Friday, March 31, 2017

Flax Hulls = Cancer Fighting Compounds

The link between cancer and nutrition is becoming increasingly irrefutable as more and more research studies link a bad diet with virtually every type of cancer. If people made simple dietary changes, scientists estimate that there would be at least a 60-70 percent decrease in breast, colon, and prostate cancers, as well as a 40-50 percent decrease in lung cancer.
Imagine all of the lives that could be saved if the focus was on preventing cancer, not just treating it. In this article we will be discussing a simple addition to your diet that have been shown to help prevent and treat cancer.
Besides eliminating obvious building blocks of cancer (like sugar) from your diet, there are other steps that you can take to ensure that your diet is protecting you from cancer, and not bringing you closer to a cancer diagnosis.
One of the best cancer fighting foods is flaxseed.
Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is an ideal source of dietary fiber, omega 3 fat, and lignan. Actually, it is the richest source of lignan on earth. It has lignan levels that are 100-800 times higher than any other plant source. Lignan has been shown in many studies to reduce the size of cancerous tumors in rats and mice, and has been used with success in treating both breast and prostate cancer in humans.
That means flaxseeds are more potent than virtually any other plant source when preventing and fighting cancer.
In one study, lignan was extracted and added to the diet of mice that had been previously given a chemical carcinogen to cause cancer. All of mice that were treated with this extraction reduced the size of their tumors by 46%.
Other examples of flaxseed being effective in treating and preventing cancer include:
  • Mice that were fed flaxseed with high properties of lignan not only shrank their cancerous tumors, but their offspring became less susceptible to carcinogenesis even when they didn’t consume any flaxseed themselves.
  • Lignan has been showed to help significantly men with prostate cancer when taking 30 grams of flaxseed per day.
  • Flaxseed has been shown to significantly reduce the tumor growth rate for mice with human breast cancer xenografts.
  • Omaha researchers found that mice receiving 10% flaxseed supplementation were able to reduce melanoma tumors by as much as 63%.
The research supports the idea that flaxseed, particularly flaxseed with high quantities of lignan is beneficial for not only preventing cancer, but treating it when it occurs.
One important thing to note is to make sure that you get flaxseed with high properties of lignan. Sometimes when flaxseed oil is pressed, the lignan is removed, so be careful of this when adding flaxseed to your diet.

So what can you do to get more flaxseed in your diet?

There are two ways to ingest it—whole or ground.
The Mayo Clinic recommends ground over whole flaxseed because it is easier for your body to digest. Whole flaxseed can pass through the intestines undigested, which means that your body will not get all of the benefits from eating it.
Still, some flaxseed is clearly better than no flaxseed in your diet, so as long as you make sure the flaxseed you are taking has lignan in it.
Ground flaxseed is easy to put into foods…you can add it to smoothies, condiments, bake it into cookies and breads…even putit into your breakfast cereal.
You can sprinkle whole flaxseed on top of soups, salads, and yogurt for added crunchiness and a nutty taste.
There are tons of ways to get creative about how you get flaxseed into your diet…and the best part is, you can get flaxseed in bulk (whole or ground) in many grocery and health food stores.
The research shows it is well worth the effort to get more of this super seed into your diet…don’t miss out on one of nature’s most powerful cancer beaters!
Click here for purchasing our Flax Hulls

Benefits of Flax Hulls / Fortified Flax hulls

An ancient crop, flaxseed is one of the most useful and beneficial “superfoods” on this earth. It’s also plentiful and affordable, which means that making it a part of your healthy routine is easy!

What Is Flaxseed?

A small brown or golden seed that comes from a crop grown in cooler climates, flax, also known as linseed, is both a food and textile crop. Linen (both clothing and table linen) is actually made from flax, and linseed oil (which can be eaten as well) is often used in things like linoleum and as a wood finisher. Evidence of the cultivation of flax by humans dates all the way back to the Upper Paleolithic era, around 30,000 years ago. Around 5,000 years ago, flax crops began to appear in Switzerland, Germany, China and India.

Cancer-Fighting Lignans

One of the biggest benefits to eating flax is the amount of lignans available per serving. Lignans are “fiber-related polyphenols” (antioxidants) that can actually help balance hormones, and may help fight against hormone-related cancers such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer.
According to a study published in Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, “Experimental evidence in animals has shown clear anticarcinogenic effects of flaxseed or pure lignans in many types of cancer.” And even though animals are quite different from humans, another small study found that “a control group of postmenopausal women with newly diagnosed breast cancer … who consumed 25 g ground flaxseed per day for approximately 32 days showed decreased tumor cell proliferation.”
The American Institute for Cancer Research officially claims that “flaxseed may contribute to lower cancer risk, but research is too limited to recommend it for cancer protection.” In other words, there haven’t been enough scientific studies to prove that flaxseed can protect us against cancer, there is certainly enough evidence to show that it’s helpful.

