it is the dose that makes the poison. Which is why botulinum toxin – also known as botox – is both lethal, and really useful for keeping me looking young . Capsaicin works by reducing the concentration of substance P, a compound produced by the body which delivers pain signals to the brain. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of this substance before – I hadn’t either – and to be honest it sounds fake.

What is it good for?

I know cayenne pepper is most commonly as it is used in my dad’s tacos. But other than for cooking, there is evidence capsaicin helps with the following conditions:

Back Pain: A 2006 review of studies published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews concluded that there was “moderate evidence” that cayenne-based topical therapies were more effective than placebo in relieving low back pain.

Neuropathic Pain: Capcaisin has long been explored as a means of treating neuropathic pain given the lack of effective pharmaceutical remedies. A 2009 study published in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring concluded that a high-dose capsaicin patch used for 60 minutes on 173 people with HIV drug-induced peripheral neuropathy resulted in a twofold decrease in pain compared to those using a placebo.

Heart Health: A 2015 review of studies published in BMJ Open Heart suggested that the biochemical reaction triggered by capsaicin may have practical applications in treating an array of metabolic and cardiovascular disorders. The evidence mainly involved research into the use of dietary cayenne in rats, pigs, and other mammals.

Joint Pain: A recent study published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia concluded that topical capsaicin cream provided modest relief of chronic muscle and joint pain. The study specifically looked at capsaicin cream applied three to five times daily for 2 to 6 weeks. This and other studies have highlighted topical and oral capsaicin’s benefit in providing pain relief for various types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis.

Other Potential Benefits: There are limited studies indicating that a diet rich in cayenne may be beneficial  for other conditions. But there isn’t enough evidence yet to confirm that it can prevent or treat atherosclerosis, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver, hypertension, and stroke.

What it doesn’t help with

Weight Loss: The evidence supporting the use of cayenne tablets in boosting metabolism and losing weight is generally weak. A lot of nutritional supplement companies say cayenne has thermogenic properties that can speed up your metabolism. And a cayenne tablet can certainly induce sweat, but there is no evidence that this leads to weight loss.

Side Effects

As with anything you take cayenne has side effects. You should consider whether the benefits of taking this (or any other supplement) outweigh the risks.

Most common side effects for topical capsaicin creams are fairly mild, and include irritation, burning, and itching. Some stronger versions of topical patches and creams may cause localized swelling, rash, pain, and even blisters. When taken as a tablet, cayenne rarely causes nausea, sweating, flushing, diarrhea, and runny nose.

Conclusion

Want to see if cayenne works for you? Try Freedom today to see what high quality, powerful cayenne can do when blended with other anti-inflammatory herbs. 

Citations (other than what I linked to)

Khanna RD, Karki K, Pande D, Negi R, Khanna RS (2014) Inflammation, Free Radical Damage, Oxidative Stress and Cancer. Microinflammation 1:109. doi: 10.4172/2381-8727.1000109

 

Curcumin vs Autoimmune Diseases

Over recent decades, researchers conducted 32 clinical trials on the effect of curcumin supplements on various autoimmune diseases including osteo/rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes and ulcerative colitis. Those trials formed part of the basis for us here at Fully Human including curcumin in Freedom, so let’s see what the current state of the science is.

All studies were randomized, placebo controlled trials, the gold standard for medical evidence. The trial lengths ranged from 4-40 weeks. And they looked at a variety of clinical measures including pain, stiffness, range of motion, and disease specific markers (inflammatory markers for RA as an example).

Overall, 26 trials resulted in significant improvements with most of the remainder not being long enough to report results. None reported significant side effects, and none reported curcumin supplementation as being anything but supportive as an autoimmune therapy.

Osteoarthritis Results

The osteoarthritis-related trials ranged from 6 to 40 weeks with doses ranging from 100–2000 mg/day tested. In 13 of the studies, dietary curcumin intake resulted in improvement of at least 2 clinical measures (pain, stiffness, range of motion…etc) and seven studies showed improvement of at least three clinical measures. The average effective daily dose was 829mg/day divided between at least two doses.

