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After decades of ridicule and denial, the theories of early vitamin C researchers are finally gaining acceptance in the mainstream medical community. Dr. Fredrick Klenner, whose extensive vitamin C research in the 1930s was largely scorned, observed that “some physicians would stand by and see their patient die rather than use ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), because in their finite minds it exists only as a vitamin.”

Dr. Klenner, as well as other researchers like Linus Pauling, used vitamin C to treat a mind-boggling array of health conditions, including supposedly incurable ones. Though their work is still considered controversial, modern research has confirmed the therapeutic efficacy of ascorbic acid in a wide variety of medical contexts, including hormone regeneration, cancer, heartburn, stomach ulcers, anti-aging skincare, stress relief, sepsis, heart disease, and more.

But some researchers believe that vitamin C deserves even more credit. Viewing it as a therapeutic agent, they argue, still implies that it is “only a vitamin,” rather than an integral and essential part of biological homeostasis in humans.

To understand their point of view, it’s necessary to take a brief tour of human evolution.

The connection between vitamin C production and biological balance

If it sounds a bit strange or overblown to consider vitamin C a fundamental aspect of the body’s self-regulating biology, consider this fact: humans are one of only a few species that do not endogenously produce ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Nearly all mammals (and nearly all vertebrates, for that matter) have a built-in biological mechanism for producing ascorbic acid, which acts as a hormone regulator, modulates the immune system, and protects the body against acute stressors.

Furthermore, humans lost the ability to synthesize vitamin C internally due to what is referred to as a genetic metabolic defect—some researchers even go so far as to state that humans have an “inborn vitamin C deficiency,” for which they must compensate in order to remain healthy.[1]

More conservative researchers claim that the genetic mutation responsible for the loss of vitamin C synthesis is a neutral trait (in genetics, a trait is considered neutral when its loss is neither advantageous or disadvantageous). They contend that the importance of exogenous vitamin C is already highlighted by the fact that its RDA is higher than any other vitamin (60 mg/day), and that a normal diet provides the average person more than enough vitamin C.

There’s a couple facts that suggest that diet is not sufficient to provide us with ample vitamin C, though (especially if we want to enjoy its more acute therapeutic benefits).

For example, while researching the correlation between vitamin C concentrations within certain organs and elite athleticism, one doctor realized that the “optimal” vitamin C concentrations would be very difficult to achieve with an RDA of 60 milligrams (the current recommended daily allowance of vitamin C).[2]

Further, vitamin C is used up much more quickly in individuals who smoke tobacco or drink alcohol, in the presence of toxins, and in states of physiological and emotional stress. Thus, even if 60 mg/day is a sufficient baseline dose of vitamin C, it’s likely that our bodies are using it to fight toxins and stress rather than optimizing overall biology.

Given the chronic vitamin C depletion that these ideas suggest, the nearly miraculous reversals of disease states that high-dose vitamin C can facilitate begin to make more sense. What improvements in health and wellness could we all enjoy if vitamin C deficiency was addressed with simple supplementation?

How to start benefiting from vitamin C today

All the researchers and physicians who successfully used ascorbic acid as a therapeutic agent did so by mimicking the endogenous vitamin C production of other mammals—that is, they dramatically raised blood serum levels of vitamin C very quickly (one study found that goats produce nearly 13,000 mg of vitamin C every day, and that this production level increases by almost 10 times in a matter of hours when the animal is placed under acute stress).[3]

To do this requires very specific routes of administration—taking a few of those orange-flavored chewable vitamin C tablets isn’t going to cut it.

Until quite recently, intravenous administration of vitamin C was the most tenable approach. While it’s certainly still viable, the method has its obvious drawbacks: it’s expensive, requires appointment scheduling and doctor supervision, and often is a time-consuming process. Besides, there’s not many people who are willing to deal with intravenous needles just to get their dose of vitamin C.

Thankfully, it’s now possible to raise your blood serum levels of vitamin C at home, safely and affordably, with a simple liquid vitamin C supplement. Two formulation methods—known as micellar and liposomal encapsulation—have revolutionized vitamin C supplementation by raising the bioavailability of ascorbic acid to levels approaching that of intravenous administration.

If you’d like to find the best vitamin C supplement to include in your own regimen, look no further than PuraTHRIVE. They offer the only vitamin C available that’s delivered with both micelle and liposomal encapsulation—this patented, two-part formulation method protects ascorbic acid from breakdown, ensures optimal nutrient utilization, and even enhances the already impressive antioxidant activity of vitamin C.

Give it a try today, and experience how much better the body functions when provided with an optimal quantity of this essential nutrient.

 


References

[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320120726.htm

[2] Colgan M, OPTIMUM SPORTS NUTRITION, Advanced Research Press, New York, 1993:11-12.

[3] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320120726.htm

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After decades of being grossly underrated, vitamin C is beginning to move back into the spotlight. Research demonstrates that this humble nutrient offers benefits far beyond the prevention of scurvy, thus vindicating the writings of early pioneers like Linus Pauling.

In past articles, we’ve detailed how vitamin C fights cancer and improves survival rates, fights heartburn and stomach ulcers, keeps skin radiant and wrinkle-free, provides immediate stress relief, allows for recovery from advanced sepsis, and improves cardiovascular health.

In the 1940s, Dr. Fredrick Klenner followed in Linus Pauling’s footsteps by using vitamin C as a therapeutic agent in his medical clinics—with mega-doses of vitamin C, he claims to have cured his patients of pneumonia, encephalitis, Herpes zoster (shingles), Herpes simplex, mononucleosis, pancreatitis, hepatitis, bladder infections, alcoholism, arthritis, cancer, leukemia, atherosclerosis, ruptured intervertebral discs, high cholesterol, corneal ulcers, diabetes, glaucoma, schizoprenia, burns, infections, heat stroke, radiation burns, heavy metal poisoning, venomous bites, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, and more.

