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Friday, 26 August 2016

Your broccoli doesn’t have much nutritional value if you don’t do this

Newsletter #632
Lee Euler, Editor

It’s being called a “game changer.”
Drug companies are hard at work making new pills out of it.
And you don’t have to seek this humble but powerful cancer-fighter in an exotic jungle or from a plant you’ve never heard of. It’s available in abundance at your local grocer, and more than likely you’ve already got it in your freezer.
You’ve probably been eating broccoli your whole life.
Broccoli has been called a superfood for a long time, boasting a list of benefits including:
  • Antioxidants
  • Phytochemicals
  • Potassium
  • High fiber content
  • Rich levels of vitamins including A, B6, and C.
But this impressive list of nutrients is not what gets cancer researchers excited. It’s the high levels of sulforaphane that’s generating buzz.
Sulforaphane is a phytochemical in the isothiocyanate family. It’s a natural cancer-fighting compound found in vegetables of the brassica (cruciferous) sort, which include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussel-sprouts.1
Sulforaphane was first discovered in broccoli sprouts. Soon after, it began to reveal its astonishing cancer fighting effects.
It suppresses cancer cell proliferation and stimulates cancer cell apoptosis, while inhibiting tumor progression and metastasis.2,3
Plus, one study found sulfurophane even has power against oral squamous cell carcinoma, a particularly aggressive and hard to treat cancer.4
Sounds great right?
Well… there’s just one little catch.
The power of sulfurophane is just out of reach
The cancer-fighting power of sulforaphane is available to you… if you eat it raw. Most people don’t.
While broccoli is known as the most abundant source of sulforaphane, not all the little green florets are the same.
Many Americans get theirs frozen in a bag, simply because it keeps longer. And while frozen is nearly as good as raw, the convenience in this case comes with a downside. Frozen broccoli does undergo some processing that slashes its nutritional value.
Blanching is a necessary process of rapidly heating vegetables before freezing to slow down the action of the enzymes that occur naturally in the plant. Otherwise these enzymes would accelerate spoilage and reduce the shelf-life.
But. . .blanching also effectively kills all chances that you’re getting any sulforaphane in your side of broccoli.
You see, sulforaphane is produced when glucoraphanin (the precursor) and an enzyme called myrosinase meet.
The extreme heat required for blanching destroys myrosinase.
But there’s good news…
If you prefer your broccoli frozen, you can get the benefits of sulfurophane back by sprinkling an undetectable amount of radish on the blanched frozen broccoli. This reintroduces myrosinase to the equation.
No radish around? You can also pair your frozen-then-cooked broccoli with other foods containing myrosinase, such as:
  • cabbage
  • horseradish
  • spicy mustard
  • wasabi
  • arugula
  • or watercress5
Frankly, your best bet is fresh, raw broccoli, which contains the most potential sulforaphane.
Or better yet…
Go for broccoli sprouts, where sulforaphane was first detected. The sprouts contain a more concentrated level of myrosinase, increasing its potential power.
Eating these will ensure you’re getting the most nutrition available.
Beware the new drugs and knock-offs
Supplements do exist on the market bearing the title sulforaphane, but these are often either an unstable formula containing no myrosinase, or they’re simple broccoli powders without a set dosage of measurable sulforaphane.
Studies showed that in order to be effective, these supplements still needed to be taken with fresh broccoli sprouts.6
So, save yourself some money and just go right for the sprouts.
Meanwhile, Big Pharma – seeing the power of sulfurophane – is looking for ways to capitalize on it. A London-based company called Evgen has synthesized sulforaphane into a stable form they’ve named Sulforadex.
They say they’ve seen promising preliminary results when their product is used in combination with breast cancer drug Tamoxifen. The combo lets the Tamoxifen work as it normally does, but with an extra clean-up crew that follows along, targeting and destroying the cancer cells left behind.7
In my view the better option is to eat plenty of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, and forget not only Sulforadex but Tamoxifen, too.
But the company suggests that taking one Sulforadex pill gives you the same benefits as 5.5 pounds of broccoli. Maybe it’s worth considering, especially for cancer patients who find it hard to say no to conventional treatments.
For the rest of us who just want to eat healthy and avoid getting cancer in the first place, broccoli sprouts are a better source for much of the nutrition found in the mature plant.
If you have to buy frozen, it’s okay… just remember to pair it with another food containing myrosinase.
Finally, don’t overheat your broccoli — or you risk losing the benefits. I’m told a light steaming for ten minutes until it’s “tough-tender” will actually enhance the nutritional value.
If you missed the last issue of Cancer Defeated, please read the article now, just below. The main breakthroughs used in alternative cancer treatment have been confirmed and there is now no doubt they are superior to mainstream treatments.

