Category Archives: EnzymesWork

Herb, probiotic show promise for gastrointestinal health

Two studies have shed light on possible ways to destroy esophageal cancer cells and ease symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

The first, from researchers at Cork Cancer Research Center in Ireland, says curcumin started to kill esophageal cancer cells within 24 hours, according to MSNBC. Results of the study, conducted in a laboratory, were published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Curcumin is a substance found in turmeric. According to the story, the natural chemical caused the cancer cells to die.

In another promising study, a probiotic was found effective for symptoms of IBD, according to WebMD. It also was found to contribute to the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

The study, published in the American Journal of Physiology, showed how a probiotic strain decreased bleeding, reduced inflammation and increased the weight of mice with colitis. In addition, the probiotic increased blood-vessel growth in the intestines.

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Naproxen dangerous, no matter what the dosage

They already knew prescription-only doses of naproxen were associated with gastrointestinal toxicity, but researchers at Stanford University wanted to know more about the potential dangers of lower dosages.

What they found was that doses under the prescription strength of 1,000 mg per day significantly increased the risk of gastric or duodenal ulcers.

According to one researcher quoted in a story from Medpage Today, “naproxen use is not safe even at lower doses.”

In fact, researchers found naproxen caused hospitalization with complications such as hemorrhage, perforation or obstruction.

All doses of naproxen increased the risk for ulcers:

  • More than a 3-fold at 1,000 mg per day
  • Nearly 3-fold at 750 mg per day
  • 2.5-fold at 500 mg per day

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Osteoporosis in celiac sufferers comes from immune reaction

Bone loss in celiac patients might not be related to deficiencies in vitamin D and calcium.

Because people with celiac disease must completely avoid foods that contain the gluten protein, researchers and health professionals have previously proposed a lack of key nutrients might be to blame for osteoporosis in these individuals.

However, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests otherwise, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

Researchers found an immune response — in 20 percent of people with celiac disease — that triggers an attack on a protein responsible for bone health. The immune reaction can cause bone destruction and osteoporosis.

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Hospital workers, children on antibiotics might be well advised to take a daily probiotic supplement

Antibiotic contamination might be common throughout many hospitals — including in waiting areas, offices and cafeterias — according to Reuters.

A Norwegian study, which examined two of the country’s hospitals, found the highest levels of contamination in medicine and patient rooms, as was expected. Other areas of contamination included telephones, keyboards and tabletops.

In all, 81% of samples taken throughout the hospitals came back positive for antibiotic contamination, Reuters reports.

This study is particularly concerning given the fact that antibiotic resistance has become a pervasive problem in the U.S.

Among drugs that send children back for treatment and hospitalization, prescription antibiotics cause the most problems.

More than half a million children annually experience negative side effects to commonly used drugs, according to The Associated Press. The main offenders, antibiotics, are blamed for rashes, stomachaches and diarrhea.

While antibiotics are used to kill harmful bacteria, they can also eliminate strains of beneficial flora, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. The loss of “friendly bacteria” can lead to gastrointestinal illness, leave people vulnerable to invasive bacteria and compromise immune function.

Therefore, it might be wise of medical professionals and children to supplement their diets with probiotics. Probiotics, taken away from antibiotics, help repopulate the gut with health- and immune-promoting organisms, and they may help defend against adverse effects of antibiotic therapy.

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Good reasons to take a probiotic

Probiotics, often referred to as “friendly bacteria,” help restore the flora balance in our digestive systems.

The rigors of daily life, and the choices we make, can sometimes disrupt colon and digestive health. Beneficial bacteria is negatively affected or destroyed by the following:

  • Drugs and antibiotics
  • Viruses and illness
  • Poor eating habits
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances, such as yeast overgrowth

The loss of probiotics in our digestive systems can lead to several digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea and food intolerances, as well as other health conditions.

There are billions of probiotics in our digestive systems. In fact, it is estimated there are more beneficial bacteria in our intestines than there are cells in the body.

Probiotic organisms impede the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast. They also increase the pH of the colon to inhibit tissue changes.

In digestion, probiotics aid in breaking down lactose, fiber and proteins. They help the body properly absorb vitamins and essential nutrients.

A study from New York University’s Langone Medical Center connects gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux and Barrett’s esophagus with bacterial balance in the throat.

Researchers found that subjects with esophageal disease had bacteria in their throats that are usually associated with the stomach, according to Forbes. Healthy throat bacteria include Streptococcus.

The Forbes story asserts unhealthy bacteria in the throat could be the cause of GERD and possibly be connected to acid reflux. Barrett’s, a result of chronic GERD, is a precancerous condition of the throat.

The report ends with a profound statement: “Scientists hope they might someday treat and prevent disease by shifting the bacterial balance.”

Probiotics, or friendly bacteria, might be essential to maintaining systemic health.

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Chiropractic therapies can provide support for many health concerns

For chiropractors who market themselves as holistic health care practitioners, as well as those who believe in traditional principles of chiropractic, the modality can be more than just manipulation of the spine.

Chiropractors help relieve pressure from the spine to promote communication between the brain and vital organs. Chiropractic can also support the natural healing process through several therapies:

  • Nutrition
  • Acupuncture
  • Reiki
  • Massage
  • Exercise and wellness
  • Herbs and supplements
  • Other bioenergetic modalities

Many health insurance plans now cover chiropractic services for athletes, chronically ill patients and general health maintenance.

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Antacids increase fracture risk

News of another study confirming the relationship between certain antacids and bone fractures surfaced in mid-2009.

The drugs, proton pump inhibitors and histamine-2 receptor antagonists, increased the risk of hip and thigh fractures, according to HealthDay News. The greatest risk was in people aged 50-59.

Brand names of these drugs include Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Pepcid, Tagamet and Zantac. Researchers have blamed proton pump inhibitors for decreasing the body’s ability to absorb calcium, HealthDay reports.

In this most recent study, people who had hip fractures were 30 percent more likely to be on proton pump inhibitors. Those taking histamine-2 receptor antagonists were at an 18 percent increased fracture risk.

According to the story, people on these drugs are also at an increased risk of contracting food-borne infections.

On a positive note, HealthDay reports that fracture risk decreases when the drugs are discontinued.

Instead of antacids and acid-reducing drugs, a good alternative might be digestive enzyme supplements combined with herbal ingredients such as aloe, DGL and marshmallow.

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