The work of both Linus Pauling and Dr. Klenner is quite controversial. They have routinely been referred to as quacks, and are only just beginning to regain favor. As you can see from the article links above, though, there’s more than enough conclusive research to support vitamin C’s healing and health-supporting potential, regardless of your stance on these original vitamin C enthusiasts.

One important area that has vitamin C researchers especially interested is endocrine support.

Vitamin C can regenerate hormones, study finds

As we’ve discussed in past articles, hormone and endocrine dysfunction is a serious and prevalent health issue. Hormones are fundamentally involved in the regulation of the body’s cells, neurotransmitters, and organs. Thus, endocrine imbalance can lead to a staggering array of health problems, including fertility issues, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular issues, depression, anxiety, and other neuropsychiatric disorders, diabetes, cancer, and many others.

Luckily, research suggests that vitamin C can offer powerful endocrine support. In one prominent study, researchers set out to explore the mechanisms through which vitamin C may prevent the breakdown of hormones into toxic metabolites. The results were even more impressive than they expected: vitamin C was shown not only to prevent hormone degradation, but also to regenerate estrone, progesterone, and testosterone.[1]

These findings have remarkable implications. They expand our understanding of vitamin C as an antioxidant, insofar as they demonstrate that ascorbic acid not only neutralizes free radicals, but also prevents the analogous production of “hormone transients.”

This mechanism is especially important because it highlights vitamin C’s potential use as a safe alternative to hormone replacement therapy (which is inconsistently effective, and tends to make the problem worse by making the body dependent upon an external source of hormones).

Lastly, this study strengthens the case for vitamin C as a potent protector against the toxins of modern living. The endocrine system is centrally involved in the body’s detoxification functions; thus, by supplying the body with vitamin C, you’re exerting a direct antioxidant influence and optimizing the body’s inherent detox system.

How to supercharge hormone healing

There’s just one catch when it comes to reaping the benefits of vitamin C: high blood serum levels are required, so it can be difficult to get enough vitamin C from food sources alone, or even through conventional supplementation.

Until fairly recently, the only way to achieve therapeutic blood serum levels of vitamin C was by receiving it via intravenous injection. This is still a worthwhile route of administration, but it’s expensive and time-consuming—not to mention ill-advised for those who don’t have the stomach for needles.

The development of a nanoencapsulation method called liposomal delivery, however, has made it safe, easy, and affordable to supplement with vitamin C optimally, without needles or doctor appointments.

Liposomalization sounds complicated, but it’s simple in concept: this formulation process uses phospholipids (fats) to form a sort of protective bubble around vitamin C molecules. The lipid layer protects vitamin C against breakdown and allows it to be utilized directly by the cells in your body.

There are a handful of companies offering liposomal vitamin C products, but we exclusively recommend this one by PuraTHRIVE.

They’ve raised the bar even higher by using a patented “double-encapsulation” method called micelle liposomal formulation. Micelles further increase absorption, ensure that your cells can utilize vitamin C optimally, and even improve the antioxidant capacity of vitamin C.

It should go without saying that you should still eat lots of healthy foods rich in vitamin C, even in the midst of your supplementation regimen. Optimal nutrition should always be the foundation of a healing lifestyle or specific therapeutic protocol—after all, “supplements” are referred to as such because they’re meant to supplement, not replace, food sources of nutrients.

Combined with a healthy diet, though, micelle-liposomal vitamin C is the fastest and easiest way to enhance the incredible hormone-healing benefits offered by vitamin C.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21814301

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The historic 2017-2018 flu season is continuing to worsen. Authorities now report that the influenza virus is “widespread” across every region of the United States (usually, virus levels peak in different regions over the course of the season; it’s extremely rare for the entire country to be saturated at once).

The death toll has risen to 206, which includes a record-number of otherwise healthy individuals under 65.

Despite the severity of this year’s flu, though, it’s important to remember that best practices for preventing and treating the virus remain the same. Check out our article from a couple weeks ago for general lifestyle practices that help prevent the onset and spread of the flu.

In that article, we mentioned several natural flu remedies to keep in your healing arsenal. We also noted that the flu shot is may not be your best bet, especially this flu season.

Sure enough, the CDC’s fears have been confirmed: the flu shot is proving particularly ineffective at preventing this year’s most common strain, H3N2—most regions are reporting less than 20% efficacy.

These facts were transparently reported by medical authorities prior to the beginning of the 2017-2018 flu season; many doctors lauded their honesty. Heath A. Kelly, MD, adjunct professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University in Canberra, said the following:

“When I first started researching influenza vaccine effectiveness, it was evident that killed sub-unit vaccines did not seem to reflect the marketing hype. This was at a time when both the CDC and the WHO were claiming that influenza vaccines were 70% effective, a claim that was difficult to sustain….

It is understandable that public health authorities would not want to undermine confidence in vaccines in general and influenza vaccines in particular, but it is an open question whether overstating influenza vaccine effectiveness is good for public confidence. That is why it is refreshing to see an honest statement of the problem.”[1]

The takeaway is that, regardless of your views on the advantages and disadvantages of the flu vaccine, and whether or not you choose to receive it this flu season, it would be wise to take other precautions too.

Let’s look more closely at a couple more flu remedies that are must-haves for severe flu seasons like this one.

Your holistic flu fighting toolkit

Vitamin C is a highly underestimated tool for flu prevention and treatment (we mentioned it in our last flu article, and it’s most certainly worth mentioning again). High-doses courses (at least 1,000mg three times every day) can help the immune system fight off the flu in the first place. For those who have already contracted the flu, these same high doses been shown to reduce symptoms by up to 85%.[2]

60 Minutes even documented a case in which a patient not expected to survive severe complications of swine flu was administered high-dose, intravenous vitamin C—and experienced a full recovery. You can experience the efficacy of intravenous vitamin C without the high cost and inconvenience by seeking out an optimal-quality liposomal vitamin C formulation.

Vitamin D. The connection between vitamin D deficiency and disease is well-documented—and susceptibility to the flu virus seems to be no exception. High-dose vitamin D (10,000 IU per day) can boost immune function and decrease the duration of the flu.

