Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman shares studies on how cold water exposure increases motivation and dopamine. This method increases motivation and dopamine even better than sex and nicotine.
So we’ve been focusing a lot for the last few minutes on the kind of darker side of dopamine and how getting big peaks in dopamine can be detrimental. But I want to acknowledge the truth, which is that dopamine feels great. Being in pursuit and motivated and craving things feels wonderful. And I don’t want to demonize dopamine.
What I’m trying to do today is to illustrate how dopamine works in your brain so that you can continue to engage in dopamine-evoking activities. And certainly, there is a place for ingesting things that can increase dopamine provided that they are safe for us in the short and long term. There are activities that we can do that will give us healthy, sustained increases in dopamine, both the peaks (when they happen), and to maintain or even increase our baseline levels of dopamine. So how do we do that? What are some of these activities?
Well, in recent years, there’s been a trend toward more people doing so-called cold exposure. In part, this was popularized by Wim Hof, the so-called Iceman. Getting into cold showers, taking ice baths, and exposing oneself to cold water of various kinds can in fact increase our levels of dopamine, as well as the neuromodulator norepinephrine.
This is not a new phenomenon. In the 1920s, a guy by the name of Vincent Priessniz was one of the first people to popularize and formalize cold water therapies. He was an advocate of cold water exposure in order to boost the immune system and increase feelings of well-being. And actually this practice dates back long before Vincent popularized it, and Wim Hof is the more recent iteration of this.
First of all, some of the safety parameters. Let’s establish those first. Getting into very, very cold water, you know 30 degree Fahrenheit or even low 40 degree Fahrenheit can put somebody into a state of cold water shock. I mean people can die doing that. So obviously you want to approach this with some caution.
But for most people getting into 60 degreE water or 50 degree water or if you’re, acclimated and comfortable with it, you know, 40 degree water or 45 degree water can have tremendously beneficial results on your neuromodulator systems, including dopamine.
What temperature of water you can tolerate will depend on how cold water adapted you are and how familiar you are with the experience of getting into cold water. And when I say comfortable with, I should mention there is never a case in which getting into cold water does not evoke a release of epinephrine. So the quickening of the breath, the widening of the eyes, the feeling is if you can’t catch your breath and even some physical pain at the level of the skin. That happens almost every time, or every time that you get into cold water, even if you’re cold water adapted.
What almost everybody knows and understands is that that wall, as I like to refer to it, is coming. That’s always the first experience of getting into cold water. There’s no real way around that.
Now, the study that I mentioned earlier – human physiological responses to immersion into water of different temperatures, a really interesting study that was done and published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. I can provide a link to that study in the show caption. It’s a really interesting study. They looked at people getting exposed to water that was warm, moderately cold, or very cold. It was 32 degrees Celsius, 20 degrees Celsius, or 14 degrees Celsius. You can just put those online and do the conversion or you can do the conversion to Fahrenheit if you like, but in any case what they looked at, were the concentrations of things like epinephrine and dopamine and so on.
And what they found was really interesting. First of all, upon getting into cold water, the changes in adrenaline and noradrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine were immediate and fast. And these were huge increases. So that’s the getting into the cold water that everybody experiences, these huge increases in adrenaline. But then what was interesting is they observed that dopamine levels started to rise somewhat slowly and then continue to rise and reach levels as high as 2.5 times above baseline. That’s a remarkably high increase.
Remember if we go back to our examples of chocolate, sex – a doubling above baseline; nicotine – two and a half times above baseline; cocaine. The increase in dopamine from a cold water exposure of this kind was comparable to what one sees from cocaine, except in this case it wasn’t a rise and crash, it was actually a sustained rise in dopamine that took a very long time up to three hours to come back down to baseline, which is really remarkable. And I think this explains some of the positive mental and physical effects that people report, subjectively, after doing cold water exposure.
One question that many of you are probably asking is just how cold should the water be? Well, you could mimic what was done in this study and do 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit), but for some people that won’t be cold enough, and for some people that will be too cold.
They did look at the release of stress hormones like cortisol. In addition to the release of things like epinephrine and adrenaline, and it’s interesting that they noted that in all cases, but especially at that coldest temperature, there was an increase in cortisol, but that it was transient – that eventually people’s cortisol, their stress hormone, subsided a bit.
There are basically two different approaches to remaining in the cold when it’s uncomfortable. One is to try and relax yourself: to try and practice slow breathing, to try and dilate your gaze. I’ve talked about this before in previous podcasts. You go into panoramic vision to essentially try and calm yourself so that it’s not as stressful in the cold.
Other people, however, take the approach of trying to ramp up their level of internal autonomic arousal, meaning to get really energized and kind of lean into the friction of the cold, and they find that easier. Other people distract themselves, they recite the alphabet, or they do something anything to try and distract themselves from the discomfort. To be totally honest, it does not matter for sake of dopamine release, because the dopamine release is triggered and then continues. Even after you get out of the cold water.
Now in this study it was long exposure to cold water. It was an hour that’s a long period of time, and I do warn you against getting into cold water, that’s so cold that it will make your temperature drop and make you hyperthermic for an hour. That actually could be dangerous for a lot of people. You might have a hard time reheating, and hypothermia is not a good thing. They had people monitoring subjects in these studies and paying attention to their core body temperature. They were able to reheat them afterwards.
It’s well established now that getting into cold water, whether or not it’s a shower an ice bath, circulating cold water, a stream, etc. – that can evoke the norepinephrine release immediately and the long arc of that dopamine release. Why would that be good?
Up until now, I’ve basically said getting increases in dopamine is detrimental to your baseline. Well, this does appear to raise the baseline of dopamine for substantial periods of time and most people report feeling a heightened level of calm end Focus after getting out of cold water. So cold water exposure turns out to be a very potent stimulus for shifting the entire milieu the entire environment of our brain and body, and allowing many people to feel much, much better for a substantial period of time after getting out of the ice bath or cold water of any kind than they did before.
Now you might ask how often to do this? Some people do this every day. It can be very stimulating, so typically doing it early in in the day is going to be better. I don’t necessarily recommend doing it right before sleep, but some people do it in the afternoon. And some people will indeed do that seven days a week, other people three days a week, other people every once in a while.
What I can say is once you become cold water adapted, once it no longer has the same impact of novelty and feeling a bit like a (I don’t want to say a shock to your system because you don’t want to go into cold water shock), but once it is comfortable for you, then it will no longer evoke this release. There really does seem to be something in the pathway from cold water exposure through the norepinephrine pathway and into the mesolimbic brain stem that causes this release in dopamine.
But nonetheless, it’s basically zero cost. I mean you need access to water of some sort: cold water shower, etc. But basically zero cost way of triggering a long lasting increase in dopamine without ingesting anything, no pharmacology whatsoever. Please again approach it with safety and caution in mind, but it is a very potent stimulus. Again, a 250 percent of a rise in baseline, two and a half times rise in baseline rivals that of cocaine, which is really remarkable.
Lissa Rankin, MD explores the scientific literature, reviewing case studies of spontaneous remission, as well as placebo and nocebo effect data, to prove that our thoughts powerfully affect our physiology when we believe we can get well.
How to Make Chronic Diseases Disappear | Dr. Rangan Chatterjee
Can you actually make a disease disappear? Dr. Rangan Chatterjee thinks you can. Often referred to as the doctor of the future, Rangan is changing the way that we look at illness and how medicine will be practiced in years to come. He highlighted his methods in the groundbreaking BBC TV show, Doctor In The House, gaining him much acclaim from patients, his contemporaries, and the media.
He is the author of the international bestseller, The 4 Pillar Plan – http://amzn.to/2yGfpuB which has been released in the USA and Canada under the title, How to Make Disease Disappear. Rangan’s 15 years of clinical experience in the NHS includes internal medicine, immunology, and general practice. A pioneer in the emerging field of progressive medicine, he also uses techniques from other disciplines he has studied including movement kinetics and functional medicine.
His own journey of learning was accelerated when family members fell ill and now Rangan is helping people to take control of their health by addressing the root causes of their illnesses, something which is often not achieved in 21st-century health care, evidenced by a steady increase in the rates of chronic disease.
Rangan is a super-generalist, looking at as many factors as possible which can create wellness or illness. His talk is a testament to how our thinking around the concept of disease needs to change to help form a map for future healthcare.
A Revolution in Healing is HERE NOW | Advancing Beyond MedBed Technology | Dr. Sandra Rose Michael
If you had COVID-19 or received a COVID-19 injection, you may have dangerous spike proteins circulating in your body
Spike proteins can circulate in your body after infection or injection, causing damage to cells, tissues, and organs
The World Council for Health has released a spike protein detox guide, which provides straightforward steps you can take to potentially lessen the effects of toxic spike protein in your body
Spike protein inhibitors and neutralizers include pine needles, ivermectin, neem, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), and glutathione
The top 10 spike protein detox essentials include vitamin D, vitamin C, nigella seed, quercetin, zinc, curcumin, milk thistle extract, NAC, ivermectin, and magnesium
Have you had COVID-19 or received a COVID-19 injection? Then you likely have dangerous spike proteins circulating in your body. While spike protein is naturally found in SARS-CoV-2, no matter the variant, it’s also produced in your body when you receive a COVID-19 shot. In its native form in SARS-CoV-2, the spike protein is responsible for the pathologies of the viral infection.
In its wild form, it’s known to open the blood-brain barrier, cause cell damage (cytotoxicity), and, as Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of the mRNA and DNA vaccine core platform technology,1 said in a commentary on News Voice, “is active in manipulating the biology of the cells that coat the inside of your blood vessels — vascular endothelial cells, in part through its interaction with ACE2, which controls contraction in the blood vessels, blood pressure, and other things.”2
It’s also been revealed that the spike protein on its own is enough to cause inflammation and damage to the vascular system, even independent of a virus.3
Now, the World Council for Health (WCH), a worldwide coalition of health-focused organizations and civil society groups that seek to broaden public health knowledge, has released a spike protein detox guide,4 which provides straightforward steps you can take to potentially lessen the effects of the toxic spike protein. You can view their full guide of natural remedies,5 including dosages, at the end of this article.
Why Should You Consider a Spike Protein Detox?
Spike proteins can circulate in your body after infection or injection, causing damage to cells, tissues, and organs. “Spike protein is a deadly protein,” Dr. Peter McCullough, an internist, cardiologist, and trained epidemiologist, says in a video.6 It may cause inflammation and clotting in any tissue in which it accumulates.7
For instance, Pfizer’s biodistribution study, which was used to determine where the injected substances end up in the body, showed the COVID spike protein from the shots accumulated in “quite high concentrations” in the ovaries.8
Further, a Japanese biodistribution study for Pfizer’s jab found that vaccine particles move from the injection site to the blood, after which circulating spike proteins are free to travel throughout the body, including to the ovaries, liver, neurological tissues, and other organs.9 WCH noted:10
“The virus spike protein has been linked to adverse effects, such as: blood clots, brain fog, organizing pneumonia, and myocarditis. It is probably responsible for many of the Covid-19 [injection] side effects … Even if you have not had any symptoms, tested positive for Covid-19, or experienced adverse side effects after a jab, there may still be lingering spike proteins inside your body.
In order to clear these after the jab or an infection, doctors and holistic practitioners are suggesting a few simple actions. It is thought that cleansing the body of spike protein … as soon as possible after an infection or jab may protect against damage from remaining or circulating spike proteins.”
Spike Protein Inhibitors and Neutralizers
A group of international doctors and holistic practitioners who have experience helping people recover from COVID-19 and post-injection illness compiled natural options for helping to reduce your body’s spike protein load. The following are spike protein inhibitors, which means they inhibit the binding of the spike protein to human cells:
Dandelion leaf extract
Ivermectin, for example, docks to the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-bending domain attached to ACE2, which may interfere with its ability to attach to the human cell membrane.11 They also compiled a list of spike protein neutralizers, which render it unable to cause further damage to cells. This includes:
Star anise tea
Pine needle tea
St. John’s wort
The plant compounds in the table above contain shikimic acid, which may counteract blood clot formation and reduce some of the spike protein’s toxic effects. Nattokinase, a form of fermented soy, may also help to reduce the occurrence of blood clots.12
How to Protect Your ACE2 Receptors and Detox IL-6
Spike protein attaches to your cells’ ACE2 receptors, impairing the receptors’ normal functioning. This blockage may alter tissue functioning and could be responsible for triggering autoimmune disease or causing abnormal bleeding or clotting, including vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia.
Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine (with zinc), quercetin (with zinc), and fisetin (a flavonoid) are examples of substances that may naturally protect your ACE2 receptors.13 Ivermectin works in this regard by binding to ACE2 receptors, preventing the spike protein from doing so.14
Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a proinflammatory cytokine that is expressed post-injection and levels increase in those with COVID-19. It’s for this reason that the World Health Organization recommends IL-6 inhibitors for people who are severely ill with COVID-19.15 Many natural IL-6 inhibitors, or anti-inflammatories, exist and may be useful for those seeking to detox from COVID-19 or COVID-19 injections:16
Boswellia serrata (frankincense)
Dandelion leaf extract
Black cumin (Nigella sativa)
Krill oil and other fatty acids
Vitamin D3 (with vitamin K)
How to Detox From Furin and Serine Protease
To gain entry into your cells, SARS-CoV-2 must first bind to an ACE2 or CD147 receptor on the cell. Next, the spike protein subunit must be proteolytically cleaved (cut). Without this protein cleavage, the virus would simply attach to the receptor and not get any further.
“The furin site is why the virus is so transmissible, and why it invades the heart, the brain, and the blood vessels,” Dr. Steven Quay, a physician, and scientist, explained at a GOP House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Select Coronavirus Crisis hearing.17
The existence of a novel furin cleavage site on SARS-CoV-2, while other coronaviruses do not contain a single example of a furin cleavage site, is a significant reason why many believe SARS-CoV-2 was created through gain-of-function (GOF) research in a laboratory. Natural furin inhibitors, which prevent cleavage of the spike protein, can help you detox from furin and include:18
Serine protease is another enzyme that’s “responsible for the proteolytic cleavage of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, enabling host cell fusion of the virus.”19 Inhibiting serine protease may therefore prevent spike protein activation and viral entry into cells. WCH compiled several natural serine protease inhibitors, which include:20
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
Time-Restricted Eating and Healthy Diet for All
In addition to the targeted substances mentioned above, WCH was wise to note that a healthy diet is the first step to a healthy immune system. Reducing your consumption of processed foods and other pro-inflammatory foods, including vegetable (seed) oils, is essential for an optimal immune response.
Time-restricted eating, which means condensing your meals into a six- to an eight-hour window, is also beneficial. This will improve your health in a variety of ways, primarily by improving your mitochondrial health and metabolic flexibility. It can also increase autophagy,21 which helps your body clear out damaged cells. As noted by WCH:22
“This method … is used to induce autophagy, which is essentially a recycling process that takes place in human cells, where cells degrade and recycle components. Autophagy is used by the body to eliminate damaged cell proteins and can destroy harmful viruses and bacteria post-infection.”
Another strategy to boost your health and longevity, and possibly to help detox spike protein,23 is regular sauna usage. As your body is subjected to reasonable amounts of heat stress, it gradually becomes acclimated to the heat, prompting a number of beneficial changes to occur in your body.
These adaptations include increased plasma volume and blood flow to your heart and muscles (which increase athletic endurance) along with increased muscle mass due to greater levels of heat-shock proteins and growth hormones.24 It’s a powerful detoxification method due to the sweating it promotes.
Top 10 Spike Protein Detox Essentials — and the Full Guide
Below you can find WCH’s full guide of useful substances to detox from toxic spike proteins, including recommended doses, which you can confirm with your holistic health care practitioner. If you’re not sure where to start, the following 10 compounds are the “essentials” when it comes to spike protein detox. This is a good place to begin as you work out more comprehensive health strategy:25
Milk thistle extract
World Council for Health’s Spike Protein Detox Guide26
Where to Get
Soil bacteria (avermectin)
0.4 mg/kg weekly for 4 weeks, then monthly
*Check package instructions to determine if there are contraindications prior to use
200 mg weekly for 4 weeks
*Check package instructions to determine if there are contraindications prior to use
Citrus fruits (e.g. oranges) and vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts)
Supplement: health food stores, pharmacies, dietary supplement stores, online
6-12 g daily (divided evenly between sodium ascorbate (several grams), liposomal vitamin C (3-6 g) & ascorbyl palmitate (1–3 g)
Prunella Vulgaris (commonly known as self-heal)
Supplement: health food stores, pharmacies, dietary supplement stores, online
7 ounces (207 ml) daily
Supplement: health food stores, pharmacies, dietary supplement stores, online
Consume tea 3 x daily (consume oil/resin that accumulates in the tea also)
Supplement: health food stores, pharmacies, dietary supplement stores, online
As per your practitioner’s or preparation instructions
Solfeggio Frequencies For Healing Your Mind, Body and Spirit
Solfeggio frequencies have been used in Gregorian chants for hundreds of years and the tones have been proven to heal the mind, body and soul healing. Solfeggio tones penetrate the subconscious deeply, awaken the soul’s potential, break unhealthy patterns and can repair the DNA. All of the Solfeggio frequencies correspond with a note on the musical scale system, a color and a chakra center. When listening to these tones over time, the mind, body and spirit slowly begin to recharge and heal themselves. It is quite possible to use these frequencies as a healing practice and for self-care.
The Sacred 6 Tones
UT – 396 Hz – Corresponds with the Root chakra and liberates one from guilt and fear. The color is red.
RE – 417 Hz: Corresponds with the Sacral chakra and helps undo situations and facilitates change. The color is orange.
MI – 528 Hz: Corresponds with the Solar Plexus and brings about transformation and miracles and repairs the DNA. The color is yellow.
FA – 639 Hz: Corresponds with the Heart Chakra and assists with connection/relationships. The color is green.
SOL – 741 Hz: Corresponds with the Throat chakra and solves problems and issues through communication and personal expression. The color is blue.
LA – 852 Hz: Corresponds to the Third Eye and Crown chakras and awakens intuition and returns everything to spiritual order. The color is indigo.
There are many different variations of the Solfeggio meditations that are available to listen to. Creating sacred space as you listen to these types of meditations will help you feel the benefits of these positive frequencies. Here is a sampling of these sacred and ancient tones
How Music Can Boost Your Immune System During Coronavirus Lockdown
By Curtis Dean
Do you know that music can help you boost your immune system and help people recover from illness? That’s really interesting to know since most of us take music as our relaxation or therapy.
Music is everywhere and we could hear it on radios, televisions, the start or end of the movie, both in private and public places. Music sets the mood up and almost every one of us can’t live without it.
And now that the world is stuck in a crisis which mandated everyone to stay at home, music gave us the company to kill the boredom as we stayed within our premises.
This article will help you know how music can boost your immune system during coronavirus lockdown. Feel free to crank up the melodies and boom those beats, because the outcomes are in — music is good for you.
Music and Immune System
There are many benefits to listening to music. Music has healing power. For those of who’ve been in a bad break up, tend to cling and cry along with the depth of lyrics from Taylor Swift or so while some wanted to power up through a long run by jamming on Eminem’s quality music.
Music can relax the brokenhearted, encourage runners, and kickoff the grandest dance parties, but for our health and overall well-being, music could give us some significant scientific benefits.
It has shown that listening to music improves memory functioning, escalate the rate of healing, develop your workouts, and more.
Additionally, scientists have revealed that if you listen to only 50 minutes of “inspiring” dance music, your antibody levels will strengthen suggestively. After being exposed to music, they also found that stress hormones can decline the immune system drop.
It seems to be quite actual to recover the quality of life of those suffering physical health problems and music therapy is used often to encourage mental and emotional health. Therefore, taking music lessons is highly recommended.
How Music Can Boost Immune System
Happy dance music has a vital role in increasing immunity while relaxing music helps to decrease stress. Another essential thing to retain in mind is the listener’s taste in music. The music chosen by someone seems to have a bigger impact on his health.
The following are the important benefits of music to our immune system:
Singing For An Hour Can Increase Levels Of Immune Proteins
Music can have extensive effects on the hormones cortisol and adrenaline – which frequently kick in for the period of nerve-wracking situations. However, when playing music or singing, the body experiences fewer of the indications in terms of the ‘fight or flight’ retort and leads to a decrease in adrenaline.
Playing Musical Instruments Helped to Lower the Levels of Harmful Stress Hormones
A study shows that those who have the utmost amount of musical experience did best on tests of mental perception and show that it helps reduce the levels of harmful stress hormones.
Compared to non-musicians, the individuals with an extraordinary degree of musical involvement had much higher totals on the cognitive tests because they tend to have a calmer condition, plus those related to visual and special memory, identification of objects and the brain’s aptitude to acclimatize to new information
Listening to Music Can Reduces Stress and Eases Anxiety
Research has found that music has a unique link to our emotions and it can be used as an exceptionally effective stress management means.
Music can also have a relaxing effect on the mind just like listening to slow music to calm the body. Researchers at Stanford University originate that listening to music appears to be capable to change brain functioning to a similar degree as medication.
It’s an easy stress reduction option since music is so widely available and inexpensive.
It Helps You Heal
Music links with the automatic nervous system comprising the brain function, blood pressure, and heartbeat. It also connects to the limbic system such as feelings and emotions.
The bodily reaction follows suit when slow music is played, – the heart blow slows down and blood pressure descents. This results in the inhalation to slow, which helps discharge tension in the neck, shoulders, stomach, and back.
Listening to slow or calming music on a steady basis can benefit our bodies to relax, which over time, means a smaller amount of pain to experience and faster recovery time.
A similar study with stroke patients Finnish researchers. They discovered that if stroke patients listened to music for a couple of hours a day, their verbal memory and attentive responsiveness improved better and they had a more optimistic mood than patients who did not listen to anything or who listened to acoustic books.
What Kind of Music Can Boost the Immune System?
Music is so voluntarily available, not many people understand the benefits that music can have on their lives, particularly when it comes to anxiety.
Meditative Music For Relish
Meditation is well-known for being one of the most prevalent and most active practices you can relish and participate in to lessen the levels of stress in your life and it is best paired up with meditative music.
Meditation music is widely available, meaning you can meditate and find the present moment, notwithstanding where you are or what you’re doing.
Dance Music For Activation
Something about music is enticing — chiefly upbeat music — that stimulates and actuates the body. Music very much has a way of augmenting the quality of life and can, in addition, promote recovery for both physical, emotional, and mental health.
Overall, turning up your tunes can also awake the effort you use during exercise, study, or even doing simple chores are home.
So what are you waiting for during this lockdown boredom? Seize your earbuds and start jamming!
6 Big Differences Between Natural Vs. Vaccine-Induced Immunity
“Humankind has never had a more urgent task than creating broad immunity for coronavirus. Realistically, if we’re going to return to normal, we need to develop a safe, effective vaccine. We need to make billions of doses, we need to get them out to every part of the world, and we need all of this to happen as quickly as possible. — Bill Gates, GatesNotes, April 30, 2020
There are three key elements to Gates’ perspective captured in his blog from April 2020 that we’re now in a position to evaluate retrospectively. These elements relate to his call for 1) the need for broad immunity, 2) a safe and effective vaccine, and 3) mass and rapid deployment of these vaccines.
The top line evaluation looks something like this:
The COVID-19 jabs have comprehensively failed to do deliver “broad immunity.” They deliver narrow and short-lived, non-durable immunity that is inferior to the more robust, durable and broader-based immunity acquired following infection by SARS-CoV-2. Please read on.
The illusory claim of “safe and effective” COVID “vaccines” still perpetuated by health authorities, vaccine manufacturers, and the mainstream media is now severely battered. There is now overwhelming evidence of the failure of the jabs to prevent transmission (the primary purpose of conventional vaccines), most notably the omicron variant, the highest infection rates are consistently found in the countries with the greatest jab coverage, rapidly waning effectiveness in reducing the risk of hospitalization and death, and an emerging picture of significantly under-reported and widespread vaccine injuries and disruption of the immune response (here, here and here).
While there’s no doubt “they” achieved “mass and rapid deployment” at least in some parts of the world, there are other parts, such as the vast continent of Africa, where presently only 11% of the population are “fully vaccinated against COVID-19” (i.e., two doses).
More than this, there was no scientific basis to indiscriminately expose such vast numbers of people to the experimental jabs, regardless of their infection status, health status, susceptibility, or prior immunity from the previous infection.
The notion of superhuman immunity by this new generation of genetic “vaccines” has thus been tarnished since Gates and others set the global public’s vision on a high-risk proposition.
Comparing intramuscular COVID-19 injections and natural immunity
Before we take a look at what happens immunologically through these two routes — let’s just recap the process of what happens when someone becomes infected with SARS-CoV-2. Those who want to dive in deeper can find out more in this “Trends in Immunology” article.
Here’s the simplified explanation: Assuming the virus breaches the physical and chemical barriers of the respiratory mucosa, the virus attaches to the ACE2 receptors in the epithelial cells immediately beneath the mucosal layer.
It then penetrates the epithelial cell and after being uncoated, it takes over the replication machinery of the cell (in the ribosomes), starts replicating, new virus particles are then assembled (in the endoplasmic reticulum), recoated, and when mature they are released from the cell.
They may then invade other cells in the body while some might be released back through the airways (so potentially infecting others) or into the gastrointestinal tract where they may be shed through the anus.
