Saturday, December 31, 2011

Health Benefits of Oolong Tea

Health benefits of oolong tea include reducing chronic bodily conditions such as heart diseases, inflammatory disorders, providing vital antioxidants, reducing high cholesterol levels, promoting superior bone structure, robust skin and good dental health. The oolong tea is fragrant with a fruity flavor and tasty aroma. It is considerably low in caffeine and extremely relaxing to drink.

Health benefits of oolong tea are doubled because of combined qualities of black tea and green tea. According to Tea Association of USA, oolong tea falls between green and black teas, as its leaves are only partially oxidized. There are numerous kinds of tea in this world; oolong tea being one among them. The origin of oolong tea dates back to almost 400 years in the history of China. It is a semi-green fermented tea. But, the fermentation process is halted as soon as the tea leaves start to change their color.

Nutritional Value: Tea is a nature’s gift that is rich in anti-oxidants. It also contains vital minerals and vitamins such as calcium, manganese, copper, carotin, selenium, and potassium, Vitamin A, B, C, E and K. in addition to folic acids, niacin amide and other detoxifying alkaloids. Developed in semi-fermented processing, the oolong tea is rich in numerous polyphenolic compounds, adding value health benefits of oolong tea.

Benefits: The various health related benefits of oolong tea are as follows:
  • Controls Obesity: The polyphenol compound found in oolong tea is very effective in controlling the fat metabolism of the body. It activates certain enzymes and thus enhances the functions of the fat cells in human body. Daily consumption of oolong tea can reduce obesity.
  • Removal of Harmful Free Radicals: The polyphenolic compound is also responsible for removal of free radicals in our body, thus saving us from potential harm that these free moving cells may pose to the human body.
  • Treatment of Skin Disorders: According to scientific experiments, patients diagnosed with eczema skin disorder can benefit from drinking 3 cups of oolong tea 3 times in a day. The beneficial results of oolong tea could be seen in less than a week with these patients showing remarkable skin improvement.
  • Promoting Good Bone Structure: The antioxidants present in oolong tea protect the tooth against decay, strengthens the bone structure and boosts normal healthy growth of human body.
  • Treatment of Diabetes: Oolong tea is used as an herbal brew for treating type 2 diabetic disorders and as an appendage to other supplementary drugs for treating the disease.
  • Protection against Cancer: It is well-known fact that tea drinkers have lower risk of acquiring skin cancer. Moreover, oolong tea compound polyphenol promotes apoptosis in stomach related cancerous growth. This polyphenol extract also acts a chemo-preventive instrument against development of other cancerous forms.
  • Stress Buster: In a detailed study conducted at the Osaka Institute for Health Care Science, in Japan, the experimental mice that were ingested with oolong tea showed a remarkable improvement in stress levels by more than 10 to 18 %. The natural polyphenols in the oolong tea is said to be the main stress buster.
So, drink several cups of oolong tea in a day, it is best for your good health and also wonderful to taste.

This article was contributed by Seema Adnani
References: Osaka Institute for Health Care Science and Tea Association

How To Make a Magnesium Sulfate Paste?

Answer: Simply mix a small amount of Epsom Salts with a small amount of water - only a little at first -- and stir until it becomes a paste. It can be applied directly, as a dressing, or part of a poultice. It is typically used as a drawing and drying agent to draw out boils and abscess. The paste should be put onto a dressing then applied, it needs to be changed daily until it draws all the muck out. It will take a while for the head to form, could be a day, could be a few, but it will draw out everything. The paste should not be applied to broken skin.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Blackstrap Molasses

I've recently been reading about the health benefits of blackstrap molasses and am pretty intrigued. Not only is it a great source of iron and calcium, but it's also a source of potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Many people claim to have reversed their gray hair with it. I bet this is at least partly due to the copper content, as copper deficiency can lead to prematurely gray hair.

Copper, an essential component of many enzymes, plays a role in a wide range of physiological processes including iron utilization, elimination of free radicals, development of bone and connective tissue, and the production of the skin and hair pigment called melanin ... Using two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses to sweeten your morning cereal and the coffee or tea you drink during the day will supply you with 14.0% of the daily recommended value for copper.

I also found a page of blackstrap molasses testimonials at At first I thought that site was selling molasses because the testimonials were so amazing - people claim the molasses cured cancer, acne, arthritis, and everything in between. However, the site actually looks pretty useful - it allows readers to comment on natural remedies.

I'm going to buy some today and will report back. I'm not sure how I'm going to eat it - it looks like mixing it in water is the most popular method.


Is Cancer a Response to a Fungal Infection?

Baking Soda with Question Mark Dr. Tullio Simoncini proposes that cancer is a response to the fungal infection, candida, which is responsible for the common yeast infections women suffer, especially after taking antibiotics, and thrush, best known as a mouth infection causing a pure white coating on the tongue. He noted that tumours are nearly all white, the color of most fungus, and that candida, a common fungal infection, requires an acidic environment. From there, he concluded that cancer can be destroyed with the application of sodium bicarbonate—humble baking soda.

Click here to watch a video of Dr. Simoncini explaining his theory, complete with images demonstrating the fungal nature of cancer.

He claims to be able to cure most cancers by applying sodium bicarbonate to the tumour. There's a clear logic that says this may be true. If diagnosed with cancer, the strongest treatment, application via catheter applied directly to the tumour, can be provided only by a mainstream doctor, someone who is unlikely to be willing to provide such a treatment. However, Dr. Simoncini and others believe that sodium bicarbonate taken orally can also help treat cancer.

Mainstream medicine and Big Pharma, which are dependent on expensive drugs and treatments, have little interest in finding out if a fungus is the cause of cancer and if baking soda can treat it. At this point, only those who apply the treatment know for sure. Of course, funding for such research is in very short supply, so researchers aren't rushing to do studies—not that medical journals would rush to publish articles about it. Therefore, it's up to the alternative treatment world to try to determine whether it makes sense.

The logic is clear. Candida is a common infection that can easily become systemic. It thrives in an acidic environment and quickly dies in an alkaline one. Dr. Simoncini, among others, has noted that candida is nearly always found in conjunction with cancer. Medical research has documented that the immediate environment of tumours is acidic. Dr. Simoncini, who is an oncologist, reasoned that a tumour is the body's attempt to sequester and remove candida infections.

He pictures it like this: Candida spreads throughout the body, with particular focus on connective tissues in organs. The body responds by attempting to sequester the fungus, especially when it invades critical spaces deep inside organs.The fungus spreads—metastasizes—and new tumours develop as the body continues to respond to the invasion. The more this happens, the more the affected person becomes weak and exhausted. Eventually, the result is severe debilitation and death by "cancer".

Antifungal drugs are not a solution. Their effectiveness has always been limited, but worse, even that is being lost to drug-resistant fungus. Clearly, another solution needs to be found. Fortunately, in terms of prevention, there are excellent techniques.

Author: by Heidi Stevenson

Treating Cancer & Destroying Tumors with Baking Soda

Is Cancer “Just a Fungus”?

Copyright © August 2007 Healing Cancer Naturally
An Italian oncologist, Dr. Tullio Simoncini, has devised a simple, very inexpensive and apparently frequently effective cancer treatment centered around the use of sodium bicarbonate, taken orally or by infusion. This baking soda treatment is based on the thesis that "Cancer Is a Fungus" (also the title of Dr. Simoncini's book). Sodium bicarbonate administered directly on the neoplastic masses is said to destroy the fungal colonies lying at the “heart” of the tumor. Additionally, according to Dr. Tullio Simoncini, this baking soda treatment could even be self-applied in certain types of cancer, i.e. if the cancer is limited to the organ (not infiltrating the confined [probably meaning “surrounding/adjacent”] tissue, for example in the oral cavity, oesophagus, stomach, intestine, rectum. The supervision of a doctor, however, is indicated. In all other cases the assistance of a doctor is mandatory (to administer the infusions etc.).

