Dr Oz Beer Gut Diet

October 7th, 2009
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Look down at your gut. Or ladies, look at your man’s gut. How did it happen? Poor eating habits? Lack of exercise? Too much beer? Get off the couch and jumpstart your weight loss with Dr. Oz’s gut-busting plan!

It’s time to ditch the extra pounds and increase your overall health (and sex drive!) Don’t worry guys – you can even keep the beer.

This plan teaches you easy-to-implement changes in your diet and physical activity that promise to trim the waistline.

First things first…it’s all about Portion Control!

1. Beer: You don’t have to totally give up your draft of choice. Instead, switch to light beer! Initially you can even drink the same volume of beer.
2. Meals: With some simple substitutions and changes to your favorite meals, you won’t feel like you’re giving up the foods and tastes you love!

Action Plan
Portion Control: The Basics

Keep portions the same and reduce calories with your food choices Lower meals by 100 calories while keeping the tastes you love! Use reduced-fat cheese, whole grains and cut back on sugars. You’ll be surprised how easy this is!

#1 Breakfast

Eat breakfast! It helps to speed up your metabolism. Try peanut butter on toast to get a dose of healthy oils on a piece of bread. It’s heart-healthy and can even lower cholesterol.

#2 Lunch

Try adding lettuce and tomato to your sandwich. It adds bulk and nutrients. Add salad to your menu for vitamin C, E, and folic acid.

# 3 Dinner

If you’re eating pizza: go for thinner crust! It cuts calories and carbs. Plus, tomato sauce adds cancer fighting lycopene – not to mention, it tastes good!

# 4 Dessert

Here’s the only place Dr. Oz is asking you to make a real sacrifice. Lose the sundaes! It’s metabolic suicide. The calories go straight to your gut with a whopping 1000+ calories!

# 5 Exercise – 3 Point Plan

Stationary bike or elliptical 2-3 times a week Weight training or core exercises once a week that include crunches and twists to strengthen your stomach muscles!

Dr Oz Health Tips, Health and Wellness, health fitness, Weight Loss

Healthy Holistic Weight Loss

October 6th, 2009
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Maybe fad diets aren’t your thing, but you are looking to improve your total health including the mind, body and spirit combined. The book, The Seven Pillars of Health, is a holistic guide to improving your health that dosen’t just rely on diet and exercise alone. Christian author and medical doctor, Tom Colbert, MD, has put together a list of seven essential components to leading a healthy life in seven weeks.

His seven ingredients are: water, sleep and rest, eating living food, detoxification, supplements, exercise and coping with stress. Each of the pillars is to be practiced one week at a time.

Developed under Colbert’s belief that Americans are some of the most unhealthy people in the world, he puts forth a 50-day plan that seeks to change your life, challenge your thinking, motivate, and impact your entire community forever

The Seven Pillars of Health encourages eating a living diet, meaning that food should be fresh and minimally processed. Therefore, saturated fat, sugar, artificial sweeteners and meat are all not allowed.

Since the first pillar is dedicated to water, it should come as no surprise that consuming plenty of fresh water each day is a staple component of The Seven Pillars of Health. In addition, you are instructed to take certain nutritional supplements, most of which Dr. Colbert’s company makes and sells.

Exercise is a key component to leading a disease-free life, according to The Seven Pillars of Health. Exercise is viewed as not just a way to keep the body in shape but to get in touch with nature and improve mood and self-confidence. You are encouraged to exercise on most days of the week by engaging in such activities like walking, jogging or biking outside. Aerobic exercises and fun alternative exercises are described and can be practiced by just about anyone.

The Seven Pillars of Health is a lifestyle guide to optimal life. Focusing on the mind, body and spirit, each of the pillars are broken down, studied and applied for one week at a time. At the end of the seven weeks, you gain a complete approach to healthy living that is supposed to inspire and motivate you to a new way of living.

Health and Wellness, health nutrition, Weight Loss

Healthy Later Life Chances Decrease with Obesity

October 1st, 2009
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obesity-and-life-longevityWomen, want to enjoy good health in your golden years?

Lose weight. Now.

A study published online last night in the British Medical Journal shows that women who are overweight in midlife are at increased risk of various health problems, from chronic diseases to cognitive impairment, once they pass age 70.