The Main Alternative Approach to Cancer was Defined
60 Years Ago – Now We Know It was Right

Long before his death in 1970, German scientist Dr. Otto Warburg was considered one of the greatest biochemists of the 20th century. His research provided some of the first insights into cellular respiration, photosynthesis, and the origins of cancer.
In 1931, he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his work. It seemed like he was set up for a world-changing career.
But that all changed in 1953, when James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA and ushered in the age of molecular biology. .
With this new development, researchers were soon convinced that genes were the key to defeating cancer and that genetic mutations forced cells to divide and multiply relentlessly.
Aside from that, mainstream medicine glommed onto the strategy of killing cancer cells with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery rather than identifying and curing the underlying root causes of cancer.
Dr. Warburg’s theories were largely forgotten. Until now. . .
Continued below…
The secret to curing cancer:
You’ve been throwing it in the trash!
In 1921, a British doctor discovered that members of a remote native tribe were almost totally cancer-free. But when members of this tribe move away from their native land and change their diet, they get cancer just like anyone else.
It’s all thanks to a food most of us throw away as waste — a food that’s rich in amygdalin — what most of us call Laetrile. Click here now and watch a video presentation about this cancer breakthrough. One cancer expert calls this overlooked food “the key to curing AND preventing cancer” — and you can benefit now — without going to a doctor or buying expensive supplements.
This little throwaway food tastes great. Bill Clinton, of all people, eats a certain amygdalin-rich food all the time, and so can you. Click here now to watch the video!
The strategy of treating cancer by killing cancer cells has been a failure, because cancer stem cells survive these therapies and the disease almost always returns. These treatments work only for certain early-stage (and usually non-aggressive) cancers where it really IS possible to kill every cancer cell.
As for the gene-mutation theory – the only “root cause” cancer theory in which mainstream medicine has shown any interest – hundreds of billions of research dollars have produced almost nothing.
So here we are, more than 60 years later with cancer diagnoses continuing to rise. While we certainly know a lot more about cancer genetics, we’re no closer to a cure.
Were Dr. Warburg’s theories the key all along? I’ll give you a simple answer: Yes. And – of all people – Dr. James Watson now agrees.
Today’s generation of scientists are digging back in to cancer metabolism to find out…
The Warburg effect and how cancer creates energy
Healthy cells need oxygen for energy and replication. They’re aerobic cells.
While studying sea urchin eggs in the 1920s, Otto Warburg was the first to discover that cancer cells are the exact opposite. In cancer cells, the aerobic or normal form of energy production has failed, and the cells are forced to fall back on “Plan B”: producing energy by fermentation, specifically fermentation of sugar.
When cells begin to ferment glucose (blood sugar) instead of using oxygen to burn glucose, it’s called the Warburg effect, aptly named, and it’s present in about four out of five of all cancers.
He had evidence that cells start going crazy for sugar because their mitochondria — cellular “batteries” or “energy factories” — get so damaged they can’t use oxygen anymore.
Altered metabolism is now known to be one of the hallmarks of cancer.
Cancer’s voracious appetite for sugar is the reason that the positron emission tomography (PET) scan is the best existing test to locate and diagnose cancer. We know cancer needs massive quantities of sugar, far more than healthy cells that oxidize sugar. This is not in dispute.
In a PET scan, sugar molecules are tagged with a radioactive marker. The sugar molecules then concentrate in much higher density in cancer cells than in healthy cells, and the bright spots of radioactivity are easy to see on the scan. Voila, the doctor can see what parts of the body have cancer.
Dr. Warburg believed the change from the aerobic to the anaerobic or fermentation type of metabolism was the cause of cancer.
Connecting cellular metabolism and molecular biology
Dr. Warburg’s research is the cornerstone of cancer diagnosis and, increasingly, it’s the cornerstone of cancer treatment, at least among knowledgeable doctors. Cancer cell metabolism differs from healthy cell metabolism, and this difference has become the most effective avenue to treatment.
This approach is simply more effective than the gene-mutation approach of trying to find and treat broken DNA. One problem is that there are hundreds of thousands of gene mutations and it’s impossible to treat this riot of dysfunction.
Researchers thought they could find “the” mutation, or a few mutations, that “caused” cancer. And that’s where most of the research money has gone for decades. Instead they found more mutations than they could count.
The other problem is that – although this isn’t absolutely confirmed yet – it’s most likely that cancer originates in the mitochondria, NOT in the genes. That is, cancer is a metabolic or mitochondrial disease at its very heart, and genes are just a sideshow.
The DNA probably gets damaged by the toxic byproducts of the sick mitochonrdria. These deadly byproducts account for the “acid bath” that surrounds cancer tumors.
The gene approach may have produced
one useful bit of knowledge…
Mainstream molecular biologists – ever obsessed with genes — have been searching for the missing link between Warburg’s discovery and what we understand today about gene mutation.
