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Archive for the ‘LIVER’ Category

What the parasites in a defector’s stomach tell us about North Korea being run by a parasite

Monday, November 20th, 2017

The North Korean defector had sped across the demilitarised zone in a stolen Jeep, then crawled south as the men who had been his comrades moments ago shot at him with handguns and AK-47 rifles.

South Korean soldiers found the defector under a pile of leaves, bleeding from at least five gunshot wounds.

He was brought to doctors, who expected to find the soldier in bad shape. But what they also found when they opened him up gave the world a glimpse into just how bad things are in North Korea.

Doctors repairing the unidentified soldier’s digestive tract found dozens of parasites in his intestines. One of the suspected roundworms was nearly a foot long.

“I spent more than 20 years of experience as a surgeon, but I have not found parasites this big in the intestines of South Koreans,” Lee Cook-jong, who leads the team treating the soldier, told the Associated Press.

Authorities have not released the name or rank of the defecting soldier. He has spent his first days in South Korea unconscious, sedated and relying on a breathing machine to stay alive.

But the worms taken from his intestines with tweezers tell a story of the humanitarian and health crisis gripping North Korea even as it expends significant resources in its effort to become a global nuclear power.

Other public spending priorities in North Korea have suffered, as leader Kim Jong Un has built and tested his nuclear arsenal while also trading radioactive barbs with Western leaders.

A Newsweek headline put it more succinctly – and brutally: “North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is starving his people to pay for nuclear weapons.”

According to a report by the United Nations, two of every five people in North Korea are undernourished. Seventy per cent of people require food assistance to survive, including 1.3 million children below the age of five.

And the food they have access to can sicken or kill them. According to The New York Times, many North Koreans who have defected to South Korea have shown up infected with parasites.

That’s partially because North Korea lacks chemical fertiliser, and many farmers rely on human excrement to fertilise fields. As a fertiliser, “night soil” is free and abundant.

But it’s notorious for transmitting parasites like the ones inside the North Korean defector’s stomach.

In a 2014 study, South Korean doctors checked a sample of 17 female defectors from North Korea and found seven of them infected with parasitic worms, according to the BBC. They also had higher rates of other diseases, including hepatitis B and tuberculosis.

Finding worms inside a soldier who once guarded one of the most scrutinised borders in the world is especially telling, a sign that North Korea’s food woes affect military members, who typically have a higher ranking on the food-rationing list. There are even reports that North Korean soldiers have been ordered to steal corn from farmers to stave off hunger.

The soldier’s vital signs were stabilising this weekend, the AP reported, but it was still unclear whether he would recover or wake up.

Until then, the parasites taken from his body were the only things telling a story, as Peter Preiser of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University told the BBC.

“What they all do is take nutrients away from your body,” the professor told the BBC. “So (even) if most of them might go unnoticed, they all indicate a poor health status.

“To put it simply: People who have parasites are not healthy.”

The Washington Post

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Henry Sapiecha

 

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.

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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

YOUR LIVER DISEASE COULD BE TOXIC TONKA BEAN, WARFARIN OR CINNAMON POISONING

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

DRIED TONKA BEANS ON KITCHEN CUTTING BOARD

Coumarin is mostly toxic to the liver, which plays a central role in mopping up poisons and clearing them from the body. As the front-line defence, the organ is extraordinarily resilient, able to regenerate from just a quarter of its original size. Just like alcohol, coumarin is thought to be toxic over the long term, with repeated bouts of damage.

“The problem is it’s not like you’re going to realise when you’ve got to the level where you’re eating too much – the effects build up over years,” says Dirk Lachenmeier from the Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Laboratory (CVUA) of Karlsruhe, Germany, who has developed a new way of detecting coumarin in foods.

The easy way to find out is obvious; alas, it turns out feeding people toxic chemicals isn’t allowed. Instead, the safe limits in humans are based on studies in animals, from baboons to dogs. To account for an any differences in our biology, the highest amount which hasn’t caused any harm in animals is multiplied by 100.