Type 2 Diabetes Results

The Type 2 diabetes trials ranged from 4 to 36 weeks with doses of curcumin ranging from 200 to 1500 mg/day. All eight studies showed curcumin supplementation possessed anti-diabetic effects with the average effective daily dosage being 570.79 mg/day divided between at least two doses.

Ulcerative Colitis Results

The duration of the three studies looking at ulcerative colitis ranged from 4 weeks to 24 weeks with doses ranging from 140 mg to 3000 mg/day. Two of the three studies showed taking between 2,000-3,000mg/day were effective in putting mild-moderate ulcerative colitis into remission.

Other Results

There have been only three studies of curcumin’s effect on other rheumatic diseases, including two studies on rheumatoid arthritis and one on lupus nephritis. Of the two RA studies, one 8-week study showed an improvement in patients taking 1,000mg/day divided between at least two doses. The other study was only two weeks long, and didn’t end with any reportable outcome. The lupus study found that a dose as low as 66mg/day over 12 weeks resulted in significant improvements in systolic blood pressure and a levels of lupus markers in the blood (proteinuria and hematuria).

Promising results aside, due to the limited number of studies conducted on RA and LN, the effect of curcumin on RA and lupus should be considered possibly useful, but with clinically inconclusive evidence.

Freedom Is The Answer

Do you suffer from one of these conditions? Try our patent-pending blend of turmeric curcumin (even more potently extracted than the ones referenced in these studies).

