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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Researchers discover ancient flower that naturally treats diabetes; Big Pharma immediately begins developing synthetic version

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ethan A. Huff

(NaturalNews) Israeli researchers have discovered an amazing plant native to their region that apparently helps treat type-2 diabetes naturally without the need for drugs or injections. But rather than promote the actual plant as a therapeutic option for patients, the team is instead working with drug companies to isolate the plant’s “active ingredient” so it can be synthesized and turned into a patented, corporate-owned pharmaceutical drug.

The plant is known as Chiliadenus iphionoides, or sharp varthemia, and it has a stocky, furry-looking stem that produces spiny yellow flowers. In both cellular and animal models, extracts from this aromatic shrub have been shown to exhibit antidiabetic activity, helping to improve sugar absorption into muscle and fat cells, as well as reduce blood sugar levels.

Based on these powerful outcomes, as reported in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, sharp varthemia appears to be a godsend for people who suffer from diabetes mellitus, which the American Diabetes Association says is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. today. But you won’t find the plant at your local CVS or Walgreens pharmacy, and you likely never will.

Whole-plant sharp varthemia can’t be patented, so drug companies will steal one component in order to capitalize on it

It’s not that sharp varthemia isn’t effective at treating diabetes; it is, otherwise the researchers who discovered it wouldn’t have stated the following in their study:

“Chiliadenus iphionoides extract increased insulin secretion in s cells as well as glucose uptake in adipocytes and skeletal myotubes. The extract also displayed hypoglycemic activity in the diabetic sand rat. … Chiliadenus iphionoides exhibits considerable anti-diabetic activity, although the mechanism of action remains to be determined.”

This is quite clearly a positive clinical outcome, but it doesn’t do much to fatten the wallets of drug industry CEOs and executives who only profit when medicinal components are isolated and synthesized. Since natural plants can’t be patented (at least not yet), there’s no money to be made from selling sharp varthemia in whole-plant form.

Instead, scientists will have to figure out a way to steal the plant’s “active ingredient,” which in and of itself is a misnomer, since plants contain a host of bioactive components that work synergistically to promote healing. The complexity of this synergy is far beyond what any human scientist could ever comprehend, of course, hence the mysteries of the natural healing arts. But none of this matters when there’s profits to be made.

Bio-piracy is the essence of the pharmaceutical industry; natural plants and herbs work better, but they don’t generate billions in profits!

In the case of sharp varthemia, scientists working on behalf of drug industry moguls will identify what they believe to be the plant’s “active ingredient,” which they will then use to develop a drug that can be patented and sold for billions of dollars. And if anyone tries to sell the plant in whole form as medicine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will surely swoop in and declare sharp varthemia to be an “unapproved drug.”

Such a scenario is bio-piracy at its finest, robbing nature of her lifeblood in order to turn pieces of it into a for-profit, “sick care” health management pill or vaccine, and it’s the foundation upon which the pharmaceutical industry is built.

It’s exactly what drug companies did with the Madagascar periwinkle, a traditional medicine native to Africa that works as a natural appetite suppressant. It’s also been shown effective in the treatment of leukemia which, once drug companies found out about this, resulted in components of the plant being bio-pirated and sold for huge profit.

“We need to do more in developing countries regarding informing people about biopiracy,” said Yoke Ling Chee of the Third World Network, as quoted by “But we also need to create more awareness among consumers so when they use products they know that biopiracy might be involved.”

Source: NaturalNews.


Evidence Shows Acupuncture Helps Cancer Patients

By HealthCMi

October 21, 2014

A new meta-analysis finds evidence that acupuncture is effective in controlling cancer related symptoms. Acupuncture has now been proven to relieve cancer related pain, nausea and depression.

Studies support the use of acupuncture for the treatment of cancer related pain, nausea, fatigue, hot flashes, insomnia, vomiting, anxiety, depression and dry mouth. Based on these findings, the researchers suggest expanding studies into the beneficial clinical effects of acupuncture for cancer patients.

Further, the researchers note that acupuncture used in the field of oncology requires a “constant dialog” between acupuncturists and other treating physicians for improved clinical outcomes.