This group more or less concedes that the problem is with mitochondria but they think a genetic defect is causing the mitochondrial malfunction. So they’ve been looking for genes that control cell division and regulate nutrient consumption.
They did find the gene AKT … which creates a chain of signaling proteins that play a prominent role in cell division. When this chain is mutated, it causes the cell to disregard signals to stop eating… and instead go on a glucose-eating rampage.
Though it sounds scary, there’s good news.
Once AKT is activated, these new cancer cells are dependent on glucose for energy. So if you remove sugar completely, they’re far more prone to automatic cell death.1
Regardless of this genetic discovery and many others like it, many researchers, including molecular biologist James Watson, now think that Dr. Warburg was right:
Cellular metabolism is the root cause of cancer — and while there are secondary causes and influences in growth, targeting metabolism first will yield greater results than starting with the gene mutation.
Dr. Watson was quoted in a New York Times article about the Warburg revival that “locating the genes that cause cancer has been remarkably unhelpful.” And if he was going into cancer research today, he “would study biochemistry rather than molecular biology.” 2
Overall, sequencing DNA to find the cause of cancer was “unhelpful” because there can be many kinds of gene mutations in a single cancer. In fact, researchers have found no consistency in gene mutations from tumor to tumor.
For example, commonly cited oncogene p53 is only present in half of tumors.3 And scientists still aren’t sure if the expression of “metabolic master” oncogene myc causes metabolic changes or is a result of metabolic changes.4
The story seems to be the same with thousands of other enzymes, proteins, and genes… where the line between overexpression, suppression, and tumor formation is very thin.
But there are only a few, limited ways human cells can use energy…
And cancer cells use fuel in distinctly different ways than healthy cells, every single time.
It may turn out that altered metabolism is not the one and only cause of cancer, but it provides an easy target for cancer treatment. Metabolic dysfunction is something we can see, understand and change now.
A high-sugar diet and elevated insulin levels
feed cancer cells
There’s no questioning the strong link between the standard American diet (SAD) – with its massive consumption of sugar and other refined carbs – and our deadly rates of obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and cancer.
Dr. James Watson said in the New York Times article, “I think there’s no doubt that insulin is pro-cancer.”
The standard American diet of processed foods, simple carbohydrates and sugar causes permanently elevated insulin levels, which in turn cause the insulin signaling pathways to go haywire.
This can also trigger the Warburg effect and cause cells to feed on sugar and grow uncontrollably.
In fact, metformin, a common drug used to lower blood glucose and insulin levels in people with diabetes, has been shown to reduce the risk of developing cancer in its users.5
I wouldn’t be surprised if Big Pharma used this to multiply their sales and start selling metformin as a cancer prevention drug in the future …
But as a Cancer Defeated reader, you know it’s far better to take matters into your own hands now by adjusting your diet and starving cancer cells before they have the chance to grow.
Ketogenic diet may be the key to starving cancer
I’m convinced: Cancer feeds on glucose. So the best way to fight it is to starve it out.
That means you need to reduce your sugar intake and lower your insulin levels to keep cancer cells from thriving.
I don’t think a totally non-carbohydrate diet is sustainable for most people for years on end. But eat the lowest levels of carbs you can tolerate, and make sure the carbs you do eat are not high-glycemic “white foods” like sugar, rice, wheat products and potatoes.
These foods almost immediately turn to sugar in your body and spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Instead, train your body to use fat for energy with a diet high in healthy fats (also called a ketogenic, or “keto” diet).
When you’re a “fat burner” instead of a “sugar burner,” your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose. This has the added benefit of lowering body fat content in addition to limiting the fuel for cancer cells.
The traditional keto diet also recommends between 40 and 60 grams of protein per day… though I think this is low. Most people need 1 – 1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight, depending on your goals (building muscle, maintaining muscle, and/or losing fat.)*
Protein does raise your blood sugar and cause an insulin response, but not nearly as much as processed carbs. Healthy fats from nuts, coconut oil, avocado and olive oil have little to no impact on blood sugar.
Here are other foods to eat, not only to keep your blood sugar low but also to flood your body with healthy nutrients:
  • Organic fruits and vegetables
  • High-fiber foods like chia seeds, root and cruciferous veggies and some berries
  • Protein from grass-fed meats, beans and pasture-raised eggs
  • Alkalizing foods like ginger, lemon, apple cider vinegar, and “specialty” greens like chlorella
Of course, this isn’t news if you’ve been reading Cancer Defeated for any length of time. The science behind the kind of diet I’ve been promoting keeps stacking up, proving that diet and lifestyle have a profound impact on cancer risk.
Getting cancer isn’t always “bad luck” or “bad genes” or another fatalistic excuse. You CAN take an active role in reducing your risk of developing cancer.
You hold your health in your hands. You have a choice.
http://www.cancerdefeated.com/your-broccoli-doesnt-have-muchnutritional-value-if-you-dont-do-this/3772/