For most people, the current limit is probably ultra conservative

For an average-sized person, this works out at a measly one quarter of a tonka bean or a quarter of a cinnamon bun per day – though if you remove the safety factor, your allowance shoots up to more like 25 tonka beans or 20 cinnamon buns (5680 calories, a challenge for even the most hardened binge eaters).

For most people, the current limit is probably ultra conservative. Many animals, including rats and dogs, remove coumarin from the body in a completely different way, breaking it down into highly potent chemicals which are toxic in their own right. Instead, we have enzymes which subtly tweak coumarin’s structure to render it safe. But not all people can do this.

Back in the 90s, a woman arrived at Frankfurt University Hospital with severe liver disease. She was promptly diagnosed with “coumarin-induced hepatitis”, but in fact she hadn’t overdosed on tonka beans. She had been taking the drug warfarin.

What was going on?

MORE HERE

Henry Sapiecha

Best and Worst Foods for Your Liver

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

internal-liver-sketch image www.newcures.info

1…Oatmeal

berry_nut_oatmeal-bowl image www.foodpassions.net

Food with lots of fibre can help your liver work at its best. Want one that’s a great way to start your day? Try oatmeal. Research shows it can help you shed some extra pounds and belly fat, which is a good way to keep away liver disease.

2…Stay Away From Fatty Foods

neon-drive_thru_sign image www.foddpassions.net

French fries and burgers are a poor choice to keep your liver healthy. Eat too many foods that are high in saturated fat and it can make it harder for your liver to do its job. Over time it may lead to inflammation, which in turn could cause scarring of the liver that’s known as cirrhosis. So next time you’re in the drive-thru line, think about ordering a healthier option.

3…Broccoli

broccoli_greens_mix image www.foodpassions.net

Add lots of veggies to your diet if you want to keep your liver healthy. Broccoli can be part of this strategy. Some studies suggest this crunchy food can help protect you from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. If steamed broccoli sounds a little too blah, shred it into a slaw and toss it with sliced almonds, dried cranberries, and a tangy vinaigrette. It’s also delicious roasted with garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

4…Coffee

couple_having_coffee image www.foodpassions.net

If you can’t make it through the day without it, you’ll be glad to hear that it may have some benefits for your liver. Studies show that drinking two to three cups a day can protect your liver from damage caused by too much alcohol or an unhealthy diet. Some research suggests it may lower your risk of liver cancer.

5…Ease Up on Sugar

white-sugar_dunes image www.foodpassions.net

Too much of the sweet stuff can take a toll on your liver. That’s because part of its job is to convert sugar into fat. If you overdo it, your liver makes too much fat, which ends up hanging around where it doesn’t belong. In the long run, you could get a condition like fatty liver disease. So do your liver a favor and make sweets an occasional treat.

6…Green Tea

pouring_cup_hot_green_tea image www.foodpassions.net

It’s brimming with a type of antioxidant called catechins. Research suggests it may protect against some forms of cancer, including liver. You’ll get more catechins if you brew tea yourself and drink it hot. Iced tea and ready-to-drink green teas have much lower levels.

7…Water

woman_drinking_glass_of_water image www.foodpassions.net

One of the best things you can do for your liver is to keep a healthy weight. Get in the habit of drinking water instead of sweetened drinks like sodas or sports drinks. You’d be amazed at how many calories it will save you each day.

8…Almonds

bowl_of_almonds image www.foodpassions.net

Nuts — especially these — are good sources of vitamin E, a nutrient that research suggests may help protect against fatty liver disease. Almonds are good for your heart, too, so grab a handful the next time you feel like snacking. Or try them in salads, where they add a nice crunch.

9…Put a Cap on Salt

hand_holding_salt_shaker image www.foodpassions.net

Your body needs some salt — just not nearly as much as you probably get. Early research suggests a diet high in sodium may lead to fibrosis, which is the first stage of liver scarring. There are some easy things you can do to cut back. Avoid processed foods like bacon or deli meats. Choose fresh instead of canned veggies. And keep temptation at arm’s length by taking your salt shaker off the table.