The researchers note that acupuncture promotes several biological changes.

Acupuncture activates neural, endocrine and immunological regulation. Citing modern evidence that acupuncture regulates the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, the researchers suggest that this may be a biomedical correlate for the ancient Chinese theory that acupuncture balances yin and yang.

They added that electro-acupuncture induces “serotonin release from the upper brain stem region and hypothalamus and stimulates endogenous opiate release (b endorphin, enkephalin, endomorphin, and dynorphin) which then alleviates cancer pain.”

The research team also notes that acupuncture regulates the immune system in part by stimulating leukocytes, both granulocytes and lymphocytes. This is accomplished by acupuncture’s ability to stimulate the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Additional research presented demonstrated that acupuncture benefits both T-lymphocyte and Natural Killer cell (NK cell) function.

The analysis found significant positive clinical outcomes. A comparison study of sham acupuncture and true acupuncture demonstrated that only true acupuncture was effective in reducing hot flashes in breast cancer patients.

Xerostomia, dry mouth, due to radiation therapy is of major concern. The research shows that acupuncture improves salivary flow rates and decreased overall xerostomia including reductions of related pain and dysfunction.

Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting is also of major concern. The findings demonstrate that acupuncture reduces both nausea and vomiting for chemotherapy patients.

Many cancer patients take analgesics to reduce pain but continue to experience severe discomfort. The researchers identified a 90 patient randomized controlled study wherein cancer patients taking analgesics experienced significant additional pain reduction with the addition of acupuncture to their regime of care.

Additionally, patients taking aromatase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer experience joint pain and stiffness. This class of drugs is often used for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer. The researchers found randomly controlled trials demonstrating that body style acupuncture and auricular acupuncture are both effective in reducing pain associated with the use of this class of cancer medication.

A comparison study of sham acupuncture with true acupuncture for the treatment of chemotherapy related fatigue concluded that only true acupuncture reduced overall fatigue and improved motivation.

This was confirmed by a phase 2 single-arm study wherein acupuncture demonstrated the same results. Another randomly controlled trial of 80 cancer patients demonstrated that acupuncture reduces depression and improves overall sleep quality.

Improvements in immunohistochemistry, CT technology and MRI imaging have led to improved studies on the effective mechanisms of acupuncture. This, combined with improvements in controlled clinical trials, has yielded important results demonstrating the ability of acupuncture to relieve suffering.

This recent meta-analysis reflects this enormous leap forward of acupuncture research on the relief of suffering associated with cancer. The next step will be to continue the acupuncture continuing education and research while expanding integrative medicine implementation for the benefit of patients.

Source: The Epoch Times.


Jordan Faces Looming and Complex Cancer Burden

By Elizabeth Whitman

AMMAN, Apr 10 2014 (IPS) – The concrete skeleton of a twin 13-storey complex towers over surrounding buildings on one of Amman’s busiest streets. The ongoing expansion of the King Hussein Cancer Center symbolizes progress as much as it portends a crisis.

After its completion, expected in 2015, the new buildings will more than double the KHCC‘s current capacity, increasing space for new cancer cases from 3,500 per year to 9,000. Yet even this 186-million-dollar project may be insufficient to shoulder Jordan’s growing cancer burden.

In Jordan, cancer is the leading cause of death after heart disease. Over 5,000 Jordanians annually are diagnosed with cancer, a figure projected to reach 7,281 by 2020, statistics that reflect global trends.

Cancer was once viewed as a first-world scourge. But in 2008, 56 percent of new cancer cases were in the developing world. And by 2030, the proportion will have climbed to 70 percent.

If Jordan fails to actively prepare for a continuing wave of cancer cases, “we won’t be able to cope with the increased number of patients and the increased cost of treatment,” leading to “less treatment and more mortalities,” Dr. Sami Khatib, a clinical oncologist who is president of the Arab Medical Association Against Cancer and former president of the Jordan Oncology Society, told IPS.

Jordan is fortunate to have the KHCC, a non-governmental organization run by the King Hussein Cancer Foundation that is the country’s only comprehensive cancer treatment center and the only cancer treatment facility in the Arab world to receive Joint Commission accreditation.