Digestive Health And Weight Loss

Because of its high soluble and insoluble fiber content, as well as its ALA fat content (otherwise known as Omega-3 fatty acids), flaxseed not only fights inflammation, but will keep you satisfied for much longer than simple carbs or saturated fats found in pre-packaged foods. Most Americans don’t get enough fiber, and if you’re one of them, you’ll be amazed at how your cravings and hunger fades when you get the recommended daily dose.

Lowered Cholesterol And Blood Pressure

A 2010 study done by Iowa State University found that men who consumed 150 milligrams of flaxseed per day “decreased cholesterol by just under 10 percent” over the course of three months (oddly enough, it didn’t work on women). Another study, done in 2012, took 110 people with high blood pressure, and gave half “30 grams of milled flaxseed,” and half a placebo, daily diet for six months. After those six months, patients on the flaxseed showed a “measurable decrease” in their blood pressure.

Natural Omega-3s

Flaxseeds are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, essential fats that our bodies can’t make on their own. Important for hormone production as well as genetic function, Omega-3s are also great at helping to reduce heart disease and stroke, and inflammation.
Most people take fish oil for Omega-3s, but if you’re following a vegan or plant-based diet (or just don’t enjoy the taste of fish oil), flaxseed is a great alternative.

Our Flax Hull Lignin's

Fortified Flax Hulls are essentially flax hulls (lignans) as described above fortified with 3-day old broccoli sprouts. Broccoli sprouts have been studied by Prof. Dr. Paul Talalay of John Hopkins University (MD, USA) and found to contain high levels of glucoraphanin.  Glucoraphanin when chewed releases a powerful antioxidant called Sulforaphane.

 Prof. Dr. Paul Talalay studied and found that Sulforaphane are highly effective in the treatment of cancers in rats. Other studies have found that 3-day broccoli sprouts contain the highest level of Glucoraphanin and the reason that they are chosen to fortify the flax hulls. These 3-day old broccoli sprouts are grown organically from specially chosen organic seeds. After harvesting, the sprouts are "freeze-dried" to preserve its properties.

Flax Hulls (Lignans) are natural organic shell only of the flaxseed without any seed materials or oil. The shell of the flaxseed is known and proven to contain very high levels of botanical lignans especially SDG. Friendly bacteria convert them into mammalian lignans so that the body can absorb better. They are powerful free radical scavengers and help stop excessive free radical activity which deplete the body's immune system. In this way, llgnans help boost the immune of the body. Flax hulls are also nutritious fibres containing both soluble and insoluble fibres and Vitamin B12 in the form of Cobalamin.

Purchase our Flax Hull Lignin's Here.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Osumex 5-mushroom blend benefits for diabetic condition

Here at Osumex we offer a product named 5-mushroom blend which is produced in Japan from raw unprocessed mushrooms. Mushrooms contain some of the most potent natural medicines. They are excellent sources of antioxidants as they contain polyphenols and selenium, which are common in the plant world. They also contain antioxidants that are unique to mushrooms, one of such antioxidant is ergothioenine, which scientists are now beginning to recognized as a master antioxidant.
Ergothioneine is almost exclusive to mushrooms and is an "unusual sulfur-containing derivative of the amino acid, histidine," which appears to have a very specific role in protecting our DNA from oxidative damage. Mushrooms therefore provide us with the kind of antioxidants to stop excessive free radical activity!
No preservatives, no additives, no colouring, no artificial flavouring have been used in the entire process. 

Osumex 5-Mushroom Blend is a balanced mixture of mushrooms packed in 3gm sachets:
Osumex 5-Mushroom Blend has a high concentration of glyconutrients or gluconutrients (essential sugars) and a polysaccharide compound called glucan, creating a unique biomass. Gluconutrients are the active ingredient for stimulating or regulating the cellular immune system, which in turn stimulates various immune cells, primarily the T-cells and Macrophages, to counteract tumor cells without damaging normal healthy cells. In Japan, the polysaccharide compound has been used in treating malignant tumors.

Osumex 5-Mushroom Blend is rich in Gluconutrients, Vitamins (B complex, C, D), minerals (niacin, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, copper, beta-carotene, amino acids) and enzymes.

How can 5-Mushroom Blend help a diabetic condition? 5-Mushroom blend are an ideal low-energy diet for diabetics. They have no fats, no cholesterol, very low levels of carbohydrates, high protein content, and a wealth of vitamins and minerals. They also contain a lot of water and fiber. Moreover, they contain natural insulin and enzymes which help the breaking down of sugar or starch in food. They are also known to contain certain compounds which help proper functioning of the liver, pancreas and other endocrine glands, thereby promoting the formation of insulin and its proper regulation throughout the body. Diabetics often suffer from infections, particularly in their limbs, which tend to continue for long periods of time. The natural antibiotics in mushrooms can help protect diabetics from these painful and potentially life-threatening conditions.

