Category: Health

Liver Disease Symptoms Women

Liver Disease Symptoms Women

Let us start off by talking about the liver.

What is your liver?

The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. Weighing about 3 pounds, the liver is reddish-brown and feels rubbery to the touch. Normally you can’t feel the liver, because it’s protected by the rib cage. The liver has two large sections, called the right and the left lobes. The gallbladder sits under the liver, along with parts of the pancreas and intestines. The liver and these organs work together to digest, absorb, and process food.

The liver’s main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions.

 

Tea Liver normal and fatty

 

 

More on the liver:

The liver is an organ about the size of a football that sits just under your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen. The liver is essential for digesting food and ridding your body of toxic substances.

Liver disease can be inherited (genetic) or caused by a variety of factors that damage the liver, such as viruses and alcohol use. Obesity is also associated with liver damage.

Over time, damage to the liver results in scarring (cirrhosis), which can lead to liver failure, a life-threatening condition.

What does the Liver do?

Known as the second largest organ in the body after the skin, the liver has over 500 functions, including helping the blood to clot and breaking down damaged cells. Weighing between two and three pounds, it holds about 13 percent on the body’s total blood volume. The liver has the distinction of being both a gland and an organ. As an organ, it can execute chemical actions, and as a gland, it secretes chemicals for other parts of the body to use.

The liver is a metabolically active organ responsible for many vital life functions. The primary functions of the liver are:

  • Bile production and excretion
  • Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol,
    hormones, and drugs
  • Metabolism of fats, proteins, and
    carbohydrates
  • Enzyme activation
  • Storage of glycogen, vitamins, and
    minerals
  • Synthesis of plasma proteins, such as
    albumin, and clotting factors
  • Blood detoxification and purification

What is Bile?

Bile is a fluid that is made and released by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile helps with digestion. It breaks down fats into fatty acids, which can be taken into the body by the digestive tract.

Bile contains:

  • Mostly cholesterol
  • Bile acids (also called bile salts)
  • Bilirubin (a breakdown product or red blood cells)

It also contains:

  • Water
  • Body salts (such as potassium and sodium)
  • Copper and other metals

What does bile do?

Bile contains bile acids, which are critical for digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins in the small intestine. Many waste products, including bilirubin, are eliminated from the body by secretion into bile and elimination in feces. Bile is a complex fluid containing water, electrolytes and a battery of organic molecules including bile acids, cholesterol, phospholipids and bilirubin that flows through the biliary tract into the small intestine.

Bilrubin:

Bilirubin is a yellow compound that occurs in the normal catabolic pathway that breaks down heme in vertebrates. This catabolism is a necessary process in the body’s clearance of waste products that arise from the destruction of aged or abnormal red blood cells.

Phospholipids:

Phospholipids are a class of lipids that are a major component of all cell membranes. They can form lipid bilayers because of there amphiphilic characteristic. The structure of the phospholipid molecule generally consists of two hydrophobic fatty acid “tails” and a hydrophilic “head” consisting of a phosphate group.

Well I think we have covered enough about the basic liver functions.

What is happening in our world today that is causing liver disease?

Most of us have grown associate liver disease with over consumption with alcohol, but there are many other factors.

We live in an increasingly toxic world. But did you know that over 80,000 chemicals contaminate the air, water and food supply?

Here are the top 10 toxins that we’re exposed to on a daily basis…

Alcohol

Tobacco smoke

Prescription and OTC medications

Artificial sweeteners

Dental fillings (mercury is a toxic heavy metal!)

Bisphenol A (found in water bottles and food storage containers)

Artificial fragrance (3,000 chemicals in this category!)

Teflon (from anti-stain coatings on furniture and carpets)

Air pollution (indoor and outdoor)

Pesticides (RoundUp is the worst and it’s everywhere!!)

Your Liver is responsible for neutralizing all these toxins so that they don’t kill you.

Which is why most people are walking around with a compromised liver that’s been beat up by working overtime… for decades… without a break!

Why this is a big deal is because poor liver function can increase the risk of many diseases like:

Autoimmune disorders (Hashimoto’s, lupus, MS, etc)

Cancer

Dementia

Diabetes

Heart problems

Hormone imbalances

Thyroid problems

Skin issues

It is vital to keep your liver healthy, from my understanding liver disease is nasty and if neglected fatal!

Liver disease is more commonly associated with men, but there is an increase of liver disease in women and that is one of the reasons I have chosen the topic. Liver Disease and women.

We have touched on some of the reasons why liver damage occurs, and that is due to the increased amount of toxins we breathe every day. Yes this includes children!

What are the Symptoms of Liver Disease:

  • Skin and eyes that appear yellowish (jaundice)
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark urine color
  • Pale stool color, or bloody or tar-colored stool
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tendency to bruise easily

The symptoms of liver damage in women are similar to those in men. These symptoms may include yellowing of the skin and eyes, a condition called jaundice, tea-colored urine, and generalized itching. In addition, the liver may look and feel enlarged, and the patient may have little or no appetite. In addition, a person may experience include weight loss, nausea and vomiting, and clay-colored stools. Sometimes a blocked bile duct can contribute to clay- or light-colored stools as well.

Typically, early symptoms of liver damage in women are vague. They may include bloating, excessive gas, and pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. Although these symptoms can be mild and due to other, less serious conditions, they must be evaluated by the physician. As symptoms of liver damage in women become worse, the patient may even display confusion and lethargy. This happens because liver damage can produce high amounts of ammonia to be released into the blood stream, causing confusion and sleepiness.

Stages of Liver damage

 

 

Primary liver damage can be caused by excessive intake of alcohol, leading to cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, and hepatitis. In addition, gallbladder disease can cause liver damage in women. Although the liver can repair itself, extensive liver damage may be permanent. In addition, certain medications and illicit drugs can also contribute to liver damage in both men and women. For example, taking pain relievers while drinking alcohol may result in liver damage, and in many times, the condition is irreversible.

Treating liver damage depends upon the underlying cause. For example if the liver damage is caused by cirrhosis, refraining from consuming alcoholic beverages may result in an improvement. Similarly, if liver damage is related to medications or drugs, stopping the drugs may result in reversal of the liver damage. Since diabetes can contribute to liver damage in women and men, diabetic patients must comply with the medication regimen and follow there physician’s recommendations for a healthy diet and exercise program.

Liver Failure Stages: Click for video

Women are more commonly affected by toxin-mediated liver disease, such as alcohol- and drug-induced liver disease, and have an increased prevalence of acute liver failure. Women are more susceptible than men to the toxic effects of alcohol on the liver for any given dose of alcohol, even though men abuse or depend on alcohol more than women, at a ratio of 2:1 in persons over the age of 26 years. A 12-year prospective study of alcohol use in over 13,000 participants in Denmark showed that the risk of development of alcohol-related liver disease increased in women who consumed 7 to 13 beverages per week (84-156 g) compared with men who consumed 14 to 27 beverages per week.

Among persons who consumed 28 to 41 beverages per week (336-492 g), the relative risk of alcohol-induced cirrhosis was 7.0 (95% CI, 3.8-12.8) in men vs 17.0 (95% CI, 6.8-40.8) in women. However, alcoholic cirrhosis is less frequently diagnosed in women, as shown in a population-based registry of 8482 Danish patients from 1993 to 2005 in which only 33% of patients were women.

Compared with there male counterparts, women with alcoholic liver disease have a more rapid progression to fibrosis that persists even after abstinence from alcohol. Dietary factors are known to influence development of alcoholic liver disease. An analysis of 107,000 women from the United Kingdom suggests that the combination of high body mass index (BMI) and high alcohol intake increases the development of chronic liver disease.

Whether there is a survival difference between the sexes regarding alcoholic liver disease is less clear. In a prospective study of 490,000 men and women in the United States who were followed for 9 years, the relative risk of death from cirrhosis or alcoholism was equal in both sexes for those consuming 2 to 3 drinks per day but was increased in men who consumed 4 or more drinks per day.

Women are more likely to present with drug-induced hepatotoxicity and acute liver failure than are men. Prospective data from the Acute Liver Failure Study Group, which included 23 sites from 1998 to 2007, showed that 67% of the 1147 patients were women. Among 133 cases of drug-induced liver injury assessed, 71% were in women, and women accounted for over 70% of all patients hospitalized with acute liver injury due to acetaminophen and idiosyncratic drug reactions. However, gender is not a predictor of survival in acute liver failure.

How to Fix A Fatty Liver: click for YouTube video

Women are 10 times more likely to have primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) than men and 4 times as likely to have autoimmune hepatitis. The exact mechanism of gender differences in autoimmune liver disease and autoimmunity in general is not known; however, both immunogenetics and sex hormones play a complex and, perhaps, interactive role. Sex steroids alter the immune system on many levels: they can regulate gene expression through steroid-responsive elements, alter antigen

presentation through effects on human leukocyte antigen genes, and alter the cytokine environment. Additionally, X chromosome monosomy and fetal microchimerism (the presence of fetal cells in maternal circulation) may play a role in the pathogenesis of PBC. In the case of PBC, epidemiologic studies also have shown different environmental risk factors between sexes, including hair dye use, recurrent urinary tract infections, smoking, and estrogen deficiency, all of which may contribute to increased disease in women.

In patients with PBC, overall survival is similar between both sexes. Women with PBC present at a younger age with increased rates of pruritus and appear to have slower rates of fibrosis than men. In patients with autoimmune hepatitis, the rates of progression to cirrhosis, treatment failure, and death from liver failure were equivalent in men and women.

Estrogen levels are thought to be associated with benign liver tumors, although the potential mechanisms are unclear. The data are inconsistent in determining whether there are increased hormone receptors on benign tumors and whether exogenous estrogens, such as oral contraceptive pills (OCPs), stimulate benign tumor growth. The evidence regarding OCP influence on benign liver lesions is most compelling for adenomas, with 80% of women reporting OCP use. Therefore, discontinuation of OCPs is recommended for such patients.

For other liver lesions, there is less convincing evidence for the role of OCPs on tumor progression. A small case-control study suggested that patients taking OCPs were at increased risk of FNH. However, a study of 136 women followed for 9 years did not show an association in size or number of FNH lesions in OCP users. The overall survey of literature suggests no increased risk of FNH or change in character of FNH on OCPs, and discontinuation is not recommended in these patients.

Likewise, there is debate over whether estrogen use increases rates of cavernous hemangiomas. In a study of 94 women followed from 1986 to 2003 (mean follow-up of 7 years), there was a trend toward an increased incidence of cavernous hemangiomas and hormone therapy, but this trend was not statistically significant.

Personal Note:

There are certain things that are beyond our control. We try to control the amount of toxins in the air we breathe, yet there are certain polluters out that have a lack of respect. I listen to stories about climate change, I watch people in certain countries having to wear a mask just to go outside of there homes. My gosh we are entering 2020 and I consider ourselves an advanced society.

Please look after yourselves. Exercise, if you feel like a drink by all means enjoy it in moderation. I know smoking is a hard habit to quit, but give your life a chance. My site is dedicated to you empowering yourself in a healthy fashion. The alternatives are there. I am a recovering alcoholic, I choose not to have that one drink. For me one drink is one too many and a thousand is not enough.

Liver and Kidney Foods. Please click on the link below.

https://www.pinterest.ca/sherardm/liver-and-kidney-foods/

 

Thank you for reading,

Michael.

Comments are welcome

Kidney Disease-Failure

Kidney Disease-Failure

Global Health Threat # 4

KIDNEY DISEASE FAILURE

Several weeks ago I posted an article on, “The 10 Threats to Global Health in 2019“. I was surprised to find out Kidney disease/failure was listed as number four. This study goes on to suggest that kidney disease/failure will just get worse in the year 2020.

So why is this, we are supposed to be getting more aware of our health and these kinds of diseases should be on the decline and not the other way around.

For reference Chronic Kidney Disease will be referred to as: CKD

Cardiovascular Disease: CVD

Diabetes Mellitus: DM

End Stage Renal Disease: ESRD

  • People with CKD are at high risk for CVD, and the presence of CKD often complicates CVD treatment and prognosis.
  • The prevalence of CVD is 69.6 percent among persons ages 66 and older who have CKD, compared to 34.7 percent among those who do not have CKD.

The overall prevalence of CKD in the general population is approximately 14 percent.

  • High blood pressure and diabetes are the main causes of CKD. Almost half of individuals with CKD also have diabetes and/or self-reported cardiovascular disease (CVD).
  • More than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure. Of these, 468,000 individuals are on dialysis, and roughly 193,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant.
  • Kidney disease often has no symptoms in its early stages and can go undetected until it is very advanced. (For this reason, kidney disease is often referred to as a “silent disease.”)
  • The adjusted incidence rate of ESRD in the United States rose sharply in the 1980s and 1990s, leveled off in the early 2000s, and has declined slightly since its peak in 2006.
  • Compared to Caucasians, ESRD prevalence is about 3.7 times greater in African Americans, 1.4 times greater in Native Americans, and 1.5 times greater in Asian Americans.
  • Each year, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer. In 2013, more than 47,000 Americans died from kidney disease.

