Real Advantage Nutrients

Real Health News from Medicine's Most Notorious Myth-Buster



    Researchers at McGill University in Canada have come up with an interesting, and seemingly significant, discovery in the field of nutrition: The common herb echinacea appears to have cancer-ameliorating properties.

    First let's have a look at the biology involved: Natural killer (NK) cells are those cells of the immune system that are "cytolytic" (cell-destroying) to many tumor cells and as well as cells invaded by viruses. In the McGill study, echinacea proved to cause a significant elevation of NK cells. "Such boosting of this fundamental immune cell population suggests a prophylactic role," the researchers reported.

    "Leukemic" mice are a clever and useful innovation to the study of cancer. They are mice bred to contract leukemia and are extremely helpful in studying the effectiveness of various treatments. In this study, a group of leukemic mice was treated with echinacea and compared with a control group of leukemic mice not treated with echinacea. The difference was dramatic.

    In just nine days, the number of NK cells in the echinacea-treated group increased to 2.5 times the original level. Three months after the onset of leukemia, the echinacea-treated mice still had two to three times the normal number of NK cells. Moreover, at three months post-tumor onset, all the major blood cells and immune cells in their bone marrow were recorded to be at normal levels. After three months the mice in the control group weren't so lucky: They were all dead.

    Mice are mice, after all, and echinacea has yet to be tested on humans with cancer. But if I were you, I would take two echinacea capsules twice daily. You can buy echinacea supplements almost everywhere these days-from health food stores to supermarkets to good old Wal-Mart.


    I have always maintained that my patients who walked long and often, preferably daily, lived long and healthy lives. Then jogging became the craze for all ages, with the Baby Boomers leading the way-rushing (or plodding) around the suburbs of America. By the beginning of the '90s, it seemed to me that most of the people I saw were either jogging or slugging down water out of a plastic bottle-or both. (I never would have predicted it-why didn't I invest in water?)

    The jogging craze will be intensified by a study reported by Danish doctors in the British Medical Journal. "Although light exercise has some value, moderate and vigorous exercise is now considered more favorable for health," they reported from Copenhagen.

    Well, I'm not convinced. You're not as young as you used to be. I'm sticking to brisk walks.

  2. Vegetarians looking for carnivore converts

    Vegetarians looking for carnivore converts

    Things have gotten out of hand, according to the old Asian Vegetarian Union. Young people in Asia have turned away from their vegetarian roots and have teamed up with decadent Westerners to eat dead animals. Affluence has a way of refining the appetite, doesn't it? Tofu and turnips no longer suffice.

    "Apart from being a matter of compassion, it is in humankind's interest to adopt a vegetarian diet if we are to avoid starvation, disease, pollution and ecological damage on a vast scale,'' said one congress official, Nitin Mehta. All that for eating vegetables and eschewing animal food. It's proving to be a strong and convincing message to the young, the ignorant and animal-worshipping neurotics in general.

    "We still live in a non-vegetarian world. In a way, vegetarians are aliens, like Martians," said Maxwell G. Lee, the union's deputy president, a vegetarian since the age of 12. I agree with Mr. Lee. Man has been eating animal food on this planet since the beginning of time. But the vegetarians landed from Mars only about 112 years ago. That's when they were first sighted in the Far East, in the hinterlands of Thailand, where they planted their first soy and humus. A lot of carrot juice has been passed since that historic event. They have been working their way west and down the food chain since 1889. These determined vegetarian Martians have now invaded the citadel of capitalism and carnivorism, the United Steaks of America. The National American Vegetarian Party cannot be far away.

    "Lee and others agreed that vegetarianism has grown rapidly in North America and Europe, with most converts giving up meat for health rather than ethical or environmental reasons," reports Denis D. Gray of the Associated Press.

    Denis, like all the other reporters in the world, thinks he is a nutritional expert. "Giving up meat for health reasons" means meat is bad, right? The Martians have reporter Gray in the bag.

    Surgeon General's Warning: Surgeons may be hazardous to your health

    "early coronary artery bypass graft (CABG -- "cabbage") surgery is an independent predictor of stroke" report researchers in the medical journal, Circulation. In doctor-ese this means, preventive bypass surgery may cause you to have a stroke.

    The doctors pointed out that "cabbage" surgery was not a minor predictor of stroke but the most important predictor of stroke.

    One theory is that bits of diseased arteries pass through the pump and flow into the patient's brain. Studies indicate that advanced age, a previous stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure increase a patient's risk.

  3. Fighting Cancer - With Broccoli?

    There is a chemical in broccoli called sulforaphane that stimulates certain "phase II" enzymes that have been found to inhibit the growth of cancer in laboratory mice…