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The alternative approach to cancer is triumphant

17 August 2016

Long before his death in 1970, German scientist Dr. Otto Warburg was considered one of the greatest biochemists of the 20th century. His research provided some of the first insights into cellular respiration, photosynthesis, and the origins of cancer.
In 1931, he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his work. It seemed like he was set up for a world-changing career.
But that all changed in 1953, when James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA and ushered in the age of molecular biology. .
With this new development, researchers were soon convinced that genes were the key to defeating cancer and that genetic mutations forced cells to divide and multiply relentlessly.
Aside from that, mainstream medicine glommed onto the strategy of killing cancer cells with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery rather than identifying and curing the underlying root causes of cancer.
Dr. Warburg’s theories were largely forgotten. Until now. . 
The strategy of treating cancer by killing cancer cells has been a failure, because cancer stem cells survive these therapies and the disease almost always returns. These treatments work only for certain early-stage (and usually non-aggressive) cancers where it really IS possible to kill every cancer cell.
As for the gene-mutation theory – the only “root cause” cancer theory in which mainstream medicine has shown any interest – hundreds of billions of research dollars have produced almost nothing.
So here we are, more than 60 years later with cancer diagnoses continuing to rise. While we certainly know a lot more about cancer genetics, we’re no closer to a cure.
Were Dr. Warburg’s theories the key all along? I’ll give you a simple answer: Yes. And – of all people – Dr. James Watson now agrees.
Today’s generation of scientists are digging back in to cancer metabolism to find out…
The Warburg effect and how cancer creates energy
Healthy cells need oxygen for energy and replication. They’re aerobic cells.
While studying sea urchin eggs in the 1920s, Otto Warburg was the first to discover that cancer cells are the exact opposite. In cancer cells, the aerobic or normal form of energy production has failed, and the cells are forced to fall back on “Plan B”: producing energy by fermentation, specifically fermentation of sugar.
When cells begin to ferment glucose (blood sugar) instead of using oxygen to burn glucose, it’s called the Warburg effect, aptly named, and it’s present in about four out of five of all cancers.
He had evidence that cells start going crazy for sugar because their mitochondria — cellular “batteries” or “energy factories” — get so damaged they can’t use oxygen anymore.
Altered metabolism is now known to be one of the hallmarks of cancer.
Cancer’s voracious appetite for sugar is the reason that the positron emission tomography (PET) scan is the best existing test to locate and diagnose cancer. We know cancer needs massive quantities of sugar, far more than healthy cells that oxidize sugar. This is not in dispute.
In a PET scan, sugar molecules are tagged with a radioactive marker. The sugar molecules then concentrate in much higher density in cancer cells than in healthy cells, and the bright spots of radioactivity are easy to see on the scan. Voila, the doctor can see what parts of the body have cancer.
Dr. Warburg believed the change from the aerobic to the anaerobic or fermentation type of metabolism was the cause of cancer.
Connecting cellular metabolism and molecular biology
Dr. Warburg’s research is the cornerstone of cancer diagnosis and, increasingly, it’s the cornerstone of cancer treatment, at least among knowledgeable doctors. Cancer cell metabolism differs from healthy cell metabolism, and this difference has become the most effective avenue to treatment.
This approach is simply more effective than the gene-mutation approach of trying to find and treat broken DNA. One problem is that there are hundreds of thousands of gene mutations and it’s impossible to treat this riot of dysfunction.
Researchers thought they could find “the” mutation, or a few mutations, that “caused” cancer. And that’s where most of the research money has gone for decades. Instead they found more mutations than they could count.
The other problem is that – although this isn’t absolutely confirmed yet – it’s most likely that cancer originates in the mitochondria, NOT in the genes. That is, cancer is a metabolic or mitochondrial disease at its very heart, and genes are just a sideshow.
The DNA probably gets damaged by the toxic byproducts of the sick mitochonrdria. These deadly byproducts account for the “acid bath” that surrounds cancer tumors.
The gene approach may have produced
one useful bit of knowledge…
Mainstream molecular biologists – ever obsessed with genes — have been searching for the missing link between Warburg’s discovery and what we understand today about gene mutation.
This group more or less concedes that the problem is with mitochondria but they think a genetic defect is causing the mitochondrial malfunction. So they’ve been looking for genes that control cell division and regulate nutrient consumption.
They did find the gene AKT … which creates a chain of signaling proteins that play a prominent role in cell division. When this chain is mutated, it causes the cell to disregard signals to stop eating… and instead go on a glucose-eating rampage.