10..Spinach

spinach_salad_with_fruit_walnuts image www.foodpassions.net

Leafy greens have a powerful antioxidant called glutathione, which can help keep your liver working right. And spinach couldn’t be easier to prepare. It makes a great base for a dinner salad, and it’s also delicious sauteed with garlic and olive oil. When it’s wilted, top it with a dusting of fresh parmesan.

11..Blueberries

bowls_of_fresh_blueberries image www.foodpassions.net

They’ve got nutrients in them called polyphenols that may help protect you against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which often goes hand in hand with obesity and high cholesterol. If blueberries aren’t your thing, other foods rich in polyphenols include dark chocolate, olives, and plums

12…Be Moderate With Alcohol

woman_relaxing_with_glass_of_wine image www.dfoodpassions.net

Drinking too much can wreak havoc on your liver. Over time it can lead to cirrhosis. Even occasional binge drinking — four drinks in one sitting for women and five for men — can be harmful, too. Try to limit yourself to one drink a day if you’re a woman or two a day if you’re a man.

13..Herbs and Spices

variety_of_herbs_and_spices image www.foodpassions.net

Want to protect your liver and your heart at the same time? Sprinkle on some oregano, sage, or rosemary. They’re a good source of healthy polyphenols. An extra benefit: they help you cut back on salt in many recipes. Cinnamon, curry powder, and cumin are good ones to try, too.

14..Limit Packaged Snack Foods

cup_of_mixed_fruit_on_desk image www.foodpassions.net

Next time you feel the call of the vending machine, reach for a healthy snack instead. The problem with chips and baked goods is that they’re usually loaded with sugar, salt, and fat. Cutting back is a relatively easy diet tweak with a little planning. One good strategy: Bring a stash of healthy snacks with you to work. Try an apple with a single-serve packet of nut butter, or sugar snap peas with a mini-cup of hummus.

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Henry Sapiecha

SEVERAL TIPS ON HOW TO DETOX YOUR LIVER WITH THESE FOODS

Monday, August 18th, 2014

liver chart

The liver is an essential organ that helps to keep the human body free of toxins. It performs important functions in almost every part of your body, from balancing your cholesterol levels to filtering your blood. Painkillers, prescription medications, alcohol, and other toxins can overload the liver and reduce its ability to function. Detoxing your liver helps to flush out toxins and improve the health of your liver. Here are 7 tips for detoxing your liver.

1. Milk Thistle

milk thistle with purple flower image www.newcures (6)

Milk thistle is a plant that has been used for centuries in order to treat diseases of the liver and gall bladder. Milk thistle contains a compound called Silymarin, which is a potent antioxidant. It is used to reduce inflammation, inhibit the production of toxins, and prevent further damage to the liver. Milk thistle is available as a tincture that can be used to aid the process of a liver detoxification.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

APPLES IN CASES FOR CIDER MAKING IMAGE www.ozrural.com.au

Apple cider vinegar has been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments and illnesses. It is thought to improve the function of the stomach, colon, liver, bladder, and kidneys. Make your own apple cider vinegar by crushing some fresh apples and filtering the liquid, before allowing it to cure into vinegar. Alternatively, you can buy bottled apple cider vinegar at most health food stores and supermarkets. Use the vinegar to make a warm cleansing drink for your liver by adding 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey to a cup of warm water.

While apple cider vinegar is usually easy and safe to use, there might be some things you’ll want to keep in mind. Since undiluted apple cider vinegar can be harmful to the esophagus and other parts of the digestive tract, you’ll want to be sure to dilute the vinegar. Also, if you are allergic to apples, you will not want to use apple cider vinegar. Try to keep your apple cider consumption to under eight ounces a day as anything over that could potentially decrease potassium levels.

If you have been prescribed certain medications, especially drugs like cardiac glycosides, diuretics, insulin laxatives, diabetes or blood pressure medications, you will want to be careful when using apple cider vinegar. If you are taking these types of medications, it is always good to check with your health care provide before beginning a regimen that could potentially have harmful effects. Even though apple cider vinegar is made from natural sources, it could still interfere with these types of medications.