References
  1. Sharma R.A., et al. Curcumin: The story so far. Eur. J. Cancer. 2005;41:1955–1968. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2005.05.009. [PubMed]
  2. Shishodia S., et al. Curcumin: Getting back to the roots. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 2005;1056:206–217. doi: 10.1196/annals.1352.010. [PubMed]
  3. Aggarwal B.B., et al. Pharmacological basis for the role of curcumin in chronic diseases: An age-old spice with modern targets. Trends Pharmacol. Sci. 2009;30:85–94. doi: 10.1016/j.tips.2008.11.002. [PubMed]
  4. Oppenheimer A. Turmeric (curcumin) in biliary diseases. Lancet. 1927;229:619–621. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(00)98193-5. [CrossRef]
  5. Dai Q., et al. curcumin alleviates rheumatoid arthritis-induced inflammation and synovial hyperplasia by targeting mTOr pathway in rats. Drug Des. Dev. Ther. 2018;12:4095. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S175763. [PMC free article]
  6. Prasad S., et al. Curcumin, a component of golden spice: From bedside to bench and back. Biotechnol. Adv. 2014;32:1053–1064. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2014.04.004. [PubMed]
  7. Gupta S.C., et al. Therapeutic roles of curcumin: Lessons learned from clinical trials. AAPS J. 2013;15:195–218. doi: 10.1208/s12248-012-9432-8. [PMC free article]
  8. Hsu C.H., et al L. The Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Curcumin in Health and Disease. Springer; Boston, MA, USA: 2007. Clinical studies with curcumin; pp. 471–480. [Google Scholar]
  9. Haroyan A., et al. Efficacy and safety of curcumin and its combination with boswellic acid in osteoarthritis: A comparative, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. BMC Complement. Altern. Med. 2018;18:7. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-2062-z. [PMC free article]
  10. Srivastava S., et al. Curcuma longa extract reduces inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers in osteoarthritis of knee: A four-month, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Inflammopharmacology. 2016;24:377–388. doi: 10.1007/s10787-016-0289-9. [PubMed]
  11. Panahi Y., et al. Mitigation of systemic oxidative stress by curcuminoids in osteoarthritis: Results of a randomized controlled trial. J. Diet. Suppl. 2016;13:209–220. doi: 10.3109/19390211.2015.1008611. [PubMed]
  12. Sterzi S., et al. The efficacy and safety of a combination of glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate and bio-curcumin with exercise in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Eur. J. Phys. Rehabil. Med. 2016;52:321–330. [PubMed]
  13. Rahimnia A.R., et al. Impact of supplementation with curcuminoids on systemic inflammation in patients with knee osteoarthritis: Findings from a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Drug Res. 2015;65:521–525. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1384536. [PubMed]
  14. Panahi Y., et al. Curcuminoid treatment for knee osteoarthritis: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Phytother. Res. 2014;28:1625–1631. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5174. [PubMed]
  15. Nakagawa Y., et al. Short-term effects of highly-bioavailable curcumin for treating knee osteoarthritis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled prospective study. J. Orthopaedic Sci. 2014;19:933–939. doi: 10.1007/s00776-014-0633-0. [PMC free article]
  16. Kuptniratsaikul V., et al. Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis: A multicenter study. Clin. Interventions Aging. 2014;9:451. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S58535. [PMC free article]
  17. Belcaro G., et al. (R)+ Glucosamine versus Condroitin+ Glucosamine in patients with knee osteoarthritis: An observational study. Eur. Rev. Med. Pharmacol. Sci. 2014;18:3959–3963. [PubMed]
  18. Madhu K., et al. Safety and efficacy of Curcuma longa extract in the treatment of painful knee osteoarthritis: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Inflammopharmacology. 2013;21:129–136. doi: 10.1007/s10787-012-0163-3. [PubMed]
  19. Kizhakkedath R. Clinical evaluation of a formulation containing Curcuma longa and Boswellia serrata extracts in the management of knee osteoarthritis. Mol. Med. Rep. 2013;8:1542–1548. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2013.1661. [PubMed] [CrossRef]
  20. Pinsornsak P., et al. The efficacy of Curcuma Longa L. extract as an adjuvant therapy in primary knee osteoarthritis: A randomized control trial. J. Med. Assoc. Thai. 2012;95:S51–S58. [PubMed]
  21. Belcaro G., et al. Efficacy and safety of Meriva (R), a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex, during extended administration in osteoarthritis patients. Altern. Med. Rev. 2010;15:337–344. [PubMed]
  22. Belcaro G., et al. Product-evaluation registry of Meriva®, a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex, for the complementary management of osteoarthritis. Panminerva Med. 2010;52:55–62. [PubMed]
  23. Kuptniratsaikul V., et al. Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts in patients with knee osteoarthritis. J. Altern. Complement. Med. 2009;15:891–897. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0186. [PubMed]
  24. Badria F.A., et al. Boswellia–curcumin preparation for treating knee osteoarthritis: A clinical evaluation. Altern. Complement. Therapies. 2002;8:341–348. doi: 10.1089/107628002761574635. [CrossRef]
  25. Cashman J.N. The mechanisms of action of NSAIDs in analgesia. Drugs. 1996;52:13–23. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199600525-00004. [PubMed]
  26. Biggee B.A., et al. Glucosamine for osteoarthritis: Part I, review of the clinical evidence. Rhode Island Med. J. 2004;87:176. [PubMed]
  27. Chuengsamarn S., et al. Reduction of atherogenic risk in patients with type 2 diabetes by curcuminoid extract: A randomized controlled trial. J. Nutr. Biochem. 2014;25:144–150. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.09.013. [PubMed]
  28. Na L.X., et al. Curcuminoids Target Decreasing Serum Adipocyte-fatty Acid Binding Protein Levels in Their Glucose-lowering Effect in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Biomed. Enveion. Sci. 2014;27:902–906. [PubMed]
  29. Na L.X., et al. Curcuminoids exert glucose-lowering effect in type 2 diabetes by decreasing serum free fatty acids: A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2013;57:1569–1577. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201200131. [PubMed]
  30. Chuengsamarn S., et al. Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2012;35:2121–2127. doi: 10.2337/dc12-0116. [PMC free article]