The KHCC has been a pioneer in cancer treatment in Jordan, transforming the process from disjointed visits with various specialists to comprehensive care with a treatment protocol.

But it is merely one center. About 60 percent of Jordan’s cancer cases are in Amman, according to the latest national statistics in cancer incidence, which are from 2010. Yet according to Khatib, around 80 percent of cancer treatment facilities in Jordan are in Amman.

For the half of Jordan’s population residing in Amman or its outskirts, this location is ideal. For residents of remote areas, reaching these facilities can be a major problem.

“Inequality of access is the major obstacle” in providing cancer treatment in a country where “the whole spectrum of cancer treatment is available,” concluded Dr. Omar Nimri, director of the Jordanian Cancer Registry at the Ministry of Health, in the 2014 World Cancer Report.

An island of care

Sitting on a plain bench in a waiting room at the KHCC one morning were Nisreen Harabi and Sana’ Iskafee, two wives of the same husband. Harabi rocked back and forth as if to distract herself from pain while Iskafee spoke.

To reach Amman from their home in the village of Luban one hour away, Iskafee said, the women had to take one or two affordable public buses or spend 15 dinars (21 dollars) on a taxi ride.

Nisreen has cancer in her lymph nodes, according to Sana’, and must go to the KHCC four times a week for radiation therapy.

“We started coming two months ago,” Sana said. “The hardest part for us is the transportation. We live so far away.”

That morning, they had left their home at 6:30 am for a noon appointment, as a variety of factors can often cause delays on public transportation in Jordan.

“The distribution [of cancer treatment facilities] is not fair, as a whole, for Jordan,” Dr. Jamal Khader, a radiation oncologist at the KHCC and president of the Jordan Oncology Society, told IPS.

Like Nisreen, about 60 percent of cancer patients will at some point go through radiology treatment, he pointed out. But they have to be in Amman daily for a 10 to 15-minute session, making for a lot of extra suffering for those living outside the capital.

“We don’t have a single medical oncologist or radio oncologist in the south” or other remote areas, Khader added. “The ideal scenario for a cancer patient is to be treated in a comprehensive center,” of which the KHCC is the only one. And specialized doctors and technology are primarily available in Amman.

Although all patients across Jordan receive “almost” the same quality treatment, no matter the health care facility they visit, Nimri told IPS in an interview, poorer patients or those who live far from Amman face extra difficulties.

“They have to rent a place, or stay in a hotel, or stay with relatives if they have any,” he said.

In that sense, Harabi is lucky to live one hour away.

Travel and accommodations require time and money, the latter of which is in especially short supply in a country where average annual per capita income is 5,980 dollars. Although societies and charities may help to cover costs, the system that remains in place is a centralized one that does not cater to impoverished patients living far from the capital.

“We need to build facilities…in the north and in the south of Jordan to better cover all the population,” Khatib said. He said the government had “a plan to start building facilities for the treatment of cancer in the different governorates of Jordan” and that “maybe they will start implementing it… soon.”

The situation is changing, albeit gradually. King Abdullah University Hospital in the northern city of Irbid has plans to get radio therapy machines, so that cancer patients residing in northern Jordan would not have to go to Amman for radiation therapy.

A national control plan for cancer is currently being developed as well, with the goal of outlining guidelines for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. Khader, the KHCC oncologist, hoped the plan would be finalized within a year and that it could help identify “what facilities are missing here and there.”

Cancer treatment is divided into several sectors, besides the KHCC. Members of the military and security services, and their families, are treated at military facilities; private hospitals are available for those who can afford them; and those who do not qualify or cannot afford to go elsewhere have public facilities run by the Ministry of Health.

Yet their capacity does not match that of the KHCC, with “variable cancer care across facilities,” a 2011 report by the Harvard Global Equity Initiative noted. Of 29 public hospitals, only one offers chemotherapy, it said.

Furthermore, a difference in quality in treatment does exist between public and private facilities, Khatib allowed. As is generally true in most countries, “I think it’s much better in the NGO and private sectors than in the public sector,” he said.

Most cancer patients have their treatment covered by the Ministry of Health or the royal court, Khader noted, since by law, every Jordanian can apply for free treatment. While this policy eases individual suffering, for the government, it will become a financial “crisis to cope with all the commitments,” he added.

