New Role for Walnuts

New Role for Walnuts

Walnuts are a delicious and healthy snack, and they make a great addition to sweet as well as savory dishes. But this nut’s benefits aren’t limited to culinary applications. Walnut-rich diets may be helpful in the fight against cancer through multiple mechanisms.

Like most other nuts, walnuts are low in carbohydrates and high in minerals and unsaturated fats. They’re a good source of manganese, copper, and magnesium, and, compared to most other nuts, walnuts contain a fair amount of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (about 2.5g/ounce). In fact, this is the highest amount of any tree nut. They are high in omega-6 linoleic acid as well (about 10.6g/ounce), but they stand out among other nuts in that most others contain very little omega-3 to balance that out.

Researchers have found that the omega-3s, phytosterols, and antioxidants in walnuts all may be especially beneficial for colon cancer. In a mouse model of colon cancer, mice fed the human equivalent of two servings of walnuts a day showed significantly reduced colorectal tumor growth, largely resulting from reduced angiogenesis. Researchers believe microribonucleic acids (miRNAs) may help explain the relationship between walnut consumption and disease risk. miRNAs are short, noncoding RNAs (21–25 nucleotides) that play a role in regulating posttranscriptional gene expression, affecting the stability and translation of messenger RNA. miRNAs may mediate cellular differentiation, development and apoptosis, and may act as an oncogene under certain conditions. Inhibition of some types of miRNA activity is associated with reductions in tumor growth, angiogenesis, metastasis, and enhanced tumor suppression in animal models of colorectal cancer.

Researchers determined that the walnut-rich diet led to higher incorporation of n-3 fats into the cell membrane of colorectal tumor cells, which decreased expression of inflammatory cytokines, leading to slower proliferation and increased apoptosis of cancerous cells. The colorectal tumors of walnut-fed mice contained significantly more total n-3 than the tumors of untreated mice, including ALA, but also EPA and DHA, suggesting that some of the ALA was elongated into the longer-chain fatty acids. This study showed a negative association between final tumor size and the total tissue concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, and an individual association with concentrations of DPA, EPA and DHA. These fatty acids may play a role in managing tumor size by affecting signaling involved in cellular proliferation and tissue vascularization.

The potential influence of walnuts on cancer isn’t solely due to its fatty acid composition. Researchers speculate that the phytosterol, β-sitosterol, in walnuts, may affect apoptosis and initiate arrest of cell proliferation. Walnuts also contain γ-tocopherol, which may result in tumor growth suppression by upregulating PPAR activity, and reducing angiogenesis. “Activated PPAR-γ signals antiproliferative, antiangiogenic, and prodifferentiation pathways in multiple tissue types.” β-Sitosterol has demonstrated pro-apoptotic effects, and an ability to arrest the first stage (G1) of cellular proliferation.

Other studies support a protective role for walnuts as a whole food, as opposed to isolated omega-3 fats, lending more evidence to synergistic effects of multiple compounds in walnuts beyond the known effects of n-3s. “Mouse studies in which walnuts were added to the diet have shown the following compared with the control diet: 1) the walnut-containing diet inhibited the growth rate of human breast cancers implanted in nude mice by ∼80%; 2) the walnut-containing diet reduced the number of mammary gland tumors by ∼60% in a transgenic mouse model; 3) the reduction in mammary gland tumors was greater with whole walnuts than with a diet containing the same amount of n–3 fatty acids, supporting the idea that multiple components in walnuts additively or synergistically contribute to cancer suppression.”

The combined effects of multiple compounds in walnuts support a role for this whole food in the fight against cancer—one that might not be achievable through administering isolated individual substances. Nutritional and nutraceutical supplements have their place in maintaining optimal health, and sometimes nature can also package nutrients together just right.

Constipation Remedies

Constipation Remedies

Here is a list of remedies for constipation. The best on this list is Grandma’s Power Pudding which was told to me by an old time medical doctor in Atlanta in 1973.