3. Garlic

garlic images www.newcures (15)

Garlic contains nutrients and Allicin, a compound that helps to aid the process of liver detoxification. Garlic helps to flush heavy metals, nitrogen, and excess hormones from the liver. Cooking garlic can reduce the potency of the nutrients, but the strong flavour of raw garlic can be off-putting for many people. One solution is to try taking garlic capsules, preferably 2-3 times a day while you are performing your liver detox.

When ingesting the garlic capsules, it is best that they are coated so they have a less chance of upsetting your stomach. If your stomach still gets upset when taking a capsule, you can try to take an antacid along with it.

Garlic which is an herb, is normally completely fine for you to use in your detoxification process. However, as with other herbs, there may be some things to keep in mind when using garlic. Although it is not very common, some people have been known to have had an allergic reaction to garlic.

You might want to double check with your health care provider if you are taking certain medications especially for tuberculosis (TB) or HIV/AIDS as garlic can interfere with the absorption of certain kinds of medications specifically for these illnesses. Also for women taking birth control pills, garlic may actually decrease the effectiveness of the pill.

4. Grapefruit seed extract

RED GRAPEFRUIT SLICED SECTION image www.newcures.info

Grapefruit seed extract contains powerful antioxidants that help to flush toxins from the body, including the liver. Grapefruit seed extract can be expensive, but you only need a few drops 2-3 times a day. If you don’t want to spend money on grapefruit seed extract, try eating a couple of whole grapefruits every day during your liver detox. The results may not be as powerful as using the extract, but grapefruits contain antioxidants that can help to cleanse your liver.

Grapefruit seed extract is processed from grapefruit seeds and pulp and is a byproduct of producing grapefruit juice. In order to reduce the acidity and bitterness of grapefruit juice and extract, vegetable glycerin is added to the final product.

Grapefruit has long been known to interfere with certain medications so it is good to use caution when taking grapefruit seed extract in the detoxification process of your liver. Grapefruit juice has been known to decrease how quickly certain medications are broken down by the liver which can actually increase the side effects of certain medications. You’ll want to be especially cautious if you are taking medications for the following conditions: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction and also if you are taking any kinds of sedatives. Other kinds of medications that may have an altered effect when taken with grapefruit are blood thinners such as Coumadin and also medications that contain caffeine.

5. Dandelion Root

Dandelion-flower image www.newcures.info

Dandelions are flowering weeds with a wide range of medicinal uses. The roots and leaves of dandelion plants have long been used to make herbal remedies, tinctures and tonics to help cleanse the liver, improve digestion and purify the blood. Dandelions are packed with important nutrients, including calcium, potassium and a variety of vitamins. Dandelion root contains properties that increase the production of bile, which helps to eliminate toxins from the liver.

Dandelion root is available as a tea, tincture, supplement and powdered extract. You can also buy dried dandelion root, which can be prepared in a similar way to fresh coffee. As dandelion root is a powerful diuretic, you must drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. Dandelion root can also produce a mild laxative effect, making it ideal for flushing out your whole system.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric-powder image www.newcures.info

Turmeric is a popular spice that gives curried dishes their striking yellow colour. Turmeric is also commonly used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat a wide range of health conditions, including coughs, colds, viruses, infections, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, high cholesterol levels, excess mucous, nasal congestion and various skin complaints. Turmeric contains powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, as well as several health-enhancing nutrients, including iron, copper, potassium, manganese, vitamin B6 and fibre. These powerful properties combine to improve liver function, protect and regenerate liver tissue, aid digestion, reduce digestive gas, reduce cholesterol, boost the immune system, improve circulation and purify the blood. Turmeric is an effective aid for detoxing the liver, particularly when combined with ginger, which helps to boost circulation and reduce congestion. Turmeric is available as a supplement, an extract or a tea.

7. Lemon

Lemon-on white background image www.newcures.info

Lemons are packed with vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals, including fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B6, phosphorous, thiamin, riboflavin, copper, calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. The juice, fruit and peel of lemons are often used in natural remedies and herbal infusions, due to their potent antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Lemon is commonly used to treat sore throats, tickly coughs, fever, colds, blocked sinuses, indigestion, constipation, tinnitus and rheumatism. Lemon is also thought to help prevent kidney stones, high blood pressure and chronic stomach problems. Lemons contain powerful antioxidants, known as bioflavonoids, which help to cleanse the liver, purify the blood and strengthen the immune system. Adding the juice of half a lemon to a cup of warm water gives you a cleansing drink to help flush toxins from your liver and digestive system. Alternatively, you can buy lemon tea or dried lemons to make a refreshing drink.