Conversely, the study found, women who were lean at midlife were most likely to be healthy after 70.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (both in Boston) analyzed data for more than 17,000 women collected through the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study, which started in 1976. Just under 10 percent of the women in the study who had lived to age 70 or beyond (their mean age was 50 when the Nurses’ Health Study began) reported being free of the 11 major chronic diseases the researchers tracked, maintaining good mental health and cognitive and physical function.

The likelihood of making it into that elite group decreased as BMI (body mass index) increased. Obese women were nearly 80 percent less likely to be healthy after age 70 than lean women. The least likely of all to remain healthy in later years were women who were overweight at age 18 and who gained more than 22 pounds by the time they turned 50. And whether they were lean, overweight or obese at age 18, women who gained weight by midlife had less chance of being healthy over 70 than those whose weight remained steady.

The study controlled for socioeconomic status and for smoking, diet and other lifestyle behaviors that could affect physical and mental health. One caveat: Most of the women studied were white, so researchers aren’t sure their findings extend broadly across the general population.

Still, the study adds new fodder to the often-heated debate about how closely body weight correlates to health. While the common wisdom is that being overweight puts people at increased risk of life-shortening diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, others say no such cause-and-effect relationship has been scientifically established and that people can be very healthy even if they’re overweight or even obese. The new research is the first, according to its authors, to examine the role of overweight and obesity in overall health among women who survive to older ages.

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Health and Wellness, health fitness, health nutrition, Weight Loss, woman's health

Dr Phil’s Weight Loss Challenge – Great Results

April 17th, 2009
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Spavelous is a proud sponsor of the Dr Phil Weight Loss Challenge

Dr Phil Amazing Weight Loss Reveals

 

Dr. Phil unveiled his plan to help America lose weight. Using the 7 steps listed in his new book, The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom, Dr. Phil will guide 13 people through 10 months of weight loss. Dr. Phil bases his program on 7 keys that you must master to permanently lose weight: When you use Dr. Phil’s 7 keys, you begin to: rid yourself of wrong thinking, heal yourself of emotions standing in the way of a healthy relationship with food, create a no-fail environment, shape your eating behavior into what you need for lifetime weight control, get real about nutritional choices that worked to your detriment, change your priorities to include exercise, and plug into a circle of support for encouragement and accountability. In short, you are changing how you’re living.

 

Key #1: Right Thinking

Understanding what you really think about yourself and your weight, learning how to have positive thoughts

  • Do You Have Faulty Thinking?
  • Challenge Your Faulty Thinking
  • What’s Your Weight Locus of Control?
  • The Challengers’ Internal Dialogues
  • Keep an Online Diary

 

Key #2: Healing Feelings

Deal with emotional eating. The Challengers Work to Gain Emotional Control

 

Key #3: A No-Fail Environment

This involves removing temptations to eat and rearranging your schedule in order to avoid or minimize triggers to overeat. Change your environment to promote success. Take a Personal Environment Audit. The Challengers Unlock The Door to External Control.

 

Key #4: In charge of Food and Impulse Eating

This key helps you identify those payoffs, unplug from them, and replace bad habits with healthy behavior.

 

Key #5: High-Response Cost, High-Yield Nutrition

Choose the right stuff for your body. To lose weight, you must choose foods that support good behavioral control over your eating, that is, high-response cost, high-yield foods, organized into a moderate, balanced, calorie-controlled plan to ensure weight loss. 

  • What Should You Be Eating?
  • A 7-Day Meal Plan
  • The Challengers Master Key #5

 

Key #6: Exercise Right

Prioritize regular exercise into your life most days of the week — walking, jogging, aerobic dance classes, yoga, playing a sport, or lifting weights. 

  • More About Key #6
  • Robert Reames’ Training Tips
  • A Sample Exercise Program for Beginners
  • Take Dr. Phil’s Exercise Audit
  • The Challengers’ Fitness Competition

 

Key #7: Find Your Support

Surround yourself with supportive, like-minded people who want you to lose weight and succeed at your health and fitness efforts. 

  • Dr. Phil’s Social Support Audit
  • Circle of Support Do’s and Dont’s
  • Find a Local Support Group
  • The Challengers Struggle to Find Support

 

Start changing your life today! Read The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom and
The Ultimate Weight Solution Food Guide and master the keys to weight loss success.