This should be a wake up call. “KIDNEY DISEASE KILLS MORE PEOPLE THAN BREAST OR PROSTATE CANCER”.

Almost half of individuals with CKD also have diabetes and self-reported CVD.

Nearly 750,000 patients per year in the United States and an estimated 2 million patients worldwide are affected by end stage renal disease (ESRD).

  • More than 100,000 patients in the United States are on the kidney transplant list, but last year there were just over 21,000 donor organs available for transplant.
  • The need for donor kidneys in the United States is rising at 8% per year.

Worldwide

Internationally the numbers are staggering. Estimates are that 2 million people worldwide suffer from ESRD, and the number of patients diagnosed with the disease continues to increase at a rate of 5-7% per year. Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, the United States, and Belgium currently have the highest prevalence of ESRD. And while extensive data on worldwide mortality rates is lacking, a 2007 report shows that U.S. mortality risk was 15% higher than in Europe and 33% higher than in Japan on comparable treatment modalities.

These studies are a bit outdated. I will continue to search for more up to the date statics as I go through researching this topic.

OK, this is a bit scary

40 million Americans are currently classified as having chronic kidney disease.

Every day 13 patients die waiting for a kidney transplant.

48% of CKD patients were unaware of their case of kidney disease. (Hence the title, “The silent killer”, the same name given to people suffering from high blood pressure).

Source:

United States, Renal Data System. National Institure’s of Health, National Institute’s of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Bethseda,MD.

KidneyX Innovation Accelerator Statistics Accessed 9/19/19 https://www.kidneyx.org/

Kidney disease: Listed as # 4 on the Global Health Threats of 2019/2020

Renal failure remains one of the main global medical concerns. Kidney disease is assessed by measurement of GFR, which is the ability of kidneys to filter blood. Normal value of GFR is 125ml/min and by definition decrease in GFR is kidney failure. Causes of acute kidney injury include pre-renal causes like dehydration, blood loss and shock; renal causes include infections of kidney; obstruction to urine flow falls under post-renal causes. When kidneys don’t function for more than 3 months, it’s called chronic kidney disease, unlike acute kidney injury which is acute in onset.

Symptoms include reduced urine volume, nausea, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, etc. Guidelines for kidney disease prevention include reduced protein intake, salt restriction, adequate fluid intake, cessation of smoking and maintaining normal body weight. Supplements like Forskolin really help in weight loss. Since kidney failure is mostly caused by diabetes and hypertension, treatment strategies include control of blood glucose level and blood pressure by necessary hypoglycemic and anti-hypertensive drugs. Kidney transplant is reserved for serious cases.

The kidneys, each about the size of a fist, play three major roles:

  • removing waste products from the body, keeping toxins from building up in the bloodstream
  • producing hormones that control other body functions, such as regulating blood pressure and producing red blood cells
  • regulating the levels of minerals or electrolytes (e.g., sodium, calcium, and potassium) and fluid in the body

After the blood has circulated through the body, it passes into the kidneys. The kidneys filter waste products and excess salt and water out of the blood, and pass these out of the body as urine. The kidneys also make hormones that control blood pressure, as well as maintain bone metabolism and the production of red blood cells. It’s a serious problem when the kidneys stop working. Waste products that build up in the body cause imbalances in chemicals needed to keep the body functioning smoothly.

Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of kidney function. Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted in your urine. When chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes can build up in your body.

In the early stages of chronic kidney disease, you may have few signs or symptoms. Chronic kidney disease may not become apparent until your kidney function is significantly impaired.

Treatment for chronic kidney disease focuses on slowing the progression of the kidney damage, usually by controlling the underlying cause. Chronic kidney disease can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal without artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the presence of kidney damage, or a decreased level of kidney function, for a period of three months or more. Kidney disease can range from mild to severe and in some cases, lead to kidney failure (sometimes referred to as end-stage kidney disease, or ESKD). Kidney disease often starts slowly and develops without symptoms over a number of years, so CKD may not be detected until it has progressed to the point where your kidney function is quite low. Fortunately, most people do not progress to end-stage kidney disease, especially if they are diagnosed early and are able to take steps to preserve their remaining kidney function.

Kidney DiseaseEnd-stage” kidney disease does not mean the end of your life. End-stage means the end of your kidney function: your kidneys no longer adequately filter your blood. If your kidneys fail, there are a number of different treatment options including non-dialysis supportive care (conservative care), transplantation, or different forms of dialysis.

Sometimes kidney failure occurs rapidly and this is called acute kidney injury. This may be a result of infection, diseases that specifically attack the kidney filters, or other causes. For acute kidney injury, dialysis treatment may be urgently needed for a period, but kidney function often recovers.

The following information provides an overview to help you understand CKD at different phases, including potential symptoms and treatment. The amount of kidney function (GFR) you have remaining, your symptoms, your overall health and other factors (such as the amount of albumin in your urine) will be used to help you and your healthcare team to manage your health, monitor your kidney function and determine the type of treatment that’s best for you.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease develop over time if kidney damage progresses slowly. Signs and symptoms of kidney disease may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sleep problems
  • Changes in how much you urinate
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Persistent itching
  • Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
  • Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) that’s difficult to control

Signs and symptoms of kidney disease are often nonspecific, meaning they can also be caused by other illnesses. Because your kidneys are highly adaptable and able to compensate for lost function, signs and symptoms may not appear until irreversible damage has occurred.

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of kidney disease.

If you have a medical condition that increases your risk of kidney disease, your doctor is likely to monitor your blood pressure and kidney function with urine and blood tests during regular office visits. Ask your doctor whether these tests are necessary for you.

Causes

Chronic kidney disease occurs when a disease or condition impairs kidney function, causing kidney damage to worsen over several months or years.

Diseases and conditions that cause chronic kidney disease include:

  • Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Glomerulonephritis (gloe-mer-u-low-nuh-FRY-tis), an inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units (glomeruli)
  • Interstitial nephritis (in-tur-STISH-ul nuh-FRY-tis), an inflammation of the kidney’s tubules and surrounding structures
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract, from conditions such as enlarged prostate, kidney stones and some cancers
  • Vesicoureteral (ves-ih-koe-yoo-REE-tur-ul) reflux, a condition that causes urine to back up into your kidneys
  • Recurrent kidney infection, also called pyelonephritis (pie-uh-low-nuh-FRY-tis)

Risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk of chronic kidney disease include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Being African-American, Native American or Asian-American
  • Family history of kidney disease
  • Abnormal kidney structure
  • Older age

Complications

Chronic kidney disease can affect almost every part of your body. Potential complications may include:                                   A Diseased Kidney in need of Transplant

Kidney Failure

 

  • Fluid retention, which could lead to swelling in your arms and legs, high blood pressure, or fluid in your lungs (pulmonary edema)
  • A sudden rise in potassium levels in your blood (hyperkalemia), which could impair your heart’s ability to function and may be life-threatening
  • Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
  • Weak bones and an increased risk of bone fractures
  • Anemia
  • Decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction or reduced fertility
  • Damage to your central nervous system, which can cause difficulty concentrating, personality changes or seizures
  • Decreased immune response, which makes you more vulnerable to infection
  • Pericarditis, an inflammation of the saclike membrane that envelops your heart (pericardium)
  • Pregnancy complications that carry risks for the mother and the developing fetus
  • Irreversible damage to your kidneys (end-stage kidney disease), eventually requiring either dialysis or a kidney transplant for survival

Prevention

To reduce your risk of developing kidney disease:

  • Follow instructions on over-the-counter medications. When using nonprescription pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), follow the instructions on the package. Taking too many pain relievers could lead to kidney damage and generally should be avoided if you have kidney disease. Ask your doctor whether these drugs are safe for you.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you’re at a healthy weight, work to maintain it by being physically active most days of the week. If you need to lose weight, talk with your doctor about strategies for healthy weight loss. Often this involves increasing daily physical activity and reducing calories.
  • Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking can damage your kidneys and make existing kidney damage worse. If you’re a smoker, talk to your doctor about strategies for quitting smoking. Support groups, counseling and medications can all help you to stop.
  • Manage your medical conditions with your doctor’s help. If you have diseases or conditions that increase your risk of kidney disease, work with your doctor to control them. Ask your doctor about tests to look for signs of kidney damage.

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment of kidney disease depends on the type of disease, the underlying cause, and the duration of the disease.

When treating kidney disease, your doctor will try to treat the original cause. Kidney infections can be treated with antibiotics if the infection is caused by bacteria. Inflammation due to an immune reaction is more difficult to treat. However, your doctor will try to control the immune reaction with immunosuppressant medications such as corticosteroids. These work only in some types of nephritis (inflammation of the kidney). Some people have to eat less salt and protein until the kidney can remove these substances from the blood properly. Taking a diuretic medication (or “water pills”) to make the body excrete more water and salt can also help control the swelling associated with kidney disease.

If someone has acute kidney failure, treating the underlying cause will often return kidney function to normal. In almost all cases of kidney failure, it is very important for high blood pressure to be treated aggressively to prevent further damage from occurring and to delay the progression of the disease.

Other Precautions and Treatments. (NOT LISTED IN MEDICAL JOURNALS)

ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR AND FOLLOW HIS advice

 

Herbal or Homeopathic Remedies for CKD

Homeopathic and herbal medicine works well to improve kidney function, but make sure to consult your doctor before beginning any treatment. Some of the following have proved effective against kidney diseases.

Dandelion – Usually considered a weed, dandelion has a long history in American medicine. Its roots and leaves when boiled help treat kidney diseases. Moreover, the herb also helps prevent the condition owing to its diuretic properties.

Lei Gong Teng – The herb, used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, has been found to be effective in treating polycystic kidney disease. Research at the Yale University successfully used Lei Gong Teng to destroy PKD cysts in mice.

Apple cider vinegar – An effective remedy to help break down kidney stones, apple cider vinegar boosts kidney function. It is known to disintegrating the calculi formed by calcium in the kidneys. Besides, the antibacterial aspect of apple cider vinegar helps prevent bacterial infections.

Baking soda – According to British researchers, baking soda slows the progression of chronic kidney disease. It neutralizes the acidity in the blood, which is a major contributing factor in kidney problems.

Cornsilk – The tassels of the corn cob, cornsilk, is quite effective in boosting kidney function. It is a potent cure for urinary infections, prevents stone formation and eliminates oedema (a byproduct of kidney disease).

Other remedies – The remedies that are believed to relieve some of the symptoms of chronic kidney disease are celery (works as a diuretic to decrease uric acid), hydrangea (cleanses the urinary tract), Uva Ursi (cleanse the urinary tract), marshmallow tea (cleanses the kidneys), and goldenrod tea (an inflammatory cure).

Dietary modifications

Making slight changes in your diet can help your kidneys. The best foods to increase kidney function are sprouts, garlic, legumes, beans, potato, banana, papaya, watermelon, yogurt, green vegetables and whole grains. Incorporate these foods in your diet to help prevent kidney disease from advancing. Drink unsweetened cranberry juice to eliminate harmful bacteria that make your urine acidic. Juniper berries, stinging nettle and red clover help those with kidney disease.

1. Hydration is key

The adult human body is composed of almost 60 percent water. Every single organ, from the brain to the liver, requires water to function.

As the filtration system of the body, the kidneys require water to secrete urine. Urine is the primary waste product that allows the body to get rid of unwanted or unnecessary substances.

When water intake is low, urine volume is low. A low urine output may lead to kidney dysfunction, such as the creation of kidney stones.

It’s crucial to drink enough water so that the kidneys can properly flush out any excess waste materials. This is especially important during a kidney cleanse.

The recommended daily intake of fluids is roughly 3.7 liters and 2.7 liters a day for men and women, respectively, according to the Institute of Medicine.

2. Choose foods that support kidney health

Grapes

Grapes, peanuts, and some berries contain a beneficial plant compound called resveratrol.

In one animal study, researchers found that treatment with resveratrol was able to lower kidney inflammation in rats with polycystic kidney disease.

A handful of red grapes makes a great afternoon snack — and they taste even better frozen!

Cranberries

Cranberries have often been praised for their bladder health benefits.

A clinical trial in Nutrition Journal demonstrated that women who consumed sweetened, dried cranberries daily for two weeks experienced a decrease in the incidence of urinary tract infections.

Dried cranberries are a deliciously sweet addition to trail mix, salads, or even oatmeal.

Fruit juices

Lemon, orange, and melon juice all contain citric acid, or citrate.

