Archive for the ‘INFECTIONS’ Category

Why Liver Cancer Numbers Continue to Increase

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

The five-year survival rate for people with liver cancer remains at only 20 percent. Diabetes, hepatitis C, smoking, and alcohol are all factors.

Between 2009 and 2013, doctors diagnosed liver cancer in 7.7 people out of every 100,000.

That number has been increasing since the mid-1970s.

In addition, the death rate is rising faster than for any other cancer — it is one of America’s leading causes of cancer death.

Between 2010 and 2014, it stood at 6.3 people per 100,000.

The five-year survival rate is only about 20 percent.

Healthline spoke with Dr. Jack Jacoub, medical oncologist and director of thoracic oncology at MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in California.

He stated that liver cancer is “the second most common cancer killer in the world.”

This month, researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS) published a groundbreaking study in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

During the study, researchers uncovered trends in liver cancer incidence, survival, and mortality rates.

Researchers used Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program data obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Read more: Get the facts on liver cancer »

Risk factors

The following risk factors contribute to liver cancer:

Dr. Anton Bilchik, professor of surgery and chief of gastrointestinal research at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California, also spoke with Healthline.

Bilchik said “the reason for the increase in primary liver cancer is largely related to the obesity epidemic that we have going on in this country.”

“Whereas hepatitis C used to be the most common cause of liver cancer, the most common cause now is related to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease,” he noted.

Jacoub, meanwhile, believes that hepatitis still poses the greatest risk.

“There is a very big spiking in hepatitis C infection over the past few decades. And that is the predominant risk factor in the United States for liver cancer,” he said.

Jacoub also suggested another risk factor. He cautioned that “anyone who has hereditary iron overload symptoms,” such as hemochromatosis, is at risk.

“[This] iron scenario causes iron overloading of the liver and [that] causes inflammation and scarring and then … cirrhosis,” he said.

“Whenever cirrhosis develops, you’re immediately at risk for liver cancer,” Jacoub explained.

Read more: Symptoms and warning signs of hepatitis C »

The influx of hepatitis C

“The incidence of hepatitis C in the baby boomer population [those born between 1945 and 1965] is as high as 2 to 3 percent,” reported Bilchik. “And it’s been recommended that all baby boomers should be at least checked for hepatitis C, particularly since recently we [now] have drugs that are very effective at curing patients of hepatitis C.”

Bilchik added, “The biggest breakthrough in this field has been the fact that relatively nontoxic antiviral medications are now FDA-approved that can eradicate hepatitis C.”

“The problem,” he said, “is that a very small percentage of baby boomers are being tested, or have been tested.”

Hepatitis B infection is also preventable. And there is an effective vaccine.

Starting in 1982, hepatitis B vaccinations became a part of routine childhood vaccinations.

As a result, in 2015 the vaccination rate among younger people varied from a low of 83 percent in Idaho, to a high of 98 percent in New Hampshire.

However, only 50 percent of older adults in the United States have been vaccinated.

Read more: Western diets are causing obesity in people around the world »

The risk associated with weight

Studies show that liver cancer risk increases by 26 percent for every five point increase in one’s Body Mass Index (BMI).

More men than women are overweight (BMI 25.0-29.9.) However, a greater number of women fall into the categories of obese (BMI 30-39.9), and class 3 obese (BMI 40+).

Bilchik noted, “Non-insulin dependent diabetes and lack of physical activity are often associated and linked to obesity.”

In the United States, 69 percent of adults over age 20 are overweight.

“It’s well known that up to 25 percent of kids, if not more, are overweight, if not obese,” stated Bilchik.


Indications are that greater weight control intervention can help, especially among children.

Interventions might help reduce obesity levels, type 2 diabetes, and ultimately liver cancer rates.

Read more: Get the facts on alcohol addiction »

Alcohol, tobacco risk factors

Regardless of amount, drinking alcohol increases your risk of liver cancer.

“Not just in alcoholics,” Bilchik noted, “but also in those people that are considered binge drinkers.”

More effort put into alcohol abuse prevention programs may prove beneficial.

Smokers have a higher risk for liver cancer, too.

Tobacco users increase their risk of liver cancer by approximately 50 percent.