Nimri calculated roughly that with 25,000 – 30,000 cancer patients and the average cost of cancer treatment at 20,000 dollars per patient per year, Jordan is spending annually at least half a billion dollars on cancer treatment.

A multi-factor disease

Forty-eight percent of men over the age of 15 in Jordan smoked cigarettes (compared to 5.7 percent of women), according to WHO statistics from 2009, while 63.3 and 70.4 percent of men and women, respectively, had a body mass index (BMI) over 25, or in other words were overweight.

Tobacco is the biggest risk factor for cancer, and the WHO estimates that its use causes 22 percent of cancer deaths and 71 percent of lung cancer deaths globally.

Another 30 percent of cancer deaths are due to behavioral and dietary risks overall, such as having a high body mass index, poor diet, or lack of exercise.

“Our population is growing and aging… without having embraced healthy lifestyles that may help prevent many non-communicable diseases such as cancer,” wrote Dr. Abdallatif Woriekat, then minister of health, in Jordan’s 2010 national report on cancer incidence.

“The unhealthy diet and potentially lethal habit of tobacco use in particular, unfortunately, remains highly common and acceptable among Jordanians, and will undoubtedly leave a large unwanted print with its strong contribution to the increasing incidence of cancer,” he concluded.

Source: Inter-Press Service (IPS).


Veggie Will Expand Fresh Food Production on ISS

by Linda Herridge for KSC News

Kennedy Space Center FL (SPX)

Apr 11, 2014

A plant growth chamber bound for the International Space Station inside the Dragon capsule on the SpaceX-3 resupply mission may help expand in-orbit food production capabilities in more ways than one, and offer astronauts something they don’t take for granted, fresh food.

NASA’s Veg-01 experiment will be used to study the in-orbit function and performance of a new expandable plant growth facility called Veggie and its plant “pillows.” The investigation will focus on the growth and development of “Outredgeous” lettuce seedlings in the spaceflight environment.

“Veggie will provide a new resource for U.S. astronauts and researchers as we begin to develop the capabilities of growing fresh produce and other large plants on the space station,” said Gioia Massa, NASA payload scientist for Veggie. “Determining food safety is one of our primary goals for this validation test.”

Veggie is a low-cost plant growth chamber that uses a flat-panel light bank that includes red, blue and green LEDs for plant growth and crew observation. Veggie’s unique design is collapsible for transport and storage and expandable up to a foot and a half as plants grow inside it.

“The internal growing area is 11.5 inches wide by 14.5 inches deep, making it the largest plant growth chamber for space to date,” Massa said.

Orbital Sciences Corp. (ORBITEC) in Madison, Wis., developed Veggie through a Small Business Innovative Research Program. NASA and ORBITEC engineers and collaborators at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida worked to get the unit’s hardware flight-certified for use on the space station.

Because real estate on the station is limited, some adjustments to the growth chamber were made to accommodate space requirements. At Kennedy’s Space Life Sciences Laboratory, a crop of lettuce and radishes was grown in the prototype test unit. Seedlings were placed in the Veggie root-mat pillows, and their growth was monitored for health, size, amount of water used, and the microorganisms that grew on them.

“I am thrilled to be a member of the Veggie and Veg-01 team and proud of all the work we have done to prepare for flight,” Massa said. “Our team is very excited to see the hardware in use on the space station.”

As NASA moves toward long-duration exploration missions, Massa hopes that Veggie will be a resource for crew food growth and consumption. It also could be used by astronauts for recreational gardening activities during long-duration space missions. The system may have implications for improving growth and biomass production on Earth, thus benefiting the average citizen.

For the future, Massa said she is looking forward to seeing all sorts of “neat payloads” in the Veggie unit and expanding its capability as NASA learns more about the food safety of crops grown in microgravity.

Source: Space-Travel.


Japan halts imports of U.S. wheat after USDA’s shock finding of genetic pollution from GMOs

Friday, May 31, 2013

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

(NaturalNews) It has already begun: Japan has just cancelled a large contract to purchase U.S. wheat. “We will refrain from buying western white and feed wheat effective today,” Toru Hisadome, a Japanese farm ministry official in charge of wheat trading, told Reuters.