How much infection occurs is down to many factors, including how big the viral load is in the first place and how competent both the innate and the adaptive arms of the immune system are at clearing the infection.
A less well-known fact is that a complex array of microtubules (actin filaments — a “cytoskeleton”) are involved in the transport and assembly of spike proteins into virions during the replication cycle — this being the reason some clinicians have used colchicine (derived from meadow saffron Colchicum autumnale) more well known for treating gout flares in early COVID treatment where there is evidence of micro clotting in the lower lung.
1. Intramuscular jabs don’t induce sterilizing immunity in the upper airway
When the deltoid muscle of the upper arm is injected with either an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) or an adenoviral vector (AstraZeneca, Janssen, Sputnik) jab, there is a delay of a few days before the body starts to produce a modified form of the spike protein found in the original Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2.
Over another few days, this then triggers an elevation of anti-spike antibodies, initially IgM, soon replaced by IgG. This happens within the body but doesn’t affect the anti-spike IgA that is produced in epithelial cells of the airway adjacent to the respiratory mucosa, the normal entry point for airborne SARS-CoV-2.
2. Intramuscular jabs induce immunity that wanes quickly while naturally acquired immunity is more robust and durable
This is undisputed, even for the delta variant. Waning has triggered health authorities to push boosters, but for omicron, even boosters have little or no impact on reducing transmission.
It was only just over a year ago that one of the most influential medical scientists in the world, Dr. Eric Topol of the Ragon Institute, Harvard and MIT, writing with Dennis Burton from Scripps, in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine tried to get us excited about “superhuman SARS-CoV-2 immunity” from the novel COVID-19 jabs.
The article ends with the scientists expressing their optimism that a vaccine (or vaccines) would deliver an immune response “superior to that achieved through natural infection.” Let’s now recalibrate, a year on.
Today, Burton and Topol’s view looks fantastical. Especially alongside the 146 research studies collated by Drs. Paul Alexander, Peter McCullough, and others that are accessible via the Brownstone Institute website provide overwhelming evidence of the superior robustness and durability of naturally-acquired versus jab-induced immunity.
3. Intramuscular jabs induce immunity to the spike protein of the original Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2, not the currently circulating forms such as omicron or delta
It is a technological reality that the manufacturers are trying to get around in the knowledge that existing jabs are based on a no longer circulating variant and omicron successfully evades the immune response. The answer? Apparently, it is an update of the antigen coded into the mRNA or DNA or delivered as a spike protein in omicron-specific jabs. Pfizer is due to roll out one such updated jab as early as next month.
But hold on. Given the much lower risk of severe death posed by omicron, the now accepted tendency for regular, say six-monthly, dosing with these novel genetic jabs and evidence of an ever greater spectrum of short- and long-term harms, shouldn’t the risk/benefit equation be re-assessed from the ground-up before they’re discharged into the bodies of healthy populations?
4. The payload of intramuscular jabs is not limited to the deltoid muscle as we were led to believe in the early days of roll-out
The view that antigen-presenting cells from lymph nodes are attracted to the deltoid muscle injection site where B cells go on to produce sterilizing antibodies surprised many of us when we heard it.
This is because it was already well known that a comprehensive immune response could only be mounted by at least engaging the lymphatic system of the body (including lymph nodes and spleen), a point clarified in the BMJ by a group of leading professors at St. George’s Hospital in London.
Canadian viral immunologist Dr. Byram Bridle became a target of the experimental jab protagonists when he was the first to publicly disclose a Japanese biodistribution study that was contained within Pfizer’s dossier that was in turn submitted to major drug regulators for their review prior to granting Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for the company’s experimental COVID-19 jab.
This meant that drug regulators like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory products Agency were fully aware prior to the EUAs being issued that the contents of the mRNA jabs got into circulation and entered organs like the spleen, ovaries, heart, and brain.
A major contrast to the public health messaging that suggested the entire immune reaction occurred in the vicinity of the injection site in the deltoid muscle.
5. Intramuscular jabs rely heavily on inducing immunity through B cell IgG antibodies and not innate immunity or T cells
Whether a particular jab relies on the body producing the spike protein antigen (mRNA e.g., Pfizer, Moderna, or adenoviral vector types e.g., AstraZeneca, Janssen, CovidShield) or it delivers it directly to muscles (protein subunit type e.g., Novavax, or inactivated virus type e.g., Sinovac), the body’s immune system responds to the invasion.
Neglected in the narrative offered to the public is the role of the innate immune system — the system that responds immediately to the invasion. If we only allow nature to take its course, our bloodstream would very seldom be the first part of the body to be exposed to respiratory pathogens, or parts of them.
That’s what the sticky mucosal layer of our airways has learned to do over millennia (see point 1 above) where it tries to use a series of physical and chemical barriers to impede pathogen entry.
If these barriers are breached, the next line of defense is the gamut of natural killer cells, macrophages, monocytes, innate antibodies, and other cells that try to inactivate the pathogen in the epithelial layer immediately adjacent to the mucosa.
These cells are somewhat less specific but they still have the capacity to learn something about the invader through pattern recognition receptors which sense diverse molecular patterns linked to the pathogen as well as to the damage it causes.
People who develop transient or mild disease typically rely on effective innate immunity. People who suffer moderate or even severe disease experience failure of innate immunity and must rely on the last-chance-saloon, the adaptive arm of their immune system that relies on specialized T cells and B cells to drive highly specific, but delayed, immune responses.
The public has been made highly aware of B cell neutralizing antibodies but has been told little or nothing about the crucial role of innate immunity. Or that immune surveillance might be disrupted by the genetic jabs affecting the body’s ability to mop up the daily complement of cancer cells which is heavily reliant on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells.
Not only that, cancer patients typically don’t mount an effective T cells response to the jabs, and those with blood cancers, versus solid tumors, don’t even elicit a proper neutralizing antibody response (see here and here).
Part of the reason for a more robust immune response from naturally-acquired infection versus jab-induced immunity stems from the fact the immune system needs to respond to all 29 proteins when exposed to the actual virus, versus just the spike protein with the jabs.
T cells exposed to one or more antigenic proteins undergo a transition from naïve to an effector (killer) T cells and they leave behind a population of memory T cells that can do their thing if exposed again to a pathogen expressing the same antigen(s).
The fact that immunity typically drops off after a matter of weeks or months after jabs and many people get reinfected and suffer disease more than once is a demonstration that T cell memory doesn’t develop significantly following COVID jabs or it’s too specific to cater for the new variants.
Also, what if the first exposure to spike protein is from the jab and not the currently circulating virus? The imprinting of immune memory from its first exposure means it will be less effective at stonewalling a different variant of a pathogen — a phenomenon known as “original antigenic sin.”
Now back to the much-championed, star performer of the immune system— neutralizing antibodies. They may be the most positively responsive part of the immune system when exposed to the jabs, yet they still fail to fully sterilize SARS-CoV-2 that enters the body within weeks after being jabbed.
Let’s also remember the presence of a given threshold of anti-spike antibodies doesn’t tell you much about how effective a person’s immunity is going to be as that will depend on such things as the variant of the pathogen to which a person is later exposed, the concentration of the antibodies at a given time, and whether those antibodies are of high or low affinity.
6. Might COVID-19 jabs awaken the sleeping dragon of autoimmunity?
Given the importance of environmental triggers in mediating autoimmune disease, it is highly probable that autoimmune risk will escalate in relation to the frequency of exposure so should be a consideration for anyone with a predisposition or existing autoimmune disease who is considering subjecting themselves to regular, say 6 monthly, COVID-19 jabs.
Intranasal vaccines share the same entry pathway as respiratory viruses and would more likely induce the same sequence of innate and adaptive immune responses as natural infection. It turns out that there are considerable technical challenges involved, not least nasal clearing associated with the sticky nasal mucous that serves as a barrier to the nasal epithelium.
Nature did its own thing anyway
Now let’s take some of these principles and look at a real-world situation, focusing on the UK primarily given the availability of more detailed data, courtesy of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), than in most other parts of the world.
The government of the UK is among several to have decided recently to lift all or nearly all restrictions. The restrictions followed a now-familiar pattern that started with lockdowns, social distancing, and masks in an attempt to try to “flatten the curve.” It didn’t work.
Two waves hit hard, the way infection waves do when there is little or no prior natural immunity. Then the third wave hit just as the jabs were rolled out zealously at the end of 2021 to a British population that rolled its sleeves up eagerly, given the programming that enforced the idea this was the only route back to a normal life.
That failed too and another wave struck — but given it was omicron which is much less virulent than previous strains it left many fewer deaths in its wake.
As Figure 1 shows you – booster rates in the UK might be described as impressive by the standards of many other countries.
But booster roll-out in the UK, which started to flatline once omicron became evident towards the end of December 2021, pales by the standards of Chile, which has seen the largest escalation of cases it has yet experienced since its booster program has been rolled out (Fig 2).
That’s a reminder that the boosters are not working as claimed. People are being lied to by governments, health authorities, and the mainstream media. The waves in each of these countries are being generated largely by natural population dynamics and immunity.
At the time that the UK government and media were pumping out a narrative that most people who were becoming infected with COVID were unvaccinated, the prestigious Lancet journal quietly revealed that, in actual fact, 89% of cases were among the vaccinated.
And the science said what?
So what has recent science been telling us? Short answer: nothing. Longer answer: the science has no capacity to speak or communicate; it’s the scientists who write, speak and communicate specific pieces of scientific information, often ones that please those who have funded their research.
In the case of emerging science, it may not be possible to draw a conclusion that represents consensus among all reasonable, relevantly qualified, and experienced scientists. It also, of course, depends on when you ask the question.
Looking at blood tests that measure anti-spike antibodies (largely IgG type), the ONS provides some of the most transparent data anywhere in the world.
The most recent ONS snapshot from the populations of the 4 countries of the UK reveals the following status of anti-spike antibodies as of Jan. 3:
0% in England.
4% in Wales.
4% in Northern Ireland.
2% in Scotland.
This begs the question; what proportion of these very high rates of IgG antibodies in the UK population is down to jabs, and how much is from natural infection, nearly all of this now being the result of the omicron variant, which has almost completely displaced delta in the UK (and numerous other countries)?
Deception no. 1
Looking at the modeling work based on actual serology (antibody) tests of blood in the chart below (Figure 3), we can see that the proportion of the under-40s especially (the first two graphs in the series representing age groups 16-24 and 25-34) who are triple jabbed, who in turn may benefit from short-term protection against hospitalization and death, is substantially lower than the near-100% who have elevated antibodies.
This shows just how important natural immunity is for these younger populations – something health authorities have been mute on at a time when there has been unprecedented coercion for this group to receive COVID-19 mRNA jabs. That’s deception no.1.
Deception no. 2
You’ve guessed it. There’s another big deception. Look again at figure 3 and note the vertical red lines we’ve inserted for all age groups 50 and older. The red line on the left of each of the lower 6 graphs intersects the horizontal axis on the date antibodies were found in 80% of the population.
The red line on the right side intersects the horizontal axis on the date boosters were administered to 80% of that same age group.
Note the many months that separate these two events. The take-home is that elevated antibodies were already widespread in the older age groups well before the booster campaign was even started — and even longer before coverage reached 80% of each of the age groups.
It’s also worth noting that antibody-mediated partial (non-sterilizing) immunity in heavily vaccinated populations is increasingly clouded by the fact that it is in essence “hybrid” immunity that, at least for a short period, includes naturally-acquired and jab-induced immunity.
For any population group that isn’t vulnerable to severe COVID-19 disease and COVID-19 death – which represents almost everyone since omicron has become dominant – the risk of serious adverse events almost certainly outweighs any benefits.
Deception no. 2 can therefore be summarized as follows: Boris Johnson deceived the public when he said boosters were the reason the UK was ready to lift restrictions. One wonders, rhetorically, who put those words in his mouth? I, cynically speaking, just can’t imagine.
Call to Action
When there’s so much double-speak and deception around, we owe it to our fellow human beings to at least share articles like this that expose the deception through our highly constricted channels of communication.
We thank you, in anticipation that you will share this article as vociferously as Boris Johnson shared his main reason for lifting UK restrictions.
When all he really needed to do was owe his gratitude to nature. And turn his back on Gates’ defective vision that massive investment in novel vaccine technology would deliver a solution fit for humanity.
A Japanese conglomerate that is studying the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin has found that the medication had an antiviral effect on Omicron, according to joint non-clinical research.
Kowa Co. Ltd., a conglomerate with interests in trading, hospitality, and electronics, along with health and medical applications, issued a press release (pdf) on Jan. 31 stating that ivermectin has been found to be effective against Omicron in in vitro studies. The firm is also in the process of carrying out a Phase 3 clinical trial on the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients, though the company’s remarks on effectiveness pertain to the findings of lab-based research.
