A Nutritional Approach to AIDS

According to Bradfield & Foster ( 2006) is it possible to reverse all the  symptoms of AIDS in dying patients using  nutrition alone. This requires selenium and the amino acids, cysteine, tryptophan and glutamine.

Dr. Harold D. Foster, Ph.D. (1933-2009) was one of the giants in orthomolecular medicine with boundless enthusiasm and a prolific gift of writing. He was a researcher with a soaring scientific mind who made unique contributions to the understanding of health and disease.

Starting in 2004, a series of medical trials were conducted based on Dr. Foster’s research into the geographical correlations seen with HIV/AIDS, focusing on the nutritional deficiencies caused by the virus and the disease.

“HIV encodes for one of the human glutathione peroxidases. As a result, as it is replicated it deprives HIV-seropositive individuals of the selenoenzyme glutathione peroxidase and its four key components, namely selenium, cysteine, glutamine and tryptophan. Slowly but surely, this depletion process causes severe deficiencies of all these nutrients. Their lack, in turn, is behind the major symptoms of AIDS, including the collapse of the immune system, increased susceptibility to cancer, myocardial infarction, depression, muscle wasting, diarrhea, psychosis and dementia” (excerpted from hdfoster.com).

Marnie Bradfield & Harold D. Foster concluded in 2006 the following in an article in  Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine:

Several conclusions appear obvious from the African nutritional trials being used to test the efficacy of selenium and amino acids as a treatment for HIV/AIDS. Firstly, it is possible to reverse all the symptoms of AIDS in dying patients using nutrition alone. Secondly, this requires selenium and the amino acids, cysteine,tryptophan and glutamine. Thirdly, while selenium alone can slow HIV replication, eventually HIV/AIDS patients also need amino acid supplements. These can be given temporarily until deficiencies are corrected. The patients can then return to selenium supplementation alone for several months, until the more complex nutritional mixture is again required for another month. There appear to be no adverse side affects from these nutritional treatments and patients are delighted with their greatly improved health status.

For more information on the science and research based on Dr.Foster’s work, visit The Harold Foster Foundation and Foster Health

 

References

Bradfield M, Foster HD. The Successful Orthomolecular Treatment of AIDS: Accummulating Evidence from Africa. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine 2006; 21 (4): 193-196.

Foster HD. What Really Causes AIDS. TraffordPublishing, Victoria BC. 2002.

 

 

Vitamins Decrease Lung Cancer Risk by 50%

by Robert G. Smith, PhD. 

A recent study [1] of the effect of B vitamins on a large group of participants reported an inverse relationship between blood serum levels of vitamin B6, methionine, and folate and the risk of lung cancer. High serum levels of vitamin B6, methionine and folate were associated with a 50% or greater reduction in lung cancer risk. This exciting finding has not been widely reported in the media, but it confirms a growing body of evidence gathered over the last 40 years that B vitamins are important for preventing diseases such as cancer.

The study gathered information about the lifestyle and diet of 385,000 people in several European countries. The average age was 64 years, and most had a history of drinking alcohol daily. Blood samples were then taken from these participants, and some of those (889) that developed lung cancer were analyzed for the level of several B vitamins and related biochemicals such as methionine, an essential amino acid. These nutrients were studied because they are known to be important in the metabolism of single carbon compounds, which is necessary for the synthesis and repair of DNA in the body’s tissues [2]. Thus, B vitamins are helpful in preventing defects in DNA which can cause cancer [2-4].

Specifically, a high level of either vitamin B6, or methionine, or folate reduced the risk for lung cancer. High levels of all these nutrients together produced an even lower risk. The effects were large, so the results are highly significant.

The study divided the participants into three categories, depending on whether they currently smoked, had previously smoked, or had never smoked. While smoking is the most important lifestyle factor in the risk for lung cancer, interestingly, the effects of vitamin B6, methionine, and folate were fairly constant among the three categories. That is, those with higher levels of these B vitamins had a significantly lower risk of lung cancer no matter whether they smoked or not. The report emphasizes that this result strongly suggests that the effect of these essential nutrients in lowering the risk for cancer is real and not purely a statistical correlation. And, the report reiterates that smoking is dangerous, greatly increasing the risk for lung cancer in older people after decades of insult to the lungs.