I also like Blackstrap Molasses because it is loaded with minerals especially iron and magnesium

Grandma’s Power Pudding

  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup prune juice
  • 1 cup of unprocessed wheat bran

Mix together in a small storage container; applesauce, prune juice and wheat bran until it forms a pasty pudding. Take one tablespoon every morning followed by a full glass of water. Drink some water throughout the day.

Blackstrap Molasses

One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses before bed should help ease your constipation by morning. Blackstrap molasses is boiled and concentrated three times, so it has significant vitamins and minerals; magnesium in particular will help relieve your constipation

Mint or Ginger Tea

Mint and ginger are both proven home remedies to help alleviate a slew of digestive problems. Peppermint contains menthol, which has an antispasmodic effect that relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract. Ginger is a “warming” herb that causes the inside of the body to generate more heat; herbalists say this can help speed up sluggish digestion. In tea, the hot water will also stimulate digestion and help relieve constipation. Dandelion tea is also a gentle laxative/detoxifier.

Lemon Water

The citric acid in lemon juice acts as a stimulant to your digestive system and can help flush toxins from your body. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a glass of water every morning, or add lemon to tea; you may find that the refreshingly tart water not only acts as a natural remedy to your constipation but also that it helps you drink more water throughout the day


High in fiber, raisins also contain tartaric acid, which has a laxative effect. In one study, doctors determined that panelists who ate 4 1/2 ounces of raisins (one small box) per day had their digested food make it through the digestive track in half the time it took other subjects who did not. Cherries and apricots are also rich in fiber and can help kick your constipation. Eat these fruits with a bowl of yogurt for the added benefits of gut-soothing probiotics.


These fiber-rich fruits are a go-to home remedy for getting your digestion back on track. Three prunes have 3 grams of fiber, and they also contain a compound that triggers the intestinal contraction that makes you want to go. Another great dried fruit choice is figs, which may not cause as much bloating as prunes.

**Mix half a glass of prune juice with half a glass of oat milk. Drinking this before you eat or drink anything else in the mornings will help you get rid of constipation for good.

Even having prune juice all by itself can treat constipation easily. Take a glass in the morning and one in the evening while you are suffering from constipation and reduce this intake to half a glass twice a day for maintaining good colon health and avoiding constipation permanently.

Castor Oil

This home remedy for constipation has been handed down for generations. One of the primary uses for castor oil is as a laxative; take 1 to 2 teaspoons on an empty stomach and you should see results in about 8 hours. Why? A component in the oil breaks down into a substance that stimulates your large and small intestines.

Note #1: This information is for those who know they have chronic constipation not related to a specific pathology such as colon cancer or thyroid problems with T4 a & T3

Note # 2: Exercise such as walking and definitely Yoga can be beneficial as well

For additional information regarding constipation, you can contact me directly at [email protected] or 619-231-1778

Menstrual Cramps

 Menstrual Cramps 

 Ever think that menstrual cramps are just a fact of life?  That every woman has them?  And even if they don’t, that you are just one of the unlucky ones?   I call BS!  Cramps are actually a symptom of an underlying problem.  They can be cured.  The only thing that is required for that is to look at the underlying causes.  Once those are taken care of, the cramps almost always go away, or at least are eased considerably.

An important side note before getting started is that the same problems that cause cramping are the ones that cause a heavy menstrual flow.  Managing to cure one almost definitely cures the other (presuming that what is being handled is primary dysmenorrhea, not a form of  secondary dysmenorrhea caused by an underlying physiological abnormality).  This would be helpful for a lot of women.  Heavy blood flow reduces iron levels and can make women weak, woozy, and anemic.   What’s worse, a heavy period is arguably the biggest pain in the ass on the planet.

There are three respects in which a natural, paleo approach can ease the pain of and even cure menstrual cramps.  They are curing micronutrient deficiencies, cooling inflammation, and restoring hormonal balance.

