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Arugula Helps Prevent Fatty Liver Disease

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Fatty liver is the most common liver disease in the world, affecting as many as 40 percent of the U.S. population, according to the National Institutes of Health,1 and continues to rise dramatically. However, a recent clinical study indicates that a compound in green leafy vegetables may help prevent this condition.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, often progresses to other serious diseases, such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, characterized by inflammation2 fibrosis — which causes lung scarring and stiffness3 — and cirrhosis, an advanced and irreversible stage of liver fibrosis.4

Liver steatosis is the medical term for fatty liver disease and the result of fat building up in your liver, but the bulk of the medical community is straightforward when they advise that reducing the amount of fat in your liver can be accomplished in three simple ways:

Green Leafy Vegetables May Help Prevent Fatty Liver Disease

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that identifies green leafy vegetables as a viable “new treatment” for fatty liver disease due to inorganic nitrate, a compound that occurs naturally in green leafy vegetables. According to their report:

“Inorganic nitrate, present in green leafy vegetables, is converted in vivo to nitric oxide (NO) in a process involving symbiotic host bacteria. NO then induces key metabolic regulatory pathways to ultimately reduce oxidative stress and improve cardiometabolic functions.”5

Advanced age and unhealthy eating habits contribute to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, (which is projected to affect 640 million people worldwide by 20406), which in turn contribute to the development of fatty liver disease, the study notes. However, simple dietary interventions, like eating more leafy greens, may help.

The featured study showed that the nitrite treatment reduced the degree of both metabolically induced and drug-induced fatty liver disease, but it should be noted that the research was done on mice, which nonetheless responded positively. The scientists concluded that clinical trials with humans would be useful in determining whether dietary nitrate would be helpful in the treatment and prevention of fatty liver disease.

Inorganic Nitrate: ‘Key for Liver Health’

Leafy green vegetable consumption is associated with some of the most valuable aspects of health, which could be described as the absence of disease. But what foods are linked to some of the identifiers of poor health and disease?

According to Mattias Carlström, associate professor at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and one of the study’s senior researchers and authors, it’s a Western diet rife with lots of unhealthy fats and lots of sugar, which unfortunately sums up the approach to food by too many Americans.

That said, the study entailed researchers dividing mice into three groups and feeding each group a different diet. The control group received a normal diet; the high-fat diet group was given the equivalent of the Western diet; and the third group was fed the same, only with nitrate supplementation added.

None of the scientists was surprised when the mice eating the Western diet gained both weight and fat mass and tested positive for raised blood sugar levels. Simultaneously and also not surprisingly, the markers of the nitrate-supplemented diet group were significantly lower.

“When we supplemented with dietary nitrate to mice fed with a high-fat and sugar Western diet, we noticed a significantly lower proportion of fat in the liver,”7 Carlström told Medical News Today, which reports:

“The researchers also found that the rodents that received the nitrate had lower blood pressure and better insulin sensitivity than those on a high-fat diet without nitrate. Previous research, the investigators explain, has shown that dietary nitrate boosts cell metabolism.”8

Oxidative Stress Compromises Nitric Oxide Signaling and Impacts Heart Function

It’s noteworthy that incorporating a higher amount of fruits and vegetables into the diets of the mice was confirmed to have a positive effect on cardiovascular function, according to the study authors. As for what compounds render leafy greens specifically beneficial, Carlström explains that most in the medical community still weren’t sure, at least until the featured study. He asserts:

“We think that these diseases are connected by similar mechanisms where oxidative stress causes compromised nitric oxide signaling, which has a detrimental impact on cardiometabolic functions …

No one has yet focused on nitrate, which we think is the key. We now want to conduct clinical studies to investigate the therapeutic value of nitrate supplementation to reduce the risk of liver steatosis. The results could lead to the development of new pharmacological and nutritional approaches.”9

While the researchers say more investigation is needed to determine which compounds led to positive turnarounds in the health of study subjects given leafy greens, they confirm that nitrate is “key” for both optimized liver and metabolic health. Further, there’s nothing that says people can’t conduct their own research by eating more leafy greens until “science” definitively makes the connection.

That said, the vegetables with the highest concentrations of inorganic nitrate include “celery, spinach, lettuce, and rocket,” aka arugula, according to a 2016 study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.10 For those wanting to experience the protective effects observed in the study, Carlström’s recommendation is that it doesn’t take huge amounts — only about 200 grams (or 7 ounces) of these vegetables per day.

Unfortunately, people don’t always choose vegetables as a mainstay of their diets. In fact, most of the adult population in the U.S. fails to meet the daily recommendations for vegetable intake. The Healthy People 201011 initiative, designed to increase vegetable consumption and other healthy habits among people in the U.S., revealed that only 27.2 percent ate three or more servings of veggies per day.