Immune System Strength: Ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant present in mushrooms, is very effective in providing protection from free radicals as well as boosting the immune system. It is actually an amino acid that contains sulfur, which is something that many people are deficient in, despite not knowing it or seeing its effects. That being said, the presence of this “master antioxidant” which is unique to mushrooms, can give you a major boost to immune system health. It helps to eliminate free radicals, which are the dangerous compounds that are released during the metabolic processes of cells, and can float throughout the body and cause significant damage and disease, so antioxidants, like ergothioneine, are vital elements for overall health.

Mushrooms contain natural antibiotics (similar to penicillin, which itself is extracted from mushrooms), which inhibit microbial growth and other fungal infections. Those same polysaccharides, beta-glucans, can stimulate and regulate the body’s immune system. They can also help heal ulcers and ulcerous wounds and protect them from developing infections. The good combination of vitamins A, vitamin B-Complex and vitamin C that is found in them also strengthens the immune system.

Blood Pressure: Studies of various types of mushrooms, including shitake and maitake mushrooms, have shown them to be high in potassium content. Potassium acts as a vasodilator, relaxing tension in blood vessels and therefore reducing blood pressure. High blood pressure is connected to a number of deadly conditions, particularly heart attacks and strokes. Potassium also increases cognitive function, because increased blood and oxygen flow to the brain stimulates neural activity. Studies have shown that increased levels of potassium improve memory and knowledge retention.

Weight Loss: Would you believe me if I said that a completely lean protein diet is ideal for losing fat and building muscle mass? Well, believe it or not, it’s true.  Most fats are burnt to digest proteins found in our food, more so when the protein is accompanied by a very low carbohydrate count, no fat or cholesterol, and a good amount of fiber. This is exactly the combination that mushrooms offer to help in losing weight! Due to their nutrient density, they actually rank higher than most fruits and vegetables, and some researchers say that mushrooms are one of the rare foods that people can eat as often as possible, with no side effects.

One study replaced red meat with white button cap mushrooms, approximately one cup per day, and found that those test subjects who ate mushrooms not only lost a significant amount of weight over a standard period of time, but they also decreased their waistline, and were better able to maintain their new weight, rather than ballooning back to the original weight as in most crash diets.

The benefits of using Maitake mushrooms because they contain high levels of the essential sugars, include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • provides the body with glyconutrients or gluconutrients which are essential for cellular health
  • Activates immune T-cell activity only when invaders or antigens are present
  • Potent antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and antitumor effects
  • Helps immune cells recognize invaders by increasing intelligent cell communication
  • Enables cellular components to "stick" to each other so as initiate the right reactions
  • Raises natural killer cell and macrophage counts against infectious organisms
  • Increases the body’s resistance to viruses, including those that cause the common cold, influenza, herpes, and hepatitis
  • Reduces allergies and chronic disease symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, lupus, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV, cancer, kidney disease, and others
  • Decreases cell death in chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Elevates disease resistance in weakened individuals
  • Accelerates burn and wound healing
  • Helps heal such skin conditions as poison ivy and psoriasis
  • Reduces the number of recurrent ear infections
  • Acts as antioxidant compounds
  • Slows the aging process
  • Decreases inflammation
Shiitake mushroom contains Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12 and D2 with high amounts of riboflavin and niacin and has been regarded as the ginseng of mushrooms. It is prized for its rejuvenating powers. It is the source of the nontoxic drug lentinan used in Japan to potentate the immune system of cancer patients. It also lowers cholesterol, inhibits the formaton of arteriosclerotic plaque and may be useful for weight loss 

Shiitake contains an amino acid called eritadenine that is responsible for its cholesterol lowering activity. Shiitake extracts effects include inhibition of viral replication and stimulation of interferon production. In addition, the extracts had been shown t reduce blood clotting and to help treat the Tricophyton fungi that caused many skin disorders including ringworm.
In clinical trials, shiitake is believed to exhibit the following characteristics:
  • anti-bacterial;
  • anti-cancer;
  • anti-viral;
  • anti-tumor;
  • acts as a growth hormone;
  • reduces cholesterol;
  • reduces high blood pressure;
  • moderate blood sugar;
  • prevents blood clots and thromboses
  • decreases blood viscosity;
  • immune enhancer;
  • kidney and liver tonic;
  • reduces stress; and 
  • potentate sexuality
The polysaccharides contained in Agaricus blazei mushroom vitalize production of interferon and interleukin. This is referred to as a cytokine inducing effect and can also prevent viruses and other external factors from entering the cell tissue.

Previous clinical trials showed that many fungi polysaccharides are effective only against solid cancer. This was reported during the general convention of the Japan Cancer Association in 1980. Subsequent studies, in collaboration with universities and hospital researchers, proved that the polysaccharides of Agaricus blazei is effective agains Ehrilch's ascites carcinoma sigmoid colnic cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer as well as solid cancer. These experiments suggested that it activated metabolism by revitalizing normal biological tissues. It was only recently that melanin protein, which is effective in the production of semen, hair and egg white, was discovered in Agaricus blazei.

