NSAIDs - A Real Health Risk

NSAID - Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are used for analgesic (pain reducing) and anti-pyretic (fever reducing) properties. NSAIDs comprise a large class of drugs with many different options. In addition to aspirin, there are currently several types of both non-prescription (over-the-counter) NSAIDs and prescription brands of NSAIDs. The three types of NSAIDs most commonly used to treat many types of pain include:
- Ibuprofen (e.g. brand names Advil, Motrin, Nuprin)
- Naproxen (e.g. brand names Aleve, Naprosyn)
- COX-2 inhibitors (e.g. brand name Celebrex)

People all over the world pop these over the counter pills to reduce pain and fever, however; without knowing their very real side effects.

Cartilage Damage
NSAIDs are also referred as safe drugs for people suffering from arthritis but innocent people popping these pill are unaware about the real health risks associated with them. Most people are unaware about the fact that NSAIDs enhance the destruction of cartilage and also inhibit formation of new cartilage. It is an irony that people taking these pills to reduce their signs and symptoms of arthritis are actually contributing to the progression of their sufferings.

Research done on animal tissues in laboratories has found that NSAIDs actually slowed the healing of injured muscles, tendons, ligament, and bones. NSAIDs work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, substances that are involved in pain and also in the creation of collagen. Less prostaglandin means less production of collagen. Thus, it actually inhibits the healing of tissues and bone injuries.

The Encyclopaedia of Medical Breakthroughs and Forbidden Treatments states: “In 1979, physicians in Norway made X-ray evaluations of the hips of 58 patients taking Indicin (indomethacin). Patients taking the NSAID experienced significantly more rapid destruction of the hip than the control group taking no NSAIDs. Studies with aspirin and other NSAIDs have repeated these results.”

Kidney Damage
According to Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are capable of inducing a variety of renal function abnormalities, particularly in high-risk patients with decreased renal blood perfusion who depend on prostaglandin synthesis to maintain normal renal function. Fluid retention is the most common NSAID-related renal complication, occurring to some degree in virtually all exposed individuals.

The ability to excrete a salt load (salt load being what we take in nutritionally on a daily basis) is dependent on prostaglandin integrity -- that is, the homeostatic pathway for prostaglandin production should be intact. And therein, a natriuretic environment emerges, and salt handling is correctly managed by the body.

“We see a range of changes in renal function and electrolytes owing to a drop in prostaglandin (PG) production as a consequence of the NSAID. In particular, PGI-2 and PGE-2 decrease in quantity in temporal fashion in relationship to the NSAID. PGI-2, in particular, is important to the stimulation and therein release of renin and thereafter aldosterone such that patients receiving a NSAID -- and it takes no more than just a couple of doses -- become hyper-reninemic and hypoaldosteronemic. In so doing, an important homeostatic pathway for control of potassium, that is aldosterone, is negated in its action” Dr. Domenic Sica, Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, Chairman, Section of Clinical Pharmacology and Hypertension, Division of Nephrology, at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Salt and water retention can be accompanied by specific changes in blood pressure, particularly in those people who have salt-sensitive forms of hypertension, such as the older individual, the diabetic, or the patient with borderline changes in renal function. The rises in blood pressure that occur as a consequence of the change in body weight owing to fluid retention can be dramatic, as much as 20 to 40 mm [Hg] systolic.

Heart Disease
According to investigative medical journalists at Medical Research Associates “The researchers at the University of Newcastle in Australia have discovered that NSAID use is a significant contributor to congestive heart failure (CHF). CHF is failure of the heart muscle including its ability to maintain adequate blood circulation throughout the body or to pump out the venous blood as it returns to the heart.”

A team of Danish researchers followed the health of almost 100,000 people who had a first heart attack for five years. During this time, almost half of them were prescribed an NSAID at least once. After one year, those who used an NSAID were about 60% more likely to have died during each year of the study than those who didn’t use an NSAID.