Diets, Dr Phil Spa Gift Card, Health and Wellness, Weight Loss , , ,

Bladder Cancer Treated with Frankincense

March 25th, 2009
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frankinsence

Frankincense used to treat bladder cancer

 FRANKINCENSE, an aromatic tree oil and in Christian tradition one of the three wise men’s gifts to the baby Jesus, may be a helpful treatment for bladder cancer, according to a study published today.

US scientists tested an enriched extract of the frankincense herb boswellia carteri on both human bladder cancer cells and normal bladder cells in laboratory experiments.

The oil suppressed cancer growth and activated mechanisms which kill the dangerous cells, they said.

“Frankincense oil can discriminate bladder cancer cells and normal urothelial cells in culture. The oil suppresses cell survival and induces apoptosis in cultured bladder cancer cells,” said the study.

Lead researcher Doctor Hsueh-Kung Lin of the University of Oklahoma said: “Frankincense oil may represent an inexpensive alternative therapy for patients currently suffering from bladder cancer.”

The study noted that the oil originated from Africa, India and the Middle East and has been “important both socially and economically as an ingredient in incense and perfumes for thousands of years”.

According to the Bible, it was presented to the infant Jesus by the three wise men, along with gold and myrrh.

The study was published in the online British Medical Council journal Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

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Cancer, Health Concerns , ,

Alcohol Flush could Indicate Cancer Risk

March 24th, 2009
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alcohol-flushTurn a bit red when you drink a mere half bottle of beer? If you’re of East Asian descent, consider that a warning: You may be at higher risk of alcohol-caused esophageal cancer. Researchers reported the link Monday in hopes of increasing awareness that the inherited flushing trait — found in about a third of people from Japan, China and Korea — offers valuable health information.

Alcohol is a known risk factor for a variety of cancers, including esophageal, and heavier drinking is considered riskier than light drinking.

Lots of people turn slightly red if they imbibe too much. At issue here is facial flushing from a small amount of alcohol. It’s due to a deficiency in an enzyme that helps metabolize alcohol, called ALDH2.

People with a severe deficiency of the enzyme usually don’t drink because it makes them feel too bad; in addition to flushing they feel nausea and a rapid heartbeat.

But people with a partial deficiency — they inherited one bad copy of the enzyme-producing gene instead of two — may put up with the flushing. A series of studies by Dr. Akira Yokoyama of Japan’s Kurihama Alcohol Center found that those people are six to 10 times more likely to develop esophageal cancer than people who drink a comparable amount but aren’t enzyme-deficient.

“Somehow the message just hadn’t gotten out,” said Dr. Philip J. Brooks, who researches alcohol and cancer at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

So he paired with Yokoyama and others to review the link for PLoS Medicine, a journal published by the Public Library of Science.

Without enough of that enzyme, alcohol breaks down into a DNA-damaging chemical similar to formaldehyde but it doesn’t go the next step and turn into yet another chemical that’s non-toxic, said Brooks. Don’t drink, and the flushers aren’t at increased risk.

Esophageal cancer is fairly rare, but it’s also hard to treat. Worldwide, anywhere from 12 percent to a third of people who develop it survive five years.

Up to 8 percent of the world’s population has the enzyme deficiency, meaning if even a small number of the at-risk avoided alcohol, esophageal cancer deaths could drop substantially, the review concluded.

In the U.S., most esophageal cancer is a type called adenocarcinoma that is linked to chronic, severe heartburn. The flushing-linked type is squamous cell carcinoma, less common here than abroad.

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Cancer

Vitamin D Deficiency in Americans – Link to Cancer and Heart Disease

March 24th, 2009
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vitamin-d
Increasing Number Of Americans Have Insufficient Levels Of Vitamin D
 Average blood levels of vitamin D appear to have decreased in the United States between 1994 and 2004, according to a new report.