The mushroom activates macrophage, immunocytes such as complements retculoendothelial system, acts to induce cytokine such as interferon as well as BRM. It bolsters the body's immune system.

Purported uses:
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Cancer treatment
  • Diabetes
  • Hepatitis
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Stimulant

Reishi mushroom has been known as a cardiotonic herb and has a balancing effect on the body. Among its many reported functions are:
  • strengthening the heart
  • improving blood flow
  • lowered consumption of oxygen in the heart muscle
  • lowering cholesterol
  • lowering blood pressure
  • preventing abnormal blood clotting
  • fighting yeast infections and chronic fatigue syndrome
  • helping in weight loss.
It has been used by the Chinese for 4,000 years in treating liver disorders, hypertension, arthritis and other ailments. Several biologically active triterpenes (ganoderic acids) and sterols have been isolated from this mushroom and proven effective as cytotoxic, anti-viral, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacteria and anti-oxidant. Polysaccharides and glycoproteins possessing hypogycemic and immunostimulant activities have also been isolated from its water extract.

Biochemical studies have also discovered Terpenoid, which indicated anti-cancer properties and lowering blood pressure, as well as beta-8-D-glucan in the mushroom. Other operating materials from the mushroom were useful in lowering the level of blood sugar, antithrombotic operation (activating blood platelet condensation control), hepatitis remedy and countermeasures against HIV, robustness and beauty culture. Russian scientists found Reishi showed a significant preventive and therapeutic action against plaque build-up. Plaque is fatty goo, which is comprised of a combination of oxidized cholesterol, calcium and degenarated white blood cells. It is deposited on the walls of arteries, which restricts blood flow by narrowing the passages of the arteries resulting in arteriosclerosis. 

Studies in Japan on cancer research had proven Reishi to have an anti-tumour effect. This has given impetus to Dr Morishige to begin hsi studies of Reishi as a treatment for cancer particularly where the cases were given up as hopeless. The active anti-cancer constituents in Reishi are called beta-D-glucan, which is a polysaccharide - a huge sugar molecule made up of many little sugar molecules chained together and bound to amino acids. These intricate sugars stimulate or modulate the immune system by activating immune cells such as macrophage and helper T-cells, as well as increasing immunoglobin (a specific type of antibodies) levels to produce a heightened response to foreign cells, whether bacteria, viruses or tumour cells.
Purported uses:
  • Fatigue
  • High cholesterol
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Hypertension
  • Immunostimulation
  • Inflammation
  • Strength and stamina
  • Viral infections
The Yamabushitake mushroom is being studied by scientists to ascertain the impact it has on dementia. There has been evidence of nerve cells stimulation and enhancement of cognitive abilities. Growth of nerves was also enahanced too even when astrocytoma cells from humans were used. Myelination was also enhanced.

Studies have indicated that Hericium erinaceus can be used to lull inflammation and cool down ulcers - gastric as well oesophagal ulcers. It can also treat Pancreatitis, a medical condition where one's pancreas become inflamed casued by digestive enzymes. This results in gradual corrosion of the pancreas and subsequent acute pain 

Our 5-mushroom blend is an amazing combination of all the mushrooms listed above. Which can be used to improve several conditions include diabetes. 

You can purchase our 5-mushroom blend here

Friday, February 17, 2017

LB17/Fermented Food helps with digestion, immune, blood circulation and skin healing especially sores.

LB17/Fermented Food helps with digestion, immune, blood circulation and skin healing especially sores.

What is LB17/Fermented Foods: 

Fermented Food (previously LB17) is produced from over 70 natural and organic ingredients such as: 


Kombu, Fucus, brown algae, Hibamata from Norway


Shiitake, Maitake, Agaricus brazei murill


Kale, Cabbage, Broccoli, Komatsuna, Mugwort, young leaves of Barley

medicinal herbs

Nihon-yama-ninjin or Japanese ginseng

grains and cereals

soya bean, unpolished rice

cultivated and wild fruits

apples, oranges, berries, lemon, persimon, guomi, akebi, Chinese matrimony

lactic acid or good bacteria is added to begin the stimulate and begin the fermentation process

The above ingredients are allowed to ferment naturally for a period of 3 years. Due to the way that the fermented food is exposed to extremes in temperature (summer and winter) during the fermentation process, any good bacteria present is potent, resilient and able to stay alive for up to 3 years at room temperature without the need for refrigeration. Any bacteria is live and viable and does not need to be revived, better than most other probiotics particularly those that are"freeze dried"!

Prior to encapsulation with a vegetable gel cap, Perilla oil (high in Omega 3 EFA) is added to provide Omega EFA (essential fatty acids). Fermented Food does not contain any preservatives, additives, colouring, or artificial flavouring.