As many readers well know, I predicted precisely this scenario just yesterday in a Natural News article warning about the consequences of genetic pollution. There, I wrote, “All wheat produced in the United States will now be heavily scrutinized — and possibly even rejected — by other nations that traditionally import U.S. wheat. This obviously has enormous economic implications for U.S. farmers and agriculture.”

Now we’re already seeing the result: the ditching of U.S. wheat by world nations that want nothing to do with GMOs.

Monsanto is a ticking time bomb for U.S. agriculture

This proves, without any question, that Monsanto’s genetic experiments which “escaped” into commercial wheat fields are now going to devastate U.S. wheat farmers. Expect the floor to drop out on wheat prices, and watch for a huge backlash against the USDA by U.S. farmers who stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars on this.

As the USDA has now admitted, Monsanto’s GMO experiments from 1998 – 2005 were held in open wheat fields. The genetically engineered wheat escaped and found its way into commercial wheat fields in Oregon (and possibly 15 other states), causing self-replicating genetic pollution that now taints the entire U.S. wheat industry.

“Asian consumers are keenly sensitive to gene-altered food, with few countries allowing imports of such cereals for human consumption,” writes Reuters. It continues:

Asia imports more than 40 million tonnes of wheat annually, almost a third of the global trade of 140-150 million tonnes. The bulk of the region’s supplies come from the United States, the world’s biggest exporter, and Australia, the No. 2 supplier.

Another incredible Monsanto achievement: the genetic contamination of the U.S. wheat supply

Nice job, Monsanto. You’ve managed to spew your genetic pollution across the fields of innocent U.S. farmers who are now going to lose huge sums of money due to the reject of U.S. wheat by all the other world nations that refuse to feed their populations GMO.

And a big thumbs up to the USDA, too, for screwing U.S. farmers by green-lighting open-field GMO experiments that we all warned were going to result in runaway genetic pollution. The USDA, of course, is the official cheerleading squad for Monsanto’s criminal “science” that we all know is a total fraud. How do these scientists now suggest this self-replicating genetic pollution be put back into the black box from which it emerged?

It can’t be done, of course. So now the entire future of the U.S. wheat supply is at risk thanks to Monsanto and the USDA. Nice one, folks. Score another victory for the scumbag destroyers in Washington D.C. and the greed-driven executives at our favorite corporation, Monsanto.

And remember: Genetically modified wheat is only the beginning. Monsanto has no doubt unleashed genetic pollution across many other crops as well. We’re now living in an age where Monsanto is essentially ejaculating its patented seed across all the farms of America, then claiming to “own” the contaminated crops. What a wonderful image of corporate responsibility and service to humankind. I can’t wait to see what other U.S. crops will be rejected by world nations due to Monsanto’s genetic pollution.

Source: NaturalNews.


Cherries a superfood? Research confirms this well-known fruit tackles cancer, insomnia, high blood pressure and gout

Thursday, July 11, 2013

by: Carolanne Wright

(NaturalNews) For those of you who love cherries, this ruby sweet fruit is much more than a tasty summer treat. Shown to combat cancer, improve sleep, balance blood pressure and ease gout, you really cannot lose. Compounds found within cherries also relieve pain as well as aspirin. Possessing potent anti-inflammatory properties, these delicious gems are an excellent way to ward off disease. Rich in vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants, cherries are a powerhouse of nutrition and should be enjoyed often.

Relish the bounty of the season along with improved health

With the cherry season upon us, now is a great time for basking in all the pleasurable, health promoting benefits of the fruit. Here are a few examples of how cherries can enhance your well-being:

Cancer protection – Overflowing with beta carotene, vitamin C, boron and a class of powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, cherries offer a formidable defense against cancer. As reported by Karen Ansel, M.S., R.D., in Eating Well, “… preliminary studies suggest the anthocyanin cyanidin may prevent genetic mutations that can lead to cancer and keep cancer cells from growing out of control. While tart cherries contain some anthocyanins, sweet cherries pack nearly three times as many (two-thirds are found in the skins). The riper the better: As cherries darken, they produce more antioxidants.”