8. Green Tea

greentea-in cup image www.newcures.info

Lauded as one of the world’s healthiest beverages by both nutritionists and research scientists, green tea is also helpful for detoxing the liver. Green tea originated in China and has long been known in Asia for its many health benefits. Green tea comes from the leaves of the plant called Camellia sinensis. The leaves of the plant are not fermented when being made into green tea which leaves the antioxidant chemicals called polyphenols completely intact. Because green tea is one of the least processed beverages, all of its amazing antioxidants called catechins are nearly poured right into your cup. These catechins which are crucial components when it comes to protecting cells from damage, are also helpful in assisting the liver with the detoxification process.

When you use green tea to detoxify your liver, it is recommended that you drink four to five cups a day. Some people don’t like the taste of green tea and if you still want to experience the powerful detoxification effects of the beverage, you can opt for capsules or liquid supplements. Something to keep in mind regarding green tea is that it does contain caffeine. If you are trying to detox your body from caffeine, you can try drinking decaffeinated green tea. Also, if you take the capsules or supplements, they contain caffeine. It is always best to get the capsules or supplements from a reputable source and you might want to check with your health care provider to ensure they are safe for you to take.

9. Avocados

avocado cut image www.newcures.info

Considered a super-food, avocados are rich in nutrients and help the body to produce a compound called glutathione which is necessary for the liver to get rid of harmful toxins in the body. If you have chronic liver disease, your body is probably low on glutathione. Eating avocados can help increase this important compound and help to heal the liver.

Avocados, which are technically a fruit since they grow on a tree and reproduce with a seed, may get a bad rap at times because of their high fat content. However, the fat contained in avocados is monounsaturated and is the healthy fat good for maintaining health cholesterol levels. Avocados also provide about 20 vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimum health. If you consume avocados, you are also helping your body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients. Avocados are a great source of Vitamin C and Vitamin E and antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals in the liver which can further protect liver cells and keep this vital organ free from harm.

Avocados are eaten in a variety of ways and can replace foods that aren’t so good for you like mayonnaise, sour cream and butter. They taste great on sandwiches, in salads or topped with fresh salsa. Whether you mash them, whip them, slice or dice them, avocados are a great food to eat during the liver detoxification process. They are one food you will want to keep on eating after your detox to help protect and heal the liver.

10. Cabbage

sliced cabbage & juice image www.newcures.info

Eating cabbage, which is considered one of the world’s healthiest foods, contains glucosinolate that helps to stimulate the activation of important detoxifying enzymes known to flush out toxins from the liver. There are many foods in the cabbage family including Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower that can also be good when detoxing the liver. These foods contain sulfur which is known as a cleansing mineral. More importantly, cabbage and the other foods in its family are full of sulfur-containing amino acids. These amino acids, including taurine, methionine and cysteine are essential when it comes to clearing the pathways during a liver detox. If you are eating a lot of cabbage and other vegetables that contain sulfur, you may want to note that eating a lot of fruit might cancel out those benefits since eating fruit can interfere with sulfur metabolism.

While a variety of cabbage can be eaten during a liver detox, only green cabbage contains high amounts of chlorophyll which is known to be important for strengthening the liver. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable which also contains Vitamin K, Vitamin C, folate and Omega 3 fatty acids which are all beneficial for optimum health. In order to get the best benefit, be sure to eat organic, raw cabbage. You can also drink raw cabbage juice as a way to detox your liver. If you juice the cabbage yourself, you will want to be sure to drink the juice right away or else it will lose pertinent vitamin content.

11. Walnuts

walnuts image www.newcures.info

You might not think of eating nuts as a way to help detox your liver but they contain high density lipoproteins that help to protect against fatty liver disease. These lipoproteins also reduce levels of C-reactive protein that helps to lower inflammation in the liver. This is important because inflammation of the liver is often a precursor to liver damage.