Micronutrient deficiencies, cramping, and a Paleo diet

Micronutrient deficiencies are a problem for menstrual cramping because micronutrients are key components in the contraction and relaxation of muscle tissue.  Electrolytes in particular, which would be potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium, all have well known muscle-relaxing effects.  In fact, deficiencies in any of these nutrients is the primary cause of muscle cramping elsewhere in the body.   Magnesium especially.   With adequate intake of each of these nutrients, as well as the whole slew of micronutrients and vitamins that are enriched on a paleo diet, the intense pain of abdominal muscle cramping can be eased.

A paleo diet maximizes micronutrient intake by the simple fact of keeping a woman’s diet within the range of whole foods.   This helps first by eliminating sources of empty calories.  Empty calories include all desserts, breads, baked goods, sodas, and wheat products.  They contain almost nothing of nutritional value, except for perhaps some B vitamins and a bit of these micronutrients, but all of these nutrients can be obtained from animal and other plant products in much higher quantities.

Moreover, empty calories, particularly wheat-based calories, have downright negative effects on nutrient absorption.  Wheat foods contain proteins called lectins, which bind with micronutrients strongly enough that they prevent normal digestive chemicals from being able to absorb the micronutrients themselves.   For this reason, empty calorie foods such as bread can actually make an individual’s micronutrients pass right through her.  When a woman replaces these empty, or even micronutrient-stealing calories with vegetables and animal products, she naturally increases her intake of just about every vitamin and mineral.  Foods that are particularly rich in magnesium include nuts, cruciferous vegetables, and halibut.  Foods rich in calcium include sardines, dairy products, cruciferous vegetables, and meats.  Foods richest in potassium are bananas, avocadoes, tomatoes, cruciferous greens, and salmon.    Organic vegetables have higher proportions of nutrients than inorganic ones.

Vitamin E has been shown by itself to reduce the pain of menstrual crampingGood sources of vitamin E are cruciferous vegetables such as spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, and chard, almonds, peppers, asparagus, tomatoes, and carrots.  Vitamin E is also available in high amounts in meat products.  Most importantly for paleo dieters, vitamin E is four times as concentrated in grass fed meats than feed lot meat.

Inflammation, cramping, and a paleo diet

A paleo diet is inherently anti-inflammatory.  Inflammatory agents include gluten, other wheat proteins, sugar, particularly fructose, and omega-6 PUFAs which are found in almost all vegetable oils.   A paleo diet is absent of these.  As a matter of fact, calling a paleo diet an “anti-inflammatory” diet is spot on.  The whole point of adopting a paleo diet is to reduce the inflammation that comes from eating toxins.  Yet the benefit of a paleo diet is not just in toxin removal; it is also in the addition of helpful molecules.  Paleo diets active include anti-inflammatory foods such as grass-fed ruminants, seafood, and vitamin- and anti-oxidant- rich plant products.

Reducing inflammation reduces the body’s hyper-reactivity to uterine physiology.   With a calmed immune system, a woman’s body will not leap into inflammatory hyper-drive.

The most important molecule to focus on in a discussion of muscle contractions and menstruation is prostaglandin.  Prostaglandin is an inflammatory eicosanoid, and it’s responsible for the contraction of muscles around the uterus at the time of menstruation.

The precursor to prostaglandin is arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid.   Arachidonic acid has positive effects in the body, since the inflammatory process is necessary for homeostasis and maintaining optimal health, but when consumed in excess, it provides ample material for the body to mount inflammatory processes.  Arachidonic acid is found naturally in animal products, particularly meat and egg yolks.  This has caused many conventional nutritionists to demonize meat and egg yolks.  Yet AA is also derived from the consumption of linoleic acid, another fatty acid, and linoleic acid is found in great amounts in soy, corn, and vegetable oils.   A natural level of consumption of AA is optimal, and should be ingested in the natural, animal forms.   With this kind of diet, the ratio of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats is ~ 3:1 or 2:1, which is considered by most researchers today to be the optimal ratio.   When vegetable oils are regularly consumed, the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats can spike to average American levels, ~ 20:1.  That incites the painful, inflammatory response.  No questions about it.