Better sleep – Cherries provide one of the few naturally occurring sources of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep/wake cycles. According to a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, “These data suggest that consumption of a tart cherry juice concentrate provides an increase in exogenous melatonin that is beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women and might be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep.”

Pain relief – Research at Michigan State University discovered anthocyanins in cherries relieve pain as effectively as aspirin. Lead researcher Muralee G. Nair, Ph.D., observes, “It is as good as ibuprofen and some of the nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs.” The lab results indicate consumption of 20 tart cherries can significantly reduce inflammation and discomfort.

Regulate blood pressure – Loaded with potassium, cherries are an exceptional food for easing high blood pressure. A balancing mineral, potassium helps to maintain fluid equilibrium within the body by offsetting the bloating effect of sodium. Cherries are also a good source of quercetin, an antioxidant that maintains blood vessel integrity.

Tame gout – A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that women, aged 22 to 40, who consumed approximately 45 sweet cherries after fasting had improved urinary uric acid levels and lowered C-reactive protein. Further research demonstrated anti-inflammatory characteristics of the fruit. When rats were fed 2 ounces of cherries, joint swelling was significantly reduced. Both findings indicate cherries are an exceptional food for painful gout flare-ups.

Source: NaturalNews.


Miso Protects Against Radiation, Cancer and Hypertension

Tuesday, August 20th 2013

by: Margie King

When the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945, 21 healthcare workers were attending 70 tuberculosis patients in a hospital 1.4 km from ground zero. None of them suffered from acute radiation poisoning.

Dr. Tatuichiro Akizuki, a physician at the hospital, credited this miracle to the fact that everyone was consuming daily cups of miso soup garnished with wakame seaweed.

In a new comprehensive review of both epidemiological and experimental studies, Japanese researcher Hiromitsu Watanabe from the Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine at Hiroshima University confirms the power of miso to prevent radiation injury.

His review also documents the ability of miso to prevent many forms of cancer (colon, liver, breast, lung and stomach), as well as hypertension.

Miso, or fermented soy bean paste, is a traditional staple of the Japanese diet. Soy beans are fermented with sea salt, koji (a mold starter), and sometimes rice, wheat, oats or other grain. The mixture is fermented for three months to three years.

The resulting enzyme-rich paste contains vitamins, microorganisms, salts, minerals, plant proteins, carbohydrates, and fat. But fermented foods are more than the sum of their ingredients. Fermentation gives rise to compounds that have amazing healing properties. Fermented foods like kimchi, natto, apple cider vinegar, and even wine and beer have been called “medical foods.”

Watanabe’s review of the science emphasizes the importance of traditional fermented foods like miso to prevent disease and maintain health. Here is just a brief sampling of his findings.

Miso Protects Against Radiation Injury

In a series of experimental studies, mice were fed a regular diet, or a regular diet with 10% dried red rice miso. After a week, the mice were subjected to radiation. The group fed miso had significantly greater numbers of surviving intestinal crypts – glands found in the epithelial lining of the small intestine and colon.  Damage to crypts is believed to lead to colorectal cancer.

But when miso was fed to mice after radiation treatments, it didn’t have the same effect. The researchers concluded that in order to reap the benefits, the blood must contain a certain concentration of the active compounds in miso before exposure to radiation.

The researchers believe miso’s beneficial effect is closely related to substances produced during fermentation stages. They tested miso fermented for three to four days, 120 days and 180 days. Miso fermented for longer periods resulted in increased survival rates. Miso fermented for 180 days was considered most beneficial.

In other studies, miso fermented for 180 days significantly reduced tumor size and the number of tumors in the lungs of experimental rats.

Miso Prevents Breast Cancer

According to one epidemiological study, consuming a cup of miso three times a day reduced the occurrence of breast cancer. Tofu, natto, soybean and fried bean curd did not have the same effect.

In laboratory studies, rats fed miso developed fewer tumors when they were subjected to a cancer causing agent. And the rats fed miso were slower to develop tumors.