Kowa representatives didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.
The company, working with Kitasato University based in Tokyo, said that ivermectin has the “same antiviral effect” on all “mutant strains,” including Alpha, Delta, and Omicron. Kowa added that ivermectin suppresses invasion of the virus and inhibits its replication.
“[Ivermectin] is expected to be applied as a therapeutic drug (tablet) for all new coronavirus infectious diseases,” the report said.
The start of a new year is often a good time to take stock and plan out beneficial lifestyle changes. Included are 22 tips for making 2022 your healthiest year yet
Top tips include optimizing your vitamin D, targeting your immune system with immune-boosting nutraceuticals, treating COVID symptoms early, improving your liver health, protecting your vision and combating inflammation and autoimmune diseases
Items to eliminate include processed foods high in seed oils and processed sugar, as well as electromagnetic field exposures, freedom of speech robbers such as Google and Facebook, and toxic clothing
Items to add include magnesium, collagen, filtered water, vision-enhancing nutrients, osteoporosis-busting exercise and healthy sleep
The start of a new year is often a good time to take stock and plan out beneficial lifestyle changes. Here are 22 tips for making 2022 your healthiest year yet. How many have you incorporated so far, and which ones can you add to your toolbox for the coming year?
Tip 1: Optimize Your Vitamin D
Vitamin D optimization is an absolute foundational strategy for fighting infections as it bolsters the first line of defense of your immune system. Ideally, test your vitamin D level twice a year, in the winter and summer, to make sure you’re in a healthy range of 60 ng/mL to 80 ng/mL year-round. (A compelling body of research suggests 40 ng/mL is the cutoff for sufficiency.)
Vitamin D can reduce your risk of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by reducing the survival and replication of viruses, reducing inflammatory cytokine production, maintaining endothelial integrity and increasing ACE2 concentrations, which helps lower COVID-19 severity.
If your vitamin D levels are not optimal and you come down with COVID, it is best to take 0.5 mcg of calcitriol on the first day and then 0.25 mcg for a week, as this is the active form of vitamin D. Merely swallowing regular vitamin D capsules will not help with COVID for one to two weeks, which is why you must add calcitriol.
You can learn more about the mechanisms behind vitamin D in my June 2020 scientific report, available on StopCovidCold.com. October 31, 2020, I also published a scientific review1 in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients — “Evidence Regarding Vitamin D and Risk of COVID-19 and Its Severity” — co-written with William Grant, Ph.D., and Dr. Carol Wagner, both of whom are part of the GrassrootsHealth expert vitamin D panel. You can read the paper for free here.
Tip 2: Up Your Intake of Key Immune-Boosting Nutrients
Many nutrients are known for their immune-boosting properties and ability to ward against encapsulated RNA viruses such as influenza and coronaviruses. A number of them were identified and listed in a February 2020 article in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.2,3,4
A number of nutrients have also shown promise against the atypical symptoms associated with severe COVID-19, such as excessive, out of control inflammation and blood clots.
While these symptoms have become increasingly rare as the virus has mutated into milder strains (Omicron being a prime example), some early COVID-19 patients are still struggling with long-term symptoms, colloquially known as “long COVID.” For them, such nutraceuticals may be particularly helpful.
Here’s a summary of the nutritional supplements identified. (For suggested dosages, see the Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases paper.5)
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) — Encourages glutathione production, thins mucus, lowers your chances of influenza infection and reduces your risk of developing severe bronchitis.
Elderberry extract — Known to shorten influenza duration by two to four days and reduce the severity of the flu.
Spirulina — Reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies. In a human trial, spirulina significantly lowered the viral load in patients with HIV infection.
Beta-glucan — Reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies.
Glucosamine — Upregulates mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS), reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies.
Selenium — Selenium deficiency increases the rate at which viruses can mutate, promoting the evolution of more pathogenic strains.
Zinc — Supports “effective function and proliferation of various immune cells,” lowering mortality in the elderly by 27%. If treating acute COVID, it’s best taken with quercetin (500 mg) to drive the zinc into the cell to limit viral replication.
Lipoic acid — Helps boost type 1 interferon response, which activate intracellular antimicrobial programs, thereby limiting viral spread between cells, and modulate your innate immune responses, restraining pro-inflammatory pathways and inhibiting cytokine production. They also activate your adaptive immune system.6
Sulforaphane — Helps boost type 1 interferon response.
Resveratrol — A 2005 study7 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases found resveratrol has the power to inhibit the replication of influenza A virus, significantly improving survival in influenza-infected mice. According to the authors, resveratrol “acts by inhibiting a cellular, rather than a viral, function,” which suggests it “could be a particularly valuable anti-influenza drug.”
Tip 3: Treat COVID at FIRST Sign of Infection
Should you develop COVID symptoms, you simply MUST start treatment immediately. We now know early treatment is key for successful resolution of the infection. It could literally be the difference between life and death and I can’t stress that enough. It is far better to overtreat a cold like COVID than ignoring the symptoms and dismissing them.
There are several early treatment protocols available, most of which focus on similar remedies. I believe the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance’s (FLCCCs) protocol is among the most comprehensive. You can find a listing of doctors who can prescribe necessary medicines on the FLCCC website.
A slightly revised version of the FLCCC protocol is below. I’ve altered some of the dosages, and added a few more therapies that they have yet to include, such as nebulized hydrogen peroxide and intravenous ozone.
Tip 4: Optimize Your Health With Systemic Enzymes
Enzymes are proteins composed of individual amino acids necessary to speed up cellular functions and biological processes. Some of the bodily processes that require enzymes include energy production, oxygen absorption, toxic waste removal, breaking down fats in your blood, dissolving blood clots and fighting infections.
In the era of COVID, an enzyme called lumbrokinase may be of particular benefit, as it helps break down blood clots. If you’ve had COVID-19 in the past, and/or received one or more COVID injections, lumbrokinase may be helpful to prevent blood clotting issues.
Proteolytic enzymes such as lumbrokinase and serrapeptase serve to digest unwanted proteins in your blood, like blood clots. They also help combat inflammation and rebalance your immune system, facilitating the removal of inflammatory proteins, removing fibrin (a clotting material that restricts blood flow and prolongs inflammation), reducing edema in inflamed regions, and boosting the potency of macrophages and killer cells.
If you want these enzymes to work on the potentially damaging proteins in your blood and not the food in your stomach, you will need to take them on an empty stomach, either one hour before or two hours after a meal. Otherwise the enzymes will be used to digest your food and not work in your bloodstream.
Tip 5: Boost Your Liver Health With Choline
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common condition caused by an unhealthy processed food diet. Aside from cutting out processed foods high in sugars and seed oils, adding in more choline can be helpful, as it appears to be a key controlling factor in arresting the development of fatty liver.
It does this by enhancing secretion of very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles in your liver, which are required to safely transport fat out of your liver. Choline deficiency may result in excess fat and cholesterol buildup. Choline also aids in DNA synthesis and is important for healthy mitochondrial function.
Choline-rich foods to consider loading up on include wild-caught Alaskan salmon, krill oil, organic pastured chicken, vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, grass fed beef liver and pastured egg yolks.
A single hard-boiled egg can contain anywhere from 113 to 147 milligrams of choline, or about 25% of your daily requirement, making it one of the best choline sources in the American diet. Only grass fed beef liver beats it, with 430 milligrams of choline per 100-gram serving.
Tip 6: Eliminate ALL Seed (Vegetable) Oils
A compelling report in the journal Gastroenterology offers a radically novel yet logically sound explanation as to why some COVID-19 patients develop life-threatening organ failure, namely their high unsaturated fat intake. Since diet-related comorbidities are responsible for 94% of COVID-19-related deaths,8 taking control of your diet is a simple, common-sense strategy to lower the risks associated with this infection.
Simply put, high intake of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) — a primary source of which is industrial seed oils — is associated with increased mortality from COVID-19, while healthy saturated fats actually lower your risk of death.
Omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) makes up the bulk of the omega-6 consumed and is the primary contributor to nearly all chronic diseases, because when consumed in excessive amounts, LA acts as a metabolic poison radically limiting mitochondrial function and your ability to produce cellular energy.
The reason for this is because polyunsaturated fats such as LA are highly susceptible to oxidation. As the fat oxidizes, it breaks down into harmful sub-components such as advanced lipid oxidation end products (ALES) and oxidized LA metabolites (OXLAMs). These ALES and OXLAMs are actually what cause the damage.
While excess sugar is certainly bad for your health and should typically be limited to 25 grams per day or less, it doesn’t cause a fraction of the oxidative damage that LA does. Processed vegetable oils are a primary source of LA, but even food sources hailed for their health benefits contain it, and can be a problem if consumed in excess. Cases in point: olive oil and conventionally raised chicken, which are fed LA-rich grains.
Tip 7: Boost Your Magnesium Intake
Magnesium is required for the healthy function of most cells in your body. Deficiency will impede your cellular metabolic function and deteriorate mitochondrial function, which can result in more serious health problems. Deficiency is widespread, thanks to inadequate consumption of leafy greens, so if you rarely eat your veggies, you could probably benefit from supplementation.
Having low amounts of magnesium has also been shown to significantly increase your supplemental vitamin D requirement. Research by GrassrootsHealth9 shows you need 146% more vitamin D to achieve a blood level of 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) if you do not take supplemental magnesium, compared to taking your vitamin D with at least 400 mg of magnesium per day.
Your vitamin K2 intake can also affect your required vitamin D dosage. Data10 from nearly 3,000 individuals revealed 244% more oral vitamin D was required to get 50% of the population to achieve a vitamin D level of 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) if they weren’t concurrently also taking magnesium and vitamin K2. So, a simple way to optimize your vitamin D absorption is to take it in conjunction with magnesium and K2.
Foods with the highest magnesium levels include spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, beet greens, collard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy and romaine lettuce.
If you’re using a supplement, you may want to use magnesium threonate to provide at least some of your magnesium, as it appears to be most efficient at penetrating cell membranes, including your mitochondria and blood-brain barrier. Another effective way to boost your magnesium level is to take Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) baths, as the magnesium will effectively absorb through your skin.
Tip 8: Improve Your Bowel Evacuation
Healthy evacuation of your bowels is a factor that many tend to ignore. The good news is that improving your bowel function can be as simple as changing how you sit on the toilet. Your puborectalis muscle helps control elimination during a bowel movement and prevent incontinence when you’re standing.
However, when you sit on a typical toilet, this muscle cannot fully relax, which is why you may need to push or even strain in order to have a bowel movement. While squatting, however, the muscle relaxes fully, making elimination easier.
Squatting on the toilet bowl can help you eliminate waste better if you are constipated. But this requires strength, flexibility and balance, especially if you’re not used to this method. Other options include using a simple footstool to help you get into a more “squatty” position or leaning forward as you sit on the toilet, with your hands on or near the floor.
Tip 9: Combat Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of virtually all disease, including cancer, obesity and heart disease. While inflammation is a perfectly normal and beneficial process that occurs when your body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses, it leads to trouble when the inflammatory response gets out of hand and continues indefinitely.
Your diet plays a significant, if not primary, role in this chain of events and is the perfect place to start to address it. Certain nutritional supplements can also be helpful as add-ons. Here’s a summary of key principles:
• Limit or eliminate vegetable oils (seed oils) — A key part of an anti-inflammatory diet involves excluding refined vegetable oils, as they are clearly one of the most pernicious and pervasive poisons in the food supply. Simply avoiding all processed foods and most restaurant foods will go a long way toward helping you avoid them.
• Eat more veggies — Vegetables are a key anti-inflammatory staple. Ideally, opt for organic locally grown veggies that are in season, and consider eating a fair amount of them raw. If you struggle with autoimmune disease or have significant inflammation in your body, though, consider limiting vegetables with high lectin content. Some high- lectin foods can be made safer to eat through proper soaking and cooking, as well as fermenting and sprouting.
• Add in fermented foods — Traditionally fermented and cultured foods are other anti-inflammatory staples that work their “magic” by optimizing your gut flora. A majority of inflammatory diseases start in your gut as the result of an imbalanced microbiome.
Fermented foods such as kefir, natto, kimchi, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives and other fermented vegetables will help reseed your gut with beneficial bacteria. Ideally, you’ll want to eat a wide variety of them as each contains a different set of beneficial bacteria (probiotics).
If you don’t like fermented vegetables, consider yogurt made from raw, organic milk from grass-fed cows. Yogurt has been shown to reduce inflammation by improving the integrity of your intestinal lining, thereby preventing toxins in your gut from crossing into your bloodstream.
• Boost your omega-3 fat intake — Marine-based omega-3 fats found in fatty cold-water fish that are low in environmental toxins — such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies — are also important anti-inflammatories, particularly for brain and heart health. In fact, your omega-3 level is a powerful predictor of mortality. If you don’t enjoy these types of fish, consider using krill oil instead.
