Merry Christmas!

A joyful and blessed Christmas to all our readers!

  1. Merry Christmas, Jamient Family!!!!

  2. And to you too Jaminets….Merry Christmas.

  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
    I saw this study and was wondering if you would evaluate it for me. It is indicating that Chinese herbalists have higher mortality from kidney and other urinary organ cancers. I saw it in a forum post thread cautioning people to be wary of berberine and prefer metformin instead claiming that more is known about the safety of metformin.
    Since you have the expertise to evaluate this study and tell if it really merits concern and have been so kind as to answer questions I’ve posted before I thought of you to help answer whether this is a legitimate concern. Also since your wife is Chinese I thought you might have some interest in the subject. I know that sometimes studies are used to scare people and make a big deal of something when they really don’t indicate a large increase in risk but many people don’t know how to interpret the studies to know whether the claims being made about them are true.

    https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jea/19/1/19_JE20080035/_article

    • Hi Lisa,

      It seems plausible. Chinese herbs can be quite toxic, as all medicines are (as Paracelsus said, there is nothing that is not a poison, it is the dose that determines if it is a poison); and the kidney is usually the first site of toxicity for water-soluble toxins. So I can readily believe that frequent users of Chinese medicines would have elevated rates of kidney disease.

      As in all things, moderating the dose of toxins is essential. Use Chinese herbal medicines sparingly.

      Best, Paul

  4. Hi Paul. That makes sense to me. I have studied herbalism and one of my teachers distinguishes what she calls nourishing herbs that are high in nutrition and low in alkaloids from medicinal herbs that contain a lot of toxic alkaloids and encourages the free use of nutritional herbs that are foods that many herbal systems such as Chinese or Ayurvedic call rasaynas or tonic herbs such as oatstraw or astragalus, chickeeed or dandelion. She advises minimizing strong, high alkaloid plants.

    I have never studied under a Chinese or Ayurvedic herbalist but it would seem that they would be aware of and practice herbalism according to this knowledge as well.

    I was just wondering what the real risk is based on the results of this study. If it is statistically significant but still really quite small or quite large.

  5. When I spoke of minimizing strong alkaloid containing potentially toxic or outright toxic herbs I meant avoiding them except for illnesses for which the short term use of these herbs are appropriate.

  6. Hi Paul-
    A question I frequently get is: After removing the inflammatory vegetable seed oils and wheat from the diet, how long does it take the body to heal from that state?

    • Hi TR,

      It depends. If you mean how long does it take to heal a disease/disorder to which these things contribute, then it’s impossible to say. Health conditions always have many/multiple causes, and removing one or two causes is rarely enough to see a big impact — usually you have to fix many factors, but every one you address improves the situation.

      If you mean how long does it take to clear gluten or an excess of omega-6 fats from the body, the answer is (1) days and (2) a long time – potentially, 5 years or more in the obese. You can expect to clear maybe 100 calories / 11 g omega-6 fat per day.

      Best, Paul

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