Clinicians previously believed the major health problems associated with vitamin D deficiency were rickets in children and reduced bone mineral content in adults, conditions reduced by fortifying foods with vitamin D, according to background information in the article. More recently, insufficient vitamin D levels have been associated with cancer, heart disease, infection and suboptimal health overall. Evidence suggests that levels of 30 nanograms per milliliter to 40 nanograms per milliliter may be needed for optimum health

“Vitamin D supplementation appears to mitigate the incidence and adverse outcomes of these diseases and may reduce all-cause mortality,” the authors write. However, currently recommended levels of supplementation—200 international units per day from birth to age 50, 400 international units per day from age 51 to 70 and 600 international units per day for adults age 71 and older—focus primarily on improving bone health. In addition, decreases in outdoor physical activities and successful campaigns to reduce sun exposure may have contributed to vitamin D insufficiency, since sunlight exposure is a main determinant of vitamin D status in humans.

Adit A. Ginde, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Aurora, and colleagues compared levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D, a measure of the amount of vitamin D in the blood) from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), collected between 1988 and 1994, to those collected during NHANES 2001-2004. Complete data were available for 18,883 participants in the first survey and 13,369 participants in the second survey.

“Overall, the mean [average] serum 25(OH)D level in the U.S. population was 30 nanograms per milliliter during the 1988-1994 collection and decreased to 24 nanograms per milliliter during the 2001-2004 collection,” the authors write. The prevalence of levels lower than 10 nanograms per milliliter increased from 2 percent to 6 percent between the two time periods, and fewer individuals had levels 30 nanograms per milliliter or higher (45 percent vs. 23 percent).

Racial and ethnic differences persisted throughout the surveys; among non-Hispanic blacks, the prevalence of 25(OH)D levels of less than 10 nanograms per milliliter increased from 9 percent to 29 percent and levels of more than 30 nanograms per milliliter or higher decreased from 12 percent to 3 percent.

“These findings have important implications for health disparities and public health,” the authors write. “We found that the mean serum 25(OH)D level in the U.S. population dropped by 6 nanograms per milliliter from the 1988-1994 to the 2001-2004 data collections. This drop was associated with an overall increase in vitamin D insufficiency to nearly three of every four adolescent and adult Americans.”

“Current recommendations for dosage of vitamin D supplements are inadequate to address this growing epidemic of vitamin D insufficiency,” they conclude. “Increased intake of vitamin D (1,000 international units per day or more)—particularly during the winter months and at higher latitudes—and judicious sun exposure would improve vitamin D status and likely improve the overall health of the U.S. population. Large randomized controlled trials of these higher doses of vitamin D supplementation are needed to evaluate their effect on general health and mortality.”

Senior author Dr. Camargo was supported by the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for D-receptor Activation Research, and he and co-author Dr. Liu were supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

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Health and Wellness, health nutrition, New Research , ,

National Institute of Health – Red Meat and Life Expectancy

March 24th, 2009
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Daily Red Meat Raises Chances Of Dying Early
Study Is First Large Analysis Of Link With Overall Health

red-meatThe new study says, “If people want to be healthy and live longer, consume less red and processed meat,” global nutrition professor Barry Popkin said. 

Eating red meat increases the chances of dying prematurely, according to the first large study to examine whether regularly eating beef or pork increases mortality.

The study of more than 500,000 middle-aged and elderly Americans found that those who consumed about four ounces of red meat a day (the equivalent of about a small hamburger) were more than 30 percent more likely to die during the 10 years they were followed, mostly from heart disease and cancer. Sausage, cold cuts and other processed meats also increased the risk.

Previous research had found a link between red meat and an increased risk of heart disease and cancer, particularly colorectal cancer, but the new study is the first large examination of the relationship between eating meat and overall risk of death, and is by far the most detailed.

“The bottom line is we found an association between red meat and processed meat and an increased risk of mortality,” said Rashmi Sinha of the National Cancer Institute, who led the study published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

In contrast, routine consumption of fish, chicken, turkey and other poultry decreased the risk of death by a small amount.

“The uniqueness of this study is its size and length of follow-up,” said Barry M. Popkin, a professor of global nutrition at the University of North Carolina, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study. “This is a slam-dunk to say that, ‘Yes, indeed, if people want to be healthy and live longer, consume less red and processed meat.’ ”

There are many explanations for how red meat might be unhealthy: Cooking red meat generates cancer-causing compounds; red meat is also high in saturated fat, which has been associated with breast and colorectal cancer; and meat is high in iron, also believed to promote cancer. People who eat red meat are more likely to have high blood pressure and cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease. Processed meats contain substances known as nitrosamines, which have been linked to cancer.