• Cook with herbs and spices — Ounce for ounce, herbs and spices are among the most potent anti-inflammatory ingredients available and making sure you’re eating a wide variety of them on a regular basis can go a long way toward preventing chronic illness. Among the most potent anti-inflammatory herbs and spices are cloves, cinnamon, Jamaican allspice, apple pie and pumpkin pie spice mixtures, oregano, marjoram, sage, thyme and Italian spice.
Tip 10: Filter Your Water
While the U.S. has many water quality concerns, it doesn’t really matter where you live anymore, as many dangerous chemicals find their way into the ecosystem, spreading from one continent to another. This is why filtering your household water is more a necessity than an option these days.
Filtering your drinking water is good practice, but equally important is filtering the water you use for bathing. This is because immersing yourself in contaminated water may be even more hazardous to your health than drinking it.
Chemicals absorbed through your skin go directly into your bloodstream, bypassing your digestive and internal filtration systems. Unfiltered water can also expose you to dangerous chlorine vapors and chloroform gas, which can cause dizziness, fatigue, asthma, airway inflammation and respiratory allergies.
Unless you can verify the purity of your water, you should seriously consider installing a high-quality, whole-house water filtration system. Ideally, filter the water both at the point of entry and at the point of use. This means filtering all the water that comes into the house, and then filtering again at the kitchen sink and shower. As for the type of filtration system to get, there are various options, most of which have both benefits and drawbacks.
Common options include reverse osmosis (RO), ion exchange, and granular carbon or carbon block filters. Ideally, you want a filtration system that uses a combination of methods to remove contaminants, as this will ensure the removal of the widest variety of contaminants.
Tip 11: Reduce Your EMF Exposure
One of the most dangerous kinds of pollution affecting your health is the invisible sea of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) your body swims in daily, both outdoors and in your home. Common sources include cell phones, cell towers, computers, smart meters and Wi-Fi, to name just a few. Strategies to reduce your EMF exposure include:
Connect your computer to the internet via a wired connection and put it in airplane mode. Also opt for wired keyboards, trackballs, mice, printers and house phones.
If you must use Wi-Fi, be sure to shut it off whenever it’s not in use, especially at night.
Shut off the electricity to your bedroom at night to reduce electrical fields from the wires in your walls.
Use a battery-powered alarm clock, ideally one without any light.
Replace your microwave oven with a steam convection oven, which will heat your food quickly and far more safely.
Avoid “smart” appliances and thermostats that depend on wireless signaling, including smart TVs. Consider using a large computer monitor as your TV instead, as it doesn’t emit Wi-Fi.
Opt-out of smart meters if you can or add a shield to an existing smart meter.
Avoid using a wireless baby monitor. Instead, move the baby’s bed into your bedroom, or use a hard-wired monitor.
Remove all fluorescent lights from your home and switch to incandescent bulbs.
Avoid carrying your cell phone on your body unless it’s in airplane mode, and never sleep with it in your bedroom.
Use the speakerphone on your cell phone, and hold it at least 3 feet away from you. Ideally, use your cell phone as little as possible.
Even if you implement these strategies, you’re unlikely to eliminate all exposure, as EMFs saturate public places and can invade your home from your neighbors. To minimize the harmful effects, the following strategies can be helpful:
• Increase your magnesium intake — As a natural calcium channel blocker, magnesium can help reduce the effects of EMF on your voltage-gated calcium channels. Since many are deficient in magnesium, I believe you could benefit from as much as 1 to 2 grams of magnesium per day.
• Molecular hydrogen — Molecular hydrogen has been shown to target free radicals produced in response to radiation, such as peroxynitrites. Studies have shown molecular hydrogen can mitigate about 80% of this damage.
Molecular hydrogen will also activate Nrf2, a biological hormetic that upregulates superoxide dismutase, catalase and all the other beneficial intercellular antioxidants. This in turn lowers inflammation, improves your mitochondrial function and stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis.
• Protective spices — Cinnamon, cloves, ginger root, rosemary and turmeric have exhibited protective effects against EMF-induced damage.
Tip 12: Boost Your Collagen Production Naturally
Collagen is the most common and abundant of your body’s proteins. One of its primary purposes is to provide structural scaffolding for your various tissues to allow them to stretch while still maintaining tissue integrity.
As a compound of essential amino acids, there’s only one way to get collagen: Your body can’t produce it, so you must obtain it through your diet. Historically, traditional diets provided ample collagen in the form of broth made from boiled chicken feet or beef bones. These are by far your best alternatives.
If you decide to use a collagen supplement, it’s important to know what to look for. Laboratory testing has revealed many popular collagen and bone broth products contain potentially hazardous contaminants typically associated with concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), so to avoid contaminants, make sure your collagen supplement is certified “100% Organic” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Moreover, collagen supplements can be either unhydrolyzed (undenatured) or hydrolyzed (denatured). The processing that most collagen supplements undergo to become hydrolyzed can also result in questionable byproducts that are best avoided. My personal preference is to use a less denatured (unhydrolyzed) organic collagen supplement, as it has a more balanced amino acid profile.
That said, I still believe the natural approach is best. Making homemade bone broth using bones and connective tissue from grass-fed, organically raised animals isn’t very complicated and will produce the best results.
Tip 13: Optimize Your Sleep
One of the most radical and recent discoveries revealing the importance of sleep for health is that each and every organ has its own biological clock. In your brain is a “master clock” that synchronizes these clocks and your bodily functions to match the 24-hour light and dark cycle.
When you upset your circadian rhythm by not getting enough sleep, the results can have far-reaching consequences, affecting everything from mood, creativity and brain detoxification to DNA expression, chronic disease risk — including dementia — and longevity. Helpful tips to optimize your sleep include:
Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible, to avoid lowering melatonin production, which can interfere with your sleep.
Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eliminate EMFs in your bedroom.
Keep all electronic devices at least 3 feet from your bed.
Adopt a neutral sleeping position by propping your pillow under your neck, not your head, to maintain a proper spinal curve.
Reserve your bed for sleeping and don’t keep a TV in your bedroom.
Consider separate bedrooms if sharing your bed with a partner impairs your sleep. Pets may also need to be kept in another room if they disturb your sleep.
Tip 14: Ditch Google and Facebook Once and for All
Over the years, the government and business monopolies, including the likes of Big Tech, have formed a global alliance hell-bent on protecting and concentrating member profits. The price for keeping business going as usual is personal liberty and freedom of speech that may impact these fascist government-industrial complexes.
In recent times, we’ve seen unprecedented efforts to censor natural health topics in various online platforms, especially Google and Facebook, under the guise of protecting you against “misinformation.”
By censoring the voices that challenge mainstream information on crucial health topics like pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines, GMOs, pesticides, junk foods, artificial sweeteners and fake meat, Google and Facebook are able to protect the profits of its advertisers and stakeholders.
Across the board, Google only gives you the results they want you to see, while relevant articles and news they deem “harmful” are buried. Facebook, meanwhile, relies on so-called “fact-checkers” to dissuade and redirect users away from anything that contradicts the mainstream narrative. We now have proof that Facebook’s “fact checks” are nothing more than opinion pieces, thanks to a lawsuit by journalist John Stossel,11,12,13 but they’re still presented as assertions of facts.
If you’re fed up with Google’s and Facebook’s exploitation and manipulation, the best way to break free is by being informed. If we work together to boycott them, Google and Facebook will crumble.
We have added a built-in sharing tool on top of each newsletter article to make it easier for you to share it to your friends and family via email or text. And, while the articles on my website are only viewable for 48 hours, we are in the process of transferring our entire archive over to the Censored Library on Substack. This will allow us to bring back my previously deleted articles in a liability-protected format.
For just $5 a month, or the discounted annual rate of $50 per year, you will have access to all of my articles, all the time, even after they’ve been deleted from Mercola.com.
Tip 15: Protect Your Eye Health
Your ocular health affects your overall well-being, so routine eye exams are important health basics. Additionally, keep your eyes healthy and your vision sharp by:
• Removing trans fats from your diet — As with linoleic acid, processed foods and baked goods are primary sources of harmful trans-fats.
• Removing high fructose corn syrup from your diet — High blood pressure can damage the small blood vessels in your retina, obstructing blood flow, and a key strategy to normalize your blood pressure is to dramatically reduce your fructose intake.
High sugar intake is also a primary culprit of elevated blood sugar readings. High blood sugar not only obstructs blood flow by damaging blood vessels in your retina but also pulls fluid from the lens of your eye, which can affect your ability to focus. As a general guide, I recommend keeping your total daily fructose consumption below 25 grams a day, including fructose from fruit.
• Eating your veggies — Consuming high amounts of carotenoid-rich vegetables, especially ones rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, can encourage healthy vision.
• Boosting your omega-3 fat intake — Omega-3 fats protect healthy vision. Good sources include wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, and anchovies. If you use a supplement, I recommend krill oil, which also contains astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant.
• Quitting smoking — Smoking increases free radical production throughout your body, putting you at risk for any number of health problems, including vision problems.
Aside from lutein and zeaxanthin, astaxanthin is one of the best antioxidants for eye health. It’s been shown to protect against a number of eye-related problems, including age-related macular degeneration, which is the No. 1 cause of blindness in the elderly, glaucoma, cataracts, inflammatory eye diseases, cystoid macular edema, retinal arterial occlusion, diabetic retinopathy, and venous occlusion.
Astaxanthin also helps maintain appropriate eye pressure, energy levels, and visual acuity. Because the above list includes several of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S., this powerful antioxidant becomes increasingly important.
Tip 16: Grow Your Own Food
Growing your own food has many rewards, from providing you with fresher, uncontaminated produce and cutting your grocery bill, to increasing your sense of well-being and slashing your risk of depression. Research14 also shows elderly individuals who garden on a regular basis have a 36% lower risk of dementia than non-gardeners.
There are many different ways to grow your own food, even if you live in an apartment. You can use virtually every square foot of your space, including vertical space, for growing food. Hanging baskets are ideal for a wide variety of foods, such as strawberries, leafy greens, runner beans, pea shoots, tomatoes, and a variety of herbs. And, instead of flowers, window boxes can hold herbs, greens, radishes, scallions, bush beans, strawberries, chard, and chilies, to name just a few.
Rule No. 1 for growing nutrient-dense food is building healthy soil. There are five basic principles to growing topsoil and building a healthy soil ecosystem, and these rules apply whether you’re working a farm or tending a small vegetable garden in your backyard:
1. Avoid disturbing the soil microbiome — The less mechanical disturbance the better, which means no tillage, herbicides, pesticides or fungicides
2. Protect the soil’s surface — Use cover crops, untreated lawn clippings, mulch, and wood chips to maintain soil biology, prevent water evaporation, and lower soil temperature, which is particularly important on hot days
3. Diversify your crops — Having a diverse array of plant life is essential to healthy soil, and cover crops help fulfill this requirement
4. Maintain living roots in the ground as long as possible — Growing something at all times is key to soil vitality, so be sure to plant a cover crop after you harvest your vegetables
5. Integrate livestock and other animals, including insects — To mimic the impact of wild herds, regenerative farmers will pasture chickens, cows, lambs, pigs, and other animals to benefit the soil and ensure a highly nutrient-dense finished product. While many homeowners cannot keep farm animals on their property, you can easily attract pollinators and predator insects to ward off garden pests by including lots of flowering plants
One of the simplest and most inexpensive gardening alternatives is to grow your own sprouts. They’re a particularly excellent choice during winter months when outdoor gardening is limited or ruled out. They also grow quickly, allowing you to harvest in about a week, and you don’t have to cook them. Sprouts are also a perfect complement to fermented vegetables, which are also easy and inexpensive to make at home, from scratch.
Sprouts are actually among the most nutrient-dense foods out there. Topping the list are sunflower seed and pea sprouts, which are typically about 30 times more nutritious than organic vegetables. Sunflower and pea sprouts are among my own favorites. Broccoli sprouts, known for their anticancer activity, are another excellent choice.
Tip 17: Try Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training
Blood flow restriction (BFR) training, also known as vascular occlusion training, involves “partially restricting arterial inflow and fully restricting venous outflow” while working the occluded muscle. BFR training works on a very simple principle: It tricks your body into believing that it’s moving far heavier weights than you’re actually using, generating compensatory metabolic responses.
With BFR training, you’re able to significantly enhance your strength and muscle mass using a fraction of the weight typically used, in about half the time it would normally take.
Its ability to achieve such remarkable physiological benefits has to do with the fact that when you restrict the venous blood flow from the muscle group being engaged, you create a relatively hypoxic environment in the exercising muscle which then boosts beneficial metabolic responses, such as increasing muscle lactate and growth hormone and inhibiting myostatin.