Hearing Loss
According to another study by researchers at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), women who took ibuprofen or acetaminophen for two or more days per week had an increased risk of hearing loss. Women who took these drugs too often are at a very high risk for hearing loss. “Possible mechanisms might be that NSAIDs may reduce blood flow to the cochlea — the hearing organ — and impair its function,” said first study author Sharon G. Curhan of BWH’s Channing Division of Network Medicine. “Acetaminophen may deplete factors that protect the cochlea from damage.”

Gastrointestinal Mucosa
NSAIDS like aspirin, naproxen and many others commonly causes damage to gastro duodenal mucosa, which leads to stomach ulcers and erosions. Recent figures indicate that close to two-thirds of NSAID users suffer from small intestine enteropathy. Frequent usage of the NSAIDS and other medications continues to wreak havoc and cause further damage to the mucosal wall barrier.

There is enough research now available which reveals the serious health risk associated with regular intake of NSAIDS. Just because they are easily available and can be taken for any acute inflammation does not mean that you can take them whenever you want with no consequences.

Capsaicin - Heart Disease Prevention & Much More

Cayenne pepper has been used for medicinal purposes from a long time. Although, it is hot and intolerable in small amount, cayenne is one of the important spices and a perfect blend of minerals, vitamins and certain phytonutrients. It has found a great place in ancient and modern medicine for preventing diseases and promoting good health.

The main ingredient found in Cayenne pepper is called capsaicin, which is responsible for producing the hot effect.  This ingredient is responsible for producing pain relief, anti-inflammatory and other medicinal effects. Some important health benefits of cayenne pepper are discussed here:

Heart Diseases
Research done by the scientists at the University of Tasmania in Australia found that when men and women were given a diet with or without cayenne pepper for four weeks that those in the cayenne pepper group had significantly lower LDL oxidation compared with those without cayenne pepper. This study was published in the August 2006 issue of the “British Journal of Nutrition.

In research reported in the August 2010 issue of “Cell Metabolism,” scientists at the Third Military Medical University in China found that dietary capsaicin activates TRPV1, which in turn stimulates the release of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels, thereby improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure.

Researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada discovered that capsaicin was effective in inhibiting platelet aggregation, according to research published in the September 1991 issue of the “European Journal of Pharmacology.

Skin Problems
Capsaicin is responsible for reducing itching of the skin as it binds to pain receptors in the skin and prevents them from responding to the pain signals of the nervous system. Researchers at the Burn Institute in Beijing applied capsaicin cream to patients suffering from scars from burns. The patients reported good relief of itching.

Pain Relief
John M. McPartland, a physician in New Zealand, found that capsaicin cream give quick relief from the pain of abdominal wall scars in 20 patients he had treated. McPartland reported that the cream gave permanent pain relief as it was completely absorbed.

An aneurysm is a disorder of the blood vessels in which blood vessels widen in weakened areas and increase the risk of bursting. The capsaicin ingredient present in cayenne pepper helps to reduce one of the factors that can increase your risk of aneurysms, although capsaicin is not a proven preventative or curative medicine for this disorder.

Gastrointestinal Disorders
Cayenne is useful for the treatment of gastrointestinal problems. In a 2006 issue, Critical Reviews in Food, Science and Nutrition printed a review noting that capsaicin in cayenne pepper helps stimulate receptors in the stomach that inhibited excessive excretion of gastric acid. This evidence can be used for the treatment of gastric ulcers. A March 1995 issue of Esophageal, Gastric and Duodenal Disorders performed a study on humans finding that cayenne pepper can help relieve stomach irritation caused by overconsumption of aspirin. In a recent letter to the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, three Italian doctors describe how they were able to reduce patients' reported dyspepsia symptoms by more than half - by prescribing red pepper powder.

Cough Remedy
In Ayurvedic system of medicine, cayenne pepper has been used as a popular cough remedy. Capsaicin helps to relieve pain and reduces inflammation of the throat. Cayenne pepper is also a good source of vitamin C that helps to prevent recurrent respiratory infections.


