A little-known plant with a truly bizarre name is now making headlines as a cancer killer, with the compound of the plant vanishing tumors in mice with pancreatic cancer. Known as the ‘thunder god vine’ or ‘thundelei gong teng, the Chinese plant is actually integrated into Chinese medicine and has been used for ages in remedying a number of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis.
According to the new research out of the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center, the thunder god plant compound led to no signs of tumors after a 40 day period – even after discontinuing the treatment. Published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health, even the scientists working on the project were stunned by the anti-cancer properties of the compound. Known to contain something known as triptolide, which has been identified as a cancer fighter in previous research, it is thought to be the key component that may be responsible for the anti-tumor capabilities.
Study leader and vice chairman of research at the Cancer Center explained to Bloomberg how he was blown away by the effects of the simple plant:
“This drug is just unbelievably potent in killing tumor cells,” he said.
And just like with numerous other powerful substances like turmeric and ginger, mainstream science is still slowly confirming what many traditional practitioners have known for their entire lives. This is, of course, due to the fact that there is simply no money for major corporations in researching the healing powers of natural herbs and compounds such as the compound found in the thunder god vine. Turmeric and ginger, for example, have been found to be amazing anti-cancer substances that are virtually free compared to expensive and dangerous cancer drugs.
Nevertheless, the Big Pharma sponsored corporate scientists have managed to ignore these spices as much as possible. In fact, they have even been caught time and time again faking thousands of studies to fraudulently demonstrate the supposed value of pharmaceutical drugs pushed by major pharma juggernauts – many of which are later forced to pay millions in fines which only slightly stack up against their billions in profits.
Profits that are threatened by the many real studies that were performed by scientists examining the rejeuvenating power of cheap ingredients like turmeric, which has been found by peer-reviewed research available on PubMed to positively influence over 590 conditions.
While it is great news that this study is bringing the beneficial effects of inexpensive and near-free plant compounds to light, the bad news is that the individuals responsible for the research are actually looking to create a pharmaceutical drug from the essential component triptolide. A drug that will seek FDA approval and ultimately be patented, nutritionally ruined, and sold for exorbitant amounts of cash. Instead, just get your hands on some thunder god vine for yourself.
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Beyond just being loaded with “artery-clogging saturated fat” and sodium, bacon has been long considered unhealthy due to the use of nitrates and nitrites in the curing process. Many conventional doctors, and well-meaning friends and relatives, will say you’re basically asking for a heart attack or cancer by eating the food many Paleo enthusiasts lovingly refer to as “meat candy”.
The belief that nitrates and nitrates cause serious health problems has been entrenched in popular consciousness and media. Watch this video clip to see Steven Colbert explain how the coming bacon shortage will prolong our lives thanks to reduced nitrates in our diets.
In fact, the study that originally connected nitrates with cancer risk and caused the scare in the first place has since been discredited after being subjected to a peer review. There have been major reviews of the scientific literature that found no link between nitrates or nitrites and human cancers, or even evidence to suggest that they may be carcinogenic. Further, recent research suggests that nitrates and nitrites may not only be harmless, they may be beneficial, especially for immunity and heart health. Confused yet? Let’s explore this issue further.
It may surprise you to learn that the vast majority of nitrate/nitrite exposure comes not from food, but from endogenous sources within the body. (1) In fact, nitrites are produced by your own body in greater amounts than can be obtained from food, and salivary nitrite accounts for 70-90% of our total nitrite exposure. In other words, your spit contains far more nitrites than anything you could ever eat.
When it comes to food, vegetables are the primary source of nitrites. On average, about 93% of nitrites we get from food come from vegetables. It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs. (2) And your own saliva has more nitrites than all of them! So before you eliminate cured meats from your diet, you might want to address your celery intake. And try not to swallow so frequently.
All humor aside, there’s no reason to fear nitrites in your food, or saliva. Recent evidence suggests that nitrites are beneficial for immune and cardiovascular function; they are being studied as a potential treatment for hypertension, heart attacks, sickle cell and circulatory disorders. Even if nitrites were harmful, cured meats are not a significant source, as the USDA only allows 120 parts per million in hot dogs and bacon. Also, during the curing process, most of the nitrite forms nitric oxide, which binds to iron and gives hot dogs and bacon their characteristic pink color. Afterwards, the amount of nitrite left is only about 10 parts per million.
And if you think you can avoid nitrates and nitrites by eating so-called “nitrite- and nitrate-free” hot dogs and bacon, don’t be fooled. These products use “natural” sources of the same chemical like celery and beet juice and sea salt, and are no more free from nitrates and nitrites than standard cured meats. In fact, they may even contain more nitrates and nitrites when cured using “natural” preservatives.
It’s important to understand that neither nitrate nor nitrite accumulate in body. Ingested nitrate from food is converted into nitrite when it contacts our saliva, and of the nitrate we eat, 25% is converted into salivary nitrite, 20% converted into nitrite, and the rest is excreted in the urine within 5 hours of ingestion. (3) Any nitrate that is absorbed has a very short half-life, disappearing from our blood in under five minutes. (4) Some nitrite in our stomach reacts with gastric contents, forming nitric oxide which may have many beneficial effects. (5, 6) You can listen to my podcast “Does Red Meat Increase Your Risk of Death?“ for more information on this topic.
In general, the bulk of the science suggests that nitrates and nitrites are not problematic and may even be beneficial to health. Critical reviews of the original evidence suggesting that nitrates/nitrites are carcinogenic reveals that in the absence of co-administration of a carcinogenic nitrosamine precursor, there is no evidence for carcinogenesis. (7) Newly published prospective studies show no association between estimated intake of nitrite and nitrite in the diet and stomach cancer. (8) Nitric oxide, formed by nitrite, has been shown to have vasodilator properties and may modulate platelet function in the human body, improving blood pressure and reducing heart attack risk. (9, 10, 11) Nitrates may also help boost the immune system and protect against pathogenic bacteria (12, 13, 14)
So what do we take from this? There’s no reason to fear nitrates and nitrites in food. No reason to buy nitrate-free, uncured bacon. No reason to avoid cured meats in general, particularly those from high quality sources. In fact, because of concerns about trichinosis from pork, it makes a lot more sense in my opinion to buy cured bacon and other pork products. I do.
Have I changed your mind about the safety of eating bacon?
Source: MEDICINE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
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Fragments of a 1.5-million-year-old skull from a child recently found in Tanzania suggest early hominids weren’t just occasional carnivores but regular meat eaters, researchers say.
The finding helps build the case that meat-eating helped the human lineage evolve large brains, scientists added.
“I know this will sound awful to vegetarians, but meat made us human,” said researcher Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo, an archaeologist at Complutense University in Madrid.
Past research suggested prehuman hominids such as australopithecines may have eaten some meat. However, it is the regular consumption of meat that often is thought to have triggered major changes in the human lineage, the genus Homo, with this high-energy food supporting large human brains.
Given its importance to human evolution, scientists want to learn when eating flesh became a regular activity. Stone tools dating back about 2.6 million years to Gona in Ethiopia are often considered the earliest signs of the human lineage butchering meat, and contentious evidence suggests butchery may have existed at least 3.4 million years ago. “Despite this ample evidence, some archaeologists still argue that meat was eaten sporadically and played a minor role in the diet of those hominins,” Domínguez-Rodrigo said. (Hominins include humans and their relatives after they split from the chimpanzee lineage.)
Now shards of a child’s skull found in Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania suggest the infant suffered from a form of malnutrition seen in meat-poor diets. This hints that meat-eating was normally a regular part of the human diet at the time. [10 Things That Make Humans Special]
The skull fragment is thought to belong to a child somewhat younger than 2. It remains unclear what hominin it belonged to — likely candidates include extinct human species such as Homo habilis or Homo erectus, or perhaps the “Nutcracker Man” Paranthropus boisei.
The kind of bone lesions the researchers saw in this fossil are known as porotic hyperostosis, which typically results from a lack of vitamins B9 and B12 in the diet. This kind of nutritional deficiency is most common at weaning, when children switch to solid foods. The researchers suggested this particular infant died because of lack of meat, which is rich in B-vitamins. Alternatively, if the child still depended on the mother for milk, it may have been the mother who lacked meat.
These findings suggest that “human brain development could not have existed without a diet based on regular consumption of meat,” Domínguez-Rodrigo said. “Regular consumption of meat at that time implied that humans were hunters by then. Scavenging only rarely provides access to meat and is only feasible in African savannas on a seasonal basis.”
However, there are other potential causes for porotic hyperostosis besides malnourishment, such as malaria or parasites. “Basically, anything that correlates with low red-cell count — either due to an infection of the blood or blood loss, or nutritional insufficiency — can cause the marrow of the skull to ramp up its production massively, causing the hyperostosis,” said paleoanthropologist John Hawks at the University of Wisconsin, who did not take part in this study.
Still, Hawks noted that Domínguez-Rodrigo and his colleagues took alternative explanations for these bone lesions into account and were reasonably cautious in their interpretation of this data. “This is an interesting addition to what we know,” Hawks told LiveScience.
Now, Domínguez-Rodrigo said, “research should try to find out how humans were acquiring meat regularly. What hunting strategies were used?”