Though it sounds scary, there’s good news.
Once AKT is activated, these new cancer cells are dependent on glucose for energy. So if you remove sugar completely, they’re far more prone to automatic cell death.1
Regardless of this genetic discovery and many others like it, many researchers, including molecular biologist James Watson, now think that Dr. Warburg was right:
Cellular metabolism is the root cause of cancer — and while there are secondary causes and influences in growth, targeting metabolism first will yield greater results than starting with the gene mutation.
Dr. Watson was quoted in a New York Times article about the Warburg revival that “locating the genes that cause cancer has been remarkably unhelpful.” And if he was going into cancer research today, he “would study biochemistry rather than molecular biology.” 2
Overall, sequencing DNA to find the cause of cancer was “unhelpful” because there can be many kinds of gene mutations in a single cancer. In fact, researchers have found no consistency in gene mutations from tumor to tumor.
For example, commonly cited oncogene p53 is only present in half of tumors.3 And scientists still aren’t sure if the expression of “metabolic master” oncogene myc causes metabolic changes or is a result of metabolic changes.4
The story seems to be the same with thousands of other enzymes, proteins, and genes… where the line between overexpression, suppression, and tumor formation is very thin.
But there are only a few, limited ways human cells can use energy…
And cancer cells use fuel in distinctly different ways than healthy cells, every single time.
It may turn out that altered metabolism is not the one and only cause of cancer, but it provides an easy target for cancer treatment. Metabolic dysfunction is something we can see, understand and change now.
A high-sugar diet and elevated insulin levels
feed cancer cells
There’s no questioning the strong link between the standard American diet (SAD) – with its massive consumption of sugar and other refined carbs – and our deadly rates of obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and cancer.
Dr. James Watson said in the New York Times article, “I think there’s no doubt that insulin is pro-cancer.”
The standard American diet of processed foods, simple carbohydrates and sugar causes permanently elevated insulin levels, which in turn cause the insulin signaling pathways to go haywire.
This can also trigger the Warburg effect and cause cells to feed on sugar and grow uncontrollably.
In fact, metformin, a common drug used to lower blood glucose and insulin levels in people with diabetes, has been shown to reduce the risk of developing cancer in its users.5
I wouldn’t be surprised if Big Pharma used this to multiply their sales and start selling metformin as a cancer prevention drug in the future …
But as a Cancer Defeated reader, you know it’s far better to take matters into your own hands now by adjusting your diet and starving cancer cells before they have the chance to grow.
Ketogenic diet may be the key to starving cancer
I’m convinced: Cancer feeds on glucose. So the best way to fight it is to starve it out.
That means you need to reduce your sugar intake and lower your insulin levels to keep cancer cells from thriving.
I don’t think a totally non-carbohydrate diet is sustainable for most people for years on end. But eat the lowest levels of carbs you can tolerate, and make sure the carbs you do eat are not high-glycemic “white foods” like sugar, rice, wheat products and potatoes.
These foods almost immediately turn to sugar in your body and spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Instead, train your body to use fat for energy with a diet high in healthy fats (also called a ketogenic, or “keto” diet).
When you’re a “fat burner” instead of a “sugar burner,” your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose. This has the added benefit of lowering body fat content in addition to limiting the fuel for cancer cells.
The traditional keto diet also recommends between 40 and 60 grams of protein per day… though I think this is low. Most people need 1 – 1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight, depending on your goals (building muscle, maintaining muscle, and/or losing fat.)*
Protein does raise your blood sugar and cause an insulin response, but not nearly as much as processed carbs. Healthy fats from nuts, coconut oil, avocado and olive oil have little to no impact on blood sugar.
Here are other foods to eat, not only to keep your blood sugar low but also to flood your body with healthy nutrients:
  • Organic fruits and vegetables
  • High-fiber foods like chia seeds, root and cruciferous veggies and some berries
  • Protein from grass-fed meats, beans and pasture-raised eggs
  • Alkalizing foods like ginger, lemon, apple cider vinegar, and “specialty” greens like chlorella
Of course, this isn’t news if you’ve been reading Cancer Defeated for any length of time. The science behind the kind of diet I’ve been promoting keeps stacking up, proving that diet and lifestyle have a profound impact on cancer risk.
Getting cancer isn’t always “bad luck” or “bad genes” or another fatalistic excuse. You CAN take an active role in reducing your risk of developing cancer.
You hold your health in your hands. You have a choice.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