Success rates and application of sodium bicarbonate therapy

Dr. Simoncini reports on cases of brain tumors ("both primary and metastatic in general regress or stop growing after therapy with sodium bicarbonate at five per cent solution"), intestinal cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, cancer of the spleen, liver cancer, lung cancer, oropharyngeal cancer (mouth, tongue, palate, pharynx), peritoneal carcinosis, pleura tumor ("primary or secondary pleuric neoplasias are amongst the easiest to treat with the therapy method"), prostate tumor, stomach cancer (“one of the tumors that are easiest to treat because of its easily reachable position through the mouth”), tumor of the pancreas and others. This includes successes, sometimes long-term (up to 20 years* when to my knowledge Dr. Simoncini started using this treatment), as well as other less successful experiences and outcomes. Dr. Simoncini gives the following statistics: if the fungi are sensitive to the sodium bicarbonate solutions and the tumour size is below 3 cm, the percentage will be around 90%, in terminal cases where the patient is in reasonably good condition it is 50%, and for terminal patients it is a small percentage.

And according to Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD, "Dr. Simoncini routinely administers glucose with his IV treatments and this is the best indication for the use of either honey, maple syrup** or black strap molasses** especially for late stage cancer patients whose cells are starving."

* See for example these excerpts from a lung cancer case featured at Dr. Simoncini’s site “The therapeutic treatment is based on two essential elements: liver detoxification simultaneously with administration of bicarbonate salts orally, through aerosol and intravenously. After about eight months of bloodless and painless therapy, the mass completely disappears. Over one year after the end of the therapy, the x-rays show only a thickening of the inter-lobe separation, which is the result of healing. The patient is still alive some 20 years after the therapy.” Incidentally, the related Country doctor cures cancer - with baking soda & maple syrup also features a case of lung cancer cure attributed to sodium bicarbonate (plus maple syrup).

A note re skin cancer

According to a statement by Dr. Simoncini, the baking soda apparently is rather ineffective for skin cancer. He recommends instead to paint on red iodine tincture/solution (another anti-fungal agent used by Dr. Simoncini) in a certain rhythm until the cancer is shed, together with "feeding the skin with a special thermal bath". .

Other cancer and/or health-related applications of sodium bicarbonate

Baking soda, in addition to its many time-honoured applications (household and other “clean-up” purposes), is also used in baths and rinses for chelating ionizing radiation and/or killing bacteria.

Videos: interview with Dr. Simoncini and cancer patients treated by his method

An interesting interview with Dr. Simoncini can be seen on and . The latter site also features a number of impressive interviews with cancer patients incl. a case of melanoma treated by Dr. Simoncini’s method. (For a different way someone healed himself of (actually “terminal” malignant melanoma), see this herbal cancer cure testimonial. Also compare Oil of cloves and skin cancer.)

The price Dr. Simoncini is paying

In an interview he gave to Doug Kaufmann, Dr. Simoncini was asked how he happened upon his discoveries and resulting treatment approach and very movingly, he recounted how in the pediatric oncological ward he was working in, he saw all these children dying under the standard oncological care of chemotherapy and radiation he had been trained to administer. He prayed to God to please show him a way to help those unfortunate ones, and then was led to his discoveries. As probably all physicians who developed a cancer treatment of their own (see History of Alternative Cancer Treatments), Dr. Simoncini was made to pay for his initiative by having his livelihood, i.e. his license revoked. To put this into perspective, you have to know that oncology is extremely lucrative and among the highest-paying branches of medicine ... Hats off to Dr. Simoncini since precious few are those who will risk their means of support or standard of living for what they believe in.

Other cancer and/or health-related applications of sodium bicarbonate

Baking soda, in addition to its many time-honoured applications (household and other “clean-up” purposes), is also used in baths and rinses for chelating ionizing radiation and/or killing bacteria.


Since this looks like a promising treatment and fits two of the major ethical criteria of Healing Cancer Naturally (availability to near-everyone due to being inexpensive, low to no toxicity), the reader is encouraged to visit Dr. Simoncini’s site You’ll find much background information and research findings there incl. explanatory videos, a page giving how-to instructions for using sodium bicarbonate, etc. Sodium bicarbonate powder, thanks to its long history of both internal and external use by humans, is available in most any drugstore, supermarket and pharmacy.

Also see or do a search for more information. Additionally you may find valuable background information in a yahoo group devoted to the subject of curing cancer with baking soda according to the Simoncini protocol:

Dr. Simoncini’s book

Cancer is a Fungus
by Dr. T. Simoncini
You can support this humanitarian site at no extra cost to you by buying any printed books (or other items) through Healing Cancer Naturally’s international Amazon (or Abebook) links.

For a simple and inexpensive, promising DIY treatment somewhat comparable in its functioning to sodium bicarbonate, also see MMS® (chlorine dioxide) - a miracle supplement and inexpensive DIY treatment for malaria, cancer, Aids and many other diseases?.

Important addendum

This website is about Healing Cancer Holistically since I believe that for true and lasting healing to be achieved on all levels as well as by the same token, to prevent similar or other health crises in the future, it is wisest and best to tackle a cancer and other challenge from several angles. While the dietary/environmental aspects frequently constitute some of the most important ones, the mental/emotional/spiritual ones can also be of major and decisive significance.

I still include “non-holistic” but highly promising approaches such as Dr. Simoncini’s sodium bicarbonate cancer treatment for all those whom they might benefit in the short or long term. That said, in order to avoid cancer, Dr. Simoncini himself advises “a healthy lifestyle, good (organic) food”, taking as little medicine as possible, exercising and paying “much attention to chronic symptoms.”


Baking Soda & Maple Syrup Cures Cancer?

Country doctor cures cancer - with baking soda & maple syrup

Reported by George Sanford/Weekly World News. Transcribed by Healing Cancer Naturally from © Transcription August 2007

Asheville, N.C. - "There's not a tumor on God's green Earth that can't be licked with a little baking soda and maple syrup!"
That's the astonishing claim of controversial folk healer Jim Kelmun - who says his simple home remedy can stop and reverse the growth of deadly cancers.
The 75-year-old former truck driver has no medical degree and authorities are demanding that he stop dispensing his "wonder drug" - or face a prison sentence.
But his loyal patients swear by the man they fondly call "Dr. Jim" - and say he's a miracle worker.
"Dr. Jim cured me of lung cancer," declares farmer Ian Rodhiuse, 64. "Those other doctors told me I was a goner and had less than six months to live.
"But the doc put me on his mixture - and in a couple of months, the cancer was gone. It didn't even show up on X-rays!"
The gentle, silver-haired grandfather - who has been preparing home remedies since 1954 - says he first hit upon the miracle cure in the mid-1970s, when he was treating a family plagued by breast cancer.
"There were five sisters in the family and all of them passed away from the big C by age 50 - except one," he recalls.
"I asked if there was anything different in her diet. She told me she was partial to sipping maple syrup and baking soda.
"I figured, let me try it out on some of my other patients."
Since then, "Dr. Jim" has dispensed his mixture to more than 200 patients diagnosed with terminal cancer. Amazingly, he claims that of that number, 185 lived at least 15 more years - and nearly half enjoyed a complete remission of their disease.
"You tell me about another treatment that works that good!" he demands proudly.
Medical experts are less enthusiastic. "This man is a quack, plain and simple," blasts an official at a state medical association. "We intend to see that he is arrested for practising medicine without a license."
Until that happens, Dr. Jim vows to keep prescribing his treatment: "I'm just going to keep on saving lives."
Dr. Jim's Miracle treatment is made with baking soda and maple syrup.
Will Dr. Jim's recipe work for you?
We don't know - and Weekly World News urges you to consult your own trusted physician before embarking on any course of medical treatment. But here, for our readers, is Dr. Jim's recipe:
Mix one part baking soda with three parts maple syrup in a small saucepan.
Stir briskly.
Heat for five minutes.
Take one teaspoon daily, as needed.