Arugula, One of the Best Foods for Your Liver

This attractive leafy green is one of the most popular salad ingredients for one reason: its peppery, zesty flavor. As one of the foods scientists have identified as being excellent for your liver, it’s not only readily available in stores and inexpensive for what it does for you nutritionally, but arugula is also easy to grow.

Arugula contains cleansing properties to counteract the poisoning effects of heavy metals in the system, particularly in your liver, and as a cruciferous vegetable, may also help to prevent cancer.12 Additionally, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, it contains 8.2 milligrams of chlorophyll in one cup, which aids in wound healing, and more importantly, helps prevent liver disease.13

One study shows that the compounds in cruciferous vegetables like arugula may have a protective effect against lung, breast, colorectal, lung and other cancers.14 Another study shows that arugula contains quercetin, a dietary flavonoid that can increase your endurance for improved athletic performance.15

Liver Damage, Cirrhosis and Nonalcoholic Liver Disease

Research has revealed that the sharp increase in deaths attributed to cirrhosis is driven by excess alcohol consumption, including binge drinking, by young adults between the ages of 20 and 30, with the greatest increase of the disease between 2001 and 2013.16

As disturbing as the facts are, statistics also indicate that in every county throughout the U.S., death from alcohol-related liver disease nearly tripled between 1999 and 2016.17 The greatest increase was among those between the ages of 25 and 34, where alcoholic cirrhosis has become rampant.

NPR describes the experience of Elliot Tapper, a physician used to treating many different patients, but one patient’s chronic symptoms included skin that was markedly jaundiced. He couldn’t eat and he had difficulty breathing, but most surprising was that he was only in his mid-30s, which is much younger than most individuals diagnosed with liver disease.

“The patient was suffering from chronic liver disease. After years of alcohol use, his liver had stopped filtering his blood. Bilirubin, a yellowish waste compound, was building up in his body and changing his skin color.”18

But excess drinking isn’t the only cause of cirrhosis. It can also be caused by NAFLD (which by name identifies it as “nonalcoholic” liver disease), as well as obesity and hepatitis. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) describes cirrhosis as “a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and damage.”19 Any of these can also contribute to liver failure and liver cancer, and men are five times more likely to develop NAFLD than women.20

In other words, individual lifestyle choices — including what you eat, your weight and your alcohol and/or tobacco use — will generally have a great impact on whether you will develop fatty liver disease. You may be encouraged to hear that alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver can be reversed if it’s caught early enough. Needless to say, your chances of reversing liver damage are far better if you quit drinking.

Low levels of chemical exposures can also wreak havoc on your liver function. Studies reveal that even small amounts of chemicals from food, medications, personal care products and in the environment can cause liver damage,21 and the damage is done through several mechanisms, even to the point of causing cancer.22

Choline to Help Prevent Fatty Liver Disease and Why Some Nitrates Are Harmful

Naturally present in some foods, choline has only been known in recent years as an essential nutrient. Choline is necessary to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions, the National Institute of Health (NIH) reports.23

Further, choline is important for metabolism function, and is especially important during fetal development, as well as for DNA synthesis and cleansing your liver. Organic, pastured egg yolks are one of the best food sources of choline, but arugula is also an excellent source.

It’s important to know which compounds are good for you and in what amounts. For example, the nitrates noted in leafy greens as being good for your liver are also good for your heart.24 However, the nitrates found in cured and processed meats, such as bacon, bologna and hotdogs, are known to be carcinogenic, and damage can be done by eating just 1.8 ounces of such foods per day.25

The difference involves nitric oxide, or NO, a soluble gas that functions as an important biological signaling molecule that supports normal endothelial function and protects your mitochondria. Gunter Kuhnle, professor of food and nutritional sciences at the University of Reading, U.K., asserts:

“When you eat nitrates, they are converted to nitrites by bacteria in your mouth. Once the nitrites reach the stomach’s acid, they can turn into either nitric oxide [NO] or N-nitroso compounds.

N-nitroso compounds like nitrosamines are carcinogenic. What makes processed meats so ideal for forming N-nitroso compounds is that they have a combination of nitrite and proteins from the meat. And the meat’s heme seems to help convert them into N-nitroso compounds.”26

That liver disease can be averted with a simple dietary approach is excellent news for people who believe the condition is unavoidable because of its genetic predisposition. In fact, The Atlantic27 published an article in 2011, “How Health and Lifestyle Choices Can Change Your Genetic Make-Up,” with the summary, “Making healthy decisions may not be foolproof, but it could mean the difference between having a significant health issue and avoiding one.”28

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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

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(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

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(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

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In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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