Furthermore, fascinating research demonstrates that maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D can actually boost “innate immunity” to viruses—researchers have even shown that vitamin D supplementation can reduce the occurrence of the flu (as well as all other colds and infections) by more than 70% over three years.[3] Also seek out a high-bioavailability liposomal vitamin D formulation, ideally one that is complexed with vitamin K2.

Iodine, selenium, and magnesium. While any mineral deficiency can increase your risk of contracting the flu, it’s especially important to maintain high levels of these three. All three are vitally important for maintaining the body’s defense systems.

Iodine has been shown to halt replication of the flu virus and to decrease infectiousness;[4] one study demonstrated that selenium deficiency can cause influenza to mutate into newer, more virulent strains;[5] and magnesium has been shown to “regulate antiviral immunity” and clear viruses from the body.[6]

Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). This is one use for baking soda that may surprise you—but this common substance can work wonders for influenza, thanks to its potently alkalizing effects. While more research on the subject is needed, clinical evidence suggests that baking soda could be a veritable flu cure hiding in plain sight. A prominent doctor named Dr. Volney S. Cheney once wrote the following:

“In 1918 and 1919 while fighting the ‘Flu’ with the U. S. Public Health Service it was brought to my attention that rarely anyone who had been thoroughly alkalinized with bicarbonate of soda contracted the disease, and those who did contract it, if alkalinized early, would invariably have mild attacks. I have since that time treated all cases of ‘cold,’ influenza and ‘la gripe’ by first giving generous doses of bicarbonate of soda, and in many, many instances within 36 hours the symptoms would have entirely abated.”

You’ve probably noticed that there are lots of advertised natural flu remedies out there, but sometimes focusing on a few of the simplest and most powerful remedies is the most effective course of action.

If you already have the flu, stock up on the supplements listed above; you’ll be amazing by their ability to stop the flu in its tracks (and reduce its severity and duration at the very least). If you haven’t caught the flu, even better…start this flu fighting regimen to prevent onset in the first place.

 

 


References

[1] https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/889563

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10543583

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3308600/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19678928

[5] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010608081506.htm

[6] https://www.nature.com/articles/nri3501

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Supplementation is still a controversial topic. Despite tens of thousands of studies demonstrating the benefits of correctly taking nutritional supplements, skeptics still have their doubts about whether supplementation is necessary or even helpful in any way.

Later in this article, we’ll cover best practices for optimizing the benefits of your nutritional supplement regimen. We would be amiss, though, if we didn’t begin by addressing some of the doubts and worries often expressed about supplementation in general.

Common arguments against supplements

“There’s no need to take supplements if you’re eating properly.” This argument is inherently an ideological one—it’s based on the desire to believe that all we need to do to stay perfectly healthy is to eat a healthy diet. It is, after all, a simple and elegant solution (and ignoring supplements can theoretically save us some money too).

In many ways, the general idea behind this argument is true. Diet should be your first priority—if you’re trying to patch up the damages caused by a terribly unhealthy diet with lots of supplements, you’re going about it all wrong (and it probably won’t work anyway). The more healthy, nutrient-dense whole foods you eat, the less likely you are to need supplements for optimal health maintenance.

Here’s the problem, though: this argument is not based on facts. Plenty of people who do eat healthy diets still suffer from nutrient deficiencies (as well as the health imbalances to which they can lead). Many others were raised on the Standard American Diet that we’re conditioned to accept—and even when they switch to healthy dietary choices, supplements may still be necessary to repair acute issues and deficiencies.

“Vitamins and other supplements are useless anyway.” The logic behind this argument is that, even if there’s some people for which supplements could be useful or necessary, the products available to us don’t work, so we shouldn’t bother buying them.

While it is true that there are countless low-quality products on the market, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of high-quality ones too. Condemning all supplements because some of them are made by unscrupulous manufacturers is tantamount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

As with all consumer goods nowadays, choosing high-quality supplements (and using them properly) simply requires some forethought and self-education. As long as you’re following even a limited number of best practices for taking supplements, you can experience remarkable, long-lasting benefits for far less than the cost of conventional healthcare.

So without further ado…

Best practices for getting the most out of supplementation

Figure out which supplements you actually need to be taking. Supplement enthusiasts have a tendency to go overboard with their regimens. Keep in mind that taking more supplements is not always necessary or better. It’s easy to forget that many supplements and herbal remedies are very powerful—just because they’re not a prescription medication doesn’t mean we can take them indiscriminately without ill effects.

The next time you go to your doctor for a check-up, get blood panels to ascertain which (if any) nutrient deficiencies you have. Decide which (if any) health imbalances or symptoms you want to address—and get confirmation from your doctor that these imbalances actually exist, in the form of hard data if possible. Then build a supplement regimen based on this data. While there are some nutrients that are almost universally helpful to take on a maintenance level—such as magnesium, vitamin D3, and vitamin C—you still want to be calculating about why you’re including a specific supplement in your daily regimen.

Take the right kind of supplements. Even when you’ve dialed in what supplement regimen is right for you, the battle still hasn’t been won. You still need to sift through the veritable ocean of products available to you, in order to find the ones that will provide the most benefit for your buck.

First and foremost, avoid multivitamins. All too often, they contain fillers, use inferior nutrient forms (to save on costs), and combine nutrients in ratios that are inconvenient for addressing any health concern in a meaningful way. Instead, seek out the highest-quality, most absorbable form of each nutrient in your regimen. This approach may seem a bit more tedious or costly (more products to buy, more pills to take), but it’s really the only way to go if you want to experience real benefits.

Make sure the vitamin formulations you’re purchasing are made with the optimal nutrient form (e.g. methylcobalamin for vitamin B12, D3 for vitamin D, l-ascorbic acid for vitamin C, and MK-7 for vitamin K2). Then ensure that the product implements a formulation method that optimizes bioavailability (e.g. micelle and liposomal formulation are proven to increase absorption dramatically; any product that combines these two delivery methods is going to provide stellar results).