Some nuts, especially walnuts, contain large amounts of the amino acid known as arginine which help to rid the liver of harmful toxins like ammonia. Walnuts also contain high amounts of glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids which are both necessary for effectively detoxifying the liver. One important thing to remember about eating walnuts during a detox is that you want to chew them well, turning them into liquid before swallowing. Because walnuts are a food with low levels of toxicity, extracts from the hulls of walnuts are often used in special formulas made to cleanse the liver from toxins. Protein, antioxidants and healthy unsaturated fats can also be found in walnuts and are all essential for liver health and function. Unsaturated fats are especially important as they help to protect the liver against fat accumulation and aid in building healthy cell membranes around liver cells.

Other nuts that can be healthy for the liver include Brazil nuts, pecans and almonds. Peanuts are usually not a good food when it comes to liver health. When eating nuts for health benefits, make sure to only eat them unsalted and in their rawest form.

Henry Sapiecha

BINGE DRINKING IS OK. DAILY DRINKING IS NOT…

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Daily Drinking

Rather Than Binge Drinking

Is Biggest Risk Factor

In Serious Liver Disease,

New Study Finds

Science(Mar. 20, 2009) — Long-term daily drinking, rather than weekly binge drinking, is by far the biggest risk factor in serious liver disease, according to a new report from the University of Southampton.


The study, published in the journal Addiction this week, concludes that increases in UK liver deaths are a result of daily or near daily heavy drinking, not episodic or binge drinking, and this regular drinking pattern is often discernable at an early age. It also recommends that several alcohol-free days a week is a healthier drinking pattern.

In the study of drinking patterns, dependency and lifetime drinking history in 234 subjects with liver disease, 106 had ALD (Alcohol-related Liver Disease) – 80 of whom had evidence of cirrhosis or progressive fibrosis – the team found that 71 per cent of ALD patients drank on a daily basis.

In contrast to the patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis or fibrosis, patients with other forms of liver disease tended to drink sparingly with only 10 subjects (8 per cent) drinking moderately on four or more days each week.

The study also explored lifetime drinking histories of 105 subjects and found that ALD patients started drinking at a significantly younger age (on average at 15 years old) than other subjects and had significantly more drinking days and units than non-ALD patients from the age of 20 onwards.

Lead author of the study Dr Nick Sheron, consultant hepatologist and senior lecturer at the University of Southampton, comments: “If we are to turn the tide of liver deaths, then along with an overall reduction in alcohol consumption – which means tackling cheap booze and unregulated marketing – we need to find a way to identify those people who are most likely to develop alcohol-related illnesses at a much earlier stage, and perhaps we need to pay as much attention to the frequency of drinking occasions as we do to binge drinking.

“The transition from a late teenage and early 20’s binge drinking pattern to a more frequent pattern of increased intake may prove to be a useful point of intervention in the future, and the importance of three alcohol-free days each week should receive more prominence.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

LIVER DISEASE & ALCOHOL. WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP? FIND IT HERE…

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Coffee Drinking Associated

With Lower Risk For

Alcohol-Related Liver Disease

Science (June 13, 2006) — Drinking coffee may be related to a reduced risk of developing the liver disease alcoholic cirrhosis, according to a report in the June 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.


Cirrhosis progressively destroys healthy liver tissue and replaces it with scar tissue. Viruses such as hepatitis C can cause cirrhosis, but long-term, heavy alcohol use is the most common cause of the disease in developed countries, according to background information in the article. Most alcohol drinkers, however, never develop cirrhosis; other factors that may play a role include genetics, diet and nutrition, smoking and the interaction of alcohol with other toxins that damage the liver.

Arthur L. Klatsky, M.D., and colleagues at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, Oakland, Calif., analyzed data from 125,580 individuals (55,247 men and 70,333 women) who did not report liver disease when they had baseline examinations, between 1978 and 1985. Participants filled out a questionnaire to provide information about how much alcohol, coffee and tea they drank per day during the past year. Some of the individuals also had their blood tested for levels of certain liver enzymes; the enzymes are released into the bloodstream when the liver is diseased or damaged.