Notes by by Healing Cancer Naturally

Make sure to use only aluminium-free baking soda (e.g. Bob's Red Mill [Aluminium-Free] Baking Soda, pharmaceutical-grade baking soda etc.).

I’ve also seen it stated that this recipe can alternatively be prepared with honey or blackstrap molasses, in which case there would be no heating required.

Dr. Johanna Budwig Anti-Cancer Diet

Dr Johanna Budwig
The Budwig Center teaches the Budwig diet founded by German biochemist Johanna Budwig. The Budwig anti cancer diet has been successfully helping people with not only Cancer but also Arthritis, Asthma, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, Blood Pressure, Multiple sclerosis, Heart Disease, Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne and other illnesses and conditions.

To start the diet, you will need to have 3 appliances:

  • A coffee bean grinder to grind the flaxseeds.
  • An immersion hand-held blender (a stick-shaped mixer) It's important to use an electric mixer rather than stirring by hand.
  • A Juice Machine. A masticating type juicer is said to give a more healthful juice than a centrifugal type. If you do not have this type of juicer the BUDWIG CENTER can help you locate one.

Budwig Diet Flaxseed Oil and Cottage Cheese (FOCC) or quark recipe:

Generally, each tablespoon of Flaxseed Oil (FO) is blended with 2 or more tablespoons of low-fat organic Cottage Cheese (CC) or quark.

Note: Whenever Tablespoons are mentioned it is the standard US tablespoon which is the equivalent of the British "dessert" spoon.

1 US Tablespoon = 15 ml and 1 British Tablespoon is 18 ml - 16 tablespoons = cup and 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup.

  • To make the Budwig Muesli, blend 3 Tablespoons (British dessert spoons) of flaxseed oil (FO) with 6 Tbps low-fat(less than 2%) Quark or Cottage Cheese (CC) with a hand-held immersion electric blender for up to a minute If the mixture is too thick and/or the oil does not disappear you may need to add 2 or 3 Tablespoons of milk (goat milk would be the best option). Do not add water or juices when blending FO with CC or quark. The mixture should be like rich whipped cream with no separated oil. Remember you must mix ONLY the FO and CC and nothing else at first. Always use organic food products when possible.
  • Now once the FO and CC are well mixed grind 2 Tbps of whole flaxseeds and add to the mixture. Please note that freshly ground flax seeds must be used within 20 minutes after being ground or they will become rancid. Therefore do not grind up flaxseeds ahead of time and store.
  • Next mix in by hand or with the blender 1 teaspoon of honey (raw non-pasteurized is recommended)
  • (Optional) For variety you may add other ingredients such as sugar free apple sauce, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice, chopped almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews (no peanuts), pine kernels, rosehip-marrow. For people who find the Budwig Muesli hard to take these added foods will make the mixture more palatable. Some of our patients have even added a pinch of Celtic sea salt and others put in a pinch of cayenne pepper for a change
  • (Optional) Dr. Harvey Diamond who wrote a book on the importance of "food combining" and other experts recommend not mixing fruit with other foods (they say to eat fruit on its own on an empty stomach and wait 10 minutes before eating other foods) If however you do not have any digestion problems you may want to add various fruits, especially berries fresh or frozen. No more than 1 cup of fruit should be added.
  • (Optional) Add ground up Apricot kernels (no more than 6 kernels per day). Or you may decide to eat these apricot kernels on their own

Nausea - Some people get nausea from the ground flaxseeds, to counter this by taking a small bowl of papaya immediately afterwards. Also put a lot of papaya into the morning muesli too, it may be there is a special enzymes in the papaya that quells the nausea.

The Basic Rule with the Budwig anti cancer diet is "if God made it then its fine and try to eat it in the same form that God made it". Here are some foods that many are not sure of, but they are accepted on the Budwig diet.

  • Stevia, raw non-pasteurized honey, dates, figs, berry and fruit juices serve as sweeteners.
  • Herbs in their natural form (pure nothing added)
  • All nuts (raw unroasted) are fine except peanuts
  • All seeds good, sunflower seeds are very complete and filling
  • Raw un processed cocoa, shredded (unsweetened coconut) and rose hip puree
  • Cup of black tea is accepted (coffee beans are toxic and not recommended)
  • Any flour is permissible as long as it's 100% whole grain. Corn is generally believed by the group to be an exception because of mold/fungus and genetic manipulation
  • 2 or 3 slices of health food store pickles (no preservatives! - read label!)
  • Freezing cottage cheese /Quark as well as fruits and vegetables is ok.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: The flaxseed oil must always be kept in the refrigerator. It will keep for 12 months in the freezer. Arrange to purchase as direct as possible from a manufacturer (like Barlean's) and when it arrives put it right away in the refrigerator. Or arrange with the local health shop to keep a supply in the refrigerator for you.
  • Drink only distilled water or reverse osmosis water

according to Dr. Budwig

  • NO hydrogenated oils, NO trans-fats, (cold pressed sunflower seed oil is a better choice than olive oil)
  • NO animal fats NO pork (pigs are the cleaners of the earth and their meat is loaded with toxins. ham, bacon, sausages, etc should be avoided)
  • NO seafood (lobsters, clams, shrimp, all fish with a hard shell are cleaners of the sea and are loaded with toxins..)
  • White regular pasta is eliminated, as is white bread, (Spelt pasta and bread is a better choice than wheat as many cancer patients have an intolerance to wheat, whole Rye, Oat, Multigrain bread is good. Corn is very discouraged (because of mold and genetic modification issues).
  • NO ice cream or dairy products (other than the cottage cheese and some cheese)
  • NO cane sugar, white sugar, molasses, maple syrup, Xylitol, preservatives
  • NO processed foods (NO store bought pastries), make your own with our recipes
  • NO Soy products (unless fermented or used for 2 or 3 weeks at the beginning if you cannot tolerate the cottage cheese)
  • Avoid pesticides and chemicals, even those in household products & cosmetics. Good old vinegar, as well as baking soda are excellent household cleaners (look on the Internet for more info)
  • NO microwave, NO Teflon or aluminium cooking ware or aluminium foil. We recommend and provide during your stay at Budwig Center enamel cooking ware. Stainless steel, ceramic, cast iron, glass and corning cooking wear are fine.

Dr. Budwig warned against using her protocol in conjunction with other therapies that could go against the benefits of her formula. Oxygen therapies, Laetrile (Vitamin B17 injections), Vitamin C infusions and most supplements should not be combined with the program. Check with the Budwig Center if you are not sure.


anti cancer diet After sunbathing, as recommended by Dr. Budwig here is what some people on the program have said: "We all felt an increased feeling of general well-being, a feeling of lightness, more energy, better circulation, when in the sun, I felt the healing power of the sun affecting my skin much differently than before. Also, every week or two, I become aware of feeling better in different ways."

"Old aches go away, my skin improves and I am able to do things better."

One woman felt so good with the flaxseed oil, cottage cheese and sunbathing that she introduced it to her children and said that right away she could see improvements in their skin tone. As she spoke, I saw that her own skin had more color and was radiant. And this was only about two days after she started on our program!

We want you to get a reasonable amount of sunshine everyday that you can. One of the significant aspects of Dr. Budwig's work is that she has discovered, (or rather rediscovered) the affinity of the human body with the sun. If the body has the right balance of oils and proteins, it has a magnetic field (MORE on the importance of Magnetic Therapy later on) which attracts the photons in sunlight and thus is open to the healing powers of the sun.

Related Pages

The Budwig Protocol

Johanna Budwig Biography

Budwig Diet Testimonials

Budwig Diet Home Program - Read Wanda Clines website and find out how she is overcoming breast cancer using the Budwig Diet.


Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

Glycemic Index

In the past, carbohydrates were classified as simple or complex based on the number of simple sugars in the molecule. Carbohydrates composed of one or two simple sugars like fructose or sucrose (table sugar; a disaccharide composed of one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose) were labeled simple, while starchy foods were labeled complex because starch is composed of long chains of the simple sugar, glucose. Advice to eat less simple and more complex carbohydrates (i.e., polysaccharides) was based on the assumption that consuming starchy foods would lead to smaller increases in blood glucose than sugary foods (1). This assumption turned out to be too simplistic since the blood glucose (glycemic) response to “complex” carbohydrates has been found to vary considerably. A more accurate indicator of the relative glycemic response to dietary carbohydrates should be glycemic load, which incorporates the relative quality and quantity of carbohydrates in the diet.

Measuring the Glycemic Index of Foods
To determine the glycemic index of a food, volunteers are typically given a test food that provides 50 grams of carbohydrate and a control food (white bread or pure glucose) that provides the same amount of carbohydrate on different days (2). Blood samples for the determination of glucose are taken prior to eating and at regular intervals after eating over the next several hours. The changes in blood glucose over time are plotted as a curve. The glycemic index is calculated as the area under the glucose curve after the test food is eaten, divided by the corresponding area after the control food is eaten. The value is multiplied by 100 to represent a percentage of the control food. For example, a baked potato has a glycemic index of 76 relative to glucose and 108 relative to white bread, which means that the blood glucose response to the carbohydrate in a baked potato is 76% of the blood glucose response to the same amount of carbohydrate in pure glucose and 108% of the blood glucose response to the same amount of carbohydrate in white bread (3). In contrast, cooked brown rice has a glycemic index of 55 relative to glucose and 79 relative to white bread (4). In the traditional system of classifying carbohydrates, both brown rice and potato would be classified as complex carbohydrates despite the difference in their effects on blood glucose levels.

Physiological Responses to High- versus Low-Glycemic Index Foods
By definition, the consumption of high-glycemic index foods results in higher and more rapid increases in blood glucose levels than the consumption of low-glycemic index foods. Rapid increases in blood glucose are potent signals to the beta-cells of the pancreas to increase insulin secretion (2). Over the next few hours, the high insulin levels induced by consumption of high-glycemic index foods may cause a sharp decrease in blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia). In contrast, the consumption of low-glycemic index foods results in lower but more sustained increases in blood glucose and lower insulin demands on pancreatic beta-cells (5).

Glycemic Load
The glycemic index compares the potential of foods containing the same amount of carbohydrate to raise blood glucose. However, the amount of carbohydrate consumed also affects blood glucose levels and insulin responses. The glycemic load of a food is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrate in grams provided by a food and dividing the total by 100 (1). Dietary glycemic load is the sum of the glycemic loads for all foods consumed in the diet. The concept of glycemic load was developed by scientists to simultaneously describe the quality (glycemic index) and quantity of carbohydrate in a meal or diet.
Disease Prevention
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
After a high-glycemic load meal, blood glucose levels rise more rapidly and insulin demand is greater than after a low-glycemic load meal. High blood glucose levels and excessive insulin secretion are thought to contribute to the loss of the insulin-secreting function of the pancreatic beta-cells that leads to irreversible diabetes (6). High dietary glycemic loads have been associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) in several large prospective studies. In the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), women with the highest dietary glycemic loads were 37% more likely to develop type 2 DM over a 6-year period than women with the lowest dietary glycemic loads (7). Additionally, women with high-glycemic load diets that were low in cereal fiber were more than twice as likely to develop type 2 DM than women with low-glycemic load diets that were high in cereal fiber. The results of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS), which followed male health professionals over six years were similar (8). In the NHS II study, a prospective study of younger and middle-aged women, those who consumed foods with the highest glycemic index values and the least cereal fiber were also at significantly higher risk of developing type 2 DM over the next eight years (9). The foods that were most consistently associated with increased risk of type 2 DM in the NHS and HPFS cohorts were potatoes (cooked or French-fried), white rice, white bread, and carbonated beverages (6).The Black Women's Health study, a prospective study in a cohort of 59,000 U.S. black women, found that women who consumed foods with the highest glycemic index values had a 23% greater risk of developing type 2 DM over eight years of follow-up compared to those who consumed foods with the lowest glycemic index values (10). In the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II, which followed 124,907 men and women for nine years, high glycemic load was associated with a 15% increased risk of type 2 DM (11). Further, in a cohort of over 64,000 Chinese women participating in the Shanghai Women's Health Study, high glycemic load was associated with a 34% increase in risk of type 2 DM; this positive association was much stronger among overweight women (12).

A U.S. ecological study of national data from 1909 to 1997 found that increased consumption of refined carbohydrates in the form of corn syrup, coupled with declining intake of dietary fiber, has paralleled the increase in prevalence of type 2 DM (13). Today, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used as a sweetener and preservative in many commercial products sold in the United States, including soft drinks and other processed foods. To make HFCS, the fructose content of corn syrup (100% glucose) has been artificially increased; common formulations of HFCS now include 42%, 55%, or 90% fructose (13). When consumed in large quantities on a long-term basis, HFCS is unhealthful and may contribute to other chronic diseases besides type 2 DM, including obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular Disease
Impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance are known to be risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 DM. In addition to increased blood glucose and insulin concentrations, high dietary glycemic loads are associated with increased serum triglyceride concentrations and decreased HDL cholesterol concentrations; both are risk factors for cardiovascular disease (14, 15). High dietary glycemic loads have also been associated with increased serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of systemic inflammation that is also a sensitive predictor of cardiovascular disease risk (16). In the NHS cohort, women with the highest dietary glycemic loads had a risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) over the next ten years that was almost twice as high as those with the lowest dietary glycemic loads (17). The relationship between dietary glycemic load and CHD risk was more pronounced in overweight women, suggesting that people who are insulin resistant may be most susceptible to the adverse cardiovascular effects of high dietary glycemic loads (1). A similar finding was reported in a cohort of middle-aged Dutch women followed for nine years (18). More recently, a prospective study in an Italian cohort of 47,749 men and women, who were followed for almost eight years, found that a high glycemic load was associated with an increased risk of CHD in women but not in men (47). Yet, studies to date have reported mixed results, and more research is needed to determine if low glycemic index diets decrease the risk for CHD (19).

In the first two hours after a meal, blood glucose and insulin levels rise higher after a high-glycemic load meal than they do after a low-glycemic load meal containing equal calories. However, in response to the excess insulin secretion, blood glucose levels drop lower over the next few hours after a high-glycemic load meal than they do after a low-glycemic load meal. This may explain why 15 out of 16 published studies found that the consumption of low-glycemic index foods delayed the return of hunger, decreased subsequent food intake, and increased satiety (feeling full) when compared to high-glycemic index foods (20). The results of several small, short-term trials (1-4 months) suggest that low-glycemic load diets result in significantly more weight or fat loss than high-glycemic load diets (21-23). Although long-term randomized controlled trials of low-glycemic load diets in the treatment of obesity are lacking, the results of short-term studies on appetite regulation and weight loss suggest that low glycemic-load diets may be useful in promoting long-term weight loss and decreasing the prevalence of obesity. A recent review of six randomized controlled trials concluded that overweight or obese individuals who followed a low-glycemic index/load diet experienced greater weight loss than individuals on a comparison diet that was either a high-glycemic index diet or an energy-restricted, low-fat diet (24). The length of the dietary interventions in these trials ranged from five weeks to six months.