How Do You Know If You Have an Ulcer?

Peptic ulcers affect 15.9 million Americans every year. Although using antacids may give you temporary relief, these drugs may actually make the problem worse. Implementing these simple strategies may relieve your pain and solve the problem.

August 17, 2016


Peptic Ulcer Symptoms

Story at-a-glance

  • Peptic ulcers occur in the stomach (gastric) or duodenum (duodenal) and affect 5.9 million Americans
  • Sometimes they may heal on their own, but more commonly they require your attention to reduce the bacteria causing the condition
  • Using antacids, proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers alone may reduce your symptoms temporarily but may also worsen the condition long-term
By Dr. Mercola
Slightly less than 7 percent, or 15.9 million Americans, have been diagnosed with ulcers.Approximately 500,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.2 Although treatment has improved after physicians acknowledged the primary cause of ulcers, the number of new cases has not declined.
Unfortunately, while there are new drugs on the market to reduce the production of acid in an effort to reduce your symptoms, these drugs don’t treat the underlying cause and come with their own set of side effects and problems.
The more common types of medications used to treat ulcers may also ultimately worsen the condition of your stomach lining and your overall health. The aim of these drugs are to significantly reduce stomach acid. However, this acid is a valuable chemical contributor to digestion and not the culprit behind your ulcer.
How do you know if you should see your physician about a potential ulcer? Before reading a list of symptoms, it’s important to have an understanding of the basic anatomy of your digestive system, the different types of ulcers and your available treatment options.

What You Need to Know About the Anatomy of Your Digestive System

Your stomach is kidney shaped and located just below your ribs on the left side. Food passes through your esophagus and a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter, before passing into your stomach.
The lower end of your stomach has another sphincter, called the pyloric sphincter, connecting your stomach with the beginning of your small intestines, called the duodenum.
The duodenum is about 12 inches long, and helps your body regulate the amount of food flowing out of your stomach. You have glands inside your stomach wall that produce acid and pepsin, an enzyme that helps digest food. Normally your stomach produces mucus to protect your mucosal lining from the acid.
If you have an ulcer in your digestive tract, this defense against the acid may break down. Often this is the result of an infection with helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterium. The acid forms sores on the lining of either your duodenum (duodenal ulcer) or your stomach (gastric ulcer).
These ulcers are called peptic ulcers or peptic ulcer disease (PUD) and are named for their location in your digestive tract. Sometimes these ulcers can heal on their own. However, 35 percent of gastric ulcers will cause serious complications, such as bleeding or perforation (hole) of the stomach wall when not properly addressed.3
Other complications include bleeding, inflammation of the stomach or duodenum, infection, or narrowing or blockage where the duodenum leaves the stomach. In the last instance, food begins to leave your stomach more slowly until it is finally completely blocked or obstructed. This may cause vomiting.4