Fermented Food is suitable for vegans as well as the "raw foods practitioner". It is very useful to the lactose intolerant and milk protein (caesin) sensitive individuals. The bacteria that may be present helps to break down all nutrients consumed into smaller molecules so that they can be better absorbed by the body.

The concentrate in each vegetable softgel capsule of Fermented Food may contain bacteria, digestive enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

How can it help with digestion: 

There are many benefits to incorporating fermented food/LB17 into the way you supplementation. In the recent months, more and more attention has been given to the importance of the micro-biome: that is, the colonies of trillions of bacteria we carry around in our guts that control myriad processes within the body. 

Fermented foods introduce additional beneficial flora to the body, which helps bolster our existing colonies. In particular, eating a variety of fermented foods improves the variety of flora living in your gut, which further bolsters gut health. Also, because fermented foods are powerful chelators, which means they draw toxins out of the system, they help detoxify and remove waste more efficiently.

Why a Healthy Microbiome is Important

A healthy microbiome, supported in part by fermented foods, has been shown to improve not only mood, immunity and metabolism, but digestion, too. The bacteria present in fermented foods provide helpful enzymes – which support digestion – in addition to doing a little of the work for us. Foods that have been cultured arrive to us slightly broken down: less work for the GI tract means easier digestion.

Considering so many people report having digestive issues, foods that help support better digestion – no pills, no surgery, no complicated elimination procedure – could be a pretty delicious revelation.
If you struggle with slow digestion, whether from a diet high in raw foods, low energy, medication or just a stubbornly slow GI tract, fermented foods might be a simple addition that could make a big difference. 

How can it help with immune: 

 Three recent studies highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy gut to avoid disease and optimize your health. The first, published in the journal Cell, shows that "host-specific microbiota appears to be critical for a healthy immune system.

According to Medical News Today:

"Human microbe-colonized mice have gut immune systems that look essentially identical to germ-free mice," said Dennis Kasper of Harvard Medical School. "Even though they have the same number and diversity of bacteria, their immune systems don't develop properly.

... The results might have implications for understanding the health consequences of our shifting diets, our excessive use of antibiotics, and our modern-day obsession with showers and antibacterial household cleansers, the researchers say.

"Because the intestinal microbiota can regulate immune responses outside the gut, the absence of the 'right' gut microbes may conceivably shift the balance toward disease in individuals genetically predisposed to autoimmune diseases," they write, noting that our relationship with our gut microbiome today may be threatened by a combination of heavily processed foods, frequent treatment with antibiotics, and advances in hygiene.

... Although modern medicine and technology may offer alternative ways to fight disease, Kasper says, "the current prevalence of autoimmune diseases - such as asthma, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease - may be, at least in part, the consequence of the increasing vulnerability of the coevolved human-microbe relationship."

You've probably heard that about 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, and the next study underscores this fact. It also provides yet another clue as to the kind of constant pressure your gut bacteria is under to keep your immune system humming. 

The study, featured in Genome Research, looked at a common set of viruses linked to gut bacteria in humans. These viruses, which feed off bacteria, are called phages, and they pose a constant threat to the health of the bacterial community living in your gut. 

Phages can actually outnumber bacteria 10 to 1, which in itself is a testament to the power of your beneficial gut bacteria (and by extension your immune system) to keep disease at bay. But it also helps explain why just a few days of careless eating can sometimes make you feel a bit listless, or why chronic poor health is at such epidemic levels. 

Between chemical assaults, inadequate nutrition, excessive sugar consumption and an overabundance of natural viral "co-hosts," your microflora has one heck of a job to maintain order and balance... And as soon as that balance is thrown off kilter, it will begin to reflect in your immune function.

How can it help with blood circulation: 

Most people know that fermented foods can help to support healthy digestion, but few people realize that they can also boost immunity, reduce IBS symptoms, and even support circulation and healthy blood pressure. 

Fermented foods improve pancreatic function; the lactic acid-fermented foods are already broken down or pre-digested, so it is easy on the pancreas. 

Traditional fermented foods will help lower glucose levels by slowing down the speed with which the stomach empties.

In one study, the glycemic index of sourdough bread, which is fermented grain bread, turned out to be 68 on the glycemic index, while non-sourdough bread is 100 – on the glycemic index table.

More recently, German scientists were working with a strain of lactic acid bacteria found in sourdough bread, and found it to be more effective in killing microbes, which were resistant to most antibiotics.

Early civilizations knew that to preserve food – fermentation was a necessity. Today, we know that the concept of using naturally occurring good bacteria will help eliminate harmful types. This is why we find a diet that includes fermented foods helps eliminate candida; lowers the risk of certain cancers, and supports overall health.