Evidence that high overall dietary glycemic index or high dietary glycemic loads are related to cancer risk is inconsistent. Prospective cohort studies in the U.S., Denmark, France, and Australia have found no association between overall dietary glycemic index or dietary glycemic load and breast cancer risk (25-28). In contrast, a prospective cohort study in Italy reported a positive association between breast cancer risk and high-glycemic index diets as well as high dietary glycemic loads (29). A prospective study in Canada found that postmenopausal but not premenopausal women with high overall dietary glycemic index values were at increased risk of breast cancer, particularly those who reported no vigorous physical activity (30), while a prospective study in the U.S. found that premenopausal but not postmenopausal women with high overall dietary glycemic index values and low levels of physical activity were at increased risk of breast cancer (31). In a French study of postmenopausal women, both glycemic index and glycemic load were positively associated with risk of breast cancer but only in a subgroup of women who had the highest waist circumference (median of 84 cm [33 inches]) (28). Higher dietary glycemic loads were associated with moderately increased risk of colorectal cancer in a prospective study of U.S. men, but no clear associations between dietary glycemic load and colorectal cancer risk were observed in a prospective studies of U.S. men (32), U.S. women (32-35), Swedish women (36), and Dutch men and women (37). However, one prospective cohort study of U.S. women found that higher dietary glycemic loads were associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer (38). One meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies suggested that glycemic index and glycemic load were positively associated with colorectal cancer (39), but a more recently published meta-analysis did not find glycemic index or load to be significantly associated with colorectal cancer (40). Two separate meta-analyses reported that high dietary glycemic loads were associated with increased risk of endometrial cancer (39, 41). Although there is some evidence that hyperinsulinemia (elevated serum insulin levels) may promote the growth of some types of cancer (42), more research is needed to determine the effects of dietary glycemic load and/or glycemic index on cancer risk.

Gallbladder Disease
Results of two studies indicate that dietary glycemic index and glycemic load may be positively related to risk of gallbladder disease. Higher dietary glycemic loads were associated with significantly increased risks of developing gallstones in a cohort of men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (43) and in a cohort of women participating in the Nurses' Health Study (44). Likewise, higher glycemic index diets were associated with increased risks of gallstone disease in both studies (43-44). However, more epidemiological and clinical research is needed to determine an association between dietary glycemic index/load and gallbladder disease.

Disease Treatment
Diabetes Mellitus
Low-glycemic index diets appear to improve the overall blood glucose control in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). A meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials that included 356 diabetic patients found that low-glycemic index diets improved short-term and long-term control of blood glucose levels, reflected by clinically significant decreases in fructosamine and hemoglobin A1C levels (45). Episodes of serious hypoglycemia are a significant problem in people with type 1 DM. In a study of 63 men and women with type 1 DM, those randomized to a high-fiber, low-glycemic index diet had significantly fewer episodes of hypoglycemia than those on a low-fiber, high-glycemic index diet (46).

Lowering Dietary Glycemic Load
Some strategies for lowering dietary glycemic load include:
• Increasing the consumption of whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, and nonstarchy vegetables
• Decreasing the consumption of starchy high-glycemic index foods like potatoes, white rice, and white bread
• Decreasing the consumption of sugary foods like cookies, cakes, candy, and soft-drinks
See the table below for the glycemic index and glycemic load values of selected foods (4). Foods with higher glycemic index values are at the top of the table, while foods with lower glycemic index values are at the bottom of the table. To look up the glycemic index values for other foods, visit the University of Sydney’s GI Web site.

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values for Selected Foods
(Relative to Glucose)
Glycemic Index
Serving size
Carbohydrate per serving (g)
Glycemic Load per serving
Dates, dried
2 oz
1 cup
Jelly beans
1 oz
Puffed rice cakes
3 cakes
Russet potato (baked)
1 medium
1 medium
Soda crackers
4 crackers
White bread
1 large slice
Table sugar (sucrose)
2 tsp
6" diameter
White rice (boiled)
1 cup
Brown rice (boiled)
1 cup
Spaghetti, white; boiled 10-15 min
1 cup
Spaghetti, white; boiled 5 min
1 cup
Spaghetti, whole wheat; boiled
1 cup
Rye, pumpernickel bread
1 large slice
Oranges, raw
1 medium
Pears, raw
1 medium
Apples, raw
1 medium
All-Bran™ cereal
1 cup
Skim milk
8 fl oz
Lentils, dried; boiled
1 cup
Kidney beans, dried; boiled
1 cup
Pearled barley; boiled
1 cup
Cashew nuts
1 oz
1 oz

Written in December 2005 by:
Jane Higdon, Ph.D.
Linus Pauling Institute
Oregon State University
Updated in February 2009 by:
Victoria J. Drake, Ph.D.
Linus Pauling Institute
Oregon State University
Reviewed in February 2009 by:
Simin Liu, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., Sc.D.
Professor and Director, Program on Genomics and Nutrition
Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine
UCLA School of Public Health
Last updated 4/38/2010  Copyright 2003-2011  Linus Pauling Institute

The Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center provides scientific information on health aspects of micronutrients and phytochemicals for the general public. The information is made available with the understanding that the author and publisher are not providing medical, psychological, or nutritional counseling services on this site. The information should not be used in place of a consultation with a competent health care or nutrition professional.
The information on micronutrients and phytochemicals contained on this Web site does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, and interactions. It is not intended as medical advice for individual problems. Liability for individual actions or omissions based upon the contents of this site is expressly disclaimed.

Alzheimer's and Dementia

Alzheimer's and Dementia

Dementia is almost a certainty if you live long enough. Statistics tell us that as many as 2/3 of the population over the age of 90 suffers from some form of dementia or depression. Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia in the elderly. There is no known cure for Alzheimer's and dementia. There are certain drugs on the market which offer some encouragement in that they slow the progression of the disease. Alternative medicine, a good healthy lifestyle and exercise also offer some benefit.

The medical approach to dementia should include an assessment of the aspects of life style somewhat unique to the elderly. Therefore, we should consider the following as possible contributory causes of dementia: oxidative stress, lack of exercise, poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, and need for food supplements.

Seniors are notorious for getting little to no exercise. Yet, it has been established that they live longer, healthier and happier if they get regular exercise, even as little as a 20 minute walk a day.

Seniors are also known for their diet of tender roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, some Jello and green beans or corn with a cup of coffee or tea. This, of course, falls pathetically short of the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables, preferably raw, a day. This is where the oxidative stress enters the picture. Oxidative stress or the formation of free radical molecules in our bodies is a chemical process that leads to aging. The antidote for this oxidative process is consumption of "antioxidants". Antioxidants such as vitamins and certain minerals are nutrients found in food, especially fruits and vegetables.

Studies published in the June, 2002 issue of the "Journal of the American Medical Association" have shown certain antioxidant supplements to be of benefit in reducing the risk of Alzheimer's. The most commonly recommended is folic acid at a dosage of 2.5 to 10 mg. per day. The herb ginko biloba is also commonly used and is a good antioxidant for the brain and entire body. Other supplements including vitamins B12, C, E, zinc, beta-carotene and phosphatidyl choline are also beneficial.

Your approach to combating Alzheimer's and dementia involves three components:
A. Alteration of lifestyle as much as possible.
B. Good nutrition.
C. Dietary supplements.

NOTE: If you are dealing with a younger person with dementia, pay close attention to the related pages of this report which are listed below.

Since most dementia patients are elderly, there probably isn't too much we can do to realistically alter the lifestyle. However, there is one thing, albeit it controversial, that should be addressed. That is the matter of aluminum which has been shown in some studies to be a causative factor in Alzheimer's disease. The main sources of aluminum in our environment are cookware, cigarette filters, and antiperspirants. These sources of aluminum should definitely be eliminated from the environment. If there has been excessive exposure to aluminum in the patient's life, it would be a good idea to have a hair analysis for toxic metals. If high in aluminum or other toxic metals, you can follow protocols for their removal.
 See Metal Toxicity

Another lifestyle problem for seniors is the lack of exercise. Please study carefully the Benefits of Exercising
The second concern for most senior citizens is good nutrition. The Center for Disease Control says we all should eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, preferably raw, a day. Very few of us do that, let alone seniors. An excellent dietary supplement which is comparable to the five servings is called Juice Plus . It is fruits and vegetables juiced, dried and condensed into a capsule. You may visit for more information on Juice Plus. Fruits and vegetables are nature's source of antioxidants. Our antioxidant status deteriorates with age and the need is compounded in patents with Alzheimer's.

Your third concern is food supplements. The nutrients which have been found deficient and helpful in Alzheimer's and dementia are listed below.