Citrate helps prevent kidney stone formation by binding with calcium in urine. This inhibits the growth of calcium crystals, which can lead to kidney stones.

In addition, drinking a cup of fresh juice per day can contribute to your daily recommended fluid intake.

Seaweed

Brown seaweed has been studied for its beneficial effects on the pancreas, kidneys, and liver. In a 2014 animal’s such as, rats were fed edible seaweed for a period of 22 days showed a reduction in both kidney and liver damage from diabetes.

Try a packet of dried, seasoned seaweed the next time you’re craving a crunchy snack.

Calcium-rich foods

Many people believe that avoiding calcium can help to prevent kidney stones. In fact, the opposite is true.

Too much urinary oxalate can lead to kidney stones. Calcium is needed to bind with oxalate to reduce the absorption and excretion of this substance.

You can meet the recommended daily intake of 1.2 grams of calcium by consuming high-calcium foods, such as soy or almond milk, tofu, and fortified cereals.

3. Drink kidney-cleansing teas

Stinging nettle

Stinging nettle is a perennial plant that has long been used in traditional herbal medicine.

Stinging nettle leaf contains beneficial compounds that can help to reduce inflammation. It’s also high in antioxidants, which help to protect the body and organs from oxidative stress.

Try this tea: Traditional Medicinal Organic Nettle Leaf Tea

Hydrangea

Hydrangea is a gorgeous flowering shrub, well-known for its lavender, pink, blue, and white flowers.

A recent animal study found that extracts of Hydrangea paniculate given for three days offered a protective effect against kidney damage. This is likely due to the antioxidant capabilities of the plant.

Sambong

Sambong is a tropical climate shrub, common to countries such as the Philippines and India.

In one study, researchers found that a Blumea balsamifera extract added to calcium oxalate crystals decreased the size of the crystals. This could potentially prevent the formation of kidney stones.

4. Supplement with supportive nutrients

Vitamin B-6

Vitamin B-6 is an important co factor in many metabolic reactions. B-6 is required for the metabolism of glyoxylate, which can become oxalate instead of glycine if B-6 is deficient.

As mentioned above, too much oxalate may lead to kidney stones.

Supplement with a daily B-complex vitamin that provides at least 50 milligrams of B-6.

Omega-3s

The standard American diet is often high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and low in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

Other research suggests that high levels of omega-6 fatty acids may lead to kidney stone formation. An increase in omega-3s can naturally decrease the metabolism of omega-6s, with the best intake ratio being 1:1.

Supplement with a daily high-quality fish oil containing 1.2 g of both EPA and DHA.

Potassium Citrate

Potassium is a necessary element of electrolyte balance and pH balance of urine.

Therapy with potassium citrate can potentially help to reduce the formation of kidney stones, especially in people who experience recurring episodes. For those with a history of other kidney problems, talk to your doctor before you take potassium supplements.

Supplement with a daily multivitamin or multi mineral that contains potassium.

Sample two-day kidney cleanse

Once you’ve incorporated these foods, herbs, and supplements into your diet, you may want to consider taking your kidney support to the next level.

This sample two-day kidney cleanse is thought to help strengthen your kidneys and detoxify your body, but there’s no research to support a cleansing action. This plan, however, utilizes foods to support kidney health.

Images, Foods, Clensing and more in Pictures. Please click on link.

https://www.pinterest.ca/sherardm/liver-and-kidney-foods/

Personal comment:

I am in NO way a Doctor, nor do I claim to offer better alternatives. Prescription medications are essential for the treatment of many conditions. Always make it a point to see your Doctor and follow his advice.

 

Thank you for reading,

Michael.

Comments are welcome

What is Parkinsons Disease?

What is Parkinsons Disease?

Parkinsons Disease

I grew up watching shows like, “Family Ties” and loved it. On this show one of the actor’s was Mr. Michael J Fox, aka. Alex. He portrayed an intelligent character very set in his ways.

I have an apology to make here as it was pointed out by one of my readers, Michael J Fox is still with us. I was distracted by one of those idiot newspapers. I am sorry.

News of actor Michael J. Fox’s death spread quickly earlier this week causing concern among fans across the world. However the November 2019 report has now been confirmed as a complete hoax and just the latest in a string of fake celebrity death reports. Thankfully, the actor best known for his roles in Spin City or Back to the Future is alive and well.

We know him from several movies like, “Back to The Future”. He is a writer a father and a husband.

Michael J Fox. You Tube video

Burt Reynolds, my gosh he was a huge in movies. I personally liked, “Smokey and The Bandit”.

In a bombshell exclusive, Radar can reveal that friends claim ailing Burt is showing many of the signs of early Parkinson’s disease — a tremor in his hand, zero expression on his face and stiffness in his joints.

What is Parkinsons Disease

Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all times:

Ali and Parkinson’s

In the late 1970s, the public observed changes in Ali’s speed and speech. However, he wasn’t actually diagnosed with Parkinson’s until 1984 at the age of 42. The news came just three years after he formally retired from boxing.

It’s generally speculated that Ali’s boxing career was linked to his development of Parkinson’s. Wins turned to losses as his speed and agility suffered. By the time he took one of the greatest beatings of his life at the age of 38, the neurological symptoms were glaring. His speech was slurred and his hands were trembling visibly.

These are just a few of the public figures that suffered from Parkinson disease until their death.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.

In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression. Your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.

Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications might significantly improve your symptoms. Occasionally, your doctor may suggest surgery to regulate certain regions of your brain and improve your symptoms.

What about the other people who suffer from Parkinson Disease?

Parkinson disease is the second most common age-related neuro degenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease.

The prevalence of the disease ranges from 41 people per 100,000 in the fourth decade of life to more than 1,900 people per 100,000 among those who are 80 and older.

The incidence of the disease, or the rate of newly diagnosed cases, generally increases with age, although it can stabilize in people who are older than 80. An estimated 4 percent of people with Parkinson’s are diagnosed before age 50.

Men are 1.5 times more likely to have Parkinson’s than women.

The disease affects patients’ quality of life, making social interaction more difficult and worsening their financial condition, due to the medical expenses associated with the disease.

Population studies on the incidence of Parkinson’s are important to scientists’ understanding of the history of the disease, its progression, and the risk factors associated with it. Information about the incidence in different age groups and genders can help healthcare experts design strategies to meet patients’ needs.

United States

About one million Americans are thought to have Parkinson’s. This is more than those affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), muscular dystrophy (MD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) combined.

Every year, about 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s. This does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected.

The combined direct and indirect costs of Parkinson’s in the U.S. including treatment, disability, and similar costs, plus lost income from an inability to work, are estimated at $25 billion per year.

The average cost of Parkinson’s medication is $2,500 per year. Parkinson’s-related surgery can cost up to $100,000 per patient.

Canada

According to UCB, a global biopharma company focused on severe diseases with operations in approximately 40 countries, there are over 100,000 Canadians living with Parkinson’s disease today, with about 6,600 new cases of Parkinson’s diagnosed each year in Canada (based on an annual incidence of 20 new cases per 100,000 people).

Overall, men are more likely to have the disease than women. The figures are 0.3% of men compared to 0.2% of women in private households, and 6.6% of men vs. 4% of women in care facilities.

About 56% of patients receive formal or informal assistance due to their condition. Of these, 84% rely on family, friends, or neighbors, while 56% obtain other assistance.

United Kingdom

The prevalence of Parkinson’s in the U.K. is about one in 500 people, with a total of about 127,000 people living with the disease.

Someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s every hour in the U.K. Most are 50 or older.

Symptoms:

Parkinson’s disease signs and symptoms can be different for everyone. Early signs may be mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.

Parkinson’s signs and symptoms may include:

  • Tremor. A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may a rub your thumb and forefinger back-and-forth, known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremor when it’s at rest.
  • Slowed movement (bradykinesia). Over time, Parkinson’s disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get out of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.
  • Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion.
  • Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Loss of automatic movements. You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
  • Speech changes. You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than with the usual inflections.
  • Writing changes. It may become hard to write, and you’re writing may appear small.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you have any of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease — not only to diagnose your condition but also to rule out other causes for your symptoms.

Causes

In Parkinson’s disease, certain nerve cells (neurons) in the brain gradually break down or die. Many of the symptoms are due to a loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger in your brain called dopamine. When dopamine levels decrease, it causes abnormal brain activity, leading to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but several factors appear to play a role, including:

  • Your genes. Researchers have identified specific genetic mutations that can cause Parkinson’s disease. But these are uncommon except in rare cases with many family members affected by Parkinson’s disease.However, certain gene variations appear to increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease but with a relatively small risk of Parkinson’s disease for each of these genetic markers.
  • Environmental triggers. Exposure to certain toxins or environmental factors may increase the risk of later Parkinson’s disease, but the risk is relatively small.

Researchers have also noted that many changes occur in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, although it’s not clear why these changes occur. These changes include:

  • The presence of Lewy bodies. Clumps of specific substances within brain cells are microscopic markers of Parkinson’s disease. These are called Lewy bodies, and researchers believe these Lewy bodies hold an important clue to the cause of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Alpha-synuclein is found within Lewy bodies. Although many substances are found within Lewy bodies, scientists believe an important one is the natural and widespread protein called alpha-synuclein (a-synuclein). It’s found in all Lewy bodies in a clumped form that cells can’t break down. This is currently an important focus among Parkinson’s disease researchers.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease 2?

The basal ganglia, located in the brain, is a highly specialized region that helps regulate body movement. Its cells require a precise balance of the neurotransmitter’s dopamine and acetylcholine to communicate effectively. With Parkinson’s, cells begin to deteriorate and produce insufficient dopamine levels. This produces a chemical imbalance in your brain which leads to the symptoms we’ve come to associate with Parkinson’s disease. While research indicates that genetics play a predominate role in developing the disease, it may also be caused by a viral infection or exposure to environmental toxins, such as carbon monoxide and pesticides.

Risk factors

Risk factors for Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Age. Young adults rarely experience Parkinson’s disease. It ordinarily begins in middle or late life, and the risk increases with age. People usually develop the disease around age 60 or older.
  • Heredity. Having a close relative with Parkinson’s disease increases the chances that you’ll develop the disease. However, your risks are still small unless you have many relatives in your family with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Sex. Men are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than are women.
  • Exposure to toxins. Ongoing exposure to herbicides and pesticides may slightly increase your risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Complications

Parkinson’s disease is often accompanied by these additional problems, which may be treatable:

  • Thinking difficulties. You may experience cognitive problems (dementia) and thinking difficulties. These usually occur in the later stages of Parkinson’s disease. Such cognitive problems aren’t very responsive to medications.
  • Depression and emotional changes. You may experience depression, sometimes in the very early stages. Receiving treatment for depression can make it easier to handle the other challenges of Parkinson’s disease.You may also experience other emotional changes, such as fear, anxiety or loss of motivation. Doctors may give you medications to treat these symptoms.
  • Swallowing problems. You may develop difficulties with swallowing as your condition progresses. Saliva may accumulate in your mouth due to slowed swallowing, leading to drooling.
  • Chewing and eating problems. Late-stage Parkinson’s disease affects the muscles in your mouth, making chewing difficult. This can lead to choking and poor nutrition.
  • Sleep problems and sleep disorders. People with Parkinson’s disease often have sleep problems, including waking up frequently throughout the night, waking up early or falling asleep during the day.People may also experience rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, which involves acting out your dreams. Medications may help your sleep problems.
  • Bladder problems. Parkinson’s disease may cause bladder problems, including being unable to control urine or having difficulty urinating.
  • Constipation. Many people with Parkinson’s disease develop constipation, mainly due to a slower digestive tract.

You may also experience:

  • Blood pressure changes. You may feel dizzy or lightheaded when you stand due to a sudden drop in blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension).
  • Smell dysfunction. You may experience problems with your sense of smell. You may have difficulty identifying certain odors or the difference between odors.
  • Fatigue. Many people with Parkinson’s disease lose energy and experience fatigue, especially later in the day. The cause isn’t always known.
  • Pain. Some people with Parkinson’s disease experience pain, either in specific areas of their bodies or throughout their bodies.
  • Sexual dysfunction. Some people with Parkinson’s disease notice a decrease in sexual desire or performance.

Prevention

Because the cause of Parkinson’s is unknown, proven ways to prevent the disease also remain a mystery.