How can it help with skin healing:

How altered gut function impacts the skin

Intestinal permeability (a.k.a. “leaky gut”) causes both systemic and local inflammation, which in turn contributes to skin disease. In a study way back in 1916, acne patients were more likely to show enhanced reactivity to bacterial strains isolated from stool. 66 percent of the 57 patients with acne in the study showed positive reactivity to stool-isolated bacteria compared to none of the control patients without active skin disease. In a more recent study involving 80 patients, those with acne had higher levels of and reactivity to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) endotoxins in the blood. None of the matched healthy controls reacted to the e. coli LPS, while 65% of the acne patients had a positive reaction. Both of these studies suggest that increased intestinal permeability is an issue for a significant number of acne patients. 

Speaking of permeable barriers: most of you have heard of leaky gut by now, but what about “leaky skin”? The main function of the skin is to act as a physical, chemical and antimicrobial defense system. Studies have shown that both stress and gut inflammation can impair the integrity and protective function of the epidermal barrier. This in turn leads to a decrease in antimicrobial peptides produced in the skin, and an increase in the severity of infection and inflammation in the skin. 

The gut flora also influences the skin. Substance P is a neuropeptide produced in the gut, brain and skin that plays a major role in skin conditions. Altered gut microbiota promotes the release of substance P in both the gut and the skin, and probiotics can attenuate this response. The gut microbiota influences lipids and tissue fatty acid profiles, and may influence sebum production as well as the fatty acid composition of the sebum. This may explain why a Russian study found that 54% of acne patients have significant alterations to the gut flora, and a Chinese study involving patients with seborrheic dermatitis also noted disruptions in the normal gut flora. 

Fermented Foods improve skin conditions

Another line of evidence suggesting a connection between the gut and skin is the observation that fermented foods improve skin conditions. Fermented foods have been shown to decrease lipopolysaccharide, improve intestinal barrier function and reduce inflammation. The first formal case report series on the value of using lactobacilli to treat skin conditions was published in 1961 by a physician named Robert Siver. He followed 300 patients who were given a commercially available probiotic and found that 80 percent of those with acne had some clinical improvement. In a more recent Italian study involving 40 patients, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum in addition to standard care led to better clinical outcomes than standard care alone. And another recent study of 56 patients with acne showed that the consumption of a Lactobacillus fermented dairy beverage improved clinical aspects of acne over a 12-week period.

The beneficial effect of probioitics on skin may explain why pasteurized, unfermented dairy is associated with acne, but fermented dairy is not. I haven’t seen any studies on raw dairy and skin conditions, but my guess is that it wouldn’t be associated either. Orally consumed fermented foods reduce systemic markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are elevated locally in those with acne. Fermented Foods can also regulate the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines within the skin. The fermentation of dairy reduces levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) by more than four-fold. This is significant because studies show that acne is driven by IGF-1, and IGF-1 can be absorbed across colonic tissue. This would be particularly problematic when increased intestinal permeability is present, which as I mentioned above is often the case in people with acne. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017


What is diabetic ketoacidosis?

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition caused by dangerously high blood sugar levels. Your blood sugar levels become high because your body does not have enough insulin. Insulin helps move sugar out of the blood so it can be used for energy. The lack of insulin forces your body to use fat instead of sugar for energy. As fats are broken down, they leave chemicals called ketones that build up in your blood. Ketones are dangerous at high levels.

What increases my risk for diabetic ketoacidosis?

  • Not enough insulin
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Infection or other illness
  • Heart attack, stroke, trauma, or surgery
  • Certain medicines such as steroids or blood pressure medicines
  • Illegal drugs such as cocaine
  • Emotional stress
  • Pregnancy

What are the signs and symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis?

  • More thirst and more frequent urination than usual
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry mouth, eyes, and skin, or your face is red and warm
  • Fast, deep breathing, and a faster heartbeat than normal for you
  • Weak, tired, and confused
  • Fruity, sweet breath
  • Mood changes and irritability

How is diabetic ketoacidosis treated?

Diabetic ketacidosis can be life-threatening. You must get immediate medical attention. The goal of treatment is to replace lost body fluids, and to bring your blood sugar level back to normal.

How can I help prevent diabetic ketoacidosis?

The best way to prevent ketacidosis is to control your diabetes. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on how to manage your diabetes. The following may help decrease your risk for ketacidosis:
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels closely if you have an infection, are stressed, sick, or experience trauma. Check your blood sugar levels often. You may need to check at least 3 times each day. If your blood sugar level is too high, give yourself insulin as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Manage your sick days. When you are sick, you may not eat as much as you normally would. You may need to change the amount of insulin you give yourself. You may need to check your blood sugar level more often than usual. Make a plan with your healthcare provider about how to manage your diabetes when you are sick.
  • Check your ketones as directed. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about when you should check your blood or urine for ketones. Your healthcare provider may give you a machine to check your blood ketones. Urine ketones can be checked with sticks you dip in your urine. Do not exercise if you have ketones in your urine or blood.
  • Know how to treat ketacidosis. If you have signs of ketacidosis,  drink more liquids that do not contain sugar, such as water. Take your insulin as directed by your healthcare provider and go to the nearest emergency room.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Diabetic Neuropathy

Researchers aren’t exactly sure what causes diabetic neuropathy, although they have some clues. The biggest clue is that diabetic neuropathy is influenced by blood glucose levels and control.