Folic acid is a vitamin found commonly deficient in patients with a variety of psychiatric illnesses. Your physician can test your blood level. If deficient, a supplementation of 2-10 mg. daily or as directed by your physician or nutritionist should help.

Vitamin B6 is commonly deficient in Alzheimer's patients. There are little to no risks with B6 supplementation at a level of 100-200 mg. per day.

Vitamin B12 has been found to be helpful. You should have your physician measure the blood B12 and supplement, probably with injections or sublingual tablets accordingly.

Antioxidants including Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) at 400-800 i.u. per day, Vitamin C at 1000-5000 mg. or bowel tolerance per day, and zinc have been shown to be of benefit .

Phosphatidyl choline or lecithin has been associated with Alzheimer's and dementia and supplementation may be of benefit. Choline is an important brain chemical and should be a part of every patient's supplement regimen. You should be careful to read the label because there is a great variation in the content of different products. The usual dose of phosphatidyl choline in the studies was 20-25 grams in divided doses per day.
Another promising supplement is glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC) . GPC is a choline precursor which means it is involved in one of the steps of choline metabolism. It has been found to be effective in improving patients' clinical conditions in a number of studies. It is sold as a prescription drug in Europe but as a food supplement in the U.S.

In some studies estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's in women. A natural approach to ERT without the risks of prescription estrogen replacement includes the use of the herb Black Cohosh, indole-3-carbinol extracted from broccoli and natural progesterone crème made from the wild yam. All these products should be taken under the direction of a clinical nutritionist.

Recommended Supplements

Listed below are supplements we recommend for our patients Alzheimer's and dimentia. Metagenics sells pharmaceutical-grade nutrition products not available in stores. They are available only through healthcare providers. Products we commonly recommend for this condition include:

Vessel Care
Multigenics (Order without iron for men)
E-400 Selenium
Ultra Potent-C
Phyto Complete

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The September, 2002 issue of the "Life Extension" magazine published by the Life Extension Foundation offers a few articles on the subject of Alzheimer's and dementia. They also offer products containing these and other nutrients.

Comprehensive Health Assessment 

Alzheimer's and Dementia Related Pages of this Web Site
Benefits of Exercising
Yeast and Candidiasis
Adrenal Axis Stress and Cortisol Imbalance
Hypoglycemia Treatment
Wilson 's Syndrome
Hypothyroidism Treatment


DHEA Restoration Therapy - Men & Women

DHEA Restoration Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy

It's no accident that youth is associated with high levels of hormones. Produced throughout the body, sex hormones are critical to maintaining vibrancy and good health. In recent decades, scientists have begun to understand the powerful benefits of replacing hormones lost to aging. However, there are serious questions about the safety of conventional hormone replacement therapy, which relies on hormones that are synthesized from animals (Premarin ®) or created in a lab (Provera ®). Most recently, the widespread prescribing of these two hormones among menopausal women has come under scientific scrutiny because of the increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

As an alternative, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may be one of the best things aging people can do for themselves because of the wide-ranging benefits of bioidentical hormones on everything from the cardiovascular system to the aging brain and bones. What is required, however, is an approach that harnesses the wisdom of the body and relies on bioidentical hormones to replace those that decline with age.
In 1981, Life Extension introduced dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in an article that described the multiple anti-aging effects of this steroid hormone. At the time, DHEA replacement therapy was almost unheard of. Today, however, DHEA replacement therapy has been studied extensively, and decreased DHEA levels have been implicated in heart disease, high cholesterol, depression, inflammation, immune disorders, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, HIV, and osteoporosis (Hauffa BP et al 1984; Valenti G 2002; Valenti G et al 2004).

But what is DHEA exactly, and how does it work? DHEA is the most common steroid hormone in the body. It is produced mainly by the adrenal glands, and to a lesser extent, elsewhere in the body (including fat cells). DHEA is metabolized from pregnenolone, the body's “master hormone,” which itself is metabolized from cholesterol. DHEA can be metabolized into other sex hormones, including testosterone and the estrogens, and up to 150 individual metabolites.

Although there are still important research questions to answer, there is no question that youthful DHEA levels are closely associated with good health, and that low levels have been connected to various diseases. Unfortunately, after about age 35, DHEA begins to decline (Pavlov EP et al 1986; Nafziger AN et al 1998). Women, who tend to have lower levels, lose DHEA much more quickly than men as they age. Concentrations remain roughly 30% higher in men (Orentreich N et al. 1984). DHEA levels also vary according to ethnicity (Orentreich N et al. 1984; LaCroix AZ et al. 1992; Hornsby PJ 1995). By age 70, DHEA may be only 20% of young-adult levels (Belanger A et al 1994).

Modern hormone replacement therapy strives to recreate the youthful balance of hormones in the body—and this is where DHEA's value really stands out. Because it is metabolized into other hormones, supplementing with DHEA may allow the body to choose which hormone is needed, then synthesize that hormone from the available DHEA. This may account for the astonishing range of benefits that many researchers attribute to this hormone. DHEA's separate metabolites, including 7-Keto DHEA, have also been shown to have individual benefits, including lowering cholesterol, burning fat, and boosting the immune system.

There are many provocative theories that may one day help explain DHEA's role in certain diseases. For instance, many elderly people suffer from high cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease. In this age group, the rate of heart disease rises much more rapidly among women than men, partly because of the loss of hormones during menopause. Clearly, there is a link between heart disease and sex hormones, and this phenomenon raises an intriguing possibility. Because sex hormones are synthesized from cholesterol, perhaps elevated cholesterol levels represent the body's attempt to supply more of the raw materials for hormone production. Indeed, one study showed a drop in cholesterol levels after comprehensive natural hormone therapy (Dzugan SA et al 2002).

As part of a comprehensive approach to fighting the diseases of aging, Life Extension recommends that people monitor their blood levels of DHEA and strive to reproduce hormone levels of a healthy 21-year-old. Fortunately, DHEA is well tolerated as a supplement, with only minimal side effects even at relatively high doses.

What You Have Learned So Far

  • DHEA is a hormone that is produced from the synthesis of pregnenolone. It may be metabolized into testosterone or estrogen. DHEA is the most prevalent steroid hormone in the body.
  • Low DHEA levels are clearly associated with a range of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, Alzheimer's, and others.
  • DHEA levels drop dramatically as people age. There are pronounced differences in the average DHEA levels of men and women, with women on average having lower DHEA levels.
  • DHEA replacement therapy can restore youthful DHEA levels.

DHEA: Fighting Inflammation

Inflammation is an insidious condition, and we are learning more every year about its association with a host of diseases. Inflammation is caused by internal chemicals called inflammatory cytokines that are released as part of the immune system response. These chemicals, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin 1(beta) [IL-1(β)] and/or leukotriene, are present in greater concentrations as we age. Reducing the concentration of inflammatory cytokines to reduce the risk of serious disease is one goal of nutrient and hormone therapy.

DHEA supplementation has been shown to improve several aspects of the immune system―cytokine production and T-cell, B-cell, natural killer cell, and monocyte function―in postmenopausal women and elderly men (Khorram O et al 1997). DHEA appears to be especially valuable against IL-6 and TNF, both of which are elevated in patients with inflammatory arthritis (James K et al 1997; Straub RH et al 1998; Straub RH et al 2002a; Leowattana W 2001). Systemic lupus erythematosus is another chronic inflammatory condition, affecting approximately 1 in every 700 women, usually younger women (Sullivan KE 1999-2000). Treatment of this type of lupus with DHEA (50 to 200 mg daily) caused clinical improvement and decreased lupus flares by 16% (van Vollenhoven RF et al 1998; Chang DM et al 2002).