Although pork is often promoted as “white meat,” it is believed to increase the risk of cancer because of its iron content, Sinha said.

Regardless of the mechanism, the research provides new evidence that people should follow long-standing recommendations to minimize consumption of red meat, several experts said.

“The take-home message is pretty clear,” said Walter Willett, a nutrition expert at the Harvard School of Public Health. “It would be better to shift from red meat to white meat such as chicken and fish, which if anything is associated with lower mortality.”

The American Meat Institute, a trade group, dismissed the findings, however, saying they were based on unreliable self-reporting by the study participants.

“Meat products are part of a healthy, balanced diet, and studies show they actually provide a sense of satisfaction and fullness that can help with weight control. Proper body weight contributes to good health overall,” James H. Hodges, the group’s executive vice president, said in a written statement.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 545,653 predominantly white volunteers, ages 50 to 71, participating in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. In 1995, the subjects filled out detailed questionnaires about their diets, including meat consumption. Over the next 10 years, 47,976 men and 23,276 women died.

After accounting for other variables that might confound the findings, such as smoking and physical activity, the researchers found that those who ate the most red meat — about a quarter-pound a day — were more likely to die of any reason, and from heart disease and cancer in particular, than those who ate the least — the equivalent of a couple of slices of ham a day.

Among women, those who ate the most red meat were 36 percent more likely to die for any reason, 20 percent more likely to die of cancer and 50 percent more likely to die of heart disease. Men who ate the most meat were 31 percent more likely to die for any reason, 22 percent more likely to die of cancer and 27 percent more likely to die of heart disease.

In contrast, those who consumed the most white meat were about 8 percent less likely to die during the study period than those who ate the least, the researchers found. Poultry contains more unsaturated fat, which improves cholesterol levels, and fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

The risk also rose among those who consumed the most processed meat, which included any kind of sausage, cold cuts or hot dogs. Women who consumed the most processed meat (about an ounce a day) were about 25 percent more likely to die overall, about 11 percent more likely to die of cancer and about 38 percent more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those who ate the least. The men who ate the most processed meat were 16 percent more likely to die for any reason, about 12 percent more likely to die of cancer and about 9 percent more likely to die of heart disease.

Experts stressed that the findings do not mean that people need to eliminate red meat from their diet, but instead should avoid eating it every day.

“You can be very healthy being a vegetarian, but you can be very healthy being a non-vegetarian if you keep your red-meat intake low,” Willett said. “If you are eating meat twice a day and can cut back to once a day there’s a big benefit. If you cut back to two or three times a week there’s even more benefit. If you eliminate it entirely, there’s a little more benefit, but the big benefit is getting away from everyday red-meat consumption.”

In addition to the health benefits, a major reduction in the eating of red meat would probably have a host of other benefits to society, Popkin said: reducing water shortages and pollution, cutting energy consumption, and tamping down greenhouse gas emissions — all of which are associated with large-scale livestock production.

“There’s a big interplay between the global increase in animal food intake and the effects on climate change,” he said. “If we cut by a few ounces a day our red-meat intake, we would have big impact on emissions and environmental degradation.”

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Cancer, Health and Wellness, Health Concerns, health nutrition, Heart Disease, New Research , ,

Depression can take a toll on your heart

March 12th, 2009
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depression Severe depression may silently break a seemingly healthy woman’s heart. Doctors have long known that depression is common after a heart attack or stroke, and worsens those people’s outcomes. Monday, Columbia University researchers reported new evidence that depression can lead to heart disease in the first place.

The scientists tracked 63,000 women from the long-running Nurses’ Health Study between 1992 and 2004. None had signs of heart disease when the study began, but nearly 8 percent had evidence of serious depression.

The depressed women were more than twice as likely to experience sudden cardiac death — death typically caused by an irregular heartbeat, concluded the 12-year study, published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. They also had a smaller increased risk of death from other forms of heart disease.

The big surprise: Sudden cardiac death seemed more closely linked with antidepressant use than with the depression symptoms the women reported.

That might simply mean that women who used antidepressants were, appropriately, the most seriously depressed, cautioned lead researcher Dr. William Whang. But he said the finding merited more research.