How to Tell If You Have an Ulcer

Symptoms of a peptic ulcer may vary slightly, depending upon the location, the degree of inflammation and whether or not you are suffering from a partial block to your duodenum.
The majority of symptoms are usually experienced in the epigastric area, in the upper abdomen just below the chest bone (sternum). Symptoms include:5,6,7,8
A gnawing or burning pain in the middle or upper stomach between meals or at night
Feeling full after eating a small amount of food or bloating
Increased symptoms eating foods high in fat
Vomiting
Heartburn
Losing weight without trying
Burping
Loss of appetite
Nausea
Severe cases may result in:
Dark or black stool from bleeding
Vomiting blood (looks like coffee grounds)
Severe pain in the mid- to upper abdomen
Trouble breathing
Vomiting partially digested food from blockage

Common and Uncommon Causes of Peptic Ulcers

In some cases, symptoms of an ulcer may resolve when you remove the triggering agent. For instance, medications may impact the quality of your stomach lining, reducing protection against normal acid production.9
Medications known to have this effect include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen. Even enteric coated aspirin or other prescription medications may increase your potential for increased acid production and ulcer formation.
Excessive alcohol intake may trigger ulcer formation, as will smoking, chewing tobacco or radiation treatments to your abdomen.10 Excessive acid production may also occur from gastrinomas, or tumors formed in the cells producing acid in your stomach.
However, by far, the most common cause of ulcerations in the stomach or duodenum is the result of an overgrowth of the bacteria H. pylori. This bacteria damages the mucus protecting the lining of your stomach from your stomach acid.11
In 2005, the Nobel Assembly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to Drs. Barry Marshall and J. Robin Warren for their discovery of the link between the bacteria helicobacter pylori and gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.12
Called an “unexpected discovery,” Marshall and Warren linked inflammation and ulceration of the stomach to an infection from bacteria.
Although the ulcerations appear to heal by reducing the gastric acid in the stomach, they often quickly relapse because the treatment did not reduce the level of bacteria or treat the inflammatory response.
H. pylori causes a chronic infection and inflammation that may or may not be symptomatic. Normally your stomach’s high acidity is a poor environment for bacterial growth.
Treatment with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) reduces the acidity and allows bacteria to flourish. Other studies also support the theory that reflux diseases are triggered, in part, by an overgrowth of bacteria.13,14,15

The Value of Stomach Acid

Stomach acid is necessary for not only the digestion and breakdown of the food you eat, but also to protect your body against bacterial growth.
Your gastrointestinal tract is home to a large part of your immune system, protecting you from invaders by producing acids and accommodating colonies of beneficial bacteria that act as your defensive army.
The environment inside your stomach is normally highly acidic (pH 4). This acts as a defense against harmful pathogens that are unable to live in such an acidic setting. The majority of the acids are hydrochloric acid and pepsin. As you age, reaching your 30s and 40s, your stomach begins to produce less acid, giving you less protection.
Whether you experience low levels of stomach acid from aging or from the use of antacids, there are secondary effects that may negatively impact your health.
Bacterial Overgrowth
Lack of stomach acid increases the growth of bacteria in your stomach, which may lead to malabsorption of nutrients and has been linked to inflammation of the stomach wall.16
Poor Nutrient Absorption
One of the most common causes of impaired function of digestion and the absorption of nutrients is the reduction of stomach acid production. This occurs in both the elderly and individuals on long-term antacid treatments.17 Acid breaks down proteins, activates hormones and enzymes and protects your gut against overgrowth of bacteria.
Lack of acid results in iron and mineral deficiencies and incomplete digestion of proteins. This may also lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency.18
Decreased Resistance to Infection
Your mouth, esophagus and intestines are home to a healthy growth of bacteria, but your stomach is relatively sterile. Stomach acid kills most of the bacteria coming from your food or liquids, protecting your stomach and your intestinal tract from abnormal bacterial growth.19 At the same time, your stomach acid prevents bacteria growing in your intestines from moving into your stomach.
Reducing stomach acid changes the pH of the stomach and allows external bacteria to grow. Some antacids may reduce stomach acid between 90 and 95 percent, increasing your risk of salmonella, c. difficile, giardia and listeria infections.20,21
Other studies have linked the use of acid-reducing drugs to the development of pneumonia, tuberculosis (TB) and typhoid.22,23,24 The distortion of the gut microbiome affects your immune system and may increase your overall risk of infection.