Some widely-reported health studies have suggested that B vitamins can increase the risk of cancer. The theory is that these vitamins can help to prevent cancer from their effects in strengthening DNA synthesis and repair, but that when cancer is present, the vitamins supposedly help the cancer to grow [5]. However, there is a long history of health studies, including the above mentioned study, reporting that B vitamins including folate and vitamin B6 can help to prevent many types of cancer, such as breast, prostate and colorectal cancer [1-6].

It is just amazing how the news media could have missed this, but they pretty much did. In one much-publicized study [7] it was widely claimed that “Multivitamins increase deaths in older women!” Actually, the study found that B complex vitamins were associated with a 7 percent decrease in mortality, vitamin C was associated with a 4 percent decrease in mortality, vitamin D was associated with an 8 percent decrease in mortality, and several minerals were associated with a decrease in mortality.

Essential nutrients in a well-balanced diet, including B-complex, C, D, and E vitamins, are crucial to maintaining good health into old age for a variety of reasons. Persons taking adequate levels of vitamins will live longer, with fewer heart attacks [8] and other serious diseases such as diabetes [9], multiple sclerosis [10], and dementia [11].

The question begged by the report is, what role did vitamin supplements play in the blood levels reported for these essential nutrients? Taking a multivitamin that includes B-complex vitamins will obviously increase the blood levels of these essential nutrients. However, the value of supplements was not emphasized in the report.

So we will emphasize it here. Vitamins dramatically lower lung cancer risk. Supplements provide these nutrients in abundance. Modern diets do not.

(Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, November 18, 2011)

 

References 

1. Johansson M, Relton C, Ueland PM, et al. Serum B vitamin levels and risk of lung cancer. JAMA. 2010 Jun 16;303(23):2377-85.

2. Xu X, Chen J. One-carbon metabolism and breast cancer: an epidemiological perspective. J Genet Genomics. 2009;36: 203-214.

3. Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A. Vitamin B6 and risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. JAMA. 2010;303:1077-1083.

4. Ames BN. Prevention of mutation, cancer, and other age-associated diseases by optimizing micronutrient intake. J Nucleic Acids. 2010 Sep 22;2010. pii: 725071.

5. Mason JB. Unraveling the complex relationship between folate and cancer risk. Biofactors. 2011 Jul;37(4):253-60.

6. Giovannucci E. Epidemiologic studies of folate and colorectal neoplasia: a review. J Nutr. 2002;132(Suppl):S2350-S2355.

7. Mursu J, Robien K, Harnack LJ, Park K, Jacobs DR Jr. Dietary supplements and mortality rate in older women. The Iowa Women’s Health Study. Arch Intern Med 2011. 171(18):1625-1633.

8. Pfister R, Sharp SJ, Luben R, et al. Plasma vitamin C predicts incident heart failure in men and women in European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Norfolk prospective study. Am Heart J. 2011 Aug;162(2):246-53.

9. Harding AH, Wareham NJ, Bingham SA, et al. Plasma vitamin C level, fruit and vegetable consumption, and the risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus: the European prospective investigation of cancer–Norfolk prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jul 28;168(14):1493-9.

10. Solomon AJ. Multiple sclerosis and vitamin D. Neurology. 2011 Oct 25;77(17):e99-e100.

11. Selhub J, Troen A, Rosenberg IH. B vitamins and the aging brain. Nutr Rev. 2010 Dec;68 Suppl 2:S112-8.

 

Nutritional Support for Wound Healing

Nutrition plays a crucial role in wound healing. Nutritional status of patients at the time of trauma or surgery influences the biochemical processes necessary for the phases of normal healing to occur. Evidence exists that vitamins A and C, zinc, arginine, glutamine, glucosamine, bromelain, Aloe vera, and Centella asiatica may be beneficial to wounded or surgical patients.