Some research has shown that regular aerobic exercise might reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Some other research has shown that people who drink caffeine — which is found in coffee, tea and cola — get Parkinson’s disease less often than those who don’t drink it. However, it is still not known whether caffeine actually protects against getting Parkinson’s, or is related in some other way. Currently there is not enough evidence to suggest drinking caffeinated beverages to protect against Parkinson’s. Green tea is also related to a reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Treatments

Common Treatment Options

Unfortunately, there is no standard treatment protocol for Parkinson’s disease. Treatment options will be based on the stage and severity of each individual’s symptoms. Along with lifestyle modifications like eating healthier along with getting more rest and exercise, treatment may include medications or surgery. While current medications reduce the severity of symptoms and may slow the progression, they do not reverse the effects of the disease. People suffering from Parkinson’s often take a variety of medications in different doses. They may need assistance to manage their dosing schedule in order to receive the full benefit of the medications.

Surgical options include deep brain stimulation. A surgeon will implant electrodes into a specific part of the brain. The electrodes transmit electrical impulses from a generator implanted in the upper chest that stimulate the brain and reduce symptoms. This option is usually recommended for individuals with advanced Parkinson’s who have not benefited from medications.

Personal Note:

I can not list all the treatments that are being used by the medical field, but I do know there are new regimes of medications being applied.

Natural Remedies for Parkinson Disease

Consuming Fresh Raw Vegetables and Fruits

It is widely held that fresh organic vegetable and fruits consumed raw can provide all the nutrients necessary for the cleansing of the body. The identified nutrients include phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, flavonoids, fiber, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Consuming these nutrients is considered essential for digesting food and their absence can cause a lot of damage to the intestinal and digestive systems.

Consume More Fermented Foods

It is very important for the gut to have a high level of beneficial bacteria for good digestion and preventing many disorders and diseases. A normal diet sometimes leads to the reduction of gut flora due to the absence of fermented foods. It is, therefore, important to replenish beneficial bacteria by consuming probiotic foods. The desired beneficial bacteria are typically found in foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented soy, kombucha tea, etc. that help the body to eliminate the heavy metals ingested by it, and detoxify itself by breaking down the many toxins present in the environment.

Avoid Unnecessary Iron Consumption

One of the causes of Parkinson’s disease is the toxicity caused by heavy metals. Heavy metal poisoning is responsible for fainting and dizziness that are symptoms of heavy metal poisoning apart from low blood pressure. Often iron supplements prescribed to people suffering from Parkinson’s cause a deterioration in their brain health instead of making them healthier. Excessive iron buildup in the body is also the reason why the disease is more prevalent in men than women as females have a system of shedding excess blood from their system with menstruation. A lot of research is being conducted on how Parkinson’s disease can be treated by protein synthesis using a target protein shaker.

Choose Green Tea

With the detoxification of the body being very important for the prevention and management of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, drinking green tea is just what the doctor would order. Green tea has all the desired polyphenol antioxidants and flavonoids essential for combating the free radicals in the body. Green tea also contains theanine, a mineral that boosts the level of dopamine that reduces the impact of Parkinson’s disease. Undertaking a thorough gastrointestinal and liver cleanse program can prepare your body to benefit from the nutrients.

Home remedies for Parkinson’s disease

Ashwagandha: This natural cure can help in the management of symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that are related to balance, movement and muscle control by regulating dopamine levels. Also, it can fight against free radicals, lower the inflammation and enhance the antioxidant activity in the body. The recommended dosage is 300 – 1200 mg of ashwagandha extract or one to two tablespoons of ashwagandha powder and you should take them two times per day with meals. You can take this dosage for short – term and long – term.

Also, you can make a mild decoction with ashwagandha powder or mix it with honey, ghee, buttermilk or milk. Also, you can find ashwagandha as capsules. Talk with your doctor before you start taking ashwagandha.

St. John’s wort: Depression is one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The natural treatment of this disease is also involving managing of depression. In the most cases, antidepressants will make you sleepy and you will not be able to do your everyday activities. St. John’s wort can help in the treatment of mild – to – moderate depression. If you have severe depression that is associated with Parkinson’s disease, then you will need medical help. This natural cure is commonly used as a natural remedy across European nations.

The recommended dosage for St. John’s wort is about 300 mg, three times per day. You need to ask your doctor for the proper dosage for you before you start taking this supplement. It is known that the St. John’s wort can interfere with other medical treatments and you should not take it with other antidepressants.

Vitamin C: You can use this vitamin as an antioxidant to prevent the free radical damage. Also, this vitamin can support the strong immune function. It is recommended taking 750 mg of Vitamin C, 4 times per day.

Vitamin D: If you want to maintain bone health, then you should be sure that your diet is including a lot of calcium and Vitamin D. Those people who are over age of 50 should consume 1500 mg of calcium along with at least 800 IU of Vitamin D. They can get the Vitamin D from supplements, foods and sun.

Cocoa: It is known fact that the cocoa extracts can help in the regulation of dopamine levels in people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. It has flavonol which together with other substances (such as caffeine) are having neuroprotective effect in the Parkinson’s disease as well as in the Alzheimer’s disease.

Broad beans: This natural cure is rich in L – dopa. If you suffer from Parkinson’s disease and you eat these beans on regular basis, then they can improve the motor movements, especially if this disease is in the beginning stages. The whole plant is nutritious but the pod is most effective source of L – dopa. If you use broad beans in excess amounts, then they can cause stomach upset or allergies. You need to talk with your doctor about the proper dosages before you start taking as your natural treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

Fish oil: Omega – 3 fatty acids which are part of the fish oil are very beneficial for our health. Also, they can treat Parkinson’s disease. When you use fish oil on regular basis, then it can prevent neuronal cell death and it can help with Parkinson’s disease. The Omega – 3 fatty acids in it have antioxidant properties which can reduce the oxidative stress and fight against Parkinson’s disease. There are many studies in which are shown that the fish oil can combat the depression without help of antidepressants. Before you start taking fish oil you need to talk with your doctor because the type of food and medicines which you take should be considered in the treatment of this disease.

Grape seed extract: This natural cure has super antioxidant effect that will reduce the DNA fragmentation in the brain. Also, it is able to cross into the brain and to protect the brain cells from the free radical damage.

What you should avoid:

You should avoid too much protein and if you reduce the intake of protein, then it can improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. We know that the processed foods have toxins and additives which can worsen the Parkinson’s disease. One of the best ways to prevent Parkinson’s disease and other age – related illnesses is not to give your children processed foods. The added sugar and artificial sweeteners are considered toxic and they can worsen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. It is known that the alcohol can disrupt neurological functioning and they can lead to complications and mood changes.

You should avoid any potential food allergens because they can exacerbate the Parkinson’s disease symptoms by worsening the inflammation and gut health. You should start by limiting the common allergens, such as peanuts, shellfish, dairy and gluten.

Vitamins That help

Mood disorders are also one of the common features seen among people with Parkinson’s disease, and there have been a number of research mentioning the mood-boosting properties present in omega-3 fatty acids. In one of the small placebo-controlled group testing, the pilot trial had reported a significant amount of improvement in treating depression in individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

These individuals were treated with omega-3 fatty acid supplements versus the placebo ones. Foods that are rich in omega-3s are found in fish such as: Mackerel, Sardines, Trout, Salmon, Herring, Anchovies. Calcium and Vitamin When an individual is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, getting the required amount of calcium becomes quite difficult since people who have the disease find that dairy items are more likely to inhibit levodopa absorption than proteins.

However, calcium can be taken in some forms to meet the body’s daily requirement. They include:Breakfast cereals Fortified food items that contain calcium Calcium-fortified orange juice Calcium-fortified rice Soy milk alternatives which can be used in cereals, smoothies, and other types of food preparations Calcium citrate supplements Chewable calcium tablets Vitamin D is also very important for our body. This vitamin is produced in our body when the skin gets exposed to the sun. Without adequate amounts of vitamin D, calcium would not be absorbed in the body.

For those individuals who live in sunny regions, getting at least an hour of sun exposure per week should not be a difficult thing. Expose your hands, face, and arms to the sun. It is also important to note that vitamin D gets stored in the body during the summer and can be conserved for the winter season. For those who cannot get daily sun exposure, another option of taking vitamin D is to consume fatty fish such as fish liver oil or salmon, eggs, milk and its substitutes, margarine, cereals, liver, and vitamin D supplements.

The current recommendation of vitamin D would be 400 IUs for those who are 50 years and above and 600 IUs for those above 70 years old.3. Co enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Co enzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that could help slow down the progression of Parkinson’s disease. According to studies, patients with Parkinson’s disease have low levels of co enzyme Q10 in their blood and brain. The mitochondria are said to be responsible for producing energy for the cells in our body. However, in the process of production, there is a creation of a by-product of spare electrons.

When these electrons tend to escape the cells, they are called as free radicals, which are damaging and are often responsible for oxidative damage to the brain along with being linked to cognitive problems.

Every cell in the body is said to contain a powerful antioxidant known as co enzyme Q10, which fight off oxidative damage. However, those individuals who have high levels of oxidative damage may even need more of it such as a daily co enzyme Q10 supplementation of 1,200 mg. Folate or Folic Acid Genetic defects and environmental toxins may lead to the emergence of Parkinson’s disease.

However, a new study conducted on mice has shown that folic acid or folate can help prevent this form of degenerative brain disorder. Folic acid is widely known for preventing central nervous system birth defects. There has also been a lot of evidence that it can help prevent heart disease, especially in individuals who have too much homocysteine.

Folate tends to decrease the levels of homocysteine in the body.Folate or vitamin B9 is considered very good for memory and brain health. Folic acid is considered vital for the development of the nervous system. In the research conducted on mice, it showed that the ones who were kept on a low folic acid diet were very much likely to get Parkinson’s disease than those who were on a normal folic acid diet. There are about 50,000 Parkinson’s cases every year in the US. The disease is mostly due to a deficiency in the production of dopamine.

Being dopamine deficient leads to movement disorders such as tremors in the hands, stiffness in the muscles, and slow movements. The levels of homocysteine in the body could be reduced when folic acid is taken along with vitamin B12 and B6. Taking these supplements may prevent the occurrence of a stroke or heart attack. They can also help maintain a strong memory.

Please always consult with your Doctor, before assuming anything. A lot of the time natural remedies are not recognized by the medical community.

Personal Note:

I am not a fan of prescription medications mainly due to the several side effects, but I am not a Doctor. Many prescribed medications are very necessary and in no way should you ignore your Doctors advice.

Thank you for reading my article,

Michael

Comments are welcome

Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits

Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits

Are Mushrooms Healthy for You?

We have quite a variety of mushrooms out there, their health benefits and some of the prices was quite surprising to me. I remember walking through different forested areas and noticing them, but not paying too much attention to them. I also did not realize that some of them were an expensive delicacy served in some expensive restaurants. I have watched some cooking shows, particularly by, Chef Gordon Ramsey and the attention paid to cooking these.

Recently a friend was asking me if I have ever considered adding mushrooms to my website. Now why would I do that? It was at this time I was introduced to the health benefits of this plant. I decided to do some research, to find out more and I would like to share with you my discoveries.

About Mushrooms

Mushrooms are edible fungus that can provide several important nutrients. The many kinds of mushrooms have varying compositions and nutritional profiles.

Mushrooms are packed with nutritional value. They’re low in calories, are great sources of fiber and protein (good for plant-based diets).

Mushrooms and the Health of Our Planet

Mushrooms are good for you. And they’re also good for our planet. As world-renowned mycologist Paul Stamets discusses, mushrooms can potentially solve some of our most pressing and serious problems.

In his wildly popular TED talk, he explains how they can:

  • Clean up oil spills all over the world
  • Absorb farm pollution
  • Fight off smallpox and flu viruses
  • Combat insects
  • Create rich environments for farms and new forests, and
  • Become a sustainable fuel source for the future

They also provide many important nutrients, including B vitamins, selenium, potassium, copper, and (particularly when exposed to the sun) vitamin D. And even though they’re commonly white, they’re packed with as many antioxidants as more colorful fruits and vegetables.

What are the health benefits of mushrooms

Mushrooms contain protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These can have various health benefits. For example, antioxidants are chemicals that help the body eliminate free radicals.

Free radicals are toxic byproducts of metabolism and other bodily processes. They can accumulate in the body, and if too many collect, oxidative stress can result. This can harm the body’s cells and may lead to various health conditions.

Among the antioxidant agents in mushrooms are:

Cancer

The antioxidant content in mushrooms may help prevent lung, prostate, breast, and other types of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Some sources have suggested that selenium may help prevent cancer, but a Cochrane review, from 2017, found no evidence to confirm this.

Mushrooms also contain a small amount of vitamin D. There is some evidence that vitamin D supplementation may help prevent or treat some kinds of cancer, though according to a 2018 report, the effect may vary from person to person.

Choline is another antioxidant in mushrooms. Some studies have suggested that consuming choline can reduce the risk of some types of cancer, but at least one other study has indicated that it may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

It is worth noting that consuming a nutrient as a supplement is not the same as consuming it in the diet.

Diabetes

Dietary fiber may help manage a number of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes.