Regular eating of cayenne pepper in the diet helps in the treatment of osteoporosis. It is a condition of the bones in which bones become weak and prone to fractures. It generally occurs in women after menopause due to loss of calcium from the bones. Cayenne pepper is a good source of providing natural calcium and it prevents osteoporosis.

Lithium Reduces Suicide Risks in Depressive Disorders

An old and relatively inexpensive drug, lithium may reduce the risk of suicide risk among mood disorder patients including depressive disorders or bipolar disorders. Incidences of suicides are 30 times more in mood disorder patients than normal individuals. The review study was published in the journal British Medical Journal.

According to Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Maimonides Medical Center, USA, the study provided concrete therapeutic evidences of Lithium against suicides in mood disorder patients. Dr. Andrew is an independent reviewer of the study, and not connected with the study in any way.

The review study was conducted by a team of UK researchers led by Dr. Andrea Cipriani, Department of Psychiatry, Oxford University. The team analyzed the results of 48 different clinical trials that involved about 6600 patients. The researchers observed about 60% reduction of suicide risk in lithium-treated patients. However, no such benefits were reported in the placebo group.

The researchers reported that lithium can reduce the self-hurting behaviours in mood disorder patients. The present study can demonstrate the effectiveness of lithium in lowering the risk of suicide in such patients. However, the study does not report the exact mechanism of action of lithium against suicide.

Lithium can cut the relapses of mood disorders. Some studies reported that lithium can decrease impulsivity and aggression which can reduce the risk of suicidal ideation, the researchers wrote in the publication.

Administration of lithium can cause several adverse events. However, the psychiatrists should weigh the risk Vs benefits, and the treatment should be individualized.

The present study can remind the potential benefits of lithium against mood disorders and suicide, said Dr. Robert Dicker, Associate Director, Child/Adolescent Psychiatry Division, Zucker Hillside Hospital, USA.

However, lithium is not often used as a choice of drug as it could be. Being a generic drug, it is not promoted by the pharmaceutical companies and lithium remains to be under-prescribed. However, the present study will change the treatment trends in psychiatry, Dr. Andrew noted.

Cancer Cure Herbs

Herbs have been eaten for many years as they are known for their healing properties. Under conventional treatment, anyone diagnosed with cancer is pushed to begin chemotherapy which induces more damage than healing to the body. However, cancer can be healed by using natural herbs along-with taking a well balanced and nutritious alkaline diet to accomplish the task that is natural healing of cancer.

Here are some important herbs that help to fight against different types of cancer:

Curcumin (Turmeric): Turmeric is a spice used in every Indian home. This spice is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This is not enough because in many hospitals in America it is also used for the treatment of colon cancer. Research has shown that it reduces the blood supply to the growth of tumours and shrinks cancer cells. A Phase II clinical trial conducted at MD Anderson Cancer Centre found that turmeric was equal to or better than all currently available US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs, and it does not produce any side effects.

Goldenseal: The main cause of stomach or gastric cancer is Helicobacter pylori bacterium. This burrows itself in the lining of the stomach and interferes with the acid production and causes irritation, acid reflux, gastric ulcers and finally cancer. Goldenseal is known for its anti-microbial properties. It is known to kill Helicobacter pylori bacterium and thus helps in preventing gastric cancer.

Chaparral: It is an evergreen shrub used by Native Americans for the treatment of many illnesses. The Medical University of South Carolina has shown that it has the ability to shrink certain tumours. Chaparral contains an ingredient called nor-dihihydroguairetic (NDGA), which is a potent antitumor agent. NDGA inhibits aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis (the energy-producing ability) of cancer cells.

In 1959, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) was informed through lay correspondence that several cancer patients have benefitted from drinking chaparral tea. Years later, the physicians at the University of Utah brought the similar results when an 85-year-old man suffering from a proven malignant melanoma of the right cheek with a large cervical metastasis refused surgery and treated himself with chaparral tea. Eight months later he returned with marked regression of the tumour.

Feverfew: This herb created a history when research from Rochester University in New York showed it to be more effective than the drug cytarabine in killing leukaemia cells.