Venous flow restriction is achieved by wrapping the extremity being worked with an inflatable cuff or band. The band needs to be tight enough to shut down the venous return to the heart, allowing the venous blood to “pool” in the region of the limb that is being exercised, while loose enough to allow arterial flow-through.
With very light exercise, and in about 15 to 20 minutes, you get an exhaustive workout that sends a signal to your brain to help you “recover and adapt to it.” Your brain then sends out a wide variety of powerful hormonal responses that cause your muscles and blood vessels to grow.
BFR is particularly beneficial for the elderly, as it dramatically reduces the risk of injury while optimizing muscle growth beyond what strength training with heavy weights can actually do! To learn the ins and outs of BRF, be sure to download and read through my free BFR report.
Tip 18: Lower Your Risk for Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases are on the rise, so the earlier you take steps to prevent them, the better. The good news is that some of the strategies that can lower your risk of autoimmune problems are incredibly simple and inexpensive.
For example, drinking a solution of baking soda on a daily basis can help reduce inflammation associated with and caused by autoimmune conditions. Baking soda provides a signal to mesothelial cells — which line your internal organs — that your body is doing fine; it’s not under attack, so developing an aggressive immune system and/or a harmful autoimmune response is unnecessary.15
To try this strategy, simply add one-half teaspoon of baking soda to half a glass of water (about 4 ounces), stir until it’s completely dissolved, and repeat no more than three times per day, and no more than seven one-half teaspoons in any given 24-hour period.
Another strategy that costs nothing is to allow fevers to run their course, as long as they’re not above 103 degrees F. While most tend to rush to administer fever-reducing medicine at the first sign of low-grade fever, this can actually backfire. Fever facilitates your detoxification process, with the aim of producing a cleaner system. Reducing the fever can effectively prevent or interrupt your body’s natural healing process.
A far better alternative would be to administer liposomal vitamin C, which will aid and speed the process, not stop it. Certain homeopathic medicines can also be beneficial. If you’ve suppressed fevers all your life, you may benefit from regular saunas, ideally one with low or no electromagnetic fields, as this will help detoxify your system. If you’ve been vaccinated, you probably need to take saunas on a regular basis as well.
Tip 19: Combat Osteoporosis
With osteoporosis — brittle bone — comes the risk of bone fractures due to a fall, and hip fractures, in particular, are notorious for raising an older individual’s risk of death. Low bone density, known as osteopenia, also raises your risk of fractures and may progress into osteoporosis. But before you turn to conventional drugs, you should know that there are far safer ways to address this problem, such as by loading up on nutrients that help promote bone growth. These include:
Vitamins K1 and K2
Sufficiently load-bearing exercise is also important. Research suggests the load needed to trigger bone growth in the hip is 4.2 times your bodyweight. Unfortunately, conventional strength training comes nowhere near that — but BFR does! So, preventing osteoporosis is yet another reason to add BFR to your lifestyle tool kit.
Tip 20: ‘Green’ Up Your Wardrobe
Fast fashion is a major contributor to the global waste problem, as clothing is now the fastest-growing category of waste. Across the board, throughout the distribution chain, whatever cannot be sold always ends up in a landfill. The textile industry is also a major environmental polluter.
The primary solution should be obvious: Buy less. Buying only what you actually need will allow you to spend more on high-quality items that last. If an item is still in good condition but for whatever reason doesn’t fit your body or lifestyle anymore, ask around to see if anyone wants or needs it first.
As a last-ditch resort, donate clothing that is still in good condition to a reputable charity that serves the needs of your local community. Local women’s shelters and crisis centers may accept your donations.
If you need to purchase new clothes, make sure to choose organic, GOTS-certified clothing made from sustainably grown fabrics. The SITO brand is an example of a GOTS-certified organic clothing brand, established by the biodynamic certification agency Demeter. SITO supports our global mission of improving fabric production and putting an end to fast fashion.
Tip 21: Take Control of Your Blood Pressure
In 2017, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology, along with nine other health organizations, changed the cutoff used to diagnose high blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80.
This slight shift increased the number of people diagnosed with high blood pressure to include many who had previously been considered within the normal range. According to the AHA, an estimated 103 million U.S. adults today have high blood pressure (hypertension), and about 1 in 3 people has prehypertension.
According to medical physiology textbooks, as much as 95% of hypertension is called essential hypertension, meaning the underlying cause is unknown. However, a number of factors have been identified as contributing to high blood pressure, including but not limited to insulin and leptin resistance, potassium deficiency, and elevated uric acid levels. The good news is that there are many techniques and lifestyle changes, including the following:
Exercise — A comprehensive fitness program can go a long way toward regaining your insulin sensitivity and normalizing your blood pressure. In fact, exercise is considered the first line of treatment by several health authorities, including the World Health Organization, the International Society of Hypertension, and the U.S. Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.
If you are insulin resistant, you’ll also want to include weight training. When you work with individual muscle groups, you increase blood flow to those muscles, and good blood flow will increase your insulin sensitivity.
Vitamin D optimization — Vitamin D deficiency is associated with both arterial stiffness and hypertension. For optimal health, maintain a vitamin D level between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL year-round.
Time-restricted eating — Eating all your meals within a six- to an eight-hour window, each day is one of the most effective ways I’ve found to normalize your insulin/leptin sensitivity, which is a root cause of high blood pressure.
Stress management — It has been shown that people with heart disease can lower their risk of subsequent cardiac events by over 70% simply by learning to manage their stress. Suppressed negative emotions such as fear, anger, and sadness can severely limit your ability to cope with the unavoidable everyday stresses of life. It’s not the stressful events themselves that are harmful, but your lack of ability to cope.
Essential oils — A number of essential oils can be helpful, including lavender, ylang-ylang, marjoram, bergamot, rose, frankincense, rosemary, lemon balm and clary sage.
Beets — In one small placebo-controlled trial,16 one glass (250 milliliters or 8.5 ounces) of beetroot juice per day for one month reduced blood pressure in those diagnosed with hypertension by an average of 8 mmHg systolic and 4 mmHg diastolic pressure.
This 8/4 mmHg reduction is very close to that provided by blood pressure medications, which typically can reduce blood pressure by about 9/5 mmHg, and for many, it was enough to bring their blood pressure down to normal levels. The treatment group also saw a 20% improvement in blood vessel dilation capacity and a 10% reduction in arterial stiffness.
Tip 22: KetoFast
KetoFast is the term I coined to describe a protocol that combines three key strategies: a cyclical ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, and cyclical partial fasting. The first step to KetoFast is to make sure you stop eating at least three hours before bedtime to avoid creating unnecessary free radicals.
Next, compress your eating to a six- to eight-hour timeframe, meaning you eat all of your calories for the day during those six to eight hours. For the remaining 16 to 18 hours, you’re fasting. For example, delay your first meal of the day until 11 am or noon and stop eating by 7 pm.
Once you’ve followed this intermittent fasting schedule for a month, you can move into the second phase, which involves having a single reduced-calorie meal, ideally, breakfast, followed by a 24-hour water-only fast, once or twice a week. This meal will typically be somewhere between 300 and 500 calories. This meal should consist of:
Carbs — Less than 10 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber), primarily from nonstarchy vegetables, seeds, or nuts.
Protein — Half of your personalized daily protein requirement. If you’re younger than 60, a general recommendation for your daily protein requirement would be 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of lean body mass, or 0.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. The key here is not just lowering your overall protein intake but, rather restricting your intake of branched-chain amino acids such as leucine, found primarily in meat and dairy products.
Fat — The remainder of your calories come from healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, MCT oil, butter, olive oil, and raw nuts.
The day after your water-only fast, go ahead and feast. Now’s the perfect time to do hardcore strength training, and to load up on protein. Immediately after your workout is when you’ll want to eat that grass-fed organic steak and/or whey protein, as now you’re in rebuilding mode.
The intermittent and partial fasting regimen described in KetoFast essentially mimics ancestral eating patterns, allowing your body to work optimally by allowing for periods of breakdown and cleanout, and periods of rebuilding and rejuvenation.
One way that your body promotes this is through autophagy, which is the body’s innate cleanout process, in which damaged mitochondria, proteins, and cellular components are digested and then recycled during the regeneration phase, which occurs during refeeding. By upregulating autophagy, you may significantly lower your risk of most diseases, including cancer and neurodegeneration.
A common misconception is that because nutritional ketosis is so beneficial, it stands to reason that remaining in ketosis for the rest of your life would be the way to go. I disagree with this approach, having experienced the drawbacks of it firsthand.
Continuous keto can start wreaking havoc with your hormonal system, specifically your thyroid. It’s important to realize that nutritional ketosis is a catabolic process, meaning you’re breaking things down. This is a good and necessary process, but you also need to build your body back up! After some months on a continuous ketogenic diet, you start losing muscle mass, which is the complete opposite of what you’re looking for.
I strongly recommend cycling in and out of ketosis once you’ve regained your metabolic flexibility and are able to effectively burn fat for fuel. In other words, you stay in ketosis only long enough to make sure you’re burning fat, and then you move into a more balanced approach where you’re adding in higher amounts of healthy carbs once or twice a week.
Known as Rasayana in Ayurveda, ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that enhances your body’s ability to withstand stress and is considered to be a rejuvenator
Ashwagandha contains compounds known as withanolides, which have not only antioxidant and anti-stress activities but also enhance immunity, protect the heart and offer neuroprotective, hypoglycemic, and anti-tumor effects
Ashwagandha has notable benefits for relieving stress and anxiety and supporting brain health, such that taking ashwagandha for 90 days improved memory and focus
Withanolides have also been shown to suppress pathways responsible for several inflammation-based illnesses, including arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and cancer
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herb that’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Known as Rasayana in Ayurveda, ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that enhances your body’s ability to withstand stress and is considered to be a rejuvenator.1 According to Ayurveda, ashwagandha is also known as:2
Balya — increases strength
Brusya — Sexual performance enhancer
Vajikari — Spermatogenic
Kamarupini — Libido enhancing
Pustida — Nourishing
Also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, ashwagandha contains compounds known as withanolides, which have not only antioxidant and anti-stress activities but also enhance immunity, protect the heart and offer neuroprotective, hypoglycemic, and anti-tumor effects.3 Its name comes from the Sanskrit word “ashwa,” or horse because its root smells like horse urine and gives you the power of a horse when consumed.4
Nine Reasons to Consume Ashwagandha
In addition to withanolides, ashwagandha contains phenolic acids, alkaloids, saponins, and tannins, which offer a wide variety of pharmacological activities. Together, ashwagandha and its bioactive compounds may benefit diseases such as arthritis, impotence, amnesia, anxiety, and more. Ayurvedic doctor Dixa Bhavsar explained on social media:5,6
“This miracle herb has taken the medical world by storm (especially during #covid). And for good reason. Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng) is immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, sleep inducing, anticonvulsant, anti-stress, and antibacterial properties, this herb is like the one-stop shop for all ailments.”
Why else might you want to consider ashwagandha?
1. Relieve Stress and Anxiety — In a study of 125 adults who took ashwagandha or placebo daily for 90 days, those who took ashwagandha had lower serum cortisol levels — a measure of stress — and higher scores on a happiness questionnaire, “suggesting significantly lower stress levels and significantly better psychological well-being and sleep quality.”7
Another study involving 64 individuals who had a history of chronic stress evaluated the effectiveness of a full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root to help reduce stress and anxiety. Those in the study group took 300 milligrams (mg) of ashwagandha root twice a day for 60 days.
Analysis of the data revealed a significant reduction in stress assessment at the end of 60 days when compared to the placebo group. People taking ashwagandha also had substantially lower serum cortisol levels.8 According to the study, which was published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine:9
“The findings of this study suggest that a high-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual’s resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.”
2. Improve Cognitive Function — Ashwagandha has notable benefits for brain health, such that taking ashwagandha for 90 days improved memory and focus in cognitively sound adults between the ages of 20 and 55.10
In another study of adults with mild cognitive impairment, eight weeks of ashwagandha supplementation twice daily led to significantly greater improvements in immediate and general memory, executive function, sustained attention, and information-processing speed compared to placebo.11
The herb was also found to improve aspects of cognition, including verbal working memory, response time, and social cognition response in people with bipolar disorder.12
3. Better Sleep — If you’re looking for a sound night’s rest, sleep hygiene should be your go-to response, tending to things like eliminating light in your bedroom, turning off electronics well before bedtime, and going to bed and waking at approximately the same time each day. However, ashwagandha maybe provides a natural complement to these strategies.
In an analysis of five randomized controlled trials containing 400 participants,13 ashwagandha extracts had a beneficial effect in improving sleep. The benefits were most pronounced in those with insomnia, those who took a dosage of 600 mg per day or more and used ashwagandha for at least eight weeks.