Time your supplementation properly. Lastly, proper sequencing is also important. Most supplements shouldn’t be taken on an empty stomach. Only a limited number of vitamins (such as vitamin C, B vitamins, and some brain supplements like 5-HTP) tend to cause stomach upset when taken without food, but better safe than sorry. The exception to this rule is vitamin B12, which tends to absorb best when the stomach is empty—take it in liposomal form to avoid stomach upset.

Further, nearly all supplements will absorb more effectively in the presence of fat (this is why liposomal supplements have such a high bioavailability). A great percentage of nutrients will also be absorbed if the body isn’t overwhelmed by too many at once (in the case of a “supplement traffic jam,” your body tends to excrete more of the nutrients unmetabolized). For these reasons, aim to take half of your supplement regimen in the morning after breakfast (or whenever your first meal is), and the other half in the evening after your last meal.

Always talk with your doctor or health professional about interactions between different supplements (e.g. fiber slows the absorption of fatty acids, vitamin E blocks the absorption of iron, vitamin D should not be taken without vitamin K2, and so on).

As long as you follow these guidelines, supplementation can be amazing low-cost tool for addressing acute health issues and optimizing your overall health.

 


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You’ve most likely had the unfortunate experience of finding out just how awful the flu can be. This year’s flu season in the United States is already one of the worst on record—new strains of the influenza virus have sprawled across 46 states and claimed the lives of 106 people—and health agencies fear that it will get even worse.

For example, the number of Californians under 65 who’ve died of the flu has jumped to 42, compared with nine at the same time last year, state officials said Friday.

The flu season, which runs from October through May, typically peaks in February. Public health officials say they don’t yet know whether the flu season is peaking earlier than normal, or if this year will be a particularly tough one for the flu.

“We are still early in the season but … the number of deaths so far is significantly higher than at the same time in the previous several influenza seasons,” said Dr. James Watt, chief of the division of communicable disease control with the California Department of Public Health, in a press call with reporters this week.

Thousands of people in California started showing up at doctors’ offices and hospitals in December with the flu. Since then, emergency rooms have been crowded with long wait times, and patients have struggled to get doctor appointments as well as flu medications.

Remember the H1N1 “epidemic” of 2009 that had everyone shaking in their boots? In a perspective article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers reported that during the current flu season, Australia reported nearly five times the number of laboratory-confirmed influenza notifications compared to the 2009 H1N1 outbreak.[1]

It’s certainly not a pretty picture, but there are still plenty of measures you can take to prevent the onset and spread of this nasty bug.

How to protect yourself during this (and every) flu season

First and foremost, remember that prevention is the best treatment. The influenza virus is extraordinarily skilled at replicating and spreading to new hosts, but you can avoid catching it if your body is in a proper state of balance (even if you’re living with someone who is already ill from it). Try not to think of the flu as a bug to be avoided (because it’s everywhere), and instead focus on optimizing your body’s ability to keep it at bay.

Here are some principles and practices to get you started.

Proper sleep. Let’s start with the obvious: your body heals and recharges while you’re asleep, so if you’re not getting enough optimal sleep, you simply can’t expect your immune system to work properly. While many people have their own opinions about how many hours of sleep are needed to maintain optimal health, scientific data on the subject is fairly conclusive.

As we reported in a past article, researchers at the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley define “sleep deprivation” as anything less than seven hours of sleep per night.

Chronically getting less than seven hours of sleep per night (especially for extended periods of time) has been correlated with decreased cognitive performance, cognitive decline, increased degenerative disease risk, and more.[2]

It should come as no surprise, then, that sleep deprivation dramatically increases the chances of contracting influenza. Proper sleep hygiene is always important, but it deserves particular attention during flu season.

Proper diet. The same goes for maintaining an antioxidant-rich, nutrient-dense diet. If the body is not fueled with the nutrients it needs to thrive, it will have a difficult time resisting infection with the flu virus and other pathogens. Eat plenty of leafy greens, organic fruits and veggies of all colors, whole grains, raw nuts, and healthy fats and proteins.

Avoid junk foods and snacks, processed and packaged foods, refined sugar, and simple carbohydrates, all of which will lead to systemic inflammation (which diverts the immune system’s much-needed attention away from preventing and fighting the flu.

Avoid nutrient deficiencies, which also create “points of weakness” that make the body more susceptible to infection. Studies have found that optimal levels of vitamin D are especially important, and that vitamin D supplementation can offer dramatic protection against the onset and spread of influenza.[3]

Think twice about the flu shot. You probably noticed that we haven’t yet mentioned anything about getting a flu shot as a preventative measure. Here’s why: based on data on Australia’s recent flu season, health agencies are worried that this year’s flu vaccine will be less than 10% effective.[4]

Flu shots have other potential risks and downsides too, but regardless of your perspective, this low-percentage efficacy should make it clear that you cannot rely solely on the flu shot to prevent the onset of the flu (as much as vaccine manufacturers would love for this to be the case).

Try natural flu remedies. While using the lifestyle practices above to prevent the flu in the first place is always your best bet, there are also plenty of natural remedies that have a time-tested track record for fighting the flu.

Elderberry has been shown to decrease the duration of influenza A and B by four days or more.[5]

The data behind high-dose vitamin C is even more impressive: hourly administration of 1,000mg attenuated symptoms by 85%, and completely prevented the spread of symptoms to a healthy control group.[6]

Manuka honey, which we’ve already praised highly in past articles, has also been shown to exhibit potent anti-viral properties against all known strains of the flu.[7]

 


References

[1] http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1714916#t=article

[2] https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20170926/sleep-deprivation-a-serious-threat-expert

[3] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170216110002.htm

[4] http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1714916#t=article

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15080016

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10543583

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24880005

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It’s no secret that mainstream oncology is in desperate need of new treatment strategies. Cancer is now the second leading cause of death in the United States. In this year’s “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer,” analysts warned that while overall cancer mortality rates have decreased, our progress is “very limited.”[1]

Meanwhile, the incidence of cancer continues to increase every year, at a rate that some experts believe eclipses the decline in mortality rates.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy still dominate the landscape of cancer treatment, and despite the trust that mainstream doctors place in them, they’re far from perfect. In numerous past articles, we’ve outlined their dangers and limitations.