  31. Steigerwalt R., et al. Meriva®, a lecithinized curcumin delivery system, in diabetic microangiopathy and retinopathy. Panminerva Med. 2012;54:11. [PubMed]
  32. Appendino G., et al. Potential role of curcumin phytosome (Meriva) in controlling the evolution of diabetic microangiopathy. A pilot study. Panminerva Med. 2011;53:43–49. [PubMed]
  33. Khajehdehi P., et al. Oral supplementation of turmeric attenuates proteinuria, transforming growth factor-β and interleukin-8 levels in patients with overt type 2 diabetic nephropathy: A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study. Scand. J. Urol. Nephrol. 2011;45:365–370. doi: 10.3109/00365599.2011.585622. [PubMed]
  34. Usharani P., et al. Effect of NCB-02, atorvastatin and placebo on endothelial function, oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Drugs R D. 2008;9:243–250. doi: 10.2165/00126839-200809040-00004. [PubMed]
  35. Boord J.B., et al. Combined adipocyte-macrophage fatty acid-binding protein deficiency improves metabolism, atherosclerosis, and survival in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Circulation. 2004;110:1492–1498. doi: 10.1161/01.CIR.0000141735.13202.B6. [PMC free article]
  36. Kedia S., et al. Low dose oral curcumin is not effective in induction of remission in mild to moderate ulcerative colitis: Results from a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. World J. Gastrointestinal Pharmacol. Ther. 2017;8:147. doi: 10.4292/wjgpt.v8.i2.147. [PMC free article]
  37. Lang A., et al. Curcumin in combination with mesalamine induces remission in patients with mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis in a randomized controlled trial. Clin. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 2015;13:1444–1449. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2015.02.019. [PubMed]
  38. Hanai H., et al. Curcumin maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis: Randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 2006;4:1502–1506. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2006.08.008. [PubMed]
  39. Chandran B., et al. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother. Res. 2012;26:1719–1725. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639. [PubMed]
  40. Dcodhar S.D., et al. Preliminary study on antirheumatic activity of curcumin (diferuloyl methane) Indian J. Med. Res. 1980;138:632–634. [PubMed]
  41. Khajehdehi P., et al. Oral supplementation of turmeric decreases proteinuria, hematuria, and systolic blood pressure in patients suffering from relapsing or refractory lupus nephritis: A randomized and placebo-controlled study. J. Renal Nutr. 2012;22:50–57. doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2011.03.002. [PubMed]
  42. Dolati S., et al. Nanocurcumin restores aberrant miRNA expression profile in multiple sclerosis, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J. Cell. Physiol. 2018;233:5222–5230. doi: 10.1002/jcp.26301. [PubMed]
  43. Dolati S., et al. Changes in Th17 cells function after nanocurcumin use to treat multiple sclerosis. Int. Immunopharmacol. 2018;61:74–81. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2018.05.018. [PubMed]
  44. Edwards R.L., et al. The anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin is mediated by its oxidative metabolites. J. Biol. Chem. 2017;292:21243–21252. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA117.000123. [PMC free article]
  45. Hong J., et al. Modulation of arachidonic acid metabolism by curcumin and related β-diketone derivatives: Effects on cytosolic phospholipase A 2, cyclooxygenases and 5-lipoxygenase. Carcinogenesis. 2004;25:1671–1679. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgh165. [PubMed
  46. Drazen J.M. COX-2 inhibitors: A lesson in unexpected problems. N. Engl. J. Med. 2004;23:9247–9258. doi: 10.1056/NEJMe058038. [PubMed]
  47. Zeng J.J., et al. Curcumin Inhibits Proliferation of Synovial Cells by Downregulating Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinase-3 in Osteoarthritis. Orthopaedic Surg. 2019;11:117–125. doi: 10.1111/os.12412. [PMC free article]
  48. Pari L., et al. Antihyperlipidemic effect of curcumin and tetrahydrocurcumin in experimental type 2 diabetic rats. Renal Fail. 2007;29:881–889. doi: 10.1080/08860220701540326. [PubMed]
  49. Weisberg S.P., et al V. Dietary curcumin significantly improves obesity-associated inflammation and diabetes in mouse models of diabesity. Endocrinology. 2008;149:3549–3558. doi: 10.1210/en.2008-0262. [PMC free article]
  50. Srivastava R.M., et al. Immunomodulatory and therapeutic activity of curcumin. Int. Immunopharmacol. 2011;11:331–341. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2010.08.014. [PubMed]
  51. Duvoix A., et al. Chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of curcumin. Cancer Lett. 2005;223:181–190. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2004.09.041. [PubMed]
  52. Aggarwal B.B., et al. Anticancer potential of curcumin: Preclinical and clinical studies. Anticancer Res. 2003;23:363–398. [PubMed]
  53. Dorai T., et al. Therapeutic potential of curcumin in human prostate cancer. III. Curcumin inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis, and inhibits angiogenesis of LNCaP prostate cancer cells in vivo. Prostate. 2001;47:293–303. doi: 10.1002/pros.1074. [PubMed]
  54. Somasundaram S., et al. Dietary curcumin inhibits chemotherapy-induced apoptosis in models of human breast cancer. Cancer Res. 2002;62:3868–3875. [PubMed]
  55. Kuo M.L., et al. Curcumin, an antioxidant and anti-tumor promoter, induces apoptosis in human leukemia cells. Biochim. Biophys. Acta BBA Mol. Basis Dis. 1996;1317:95–100. doi: 10.1016/S0925-4439(96)00032-4. [PubMed]
  56. Cole G.M., et al. The Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Curcumin in Health and Disease. Springer; Boston, MA, USA: 2007. Neuroprotective Effects of Curcumin; pp. 197–212. [Google Scholar]
  57. Baum L., Ng A. Curcumin interaction with copper and iron suggests one possible mechanism of action in Alzheimer’s disease animal models. J. Alzheimer’s Dis. 2004;6:367–377. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2004-6403. [PubMed]
  58. Ng Q.X., et al. Clinical use of curcumin in depression: A meta-analysis. J. Am. Med. Directors Assoc. 2017;18:503–508. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2016.12.071. [PubMed]
  59. Prasad S., et al. Recent developments in delivery, bioavailability, absorption and metabolism of curcumin: The golden pigment from golden spice. Cancer Res. Treat. Off. J. Korean Cancer Assoc. 2014;46:2. doi: 10.4143/crt.2014.46.1.2. [PMC free article]