DHEA in Women

Throughout their reproductive lives, women experience higher levels of estrogen produced by the ovaries. This estrogen has a cardioprotective effect, which accounts for women's lower rates of heart disease. However, around age 50, women undergo menopause, or the failure of the ovaries and the cessation of menstruation. This period is distinguished by a rapid drop in the level of sex hormones, including estrogen, DHEA, testosterone, pregnenolone, and progesterone. Various diseases have been connected to this rapid loss of hormonal protection, including heart disease and osteoporosis (Lock 1994). While many of the symptoms of menopause are caused by the loss of estrogen, there are also side effects associated with the drop in DHEA and testosterone among menopausal women, including:
  • Decreased libido
  • Decreased strength
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Decreased bone density
  • Decreased energy (Braunstein G 2002)
In menopausal women, DHEA therapy is sometimes androgenic. In other words, it tends to raise the blood levels of male sex hormones such as testosterone (Belaisch J 2002), which accounts for the small risk among some women of increased hair growth (Stomati M et al 2000). However, there is growing evidence that a modest increase in testosterone benefits women. For example, it appears to improve bone metabolism and decrease menopausal symptoms (Davis S 1999), as well as increase sexual desire (Turna B et al 2005).
One analysis of existing studies found the DHEA had these benefits among postmenopausal women:
  • A 30 mg to 50 mg daily dose improved mood, sense of well-being, and sexual appetite and activity among women with adrenal insufficiency (Buvat J 2003).
  • A long-term trial of women over 60 reported significant increases in bone mineral density (Buvat J 2003).
  • A study among women aged 70 to 79 showed improvements in sexual desire, arousal, and enjoyment (Buvat J 2003).

DHEA in Men

Studies of men have shown that DHEA replacement therapy is an important complement to testosterone therapy. Among aging men, the amount of “free” testosterone, or testosterone that is available to the body, falls more quickly than the level of total testosterone. Thus, it is important to design a hormone replacement program that raises the level of free testosterone. In a 1997 study, DHEA levels were shown to parallel the levels of free testosterone in the blood. The study authors suggested that DHEA might help raise free testosterone. If this conclusion is correct, then DHEA replacement therapy would not only raise the blood level of DHEA, but also the level of free testosterone (Morley JE et al 1997).

Still, other studies have shown that DHEA may be an effective therapy for erectile dysfunction. Although there are conflicting studies in this regard, a few have shown that among men without heart or vascular disease, DHEA has been able to improve erectile dysfunction (Belaisch J 2002).

Cancer: Hope and Caution

In any discussion of hormone replacement therapy, the question of cancer will naturally arise. Certain cancers, especially breast and prostate cancer, may be hormone mediated. In other words, supplementation with hormones may cause cancer cells to proliferate. For this reason, men and women with histories of hormone receptor cancers, or with existing tumors, are warned away from hormone therapy that might aggravate their conditions.

The situation, however, is not clear-cut. In numerous lab studies, DHEA has shown anti-cancer properties (Schwartz AG et al 1993; Yang S et al 2002; Yoshida S et al 2003; Jiang Y et al 2005). Similarly, low levels of DHEA are associated with cancer (Gordon GB et al 1988; Leowattana W 2001). According to studies using animal models and cell cultures (both animal and human), DHEA has been shown to inhibit cancer development in a number of tissues, including:
  • Mammary gland (Schwartz AG 1993; Lubet RA et al 1998)
  • Skin (Schwartz AG et al 1993)
  • Colon (Nyce JW et al 1984; Osawa E et al 2002; Pelissier MA et al 2004)
  • Liver and thyroid (Moore MA et al 1986)
DHEA and breast cancer. Because DHEA may be converted into estrogen, women with breast cancer are advised not to begin DHEA therapy, which may theoretically increase the severity of their cancer. To date, no large studies have been conducted on the use of DHEA in women with breast cancer. Healthy women taking DHEA should also monitor their blood levels of estrogen and free testosterone to make sure that DHEA is creating youthful hormone balance.

DHEA and prostate cancer . Men should not begin DHEA therapy before having their prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels tested and undergoing a digital rectal exam, to measure the size and consistency of the prostate. Men with prostate cancer or severe benign prostate disease are advised to avoid DHEA because it can be converted into testosterone, which may promote cell proliferation or cause an increase in DHT (dihydrotestosterone). However, among healthy men, one study showed that DHEA did not increase PSA levels (Jedrzejuk D et al 2003). To make sure DHEA is tolerated, men should consider having their DHEA bloodlevels tested every 6 or 12 months after beginning therapy, along with testing levels of free testosterone, estrogen, and DHT. The DHT form of testosterone plays an important role in the development of benign prostatic enlargement, and is believed to contribute to the progression of prostate cancer.

What do the Studies Say?

Many of the studies examining DHEA have found an overall benefit among study subjects, especially among the elderly. Nevertheless, it's helpful to understand some of DHEA's chemical interactions to gain insight into its many roles inside the body.

DHEA owes many of its beneficial properties to its ability to inhibit an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). DHEA's anti-cancer properties are due at least in part to its ability to inhibit G6PD (Williams JR 2000; Arlt W 2004). DHEA's cardioprotective properties may also be partly due to G6PD inhibition (Tian WN et al 1998; Schwartz AG et al 2004).

Beyond its broad benefits, however, a survey of studies on specific diseases found that DHEA was active in fighting many of the most frightening, including:

Alzheimer's Disease. Patients with Alzheimer's disease have higher levels of cortisol (the “stress” hormone) (Rasmuson S et al 2002) and imbalanced cortisol/DHEA ratios (Murialdo G et al 2000). In a group of severely afflicted Alzheimer's patients , Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) levels were significantly lower (Murialdo G et al 2000). Other studies have examined the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) among Alzheimer's patients. VEGF has been shown to protect the brain, and scientists now believe that low VEGF levels may be connected to the progression of Alzheimer's disease. DHEA-S was shown to significantly increase the bioavailability of VEGF in the brain, leading the study authors to conclude that it could be a valuable treatment for Alzheimer's and aging (Solerte SB et al 2005).

Cardiovascular Disease. There is a clear relationship between DHEA levels and cardiovascular disease: as DHEA decline, the incidence of cardiovascular disease rises in men (Barrett-Connor E et al 1987; Herrington DM et al 1990; Hautanen A et al 1994; Barrett-Connor E et al 1995; Feldman HA et al 1998) and in women (Johannes CB et al 1999). Diabetic men with the lowest DHEA levels have a significantly greater chance of developing coronary heart disease (Fukui M et al 2005). The risk of death is higher among those with the lowest levels of DHEA in men less than age 70 (Mazat L et al 2001).
DHEA play a protective role in the development of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease (Gordon GB et al 1988; Eich DM et al 1993), especially among men. Several mechanisms are involved: inhibition of G6PD, which can modify the lipid spectrum; suppression of platelet aggregation; and reduced cell proliferation (Porsova-Dutoit I et al 2000). Men with lower DHEA-S are more likely to have atherosclerosis (Herrington DM et al 1990) and calcified deposits in the abdominal aorta (Hak AE et al 2002) . Because cortisol increases the risk of heart attack and the severity of atherosclerosis in men ( Laughlin GA et al 2000), raising DHEA levels to increase the DHEA/cortisol ratio has promise for reducing cardiovascular risk (Barrett-Connor E et al 1995). However, the same associations are lacking in women (Barrett-Connor E et al 1987) .
  • Myocardial Infarction. Low DHEA is related to premature heart attack in men (Mitchell LE et al 1994). Severely ill cardiac patients and those with acute heart attack have lower DHEA levels for as long as 3 to 4 months after the event (Slowinska-Srzednicka J et al 1989; Ruiz Salmeron RJ et al 1992).
  • Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome is characterized by several conditions that are all associated with elevated risk for heart disease, including increased insulin resistance, obesity, and abnormal cholesterol levels. In metabolic syndrome, these individual risk factors act synergistically, raising the risk of heart disease higher than their individual risk levels alone. Although research is still continuing, scientists have linked elevated cholesterol to lower DHEA levels ( Nestler JE et al 1992). Long-term DHEA supplementation improves insulin sensitivity by 30%, raises high-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 12%, and lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 11%, and triglycerides by 20% (Lasco A et al 2001). The lowering of low density lipoproteins (LDL) by DHEA has an antioxidant effect, which could have anti-atherogenic consequences (Nestler JE et al 1988; Nestler JE et al 1991; Kurzman ID et al 1990; Khalil A et al 2000). DHEA also decreases abdominal fat, an important characteristic of metabolic syndrome (Villareal DT et al 2000; Villareal DT et al 2004).