 

Douglas MacKay and Alan L. Miller

Nutritional support for wound healing 
Altern Med Rev 2003; 8 (4): 359-77 

 

ABSTRACT

Healing of wounds, whether from accidental injury or surgical intervention, involves the activity of an intricate network of blood cells, tissue types, cytokines, and growth factors. This results in increased cellular activity, which causes an intensified metabolic demand for nutrients. Nutritional deficiencies can impede wound healing, and several nutritional factors required for wound repair may improve healing time and wound outcome. Vitamin A is required for epithelial and bone formation, cellular differentiation, and immune function. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen formation, proper immune function, and as a tissue antioxidant. Vitamin E is the major lipid-soluble antioxidant in the skin; however, the effect of vitamin E on surgical wounds is inconclusive. Bromelain reduces edema, bruising, pain, and healing time following trauma and surgical procedures. Glucosamine appears to be the rate-limiting substrate for hyaluronic acid production in the wound. Adequate dietary protein is absolutely essential for proper wound healing, and tissue levels of the amino acids arginine and glutamine may influence wound repair and immune function. The botanical medicines Centella asiatica and Aloe vera have been used for decades, both topically and internally, to enhance wound repair, and scientific studies are now beginning to validate efficacy and explore mechanisms of action for these botanicals. To promote wound healing in the shortest time possible, with minimal pain, discomfort, and scarring to the patient, it is important to explore nutritional and botanical influences on wound outcome.

 

Research From Everest: Can Leucine Help Burn Fat And Spare Muscle Tissue During Exercise?

DENVER, Aug. 28, 2011 — Research on Mt. Everest climbers is adding to the evidence that an amino acid called leucine — found in foods, dietary supplements, energy bars and other products — may help people burn fat during periods of food restriction, such as climbing at high altitude, while keeping their muscle tissue. It was one of two studies reported here today at the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on the elite corps of men and women who have tackled the highest peak on Earth, mountaineering’s greatest challenge.

In a pilot study of the feasibility of supplementing the diet of climbers with the branch chain amino acid, leucine, scientists studied 10 climbers for 6-8 weeks as they ascended Mt. Everest, which towers 29,000 feet above sea level. Since Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay made the first successful climb in 1953, over 2,500 people have scaled Mt. Everest in the Himalayas. Thousands more tried and failed, with more than 216 deaths. The researchers were studying the physiological benefits of adding leucine to the climbers’ diets to help them stay healthy. The researchers are from the University of Utah.

Wayne Askew, Ph.D., and his co-investigator, Stacie Wing-Gaia, Ph.D., who headed the leucine study, explained that the extreme weather conditions, low oxygen levels, treacherous terrain and strenuous exercise during such climbs create a huge nutritional challenge. Weight loss at high altitude is exactly the opposite problem that is on the minds of millions of people in the United States and other countries who are trying to shed excess weight. Climbers often cannot or do not eat enough calories, failing to replenish their bodies with important nutrients. They lose both fat and muscle during an arduous climb, endangering their strength and motor coordination. At high altitudes, fat and muscle loss occurs not only when they are climbing, but also at rest.

“The significant part about this weight loss is that a disproportionate amount comes from the muscle mass,” said Askew. “This can be a problem on long expeditions at high altitude because the longer climbers are there and the higher they go, the weaker they get. The body breaks down the muscle for energy, so climbers don’t have it available for moving up the mountain.

“We knew that leucine has been shown to help people on very low-calorie, or so-called ‘calorie-restricted diets’, stay healthy at sea level,” said Askew. “It’s one of the components, the building blocks, of protein. But no one had tested whether leucine would help people stay healthy and strong at high altitudes, so we added leucine to specially prepared food bars that we gave to the climbers.”

Askew didn’t climb Mt. Everest, but members of his research team, Dr. Wing-Gaia and Dr. Rodway, went to base camp and measured expedition members’ fat and muscle by using an ultrasound device placed on the skin. They are currently examining the data to see whether climbers who ate the leucine bar retained more muscle than those who ate a bar without leucine. One finding that was apparent early on in the study was that the food item in which the leucine was delivered was critically important. The Everest climbers had difficulties consuming the three food bars per day that contained the additional leucine. Askew stressed that this was a small pilot study to test the feasibility of leucine supplementation at altitude, so definitive conclusions of its benefits at altitude await the results of a more controlled clinical study. The researchers plan to improve the palatability of the leucine food vehicle in consultation with military food product developers at Natick Research Development and Engineering Center and conduct a more controlled study at high altitude, possibly with the U.S. Army Institute of Environmental Medicine at their laboratory on Pike’s Peak.

