Tag Archives: inflammation

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
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Not Real Enough To Touch


“It’s all in your head.”

“Buck up”

“It’s not like you are actually in pain”

“I’m sorry I can’t see what is wrong with you”

“Oh, I wouldn’t take a sick day unless I was really sick”

-Well Meaning People

All of these quotes are things people have told me, either about my own depression, or about theirs. All of these have the same sub-text. Depression isn’t a ‘real’ condition, or illness. The ‘fake’ illness they talk about impacts nearly 15 million Americans’ daily lives; and nearly 4% of American adults reported having a suicidal ideation in 2018.


http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/issues/state-mental-health-america

Let that sink in.

Millions of people every day are suffering from a disease that their peers belief isn’t real. Sometimes I compare this to me telling someone who broke their arm to ‘hold this’ because ‘well you still have an arm’. We would all agree that is cruel and borderline sadistic. But with mental disorders we can’t see the injury, so discount it as fake.

The Guest Your Brain Doesn’t need

Depression causes three fundamental changes in our brain, a resizing of core components, rewriting neural pathways and inflammation. Research is ongoing to determine if brain inflammation causes depression, or if it is a symptom the disease itself due to a change in how the brain absorbs oxygen.

While changes typically take a minimum of eight months to develop. The potential for near permanent dysfunction in memory, executive function, attention, mood, and emotional regulation exist after bouts of longer-lasting depression.

The Sizing Changes

Hippocampus

A 2016 international study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry reports that 65% of all depressed patients have a smaller hippocampus. This is the region in the brain that controls emotions, learning and memory. According to PsychEducation.org, this shrinkage occurs because of the way depression kills existing hippocampal cells and prevents new ones from growing efficiently.

The report in Molecular Psychiatry goes on to say that this change is most pronounced in people with extended or recurring bouts of depression. So then, the longer someone goes without treating their depression, the harder it becomes to remember, and learn.

This is a bigger deal than it sounds because recovery from depression requires a relearning of how to feel; while a common treatment for the disease involves remembering. So in effect this disease attacks the very parts of the brain which would be most able to combat it.

Remember that next time you feel the need to tell a friend to ‘pull themselves out of it’.

The hippocampus

Prefrontal Cortex

The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that handles dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin – hormones that control mood.As reported by Live Science, individuals with depression tend to experience shrinkage in this area due to the high amount of cortisol associated with depression. Depression also causes cells in the prefrontal cortex to become less dense.

The prefrontal cortex

amygdala

Another study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry reports that major depressive disorder causes the amygdala to swell. This often results in sleep disturbances and makes the body’s hormone release process go haywire. At the root of this is the high levels of cortisol associated with depressive symptoms (and a key driver of our stress response).

The amygdala

Inflammation

There are links being made between inflammation and depression. It’s still not clear, as I mentioned above, whether inflammation causes depression or vice versa.

But brain inflammation during depression is linked to the amount of time a person has been depressed. The study I cited above shows that people depressed for more than 10 years showed 30 percent more inflammation compared to people depressed for less time.

Because brain inflammation can cause the cells of the brain to die, this can lead to a number of complications, including:

  • sizing changes
  • decreased function of neurotransmitters
  • reduced ability of the brain to change as the person ages (neuroplasticity)

These complications make it hard for people to learn, affect mood, and cause loss to memory. Young adults suffering from depression face the risk of severe mental limitations due to how rapidly their brains should be growing and changing.

Oxygen Deprivation

Depression has been linked to reduced oxygen in the body. These changes may be due to changes in breathing caused by depression. But like with inflammation which comes first and causes the other remains unknown.

Overall, the brain is highly sensitive to reductions in oxygen, which can lead to:

  • inflammation
  • brain cell injury
  • brain cell death

Inflammation and cell death can lead to a host of symptoms associated with development, learning, memory, and mood. Even short-term hypoxia (brain lacking oxygen) can lead to confusion, much like what’s observed with high altitude hikers (clearly a reason to not hike 🙂 ).

Treatments

We will explore herbal remedies later, but there are also other, non-prescription treatments which have see excellent results in clinical studies. While these treatments are very effective, they should absolutely never be used INSTEAD of seeing a trained and trusted mental health provider. I did that, and it led to the first of my suicidal ideations.

According to Dr. Majid Fotuhi, the best way to restore your hippocampus is to exercise. Research has shown that walking one mile a day lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s (another hippocampal shrinkage-related disease) by 48%. Another way to support your hippocampus is by getting lots of omega-3 fatty acids.

Gratitude activates your prefrontal cortex and gets its cells firing. This is super helpful when you’re suffering from a depressive disorder. It doesn’t have to be complex – just spend a few minutes at the end of each day writing what you are grateful for.

Hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments, which increase oxygen circulation, have been shown to relieve symptoms of depression.

If you’re depressed, know that you’re not alone and that there are a number of helpful resources out there. Check out:

Next Time

The next few posts will be more about depression as a disorder, and ways we can treat it, or help others who are suffering from it. Odds are that at least 2-3 people you know suffer from depression, and almost none feel safe talking about it.

Do you want more about inflammation and its harm to the body? Check out some older posts here and here. We here at Fully Human have not yet launched our supplement to combat the symptoms of depression. But we hope to do so by the end of 2019. If you are one of the millions suffering from ‘regular’ inflammation, check out Freedom, the first supplement to combine clinical dosing, clinical timing and clinical frequency.

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