Dill: Dill is known for its various medicinal properties, which come from certain substances present in it. These substances are called as Monoterpenes which act as stimulants and activate secretions of an enzyme called glutathione-S-transferase (a power anti-oxidant) which is very effective in neutralizing carcinogens, particularly free radicals, thereby protecting from cancer. 

Mint: Mint is a natural herb that contains a phytochemical responsible for reducing the blood supply to the cancer cells resulting in death of cancer cells.

Astragalus: It is a Chinese herb used to boost up the immune system. It stimulates the production of interferon. It helps the immune system to identify the cancerous cells. The MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Texas conducted research showing that taking Astragalus when having Radiotherapy doubled survival times.

Parsley: This bright green herb contains apigenine, natural oil that has been shown to prevent angiogenesis- the growth of blood vessels that supply blood to the cancerous cells. The apigenine cuts off the supply of blood to the tumour cells and works in the same manner as prescription drug Avastin.

Thyme: Thyme consists of an essential oil that is rich in thymol. Other constituents found in thyme are rosmarinic and ursolic acids that act as anti-cancer agents along with thymol. Thyme is also known for its anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties. It also acts as an anti-oxidant and prevents damage caused by free radicals.

Podophyllum peltanum: It acts as a slow acting purgative. Research has shown that it has a strong action against cancer and they are used for the treatment of different types of cancer, especially ovarian cancer.

Echinacea: It is a known immune system booster and used for the treatment of cold and flu. Research has shown that it benefits the people with brain tumour in addition to its ability of boosting the immune system.

Ginger: This is another popular spice used to fight against cancer. Researcher’s discovered that ginger can kill cancer cells in two ways: In apoptosis, the cancer cells essentially commit suicide without harming surrounding cells. In autophagy, "the cells are tricked into digesting themselves," explains J. Rebecca Liu, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who has been studying ginger's effects on ovarian cancer cells. The British Journal of Nutrition published the results of an American study recently in which ginger extract (zingiber officinale) actually killed prostate cancer cells without affecting healthy prostate cells. The results occurred at a daily dose of 100 mg of ginger extract per kg of body weight (based on a man weighing 150 pounds this equals about 550 mg extract per day). In eight weeks, the ginger extract reduced prostate tumour growth in half. The researchers have estimated that 100 grams of fresh ginger eaten daily will offer the same results.

Iscador (Mistletoe Extract): It is a semi-parasitic plant found with various types of tree species such as oak, pine, fir, etc. Extracts of this plant have been shown to kill cancer cells and also to stimulate the immune system. It has been reported to reduce tumour size and improve the quality of life and survival of some cancer patients. It is particularly used for the cancers of liver, oesophagus and cervix.

Saw Palmetto: It is a low growing palm found in south-eastern United States. It is often used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Saw Palmetto is used for giving quick relief from symptoms associated with BPH such as frequent urination. Studies have shown that Saw Palmetto extract selectively antagonizes 52% of the dihydrotestosterone receptors in the prostate, thus inhibiting the hormone from binding to them, and therefore minimizing its stimulation of cell growth.

Blood root (Sanguinaria Canadensis): Research shows that this is known for consistent anti-neoplastic activity. It is used for the treatment of cancer as it helps to shrink them and useful for the treatment of sarcomas.

Wheatgrass: Fresh juice of wheatgrass is useful for the treatment of leukaemia. It acts as a blood purifier and also cleanses liver and kidneys. After taking it regularly, there is an improvement in the oxygen levels of blood and tissues. It inhibits the supply of oxygen to the cancer cells thereby resulting in death of cancer producing cells.

Wormwood: It is a known Chinese herb that is used as an anti-malarial drug for many years. It is effectively used for the treatment of Candida and other microbial infections. Recent research has shown that wormwood possess anticancer properties as well.