Read more: Poverty linked to poor health »

Race, ethnicity make a difference

There are now treatments for hepatitis C, vaccines for hepatitis B, and better public education about the risks of obesity.

As such, one might expect liver cancer rates to be falling.

But they’re not.

Until the publication of the ACS study, it was difficult to find information that explored total liver cancer mortality and survival rates in the United States.

This was also true for liver cancer mortality and survival rates with regard to race and ethnicity.

Regarding the study, Jacoub noted “liver cancer is one of the few cancers that really has extremely dramatic ethnic variations in population variations. And you’re seeing it in this report.”

The researchers found that the death rate for liver cancer in non-Hispanic whites was 5.5 per 100,000 people.

That compared with 8.4 per 100,000 for blacks, 11.9 per 100,000 for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 9.8 per 100,000 for Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 9.1 per 100,000 for Hispanics.

Digging deeper, the analysis showed that liver cancer incidence varies from state to state, and by race and ethnicity within each state.

Much of the disparity is due to a lack of public health education for certain at-risk groups.

Many of these same populations often also have limited access to quality healthcare.

Read more: Are there early signs of kidney cancer? »

Catching cancer early

The five-year survival rate after a diagnosis of liver cancer has been increasing ever since the early 1990s.

The increase, however, varies among racial and ethnic groups.

Generally, non-Hispanic whites have a lower death rate from liver cancer than blacks.

One of the reasons is that non-Hispanic whites are more likely to undergo surgery for their cancer.

Blacks as a group are more likely to lack health insurance, which may cause people to delay testing.

The stage of liver cancer at the time of diagnosis influences the survival rate.

Between 2006 and 2012, people with localized cancers accounted for between 40 and 45 percent of all liver cancer diagnoses. These patients had a survival rate of 37 percent.

That rate dropped to 4 percent for distant stage cancer diagnoses.

When researchers factored race and ethnicity into their analysis of localized disease, they saw a marked difference in survival rates.

It is possible to narrow the gap in survival rates between ethnic and racial groups?

Researchers believe the key is in finding ways to diagnose more liver cancers when they are still in the early, more localized stages.

Read more: Baby boomers changing the healthcare landscape »

Over the hump by 2030?

Death rates are expected to continue rising through 2030, and then begin to fall. Bilchik and Jacoub suggested a few possible reasons for the decline.

Baby boomers are currently the most at-risk generation for hepatitis C. Their numbers will continue to shrink as time passes.

In the meantime, more effective public health education will increase the number of baby boomers who seek out testing for hepatitis C.

Also, public education efforts worldwide should increase the number of people receiving hepatitis B vaccinations.

In time, the costs of treating hepatitis C will decline.

Fast food restaurants will continue the current trend of offering foods that are more nutritious

The number of tobacco smokers should continue to decline.

Jacoub stressed, “It’s important to know your risk profile.”

And Bilchik pointed out, “If you think about it, primary liver cancer is largely preventable because most of the causes of liver cancer are related to lifestyle.”

Henry Sapiecha


Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011


Debbie Frederick hopes that her father’s death in last September in one of the most lethal outbreaks of food-borne illness in U.S. history will force the federal government to increase the safety of the country’s food supply.

It took more than ten years, a series of deadly outbreaks tied to foods like peanuts, spinach and ground beef, as well as a coalition of odd bedfellows — victims, public health advocates and food industry reps — to push through the first major restructure of food safety laws since the 1930s.

Advocates and other experts say the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signed by U.S. President Barack Obama last January still has shortcomings and ware concerned that it will be watered down through a lack of finances.

The United States by all account has some of the safest food in the world. Still, approximateley one in six people get sick from eating tainted food products each year, according to the  Disease Control and Prevention groups.

“The whole system was built to react to people getting sick” or to discoveries of contaminated food, said Erik Olson, the Pew Health Group’s director of food programs.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates allmost all of the U.S. food supply, including melons and other produce, requires major structural changes to become primarily focused on prevention, as FSMA envisions. While lawmakers recently have given FDA more money for food programs, it still has a lot of catching up to do, Olson said.

Eighty-seven-year-old William Beach, Frederick’s father, lived in Oklahoma and was one of the 28 people killed by listeria infection after eating cantaloupe contaminated in what regulators called an “unsanitary” Jensen Farms packing plant in Colorado.