A 2018 of meta-analyses concluded that people who eat a lot of fiber may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For those who already have it, fiber may help reduce blood glucose levels.

A cup of sliced, raw mushrooms, weighing 70 grams (g), provides almost 1 g of fiber.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults consume 22.4–33.6 g of dietary fiber each day, depending on sex and age.

Mushrooms, beans, some vegetables, brown rice, and whole-grain foods can all contribute to a person’s daily requirement of fiber.

Heart health

The fiber, potassium, and vitamin C in mushrooms may contribute to cardiovascular health. Potassium can help regulate blood pressure, and this may decrease the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend reducing the intake of added salt in the diet and eating more foods that contain potassium.

According to current guidelines, people should consume around 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium each day. Mushrooms appear on the AHA’s list of foods that provide potassium.

A 2016 study concluded that people with a vitamin C deficiency were more likely to experience cardiovascular disease and suggested that consuming vitamin C may help prevent this illness. They did not find evidence that vitamin C supplements can reduce the risk of this type of disease.

There is some evidence that consuming a type of fiber called beta-glucans may lower blood cholesterol levels. Beta-glucans occur in the cell walls of many types of mushrooms.

The stem of the shiitake mushrooms is a good source of beta-glucans.

The Mediterranean diet includes a range of plant foods, such as mushrooms.

In pregnancy

Many women take folic acid, or folate, supplements during pregnancy to boost fetal health, but mushrooms can also provide folate.

A cup of whole, raw mushrooms contains 16.3 micro grams (mcg) of folate. Current guidelines recommend that adults consume 400 mcg of folate each day.

Other benefits:

Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins, such as:

  • riboflavin, or B-2
  • folate, or B-9
  • thiamine, or B-1
  • pantothenic acid, or B-5
  • niacin, or B-3

B vitamins help the body get energy from food and form red blood cells. A number of B vitamins also appear to be important for a healthy brain.

The choline in mushrooms can help with muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline assists in maintaining the structure of cellular membranes and plays a role in the transmission of nerve impulses. Mushrooms are also the only vegan, non fortified dietary source of vitamin D. Several other minerals that may be difficult to obtain from a vegan diet — such as selenium, potassium, copper, iron, and phosphorus — are available in mushrooms.

Nutritional content:

Many types of mushroom are edible, and most provide about the same quantities of the same nutrients per serving, regardless of their shape or size.

The table below shows how much of each nutrient a 96-g cup of whole, raw mushrooms provides. It also shows how much of each nutrient adults should consume every day, depending on their sex and age.

Nutrient:

The amount of nutrient in 1 cup of mushrooms recommended:

Energy (calories)21.11,600–3,200Protein (g)3.046–56Carbohydrate (g)3.1, including 1.9 g of sugar130Calcium (mg)2.91,000–1,300Iron (mg)0.58–18Magnesium (mg)8.6310–420Phosphorus (mg)82.6700–1,250Potassium (mg)3054,700Sodium (mg)4.82,300Zinc (mg)0.58–11Copper (mcg)305890–900Selenium (mcg)8.955Vitamin C (mg)2.065–90Vitamin D (mg)0.215Folate (mcg DFE)16.3400Choline (mg)16.6400–550Niacin (mg)3.514–16

Mushrooms also contain a number of B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, B-6, and B-12.

Not all mushrooms are Healthy. Be Aware.

There are around 2,000 edible varieties of mushrooms, but only a handful are available on the American market.

They include:

  • white, or “button”
  • brown cremini
  • portobello
  • shiitake
  • oyster
  • wood ear
  • enoki

Seasonal varieties available at farmer’s markets and some grocery stores include:

  • morel
  • chanterelle

Some people pick wild mushrooms, but it is essential to know which are edible, as some contain deadly toxins.

Tips for buying

When buying fresh mushrooms, chose ones that are firm, dry, and unbruised. Avoid mushrooms that appear slimy or withered.

Store mushrooms in the refrigerator. A person should not wash or trim them until it is time to cook with them.

Tips for serving

The Environmental Working Group, which assesses foods for their pesticide contents, placed mushrooms that grow in the U.S. in its 2019 list of the 15 cleanest foods, referring to relatively low traces of pesticides.

However, people should still wash and clean them carefully before using them to remove any soil and grit. If necessary, trim the ends of the stalks. You can use mushrooms whole, sliced, or diced.

To incorporate more mushrooms into the diet, try:

  • sauteing any type of mushroom with onions for a quick, tasty side dish
  • adding mushrooms to stir-fries
  • topping a salad with raw, sliced cremini or white mushrooms
  • stuffing and baking portobello mushrooms
  • adding sliced mushrooms to omelets, breakfast scrambles, pizzas, and quiches
  • sauteing shiitake mushrooms in olive oil or broth for a healthful side dish
  • removing the stems of portobello mushrooms, marinating the caps in a mixture of olive oil, onion, garlic, and vinegar for 1 hour, then grilling them for 10 minutes
  • adding grilled portobello mushrooms to sandwiches or wraps

To prepare dried mushrooms, leave them in water for several hours until they are soft.

Possible health risks

Wild mushrooms can make a tasty dish, but the toxins in some mushrooms can trigger fatal health issues. Some wild mushrooms also contain high levels of heavy metals and other harmful chemicals. To avoid these dangers, only consume mushrooms from a reliable source.

Takeaway

Mushrooms can be a healthful addition to a varied diet. They are easy to prepare and provide a range of nutrients. People should only eat mushrooms from a reliable source, as some types are toxic.

Know which mushroom is safe:

How to know whether a mushroom that grows in my yard or garden is edible?

Unless you are a true expert in mushroom foraging, steer clear of mushrooms growing wild in your yard or garden.

If you are even slightly unsure, do not eat them. Many mushrooms are toxic to humans and can cause death if people consume them.

Types of Mushrooms and their Health Benefits:

Cremini Mushroom

Cremini mushrooms are a variety of fungus that belongs to the white button mushroom family. The species name is Agaricus Bisporus, and this family of mushroom also includes portobello. These three mushrooms—cremini, portobello and white button—are the three most commonly consumed in the world.

That being said, these three mushrooms are actually the same mushroom. Although they look different, the varying appearance just depends on age. White button mushrooms are the freshest and youngest, then cremini, and portobellos have been left to mature for a long time. Compared to white buttons, cremini mushrooms have a browner color, a meatier texture, and a deeper flavor.

Nutrition wise, cremini mushrooms provide an excellent source of the following micro nutrients:

Selenium: 37% DV

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 29% DV

Copper: 25% DV

Niacin: 19% DV

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 15% DV

Potassium: 13% DV

Phosphorus: 12% DV

Morel

Morel Mushroom

These are certainly one of the most unusual types of edible mushrooms.

Morel mushrooms (Morchella esculenta) look like honeycomb on a stick, and they have a strange, mysterious appearance which suggests we probably shouldn’t eat them. However, eat them we can, and they taste as unique as they look. If you have tried shiitake mushrooms before, then you’ll understand the “meaty” taste they have. These are like that, only much more intense and they have a kind of nutty flavor too. In short, if you like shiitake you’ll probably love Morels.

Morels are Wild—Not Commercial—Mushrooms. It’s hard to cultivate morel mushrooms on a large scale, so it is rare to find them in a store. However, we can pick our own, or we can grow them ourselves. Due to their unique appearance, many people acknowledge that morel mushrooms are the easiest—and safest—wild mushroom to identify.

However, picking wild mushrooms can still be dangerous for those who don’t know what they are looking for. Growing kits to make your own are available too, and they can safely grow in the garden.

In regard to nutrition, morel mushrooms offer significant amounts of:

Iron: 68% DV

Vitamin D: 52% DV

Copper: 31% DV

Manganese: 29% DV

Phosphorus: 19% DV

Zinc: 14% DV

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 12% DV

3. Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushroom

 

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is one of the most infamous types of mushroom and for a good reason; they taste delicious. With a meaty, chewy taste, they go well with almost everything. Enjoying the most popularity in Japan—their homeland—they are famous for having a variety of health benefits. For instance, they are particularly renowned for their anti carcinogenic and antimicrobial properties.

Additionally, in a randomized trial featuring 52 healthy men and women, those given dried shiitake mushrooms showed improved immunity and lower levels of CRP (a marker of inflammation). Also, the dosage was at a level which is a realistic consumption level in everyday life.

High levels of inflammatory markers are associated with most chronic disease, so these are excellent benefits.

Per 100g, shiitake mushrooms provide the following vitamins and minerals in large amounts:

Copper: 45% DV

Pantothenic Acid: 36% DV

Riboflavin: 10% DV

Manganese: 10% DV

Zinc: 9% DV

Vitamin B6: 8% DV

Niacin: 7% DV

Shiitake mushrooms are available in dried form too, which have a powerful concentration of flavor (and nutrition). As shown above, king oyster mushrooms are one of the biggest types of edible mushrooms. They have a striking appearance and are very thick, giving them an extremely chewy and spongy texture — a little bit like squid. For this reason, roasting king oysters in the oven works best and leaves you with a deep, rich flavor — especially if you add a bit of butter and salt beforehand.

The mushroom goes by the scientific name of Pleurotus eryngii and it is native to Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

The mushroom is easy to identify in the wild and, outside of Japan and Australia, has no poisonous look-alikes.

Nutrient-wise, king oysters provide the following micro nutrients per 100g:

Niacin: 25% DV

Riboflavin: 21% DV

Pantothenic Acid: 13% DV

Copper: 12% DV

Phosphorus: 12% DV

Potassium: 12% DV

Iron: 7% DV

Health Benefits:

Oyster mushrooms are a species which have long been used as a medicinal mushroom. Interestingly, cell studies show that they contain a significant amount of antioxidants and that these compounds have anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory effects.

As always, we cannot assume these in-cell effects translate to what happens within the human body in the absence of clinical human trials.

Also, consumption of this edible mushroom appears to lower triglycerides and improve the LDL/HDL ratio. Although they can be a little expensive, you can pick them up for a lower price if you go to a Chinese/Asian market.

Lion’s Mane:

Lions Mane Mushroom

Similar to morel mushrooms, the lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) has an unusual appearance. It is a large species of mushroom that looks quite unusual, as shown in the above picture.

Similar to some other mushrooms, cell studies indicate that lion’s mane mushrooms have anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, cardio protective, and an inhibitory effect on cancer metastasis. Again, these mechanisms need replicating in human trials before we can get too excited though.

These mushrooms grow in the wild throughout Europe, North America and Asia. Although relatively rare in Western dishes, it plays a large part in Chinese cuisine. Despite this, the mushroom has become popular in the health and supplement industry, and a variety of products are available. These include extracts, tablets, and even coffee-mix drinks.

However, rather than buying extracts, you can buy the real thing if you hunt around in some Asian grocery stores. Otherwise, you can also buy them as dried mushrooms. They taste pretty good and have a very intense meaty flavor.

6. Enoki Mushrooms

Enoki Mushroom

 

 

 

Enoki mushrooms (enokitake) are long thin white mushrooms which resemble a piece of string. Again, they are one of the more unique looking mushroom varieties. Enoki mushrooms taste great; they are also relatively simple to grow and cheap to buy. In certain Asian and Italian dishes, they can act as a replacement for noodles and spaghetti due to their chewy texture and noodle-like appearance. For the same reason, tossing some into a stir-fry has great results.

Here are their most significant nutrients on a per-100g basis:

Niacin: 30% DV

Folate: 13% DV

Thiamine: 12% DV

Potassium: 11% DV

Pantothenic Acid: 11% DV

Phosphorus: 11% DV

Riboflavin: 10% DV

7. Button Mushrooms

Button Mushroom

 

Button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) are the baby version of shiitake and cremini; they are still very fresh and at an early-life stage. These white mushrooms are probably the most common—and widespread—variety in the world. In fact, they represent 90% of the edible mushrooms consumed in the United States. Despite a common belief that these mushrooms aren’t as healthy as other more-marketed types, they may have some interesting benefits.

First of all, their nutrient profile. Button mushrooms contain the following vitamins and minerals:

Riboflavin: 24% DV

Niacin: 18% DV

Copper: 16% DV

Pantothenic Acid: 15% DV

Selenium: 13% DV

Potassium: 9% DV

Phosphorus: 9% DV

Studies on Button Mushrooms:

In cell studies, white button mushrooms enhance the strength of cells critical to the body’s immune system (19).

In a study involving 24 healthy volunteers, 12 were assigned to eat a diet that included 100g button mushrooms daily, and the remaining 12 ate the same control diet except for the button mushrooms. Over two weeks, secretory immunoglobulin—an antibody involved in the immune system—increased by 56% in the button mushroom group only.