Askew pointed out that the findings also could help people at lower altitudes who want to lose weight while preserving their lean body mass, or who are elderly and don’t eat or exercise enough to maintain their strength. He predicts that consumers might one day see leucine-rich bars on grocery store shelves, especially at high-altitude locations, such as Aspen and Denver, where high-altitude skiing and climbing activities are popular.

In the other Everest report, John Finley, Ph.D., described a study in which he gave Mt. Everest climbers a type of fat called “medium-chain triglycerides” in their cookies and hot chocolate. They also took an aspirin every day.

“We tried to improve climbers’ performances by feeding them medium-chain triglycerides — fat that we thought would be metabolized better as quick energy,” said Finley, who is with Louisiana State University.

At high altitudes, the air pressure is low and the oxygen is less dense — making less oxygen available for breathing. In response, the body makes more oxygen-carrying red blood cells. This thickens the blood and puts a strain on the heart and lungs, increasing the risk of potentially dangerous blood clots. That’s why Finley also had the climbers take aspirin, which is known for thinning the blood and reducing the risks of having a heart attack or stroke. “We found that we could reduce the risk factors involved in having more viscous blood at high altitudes by giving the climbers aspirin,” he said.

Finley himself went on the climb and collected urine and fecal samples. The climbers who consumed the medium-chain triglycerides lost less weight and performed better than others on the expedition. The data also suggested that fats aren’t absorbed well at high altitudes when the body is losing a lot of weight, possibly because too little bile is produced by the liver to dissolve the fats, he explained.

Finley doesn’t have plans to commercialize the medium-chain triglyceride hot chocolate and cookies, but suggests that people going to high-altitude locations talk with their health-care providers about taking a daily aspirin.

 

Dietary Leucine May Fight Prediabetes, Metabolic Syndrome

Joslin study shows improvements in animals with amino acid in diet

BOSTON — June 22, 2011 — A study led by researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center suggests that adding the amino acid leucine to their diets may help those with pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

In an animal study, published in the journal PloS One, mice who had been on a high-fat diet and who also received twice the usual intake of leucine, an amino acid found in protein, showed reductions in their prediabetic conditions with lower blood sugars and less fat in their livers, two of the collection of medical problems associated with insulin resistance that make up what is known as metabolic syndrome.

“The impact on the animals on the high-fat diet, even though it didn’t change how fat they got, was that their bodies were able to handle glucose better,” said C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., Head of the Joslin Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism and the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Kahn led the team of researchers from Joslin and Metabolon Inc. of Durham, N.C.

“Their glucose tolerance tests improved,” he said. “Their bodies responded to insulin better than they would have before they got the leucine. It improved their ability to metabolize sugar and fats. It markedly improved their pre-diabetic condition. Their metabolic syndrome also improved.”

Mice who were fed a normal diet and given leucine showed no significant effects from taking the dietary supplement.

Kahn said the study sought to see what effect just a small change in their environment — in this case in just one small component of the diet — might have on animals with prediabetes or metabolic syndrome.

“We found that adding just this one amino acid to the diet changed the metabolism in a lot of different pathways,” he said. “It had effects that improved insulin sensitivity, improved their ability to metabolize sugar and fats and their overall metabolism improved.”

Kahn said the study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, shows that even small changes in how we interact with our environment can make a big difference. Such changes can be positive or negative. In this case, they were positive.

He said it is too soon to recommend that those with prediabetes or metabolic syndrome add leucine to their diets, but said the next step should be a study in humans.

Leucine is one of 22 amino acids that serve as building blocks of proteins. It was chosen to be tested because in vitro studies had previously shown that it has effects on insulin signaling, Kahn said. Leucine is found in all protein food sources. It is often taken in supplements by those involved in body building in order to increase muscle mass.