Birch (Betula Alba): It is used by Americans as a beverage and syrup. Traditionally this plant is used to take out its sap for the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera and other digestive disorders. It acts as a blood cleanser. It is a source of potent chemicals that help to fight against melanoma and other cancers. In March, 1995, John Pezzuto of the University of IllinoisChicago reported that one of these compounds, called betulinic acid, was able to kill human melanoma cells transplanted into mice. Dr. Pezzuto extracted betulin from birches and converted this into betulinic acid. According to the scientist, betulinic acid "worked better than the drug most commonly used in people to treat melanoma."

Aloe Vera: It is a well known herb used for different ailments. Aloe Vera gel has been used for the damaged and unhealthy skin. It also helps to stimulate the immune system. Aloe is found to contain an ingredient called acemannan. This has shown some evidence for the treatment of cancer. 

Butchers broom (Ruscus aculeatus): This herb contains ruscogenins that produce shrinkage of tumour and cancer cells. It is mainly used for the treatment of breast cancer.

Milk Thistle: This herb is known to be useful for the liver. It also provides protection to the liver while taking chemotherapy. Research in America showed that milk thistle helps in reducing liver toxicity and other side effects of chemotherapy in leukaemia.

Flaxseed: Flaxseed contains lignin that has helped in the treatment of breast cancer. Secoisolariciresinol (SDG) is the natural lignin found in flaxseed. Research shows that the lignin found in flaxseed directly affects the human oestrogen metabolism and also the receptor sites. Oestrogen is responsible for producing many cancers. Research shows SDG inhibits the action of oestrogen in stimulating cancer cells. SDG also increases the production of Sex hormone binding globulin. This binds oestrogen, reduces the free oestrogen in the body, and reduces the stimulatory effect of oestrogen on cell division. Another test on women newly diagnosed with breast cancer showed that factors associated with tumour growth fell 33 per cent in the group taking flaxseed.

Rosemary: This herb is used in cooking and has a woody fragrance. It consists of terpenes that stop the growth and reproduction of tumour cells. Today, research has shown that when the terpene from rosemary is given along with the chemotherapy drugs Adriamycin and Velban, cancer cells may begin to absorb the chemotherapy that they had previously resisted. In many cases the terpene found in this herb has either caused death of the cancerous cells or reduced their spread.

CatsClaw (Uncaria tormentosa): This is a powerful immune booster agent and it also helps in increasing the rate of cleaning process. Research suggests that it can be used for reducing the tumour size, particularly in skin cancers. It can also be used for reducing the side effects produced by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Pawpaw: This herb consists of substances known as acetogenins. Acetogenins inhibit a molecule known as adenosine tryphosphate, or ATP. Cancer cells use high amount of ATP for rapid growth. Inhibition of ATP will produce deficiency for the cancer cells and it will cause death of the cancer cells. Acetogenins do not produce any harm to the non-cancerous cells of the body.

Dang Shen Root (Codonopsis pilosula): This is known to increase the white blood and red blood cells. It is a useful herb for patients suffering from any type of cancer as it reduces the side effects produced by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Pau Darco: The bark of this tree is believed to be an excellent anti-cancer agent. New research has shown that the ingredients present in this tree helps to strengthen the immune system and help in the treatment of blood and lymph cancers.

Red Clover: Research from a number of centres including the Royal Marsden has shown that this herb may be used for the treatment of cancers originated from high levels of free oestrogen present in the blood. It is a useful herb for the treatment of breast and prostate cancers. One active ingredient in the so-called Herb of Hippocrates is the anti-oestrogen Genistein.

Nigella Sativa (or Black seed): It is an excellent cure for different forms of cancer including pancreatic cancer. Studies have shown that if black is taken along with honey and garlic, it helps in the treatment of any type of cancer.

Sheeps Sorrell: It helps as a cleanser and also leads to the regeneration of healthy tissues. Research has shown that it also helps in the repair of damaged cells and tissues as well.

Skull cap (Scutellaria barbata): Research has shown that this herb is used for the treatment of different types of cancer such as lung, stomach and intestines.