Portobello mushrooms:

Portobello Mushroom

 

 

If button mushrooms are the babies, then portobello mushrooms are the grandparent. Portobello mushrooms are the same species as button mushrooms—Agaricus bisporus—but at a late stage of life. The mushrooms are therefore much bigger and wider in diameter, as well as being deeper and richer in flavor. They are one of the best types of mushrooms and baked portobellos are delicious — especially when they are stuffed with some cheese.

The mushroom provides the following major nutrients:

Riboflavin: 28% DV

Niacin: 23% DV

Copper: 20% DV

Niacin: 23% DV

Selenium: 16% DV

Pantothenic Acid: 15% DV

Potassium: 14% DV

Porcini mushrooms:

Porcini Mushroom

 

Porcini mushrooms (Boletus edulis) are one of the most popular sorts of mushrooms for culinary purposes. Taste wise, they have a deep and mild nutty flavor with an intense aroma. Porcinis can be either purchased fresh at markets or in dried form.

Porcini mushrooms are also an attractive target for wild mushroom foragers, due to their easily identifiable features. Animal studies suggest that extracts of these mushrooms could potentially have a positive impact on markers of cardiovascular risk.

 

Chantrelle

Chanterelle Mushroom

Nutritional Value

Apart from their mild peppery taste Chanterelle Mushroom is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 54 grams of Raw Chanterelle Mushroom offers 1.87 mg of Iron, 0.191 mg of Copper,2.9 µg of Vitamin D (D2 + D3), 2.206 mg of Vitamin B3, 0.58 mg of Vitamin B5, 0.116 mg of Vitamin B2, 0.154 mg of Manganese, 273 mg of Potassium, 2.1 g of Total dietary Fiber,31 mg of Phosphorus and 0.38 mg of Zinc.

Chanterelle Mushroom is one of Nature’s culinary delights mainly found in damp, but not swampy or marshy ground, usually near some sort of hardwood. Apart from its mild peppery taste it is full of essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins which are extremely important to deal with several long term or short term health related difficulties.

1. Brain Function

Iron is one of the essential minerals for the increased development of the brain. Chanterelle Mushroom includes about 1.87 mg of iron which is 23.38% of the daily recommended value. Since oxygen supply in the blood is assisted by iron and the brain uses around 20% of the blood oxygen, iron is directly associated to brain health and its functions. Similarly, proper flow of blood in the brain helps to encourage cognitive activity and help to create new neural pathways to avoid cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, therefore proper iron rich food intake is essential for proper functioning of the brain.

2. Proper growth

Copper is one of the highly essential minerals present in Chanterelle Mushroom for normal growth and development of body parts and overall health. Therefore, it is certainly essential to include this mineral in balanced form in regular diets of an individual for the proper growth. Apart from that it is also helpful in protecting of skeletal, nervous and cardiovascular systems of the body.

3. Decreased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

As we all know that Type 2 diabetes can result in some overwhelming long-term difficulties, like nerve damage, eye damage, vision loss, heart disease and kidney failure. Chanterelle Mushroom is one of the best options for getting sufficient amount of vitamin D which is exceptionally essential for dealing with type 2 Diabetes. Current research recommends that vitamin D may play a major role in reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes particularly in those who are at an increased threat for this deadly disease.

Several researches have shown improvements in insulin sensitivity, beta cell function, and whole-body inflammation with regular use of ample amount of vitamin D. One Single cup of Chanterelle Mushroom consists of 2.9 µg of vitamin D which is 19.33% of the daily recommended value, so include it in your regular diet to remain safe from Type 2 Diabetes.

4. Maintains Skin Health

Chanterelle Mushroom is one of the good sources of Vitamin B3 which in the form of niacinamide is recommended as a natural treatment for healthy skin and clearing acne when applied to the skin topically. While other people take niacin or B vitamin complex supplements to cure their symptoms.

Niacin helps to reduce skin inflammation, irritation, flare-ups, redness, and more, it is also used for handling skin conditions named bullous pemphigoid and granuloma annulare. These two are inflammation-caused skin diseases that comprise burning of the skin which can be very painful and cause infection. Niacin or vitamin B3 rich food must be included in your normal diet to get rid of such skin problems.

5. Stress Reducer

Vitamin B5 is one of the most important vitamins which are present in Chanterelle Mushroom which is essential for reducing stress and other serious mental problems like anxiety and depression. It does this by regulating the hormones responsible for causing these mental conditions. One cup of Chanterelle Mushroom consists of 0.58 mg of vitamin B5 which is 11.60% of the daily recommended value.

6. Migraine

Adults and kids who don’t get sufficient amount of riboflavin have tendency to experience repeated headaches and even migraines. Riboflavin is one of the essential vitamins which can be obtained by regular consumption of Chanterelle Mushroom. As soon as a person gets sufficient riboflavin, the number of headaches is reduced. One scientific research done with 55 patients displayed that those who took 200-400 mg of riboflavin had considerably fewer migraines and headaches compared to those given the placebo. Regular consumption of this mushroom reduces both the frequency and intensity of the headaches.

7. Help Improve Muscle Mass

As we all know that consuming sufficient amount of protein is essential to build and maintain healthy muscle mass, while also supporting ligaments, tendon and other body tissue. As soon as your diet is lacking in amino acid’s, muscle atrophy can take place when your muscle fibers are broken down to support your body’s energy needs.

Chanterelle Mushroom consists of ample minimal of protein which is required after exercise, as physical activity persistently damages muscle tissues therefore they can repair and grow back stronger. For the process to happen efficiently, you have to include some extra protein rich foods like Chanterelle Mushroom to help repair the damage. While protein alone cannot improve athletic performance, research shows that consuming protein before and after exercise helps upsurge muscle recovery, encourages muscle synthesis and helps as effective muscle ache treatment.

8. Alleviating PMS Syndrome

Numerous women are suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) throughout the world. It is one of the serious problems that take place in majority of the women. Hence, manganese can be useful to reduce these monthly situations like mood swings, depression, headaches and irritability. Women who suffer from severe PMS symptoms are advised to consume manganese rich food such as Chanterelle Mushroom as it consists of 0.154 mg of manganese which is 6.70% of the daily recommended value.

Nutritional value

Apart from their mild, fruity taste, enoki mushroom is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 65 grams of enoki mushroom offers 4.571 mg of Vitamin B3, 0.878 mg of Vitamin B5, 0.146 mg of Vitamin B1, 0.13 mg of Vitamin B2, 68 mg of Phosphorus, 0.75 mg of Iron and 0.07 mg of Copper. Moreover, many Amino acid’s 0.026 g of Tryptophan, 0.072 g of Threonine, 0.058 g of Isoleucine, 0.084 g of Leucine and 0.084 g of Lysine are also found in 65 grams of Enoki mushroom.

Health benefits of Enoki Mushroom:

Enoki Mushroom

 

 

 

Enoki has got enoki linoleic acid as well as enoki chitosan along with being loaded with dietary fiber. Raw enoki mushrooms have been proved to include around two times the fiber of cabbage. Linoleic acid, chitosan, as well as dietary fiber provide you with enoki mushroom benefits like being able to lose body fat within your gut, take control of your blood sugar levels, preventing bowel problems. Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of Enoki mushroom:

1. Immune-Boosting Benefits

Enoki mushrooms provide a smorgasbord of nutrition as well as antioxidants. They are full of thiamine, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, and selenium, and low in dietary cholesterol and sodium. Amino acid’s valine, lysine, and ergothioneine fortify the immune-heightening properties of the enoki. Appreciated because of its health advantages, the enoki mushroom has been utilized in traditional Chinese and Japanese medication for hundreds of years like a tonic for liver disease, high cholesterol levels, stomach ailments, and high blood pressure level.

2. Helps you lose body fat in your gut

Enokitake mushrooms functions as a non-meat source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that will assist to reduce body fat. Enokitake mushroom CLA has the same weight loss advantages as CLA from meat sources.

Enoki mushroom consists of linoleic acid which helps to decrease gut fat. It is stated to switch on enzymes liable for burning up visceral fat. Therefore, helping you drop gut fat. So, including enoki mushrooms in your diet will help you decrease body fat.

3. Balance Sugar Level

There are many advantages to getting more fiber in your daily diet like lowering your levels of cholesterol as well as bringing down unwanted weight. Apart from that another benefit of dietary fiber which is it improves blood sugar control. What better blood glucose control means in weight reduction is that it leads to less sugar being stored away as fat.

Enoki mushrooms are full of dietary fiber that will help you manage blood glucose levels. Spikes within blood sugar result in insulin levels to boost telling the body to store fat. However, fiber might help enhance blood glucose levels simply by reducing the effect of glucose levels on insulin. In other words, what it does is slow down the assimilation of sugar. By reduction of the influence glucose within your blood stream has on insulin, in effect you keep the body from storing fat away. Additionally, it works as a precautionary measure towards type 2 diabetes.

4. Prevent constipation and normalize bowel movements

Fiber in enoki mushrooms help to normalize bowel motions and prevents constipation. 12 grams of dietary fiber are found in 300 grams of enokitake mushrooms which is 30 to 50 % of the daily fiber suggested by the Institute of Medicine for males and females of 50 yrs old and younger. However, people below 51 need more fiber.

Insufficient fiber in your daily diet may disturb normal bowel motions and may result in constipation. Enokitake mushrooms are one of the best low-calorie sources of dietary fiber to prevent constipation.

5. Promote the intellectual development

Enoki mushroom consists of good amount of amino acid which could encourage and foster mental development as well as enhance memory. Enoki mushroom become essential for the maintenance of health and conditioning the intelligence of kids, for the life extension of the aged, and also to enhance the memory of adults. It really is honored as a “fungus which encourages intellectual development.”

6. Prevent Allergy

Frequent use of enoki mushroom helps to prevent asthma, rhinitis, eczema as well as other allergic reactions. So include it in your regular diet to remain healthy and allergy free.

7. Lower blood lipids

Enoki mushroom consumption help to prevent the rise of blood lipids, decrease cholesterol to avoid hyperlipidemia, and lower the occurrence of coronary disease.

8. Promote metabolism

Regular use of enoki mushroom encourages the biological activity of the body to improve metabolic process that encourages the absorption of nutrition. For instance, repeated daily doses of the mushroom resulted in significant decreases in blood pressure, triglycerides, and an increase in HDL.

Health benefits of Wood ear mushroom:

Wood Ear Mushroom

 

 

Wood ear mushrooms have biological activities such as anti-cancer properties, antiviral properties, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-cholesterol, anti diabetic and anticoagulant activity.

1. Antibacterial properties of Wood ear mushrooms

Polysaccharides of Wood ear mushrooms helps in protection against different bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus has a great potential as antimicrobial properties and it can be a supplementary food for human health.

2. Manage diabetes

Wood ear mushrooms are rich in dietary fiber (71%) mainly insoluble dietary fiber (IDF) which is beneficial for lowering the glycemic index. Therefore, incorporation of Wood ear mushroom powder into the extruded snack reduced the glycemic level after ingestion (6). Moreover, this mushroom also contains polysaccharide which reduces food intake slightly lowered the plasma and urinary glucose levels.

3. Active component diazane in Wood ear mushrooms possess anti tumor properties

Presence of anti tumor active component (diazane) in wood ear mushroom act as a cytotoxic agent which possesses potent anti tumor activity against bronchoalveolar cancer, sarcoma and gastric cancer cells, inhibit the proliferation of the tumor cells, induce apoptosis and may be used as a functional additive for enhancing antioxidant activities and suppressing tumor growth in the body (8). Moreover, polysaccharides from wood ear mushroom increase treatment response rate and survival rate and improved immune function without increasing the incidence of adverse effects in patients with gastrointestinal cancers.

4. Wood ear mushrooms lower the cholesterol level

Polyphenolic compounds (more than 16%) found in Wood ear mushrooms possesses potent hypocholesterolemic effects by improving antioxidant status, decreasing the level of total cholesterol and atherosclerosis index, increasing the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and fecal excretion of bile acid’s (10). Furthermore, Wood ear mushrooms contain polysaccharides which significantly lowered the concentrations of serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein. Therefore, Wood ear mushrooms possess preventive actions against hypercholesterolemia.

5. Anticoagulation properties

Polyphenolic compounds mainly mannose, glucose, glucuronic acid and xylose present in wood ear mushroom act as a novel alternative agent which catalyzes thrombin inhibition by antithrombin, inhibits platelet aggregation and blood clotting. Thus, polysaccharides from these mushrooms may constitute a new source of compounds with action on coagulation, platelet aggregation and, perhaps, on thrombosis.

6. Antioxidant properties

A research study suggested that wood ear mushroom possess high antioxidant activities, which significantly inhibit lipid per oxidation, oxidative damage and potent hydroxyl radical scavenging activity than catechin (standard drug). Thus, wood ear mushroom may be helpful in potential therapeutic use.