Studies of the newer antidepressants most often used today so far haven’t signaled a risk of irregular heartbeat, and some even have suggested protection, noted Dr. Redford Williams of Duke University, a specialist in how psychosocial factors affect health.

The drug question aside, Williams said the work adds to growing evidence that depression is an independent risk factor for heart disease — on top of the classic risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking.

The predominantly white Nurses’ Health Study may underestimate it, Williams said. “If anything, the impact in African-American women is probably greater,” he said, adding that it’s time for the next step: A study testing whether properly treating depression lowers the risk.

Why might depression have that effect? The study found that the more severe the women’s reported depression symptoms, the more likely she was to have traditional heart risk factors. Also, stresses like depression have been linked to such physical effects as a higher resting heart rate.

Perhaps a more straightforward reason: Depression can make people do a worse job taking care of themselves. Indeed, the American Heart Association last year recommended that everyone who already has heart disease be regularly screened for depression — because depressed patients may skip their medications, sit indoors instead of exercising, and eat particularly poorly.

Heart Disease, woman's health , ,

Stem Cells Q & A – Obama Order

March 11th, 2009
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stem-cellsEmbryonic vs. Adult Stem Cells: What’s the Difference? Which is Superior?

President Obama just signed an executive order clearing the way for Federal funds to be used in embryonic stem cell research.

But advocates of adult stem cells say there is no need to use embryonic stem cells since each person has billions of their own existing adult stem cells available to them or to science for research.

So, since it is quite clear that there is no shortage of adult stem cells, who the headlong rush to focus in on embryonic stem cells that are taken from aborted babies and have not shown any progress of working better than adult stem cells.

Conducting Talk Show interviews on this topic is a panel of expert guests spearheaded by Christian Drapeau.

During your interview, Christian Drapeau shares his theory that Adult Stem Cells are nothing less than the human body’s natural healing system. This idea has profound implications for every area of modern medicine. Drapeau contends that the idea that heart disease, diabetes, liver degeneration, and other medical conditions could become things of the past is no longer science fiction due to recent Adult Stem Cell research breakthroughs.

ABOUT CHRISTIAN DRAPEAU…
Christian Drapeau is America’s best known advocate for Adult Stem Cell research and the medical applications of Adult Stem Cells. He gained recognition when his breakthrough theory of Adult Stem Cells gained widespread interest across the scientific and medical communities.

Christian is a frequent speaker at scientific and business events worldwide with recent Adult Stem Cell presentations in Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, Mexico, Canada, and the United States. A featured Mensa national event speaker, Christian holds a BS in Neurophysiology from McGill University and a Master of Science in Neurology and Neurosurgery from the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Christian, Chief Science Officer at California’s STEMTech HealthSciences, is presently working on methods to enhance Adult Stem Cell production and delivery; collaborating with scientists and companies around the world on Adult Stem Cell applications. His latest book is, “The Stem Cell Theory of Healing, Regeneration and Repair.”

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS, ANSWERS AND TALKING POINTS:

1.What are stem cells?

A cell is the basic unit that makes up every organs and tissues of the body. In general, cells are specialized, meaning that they perform one specific task in the body. For example, a cell of the retina will detect light, a cell of the ear will react to sound, a cell of the pancreas will make insulin, etc. Generally, specialized cells do not multiply in the body. Contrary to all the other cells of the human body, stem cells are defined as having the unique property of being able to multiply almost endlessly and to have the ability to transform themselves in almost any other type of cells. In other words, stem cells are immortal cells that are nothing, yet they have the ability to become anything.

2.We hear about embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells, what is the difference between these two types of stem cells?

As their name implies, embryonic stem cells come from the early embryo. It is possible to isolate embryonic stem cells and to grow them in a test tube. Using various methods, still in the test tube, it is possible to make embryonic stem cells become cells of various tissues, like the heart or the liver or the pancreas, and then to inject these cells in various organs to support the organ’s function. Unfortunately, aside from ethical issues, the use of embryonic stem cells is still hindered by the fact embryonic stem cells can easily form tumors.

