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Steve SchechterSteve’s Fun Health Facts

This is a new, periodic health information column from Steve. When health foods, supplements, herbs, and other products are discussed, please note that no products are being sold. We provide quality educational and health consulting services. Steve suggests you obtain high quality products from your favorite health food store or respected discount health catalog companies. Information provided is for your self-help, not for commercial purposes, diagnosis, or treatment.

On Tomatoes

How do you fix a broken tomato? Tomato paste! High serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-I are associated with an increased risk of colon and other types of cancer. Lycopene, the bright red carotenoid pigment and phytochemical most commonly found in tomatoes, is one of the most common carotenoids found in the human body and is also one of the most potent carotenoid antioxidants, was used in a study to determine whether it can affect IGF-1 in patients with colon cancer. The plasma concentration of IGF-1 decreased significantly by about 25% after tomato lycopene extract supplementation as compared with the placebo-treated group.

Lycopene, a beneficial carotenoid, has been well researched to help prevent and therapeutically treat prostate, ovarian, cervical, uterine, colon, and other cancers. (Source: Tomato lycopene extract supplementation decreases insulin-like growth factor-I levels in colon cancer patients.)

Tomatoes, watermelon, and some other red foods are rich in lycopene. Lycopene in absorbed better if the food is cooked enough to soften the fiber and also combined with a healthy oil/fat. Most research is based on Lyc-O-Mato, a lycopene extract, which is derived from Israeli red tomatoes. Adult therapeutic dose of lycopene supplements is approximately 30–80 mg per day (total), preferably taken with meals that contain a healthy oil or fat. Preventative dose would be 10–20 mg per day.

On Fish Oils

You have probably been hearing good information about fish oils, rich in omega 3 DHA and EPA essential fatty acids, therapeutically benefiting depression, anxiety, stress, manic depression, some brain disorders, and other health concerns.

Now, Hans and Franz say, “Don’t be a wimp. Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil will PUMP YOU UP!” (In mammals, including humans, the ability to use nutrients from food and convert them into muscle proteins decreases with age. This may be explained by insulin resistance of aging muscle cells. A recent study has demonstrated that animals (calves) that were supplemented with marine sourced omega 3 fatty acids not only showed increased insulin sensitivity but also improved protein metabolism. Twice the amount of amino acids was used by their bodies to synthesize proteins, especially in muscles. The researchers believe that restoring insulin sensitivity through the use of marine omega-3 fatty acids could also prevent the loss of muscle mass in older people and, by the same token, prevent the various health problems associated with it. It was also suggested that omega-3’s could help athletes trying to increase their muscle mass.(Source: Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acids Have Positive Effect On Muscle Mass, Study Shows.)

Note: There are several high quality fish oil manufacturers who have had their products third party tested to guarantee they are free of pesticides, PCBs, Dioxin and heavy metals including mercury. Aggressive or excessive doses of fish oils taken over a long period of time can (for better or worse) thin your blood – which can easily be countered by preferably eating vitamin K rich dark leafy green vegetables or taking about 100 mcg. of vitamin K2 per day.

Honey Sweet Health

“…the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey. And the only reason for making honey is so as I can eat it.”

From the book Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne.

Honey, which has historically been used by many cultures to treat upper respiratory infection symptoms like cough, has recently been used in a small study that compares honey to dextromethorphan, a common cough suppressant found in many over-the-counter cold medications. In a randomized partially double-blinded study, honey did a better job reducing the severity, frequency and bothersome nature of nighttime cough from upper respiratory infection than DM or no treatment. Honey also showed a positive effect on the sleep quality of both the coughing child and the child’s parents. HIGH FIVE, WINNIE!

Source: Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents.

Honey has antioxidant, antimicrobial and other health benefits. For the lungs, honey combines very well with several lung centered herbs such as licorice, eucalyptus, mullein leaves, coltsfoot leaves, and slippery elm powder.

I suggest you try to obtain truly raw, and non-strained honey that is still rich in enzymes, bee pollen, and some bee propolis.

Infants under the age of one should not consume honey.

Steve Schechter, N.P., H.H.P., is director of the Natural Healing Institute (NHI), in Encinitas. Steve is author of the bestselling book Fighting Radiation & Chemical Pollutants with Foods, Herbs, & Vitamins. NHI provides training programs for Nutrition, Herbology, Massage Therapies, Aromatherapy, Naturopathy, as well as others. (760) 943-8485.