As a pleasant “side effect,” those who took ashwagandha had improved mental alertness when they woke up, along with less anxiety. A 2020 study also tested ashwagandha for its ability to promote sleep. Based on the results, the researchers believe the herb could be an alternative treatment for insomnia.14 It found that ashwagandha root extract improved sleep quality and helped in managing insomnia.
While both healthy subjects and people with insomnia reported significant improvement in sleep parameters from ashwagandha, the improvement was more significant in those with insomnia.
4. Boost Immune Function — Withanolides in ashwagandha have immunomodulating properties that can either stimulate or suppress your immune system to help fight infections, cancer, and other diseases.15 As explained in the Journal of Clinical Medicine:16
“Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera or WS) which is mentioned in the Rasayana group of medications in the Ayurveda tradition of India has been extensively investigated as an immunomodulatory agent.
The components in WS mainly withanolide glycosides exert their immunomodulatory action by mobilizing and activating macrophages and induce proliferation in murine splenocytes. This effect has been suggested to be the idea of its use as a Rasayana in Ayurveda.”
In a randomized placebo-controlled double-blinded study, subjects received either 60 mg of ashwagandha extract or a placebo. The extract significantly improved the immune profile by modulating both the innate and adaptive immune systems. According to the researchers, the effects were so impressive that “[b]oosting the immune system of people at risk of infection and during widespread infections can be targeted with WS extract.”17
Withaferin A (WFA), found in ashwagandha, has also been found by at least two independent research groups to bind to the viral spike protein in SARS-CoV-2. By interfering with the spike protein, as well as not affecting ACE2 expression in the lungs, researchers concluded it “demonstrates real potential as a therapeutic agent to treat or prevent the spread of COVID-19.”18
5. Anti-Inflammatory Effects — Ashwagandha and its withanolides are powerful anti-inflammatories. The herb suppresses inflammatory responses in microglial cells, which are found in the central nervous system, by “simultaneously down-regulating the NF-kB and upregulating the Nrf2 pathways.”19
Animal studies also suggest that ashwagandha produces an anti-inflammatory response that’s comparable to the anti-inflammatory drug hydrocortisone sodium succinate.20 Withanolides have also been shown21 to suppress pathways responsible for several inflammation-based illnesses, including arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis22, and cancer.
6. Anticancer Potential — Ashwagandha has been found to interfere with the growth of new cancer cells while leaving normal cells untouched, while also helping to induce programmed death of cells and sensitize cancer cells to apoptosis.23
Multiple studies have found anticancer effects from both ashwagandha and its active component WFA,24 for a variety of cancers including prostate, leukemia, breast, pancreatic, glioblastoma multiforme, and colorectal. At least two uses for the herb and its compounds were suggested by a review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences:25
“First, given the safety record of WS [Withania somnifera], it can be used as an adjunct therapy that can aid in reducing the adverse effects associated with radio and chemotherapy due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Second, WS can also be combined with other conventional therapies such as chemotherapies to synergize and potentiate the effects due to radiotherapy and chemotherapy due to its ability to aid in radio- and chemosensitization, respectively. Taken together, all evidence to date indicate the potential of WS or WFA in cancer management.”
7. Arthritis Benefits — Because of ashwagandha’s anti-inflammatory properties, it’s often used in managing arthritis. When researchers analyzed 77 registered clinical trials in India to look for evidence of ashwagandha’s anti-arthritic properties,26 they found “a dosage of 6 gm in powder form or extracts in tablets, or 500- to 1000-mg capsule consumed for a duration of 8 to 12 weeks may be useful in managing symptoms of arthritis in patients.”
Traditionally, ashwagandha is noted in Ayurvedic manuscripts as being an effective remedy for rheumatoid arthritis (Amavata) and osteoarthritis (Sandhi-gata Vata).27 Another review article noted:28
“Patients of rheumatoid arthritis receiving Ashwagandha root powder showed excellent response. Their pain and swelling completely disappeared. A double-blind placebo-controlled study, combining Ashwagandha, turmeric and zinc, showed significant improvement in pain and inflammation.”
8. Anti-Obesity Properties — Ashwagandha’s WFA also has anti-obesity properties, helping to enhance energy expenditure and ameliorate obesity by triggering mitochondrial biogenesis and browning-related gene expression.29 Separate research also suggests WFA may protect against diet-induced obesity by attenuating oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance.30
9. Sexual and Reproductive Health Benefits — In men struggling with infertility, ashwagandha has been shown to balance their luteinizing hormone,31 which controls reproductive organ function in both men and women. Ashwagandha can also help boost testosterone levels in men,32 which can have a beneficial effect on libido and sexual performance.
It’s also been shown to improve the quality of semen in infertile men, in part by inhibiting reactive oxygen species.33 In otherwise healthy women, ashwagandha has been shown to improve arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and overall sexual satisfaction.34 Ashwagandha root extract may also help to relieve mild to moderate symptoms of menopause in perimenopausal women.35
Work With an Integrative Health Care Practitioner
When using powerful nutraceuticals like ashwagandha, working with an Ayurvedic or integrative health care practitioner can help ensure you receive optimal benefits. Depending on your health status and other factors, for instance, it can have differing effects. Bhavsar explained:36
“The leaves of ashwagandha helps in losing weight. Yes, you heard me right. Mostly I see people getting confused when they hear its useful for weight gain & weight loss at the same time. So this is just to clear the confusion. Its dosage depends on the patient’s condition, prognosis & the mind-body type.”
While ashwagandha is generally safe, well-tolerated, and nontoxic, it shouldn’t be used by pregnant women, breastfeeding women, or people taking sedatives. Making sure you’re getting a high-quality product is also of utmost importance. To ensure effectiveness, I recommend using 100% organic ashwagandha, free of fillers, additives, and excipients.
The most in-depth analysis to date confirms the importance of omega-3 fats for heart health. If fatty fish is not a regular part of your diet, you may need to consider supplementing omega-3 fatty acids to keep your heart happy and healthy
The most in-depth analysis to date confirms the importance of consuming sufficient quantities of omega-3 fats for preventing cardiovascular disease.
The meta-analysis, published in the peer-reviewed journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reviewed 40 clinical trials, and the multi-disciplinary team of researchers delivered an authoritative rallying cry for including more EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 fats in your diet, citing their significant cardioprotective effects.
Omega-3 Fats: Are You Getting Enough?
This expanded review of a previously published meta-analysis analyzed the observed effects of all randomized control trials with EPA/DHA supplementation and cardiovascular outcomes published before August 2019. Examined outcomes included myocardial infarction (MI) — commonly called heart attack — coronary heart disease (CHD) events, CVD events (a composite of MI, angina, stroke, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, sudden death, and non-scheduled cardiovascular surgical interventions), CHD mortality and fatal MI.
The study[i]found that EPA and DHA supplementation is associated with significantly reduced risks of having a cardiovascular event and reduced risks of dying from such an event. The risk reduction broke down as follows:
According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is responsible for nearly 18 million deaths each year and is the No. 1 cause of death globally.[iii]
Benefits of Omega-3s Are Dose-Dependent
Study authors noted that whatever amount of EPA and DHA you are getting in your normal diet, supplementation is likely required to receive maximum cardioprotective benefits. A 1,000-milligram increase in daily omega-3 consumption decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease events by 5.8% and heart attack by 9%. The study examined dosages of up to 5,500 milligrams (mg) per day and discovered that benefits are dose-dependent.[iv]
The new research corroborates a 2019 meta-analysis by Harvard School of Public Health researchers and represents all of the research to date, encompassing more than 135,000 study participants.[v]Study co-author Aldo Bernasconi, Ph.D., stated:
“When separate analyses arrive at similar results, that’s not only validating, it also underscores the science base needed to inform future intake recommendations. Because this paper included more studies and all dosages, the estimates for a dose-response are more precise and the conclusions stronger.”[vi]
Supplemental Omega-3s Protect Against Heart Disease
EPA and DHA are the primary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids of marine origin.[vii] Foods like anchovies, sardines, and wild-caught salmon are highly nutritious options for getting these heart-healthy fats into your diet, however, study co-author Dr. Lavie suggests that any patient with CVD should consider supplementing as well.
Dr. Lavie suggests omega-3 supplementation at doses of 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day — far higher than what is typical, even among people who regularly eat fish, adding:
“Given the safety and diminished potential for interaction with other medications, the positive results of this study strongly suggest omega-3 supplements are a relatively low-cost, high impact way to improve heart health and should be considered as part of a standard preventive treatment for most patients with and those recovering from myocardial infarction.”[viii]
As demonstrated on the Greenmedinfo.com database, Omega-3 fats have been shown in numerous studies to decrease the risk of heart attack death[ix] and to reduce the risk of all-cause mortality in CHD patients.[x]With at least 61 distinct health benefits, omega-3 fats have been shown to improve mood disorders such as bipolar depression[xi]as well as blood pressure[xii]and diabetes[xiii] symptoms, making them important not only for heart health but your overall health as well.
References [i] Aldo A. Bernasconi, Michelle M. Wiest, Carl J. Lavie, Richard V. Milani, Jari A. Laukkanen. Effect of Omega-3 Dosage on Cardiovascular Outcomes. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.08.034 [ii] Elsevier. (2020, September 17). Authoritative new analysis links increased omega-3 intake to cardioprotection and improved cardiovascular outcomes: Study indicates that EPA and DHA supplementation reduces multiple types of cardiovascular risk. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200917084102.htm [iii] World Health Organization, Health Topics, Cardiovascular Diseases, https://www.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases/ [iv] Elsevier. (2020, September 17). Authoritative new analysis links increased omega-3 intake to cardioprotection and improved cardiovascular outcomes: Study indicates that EPA and DHA supplementation reduces multiple types of cardiovascular risk. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200917084102.htm [v] Elsevier. (2020, September 17). Authoritative new analysis links increased omega-3 intake to cardioprotection and improved cardiovascular outcomes: Study indicates that EPA and DHA supplementation reduces multiple types of cardiovascular risk. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200917084102.htm [vi] Elsevier. (2020, September 17). Authoritative new analysis links increased omega-3 intake to cardioprotection and improved cardiovascular outcomes: Study indicates that EPA and DHA supplementation reduces multiple types of cardiovascular risk. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200917084102.htm [vii] Aldo A. Bernasconi, Michelle M. Wiest, Carl J. Lavie, Richard V. Milani, Jari A. Laukkanen. Effect of Omega-3 Dosage on Cardiovascular Outcomes. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.08.034 [viii] Elsevier. (2020, September 17). Authoritative new analysis links increased omega-3 intake to cardioprotection and improved cardiovascular outcomes: Study indicates that EPA and DHA supplementation reduces multiple types of cardiovascular risk. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200917084102.htm [ix] Ariane König, Colleen Bouzan, Joshua T Cohen, William E Connor, Penny M Kris-Etherton, George M Gray, Robert S Lawrence, David A Savitz, Steven M Teutsch. A quantitative analysis of fish consumption and coronary heart disease mortality. Am J Prev Med. 2005 Nov;29(4):335-46. PMID: 16242600 [x] Yun-Tao Zhao, Qiang Chen, Ya-Xun Sun, Xue-Bin Li, Ping Zhang, Yuan Xu, Ji-Hong Guo. Prevention of sudden cardiac death with omega-3 fatty acids in patients with coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Ann Med. 2009;41(4):301-10. PMID: 19148838 [xi] Yamima Osher, R H Belmaker. Omega-3 fatty acids in depression: a review of three studies. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2009;15(2):128-33. PMID: 19499625 [xii] G K Paschos, F Magkos, D B Panagiotakos, V Votteas, A Zampelas. Dietary supplementation with flaxseed oil lowers blood pressure in dyslipidaemic patients. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Oct;61(10):1201-6. Epub 2007 Jan 31. PMID: 17268413 [xiii] Alin Stirban, Simona Nandrean, Christian Götting, Ronald Tamler, Alexandra Pop, Monica Negrean, Thomas Gawlowski, Bernd Stratmann, Diethelm Tschoepe. Effects of n-3 fatty acids on macro and microvascular function in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jan 13. Epub 2010 Jan 13. PMID: 20071644
The GMI Research Group (GMIRG) is dedicated to investigating the most important health and environmental issues of the day. Special emphasis will be placed on environmental health. Our focused and deep research will explore the many ways in which the present condition of the human body directly reflects the true state of the ambient environment.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Licorice Inhibits Replication of Coronavirus by Dr. Joseph Mercola
Glycyrrhizin was valued in ancient Arabia and Greece for treating coughs and in China for relieving irritation of the mucous membranes. In modern times, glycyrrhizin has been shown to be a formidable antiviral, fighting herpes, HIV, hepatitis, influenza, encephalitis, and pneumonia as well as less known viruses like a respiratory syncytial virus, arboviruses, vaccinia virus, and vesicular stomatitis virus.