Adult stem cells on the other hand are found in any living organism. Here the term “adult” does not refer to the age of a person but rather to the fact that they are present at all time in the life of a person. Adult stem cells are present the day an infant is born; stem cells found in the umbilical cord for example are adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are not easy to grow in a test tube and do not easily become cells of other tissues in the test tube, a fact that led to the belief that adult stem cells are lesser stem cells when compared to embryonic stem cells. But recent scientific research has shown that this is hardly the case, adult stem cells have capabilities comparable to embryonic stem cells; but in the body, where it matters, not a the test. In the body, adult stem cells can multiply and become cells of virtually any tissue of the body.

3.What is the ethical issue surrounding embryonic stem cells that commonly referred to in the media?

Embryonic stem cells are isolated from human embryos left over after the process of in vitro fertilization. Typically, when parents cannot conceive and they resort to in vitro fertilization, eggs from the mother are artificially fertilized by sperm from the father. The embryos that are produced are then frozen to be later implanted in the mother. The procedure can be successful after the first implantation, but oftentimes it takes a number of attempts. And parents at times want more than one child. This is why many embryos are produced. When the procedure has been successful and the parents have had as many children as they want, the remaining embryos are kept frozen. And here is the core of the debate: after some time, these embryos are simply destroyed, thrown down the sink or in the trash. Keep in mind that these embryos are invisible to the naked eye. So many scientists are saying that instead of throwing them down the sink, we should use to save lives.

Overall, it is a very delicate question at the core of which is the determination of when does life begins and when is a person legally considered a person. If we determine that a person’s life begins at conception, and we agree with the general concept that life must be preserved at all cost, then this means that the life of an embryo must be preserved. In this case human embryos should not be used for scientific research or treatment. But this position raises a number of other equally complex questions.

What is the difference between killing a human embryo by isolating its stem cells or by simply throwing it in the trash? Is a person handling human embryos in a manner that is not optimal to preserve their lives guilty of criminal negligence? And if life must be preserved at all cost, should we allow the disposal of human embryos at all? And the question can get larger, because if we determine that life begins at conception, which takes place before the egg reaches the uterus, and that everything must be done to preserve life, then would a woman smoking cigarette be guilty of criminal negligence, since cigarette smoking reduces the ability of the embryo to naturally implant in the uterus?

As you can see, it is a very delicate question. So that’s the reason why I think that the recent scientific developments on adult stem cells are so fortunate, as they solve the ethical dilemma about the use of embryonic stem cells; we don’t have to use embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells can offer all the promises, without the risks and the ethical and moral dilemmas.

4.What is the recent scientific development about adult stem cells and what makes adult stem cells such an equally promising option when compared to embryonic stem cells?

The main source of stem cells in the body is the bone marrow. Traditional science tells us that the role of stem cells from the bone marrow is to become blood cells, essentially red blood cells, white blood cells and platelet, and that this is their limitation; they can only become blood cells. One of the greatest discoveries of our time is that aside from becoming blood cells, adult bone marrow stem cells can become cells of virtually any tissue of the body. Stem cells from the bone marrow can become cells of the heart, the liver, the pancreas, the lung, and even the brain. And not only is this a possibility, meaning that they can become cells of other tissues, but they do so every day of our lives; stem cells from the bone marrow constitute the natural renewal system of the body.

Anytime there is an injury, or simply the natural wear and tear of a tissue, the affected tissue sends a signal to the bone marrow to release stem cells. As the number of stem cells increases in the blood, the affected tissue also releases other compounds that attract stem cells to that tissue. When the stem cells circulate through the capillaries of that tissue, they are migrate out of the blood flow into the tissue. When they arrive in the tissue itself, stem cells multiply and slowly transform to become cells of that tissue. It is literally the natural renewal system of the body.

5.Christian Drapeau, your background is neurophysiology, what led you to the field of stem cell research?

Fifteen years ago I began investigating the health benefits of a little known plant called Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, in short AFA. AFA had been on the marketplace since the late 1970s, and many consumers were reporting increased mental clarity and energy, mood elevation, and an overall feeling of wellbeing. We soon discovered that AFA was an exceptional source of the compound phenylethylamine, a compound naturally produced by the brain that is known in neurology as “the molecule of love.” The presence of phenylethylamine in AFA explained many of the benefits reported by consumers. We also discovered in AFA the presence of a compound that helps maintain healthy inflammatory balance as well as a polysaccharide that supports immune functions.