A wealth of research now demonstrates that many functional foods and natural remedies perform on par with chemotherapy without any of its side effects (they also ameliorate negative effects when used in conjunction with conventional treatments). Prominent examples include turmeric and ginger, but you can also check out the full list of top cancer-fighting foods here.

The road of reforming oncology will be a long and bureaucratic one, but new possibilities are beginning to gain traction. One natural cancer fighter that’s increasingly proving its worth is vitamin C.

If you’ve read any of our past vitamin C articles, you already know that we’re big believers in its healing capacities. We’ve said it before, and it’s worth saying again: vitamin C is one of the underrated and underutilized nutrients in existence.

Luckily, researchers are finally putting it to work against one of America’s biggest killers.

Vitamin C fights cancer from every angle

Conventional cancer treatments function according to a simple principle: remove or kill cancer cells at all cost. And sadly, the cost is usually exorbitant—tumor removal surgeries are invasive and risky, and both chemotherapy and radiation therapy kill much more than just cancer cells.

Natural cancer fighters like vitamin C are different. Throughout every stage of its metabolism in the body, vitamin C helps battle cancer in unique ways. Instead of working via the “shotgun” approach of killing cancer cells, ascorbic acid targets them directly, without harming your body’s normal, healthy cells. It also works with your body to boost natural immunity and cancer-fighting capacity.

Let’s look at a more detailed exploration of why vitamin C is such a perfect ally for those battling cancer.

Inflammation reduction. Chronic inflammation underlies a large number of chronic and degenerative diseases, and cancer is no exception. In fact, one study even refers to inflammation as “a key event in cancer development.” The researchers report that oncologists can predict the survival chances and timelines for cancer patients solely based on inflammation biomarkers, and that patients with the lowest levels of inflammation are expected to live up to two years longer, even in the absence of conventional treatment.[2]

High-dose vitamin C improves two of the most prominent inflammation biomarkers, pro-inflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein tumor markers.[3] Lower levels of inflammation also allow your immune system to focus its energy on fighting cancer (rather than maintaining inflammatory response).

Cancer cell gene mutation. Vitamin C also directly targets cancer cells with remarkable accuracy. When researchers looked more deeply into how ascorbic acid is able to kill cancer cells, they found that it’s able to exploit a genetic mutation shared by many cancer cells.

Due to this mutation, the uptake of vitamin C and its metabolites deactivates an enzyme necessary for processing glucose, thus effectively starving the cancer cell.[4] This incredible specificity allows ascorbic acid to destroy cancer cells without harming healthy cells.

Reactive oxygen species. In an attempt to explain how vitamin C exhibits such impressive selectivity (i.e. the ability to target a certain type of cell while leaving others untouched), researchers also discovered that even the metabolites of vitamin C are toxic to cancer cells. Vitamin C easily breaks down into hydrogen peroxide, a reactive oxygen species against which normal cells can easily protect themselves—cancer cells, on the other hand, will absorb the hydrogen peroxide and be weakened or killed by oxidative stress.[5]

How to experience the benefits of high-dose vitamin C

During most of the studies cited above, vitamin C was administered intravenously. While an increasing number of doctors and clinicians are offering IV vitamin C therapy to the general public, the process can be expensive, time-consuming, and invasive. It has been the choice of mainstream doctors and researchers, despite these drawbacks, due to its superior bioavailability compared to oral supplementation.

Fortunately, a category of drug delivery methods known as liposomes is finally making it possible to achieve high blood levels of vitamin C without resorting to injections.

Research demonstrates that liposomal vitamin C approaches the bioavailability of intravenous administration,[6] and evidence suggests that a combination of micelle and liposome encapsulation may even surpass the efficacy of IV vitamin C.

New Purathrive Micelle Liposomal Vitamin C encapsulates natural vitamin C in a phospholipid sphere – a tiny bubble made from lecithin – called a ‘liposome.’

Because regular vitamin c pills, liquids and foods have an upper limit of bioavailability due to absorption speed and the amount that could be handled by your digestive system without causing irritation and diarrhea… Purathrive Liposomal C is buffered so you can absorb more through the gut.

If you want feel the benefits of vitamin C, we suggest trying out PuraTHRIVE’s new micelle liposomal formula. It’s even made with l-ascorbic acid, a fermented form of ascorbic acid that more closely resembles natural, plant-derived sources.

 


References

[1] https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/878035

[2] http://mcr.aacrjournals.org/content/4/4/221

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480897/

[4] http://science.sciencemag.org/content/350/6266/1391

[5] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170109134014.htm

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4915787/

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It’s estimated that up to 70 million Americans suffer from digestive diseases. A full 25 million will experience a gastic ulcer at some point in their lives, and over 60 million (that’s 20% of the entire U.S. population) experiences acid reflux symptoms at least once weekly.[1]

And the worst part? The incidence of chronic digestive disorders is still rising sharply, especially in the United States.

We shouldn’t really be surprised. The Standard American Diet is a poor excuse for actual nutrition—its meat, sugar, and processed foods inevitably lead to inflammation, oxidative stress, and digestive imbalance. After all, the stomach is the front line of your body’s battle against toxic and unhealthy food.

To make matters worse, our core treatment modalities for digestive issues are woefully inadequate and short-sighted. Rather than seek out the root causes of stomach issues, we employ drugs that temporarily mask symptoms (and ultimately make the condition worse in the long-run).

Take common antacids also known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), for example. These dangerous drugs, which are now available everywhere as over-the-counter medications, are our primary treatment for conditions ranging from heartburn (acid reflux and GERD) to stomach ulcers.

Doctors continue to use them despite a growing awareness that lowering the stomach’s acid content actually worsens and perpetuates the underlying condition.