In 1993, a major study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine that showed that controlling blood glucose levels can help prevent diabetes complications, such as neuropathy. That study very conclusively showed intensive insulin therapy to control blood glucose levels led to lower rates of diabetes complications; this was a long-term study done over the span of nearly seven years1.However, researchers don’t entirely understand how elevated blood glucose levels affect the nerves; they just know that there seems to be a connection between poor glucose control and the development of diabetic neuropathy.

It’s possible that elevated blood glucose levels damage the tiny blood vessels that lead to the nerves. If the blood vessels are damaged, they don’t bring oxygen and nutrients to the nerves as they should, which eventually can cause nerve damage.There are some other factors that may lead to the development of diabetic neuropathy:

  • Age: Diabetic neuropathy takes time to develop, so it’s much more common in older people who have had diabetes for 25 years or more.
  • Lifestyle choices: It seems that alcohol and smoking make the symptoms of neuropathy worse.
  • Nerve injury: Whether your nerves have been damaged through inflammation or through a mechanical injury (such as nerve compression associated with carpal tunnel syndrome), it’s possible the previously-damaged nerves are more susceptible to developing diabetic neuropathy.
However the nerves get damaged, the end result is the same: they aren’t able to convey messages as well as they should to the brain, and they lose their ability to help you feel and move.To diagnose diabetic neuropathy (also called diabetic nerve pain), your doctor will run through several exams and tests. These will all be used to help the doctor understand what nerves have been damaged and how extensive that damage is.


Your doctor will review your symptoms with you; this is the first step in trying to figure what kind of nerve damage you may have.The different types of diabetic neuropathy affect different nerves, so you should be very specific when describing your pain or other symptoms.

Physical and Neurological Exams

During a physical exam, the doctor looks at your general physical condition. He or she will examine how well you can move. The doctor will also be looking for tender, sore, or painful areas. The physical exam allows the doctor to assess how your body is doing right now, so he or she will also check blood pressure, heart rate, and other basic health details.

As part of the physical exam, your doctor should thoroughly examine your feet, particularly if you have symptoms that line up with peripheral diabetic neuropathy. (In fact, people with diabetes should have regular foot exams to monitor foot health.)

Since diabetic neuropathy involves the nerves, the neurological exam is a crucial part of the diagnosis. This is where he/she may test your “sensations”—how well you’re able to feel certain stimuli—which is especially important in diagnosing peripheral diabetic neuropathy.Different nerves are in charge of transmitting different sensory messages, such as temperature, touch, and vibration. Damaged nerves can’t transmit messages as well as they should, so these tests can be very helpful in narrowing down which nerves are affected.

Some possible sensation tests are:

  • Temperature: The doctor will hold a very hot or very cold object near your skin to test how well you can feel temperature.
  • Touch: He or she may actually prick you with a pin to see how well your touch nerve fibers are working. These are the fibers that not only tell you when you’ve come into contact with something, but they also tell you when you’ve been hurt (e.g., developed a sore or blister, or stepped on a shard of glass).
  • There is another way to test the touch nerves. The doctor may use a bendable nylon filament to test how much pressure you can feel. There are different-sized filaments that require different amounts of pressure to bend. By pushing a filament against the skin—on the foot, say—the doctor can measure how much force you can feel.
  • If you can feel a thin filament, then you can feel anything that touches your skin. If you can’t feel when a thicker filament is pushed against your skin, you probably have some degree of nerve damage.
  • Vibration: Using a tuning fork, the doctor will test how well you can feel vibrations. The vibration nerves are important for balance.

Diagnostic Tests

The doctor may need to do some simple diagnostic tests to check how well the nerves are conveying messages. Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) is how fast nerve impulses travel, and it’s possible to measure that. Sometimes, noticing a slower NCV is the first sign of diabetic neuropathy because if nerves are damaged, they don’t convey messages as quickly.

Many conditions other than diabetes can cause neuropathy. Because other causes may need to be treated differently than diabetic neuropathy, it is important to do nerve testing in order to know for sure what type(s) of nerve pain you have.

An NCV test is done using electrodes that are patched onto the skin. These are placed along a nerve pathway—one at the top of the leg and one further down, for example. A tiny electrical current stimulates the nerve at one electrode, and then the second electrode captures the signal as it passes down the nerve. The test measures how long it took the signal to travel down the nerve.

An electromyography (EMG) test is often done in conjunction with an NCV test. It shows how well muscles are receiving signals from the nerves. Damaged nerves won’t send clear or consistent messages.

The EMG test uses very thin needles placed into the muscle(s) the doctor wants to test. Those needles are electrodes that measure activity. You’ll have to contract your muscles, and then that activity will be measured. If the muscle isn’t receiving good signals from the nerves, then that should show up on the EMG.