But as we were investigating the effects of AFA on health, many consumers reported other benefits that we could not explain with what we knew of AFA. But the most intriguing was not the extent of the benefits as much as their wide variety. People reported benefits pertaining to the liver, pancreas, skin, muscles, lung, and even the brain. How could one product bring such a variety of benefits? For many years we had no possible explanation, no hypothesis, until the first demonstration, early in 2000, that stem cells from the bone marrow had the ability of becoming cells of the liver, the heart and the brain. When this was published, my colleague Dr. Jensen and I thought, “If stem cells from the bone marrow can become cells of the brain, heart and liver, which are some of the most complex types of cells, they must have the ability of becoming other types of cells, and if they do have this ability, then this cannot be just a simple observation, an anomaly, something of that magnitude has to be with a purpose. So in 2002 we published the hypothesis that stem cells from the bone constitute the natural renewal system of the body.

The reason why we were so interested in this view was that for the first time we had a hypothesis about how AFA could be working in the body. If a product were to support stem cell function, then as people consume this product and as stem cells migrate in various organs, then people would report a wide variety of benefits touching various organs and tissues. And that’s what we had with AFA. So we hypothesized that AFA was working in the body by supporting stem cell function.

6.And what did you discover?

We discovered that AFA contains a compound that specifically supports the release of stem cells from the bone marrow. This compound is not concentrated enough in AFA to have an effect, unless one takes a lot of AFA, which is too much. So we created an extract of AFA that concentrates this compound. This product is so far the only demonstrated Stem Cell Enhancer; consumption of 1 gram of this Stem Cell Enhancer supports the release of stem cells from the bone marrow and increases the number of circulating stem cells by an average of 25%, which is the equivalent of approximately 2-3 million new stem cells.

The important thing to bear in mind is that in this process of tissue renewal by stem cells, an important if not the most important parameter is the number of stem cells circulating in the blood. More stem cells circulating in the blood means that more stem cells are available for migration in various tissues, supporting the health of various tissues. So Stem Cell Enhancers support the body’s own innate system of renewal.

7.Could this be the solution to all diseases?

I understand that for many people the focus is on diseases, with such a discovery many people are wondering whether this product could get rid of health problems. But we cannot make such claims, as the FDA does not permit making health claims with dietary supplements. Let me simply say that stem cells from the bone marrow can become cells of the heart, the pancreas, the liver, the brain, the kidneys, the lung, the skin, the muscles, the retina… virtually any tissue of the body. For everyone, stem cells from the bone marrow constitute their natural renewal system. During the life of every individual, it is stem cells that maintain optimal health from the day we are born until the day we die. Supporting the natural ability of the body to renew itself is certainly one of the most powerful strategies to assist the body in being healthy.

But I would like to bring the discussion to a more global context, as these new discoveries about adult stem cells literally change the way we view health and wellness. Health is typically seen as what we have when we don’t have a disease, in other words health is somewhat defined as the absence of disease, but we all know that there is a vast gray area between optimal health and illness. A lot of people don’t have specific disease and yet they don’t have the energy they used to have, or the physical strength and flexibility they used to have, the stamina, the memory and concentration, eye sight, many things are not as good as they used to be. Stem cells are what allows the body to maintain optimal health.

You know, health is essentially a balance between cellular loss and cellular renewal. Every tissue of the body loses and replaces cells, and each tissue does so at a different rate.

For example, we have on average a new lining of the intestine every 5 days or so, a new pancreas and a new liver every few years, new lung every 4 years, a new heart every 20 to 40 years, and even a new brain, though here there is some controversy about the timeframe.

So if cellular loss takes place at a rate that is superior to the rate at which cellular renewal is taking place, sooner or later the organ that is affected will not be able to function optimally. So far in medicine we only look at the “degeneration” side of the equation. We try to slow down the degeneration process and when an organ fails to functional optimally we compensate for it in various ways. The discovery of the role of adult stem cells in the body gives us for the first time in history the ability of influencing the other side of the equation: the process of tissue rebuilding and repair. If it is possible to increase the number of circulating stem cells, then more stem cells are available for daily repair of tissues, supporting the natural process of tissue renewal.

So instead of talking about disease, let’s say that Stem Cell Enhancers support optimal health by assisting the body in renewing itself, compensating for the normal loss of cells. I believe there is no stronger strategy to help the body stay strong and healthy.

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