One editorial in the journal Gastroenterology literally claimed that “proton-pump inhibitor therapy induces the symptoms it is used to treat,” even in healthy individuals who had never experienced acid reflux prior to taking the medication![2]

Steer clear of antacids like Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid… these medications have been conclusively linked to both Alzheimer’s disease and liver dysfunction

And in case you still need more reasons to steer clear of PPIs like Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid, know that these medications have been conclusively linked to both Alzheimer’s disease and liver dysfunction.

While optimal diet and lifestyle modification should always be your first course of action, we also need to seek out remedies that safely attack the root causes of digestive issues. New research suggests that vitamin C may be just the supplement for the job.

The bacteria that’s attacking your stomach
(and how vitamin C fights it)

In another article, we outlined vitamin C’s exceptional antibacterial qualities. According to one hospital physician, it’s so powerful that it outperforms our strongest antibiotics, and decreases the mortality rate of septic infection from 50% to 1%.[3]

So what does this have to do with digestive issues?

Quite a bit, because it turns out that bacteria are a root cause behind at least some of the digestive disorders plaguing us today. In particular, researchers have been studying the Helicobacter pylori bacterium (H. pylori), which is linked to gastric ulcers and heartburn.

H. pylori is a hugely prevalent bacterium—it’s estimated that 50% of the entire world’s population is infected with it.[4] It is easily passed like any other germ, but it usually doesn’t take hold unless a person’s gut flora and stomach acidity are already imbalanced. You’re particularly at risk if you eat inflammatory foods, take NSAIDs like ibuprofen, or take PPIs.

You read that right: proton-pump inhibitors increase the risk of H. pylori infection. Nevertheless, PPIs are the primary treatment (along with antibiotics) for gastric ulcers—just like with GERD, they worsen the very condition they’re used to treat.

Luckily, when vitamin C is added into the mix, the results are dramatically improved. The eradication rate of H. pylori that occurs with antibiotics and PPIs is only 60% (a figure considered insufficient by gastrointestinal specialists), while adding 1,000 mg of vitamin C and 800 IU of vitamin E to the regimen yielded an eradication rate of 91%. Further studies have demonstrated that vitamin C helps clear persistent H. pylori infection even in the absence of antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals.[5]

Maximize the benefits of vitamin C

Vitamins in general have gotten a bad rap—mainstream media outlets have attacked them as nothing more than ineffectual marketing gimmicks. Nevertheless, research has clearly demonstrated that vitamin C can be a powerful ally to your health, as long as you follow a couple rules for maximizing its benefits.

First, steer clear of multivitamins and synthetic vitamin C capsules packed with additives and artificial flavors. These products are largely a waste of money, because hardly any ascorbic acid is absorbed when you take them.

Instead, seek out a high-potency formulation that is nanoencapsulated for optimal bioavailability. Choose l-ascorbic acid, which is a fermented form of ascorbic acid that mimics the form of vitamin C that naturally occurs in plants (and in the bodies of mammals that produce the nutrient endogenously).

If you’re looking for an exemplary vitamin C that checks all these boxes, we highly recommend PuraTHRIVE Liposomal Vitamin C.  Using high-grade l-ascorbic acid, and their patented micelle liposomal encapsulation increases absorption by up to 140 times. It’s by far the most powerful (and delicious) vitamin C product on the market.

 


References

[1] https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/digestive-diseases

[2] http://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(09)00780-X/pdf

[3] https://emcrit.org/pulmcrit/metabolic-sepsis-resuscitation/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11218379

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9926292

Image source

 

We’ve written at length in the past about the wonders of vitamin C. This super-nutrient is making big waves in the medical community; even mainstream medicine is beginning to acknowledge that it’s capable of much more than preventing scurvy.

In fact, it’s becoming clear that vitamin C plays a central role in the body’s self-defense processes—defense against pathogens, oxidative stress, and even the ravages of aging. And our symbiotic relationship with vitamin C has been a pivotal one since the dawn of our evolution. At one time, our bodies even manufactured ascorbic acid endogenously to combat perceived threats (this is a talent still enjoyed by many animals).

Given vitamin C’s affinity for safeguarding our health, it should come as no surprise that it holds great potential as an anti-aging aid. In past articles, we’ve explored how vitamin C can ward off or help heal serious illnesses, including (but most certainly not limited to) cancer, heart disease, sepsis, and infection (both viral and bacterial).

But there’s another, more “surface-level” anti-aging benefit that vitamin C can provide: radiant skin health.

Are your wrinkles a sign of vitamin C deficiency?

Before we dive into exactly how vitamin C protects the health and beauty of your skin, let’s talk a bit about vitamin C deficiency.

Beyond preventing scurvy, conventional medicine hasn’t had much to say about the importance of avoiding vitamin C deficiency. But the tide is turning: a growing body of research is demonstrating that by depriving your body of optimal vitamin C levels, you may be at risk for adverse health effects long before scurvy sets in.

To illustrate, consider this point: the minimum daily RDA of ascorbic acid for preventing scurvy is 46 mg/day (the “optimal” RDA is 65 mg/day, barely any higher than the minimum).[1] Meanwhile, researchers have found that many mammals will naturally produce over 10,000 milligrams of ascorbic acid every day. When these animals are faced with an acute pathogen or stressor, their bodies can produce over 200,000 milligrams in a single day to combat the threat.

Given that our bodies used to have this same innate capacity, can you imagine the benefits we may be missing out on by only providing our bodies with a measly 65 milligrams of vitamin C per day?

While exceedingly few people would recommend taking 200,000 milligrams of vitamin C in a single day, there are an increasing number of experts that see vitamin C as a tool for safeguarding health and slowing the aging process, especially when taken in higher doses (at least 1,000 mg per day).

For example, given vitamin C’s role in collagen production (more on that below), there’s reason to believe that maintaining optimal levels can help prevent the wrinkles and other skin deterioration associated with aging.

