Fungal Nails – A New Therapy

Most women who have immaculately painted toenails are hiding a little secret, a fungal nail infection that has caused an ugly yellow discoloration of one or more of their nails.

The fact that infections are easy to catch but very hard to cure shows how one in ten of us will suffer from this condition at some point, with up to a million people having infected nails at any one time. Fungal spores thrive in heat, moist conditions, like at swimming pools or in our shoes.

Treatment can take up to a year, and is either ineffective or having serious side effects. But now there is a laser treatment that claims to restore ugly nails to pink and pearly health in couple of sessions.

Forty percent of patients suffering with fungal nail infections and many have never found a treatment that works. Most of us have found lacquers and lotions to be a waste of time. There are anti-fungal drugs available which have to be taken orally, however you could be taking these for up to a year. These drugs have side effects too, such as stomach pains and nausea. In rare cases can cause jaundice, heart disease or even liver failure.

Are lasers a real breakthrough? They are safe, and side-effect-free, they work by applying intense heat to vaporise the fungus. With a treatment time of less than half an hour, they seem the perfect solution costing about £800. You might expect a perfect result, however the new lasers do have some drawbacks. If the infection progresses to the bottom of the toe, the fungus can get under the skin where the laser cannot reach. It’s early days for this treatment, and I would like to see more independent research.

If you have a mild fungal infection which appears to be affecting one nail it is best to treat all of your nails as this will kill any hidden spores lurking on your toes. The laser used is a small hand-held device; it shoots a small beam of energy onto the nail destroying the fungus.

The treatment is relatively pain free some people have a feeling of warmth and have even seen a wisp of smoke, which is the fungal infection being destroyed. One course of treatment is usually enough to kill the fungus, but some of you may require a second session after a few months to ensure the infection is cleared. Your nails may look the same after treatment but the yellow patches should grow out with the nail.

People forget toes age like the rest of our body and even healthy nails naturally become yellow and ridged. And if you’ve had an infection for years, you may never get your youthfully perfect toenails back.

Thrush in Adults – Why You Must Avoid Drugs When Treating Oral Thrush

Thrush in adults is a condition that occurs as a result of the excessive build up of a fungus called Candida in the mouth. Typically oral thrush will cause white lesions on the tongue and cheek that ache. Although this condition can affect everyone it is more likely to affect those with dentures, anemia, diabetes or a weakened immune system which can make it harder to treat. In the event that the infection moves to the esophagus your doctor may perform a throat culture to figure out what specific bacteria are causing the infection, although Candida bacteria that spread to the esophagus should be treated immediately.

Symptoms may not appear right away but they often come about suddenly and can last for a long time. The first signs of an oral thrush infection are white lesions, which often have a cottage cheese like texture, which initially coat the tongue and inner cheeks before spreading to the roof of the mouth, gums and tonsils. Cracking at the corners of your mouth, an inability to taste, a dry mouth and pain are further symptoms. In very severe cases that affect your esophagus you may also experience difficulty swallowing.

Antibiotics, which affect the balance of micro organisms in the immune system, can increase the likelihood of acquiring thrush. Similarly, the HIV/AIDS complex weakens the immune system and opens you up to infections like thrush. Cancer can also compromise your immune system due to chemotherapy and this also increase your chances of developing thrush. For those with diabetes, your saliva can contain sugar which provides an opportune environment for candida to thrive.

Taking a natural approach to treat thrush is always the better option, except in the case of severe infection. Unsweetened yogurt and acidophilus tablets can help to manage the bacterial flora in your body. Sometimes, doctors will recommend an anti-fungal medication but the danger is that certain anti-fungal medications can cause liver damage. Mouthwashes and sprays can change the balance of flora in the mouth and should be avoided. Likewise, limiting the amount of sugar and yeast containing foods in your diet, you can help to ward off thrush.

Simple home remedies such as gargling with salt and water, brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day and switching your toothbrush often until the candida is gone are good precautions to take. Also try swishing a half tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil around your mouth for several minutes and then spit it out. You can also mix three drops of tea tree oil into warm water and do the same thing. These natural remedies are always a better choice when it comes to treating oral thrush because of the risks associated with using anti-fungal medications.