7. Radioprotective properties due to melanin pigments

Wood ear mushrooms are a good source of melanin pigment which may against ionizing radiation. Thus, Wood ear mushroom melanins possess the ability to mediate local shielding against external radiation.

8. Anti-quorum-sensing properties

Wood ear mushrooms contain a bio active pigment which may interfere with the bacterial quorum-sensing system, regulate its associated functions and prevent bacterial pathogenesis. Therefore, wood ear mushroom pigments or specific compounds may be used in humans as a novel quorum-sensing inhibitor to control and handle detrimental infections.

9. Immunomodulatory properties

Wood ear mushrooms enhance the survival, immunostimulatory activity in phagocytes and induce host protection against C. neoformans, may be beneficial as an adjuvant for vaccines or anti fungal therapy.

10. Polysaccharide Herein of Wood ear mushrooms can be used as an oral drug delivery

Wood ear mushrooms polysaccharide known as herein has several advantages like biodegradability, bio compatibility, low expense and ease of production which can be used as an innovative bio material of oral protein drug delivery system. Thus, herein of wood ear mushroom-based hydrogel may be beneficial as an effective polymeric carrier for oral protein drug.

11. Antiviral properties of Wood ear mushrooms due to sulfated polysaccharide

Sulfated polysaccharides of mushrooms combined with virus or cells thus prohibit virus adsorption or inhibit some step of virus replication after entering the cell. Therefore, these mushroom polysaccharides emerge as a new antiviral drug which attaches the HIV-1 protein so that the virus could not combine with polysaccharide further prevent progression.

12. Treats anemia

Wood ear mushroom polysaccharide iron complex possesses high antioxidant activity which binds to the iron to promote digestion and absorption and helpful for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia, it also reduces oxidative stress caused by the overload of iron improved the blood parameters and body weights of iron deficiency anemia patient.

13. Prevents obesity

Wood ear mushrooms contain a natural bio active substance which results in reducing the body weight and adipose tissue mass by suppressing the expression of adipogenic/lipogenic genes and reduce the risk of hepatic steatosis by modulating plasma lipids and liver enzymes.

14. Healthy heart

Age is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease including heart disease. However, intake of Wood ear mushrooms acts as a natural antioxidant that allows improvement of heart function through restoration of the redox balance of these organs. Therefore, Wood ear mushroom polysaccharides may improve heart function especially in aging animals and retard the aging process.

15. Anti-inflammatory properties

Wood ear mushrooms are a good source of polysaccharides which prevent inflammation and may be helpful for the treatment of different kinds of acute and chronic inflammatory diseases like wound healing, edema and rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Nine potential health benefits of chaga mushrooms

The chaga mushroom grows on birch trees throughout the northern hemisphere. It resembles a dark clump of dirt more than a mushroom, but is distinguished from other growths by its orange tissue.

Doctors, alternative medicine advocates, and researchers are increasingly interested in the potential health benefits of the chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus). Some studies on chaga mushrooms have yielded promising results.

1. Nutrient-dense superfood

chaga mushrooms

Chaga mushrooms are rich in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, including:

 

 

 

2. Slowing the aging process

Oxidative stress causes physical signs of aging, such as wrinkles, sagging skin, and gray hair. Exposure to sun, pollution, and other sources of damage create too many free radicals for the body to neutralize, which accelerates the aging process of the skin.

In theory, supplying the body with more antioxidants could slow the aging process, or even reverse visible signs of aging.

Although no research has conclusively linked chaga to anti-aging benefits, its effectiveness in fighting other forms of oxidative stress suggests that it could also fight aging.

3. Lowering cholesterol

Chaga mushrooms contain many antioxidants that may reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called “bad” cholesterol.

High cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease, so chaga mushrooms could be useful in the fight against cardiovascular disease.

4. Preventing and fighting cancer

Increasingly, researchers are taking seriously the possibility that chaga mushrooms may be able to prevent cancer and slow its growth.

Chaga is rich in antioxidants, which are chemicals that help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals or oxidants. When the body is unable to produce enough antioxidants to prevent this damage, oxidative stress occurs. Oxidative stress can cause cancer and a host of other health problems.

2010 study found that chaga could slow the growth of lung, breast, and cervical cancer cells in a petri dish. The same study also found that chaga could slow the growth of tumors in mice.

2009 studyTrusted Source found that triterpenes, the compounds found in chaga and some other mushrooms, cause tumor cells to self-destruct. Unlike other cancer treatments, however, chaga does not appear to harm healthy cellsTrusted Source.

Although other studies have found similarly promising results, they have all been carried out on animals or in a laboratory. To prove the anti-cancer benefits of chaga conclusively, researchers will need to conduct extensive studies on humans.

5. Lowering blood pressure

Research suggests that oxidative stress is a contributing factor for high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more prone to heart attacksstrokes, and other cardiovascular health issues.

Chaga’s antioxidants could have a potential role in lowering blood pressure and preventing poor cardiovascular health.

6. Supporting the immune system

Cytokines are the immune system’s chemical messengers. They are proteins that play a vital role in stimulating white blood cells, which are the immune system’s first line of defense against a range of illnesses.

Some researchTrusted Source on mice suggests that chaga may help regulate the production of cytokines, supporting the immune system by helping cells communicate with one another. This could help fight infections, from minor colds to life-threatening illnesses.

7. Fighting inflammation

When the body is fighting an illness, inflammation supports the fight. But sometimes, inflammation transitions from a short-term attack to a chronic health problem.

Some illnesses, particularly chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, are linked to inflammation. Recent researchTrusted Source suggests that some conditions that are not considered inflammatory, including depression, may be partly due to chronic inflammation.

Chaga’s role in regulating cytokine production may also help control inflammation. This points to a role for chaga in fighting autoimmune conditions and possibly some other diseases.

8. Lowering blood sugar

Chaga might also have a role in the fight against diabetes.

2006 study found that chaga mushrooms could lower blood sugar in rats. The rodents were genetically modified to have diabetes and to be obese. After eating chaga mushrooms for 8 weeks, their blood sugar levels were lower.

Though no research has been done on humans yet, this suggests that chaga might contribute to an alternative treatment for diabetes in the future.

9. Preventing drug side effects

Research is still in its infancy, but if chaga proves effective at fighting illnesses such as cancer and arthritis, it could be an alternative to traditional treatments.

Treating people with chaga mushrooms could prevent them from experiencing the side effects of other treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and various medications prescribed for chronic illnesses.

People planning to make their own chaga supplements, or who wish to incorporate chaga into their diet, should consult a doctor before doing so. The right daily intake of chaga varies depending on treatment goals.

Chaga is not a substitute for other forms of medical care, so people who have conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure should continue with their usual treatment.

Instead, chaga can be incorporated as a supplement under the direction of a doctor.

Risks

As with other supplements and medications, chaga carries some risks. It can also trigger side effects and may interact dangerously with some medications.

Because chaga lowers blood sugar, it can be dangerous for people taking insulin and other blood sugar-lowering medications.

To reduce the risks of using chaga mushrooms, a person should consider the following:

  • Continue taking all prescribed medications, as chaga is not a substitute for traditional medicine.
  • Tell a doctor about all medications being used. As with other drugs and supplements, chaga may alter the effectiveness of various medications.
  • Write down any side effects from chaga use. Though rare, chaga can trigger an allergic reaction in some people. Trouble breathing, changes in heart rate, and loss of consciousness are medical emergencies.
  • Avoid using other herbal supplements while taking chaga, unless a doctor advises otherwise.
  • Research supplement brands and buy from reputable sources, as chaga is not monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

 

Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Turkey Tail Mushroom

 

 

 

Cancer Fighter

Research has demonstrated that turkey tail mushrooms may have antitumor properties, thought to be related to its immune-boosting effects.

One test-tube study found that PSK, the polysaccharopeptide found in turkey tail mushrooms, inhibited the growth and spread of human colon cancer cells.

Furthermore, a certain type of polysaccharide found in turkey tail mushrooms called Coriolus versicolor glucan (CVG) may suppress certain tumors.  A study in tumor-bearing mice found that daily treatment with CVG extracted from turkey tail mushrooms significantly reduced tumor size.  Researchers attributed this development to enhanced immune response.

Another study demonstrated that daily treatment with turkey tail mushroom extract significantly slowed the spread of cancer cells in dogs with (hemangiosarcoma).

The most impressive evidence regarding the anticancer benefits of turkey tail mushroom is when it’s used in combination with more traditional treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation.

Good for The Gut

Turkey tail contains prebiotics, which help nourish beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus while reducing potentially harmful bacteria, such as Clostridium and Staphylococcus.

An 8-week study in 24 healthy people found that consuming 3,600 mg of PSP extracted from turkey tail mushrooms per day led to beneficial changes in gut bacteria and suppressed the growth of the possibly problematic E. coli and Shigella bacteria.

Having healthy levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria has been linked to improved intestinal symptoms like diarrhea, enhanced immune system, reduced cholesterol levels, lower risks of certain cancers and improved digestion.

Additional Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushroom

  • Fights HPV: A study of people with HPV found that once treated with turkey tail experienced clearance of HPV (16).
  • May improve athletic performance: A mouse study showed that turkey tail extract improved exercise performance and reduced fatigue. Plus, the mice treated with turkey tail experienced lower blood sugar levels at rest and post-exercise (17).
  • May improve insulin resistance: A study in rats with type 2 diabetes demonstrated that turkey tail extract significantly reduced blood sugar levels and improved insulin resistance.

Is Turkey Tail Safe?

Turkey tail mushroom is considered safe, with few side effects reported in research studies.

Some people may experience digestive symptoms like gas, bloating and dark stools when taking turkey tail mushroom.

When used as a cancer treatment alongside chemotherapy, side effects including nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite have been reported.

Another potential side effect of consuming turkey tail mushroom is darkening of the fingernails.

It is recommended to speak with your doctor before supplementing with turkey tail mushroom.

Annanda Organics Turkey Tail Mushroom Extract is Dual Extracted using organic cane alcohol and Canadian Turkey Tail mushrooms from Northwestern Ontario.  visit www.annandachaga.com for more details.

 

 

 

Please note there are some side effects to some of these mushrooms. It is always advisable to consult with a health practitioner before consuming any of these mushrooms!!!

 

Thank you for reading.

Michael.

Comments are welcome

Artificial Intelligence and Health

Artificial Intelligence and Health

Your Health and Artificial Intelligence.

How safe would you feel if you were diagnosed and treated by artificial intelligence by a machine, so to speak?

First let us take a look at the definition of artificial intelligence and what it is all about.

Artificial Intelligence and health

 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer program or a machine to think and learn. It is also a field of study which tries to make computers “smart”. They work on their own without being encoded with commands. John McCarthy came up with the name “artificial intelligence” in 1955.

In general use, the term “artificial intelligence” means a machine which mimics human cognition. “The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

There’s no doubt that technology has changed the way health care happens—everywhere.

“Even in rural Uganda, a patient can confirm her provider’s authenticity with a text message, and a community health worker can use Google to learn symptoms and treatments,” says Wayan Vota, IntraHealth’s director of digital health.

Now artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are changing the way we manage our health in and outside the clinic. We’re starting to see more instances where health workers and researchers can use AI to diagnose eye disease, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.

And then there’s the DIY health tech. Want someone to talk to? There’s a chatbot therapist app for that. Want to have AI on your computer analyze your keystrokes and predict whether you’re developing a neurodegenerative disorder? You can sign up for that here. Want to track and record your every move to stay fit? Keep reading. All these new tools and applications are changing the way we take care of ourselves. They’re also generating scads of health data, which present their own challenges.

What is Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare?

Machine learning has the potential to provide data-driven clinical decision support (CDS) to physicians and hospital staff – paving the way for an
increased revenue potential. Machine learning, a subset of AI designed to identify patterns, uses algorithms and data to give automated insights to healthcare providers.

Examples of AI in Healthcare and Medicine

AI can improve healthcare by fostering preventative medicine and new drug discovery. Two examples of how AI is impacting healthcare include:

IBM Watson’s ability to pinpoint treatments for cancer patients, and Google Cloud’s Healthcare app that makes it easier for health organizations to collect, store, and access data.

Business Insider Intelligence reported that researchers at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center used IBM Watson’s Genomic product to identify specific treatments for over 1,000 patients. The product performed big data analysis to determine treatment options for people with tumors who were showing genetic abnormalities.

Comparatively, Google’s Cloud Healthcare application programming interface (API) includes CDS offerings and other AI solutions that help doctors make more informed clinical decisions regarding patients. AI used in Google Cloud takes data from users’ electronic health records through machine learning –creating insights for healthcare providers to make better clinicaldecisions.