The Ginger Way

We’ve all had that moment where you are sure at any moment you are going to vomit…whether you were pregnant, ate that pizza left out overnight, or just had the flu. And in that moment your parent, partner or friend tells you to drink some ginger ale because it will help with the nausea. Turns out, ginger is has health benefits far beyond soothing your stomach. It is a potent anti-inflammatory root, one that has few if any downsides.

How Does It Work?

Research suggests that the compounds gingerol and zingerone are ginger’s primary active elements. The way the body processes gingerol is what makes ginger carminative (prevent gas formation in stomach), anti-flatulent and anti-microbial. The two compounds together reduce many forms of inflammation, from colitis to kidney damage to diabetes and cancer.

What is it used for?

A 2013 study treated participants with diclofenac (a painkiller) or ginger or both for 12 weeks. All 3 groups showed improvement but the combination group saw the maximum improvement. Researchers observed ginger has an additive effect on osteoarthritis treatment by safely increasing the effects of painkillers.

Topical application of ginger extract nanoparticles (not exactly sure how these are made, but they sound cool) is found to reduce pain and improve daily activities and joint function in those suffering from osteoarthritis. A similar case study revealed ginger therapy progressively reduces osteoarthritis symptoms in 24 weeks.

Topical ginger treatment in the form of compress or patch progressively reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis and brings about 48% reduction in pain. Also this study concluded with participants reporting 70% health satisfaction in comparison to their original 80% dissatisfaction.