Thorowax or Hares ear (Bulpleurum scorzoneraefolium): Research shows that it has an ability to produce natural interferon and is a useful herb for the treatment of bone cancer.

Sutherlandia (Cancer bush): Research studies show that his herb has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. It enhances the immunity of the body and helps by inhibiting the tumour necrosis factor which is known to produce wasting in cancer patients.

Treat Cystic Fibrosis Naturally

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the mucous glands especially of lungs, pancreas and intestines. There is increased production of the mucus which leads to congestion of the chest and causes recurrent chest infections. When the pancreatic ducts that carry pancreatic enzymes to the small intestine become obstructed, there is difficulty in breaking down the fats and proteins. It results in many digestive problems. There is abnormal loss of salts in sweat and saliva that causes an imbalance in the body.

Scientists are finding new techniques to determine the underlying genetic defect behind this disease. A combination of an enriched diet, vitamin supplements and natural therapies serves as the best treatment for cystic fibrosis. In conventional system, antibiotics are prescribed for lung infection that may produce harmful side effects. 

Natural treatment for cystic fibrosis

Diet for Cystic Fibrosis
People with cystic fibrosis suffer from recurrent lung infections. Many plants have been known that help in boosting the immune system and prevent lung infection. Researchers at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine have found that there is a natural antioxidant, thiocyanate, found in certain vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, which helps in the treatment and prevention of inflammatory diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Findings of this study suggest that the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis are more susceptible to the damaging effects of cellular oxidants so thiocyanate might potentially be helpful in treating the disease.

Children suffering from this genetic disease should increase protein foods such as meat, fish, eggs and milk in their diet. They require extra calories to fight against this disease. Patients with cystic fibrosis should eat more fats as it helps in increasing the amount of fat soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E and K. Absorption of fat soluble vitamins help in quick recovery from the inflammatory symptoms of lung infection.

Eat foods that are rich in dietary enzymes. Fruits such as pineapple and papaya help in proper absorption of food as well as breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Oats, as a source of (lipase) enzymes, may provide ideal acid-stable adjunct to pancreatin derived enzymes.

Natural foods such as garlic, parsley, celery, oils and nuts help in reducing inflammation as these are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Slow mucus growth by incorporating some of the following into your diet: garlic, onions, mustard, parsley, celery and oils found in nuts, seeds and fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring.

Dietary supplementation with amla protects against bacterial colonization (Klebsiella pneumoniae) of lungs on long-term feeding in experimental model.

Probiotics: There are two types of bacteria in our body, one that makes us ill and other that keeps us healthy. The probiotic organism is found to be useful bacteria for people suffering from cystic fibrosis. It reduces the pain and discomfort of the people suffering from cystic fibrosis by reducing the inflammation of the pancreas. It also helps in reducing the lung inflammation and reduces recurrent attacks of respiratory infection.

Supplements for Cystic Fibrosis
Vitamin A and Vitamin E levels are inversely correlated with pulmonary exacerbations in cystic fibrosis.

Glutathione improves clinical markers in cystic fibrosis patients which can be supplemented with whey protein or N-acetylcysteine (NAC).

Higher intake of Omega 3 fatty acidsmay reduce the risk of pneumonia, reduces inflammatory biomarkers, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, interleukin-8 concentrations, improves pulmonary status and is effect against mucus over-production caused by pulmonary bacterial colonization in cystic fibrosis patients.

Adjuvant treatment with zinc accelerates recovery from severe pneumonia in children.

High dose vitamin D3 prevents recurrence of pneumonia in children treated with antibiotics.

Herbs for Cystic Fibrosis
Boswellia is an important herb that has natural anti-inflammatory properties. People with cystic fibrosis may include this herb in their diet to get the benefit of natural anti-inflammatory properties of this herb.

Ginseng also helps in eliminating the bacterial effects and decreases the symptoms of lung infection.

Gingko Biloba is a natural anti-oxidant and can help to reduce inflammation of tissues.

Echinacea, goldenseal are two other important herbs that help to fight against any bacterial infection naturally and boost up the immune system.