Hormone balance, estrogen dominance, stress, and a paleo diet

The final and most important piece of the puzzle is hormone balance.  When hormones get out of balance, which is really easy for women today, many things can go wrong.  A woman’s reproductive system is not to be messed with.

What goes wrong with menstrual cramping is that the uterine lining becomes too thick.  With a larger lining, more tissue exists to produce prostaglandin.  Moreover, more tissue needs to be shed, so more and more material needs to be squeezed through a smaller space (women with narrow cervixes are more prone to menstrual cramping).   This also, as I hinted at above, means that the exorcised material will be heavier, and the period will last longer.

Estrogen is responsible for the thickening uterus.  Therefore, estrogen dominance is the primary problem that most women with menstrual cramps suffer from.  Estrogen causes their reproductive organs to go into productive hyper-drive, and their abdominal muscles suffer the results.  If estrogen can be brought back down, a woman’s menstrual problems often cease.

Estrogen dominance is caused primarily by two factors: it is caused 1) by the consumption of phytoestrogens, and 2) it is caused by stress.

Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant chemicals that resemble, but are not identical to, a woman’s natural estrogen.  What this means is that phytoestrogens enter a woman’s body through her diet and act as estrogen in her body.  In some ways this phenomenon enhances normal estrogen functioning, and in other ways it inhibits the activity and signalling of true estrogen, since it confuses the body’s normal accounting mechanisms.  With both phytoestrogens and true estrogens in the blood, the reproductive organs and hypothalamic receptors do not know how much estrogen to produce.  Sometimes the pituitary will detect the phytoestrogens in the blood and go ahead and decrease it’s production of estrogen, such that a relative balance between estrogen-like chemicals and the rest of a female’s hormones is maintained in the bloodstream, yet other times the pituitary does not detect the phytoestrogens, and it goes on pumping out as much estrogen as it had previously.  In this case, way too much estrogen is floating around in a woman’s bloodstream, and it’s causing all sort of reproductive havoc.  This results in menstrual cramping.  It is also a factor in PMS, PMDD, mood disorders, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and breast cancer.

Foods that contain phytoestrogens are legumes, nuts, and seeds.  These should be avoided by all women.   The worst of all of them, however, is soy, and is should be avoided at all costs by all women.  Sometimes soy and other phytoestrogens are recommended to women during menopause to mitigate their symptoms, and this does sometimes help with hot flashes and the like.  However, almost always soy leads to decreased ovulation, irregular menstruation, and impaired fertility.   Phytoestrogens may resemble estrogen, but they are not estrogen, and that confusion has plagued the medical establishment and struggling women alike for decades.

A paleo diet eschews soy, legumes, and goes light on nuts and seeds.  For this reason, it is helpful in restoring hormonal imbalance.  A paleo diet also eliminates the toxins I mentioned above which contribute to systemic inflammation, which in turn can incite estrogen production, so in this way it helps restores balance.  And finally, a paleo diet emphasizes natural, grass-fed animal consumption against feed-lot consumption, which minimizes the amount of foreign hormones and foreign hormone disruptors that are often injected into or fed to feed-lot livestock.

A paleo diet also emphasizes organic vegetables, or at the very least washing and peeling vegetables.  Conventionally-grown vegetables are often coated in fertilizers and such that contain potent endocrine disruptors.  It is important, especially during a person’s developmental years, to be as removed from these toxins as possible.

A second cause of estrogen dominance is stress.  Physiological stress from consumption of modern toxins as well as emotional stress from modern living results in a decrease in progesterone production and an increase in estrogen production.  The term “estrogen dominance” was first coined by Dr. Lee , and what it means is that estrogen is higher than the other hormones in the body.  In his book, he talks mostly about how much faster progesterone production falls off in menopause than estrogen production does (by 120 times!).   Estrogen levels may rise in response to stress, but it’s also important to note that estrogen dominance can also mean that estrogen levels stay the same while progesterone and testosterone levels fall.   The only way to insure that progesterone secretion does not stop is to have the healthiest possible functioning HPA axis.  This means reducing stress, both of the emotional kind and the physiological kind.