Resveratrol – An Anti-Aging Miracle? – Part 2

Resveratrol and Cancer: Certain studies indicate that the compound has the ability to battle cancer at all three steps of the cancer process: initiation, promotion, and progression. In one laboratory study, it caused cancer cells to die off in the early stages of the cancer process-and this effect seemed to be independent of its antioxidant properties.  Other studies indicate a preventative effect against cytokines, chemotherapeutic agents and gamma-radiation.  Another laboratory study showed that it inhibits migration and adhesion of ovarian cancer cells. A study at the University of Alabama showed that mice fed Resveratrol had an 87% lower risk of developing prostate cancer than did the mice not receiving it. Still another study showed that female mice given the compound had a sizeable reduction in the risk of breast cancers and tumors. Studies have demonstrated that it also inhibits melanoma, liver cancer, brain cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, stomach cancer, thyroid cancer, lymphoma, and even leukemia. It also has a strong ability to block metastasis of other cancers to the bone. 

Here’s a quote from “You Don’t Have To Be Afraid of Cancer Anymore” by Bill Sardi, quoted in “Natural News”: 

“Virtually every pathway for tumor growth and propagation is blocked by Resveratrol. Researchers . . . have developed a consensus that . . . [it] cannot only counteract tumor initiation but can inhibit tumor cell survival.  [It] . . . also has the ability to induce cancer cells, but not normal cells, to die off.” 

Resveratrol as Anti-inflammatory Agent: Preliminary research results demonstrate that it has strong anti-inflammatory properties. This seems potentially very important, since inflammation is increasingly seen as the real culprit in heart disease. Inflammation, of course, is very detrimental to the body in brain or spinal cord injuries. A very recent study suggests that it might be helpful in treating asthma, due to its anti-inflammatory effects. This could be particularly useful, since the mechanism of action is different than that of the glucocorticosteroids traditionally used in asthma, but which are ineffective in some people and cause undesirable side effects in some. The investigators also felt that it might be useful in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

A Neuroprotective Agent: New research has shed light on some of its neuroprotective attributes. After serious brain injuries, It has been shown to vastly improve the ability of the brain to recover.  Further, it is believed that due to its activation of the SIRT1 longevity gene, it promotes neuronal survival in the brain and that it may be a practical agent in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. 

An Anti-Fungal, Anti-Viral and Antibiotic Agent: Because plants produce it in response to stress from invading fungi, Resveratrol is anti-fungal in nature and has shown to inhibit the growth of both mold and fungus. Research has also shown that it also has antiviral properties; studies have revealed that it inhibits the growth of viruses such as herpes and influenza. It has also been shown to improve the potency of certain antiretroviral drugs used against HIV. 

Endurance: The fact that it increases endurance, and enables subjects to run and swim faster has been amply demonstrated. In addition, increased mental focus for a longer period has been demonstrated.

What About Toxicity and Side Effects?

Mice given huge dosages, the equivalent of hundreds of glasses of red wine at a time, showed no evidence of any harm.

There have been some reports of insomnia, achy joints, diarrhea, and stomach pain after large overdoses, but that would be difficult to do accidentally. See the next section.  

What’s the Right Dosage?

Dr. David Sinclair, who did the Harvard studies on Resveratrol, believes that between 10 and 100 glasses of red wine daily would provide the amount necessary for a human to obtain the benefits described above. The average 5 oz. glass of red wine contains between .30 and 1.07 mg., according to one authority. Using an approximate midpoint figure of .70 mg, Dr. Sinclair’s figures would suggest a daily dosage of between 7 and 70 mg.  

Others have suggested that a higher dosage is warranted because the compound in supplement form isn’t well-absorbed by the body, and that somewhere between 250 and 750 mg. per day would be appropriate. As always, you have to read the label. There are two forms: “trans-” and “cis-“. The “cis” form is of no value to the body, so you need to be sure that you’re getting the “trans” form. If the label doesn’t make it clear, you can pretty much assume that you’re not getting the full dosage of the proper form. 

Extrapolating from the mouse studies, which found that the optimum dosage was between 400 and 1000 mg. per kilogram, a person weighing 154 pounds would have no negative effects from up to 70,000 mg. of Resveratrol per day. (A bottle of 100 200mg. capsules would contain 20,000 mg.) 

Nobody is suggesting anything like that large a dosage, but some people report taking 2000 mg per day, with great benefits-more energy, better sleep, more endurance, etc. 

To sum up: A lot of researchers believe that Resveratrol will change the practice of medicine. It provides a number of benefits, and seems to have no downside.