Ginger constituents like gingerol and shogaol inhibit formation of inflammatory proteins in osteoarthritis. This brings about a reduction in pain, swelling and soreness. It also reduces degradation of bone and cartilage.

Ginger helps in remedying stomach problems and can protect against formation of ulcers caused by use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Multiple animal studies reported that ginger exertsprotective effects against ulcers caused by aspirin and other painkillers.

Dosing

Clinical studies show anti-inflammatory results with the consumption of between 2-3 grams of ginger root powder spread out over 2-3 doses daily. A 2012 study reported that 1 gram of ginger powder does not benefit in joint pain and function in osteoarthritis. Lower doses of ginger are sufficient however to relieve the symptoms of nausea.

Limitations

A 2008 review study found that the evidence regarding use of ginger in osteoarthritis is weak due to a lack of large, longer term studies. As I discussed in the ‘how to read…nutrition research edition‘ that is a critical limitation is many nutritional studies. There are a handful of ongoing studies regarding ginger. And most of the research which has emerged since 2008 uses higher doses of ginger than earlier studies, improving the clinical outcomes.

Side Effects

Ginger demonstrates some blood thinning effects, so if you are already on blood thinners you should use ginger with caution.

Otherwise, ginger may cause some stomach discomfort if taken in a large (greater than 2 grams) dose on an empty stomach. And may cause a slight burning sensation of digestive discomfort if you use more than 4 grams / daily.

Next Time

For the next handful of posts I am going to turn to depression and stress. We’ll look at the damage those cause the body, and some supplements that are used to treat them naturally.

Until then, explore previous posts here or here. Or you can check out the first anti-inflammatory supplement that delivers clinical nutrition, at clinical doses, delivered at clinical intervals. If you need a diversion from the ordinary you can read about the pre-history of humanity’s second century in space.

Tea Time?

If you know anything about me you know I can be a tad hyperbolic when talking because I love telling stories. And, lets be honest…a story about how I went to the grocery store gets quite a bit better with a little drama. But when it comes to supplements, and food in general I tend to be really conservative in how I talk about them. You will rarely hear me say more than ‘it seems to work’ or ‘this was clinically studied’. But in the case of green tea – I get pretty excited.

I first started my enduring relationship with green tea during my first year in Afghanistan (2009-2010). While there I would drink about 3.5-4 liters (or about a gallon) of green tea a day. Why so much? Well at the time it didn’t seem like a lot because I was living with an Afghan Army unit, and just about everything we did either began or ended with drinking tea.

After a year of that I had lost 20 pounds, was running a sub-six minute mile, and had one of the worst haircuts of my life…no seriously….it was really awful, and faintly yellowed teeth. I initially ascribed most of this to my workout regime (the teeth thing I knew had to be so much tea), but that couldn’t really explain everything, so I figured I would do some research into green tea, since that was the main difference between my routine here, and my routine there.

What i found

I found that green tea was a sort of super drink, basically the perfect blend of stimulant, anti-‘bad stuff’, and something that tasted good (cause everyone knows green tea tastes way better than other healthy stuff like kale). It turned out that green tea helps protect the body from inflammation, cancer, mental decline, just to name a few. And in the years since 2010, even more studies have come out showing green tea’s ability to strengthen the heart, suppress appetites, and even improve joint mobility in people suffering from arthritis and other degenerative diseases.

Dosing

The dosing for different conditions green tea can help with varies, but a handful of the ones that have been clinically verified are below courtesy of Drugs.com. I’m not going to lie – a handful of these more technical terms mean nothing to me, but the bottom line I am getting from it all is that you really don’t even need very much green tea to start seeing positive results.

Anogenital warts: Topical application of sinecatechins (polyphenon E 10% or 15%) was used for up to 16 weeks in a clinical study.

Cardiovascular risks: Green tea catechins or extract (160 to 2,488 mg/day) have been used in trials, often in divided dosages (treatment duration, 2 weeks to 3 months).