If you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, are a smoker or drinker, or deal with even a moderate amount of stress on an ongoing basis, you should be especially vigilant about avoiding vitamin C deficiency (and the skin issues that come along with it).[2] By eating and supplementing properly, you can enjoy some incredible skin benefits (in addition to the many other benefits provided by vitamin C).

Here’s just a few reasons why vitamin C is your skin’s best friend.

Collagen production. As mentioned above, ascorbic acid is critical for your body’s production of collagen, the protein that keeps skin cells young and healthy. For this reason, vitamin C is always present in both the dermis and epidermis, where it functions as an antioxidant and collagen regulator.[3] Studies have shown that oral supplementation of vitamin C will increase levels in the skin, thus increasing the skin’s ability to ward off oxidative stress.[4]

Protection against sun damage. The antioxidant capacity of vitamin C (particularly when it’s present in optimal levels in the skin) has been shown to limit the damage caused by UV exposure.[5] Unlike sunscreen, which blocks the absorption of UV light (and impedes the skin’s synthesis of vitamin D), vitamin C simply minimizes the negative oxidative stress that UV rays can cause. Vitamin C certainly isn’t a replacement for responsible sun exposure, but it can help reduce the skin damage that can occur from spending too much time in the sun.

Wrinkle prevention. One of the most dreaded effects of oxidative-stress-induced skin aging is the development of wrinkles. Researchers now understand that age-related wrinkles can be eased and minimized simply by controlling the oxidative stress and collagen levels of the skin. Vitamin C accomplishes both tasks in one swoop: it protects against free radical damage and keeps collagen strong and abundant through a process called hydroxylation. Studies have shown that optimal skin levels of vitamin C can reduce wrinkles, reduce protein fiber damage, decrease the roughness of the skin, and increase collagen production.[6]

How to get the most out of vitamin C

As with any nutrient, optimizing vitamin C levels begins with proper nutrition; any supplementation regimen should be built on a foundation of plenty of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables (guava, oranges, red peppers, kale, and broccoli are great common food sources of vitamin C).

That being said, supplementation is the fastest and easiest way to glean the full benefits of vitamin C. There are many topical skin care products that contain vitamin C, but oral supplementation is still the wisest choice. As mentioned above, oral supplementation will increase levels of vitamin C in the skin, while providing all the other benefits that come from having high blood levels of vitamin C (using it topically won’t suffice for attaining higher blood levels).

High bioavailability is essential, so always be sure to supplement with a properly formulated vitamin C product like this one. PuraTHRIVE’s micelle liposomal vitamin C is a cutting-edge formulation of l-ascorbic acid (a fermented form of ascorbic acid that is more naturally “recognized” by the body).

It’s nanoencapsulated through two delivery methods for maximum absorption (micelle and liposomal delivery), and it’s absolutely delicious. Give it a try today to find out why vitamin C is the latest buzz in the natural health community.

 


References

[1] http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/69/6/1086.full

[2] https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnme/2011/494370/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8288904

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12419467

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1390169

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11407971

Image source

mold

We’ve written in the past about the manmade toxins that litter our homes: toxic furniture, bedding, clothing, cleaning products, and more. Environmental air pollution gets a lot of attention, but according to the EPA, the air inside our homes is two to five times more polluted on average—and in some cases up to 100 times more polluted. [1]

Toxic home syndrome is worth worrying about—especially given that we spend as much as 90% of our time indoors. Indoor pollution has been correlated with a rise in the incidence of many diseases, including cancer, autism, and many other degenerative conditions caused by an increased toxin load. [2]

A lot of this pollution comes from the sources mentioned above, but some household toxins are naturally occurring…and potentially just as dangerous as the industrial poisons with which our bodies have to content. One prominent example is mold.

What you must know about mold

Mold has been on this planet for a lot longer than we have, and it’s not going anywhere. It’s a highly evolved, highly adaptable fungal organism that makes up 25% of the Earth’s biomass—so it’s safe to say that mold is a fact of life.

This is not to say that mold should be viewed lightly, though. It can grow very quickly on almost any surface, provided that there’s enough moisture to support it. This means that bathrooms, kitchens, areas with leaky pipes, or areas prone to flooding are at highest risk. Once mold colonies grow to a critical mass, their spores become airborne, and they can travel throughout your entire home.

And all molds that produce mycotoxins, when present in high enough quantities, can be harmful to your health (with “black mold” being the worst of all). The effects of mold exposure are most often referred to as “allergic reactions,” but the truth is that it’s a slippery slope from mold allergies to mold illness (especially if mold is proliferating in unseen places around your home, like behind drywall or in small bathroom nooks).

Mold exposure can cause a wide range of symptoms, including irritation of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat, dermatitis, rashes, and other skin issues, asthma and other respiratory issues, fever, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and diarrhea.

Mold can radically suppress immune function (especially in people who already have a compromised immune system), and can even cause flu-like symptoms and liver damage. Animal studies suggest that excessive mold exposure can lead to kidney damage, infertility and other reproductive issues, and neurotoxicity. One human study even strongly linked household mold exposure to depression. [3]

Check out this video from the National Mold Resource Center to see if you have any symptoms of mold sickness:

Take action to protect yourself

While molds can be incredibly virulent and persistent, you don’t have to feel powerless against them. Small mold colonies are common, and usually pose relatively little risk to your health, so don’t feel like the sight of any mold whatsoever is cause for panic.

Also, because most of the ill effects of mold exposure come from mycotoxicity-induced immune dysfunction, you can protect yourself by boosting your immune system. Turmeric, vitamin C, vitamin D, and adaptogenic herbs are always a good choice. Low oral doses of activated charcoal or healing clays (like bentonite and zeolite) are also great for cleansing your body of mycotoxins.

Keep Your Home “Mold-Free”

If your home appears mold-free (or contains only small visible colonies), great! You can keep it that way by cleaning up spills or flooded areas immediately, fixing water leaks within 1-2 days, keeping your house well-ventilated (especially the bathroom and kitchen), and scrubbing away mold as soon as it appears.