This being the case, a paleo diet is the optimal course of action.  It markedly reduces all kinds of stress: it eliminates toxins, for example, but it also restores blood sugar balance by eliminating sugar from the diet, which improves mood, and it optimizes dopamine, serotonin, and GABA functioning, all of which are necessary for being in a good mood and having a healthy HPA axis, too.

A caveat: the female response to stress is complicated, and it does not always result in estrogen dominance.  It can, for example, result instead in adrenal fatigue, or in stress-induced hypothalamic amenorrhea.   In both of these cases, hormonal disruption does not lead to estrogen dominance.  Yet in women with menstrual cramps, it is almost certain that this is the case, since excess estrogen is what causes uterine excess.

As a final note on hormone balance, being overweight contributes to estrogen dominance.    Almost all human cells carry an enzyme called aromatase.  What aromatase does is convert testosterone into estrogen.   This means that if aromatase activity has increased in a woman, her estrogen levels will spike, but her progesterone levels will remain the same.   The reason this happens in overweight women is because aromatase is highly active in fat cells.  Worse than that, however, is the fact that aromatase activity begets more aromatase activity, such that being overweight can create a vicious cycle of fat gain and estrogen production.  Many overweight women exist in a state of constant aromatization and estrogen production.  One way to mitigate this problem is to stop consuming aromatase-exciting foods such as soy, and to instead eat foods such as cruciferous vegetables which activate enzymes in the liver responsible for clearing excess estrogen out of a woman’s body.   Another way to mitigate this problem is with natural, non-restrictive weight loss.  A paleo diet provides just such a template.


One final way to restore hormonal balance and alleviate menstrual pain is with exercise.  Exercise boosts serotonin levels, and serotonin helps with the pain response.  Moreover, moderate exercise improves mood and mental clarity, improves glucose sensitivity, and better prepares the body to handle other stressors that come its way.

All that said…

hormone balance takes time.   Sometimes results can be seen immediately, but sometimes the body needs months to heal and to readjust the sensitivity of its hormone receptors.  For this reason, all of these steps help with menstrual pain, but patience and stress-reduction are possibly the most crucial steps of all.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

 Proton Pump Inhibitors Worse than the Indigestion they Supposedly Cure

A class of antacid medications known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) has now been proven to be quite harmful. Some common PPIs include Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, and Protonix. Many of these are available over the counter with no prescription. Proton pump inhibitors are used in the management of simple heartburn, gastro-esophageal reflux and peptic ulcer disease. PPIs decrease acid in the stomach by blocking an enzyme that is needed for the production of hydrochloric acid.

The FDA itself has issued a warnings about these drugs, including statements that they cause low magnesium and increased risk of osteoporosis. PPIs increase the risk of infectious diarrhea caused by such organisms as Clostridium difficile (C. diff). This infection often requires hospitalization, treatment with various IV antibiotics, and can be fatal in the very young, elderly and immuno-compromised individuals. PPIs also inhibit the absorption of vitamin B12 and calcium, and have multiple drug interactions. Higher doses and long-term use of PPIs greatly increase the risks.

Fracture Risk: The FDA has come out with a warning to health care professionals and consumers that PPIs lead to increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist and spine. This warning is based on the agency’s own review of several studies.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that patients over age 50 who were treated with PPIs for over a year had a 44% increased risk of hip fracture. High doses and long tern use increased this risk even more. At the same time PPIs inhibit the absorption of calcium, they inhibit the proton pumps in the cells which build new bone. This leads to osteoporosis due to both calcium deficiency and impaired ability to build new bone.

Low magnesium: In 2011, the FDA issued a warning that PPIs can induce low magnesium if taken for long periods of time. They recommended that prescribers obtain a serum magnesium test prior to initiation of therapy and periodically thereafter. In patients taking Digoxin for heart conditions, low magnesium greatly increases its toxicity. In 25% of patients who developed low magnesium, supplements were not enough to correct this, and the drug had to be discontinued.