Other Possible Tests

Your doctor may run other tests not listed here—based on your specific symptoms and the type of diabetic nerve pain he or she thinks you have.
All tests will help the doctor pinpoint what kind of nerve damage you have, how it’s affecting your body, and how it can best be treated.

The best way to treat diabetic neuropathy (also called diabetic nerve pain) is to keep tight control on your blood glucose levels. This is, in fact, the only way to slow the progression of nerve damage. Out-of-control blood glucose levels cause diabetic neuropathy, so it makes sense that keeping your blood glucose in an acceptable range can help you avoid nerve damage or stop it from getting worse.

You are familiar with the drill of how to control your blood glucose: eat right, exercise, take your diabetes medication, and monitor your blood sugar (blood glucose) levels throughout the day.

Eat Right 

Your doctor and/or diabetes educator will help you figure out a healthy diet that works for you-one that makes it easier to control your blood glucose and keep your hemoglobin A1c in the correct range. (To learn more about the hemoglobin A1c level—sometimes called the glycosylated hemoglobin or glycol hgb—please see below. With full awareness of the carbohydrates, fat, and protein in your diet, you'll be better able to avoid severe swings from hypoglycemia to hyperglycemia. You'll also be able to better maintain a healthy weight.


Exercise can lower your blood glucose level, and it should make it easier to control it. In fact, exercise increases your insulin sensitivity: after you exercise, you don’t need as much insulin to help process carbohydrates.
Additionally, there are all the traditional benefits of exercise:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better heart health
  • Better control of weight
  • Leaner, stronger muscles
  • More energy
Diabetes Medication—Including Insulin

Insulin is a hormone that’s normally produced by the body, but for people with diabetes, it’s either not working as it should (the case in type 2 diabetes) or the body has stopped making it (type 1 diabetes).
People with diabetes may need to take insulin to keep their blood glucose levels in a healthy range—important for preventing diabetic neuropathy.

Insulin helps your body use glucose appropriately. You can read all about the role of insulin in this article that explains how insulin helps control the blood glucose level.

Insulin is absolutely vital for patients with type 1 diabetes; some people with type 2 diabetes can effectively control their blood glucose levels without it by taking medicine that either increases the body’s ability to make insulin or the effectiveness of insulin. Because diabetes is a progressive disease, it’s common for people with type 2 diabetes to need to add medicines over time to keep glucose levels in check.

Blood Glucose Monitoring

You have to watch your blood glucose levels throughout the day in order to know how much insulin you should be taking. At the very least, you should check your blood glucose level four times a day: before each meal and before bedtime.

Keeping tabs on your blood glucose helps you know if you need to readjust insulin or your meals in order to keep your level in a healthy range.

Another important part of blood glucose monitoring is the hemoglobin A1c test, which will give you an idea of your average blood glucose levels over the past three months. The daily monitoring helps you adjust on a moment-to-moment basis; the hemoglobin A1c test lets you know how well you’re doing overall.

For people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy—nerve damage caused by diabetes—taking good care of their feet is very important. The nerves most often affected by peripheral neuropathy are the ones leading to the feet, and this type of nerve damage can cause people to lose feeling in their feet.
This lack of sensation can cause extreme problems. For example, someone with diabetic peripheral neuropathy might develop a blister on the bottom of their foot. People without nerve damage would be able to feel that and take care of it properly.

However, if someone has lost sensation in the feet, they wouldn’t be able to feel the blister. It may eventually rub off and then become infected. Left untreated, that infection may spread to the bones, and then it may become necessary to amputate the foot in order to keep the infection from spreading.
It’s possible to avoid that scenario entirely—just by taking good care of your feet. For starters, make sure your doctor gives you a thorough foot examination at every appointment. In between appointments, you should check your own feet every day.

Here’s what you can do to take good care of your feet:

  • Clean your feet every day.
  • As you’re drying the feet (with a soft towel), check for redness, swelling, blisters, etc. Be sure to look between your toes. If you notice anything, report it to your doctor. If you have trouble bending over to see your feet, try using a mirror.
  • Moisturize your feet with a good lotion. Be careful to not get any of the lotion in between your toes because it could actually cause an infection.
  • Keep your toenails at a good length; this should help you avoid ingrown toenails.
  • Wear shoes that fit well. It’s especially important that your toes are able to move and wiggle around, so look for shoes with a good-sized toe box.
  • To avoid injuring your feet, always wear shoes or slippers. You don’t want to step on something—a small pebble, for instance—and injure your foot. You may not feel or notice that small injury, and it could grow into a bigger problem.
  • Before you put on your shoes, make sure there isn’t anything in your shoe that could irritate your foot—a small pebble, for instance.
In taking good care of your feet, you’re being proactive in preventing severe complications from diabetic peripheral neuropathy.