Cognitive Decline. One of the most distressing elements of aging is the loss of mental "sharpness." Once again, DHEA has been shown to improve measures of cognitive function in laboratory studies (Roberts E et al 1987; Flood JF et al 1988). Abnormal balances in the brain between DHEA-S and cortisol have been shown to decrease brain function (Kalmijn S et al 1998; Ferrari E et al 2001).

Depression. DHEA has been extensively studied in depression. DHEA levels are reduced in major depressive disorders in both adolescents and adults, and an elevated cortisol/DHEA ratio predicts a delay in recovery (Herbert J 1998; Ferrari E et al. 2004). Women lacking detectable DHEA have an increased
 occurrence of depression (Yaffe K et al. 1998).

DHEA has also been a useful remedy for depression (van Broekhoven F et al 2003). A well-conducted study by the National Institute of Mental Health found DHEA to be quite effective in treating midlife long-lasting, mild depression (dysthymia). The symptoms that improved most significantly were inability to gain pleasure from normally pleasurable experiences (anhedonia), loss of energy, lack of motivation, emotional “numbness,” sadness, inability to cope, and worrying (Bloch M et al 1999). In another study, 3 months of DHEA supplementation improved self-reported physical and psychological well-being in age-advanced individuals (Morales AJ et al 1994). These results were supported by a recent study that showed DHEA therapy improved depression among middle-aged people (Schmidt PJ et al 2005).

Diabetes. DHEA appears to increase insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance is an early indicator of type 2 diabetes and is closely associated with obesity, which are both major risk factors for heart disease. A decrease in DHEA-S is associated with the development of type 2 diabetes (Kameda W et al 2005). Among women with deficient adrenal glands, DHEA supplementation was shown to significantly increase insulin sensitivity, and the study authors concluded that DHEA might be a valuable treatment for type 2 diabetes (Dhatariya K et al 2005). DHEA has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity among obese women (Villareal DT et al 2004).

HIV/AIDS. HIV-positive men with lower DHEA levels have comparably lower CD4 cell counts (Dyner TS et al 1993) and are 2.3 times more likely to progress to AIDS (Jacobson MA et al 1991; Ferrando SJ et al 1999). HIV-positive men have a dramatically elevated cortisol/DHEA ratio that parallels their nutritional and disease status (Jacobson MA et al 1991; Christeff N et al 1997; Christeff N et al 1999; Chriseff NA et al 2000; Ferrando SJ et al 1999).

Immune system. DHEA has been shown to enhance the immune response against a wide range of viral, bacterial and parasitic pathogens. In one animal study, DHEA supplementation showed a significant reduction in the level of internal parasites (Dos Santos TD et al 2005).

Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis (bone thinning) affects millions of late-middle-aged to elderly individuals of both sexes, but is more common in women than men. In women, a major contributing factor is the loss of estrogen at menopause, which parallels the decline in DHEA. DHEA appears to exert a positive role in bone metabolism by inhibiting bone resorption and stimulating bone formation (Labrie F et al 1997; Haden ST et al 2000). It also seems to aid calcium absorption (Carlstrom K et al 1988; Taelman P et al 1989). DHEA has proved effective in clinical trials treating osteoporosis (Villareal DT et al 2000). However, a correlation between DHEA and bone mineral density appears variably in women and not at all in men (Brody S et al 1982; Nordin BE et al 1985; Deutsch S et al 1987; Wild RA et al 1987; Barrett-Connor E et al 1993).

Stress. DHEA levels are closely tied to stress. Studies have shown that traumatic events such as burns or illnesses significantly decrease DHEA, testosterone, and androstenedione levels, while increasing the level of cortisol (Parker LN et al 1985; Lephart ED et al 1987; Wade CE et al 1988). Calmness, such as seen in individuals practicing transcendental meditation, is associated with higher levels of DHEA (Glaser JL et al 1992). In one study, participants in a stress-reduction program increased DHEA by 100% and reduced stress hormone production (cortisol) by 23% (McCraty R et al 1998).

7-Keto DHEA: The Perfect Partner

Among DHEA's many metabolites, one has attracted significant attention for its unique ability to lower cholesterol, burn fat, and improve the immune system. This metabolite, known at 7-Keto DHEA, is not converted into estrogen or testosterone, so it may be safely used among people with hormone-dependent diseases, including cancer.

Scientific studies have shown that 7-Keto can help people burn fat through a process known as “thermogenesis.” This means the body's metabolic rate is accelerated, generating heat and energy that consumes calories and burns fat. 7-Keto accomplishes this by boosting the levels of three liver enzymes that stimulate fatty acid oxidation.

In one study of 30 overweight adults, study subjects either received 100 mg of 7-Keto twice daily or placebo. They also participated in a supervised exercise and diet program. At the end of the study, those taking 7-Keto had lost 6.3 pounds on average, versus 2.1 pounds for the control group (Kalman DS et al 2000).

7-Keto has also been studied for its immune-boosting and cholesterol-lowering properties. In a study on cholesterol levels, human volunteers applied a gel containing 25 mg of 7-Keto for five consecutive days. At the end of the study, the subjects taking 7-Keto had experienced a rise in good HDL cholesterol and a slight reduction in harmful LDL cholesterol (Sulcova J et al 2001).

Another study looking at immune function found that four weeks of 7-Keto supplementation improved immune function in elderly men and women. In this study, subjects over age 65 took 100 mg of 7-Keto twice daily or placebo. The subjects on 7-Keto experienced a significant decrease in immune suppressor cells and an increase in immune helper cells (Zenk JL et al 2004).

Because 7-Keto is not converted into estrogen or testosterone, it may be the perfect complement to DHEA therapy, as well as providing an option for people who have hormone dependent cancers. In some women, high doses of DHEA may cause the growth of unwanted hair or acne. By adding 7-Keto to a daily program, it may be possible to lower the dosage of DHEA.

Life Extension Foundation Recommendations

Because of the overwhelming evidence connecting low levels of DHEA to the degenerative diseases of aging, Life Extension suggests that all people over age 40 begin DHEA therapy. For most people, the starting dose of DHEA is between 15-75 mg, taken in one daily dose. Many studies have used a daily dose of 50 mg. One recent study showed that doses under 30 mg were not enough to significantly raise blood levels of DHEA in young adults (Cameron DR et al 2005). At these levels, DHEA has shown no major side effects.

Ideally, DHEA replacement therapy should begin with blood testing to establish a base range. Since almost everyone over age 35-40 has lower than optimal levels of DHEA, most people begin supplementation and test their blood DHEA levels later to make sure they are taking the proper dose. Normal serum reference ranges and ideal ranges of DHEA-S are:
(depending on age)
Men 16.2-492 μg/dL 350-490 μg/dL
Women 12-407 μg/dL 275-400 μg/dL
After 3 to 6 weeks, another test is recommended to measure serum DHEA. All individuals react differently to DHEA replacement therapy, so it's a good idea to closely monitor your blood levels and side effects. If side effects appear, it may be possible to add 7-Keto DHEA and reduce the dose of DHEA.
Those with liver disease should use DHEA sublingual tablets, which bypass liver metabolism. Otherwise, capsules containing the more common micronized DHEA are quite effective in restoring DHEA to youthful ranges.

DHEA Safety Caveats

An aggressive program of dietary supplementation should not be launched without the supervision of a qualified physician. Several of the nutrients suggested in this protocol may have adverse effects. These include:
  • Do not take DHEA if you could be pregnant, are breastfeeding, or could have prostate, breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer.
  • DHEA can cause androgenic effects in woman such as acne, deepening of the voice, facial hair growth and hair loss.
For more information see the Safety Appendix