Glycyrrhizin Has Medicinal Properties You may think of licorice as an extract, a sweetener, or even a candy, like Good and Plenty, but it’s actually complex biochemically and offers important medical benefits. According to PubChem, a database of chemical molecules maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information,
“Glycyrrhizic acid is extracted from the root of the licorice plant; Glycyrrhiza glabra. It is a triterpene glycoside with glycyrrhetinic acid that possesses a wide range of pharmacological and biological activities … potential immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory, hepato- and neuro-protective, and antineoplastic activities.
Glycyrrhizin modulates certain enzymes involved in inflammation and oxidative stress, and downregulates certain pro-inflammatory mediators, thereby protecting against inflammation- and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced damage. Glycyrrhizin may also suppress the growth of susceptible tumor cells.”
According to Botanical Medicine, the anti-inflammatory actions of glycyrrhizin (GL) may stem from suppression of cytokines:
“As testimony to its anti-inflammatory properties, glycyrrhizin alleviated allergic asthma in an experimental mouse model, increased the IL-4 and IL-5 levels, decreased eosinophil counts and IgE levels, and upregulated total IgG2a in serum.
These results indicated that glycyrrhizin interfered with the production of IgE by decreasing the IgE-stimulating cytokines. It also attenuated lung inflammation and mucus production in mice.”
Epoch Times Photo Glycyrrhizin was valued in ancient Arabia and Greece for treating coughs and in China for relieving irritation of the mucous membranes. (Antonio Gravante/iStock) Glycyrrhizin and SARS Early SARS-CoV-1 patients were given the viral compound ribavirin, but it showed little benefit. Corticosteroids were also tried in SARS-CoV-1 patients and patients with MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), which occurred 10 years later, but there was “no evidence showing that the mortality of SARS-CoV-1 and MERS patients was reduced,” as reported in the International Journal of Biological Sciences.
Soon after the SARS-CoV-1 outbreak, the medical journal The Lancet published a research letter suggesting that glycyrrhizin might fight SARS:
“The outbreak of SARS warrants the search for antiviral compounds to treat the disease. At present, no specific treatment has been identified for SARS-associated coronavirus infection. We assessed the antiviral potential of ribavirin, 6-azauridine, pyrazofurin, mycophenolic acid, and glycyrrhizin against two clinical isolates of coronavirus from patients with SARS …
Of all the compounds, glycyrrhizin was the most active in inhibiting replication of the SARS-associated virus. Our findings suggest that glycyrrhizin should be assessed for treatment of SARS.”
Glycyrrhizin had several positive actions, wrote the researchers:
“In addition to inhibition of virus replication, glycyrrhizin inhibits adsorption and penetration of the virus — early steps of the replicative cycle … Glycyrrhizin was most effective when given both during and after the adsorption period …
… glycyrrhizin and its aglycone metabolite 18β glycyrrhetinic acid upregulate expression of inducible nitrous oxide synthase and production of nitrous oxide in macrophages.
Nitrous oxide inhibits replication of several viruses — eg, Japanese encephalitis virus, which can also be inhibited by glycyrrhizin. Our preliminary results show that glycyrrhizin induces nitrous oxide synthase in Vero cells [cells used in cultures] and that virus replication is inhibited when the nitrous oxide donor is added to the culture medium.”
Glycyrrhizin May Act Differently From Other Substances According to the Journal of General Virology, glycyrrhizin’s method of stopping the replication of SARS viruses may differ from other treatments that have been tried:
“Unlike IFN-α and ribavirin, there are few clues to the antiviral mechanism of glycyrrhizin. Our data indicate that, as for ribavirin, glycyrrhizin only moderately affects coronavirus replicase functions.
However, in contrast to ribavirin, glycyrrhizin has been shown to inhibit SARS-CoV replication in tissue culture. This indicates that glycyrrhizin may not target the coronavirus replication machinery and that antiviral effects may be exerted, for example, during virus adsorption or release.”
Stopping replication is especially challenging because of the peculiarities of the SARS virus. According to General Cell Biology & Physiology:
“These analyses revealed that SARS-CoV-2 reshapes central cellular pathways, such as translation, splicing, carbon metabolism, and nucleic acid metabolism. Small molecule inhibitors targeting these pathways were tested in cellular infection assays and prevented viral replication.”
Glycyrrhizin’s upregulation of nitric oxide and nitric oxide synthase in macrophages, which was noted in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, may explain its ability to stop the replication of SARS and hopefully other coronaviruses like SARS-CoV-2.
Five Crystals That Can Help Improve Your State of Mind
Crystals are an excellent way to purify not only your own energy, but also the energies that surround you. There are several ultra-protective crystals out there that can help protect you from negative energetical attacks and block negative energies, as well as those that purify negative energies and transform them into positive and healing energies.
If you’ve been feeling down lately, crystals can help you increase your vibrations and block out the energy fields that might be the cause behind the negative energy surrounding you. If you’ve been looking to boost your moods and improve your state of mind, then here are five healing crystals that can help you cleanse your energy and safeguard you from negative vibrations.
Clear Quartz Helps Balance Your Energy
A clear quartz crystal is an essential gem for any beginner’s collection. This powerful stone possesses many healing benefits, but its most notable ability is being able to neutralize negative energy and balance the vibrations that surround you. In turn, this can help allow you to get into a peaceful headspace. Quartz also gets rid of the side effects caused by negative energy, such as dullness, breakouts, hair loss, and more.
Black Obsidian Blocks Negativity
One of the most mystical stones out there, the black obsidian is not simply a stunning gem, but it’s also a high-vibrational crystal that is capable of channeling spiritual energy. This makes it the perfect meditation companion. In fact, meditation is one of the best healing practices you could be doing for yourself, and having Klonopinblack obsidian as a companion jewel makes your meditations much more effective.
Alongside its spiritual gifts, the black obsidian is also a very protective stone that helps repel negative energy. It also allows you to manifest the qualities of patience and discipline and allows you to ground yourself. These qualities make it a great tool for clearing your mind when it begins drifting towards negative tangents.
Citrine Boosts Your Vibration
Citrine is another must-have for a collector trying to grow out their collection of healing crystals. One of the few rare crystals that do not require cleansing after its use, this orange gem has the power of pulling all negativity that surrounds you within itself. On its own, the citrine is an extremely high-vibrational stone that will uplift your vibes and improve your mood almost instantaneously.
Rose Quartz Promotes Internal Healing
This pink gemstone is also called the stone of love, and it has everything to do with attracting the right kind of love to its owners. Having some rose quartz on hand will especially be helpful to you if your negative vibrations stem from a love situation, such as a lack of a loving entity or enough loving energy in your life.
Rose quartz also has the ability to absorb any existing negative energy and turn it into the positive energy of love. It helps to cleanse your physical body and removes blockages in your heart chakra. It can also help you feel more fertile and confident about yourself, too.
Amber Attracts Good Fortune
Although amber is not a crystal, but instead a piece of fossilized tree resin, it is an extremely powerful gem that can help clear your negative vibrations nonetheless. The most notable healing qualities of amber are its ability to clear negative energy and reduce signs of stress and sorrow, such as headaches and anxiety.
Amber also helps to calm you down and ground you at times when you feel helpless. This gem is also associated with material gain, and it has been known to help bring good fortune to its owners.
Knowing When to Use Crystals
Crystals may be used as complementary medicine to help cleanse your energy and allow you to feel better overall. However, it’s important to note that they cannot be substituted for professional help. Can you self diagnose depression? No, but you can tell when your mental state is not how you wish for it to be and use it as a launching point to open up a dialogue with your doctor.
Self-diagnosis isn’t always beneficial, but it can definitely help you articulate your feelings and better understand what’s going on inside you on a deeper level. If you’ve been looking towards crystals to cleanse a high amount of negative vibrations and it hasn’t been of much help, it might be the right time to seek therapy to help you feel better at a faster pace.
The ‘Runner’s High’ May Result From Molecules Called Cannabinoids – the Body’s Own Version of THC and CBD
Many people have experienced reductions in stress, pain and anxiety and sometimes even euphoria after exercise. What’s behind this so-called “runner’s high”? New research on the neuroscience of exercise may surprise you.
The “runner’s high” has long been attributed to endorphins. These are chemicals produced naturally in the body of humans and other animals after exercise and in response to pain or stress.
However, new research from my lab summarizes nearly two decades of work on this topic. We found that exercise reliably increases levels of the body’s endocannabinoids – which are molecules that work to maintain balance in the brain and body – a process called “homeostasis.” This natural chemical boost may better explain some of the beneficial effects of exercise on brain and body.
I am a neuroscientist at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. My lab studies brain development and mental health, as well as the role of the endocannabinoid system in stress regulation and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents.
This research has implications for everyone who exercises with the aim of reducing stress and should serve as a motivator for those who don’t regularly exercise.
It is not yet clear what is behind these mental health boosts. We do know that exercise has a variety of effects on the brain, including raising metabolism and blood flow, promoting the formation of new brain cells – a process called neurogenesis – and increasing the release of several chemicals in the brain.
Scientists have also shown that exercise increases blood levels of endorphins, one of the body’s natural opioids. Opioids are chemicals that work in the brain and have a variety of effects, including helping to relieve pain. Some early research in the 1980s contributed to the long-standing popular belief that this endorphin release is related to the euphoric feeling known as the runner’s high.
However, scientists havelong questioned the role of endorphins in the runner’s high sensation, in part because endorphins cannot cross into the brain through the blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain from toxins and pathogens. So endorphins are not likely to be the main driver for the beneficial effects of exercise on mood and mental state.
This is where our research and that of others points to the role of our body’s natural versions of cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids.
But many people do not realize that humans also create their own versions of these chemicals, called endocannabinoids. These are tiny molecules made of lipids – or fats – that circulate in the brain and body; “endo” refers to those produced in the body rather than from a plant or in a lab.
Endocannabinoids work on cannabinoid receptors throughout the brain and body. They cause a variety of effects, including pain relief, reduction of anxiety and stress and enhanced learning and memory. They also affect hunger, inflammation and immune functioning. Endocannabinoid levels can be influenced by food, time of day, exercise, obesity, injury, inflammation and stress.
It’s worth noting that one should not be tempted to forgo a run or bike ride and resort to smoking or ingesting cannabis instead. Endocannabinoids lack the unwanted effects that come with getting high, such as mental impairment.
Understanding the runner’s high
Studies in humans and in animal models are pointing to endocannabinoids – not endorphins – as the star players in the runner’s high.
These elegant studies demonstrate that when opioid receptors are blocked – in one example by a drug called naltrexone – people still experienced euphoria and reduced pain and anxiety after exercise. On the flip side, the studies showed that blocking the effects of cannabinoid receptors reduced the beneficial effects of exercise on euphoria, pain and anxiety.
While several studieshave shown that exercise increases the levels of endocannabinoids circulating in the blood, some have reported inconsistent findings, or that different endocannabinoids produce varying effects. We also don’t know yet if all types of exercise, such as cycling, running or resistance exercise like weightlifting, produce similar results. And it is an open question whether people with and without preexisting health conditions like depression, PTSD or fibromyalgia experience the same endocannabinoid boosts.
To address these questions, an undergraduate student in my lab, Shreya Desai, led a systematic review and meta-analysis of 33 published studies on the impact of exercise on endocannabinoid levels. We compared the effects of an “acute” exercise session – like going for a 30-minute run or cycle – with the effects of “chronic” programs, such as a 10-week running or weightlifting program. We separated them out because different levels and patterns of exertion could have very distinct effects on endocannabinoid responses.
We found that acute exercise consistently boosted endocannabinoid levels across studies. The effects were most consistent for a chemical messenger known as anandamide – the so-called “bliss” molecule, which was named, in part, for its positive effects on mood.
Interestingly, we observed this exercise-related boost in endocannabinoids across different types of exercise, including running, swimming and weightlifting, and across individuals with and without preexisting health conditions. Although only a few studies looked at intensity and duration of exercise, it appears that moderate levels of exercise intensity – such as cycling or running – are more effective than lower-intensity exercise – like walking at slow speeds or low incline – when it comes to raising endocannabinoid levels. This suggests that it is important to keep your heart rate elevated – that is, between about 70% and 80% of age-adjusted maximum heart rate – for at least 30 minutes to reap the full benefits.
There are still a lot of questions about the links between endocannabinoids and the beneficial effects of exercise. For example, we didn’t see consistent effects for how a chronic exercise regimen, such as a six-week cycling program, might affect resting endocannabinoid levels. Likewise, it isn’t yet clear what the minimum amount of exercise is to get a boost in endocannabinoids, and how long these compounds remain elevated after acute exercise.
Despite these open questions, these findings bring researchers one step closer to understanding how exercise benefits the brain and body. And they offer an important motivator for making time for exercise during the rush of the holidays.