Researchers also investigated the incidence of tumors with miso and tamoxifen, a drug used for breast cancer treatment. The number of tumors per rat in the control group was 4.5. But in the group given miso, that number dropped to 2.4 and in the tamoxifen group it dropped to 1.4. When miso was given with tamoxifen, the number further decreased significantly to just 0.2 tumors per rat.

According to Watanabe, this investigation clearly indicates that miso can reduce the occurrence of breast tumors as effectively as tamoxifen at the beginning of cancer treatment, and can also suppress the number of tumors.

Miso Prevents Liver Tumors

When certain male mice were bred under normal conditions, 89% of them naturally developed liver cancer. But the mice fed diets containing 10% miso had their cancer rate drop to 32%.

In the same study, healthy mice were irradiated. Thirteen months later 62% of the male mice and 29% of females had liver cancer. But when mice were fed diets containing 10% miso, cancer rates decreased to 13% for both male and female mice.

In another study, when mice were injected with an agent causing liver cancer, the animals developed 46 tumors each. But mice fed miso developed only 32.5 tumors.

These laboratory studies confirm epidemiological findings that women without a history of liver disease who consume miso soup showed a significantly lower risk of developing liver cancer.

Miso Prevents Gastric Tumors

A large prospective study of 265,000 Japanese men and women found that eating miso soup on a daily basis might reduce the risk of stomach cancer. But since miso contains 10-12% salt, some researchers believe the sodium chloride (NaCl) in miso could actually increase the likelihood of stomach cancer.

To test the theory, researchers treated rats with a carcinogen for four months. The rats were simultaneously fed a diet supplemented with 10% dry red miso, 5% dry red miso, 2.2% NaCl (salt content equivalent 10% dry miso), 1.1% NaCl (equivalent to 5% miso) or a regular diet.

The rate of growth and size of gastric tumors in the groups fed miso were lower than in the groups fed added salt.

Even when a similar experiment was conducted with 50% salt-reduced miso, the incidence of gastric tumors was the same as with regular miso containing 2.2% NaCl.

Why would salty miso be more beneficial than plain salt? Some studies show that strains of yeast, lactic acid bacteria and other molds in miso can remove or detoxify carcinogens.

Others suggest a group of isoflavone-like substances in miso, such as biochanin A and genistein, prevent the growth of gastric tumor cells by stimulating death of cells by apoptosis.

Miso Protects Against Hypertension

Because of its high salt content, miso is often believed to increase blood pressure. But laboratory studies don’t agree.

In one study, salt-sensitive rats were fed a regular diet (which contained 0.3% salt), or regular feed supplemented with 10% dry red miso (180-day fermented miso), regular feed supplemented with 2.3% salt (because 10% dry red miso contains 2.3% NaCl), or regular feed supplemented with 1.9% salt.

After 12 weeks, blood pressure in the rats fed miso or regular low-salt feed did not increase. Even though miso contains 2.3% NaCl, their blood pressure was as stable as in the rats fed a commercial diet containing 0.3% salt.

Although miso’s antihypertensive action is not fully understood, these results indicate that salt in miso operates differently from NaCl at least in the case of gastric tumors and blood pressure.

How to Get Miso’s Health Benefits

Miso is an essential ingredient in Asian cuisine. Prized for its versatility in cooking, miso can be used as bouillon, or a rich meat stock in soups and stews.

The color of miso can vary from light yellow to a deep dark brown. The lighter colors are more mild and good during warmer weather. Darker miso has earthy tones and a hearty flavor. It can be cooked with root vegetables, sea vegetables, and dark leafy greens during colder months.

When cooking with miso, use just enough to enhance flavor. Too much can overpower food with a strong salty taste.

Here are some great easy ways to enjoy miso in your meals:

Dissolve a teaspoon of miso in hot water for a quick light soup broth

Add miso to dipping sauces for spring rolls, norimake rolls or raw vegetables

Mix light miso with vinegar, olive oil, ginger, and garlic for an Asian salad dressing on greens or grains

Make miso-tahini sandwiches by spreading miso on a piece of bread and top it with tahini. Add sliced avocado or tomato as desired.

Use miso as an ingredient in marinades for meat, fish, poultry or game.

Source: Green Med Info.


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