Google worked with the University of California, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago to generate an AI system that predicts the outcomes of hospital visits. This acts as a way to prevent readmission and shorten the amount of time patients are kept in hospitals.

Benefits, Problems, Risks & Ethics of AI in Healthcare

Integrating AI into the healthcare ecosystem allows for a multitude of benefits, including automating tasks and analyzing big patient data sets to deliver better healthcare faster, and at a lower cost. According to Business Insider Intelligence, 30% of healthcare costs are associated with administrative tasks. AI can automate some of these tasks, like pre-authorizing insurance, following-up on unpaid bills, and maintaining records, to ease the workload of healthcare professionals and ultimately save them money.

AI has the ability to analyze big data sets – pulling together patient insights and leading to predictive analysis. Quickly obtaining patient insights helps the healthcare ecosystem discover key areas of patient care that require improvement. Wearable healthcare technology also uses AI to better serve patients. Software that uses AI, like FitBits and smartwatches, can analyze data to alert users and their healthcare professionals on potential health issues and risks. Being able to assess one’s own health through technology eases the workload of professionals and prevents unnecessary hospital visitsor remissions.

Fitbit_Versa_InBoxSE
FitBits use AI to analyze data to alert users and healthcare professionals on potential health risks
Fitbit

As with all things AI, these healthcare technology advancements are based on data humans provide –meaning, there is a risk of data sets containing unconscious bias. Previous experiences have shown that there is potential for coder bias and bias in machine learning to affect AI findings. In the sensitive healthcare market, especially, it will be critical to establish new ethics rules to address – and prevent – bias around AI.

Future of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

The use of AI in the healthcare market is growing due to the continued demand for wearable technology, digital medicine, and the industry’s overall transformation into the modern, digital age. Hospitals and healthcare professionals are seeing the benefits in using AI in technology and storing patients’ data on private clouds, like the Google Cloud Platform. AI allows doctors and patients to more easily access health records and assess patient’s health data that is recorded over a period via AI-infused technology

AI in technology and storing patients’ data on private clouds, like the Google Cloud Platform.
Google

Health tech companies, startups, and healthcare professionals are discovering new ways to incorporate AI into the healthcare market; and, the speed at which we
improve the healthcare system through AI will only continue to accelerate as the industry dives deeper into digital health. Artificial intelligence in health care carries huge potential, according to experts in computer science and medicine, but it also raises serious questions around bias, accountability and security.

“I think we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg right now,” said Yoshua Bengio, a computer scientist and professor at the University of Montreal, who was recently awarded the Turing Award, often called the “Nobel Prize” of computing. Bengio is one of the pioneers of deep learning, an advanced form of AI, which he believes will advance health care. In deep learning, a computer is fed data, which it uses to make assumptions and learn as it goes — much like our brain does.

Scientists are already using AI to develop medical devices. At the University of Alberta, researchers are testing an experimental bionic arm that can “learn” and anticipate the movements of an amputee. Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a tool that can look at your retina and automatically detect signs of diabetic blindness.

Emergency Room Waiting Times

At Humber River Hospital in northwest Toronto, AI is speeding up perhaps the most frustrating part of a patient’s experience: the emergency room. In the hospital’s control center, powerful computers are now accurately predicting how many patients will arrive in the emergency department — two days in advance.

The software processes real-time data from all over the hospital— admissions, wait times, transfers and discharges — and analyzes it, going back over a year’s worth of information. From that, it can find patterns and pinpoint bottlenecks in the system. “If you add up all those tiny delays — how long it takes to see your doctor, how long you’re waiting for your bed to be cleaned, how long you’re waiting to get up to your room — if you measure all of those things and can shorten each one of them, you can start saving a lot of money,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, chief of staff at Humber River Hospital.

According to Gardam, it’s working: patients are now moving through the system faster, allowing the hospital to see an average of 29 more patients a day.

Risks With AI and Health

For machines to learn, they need vast amounts of information. Since that initial data comes from humans, some of that information can be tainted by personal bias  especially if the algorithm isn’t fed a diverse data set.

“In dermatology, you take a look at a number of different photographs or slides of moles. If you happen to be pale-skinned, some of the machine learning associated with that imagery is great. If you’re darker-skinned, it’s not,” said Dr. Jennifer Gibson, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto. She’s not against the integration of AI in health care, but warns that anything involving big data, profit-driven companies and health care should be heavily regulated.

“In our hunger for more data, in order to power these tools, we may be introducing a form of surveillance within our society — which is not really the intended goal,
but might happen accidentally,” Gibson said.

Gardam doesn’t share those concerns; he believes humans — not machines — will remain in control.”It’ll still be a long time before we fully accept information coming from a computer system, telling us what the diagnosis is,” he said. “Humans are still going to be reviewing it until we’re very comfortable we’re not
missing something.”

Some governments aren’t waiting for that to happen. In the U. S, the FDA recently announced that it is developing a framework for regulating self-learning AI products used in medicine. In a statement to CBC News, Health Canada said it also engaging with national, international, industry, academic and government stakeholders “to discuss the challenges and opportunities in regulating current and emerging AI technologies in health care.”

What The 21st Century is Bringing To Us As Far Health Care and AI

In the 21st Century, the age of big data and artificial intelligence (AI), each healthcare organization has built its own data infrastructure to support its own needs, typically involving on-premises computing and storage. Data is balkanized along organizational boundaries, severely constraining the ability to provide services to patients across a care continuum within one organization or across organizations.

This situation evolved as individual organizations had to buy and maintain the costly hardware and software required for healthcare, and has been reinforced by vendor lock-in, most notably in electronic medical records (EMRs). With increasing cost pressure and policy imperatives to manage patients across and between care episodes, the need to aggregate data across and between departments within a healthcare organization and across disparate organizations has become apparent not only to realize the promise of AI but also to improve the efficiency of existing data intensive tasks such as any population level segmentation and patient safety monitoring.

The rapid explosion in AI has introduced the possibility of using aggregated healthcare data to produce powerful models that can automate diagnosis and also enable an increased approach to medicine by tailoring treatments and targeting resources with maximum effectiveness in a timely and dynamic manner.

However, “the inconvenient truth” is that at present the algorithms that feature prominently in research literature are in fact not, for the most part, executable at the front lines of clinical practice. This is for two reasons: first, these AI innovations by themselves do not re-engineer the incentives that support existing ways of working.

A complex web of ingrained political and economic factors and the proximal influence of medical practice norms and commercial interests determine the way healthcare is delivered. Simply adding AI applications to a fragmented system will not create sustainable change. Second, most healthcare organizations lack the data infrastructure required to collect the data needed to optimally train algorithms to (a) “fit” the local population and/or the local practice patterns, a requirement prior to deployment that is rarely highlighted by current AI publications, and (b) interrogate them for bias to guarantee that the algorithms perform consistently across patient cohorts, especially those who may not have been adequately represented in the training cohort.

For example, an algorithm trained on mostly Caucasian patients is not expected to have the same accuracy when applied to minorities. In addition, such rigorous evaluation and re-calibration must continue after implementation to track and capture those patient demographics and practice patterns which inevitably change over time.

Some of these issues can be addressed through external validation, the importance of which is not unique to AI, and it is timely that existing standards for prediction model reporting are being updated specifically to incorporate standards applicable to this end. In the United States, there are islands of aggregated healthcare data in the ICU, and in the Veterans Administration. These aggregated data sets have predictably catalyzed an acceleration in AI development; but without broader development of data infrastructure outside these islands it will not be possible to generalize these innovations.

Airtificial Intelligence and Health Care. You Tube Video

The Google Cloud, Health and AI

Elsewhere in the economy, the development of cloud computing, secure high-performance general use data infrastructure and services available via the Internet (the “cloud”), has been a significant enabler for large and small technology companies alike, providing significantly lower fixed costs and higher performance and supporting the aforementioned opportunities for AI. Healthcare, with its abundance of data, is in theory well-poised to benefit from growth in cloud computing. The largest and arguably most valuable store of data in healthcare rests in EMRs. However, clinician satisfaction with EMRs remains low, resulting in variable completeness and quality of data entry, and interoperability between different providers remains elusive.

The typical lament of a harried clinician is still “why does my EMR still suck and why don’t all these systems just talk to each other?” Policy imperatives have attempted to address these dilemmas, however progress has been minimal. In spite of the widely touted benefits of “data liberation”, a sufficiently compelling use case has not been presented to overcome the vested interests maintaining the status quo and justify the significant upfront investment necessary to build data infrastructure.

Furthermore, it is reasonable to suggest that such high-performance computing work has been and continues to be beyond the core competencies of either healthcare organizations or governments and as such, policies have been formulated, but rarely, if ever, successfully implemented. It is now time to revisit these policy imperatives in light of the availability of secure, scalable data infrastructure available through cloud computing that makes the vision of interoperability realizable, at least in theory.

To realize this vision and to realize the potential of AI across health systems, more fundamental issues have to be addressed: who owns health data, who is responsible for it, and who can use it? Cloud computing alone will not answer these questions—public discourse and policy intervention will be needed. The specific path forward will depend on the degree of a social compact around healthcare itself as a public good, the tolerance to public private partnership, and crucially, the
public’s trust in both governments and the private sector to treat their healthcare data with due care and attention in the face of both commercial and political perverse incentives.

In terms of the private sector these concerns are amplified as cloud computing is provided by a few large technology companies who have both significant market power and strong commercial interests outside of healthcare for which healthcare data might potentially be beneficial. Specific contracting instruments are needed to ensure that data sharing involves both necessary protection and, where relevant, fair material returns to healthcare organizations and the patients they serve. In the absence of a general approach to contracting, high profile cases in this area have been corrosive to public trust.

Data privacy regulations like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or California’s Consumer Privacy Act are necessary and well-intentioned, though incur the risk of favoring well-resourced incumbents who are more able to meet the cost of regulatory compliance thereby possibly limiting the growth of smaller healthcare provider and technology organizations.

Initiatives to give patients access to their healthcare data, including new proposals from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services are welcome, and in fact it has long been argued that patients themselves should be the owners and guardians of their health data and subsequently consent to their data being used to develop AI solutions.

In this scenario, as in the current scenario where healthcare organizations are the de-facto owners and guardians of patient data generated in the health system alongside fledgling initiatives from prominent technology companies to share patient generated data back into the health system, there exists the need for secure, high-performance data infrastructure to make use of this data for AI applications.

If the aforementioned issues are addressed, there are two possible routes to building the necessary data infrastructure to enable today’s clinical care and population health management and tomorrow’s AI enabled workflows. The first is an evolutionary path to creating generalized data infrastructure by building on existing impactful successes in the research domain such as the recent Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation and Sustainability
(STRIDES) initiative from the National Institutes of Health or MIMIC from the MIT Laboratory for Computational Physiology to generate the momentum for change.

Another, more revolutionary path would be for governments to mandate that all healthcare organizations store their clinical data in commercially available clouds. In either scenario, existing initiatives such as the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP) and Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard that create a common data schema for storage and transfer of healthcare data and AI enabled technology innovations to accelerate the migration of existing data will accelerate progress and ensure that legacy data are included.

There are several complex problems still to be solved including how to enable informed consent for data sharing, and how to protect confidentiality yet maintain data fidelity. However, the prevalent scenario for data infrastructure development will depend more on the socioeconomic context of the health system in question rather than on technology.

A notable by-product of a move of clinical and research data to the cloud would be the erosion of market power of EMR providers. The status quo with proprietary data formats and local hosting of EMR databases favors incumbents who have strong financial incentives to maintain the status quo. Creation of health data infrastructure opens the door for innovation and competition within the private sector to fulfill the public aim of inter operable health data.

The potential of AI is well described, however in reality health systems are faced with a choice: to significantly downgrade the enthusiasm regarding the potential of AI in everyday clinical practice, or to resolve issues of data ownership and trust and invest in the data infrastructure to realize it.

Now that the growth of cloud computing in the broader economy has bridged the computing gap, the opportunity exists to both transform population health and realize the potential of AI, if governments are willing to foster a productive resolution to issues of ownership of healthcare data through a process that necessarily transcends election cycles and overcomes or co-opts the vested interests that maintain the status quo—a tall order. Without this however, opportunities for AI in healthcare will remain just that—opportunities.

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I wonder whether to be worried about this or accept it with confidence. What ever goes into artificial intelligence is provided by human’s. How would this work with medical bills? What about the real Doctor?

I think about the incorporation of AI into automobiles. Again Google is right there amongst other AI automobiles like the Tesela.

The auto pilot system has been around for several years, but it’s functionability is relevant to flying the plane once it is already in the sky and everything is going smoothly. It can not land the plane or deal with complications if there were problems.

Will this be like the health care system of the future?

Thank you for reading,

Michael.

Comments are welcome