Cognitive impairment: Two 430 mg capsules (each capsule containing green tea extract 360 mg and L-theanine 60 mg) administered twice daily, 30 minutes after meals, for 16 weeks (total daily green tea extract dose, 1,440 mg; total daily L-theanine dose, 240 mg).

Depression: 2 to 4 or more cups/day of green tea has been used to lower the prevalence of depressive symptoms.

Diabetes: An EGCG dosage range of 84 to 386 mg/day may be adequate to support glucose homeostasis, based on available literature.

Obesity: ECGC 400 mg twice daily for 8 weeks was used in one clinical trial; green tea extract tablets (containing 125 mg of catechins) and a daily green tea catechin beverage (containing 625 mg of catechins) have also been used in studies of overweight and obese adults.

Where to go now

I don’t know about you – but when I found out all this, I decided that I needed to make green tea a part of every day, and now have the equivalent of about six cups of green tea a day between my supplements, and actual cups of tea. If you are looking for a supplement that is an easy way to get your green tea extract, along with a bunch of other clinically verified anti-inflammatory compounds, check out my Indiegogo page. If you are looking for something else awesome to read, check out my future of space blog, where you can learn about the everyday sort of things people are going to be dealing with over the next 100 years in space.

Either way – enjoy today, and make sure you bring your full self to life!

Sourcing – Still Not Making This Shit Up

Tea flavonoids and cardiovascular disease: a review. Tijburg LB, Mattern T, Folts JD, Weisgerber UM, Katan MBCrit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1997 Dec; 37(8):771-85.

Therapeutic potential of inhibition of the NF-kappaB pathway in the treatment of inflammation and cancer. Yamamoto Y, Gaynor RBJ Clin Invest. 2001 Jan; 107(2):135-42.

NF-kappa B and Rel proteins: evolutionarily conserved mediators of immune responses. Ghosh S, May MJ, Kopp EBAnnu Rev Immunol. 1998; 16():225-60.

The importance of using scientific principles in the development of medicinal agents from plants. Talalay P, Talalay PAcad Med. 2001 Mar; 76(3):238-47.

The Epidemic…

If you’ve ever twisted your knee, cut your finger, or been stung by an insect, you have firsthand experience with inflammation. The familiar sensations of pain, redness, swelling, and heat that result from an injury or infection are hallmarks of the inflammatory process. Inflammation represents an essential survival mechanism that helps the body fight off hostile microbes and repair damaged tissue. Yet there is another side of inflammation that can be harmful rather than helpful to human health. There’s evidence that inflammation, promoted in part by such factors as obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle, contributes to a variety of diseases.

Types of Inflammation

There are two forms of inflammation: acute and chronic.

Acute inflammation comes on rapidly, usually within minutes, but is generally short-lived. Many of the mechanisms that spring into action to destroy invading microbes switch gears to cart away dead cells and repair damaged ones. This cycle returns the affected area to a state of balance, and inflammation dissipates within a few hours or days.

Chronic inflammation often begins with the same cellular response, but morphs into a lingering state that persists for months or years when the immune system response fails to eliminate the problem. Alternatively, the inflammation may stay active even after the initial threat has been eliminated. In other cases, low-level inflammation becomes activated even when there is no apparent injury or disease. Unchecked, the immune system prompts white blood cells to attack nearby healthy tissues and organs, setting up a chronic inflammatory process that plays a central role in some of the most challenging diseases of our time, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and even Alzheimer’s.

Next Steps

This is truly an epidemic, and one that we know how to treat – but often choose to ignore.

I’ll be exploring ways the naturally treat inflammation in the coming posts, but suffice to say, it isn’t as hard as one might think. Like most solutions, it is actually fairly easy to take small steps that will yield, over time, life-changing effects.

If you want a scientifically verified way to help reduce inflammation, check out my Indiegogo campaign as I try to bring a new supplement to market.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fully-human-supplements