Magnesium is a critical mineral and is needed for virtually every function of the body. It activates enzymes, is involved in energy production, regulates heartbeat and muscle contractions, and regulates calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, Vitamin D and many other nutrients present in the body.

Deficiency of magnesium can cause heart arrhythmias, profound weakness and fatigue, restless leg syndrome, confusion, jerky muscle movements, and high blood pressure.

Be aware that the bottom of the “normal” range for serum magnesium is so low that it is not going to pick up a problem until the person is already very ill. It is nearly impossible to take too much magnesium unless there is a problem with the kidneys. If serum magnesium levels get too high, the kidneys will excrete it. Also, oral magnesium, especially magnesium oxide, at higher doses will cause diarrhea and can be excreted this way.

Drug Interactions: These are listed in the material given with the OTC products, but how many people read and comprehend these tiny inserts?

Plavix (anti-coagulant): The FDA issued a warning to avoid taking PPIs and Plavix together as concurrent use can decrease the effectiveness of Plavix by up to 50%. This in turn could lead to blood clots, stroke and heart attacks.

Warfarin(Coumadin, anti-coagulant): PPIs inhibit breakdown of this drug in the liver, leading to high blood levels which can cause hemorrhage.

Diazepam (Valium, tranquilizer): Due to less breakdown in the liver caused by PPIs, high blood levels can result in respiratory depression, respiratory arrest, extreme fatigue, sleepiness, and confusion.

Antiretrovial agents (drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS): PPIs increase blood levels of these drugs, leading to increased side effects.

Tacrolimus (used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs): PPIs increase blood levels of this drug which cause significant problems.

Antifungals: These drugs are dependent on low pH in the stomach for absorption. Therefore, when acid production is inhibited, they are not absorbed and are thus ineffective. Any drug dependent on normal stomach acidity for absorption will be affected similarly

Treat heartburn and reflux naturally

If you have persistent heartburn and/or reflux, there are non-drug solutions. First determine the cause of the problem. Reflux is caused by a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This is the doughnut shaped muscle that allows food to enter the stomach. The more common cause of heartburn/reflux is weakening of the LES caused by low stomach acid.

The hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach functions to break down proteins into amino acids, stimulates the pancreas and small intestine to secrete digestive enzymes, and prevents infection by killing pathogenic bacteria and yeasts commonly present in foods. Correcting low acid in the stomach will virtually stop heartburn/reflux without drugs. There are a few things you can do at home to help determine if your problem is low stomach acid.

  1. The baking soda test: Mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water and drink it. Do this first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything. Start timing and note how long before you belch. If you have adequate stomach acid, you should belch within 2 or 3 minutes. Stop timing at 5 minutes. No belching within 5 minutes is a good indicator of low stomach acid. Early and excessive belching may indicate excessive stomach acid.
  1. Trial of Betaine HCL: Using a product such as Gastro Plus, take 1 to 2 capsules immediately prior to eating. You may feel a sensation of warmth, but not burning. If you feel burning, discontinue use as your problem may be excess stomach acid, which is very rare. Under the guidance of a qualified professional, the dose may be titrated upwards until you feel burning, then decreased to the point where you don’t feel any actually burning. A healthy stomach produces many times the amount of hydrochloric acid found in this product.

There are medical tests which actually measure the amount of acid produced by the stomach, and some lab tests can indicate low stomach acidity. Stool analysis will show elevated short chain fatty acids. Blood tests will indicate amino acid, B vitamins and mineral deficiencies.

Some dietary and lifestyle changes can also help alleviate symptoms:

  • Eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates
  • Keep a food diary and eliminate foods which cause or worsen the problem Many of the foods conventional medicine warns you to avoid may be fine, so listen to your own body
  • Keep the head of your bed elevated at least 6 inches until symptoms are resolved. This helps prevent the reflux of acid back into the esophagus through the LES
  • Quit smoking
  • Don’t wear tight clothing, such as belts, bras or tight waistband
  • Remain upright for an hour or more after eating
  • Avoid eating close to bedtime

For more information: