Monthly Archives: September 2016

FOR BONE HEALTH

 

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Humans in the US today can expect to live well into our 70’s or 80’s so maintaining healthy bones that support us throughout our life span is essential if we’re going to stay active and keep our independence.
Although they seem rock-like, our bones are alive. They contain blood vessels, nerves, and cells – and serve many functions:
    • Enable support and mobility for the body
    • Store important trace minerals needed for bodily functions
    • Produce red and white blood cells
    • Protect the body’s organs from injury

 

 

Source: slideplayer.com
Source: slideplayer.com

 

 

Two types of cells regulate the bone’s structure:
  • Osteoblasts – cells that build bones
  • Osteoclasts – cells that break down old or damaged bone to make room for healthy new bone

 

Bone Remodeling: Osteoclasts & Osteoblasts

Source: www.endocrineweb.com
Source: www.endocrineweb.com

 

Bones remain healthy and strong as long as bone-building activity exceeds bone breakdown. Our most intense bone growth stage runs from birth until about age 30-35. After that, our bones gradually lose minerals.
“If not given the right kind of care, bones can begin to weaken early in life. It’s a quiet, symptom-less process that steals away your bones. You can’t feel it happening, at least not in the early stages – hence the name ‘silent thief’.
“And here’s something that every woman needs to know: Your normal bone loss accelerates during and after menopause for about five to seven years before returning to the slightly slower rate that men experience.
“You can lose as much as 35 percent of your bone density during those few, short years!” (Mercola, 2016)

 

Source: juicing-for-health.com
Source: juicing-for-health.com

 

 

 

 

PHARMACEUTICALS FOR OSTEOPOROSIS?

 

Source: www.pinterest.com
Source: www.pinterest.com

 

The common belief that osteoporosis drugs are a good way to restore bone health is actually incorrect. Dr Robert Mercola points out that most of these drugs “actually weaken your bones. Bisphosphonate bone drugs impact your normal bone repair process by killing off your osteoclasts, and do make your bones denser, but because the osteoclasts are killed the bone is actually weaker as it is not remodeled properly.
“Before starting any type of prescription drug for your bone health, I strongly recommend you consider less risky, more natural approaches first, such as diet, exercise, and safe bone health supplements!” (Mercola, 2016)

 

 

 

 

A BETTER WAY TO KEEP YOUR BONES HEALTHY

In addition to the right kinds of physical activity, proper bone building requires balancing four major nutrients: CALCIUM, VITAMIN D, VITAMIN K2, AND MAGNESIUM.
“The functions of these four nutrients are entwined and depend on each other for strength– much like a twisting grapevine.
“Just as you can’t untangle a grapevine without wrecking its strength, you can’t separate out one nutrient without affecting the actions of the others.
  • Vitamin D maintains skeletal calcium balance by promoting calcium absorption in your intestines.
  • Calcium and phosphate depend upon Vitamin D for bone formation.
  • Vitamin K2 helps to cement the calcium you absorb into the bone matrix rather than depositing it on the inside of your blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis.
  • Magnesium is an important mineral that your body needs to build a strong bone matrix.
“Imagine the effects on your bones if one of these nutrients is missing – or not present in the right amount!” (Mercola, 2016)

 

 

 

CALCIUM

 

Seven Health Benefits of Calcium

Source: www.nutritional-supplements-solutions.com
Source: www.nutritional-supplements-solutions.com
Both Dr Mercola and Chris Kresser agree that getting your calcium from healthy food sources is preferable to taking a calcium supplement. (Kresser, 2013) & Mercola, 2016)
“If you’re concerned about maintaining healthy bones, you’re better off ensuring adequate calcium intake from foods like dairy products, sardines, salmon, dark leafy greens and bone broth. 600 milligrams per day from food (approximately two servings of dairy products or bone-in fish) is plenty to maintain adequate levels of calcium in the body. Healthy bone formation also depends on vitamin D and vitamin K2, both of which regulate calcium metabolism. There are also other minerals besides calcium involved in supporting bone health, such as silica and magnesium. If you have adequate levels of these nutrients, and regularly perform weight-bearing exercise, there is no need for calcium supplementation, which will likely do more harm than good.” (Kresser, 2013)

 

 

Source: thevegantruth.blogspot.com
Source: thevegantruth.blogspot.com

 

Some high calcium foods – such as fermented cheeses and butter from pastured cows – also have the benefit of containing naturally high amounts of vitamin K2.
                                                                                                                   
Sesame seeds (1/4 cup)                                                      351 mg
Sardines, canned in oil with bones (3 ounces)       324 mg
Yogurt (unsweetened) (1 cup)                                        300 mg
Goat’s milk (1 cup)                                                               326 mg
Swiss cheese (1 ounce)                                                       270 mg
Spinach (1 cup cooked)                                                      260 mg
Collard greens (1 cup cooked)                                        226 mg
Canned salmon with bones (3 ounces)                       181 mg
Almonds (2 ounces)                                                             150 mg
Navy beans, cooked (1 cup)                                              130 mg
Broccoli, raw (1 cup)                                                              90 mg

Source: Mercola.com   

 

 

VITAMIN D3

 

Source: www.orchardpharmacyrx.com
Source: www.orchardpharmacyrx.com

 

Vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to allow normal mineralization of bone and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany (a disease caused by an abnormally low level of calcium in the blood). It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling. Without sufficient Vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia (softening of the bones, resulting from impaired mineralization) in adults. Together with calcium, Vitamin D also helps protect against osteoporosis. (NIH, 2016)
Without adequate Vitamin D, the body is unable to form the hormone calcitriol which is needed for calcium absorption. In this situation, the body takes calcium out of the skeleton, weakening existing bones and preventing the formation of strong, new bones. (NIH, 2015)

 

 

Vitamin D provides many other benefits throughout our lives. Here are some of them:
Source: www.vitamindcouncil.org
Source: www.vitamindcouncil.org

 

 

Vitamin D, which is actually a potent neuroregulatory steroidal hormone rather than an actual vitamin, is a key player in overall health. It influences nearly 3,000 of our 25,000 genes – literally turning on and off genes that can exacerbate – or prevent many diseases. It has been show to influence many conditions and diseases, including:
  • Alzheimer’s disease  
  • Asthma
  • Autism 
  • Cancer     
  • Cavities  
  • Cold & Flu 
  • Crohn’s Disease   
  • Cystic Fibrosis   
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Diabetes, Types 1 and 2
  • Eczema & Psoriasis
  • Hearing Loss
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension    
  • Infertility
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease 
  • Insomnia
  • Macular Degeneration    
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis  
  • Muscle Pain  
  • Obesity    
  • Osteoporosis  
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Pre Eclampsia    
  • Reduced C-section Risk
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Seizures  
  • Septicemia    
  • Signs of Aging  
  • Tuberculosis
– Mercola (3/26/2011)

 

Note that many pharmaceuticals deplete the body’s Vitamin D:
Source: devel.naturecity.com
Source: devel.naturecity.com

 

It is estimated that the vast majority of Americans – 85% of us – have insufficient levels of Vitamin D. (Mercola, 3/26/2011)
“Today’s vitamin D recommendations may be enough to help provide rickets, but it does nothing to give protection from cancer, heart disease, and infections. Most adults need about 8,000 units of vitamin D, while there are others who may need over that required amount to optimize their vitamin D levels.
“Vitamin D requirements are highly individual, and the amount that your body needs may depend on numerous factors, including the color of your skin, your location, and how much sunshine you’re exposed to on a regular basis. It is important to have your levels tested regularly using a 25(OH)D or 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Vitamin D levels should never go below 32 ng/ml. Instead, you should aim to have your levels between 50 and 70 ng/ml.
“The best way to reach optimal vitamin D levels is through safe sun exposure. If this is not possible, you may use a safe tanning bed. Vitamin D supplementation is another option, provided that it is in the form of vitamin D3.” (Mercola, 10/10/2009)

 

For more information on the dangers of Vitamin D deficiency, see Dr Frank Lipman’s article Symptoms & Diseases Associated With Vitamin D Deficiency and the Vitamin D Council’s archive of articles on the relationship between Vitamin D and autoimmune diseases.

Source: draxe.com
Source: draxe.com

 

 

 

 

VITAMIN K2

 

Source: positiveandhealthymindsd.com
Source: positiveandhealthymindsd.com

 

Most people taking calcium supplements – and their physicians – don’t realize that optimizing bone integrity and maintaining cardiovascular health also require Vitamin K2.
Inadequate Vitamin K2 disrupts calcium regulation and is also associated with an increased risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis.  People who have a lack of calcium in their bones are more likely to have an excess of calcium in their arteries, and vice versa.
Lack of calcium in the bones leads to osteoporosis while deposits of calcium in the arterial walls leads to coronary heart disease and other manifestations of cardiovascular, renal, and neuro-degenerative disease.
Vitamin K2 helps regulate calcium and helps prevent heart disease and osteoporosis – as well as certain types of cancers, such as liver cancer, myeloma, and lymphoma. It may also help inhibit cancer growth. (Davis, 2008)

 

Source: www.consumerhealthdigest.com
Source: www.consumerhealthdigest.com

 

Vitamin K2 activates a protein hormone called osteocalcin, produced by the osteoblasts in the bones, which is needed to bind calcium into the bone matrix. Osteocalcin also appears to help prevent calcium from depositing into the arteries.
Evidence shows that Vitamin D is dependent on Vitamin K and that Vitamin D toxicity is actually caused by Vitamin K2 deficiency.
Also, taking calcium in isolation without complimentary nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K can have adverse effects, including the buildup of plaque in coronary arteries and heart attacks. Calcium intake should be balanced out with Vitamins D and K and other minerals crucial to bone health. (Mercola, 3/26/2011)

 

 

Source: peakmodernliving.com
Source: peakmodernliving.com

 

“What dose of vitamin K2 is best? Scientists are still debating this question. Supplements generally contain between 50 mcg and 1,000 mcg of vitamin K2. Even the low end of the supplement dose of 50 mcg a day may help to support healthy bone density and protect the arterial wall from calcification. Life Extension has long recommended about 1,000 mcg a day of vitamin K2, along with 9,000 mcg vitamin K1 for most people.” (Davis, 2008)

 

 

 

MAGNESIUM

“Overall, magnesium assures the strength and firmness of bones and makes teeth harder. Since magnesium participates in an astonishing array of biochemical reactions, it’s no surprise that it’s essential for healthy bones and teeth. Most notably, adequate magnesium is essential for absorption and metabolism of calcium.
“Magnesium also has a role to play, together with the thyroid and parathyroid glands, in supporting bone health: stimulating the thyroid’s production of calcitonin, which acts as a bone-preserving hormone, and regulating parathyroid hormone, a function of which is to regulate bone breakdown in a number of ways.”
Magnesium is also needed for the conversion of Vitamin D into its active form. A magnesium deficiency can lead to a syndrome known as Vitamin D resistance. Alkaline phosphatase, the enzyme required for forming new calcium crystals,  also requires magnesium for activation, and, if levels are low, abnormal bone crystal formation can result. Even mild magnesium deficiency has been found to be a leading risk factor for osteoporosis.
“As with calcium, the majority of the body’s reserves of magnesium are held in the bone (60%), and the bones act as a storage reservoir, transferring magnesium into the blood stream in times of need. Adequate daily intake of magnesium is important throughout life to keep the magnesium that is stored in the bones from being lost. Low magnesium intake, as well as low blood and bone magnesium levels, has been widely associated with osteoporosis in women.
“It’s often overlooked that magnesium and calcium function together, so deficiency of one markedly affects the metabolism of the other. In fact, increasing calcium supplementation without increasing magnesium supplementation can actually increase magnesium loss. Similarly, the use of calcium supplements in the face of a magnesium deficiency can lead to calcium deposition in the soft tissues, such as the joints, where it can promote arthritis, or in the kidney, contributing to kidney stones.
There has been conflicting opinion about the adequacy of our magnesium intake. Despite its recognized importance, most Americans consume less than the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for magnesium. “
– Brown, 2014

 

It is estimated that 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient, leading to significant health consequences which, in turn, can be aggravated by many, if not most pharmaceutical treatments.
“An ideal ratio between calcium and magnesium is thought to be 1:1. The recommended daily dose is around 700 milligrams of each.
“Anytime you’re taking any of the following: magnesium, calcium, vitamin D3, or vitamin K2, you need to take all the others into consideration as well, as these nutrients work synergistically with one another.” (Mercola, 2013)

 

 

Source: preventdisease.com
Source: preventdisease.com

 

 

 

 

IF YOU GO THE NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS ROUTE

While it’s generally preferable when possible to look after your bones via diet and sun exposure, here are some things to be aware of if you decide to take nutritional supplements instead.

CALCIUM

This is what Vivian Goldschmidt’s says about calcium in her Save Our Bones article,   These Two Supplements Can Hurt More Than Help Your Bones :
“Typically, doctors will tell those with low bone density to “take calcium” or “drink milk.” But they make no distinction between the organic forms of this mineral and the inorganic. And chances are, prescribed calcium is inorganic. Now, don’t get me wrong. The body can effectively utilize small doses of inorganic calcium, but when doctors prescribe or recommend calcium, the dosage is typically around 1,000 mg a day.
“The most common calcium supplements are made of carbonate, citrate (which is easier to digest than carbonate), dolomite, di-calcium phosphate, tri-calcium phosphate, coral, oyster shell or bone meal, and all variations of amino-acid chelated calcium (which are the most bioavailable of all the above forms of calcium). While they may have different names, they all have one thing in common: they are all inorganic.
“This kind of calcium is not easily bioavailable, especially in large quantities, which most likely explains it’s association with increased risk of heart attack.” (Goldschmidt, 2016)
If you prefer a calcium supplement, you might consider this high quality, bio-active nutritional supplement called Doctor’s Best Calcium Bone Maker Complex. It  contains calcium, D3, K2 MK-7, and Magnesium – along with Vitamin C and a variety of minerals that support optimal bone health. (It unfortunately isn’t suitable for vegetarians.)
This information about the supplement is provided by the manufacturer, Waitaki Biosciences:

This bone health supplement is balanced and synergistic, a product of extensive research into the current medical and scientific understanding of bone. Among this product’s unique benefits:

• Diverse nutrient spectrum for comprehensive bone maintenance.

• Supports bone matrix formation, a requisite for calcium utilization.

• Provides a generous 1800 IU of vitamin D3 for healthy bone calcification.

• Its vitamin K2 (as MK-7) surpasses other K vitamin forms in supporting bone formation.

• Provides optimized allowances of calcium, magnesium, and other essential bone minerals.

• Avoids technical shortcuts that use magnesium oxide or other poorly absorbed ingredients.

• Offers potential benefits that extend beyond bone to promote overall health and wellbeing.

Calcium Is Not Sufficient to Build Bone.

Clinical studies have established that high-calcium dietary supplements by themselves do not reliably increase bone density or reduce fracture risk. Many other nutrients are required.

The formation of new bone is really a complex process that involves first, building a scaffolding—the bone matrix—then adding in calcium and other minerals to produce hardness and strength. This bone matrix is roughly comparable to the “rebar” that is set in place prior to pouring concrete. The bone’s “concrete” is formed at the end as hard mineral crystals that naturally include not just calcium but magnesium, strontium and other minerals. The bone matrix is a molecular network primarily of large collagen molecules, interspersed with smaller amounts of other proteins and with large protein-carbohydrate molecules (“glycosaminoglycans”).

The ascorbic acid (vitamin C) this formula provides is a necessary factor for the enzymes that make collagen.

The formula’s complement of other nutrients is designed to enable the bone cells to build healthy bone matrix and achieve full bone mineralization.

 

 

VITAMIN D2 vs D3

If a blood test shows you’re Vitamin D deficient, your doctor is likely to recommend a Vitamin D2 supplement, also called ergocalciferol. D2 is also the form of Vitamin D often added to foods (eg, to milk) to ‘fortify’ them. But the body is not able to absorb D2 well. A study published in 2006 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is quite clear in its conclusion about the inferiority of Vitamin D2 over D3:
“Despite an emerging body of evidence suggesting several plausible explanations for the greater bioefficacy of vitamin D3, the form of vitamin D used in major preparations of prescriptions in North America is vitamin D2. … Vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol, should not be regarded as a nutrient suitable for supplementation or fortification.” (Houghton & Vieth, 2006)
So, even if your doctor isn’t aware of the important difference between the D3 and D2 forms of Vitamin D, be sure YOU are and go with the D3.
I like Metagenics, D3 5000. It’s high quality, both high potency and bio-available.
And don’t forget to have your Vitamin D blood level checked at least two times a year to make sure it’s neither too low nor too high.
See Dr Josh Axe’s Are You Vitamin D Deficient? for more information, including a list of the many Chronic Diseases Fueled by Vitamin D Deficiency and a chart of Vitamin D Dose Recommendations.
You might also want to look at Dr Mercola’s article How to Get Your Vitamin D To Within Healthy Ranges. Here’s an excerpt from that article:
The Role of Vitamin D in Disease Prevention
“A growing body of evidence shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health. There are about 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D affects nearly 3,000 of them, as well as vitamin D receptors located throughout your body.
“According to one large-scale study, optimal Vitamin D levels can slash your risk of cancer by as much as 60 percent. Keeping your levels optimized can help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancers.”

 

 

VITAMIN K2

The Vitamin K2 supplement I like is Vitamin K2 MK-7 150 mcg (Health As It Ought To Be). I figure I get an adequate amount of K1 from my daily diet.

 

 MAGNESIUM

I like these high quality, bio-available magnesium supplements:

 

 

NOTE ON BIO-AVAILABLE SUPPLEMENTS VS SYNTHETIC VITAMINS

If you’re unclear about why nutritional supplements need to be bio-available to be effective, see my earlier post on Whole Food Supplements (Bio-available) vs OTC (Synthetic) Vitamins.

 

 

 

Source: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006Q5SYC4/ref=sr_ph_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1474944826&sr=sr-1&keywords=neuromag
Source: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006Q5SYC4/ref=sr_ph_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1474944826&sr=sr-1&keywords=neuromag

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Axe, J. (2016). Are You Vitamin D Deficient? See: https://draxe.com/vitamin-d-deficiency/

Brown, S.E. (2014). Key minerals for bone health — magnesium. See: http://www.betterbones.com/bonenutrition/magnesium.aspx

Davis, W. (2008). Protecting Bone and Arterial health with Vitami K2. Life Extension Magazine. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2008/3/protecting-bone-and-arterial-health-with-vitamin-k2/Page-01

Goldschmidt, V. (2016). Beware! These Two Supplements Can Hurt More Than Help Your Bones. See: http://saveourbones.com/beware-these-two-supplements-can-hurt-more-than-help-your-bones/

Hardin, J.R. (2015). Whole Food Supplements (Bio-available) vs OTC (Synthetic) Vitamins. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/01/25/whole-food-supplements-bio-available-vs-otc-synthetic-vitamins

Houghton, L.A. & Vieth, R.(2006). The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,  84:4, 694-697. See: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/84/4/694.full

Kresser, C. (3/8/2013). Calcium Supplements: Why You Should Think Twice. See: https://chriskresser.com/calcium-supplements-why-you-should-think-twice/

Lipman, F. (2016). Symptoms & Diseases Associated With Vitamin D Deficiency. See: http://www.drfranklipman.com/symptoms-diseases-associated-with-vitamin-d-deficiency/

Mercola, R. (3/26/2011). Vitamin K: The Missing Nutrient to Blame for Heart Attacks and Osteoporosis (Nope – NOT Calcium or Vitamin D). See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/03/26/the-delicate-dance-between-vitamins-d-and-k.aspx

Mercola, R. (11/21/2011). How to Get Your Vitamin D To Within Healthy Ranges. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/21/how-to-get-your-vitamin-d-to-healthy-ranges.aspx

Mercola, R. (12/8/2013). Magnesium—The Missing Link to Better Health. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/08/magnesium-health-benefits.aspx

Mercola, R. (2016). This Silent Thief Can Steal Away Your Independence in a Flash. See: http://products.mercola.com/calcium-supplement/?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20160414Z1&et_cid=DM102804&et_rid=1442193832

NIH – Osteoporosis & Related Bone Diseases, National Resource Center. (2015). Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age. See: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Bone_Health/Nutrition/

NIH. (2016). Vitamin D. See: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

Vitamin D Council. (undated). Autoimmune Disease. See: https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/tag/autoimmune-disease/

 

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

 

The Body’s Endocannabinoid System

(Source: nationalpainreport.com)
(Source: nationalpainreport.com)

 

THE BODY’S BUILT-IN ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

Cannabis as medicine is not a new concept. Its medicinal use dates back thousands of years – at least 1,000 years BCE in India and 5,000 years BCE in China. Before its prohibition in the West, major pharmaceutical companies offered a wide variety of cannabis-based medicines, with 1840 to 1937 being the “golden age” for cannabis medicine. (Leonard-Johnson & Rappoport, 2014)
What IS new is the 1992 discovery that mammalian bodies come with a built in endocannabinoid system (ECS) composed of endogenous neuro-modulatory lipids and cannabinoid receptors located in our brains and in cell membranes located throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. The ECS system is involved in a variety of important physiological processes – including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, memory, and in mediating the psychoactive effects of cannabis. (Leonard-Johnson & Rappoport, 2014) & (Wikipedia, 2016)
“Also discovered was that the cannabis plant is loaded with phytocannabinoids (plant cannabinoids) that can stimulate the ECS receptor sites of this system. It is this combined discovery that is leading cannabis, in all forms, back into the limelight again as a viable medicine.” (Leonard-Johnson & Rappoport, 2014)

 

(Source: www.abovetopsecret.com)
(Source: www.abovetopsecret.com)

 

In the graphic above you’ll notice two types of endocannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. Here is a simplified explanation of how they serve the body:
The endocannabinoid system is basically a hormone regulation system for the body. CB1 receptors’ function is to ‘excite’ hormones and neuro-hormone activity while CB2 receptors’ function is to ‘inhibit’ hormone and neuro-hormone activity. This excite/inhibit interplay between the two types of receptors determines how well the body is able to keep its various systems in a healthy balance – in homeostasis. (Leonard-Johnson & Rappoport, 2014)
The body’s endocannabinoid system “is involved in many important functions, including initiating a host of physiological and psychological changes needed to adjust to ever-changing internal and external environments. This is true from the very beginning of life, when ECS signaling determines if a fertilized egg will implant in the uterine wall or not. Throughout our life the ECS produces nurturing responses to injuries and inflammations. it is involved in protective mechanisms against numerous cancers, neurological diseases, and nerve damage, and it may mitigate changes associated with aging.” (Blesching, 2015)

 

 

 

THE THREE TYPES OF CANNABINOIDS

  1. ENDOGENOUS CANNABINOIDS – cannabinoids produced by the body’s own endocannabinoid system
  2. PHYTOCANNABINOIDS – cannabinoids produced by plants
  3. SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS – cannabinoids synthetically engineered in labs
All three types of cannabinoids function as neuro-modulators in the body, essential for keeping all our bodily systems stable and in balance. (Leonard-Johnson & Rappoport, 2014)

 

 

 

DEFINITIONS: CBD VS THC

 

(Source: plus.google.com)
(Source: plus.google.com)
CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-intoxicating compound in cannabis possessing significant therapeutic properties.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound in marijuana plants that causes the intoxicating high.  “It also has some excellent therapeutic properties. Actually, THC, ‘The High Causer,’ has awesome therapeutic properties. Scientists at the Scripps Research Center in San Diego reported that THC inhibits an enzyme implicated in the formation of beta-amyloid plaque, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s-related dementia. The federal government recognizes single-molecule THC (Marinol) as an anti-nausea compound and appetite booster, deeming it a Schedule III drug, a category reserved for medicinal substances with little abuse potential. But whole plant marijuana, the only natural source of THC, continues to be classified as a dangerous Schedule I drug with no medical value.” (Lee, 2015)

 

 

(Source: www.keyword-suggestions.com)
(Source: www.keyword-suggestions.com)

 

 

 

 

KNOWN EVIDENCE-BASED HEALTH BENEFITS OF MEDICAL CANNABIS

  • Cannabis is an effective treatment for glaucoma
  • It helps reverse the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and improves lung health
  • Cannabis helps control epileptic seizures
  • It also decreases the symptoms of a severe seizure disorder known as Dravet’s Syndrome
  • Cannabidiol (CBD), a major chemical found in cannabis, stops cancer from spreading
  • It alleviates anxiety and depression
  • THC slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cannabis eases the pain of multiple sclerosis
  • Cannabis helps other types of muscle spasms too
  • It lessens side effects from pharmaceuticals used to treat hepatitis C and increases treatment effectiveness
  • Cannabis treats inflammatory bowel conditions and diseases
  • It relieves arthritis discomfort
  • Cannabis alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and promotes sleep
  • It improves metabolism and the body’s reaction to sugars
  • Cannabis reduces the symptoms of systemic lupus ertyhematosus
  • It spurs creativity in the brain
  • Cannabis reduces Crohn’s disease symptoms and can even lead to complete remission of the disease
  • It reduces the tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease
  • Cannabis aids veterans suffering from PTSD
  • It protects the brain after a stroke
  • Cannabis may protect the brain from concussions and trauma
  • It can help eliminate nightmares
  • Cannabis reduces pain and nausea caused by chemo and stimulates appetite
  • It’s safer than alcohol and can help people trying to cut back on drinking
(Welsh & Loria, 2014)

 

(Source: www.pinterest.com)
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

 

Here’s another list of some other conditions and diseases shown to be helped by medical marijuana:
  • Symptoms related to aging
  • Anorexia and cachexia
  • Bacterial infections (including gonorrhea & MRSA)
  • Viral infections (including  cough, encephalitis, hepatitis, herpes, HIV/AIDS)
  • Cancers (including cancers of the bone, brain, cervix, colon, liver, lung, pancreas, prostate, skin,  thyroid; Kaposi’s sarcoma, leukemia, lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma)
  • Cardiovascular diseases (including heart disease, hypertension, stroke)
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Eye diseases and functions (including macular degeneration, glaucoma, night vision, uveitis)
  • Fever/temperature regulation
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Inflammatory diseases (including arthritis, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, GERD, IBD/IBS, pancreatitis, periodontitis)
  • Insomnia
  • Libido problems
  • Lung diseases (including asthma & COPD)
  • Mental disorders (including ADD, ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia)
  • Neurological diseases (including Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, Huntington’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome)
  • OB/GYN difficulties (including miscarriage, fertility, childbirth pain, endometriosis, menstrual pain, morning sickness)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pain (including chronic non-malignant pain, migraines, neuropathies, advanced cancer)
  • Mad cow disease
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Skin diseases( including acne, eczema, hirsutism, hair loss, pruritis, psoriasis, seborrhea, systemic sclerosis)
  • Vomiting (from chemo-induced nausea & motion sickness)
  • Wound care (including fractured bones, post-op wounds, spinal cord injuries)
(Blesching, 2015)
If any of the medical symptoms, conditions or diseases listed above concern you, I recommend consulting Blesching’s highly informative book The Cannabis Health Index: Combining the Science of Medical Marijuana with Mindfulness Techniques To Heal 100 Chronic Symptoms and Diseases – Combining the Science of Medical Marijuana with Mindfulness Techniques to Heal 100 Chronic Symptoms and Diseases. It contains a wealth of useful information.

 

(Source: www.pinterest.com)
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

 

If it seems unlikely that cannabis could help such an enormous and  disparate array of medical problems, taking a look at how pervasively cannabinoid receptors are distributed throughout our bodies will be illuminating.

 

(Source: www.pinterest.com)
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

 

 

IS CANNABIS SAFE?

“Compared with other recreational drugs — including alcohol — marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use.
“Those are the top-line findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports, a subsidiary of Nature. Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.

 

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“And all the way at the bottom of the list? Weed — roughly 114 times less deadly than booze, according to the authors, who ran calculations that compared lethal doses of a given substance with the amount that a typical person uses. Marijuana is also the only drug studied that posed a low mortality risk to its users.
“These findings reinforce drug-safety rankings developed 10 years ago under a slightly different methodology. So in that respect, the study is more of a reaffirmation of previous findings than anything else. But given the current national and international debates over the legal status of marijuana and the risks associated with its use, the study arrives at a good time.”  (Ingraham, 2015)

 

 

(Source: pinterest.com)
(Source: pinterest.com)

 

 

 

 

RESOURCES: BOOKS & WEBSITES

Here are three useful books and two websites for learning more about the many health benefits of cannabinoil (CBD-rich hemp oil) and medical marijuana:

 

I was unable to track down the accuracy or the year the figures on this chart are supposed to represent but the graphic nevertheless makes the point about the relative danger of overdosing on cannabis so I decided to include it:
(Source: www.city-data.com)
(Source: www.city-data.com)

 

 

 

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS ARE NEEDED TO SUPPORT THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

 

 

(Source: diet.reynoldstocks.com)
(Source: diet.reynoldstocks.com)
Adequate nutrition is required for maintaining a healthy endocannabinoid system in the body – especially a sufficient level of Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). Omega-3 EFA’s are important nutritional precursors the body employs to produce its own endocannabinoids. A body deficient in Omega-3 EFAs can suffer from deformed or broken CB1 receptors in the brain and destabilized behavior. (Leonard-Johnson & Rappaport, 2014).
Omega-3 fatty acids are brain-boosting, cholesterol-clearing, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory healthy fatty acids. They also benefit our joints, skin, vision, heart – and even boost fertility.
The body’s endocannabinoid system CB1 receptors cannot grow or work properly if they’re starved of Omega-3 fatty acids – and many of us are Omega-3 deficient.
 
(Source: www.medicaljane.com)
(Source: www.medicaljane.com)

 

Omega-3 essential fatty acids:
  • Lubricate joints to prevent wear and tear – hence less inflammation and pain.
  • Fight wrinkles by making our skin’s third layer thicker and smoother.
  • Protect vision – eye health is dependent on having a healthy liver. The liver helps metabolize fat-soluble vitamins that nourish and maintain the  membranes of the eyes.
  • Maintain a healthy heart – Omega-3s reduce triglycerides, stabilize the heartbeat, make platelets less sticky, and also lower blood pressure.
  • Prevent or improve acne – an inadequate intake of Omega-3 fatty acids contributes to acne-prone skin.
  • Clear cholesterol while boosting levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and help keep the arteries clear.
  • Alter neuro-transmitters in the brain to prevent or reduce depression
  • Improve fertility rates in males and females by increasing sperm motility and creating a healthy environment for implantation of a fertilized egg in the womb
  • Are a prerequisite for creating a healthy baby. Omega-3s are essential to brain development in the fetus. When an expectant mother’s Omega-3 level is low in these essential fatty acids, the fetus borrows from her body.
– (Leonard-Johnson & Rappaport, 2014)

 

(Source: www.pinterest.com)
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

 

For further information on Omega-3 EFAs, see Omega-3 versus Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Hardin, 2014).

 

 

And finally, this harks back to the question of whether cannabis is safe:
(Source: www.abeerfortheshower.com)
(Source: www.abeerfortheshower.com)

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Backes, M. (2014).  Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana – Evidence-based information on using cannabis for ailments and conditions, plus a comprehensive guide to the most popular varieties. See: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/157912951X/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Blesching, U. (2015). The Cannabis Health Index: Combining the Science of Medical Marijuana with Mindfulness Techniques To Heal 100 Chronic Symptoms and Diseases – Combining the Science of Medical Marijuana with Mindfulness Techniques to Heal 100 Chronic Symptoms and Diseases. See: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1583949623/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Omega-3 versus Omega-6 Fatty Acids. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/08/30/omega-3-versus-omega-6-fatty-acids/

Healthy Hemp Oil. (2014). Everything You Need to Know About Buying CBD Oil Online. https://healthyhempoil.com/buy-cannabidiol-guide/

Ingraham, C. (2015). Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say: New study – We should stop fighting marijuana legalization and focus on alcohol and tobacco instead. See: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02/23/marijuana-may-be-even-safer-than-previously-thought-researchers-say/

Lee, M.A. (2015). CBD Misconceptions. Project CBD. See: https://www.projectcbd.org/article/cbd-misconceptions

Leonard-Johnson, S. & Rappaport, T. (2014). CBD-Rich Hemp Oil: Cannabis Medicine is Back. See: https://www.amazon.com/CBD-Rich-Hemp-Oil-Cannabis-Medicine/dp/1499533357

Welsh, J. & Loria, K. (2014). 23 Health Benefits Of Marijuana. Business Insider: Science. See: http://www.businessinsider.com/health-benefits-of-medical-marijuana-2014-4/#it-can-be-used-to-treat-glaucoma-1

Wikipedia. (9/5/2016). The Endocannabinoid System. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocannabinoid_system

 

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.