“My father was terrified … nobody should have to go like that,” said Frederick, a Phoenix aesthetician and newly minted activist who is the driving force behind her family’s lawsuit against Jensen Farms. “The system broke down. It shouldn’t have happened. This is very much a preventable thing.”

Herb Stevens, of suburban Denver, also became ill after eating tainted cantaloupe, but had survived. The World War Two veteran, 84, lived at home with his wife before falling ill and now requires full-time care.

“We’d like to see better food safety laws and more inspectors,” Jeni Exley, Stevens’ daughter, said in an interview. Her family is suing for current and future medical expenses.


FSMA aims to be a step in the right direction.

The law requires FDA to set standards for produce safety and mandates more frequent inspections of domestic and foreign food processing facilities. It also gives FDA stronger enforcement tools, such as mandatory recall authority and the ability to cancrl the registration of a processing plant.

While inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture must be present at meat and poultry plants they regulate during operating hours, FDA had no frequency mandate for inspections prior to FSMA. As a result, lapses of as long as 10 years were not uncommon.

All high-risk domestic facilities, or those that handle foods with a high potential to cause harm, must be inspected within five years of enactment and no less than every three years thereafter, according to the FDA. In addition, the law rapidly steps up the number of required inspections for foreign facilities.

Jeff Almer and Randy Napier, who lost their mothers to the salmonella outbreak blamed for killing nine people and sickening 700 others who ate contaminated products from Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) in 2008 and 2009, fought to get FSMA passed and now are pushing more FDA funding.

“The needs are substantially greater than what is covered by current funding,” said Steven Grossman, deputy executive director of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA, which said FDA’s food funding rose $52 million to $836 million in fiscal 2011.

The U.S. House of Representatives wants to cut that funding to $750 million in fiscal 2012, while the Senate is proposing increasing funding to $867 million. It is still not known where the final number will come out.

The issue is personal for Almer and Napier, who frequently work with reporters and button-hole lawmakers.

PCA, now bankrupt, is accused of knowingly shipping contaminated products in violation of federal law. The men want to see company President Stewart Parnell criminally charged & convicted.

Handing down an indictment of Parnell would “send a loud and clear message to producers of food to literally clean up their acts,” Almer said.

“We believe there is absolutely no basis for criminal prosecution,” said Parnell’s attorney Bill Gust, a partner at – Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore.

Napier said he has made at least six trips to Washington, D.C., since his mother’s death. Almer testified before Congress in 2009 and said he met with federal law enforcement representatives regarding the PCA criminal case.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Lead poisoning may now kill off Frodo

Kym Agius

November 20, 2010

A baby koala fights for life after being shot.Baby koala Frodo fights for life after being shot. Photo: Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors

Veterinarians fear a baby koala that survived a gunshot will succumb to lead poisoning.

The joey, named Frodo, was found on November 5 in Kenilworth, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, with 15 shotgun pellets lodged in her head and body, an Australia Zoo spokeswoman said.

Frodo’s skull was fractured and her stomach and intestines damaged in the attack.

She underwent two operations, but eight pellets are still lodged in her body.

Doctor Amber Gillett from the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital said some of the pellets were lodged in Frodo’s stomach and intestinal tract which they feared would lead to toxicity.

“The lead pellets are still a concern, although at this stage there is no evidence that poisoning has occurred, it is still our highest priority and will continue to be monitored,” Dr Gillett said.

Dr Gillett, who operated on Frodo, said the pellets were too hard to reach and won’t be operated on at this stage.

“I think we will leave them to see if they pass,” she said.

“If they don’t pass then she will go on treatment to prevent toxicity.”

The other pellets lodged in Frodo’s body are superficial and won’t cause any problems.

Despite the poisoning fears, Dr Gillett said Frodo was making good progress, and was even eating eucalyptus leaves on her own.

She also enjoys an enclosure with another baby koala, and the two often play.

“She’s climbing around the trees, looking like a normal koala now,” Dr Gillett said.

“She has a real fighting spirit in her.”

“Frodo is a very alert little girl and has been moving around freely by herself.”

She is expected to remain in care for a minimum of six to eight months or until she has reached pre-release size of four kilograms.

“Our aim is to get her back into the wild. She came in as a wild koala and as the law states, they need to be returned to the wild,” Dr Gillett said.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Whale Medicine Makes Scars disappear

Veterinarians And Microbiologists

Develop Antimicrobial Agent

That Works Under Water

September 1, 2008 — Veterinarians added a bioadhesive to an existing antimicrobial agent in order to make it an effective protective agent for aquatic animals such as whales. The adhesive was originally developed to treat burns on humans, but the adhesive helps it stay in place underwater, providing protection from infection and allowing animals’ natural defenses work to heal wounds.

Anytime you cut yourself or get a burn, one of the biggest roadblocks to healing is infection. That’s especially true for burn patients and those with extremely sensitive skin.

Now, there may be a new weapon in the war against infections — even against dangerous germs like MRSA, Super-Staph and other drug-resistant bacteria; and humans aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit Beluga whales, native to the arctic, are some of the Georgia Aquarium’s most popular and talkative residents.

John Widgery is a firefighter of more than 20 years. In an unusual trial, man and beluga became the first test patients for a new kind of anti-microbial compound that enhances the effectiveness of antibiotics to fight dangerous infections.

“We can take even the most drug-resistant bacteria and make them susceptible to very low concentrations of what we call low-class antibiotics; things that aren’t really considered to work anymore,” says Branson Ritchie, D.V.M., Ph.D., a professor at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “We can take those very drug-resistant bacteria and kill them.”

Widgery became one of the first human patients to be treated with the compound after an explosion left him with first- and second-degree burns on his face and arms. “When I stood up, I thought my hair was in my face,” says Widgery. “I wiped my face and found out it was my skin that was hanging in my eyes and my mustache. I reached for it and it was gone. My eyebrows were gone.”

After 12 days of treatment with the experimental anti-microbial, the results were astounding. Widgery’s skin is now back to normal. Meanwhile, University of Georgia veterinarians found they could adapt the same experimental compound to protect beluga whales from dangerous infections by adding a bioadhesive that makes the compound stay on underwater.

“The bioadhesive will stick to those lesions, keep them protected from their aquatic environment and let their bodies do the natural defense that they need to do while protecting it from the environment,” Dr. Ritchie says. It’s disease-fighting research for animals — and people. Widgery is grateful he was part of it.

“I am not a person that cares what I look like, but I am so thankful that I don’t have those scars,” Widgery says. The whales aren’t complaining either.

The human anti-microbial Silvion has now received FDA marketing approval and is available to treat everything from skin cuts to burn injuries. The animal version, Tricide, is being used to treat animals at zoos and aquariums to prevent infection and promote healing.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Bird Influenza Virus

May Persist on Feathers

Fallen from Domestic Ducks

ScienceDaily (Aug. 22, 2010) — Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1) may persist on feathers fallen from the bodies of infected domestic ducks and contribute to environmental contamination. Researchers from the National Institute of Animal Health, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan report their findings in the August 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Since the emergence of Asian avian influenza virus in 1997, it has spread to Europe, the Middle East and Africa causing significant mortality and economic loss in the poultry industry. Although the virus is mainly found in waterfowl and transmitted through fecal contamination in water, humans as well as other mammalian species have contracted the virus through close contact with infected birds.

A prior study showed that H5N1 could replicate in the skin cells of feathers and further suggested that those that drop off the body could potentially contaminate the environment. Here, researchers evaluated the environmental risk posed by contaminated feathers by inoculating domestic ducks with H5N1, collecting feathers, feces and drinking water three days following, and then storing them at 39 degrees and 68 degrees Fahrenheit for 360 days. Results showed that H5N1 persisted the longest in feathers at both temperatures.

“These results indicate that feathers detached from domestic ducks infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1) can be a source of environmental contamination and may function as fomites with high viral loads in the environment,” say the researchers.


Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Disabled man eaten to death

by maggots

  • July 28, 2010 11:19PM

A DISABLED Austrian man was eaten to death by maggots in his bed while his partner slept beside him.

The 61-year-old retiree died in an ambulance on his way to hospital in Vienna on Tuesday with the maggots having partly devoured his back.

Paramedics notified police after discovering the shocking state of hygiene in the man’s home, and his 34-year-old partner was questioned over his condition.

“The man had not wanted to be washed for a long time,” a police spokesman said.

According to police, the couple had been together for around a decade, and the victim’s partner had slept in the same bed right up until his death.

The dead man had been paralysed for several years following a stroke.

Some types of maggots found on corpses can be of great use to forensic scientists. By their stage of development, these maggots can be used to give an indication of the time elapsed since death, as well as the place the organism died. Some maggots are leaf miners. Maggots are bred commercially, as a popular bait in angling, and a food for carnivourous pets such as reptiles or birds. Some maggots which eat dead, but not living, flesh have been used medically, being introduced into wounds to clean them. Other maggots, such as the screwworm, eat live flesh. In the early days of medicine, maggot infestations of wounds (myiasis) were inevitable. The wounds that were infested tended to be less life-threatening than wounds without the infestation, so until the development of antibiotics it was common practice to leave the maggots. After antibiotics, the presence of maggots became viewed as unhygienic
Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Officials warn of ocean bacteria

MIAMI (UPI) — Wading in the ocean to let salt water heal cuts and scrapes is not always a good idea, health experts say, as bacteria can proliferate in summer months.

A little known, deadly bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus can infect open wounds of beach goers and cause a life-threatening illness in those with weakened immune systems, The Miami Herald reported Friday.

he bacteria, which occur naturally in warm coastal waters, infected 138 people in Florida between 2005 and 2009 and 31 of them died, the Florida Department of Health said.

“The high mortality rate makes it a big deal,” Juan A. Suarez, an epidemiologist for FDH, said.

The bacteria proliferate in waters where temperature and salinity are increasing, particularly between the months of April and November, Suarez said.

“It’s a particularly difficult organism because it doesn’t affect everyone.” he said. “Most healthy people will not respond to the organism. They are probably not at risk.”

But he advised all people to heal their cuts and scrapes through other means, not ocean water.

“It’s probably not a good idea, even if you’re healthy, to go into the water with an open wound,” Suarez said.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Sunday, June 13th, 2010

No More Dialysis

Immunologists Develop Method

To Decrease Rejections

Of Kidney Transplants

A nephrologist has found that a specialized type of anti-rejection therapy using intravenous immunoglobulin can make kidney transplants possible for patients with high ‘anti-donor’ antibodies. 25 to 30 percent of patients on the kidney transplant list could benefit from this therapy. Tissue compatibility issues exist with any organ transplant, but the risk is greatly increased for those with high exposure to antigens received through blood transfusions, previous transplantation, or even pregnancy.

Seventy-thousand Americans are waiting for a kidney transplant. A third of them are parked on dialysis because their antibody levels are too high for a transplant. But that’s no longer a barrier for some people.

“I used to just sit around and throw up,” says former dialysis patient Soraya Kohanzadeh.

Dialysis is something Kohanzadeh would rather forget, but if telling her story saves lives, it’s worth it.

Kohanzadeh — like many kidney failure patients — developed high levels of “anti-donor” antibodies through blood transfusions. Her highly sensitized immune system would likely reject any donated kidney.

“Essentially, she would have a very short, sick life on dialysis,” says Joan Lando, Kohanzadeh’s mother.

But Kohanzadeh is no longer here, thanks to intravenous immunoglobulin therapy or IVIG. Here’s how it works: during dialysis, patients are given blood containing a mix of immunoglobulins, which “turn-off” the anti-donor antibodies’ attack response without suppressing the patient’s immune system.

“A significant other comes forward, donates an organ, and there’s an incompatibility there. We can treat the patient and remove those antibodies. Then the transplant can be done,” Stanley Jordan, M.D., director of nephrology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

More than a year after surgery, Lando’s kidney keeps her daughter alive.

“It was sort of shocking to think I wasn’t going to have to be sick forever,” Kohanzadeh says.

Through their website, this mother-daughter team works to spread the word of a little known therapy that could save thousands in need of a kidney. IVIG is covered by Medicare and can be used in both living and cadaver-donor transplants. Nearly 30 percent of patients on the kidney transplant list might benefit from this therapy.

To learn more go to

BACKGROUND: About one-third of kidney patients are often told they cannot have a transplant even if they have a donor with an otherwise perfectly matched tissue and blood type. Their anti-donor antibody levels are so high that any transplanted organ would be rejected by their highly sensitized immune system. Now there is a specialized type of anti-rejection therapy using intravenous immunoglobin (IVIG), which injects antibodies from healthy people into the blood supply, to modulate the immune system without suppressing it. This makes kidney transplant possible for as much as 25-30% of this group of patients, who would otherwise not be eligible for a transplant because of their high antibody levels.

DEALING WITH REJECTION: Tissue compatibility is an issue for all patients receiving organ transplants, but rejection risks are much higher for those with high exposure to human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) that are not produced by their own bodies. Exposure may be the result of blood transfusions, previous transplantation, or even pregnancy if the mother is exposed to the father’s antigens, which are then expressed in the cells of the developing fetus. The immune system is then ‘sensitized’ to those antigens — primed with antibodies that attack any foreign tissue, even if the antigens arrive in the form of a life-saving donated organ.

ABOUT IVIG: IVIG modulates the immune system without suppressing it. In fact, the therapy actually boosts the immune system because the antibodies found in IVIG help fend off infections — a common post-surgery complication. For the most highly sensitized patients, IVIG is combined with a new drug, Rituxan, which reduces treatment time from four months to one before transplantation. The therapy can be used in both living-donor and cadaver-donor transplants. In the late 1980s. Dr. Stanley C. Jordan pioneered the use of IVIG as a way to reduce organ rejection among highly sensitized patients. It is now a fully accepted, Medicare-approved therapy as of 2004, when it was found to be effective in a multi-center study partly funded by the National Institutes of Health.

WHAT IS DIALYSIS? Hemodialysis is a treatment for end stage renal disease (ESRD), or kidney failure, in which blood is removed from the body, filtered through an artificial kidney and then the cleaned blood is returned to the body. In the US, hemodialysis is the most common treatment for people who have kidney failure. However, dialysis is also a painful, expensive procedure, and while it cleans the blood well enough to maintain existence, it does little to improve a patient’s overall quality of life. Also, data shows that if patients get a transplant before they get to the point of dialysis, they do better in the longer term.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 12th June 2010


Friday, March 12th, 2010

Myanmar company produces Swine flu vaccine

FAME Pharmaceutical, a local company based in Yangon, has successfully produced a A(H1N1) vaccine, Flower News reported on March 2.

The medicine was produced using Shikimic acid extracted from the Chinese star anise. The acid helps prevent the spread of the A(H1N1) virus, said U Tin Maung Aye, a director of Fame Pharmaceutical.

Roche, an international pharmaceutical company, produces the Tamiflu vaccine based on the Oseltamivir compound derived from the Chinese star anise.

“The [production] method will be different. But we are producing a similar formula to Tamiflu. It can be used even before A(H1N1) symptoms are diagnosed as a preventative measure,” U Tin Maung Aye said.


Monday, October 19th, 2009

The Drink Your Body Loves

By Michael Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Many women see comfort in a cup of chamomile tea, thanks to its slightly sedating effect and its ability to ease anxiety, menstrual cramps and skin problems. Your bloodstream finds it comforting, too. Because there’s something in chamomile that not only helps keep blood sugar stable (at least in the lab), but also guards against the tsunami of damage that high blood sugar can do.
Too-high levels of blood sugar can act like scouring powder on your arteries, weakening junctions between cells, allowing nicks between cells that encourage an ugly pileup of inflammation and plaque. Everything that’s happening in there eventually makes itself known in the form of a heart attack, stroke, memory loss, impotence, wrinkled skin and more. But chamomile can change all that.

If you don’t like tea (and even if you do), there’s plenty more you can do, with next to no effort, to keep blood sugar even and its damage at bay (in addition to eating well and exercising):
Fill up on broccoli. It’s rich in a compound called sulforaphane, reputed to cut blood sugar damage to arteries.
Spice things up with cinnamon. This favorite spice may turn on insulin receptors and help your body use glucose better (no pileups of sugar in your blood). Cloves and allspice also may help prevent diabetes damage.
Say yes to spinach. People who fill up on this green have lower rates of diabetes, possibly because of its magnesium content.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 19th October 2009