If you become aware of large mold colonies in your home, though, taking supplements is not going to cut it. Mold infestations need to be dealt with swiftly and properly. There are home test kits available which measure the level of mold spores in the air, but they’re often quite inaccurate. If you can see any decent quantity of mold in your home, don’t wait to test…start removing it immediately!

Scrub off any visible mold with baking soda, distilled water, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and borax, and be sure to wear gloves and a protecting mask during clean-up. Avoid using toxic homecare products—the point is to remove toxins from your home, right?

Keep in mind that mold colonies can form well out of sight (if you have any of the symptoms listed above, and can’t link them to other causes, you might be suffering from mold exposure). Full mold remediation often requires the removal and replacement and walls, ceilings, and carpets. Unfortunately, these processes can be quite costly, but they’re well worth it.

If you’re a renter, talk to your landlord about any mold in your home. Only some states hold homeowners liable for mold remediation, but many landlords are willing to take care of the issue in order to preserve the future integrity of the house. If your landlord is not willing to take action, and you’re unable to afford the mold cleanup, you should strongly consider moving into a mold-free home.

By being aware of mold (and other toxins) in your home, and being willing to take action, you can ensure that your home remains a health-promoting oasis in an otherwise polluted world.

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References

[1] http://draxe.com/indoor-air-pollution-worse-than-outdoor/

[2] Ibid.

[3] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070829162815.htm

Vitamin C is making a serious comeback. As we’ve discussed in past articles, researchers of the early to mid 20th century became obsessed with the seemingly miraculous healing capacities of high-dose ascorbic acid (the technical name for vitamin C). The work of these pioneers was largely shunned by the mainstream medical community, however, and vitamin C returned to its status as “just another vitamin.”

More recent research has begun to restore vitamin C to its former glory, though, with many experts wondering whether the vitamin-C-optimists of the 1940s were right all along.

One prominent study demonstrated that intravenous vitamin C dramatically outshines even the strongest antibiotics for treating sepsis—one doctor found that it reduced the mortality rate of his sepsis patients from as high as 50% to a mere 1%.[1]

Other studies have found that vitamin C is an invaluable tool for fighting cancer. It works through a wide variety of healing mechanisms (none of which carry the horrendous side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments), and has been shown to be effective against cancers of the ovaries,[2] pancreas,[3] prostate, bladder, skin, breast, lung, thyroid, and more.[4]

And that’s just a few impressive examples of what modern researchers have been discovering about vitamin C. It’s becoming increasingly clear that vitamin C is highly underestimated, and that it deserves a prominent place in mainstream medicine. It doesn’t just prevent scurvy, but also can act as a powerful tool for treating serious illness and reclaiming the health of the whole body.

And now another, somewhat unexpected benefit has been added to the list of vitamin C’s marvels: natural stress relief.

How vitamin C lowers cortisol levels and manages stress naturally

For some time, researchers have been fascinated by the connection between vitamin C and physical performance optimization. They’ve observed that vitamin C perfectly supports the body before, during, and after physical exertion—and even that supplementing daily with vitamin C can confer the same cardiovascular benefits as exercise.[5]

Over the course of these studies, researchers something very interesting: high-dose vitamin C supplementation consistently reduces levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and other markers for heat-induced stress[6] during high-intensity exercise.[7] Since these chemicals are linked with the body’s overall stress response (physiological or otherwise), could vitamin C also attenuate psychological stress response?

The answer is a resounding yes. German researchers carried out a randomized controlled trial and published their results in the journal Psychopharmacology. They subjected study 120 study participants to acute psychological stress using what’s called the Trier Social Stress Test (which consists of on-the-spot mental arithmetic and public speaking). Half of the group was given 1,000 milligrams of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) before the test, and half was given a placebo.

The vitamin C group displayed improved markers of psychological stress across the board: lower systolic blood pressure, lower diastolic blood pressure, lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, faster cortisol salivary recovery (meaning that cortisol spikes associated with acute psychological stress recovered to baseline more quickly), and more favorable subjective stress response to the test.

Those who were given vitamin C even reported that they felt “less stressed” right after taking it. This stands to reason, as previous research discovered that administration of high-dose vitamin C literally halts the secretion of cortisol in animals.

And because cortisol is one of the primary hormones through which your body modulates stress response, controlling it with vitamin C represents a promising step forward in the treatment of stress and anxiety.

How to begin your own vitamin C regimen

As you can probably see by now, everyone can benefit from vitamin C supplementation. This incredible nutrient played a prominent role in the evolution of our immune systems—our bodies used to manufacture its own supply of ascorbic acid to fight pathogens, inflammation, and oxidative stress (many mammals still have this built-in mechanism).

Due to what researchers call an “inborn error of carbohydrate metabolism,” our livers now contain an enzyme that blocks the synthesis of vitamin C. One fascinating study does claim, however, that human adrenal glands secrete small amounts of vitamin C as part of the body’s natural stress response,[8] but it’s nowhere near the level that our livers used to produce.

Regardless, you can still tap into this natural state of healing through supplementation.

Not all vitamin C supplements are created equal, though. To experience results like those discussed above, you’ll need to take a high-quality, high-bioavailability product. Otherwise, most of the ascorbic acid will simply pass through your body without being absorbed (this is the case with the vast majority of vitamin C products, and is the reason why the mainstream media is so pessimistic about the benefits of vitamins).

For this reason, liposomal vitamin C is the way to go: it’s the only route of administration that’s nearly as absorbable as intravenous injections, and it’s much cheaper, more convenient, and less invasive. We recommend PuraTHRIVE’s product, which is nanoencapsulated using two cutting-edge formulation techniques, liposomal and micellar delivery. It’s the highest-potency vitamin C available on the market, and unlike other products, it’s delicious! 

 


References

[1] https://emcrit.org/pulmcrit/metabolic-sepsis-resuscitation/

[2] http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/6/222/222ra18

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23381814

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480897/

[5] http://www.the-aps.org/mm/hp/Audiences/Public-Press/2015/44.html

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19223675

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11590482

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17616774

Image source