By the end of 2001, 330 participants had been diagnosed with cirrhosis, including 199 with alcoholic cirrhosis. For each cup of coffee they drank per day, participants were 22 percent less likely to develop alcoholic cirrhosis. Drinking coffee was also associated with a slight reduction in risk for other types of cirrhosis. Among those who had their blood drawn, liver enzyme levels were higher among individuals who drank more alcohol, indicating liver disease or damage; however, those who drank both alcohol and coffee had lower levels than those who drank alcohol but did not drink coffee, with the strongest link among the heaviest drinkers.

Tea drinking was not related to reduced risk in the study, suggesting that it is not caffeine that is responsible for the relationship between coffee and reduced cirrhosis risk. “Previous reports are disparate with respect to whether the apparently protective coffee ingredient is caffeine; in our opinion this issue is quite unresolved,” the authors write.

The findings do not suggest that physicians prescribe coffee to prevent alcoholic cirrhosis, the authors continue. “Even if coffee is protective, the primary approach to reduction of alcoholic cirrhosis is avoidance or cessation of heavy alcohol drinking,” they conclude. “Assuming causality, the data do suggest that coffee intake may partly explain the variability of cirrhosis risk in alcohol consumers. Basic research about hepatic coffee-ethanol interactions is warranted, but we should keep in mind that coffee might represent only one of a number of potential cirrhosis risk modulators.”

(Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1190-1195. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org.)

This study was supported by a grant from the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute. Data collection from 1978 to 1985 was supported by a grant from the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation, Baltimore, Md.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

COFFEE & LIVER CANCER CONNECTION. FIND IT HERE…

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Coffee Drinking Related To

Reduced Risk Of Liver Cancer

Science (Aug. 2, 2007) — After lung and stomach cancer, liver cancer is the third largest cause of cancer deaths in the world. A new study on the relationship between coffee drinking and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) confirmed that there is an inverse association between coffee consumption and HCC, although the reasons for this relationship are still unresolved.


At least eleven studies conducted in southern Europe and Japan have examined the relationship between coffee drinking and the risk of primary liver cancer. The current study, led by Francesca Bravi of the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri in Milan, Italy, was a meta-analysis of published studies on HCC that included how much coffee patients had consumed. Researchers combined all published data to obtain an overall quantitative estimate of the association between coffee consumption and HCC.

The results showed a 41 percent reduction of HCC risk among coffee drinkers compared to those who never drank coffee. “Moreover, the apparent favorable effect of coffee drinking was found both in studies from southern Europe, where coffee is widely consumed, and from Japan, where coffee consumption is less frequent, and in subjects with chronic liver diseases,” the researchers state.

They point out that animal and laboratory studies have indicated that certain compounds found in coffee may act as blocking agents by reacting with enzymes involved in carcinogenic detoxification. Other components, including caffeine, have been shown to have favorable effects on liver enzymes. Coffee has also been related to a reduced risk of liver diseases and cirrhosis, which can lead to liver cancer.

“Despite the consistency of these results, it is difficult to derive a causal inference on the basis of the observational studies alone,” the authors note. It may be that patients with digestive tract diseases, including liver disorders, naturally reduce their coffee consumption, even though avoidance of coffee is not routinely recommended.

Also, they note that the assessment of coffee intake was based on patients’ self-reporting, although recall of coffee drinking has been shown to be accurate. The fact that the inverse relationship between coffee drinking and HCC was shown in both southern Europe and Japan suggests a lack of bias in these studies. Allowance for other confounding factors, such as hepatitis B and C, cirrhosis, social class indicators, alcohol use and smoking, also suggests that such factors did not influence the results.

“In conclusion, the results from this meta-analysis provide quantitative evidence of an inverse relation between coffee drinking and liver cancer,” the authors state. “The interpretation of this association remains, however, unclear and the consequent inference on causality and worldwide public health implications is still open for discussion.”

The results of this study appear in the August 2007 issue of Hepatology, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

Article: “Coffee Drinking and Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk: A Meta-Analysis,” Francesca Bravi, Cristina Bosetti, Alessandra Tavani, Vincenzo Bagnardi, Silvano Gallus, Eva Negri, Silvia Franceschi, Carlo La Vecchia, Hepatology; August 2007; (DOI: 10.1002/hep.21708).

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

YOUR LIVER CAN REBUILD ITSELF – GIVE IT A CHANCE

Monday, June 7th, 2010

When Drugs Do Bad Things


If your organs had a personality, your liver would be the strong, silent type. No matter how hard it works at filtering out toxins like alcohol and drugs, it doesn’t complain until it’s on the verge of collapse. And when we say drugs, we don’t mean the illegal kind. We’re talking about the dozens of meds with liver-damage potential. The weight-loss aid called orlistat — aka Xenical and Alli — is the latest med that has to include liver cautions on its label.

Luckily for us and you, the liver has a remarkable ability to give itself a makeover. So if you do have a DILI (drug-induced liver injury), stopping the med and treating your liver right — no alcohol, for starters — usually will restore it to health, as long as it was in good shape to begin with.

But since the liver isn’t a whiner, the trick is to spot the damage before it makes your skin itch and turns your eyeballs yellow, your pee dark and your poop pale. Some DILI-defending tips:


Read the fine print. You know those package inserts with the tiny type. Get out your magnifier and read it. Cautions about liver damage will make you more alert to warning signs (below).

Don’t ignore vague symptoms. Nausea, poor appetite, malaise and just not feeling great — especially shortly after starting a medication — can precede the obvious symptoms.

Get the tests. Liver-function tests are advised even before treatment begins with some meds, such as terbinafine (e.g., Lamisil), the nail fungus drug. Don’t blow them off.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha 7th June 2010

COFFE IS GREAT FOR YOUR LIVER

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Coffee: The Liver’s Libation

National Cancer Institute Says Coffee Helps Hepatitis C Sufferers

Coffee consumption may benefit Hepatitis C sufferers.

Coffee consumption may benefit Hepatitis C sufferers.

Thought your brain was the only thing perked up after your morning cup of joe?  Well according to a new study published in the journal Hepatology, your liver likes it a whole lot, too.

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute recruited over 760 volunteers with Hepatitis C, assessing their overall health, diet and the state of their liver (if not caught early, hepatitis C causes serious damage to the liver, including scarring, liver cancer, even liver failure).  Biopsies of their livers were taken twice during the four-year long study to see how, or if, there were signs of progressive liver damage.

Seeing as how some of the patients with hepatitis C had it for longer than others, the degree of liver damage varied among the 700+ participants.  But it also varied based on how much or how little coffee they drank.

When the researchers assessed the damage of all the participants’ livers and how much coffee they usually drank, they found that those who drank as much as 3.5 cups of coffee per day (eight oz. cups) had the “healthiest” livers, that is to say the progression of liver damage wasn’t as significant as those who drank less than three cups.

The degree of progression was particularly stark when compared to those who didn’t drink coffee at all, finding that the three-a-day coffee crew were 53 percent less likely to have their liver disease advance over those four years.

“Although we can not rule out other factors that go along with drinking coffee,” said the study’s lead author in a press release, “results from our study suggest that patients with high coffee intake had a lower risk of disease progression.”

The study’s authors point out that their findings only apply to people who are living with hepatitis C, not otherwise healthy people.

Becoming infected with hepatitis C can only be done by coming into contact with infected blood.  This puts people that work with potentially-infected needles (e.g., phlebotomists, medical technologists, tattoo artists), people given blood transfusions before 1992, and people that use or have used illicit drugs at the highest risk.

Approximately three million people in the U.S. have hepatitis C, a disease that kills an estimated 10,000 people every year in the U.S. alone due to liver complications.  Hepatitis C usually has mild, flu-like symptoms, but because the symptoms are so mild, hepatitis C often goes undiagnosed.

If you have any combination of symptoms that include fever, nausea, muscle soreness, or pain in your right side (where the liver is located), see your doctor immediately.  He or she will perform a blood test, and perhaps a liver biopsy to rule out whether or not more invasive treatment is necessary.

Sources:
mayoclinic.com
health.msn.com

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 6th December 2009