PPIs and H2 Blockers Treat the Symptoms, Not the Cause

When PPIs were first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they were intended to be taken for no more than six weeks. However, today, it is not uncommon to find people who have been taking these drugs for more than 10 years.25 Both PPIs and H2 Blockers may initially reduce your symptoms as they reduce the amount of acid produced in your stomach, and thus reduce the acidity affecting the ulcerations. However, the reduction in acidity also encourages bacterial growth.
Also, when you stop taking these anti-acid drugs, your acidity will tend to rise, resulting in more ulcerations from the action of the acid on your stomach walls. This is why quitting cold turkey is not recommended. You need to gradually cut down on these drugs. Appropriate treatment will address the action that caused your stomach ulcer.
You may need to reduce or eliminate your use of NSAIDs and reduce your alcohol intake or frequency of tobacco use. There are several methods you and your physician may discuss to determine if H. pylori is the culprit behind your peptic ulcers.26
Carbon Isotope Urea Breath Test
H. pylori convert urea into carbon dioxide. Ten minutes after consuming a special substance with urea, the carbon dioxide in your breath is measured. This test can accurately determine if you have an H. pylori infection and is used after treatment to determine if it was successful.
Blood Test
A blood test can measure antibodies to H. pylori to determine if you have been exposed to the bacteria. This test can remain positive for years after an infection and so cannot be used to determine if any treatment was successful.
Stool Test
H. pylori can be detected in your stool and so can be used to determine if you have an infection.
Tissue Biopsy
This is the most accurate method to determine if you have an infection. A tissue sample from your stomach lining is taken during an outpatient endoscopy procedure.

Effective Treatment Choices


In this short video, I review why PPIs are a very poor choice to treat ulcers, and what options you have to reduce your pain and control the growth of H. pylori in your gut.
If your test for H. pylori is positive, you have two choices for treatment. Many people around the world have H. pylori in their gut,27but not everyone is symptomatic. The bacteria is spread through mouth-to-mouth contact, and contaminated food and water.28Food and lifestyle choices enable the bacteria to proliferate in your gut and create the symptoms of a peptic ulcer.
You may choose a combination of antibiotics to control the bacteria,29 but discover you must make other long-term choices to achieve lasting relief. Alternatively, you may choose to use the strategies listed below to both affect relief from the ulcers and continue to control the population of H. pylori in your gut, thus addressing the root cause of the problem.
Processed foods and sugars create an imbalance in your digestive microbiome and promote the growth of pathogenic microbes. Eating real, ideally organic foods is the first step toward re-establishing a healthy gut. Reduce or completely eliminate the foods you’ve found that trigger your pain. Many people find it necessary to eliminate mints, caffeinated drinks, coffee, alcohol, nicotine and chocolates as their gut is healing.
One of the most important things you can do to reduce these pathogenic bacteria is to reseed your gut with beneficial bacteria. You can use either traditionally fermented foods or a high-quality probiotic supplement. These can naturally help to reduce the bacterial growth of H. pylori in your gut.

Other Nutritional Recommendations

Drink a lot of clean water from a good source, up to a gallon a day divided equally throughout the day. This will help to dilute the acid in your stomach and help relieve discomfort. Include a high quality source of omega-3 fats, to improve your immune system and give your body the raw materials needed to attack the infection. My personal preference is krill oil.
Bone broth can help rebuild the tissue in your stomach lining. Bone broth naturally contains gelatin and cartilage, essential building blocks for tissue growth. It also increases gastric acid secretion, normally inhibited by PPIs and H. pylori bacteria.30 The broth contains glutamine, which plays a small but important role in cell metabolism and cell growth in your small intestines.31
Vitamin D is also important to address any bacterial overgrowth in your body. Optimized vitamin D levels can be obtained through sensible sun exposure, ideally daily, or through the use of an oral vitamin D3 supplement. It’s important to remember to take vitamin K2 (MK-7 form) if you are using oral vitamin D3 to reduce your risk of hardening your arterial walls.
A tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in 6 ounces of water daily can help to balance your gastric acid production and create an inhospitable environment for H. pylori growth. Ginger root also has a protective effect on your gastrointestinal tract. Put two slices of fresh ginger root in 16-ounces of hot water and allow it to steep for about 30 minutes.
Drink it about 20 minutes before a meal. In one study the use of ginger root proved six to eight times more potent in the treatment of heartburn than Prevacid.32
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/08/17/ulcer-symptoms.aspx