What Is Black Garlic? The 5 Science-Backed Health Benefits

what is black garlic

What Is Black Garlic?

The 5 Science-Backed Health Benefits

You may have seen it on TV or in the supermarket and wondered what on earth black garlic is.

It might even look a little too exotic and scary for some people and their palates, but for those more adventurous eaters, there are some wonderful health benefits of this unique food item.

We took a look at the 5 very real, science-backed health benefits of black garlic and now you can find them out too, just read on below.

 

The History Of Black Garlic

The Unknown Alium

Nobody knows for sure when black garlic was first used. However, it is thought that it may have been created using various different methods involving fermentation and curing by people from different cultures in ancient times.

Some people believe it originated in China and worked its way down to Thailand through travel and trade, but finding acceptable levels of evidence is nearly impossible.

What we do know is that black garlic is known to have been introduced to the modern culinary market at the beginning of the 21st century making it a relatively new product for western palates.

In modern times black garlic is a popular dish in high-end restaurants giving patrons the opportunity to try something exotic, but also familiar.

So, Does Anyone Know Where It Came From?

Evidence is thin on the ground. It’s one of those mysteries we’ll probably never solve.

 

 

how is black garlic made

What is Black Garlic?

How Is It Made?

So, how is black garlic made? The dark, sweet product is what you get after heating whole garlic cloves at about 60 degrees Centigrade for about 40 days in a relatively humid environment.
The garlic turns black and becomes more acidic and sweeter, as well as sticky and pliable.

In addition, it loses the pungency of fresh garlic, thus making it possible for you to use its toasty, fruity, and caramelized flavors in several different ways that are not possible with raw garlic.

Some people find garlic off-putting because of it’s sharp, overpowering flavor, but black garlic can offer a more subtle and sweet alternative.

The Gourmand’s Choice

Chefs all over the world are taking advantage of black garlic’s tangy, subtle flavor in order to add to their dishes a savory elegance.
It is similar to roasted garlic in texture, which makes it easy to blend into sauces and spreads. However, what is making black garlic increasingly popular is its association with a number of health benefits, which we will discuss further down below.

Superfood

The aging process that is used in making black garlic is known to amplify garlic’s traditional health properties, including reducing blood pressure, fighting a common cold, and detoxifying the body of excess metals, among other important benefits. However, black garlic is a super food that offers many more other health benefits when compared to fresh garlic.

What Can We Learn Here?

Black garlic is normal garlic slow cooked until dark. It still has health benefits though.

 

 

Why Is Black Garlic So Healthy

Why Is Black Garlic So Healthy?

Antioxidant Power

The main reason why black garlic offers a lot of health benefits is that it is very rich in antioxidants. As a matter of fact, it may contain up to two times more antioxidants than raw garlic.
This is associated with the aging and fermentation process that is used to make black garlic. For instance, a study conducted in 2009 showed that black garlic is more effective than fresh garlic when it comes to how it may affect tumor growth in cancer. (1)

The True Story Of Choo Keng Kwang

A Mandarin oil painter, known as Choo Keng Kwang, is said to have experienced a complete reversal of a skin condition known as psoriasis after using black garlic. He is said to have eaten half a bulb of black garlic a day, for a period of four days, after which he became completely healed of his psoriasis.

He had tried a number of prescribed skin creams, but they are failed to cure him. This is another classic example of the effectiveness of black garlic in addressing certain health issues due to the fact that it is very rich in antioxidants. (2)

SAC

Black garlic is also very rich in sulfurous compounds. One of these compounds, known as S-Allylcycteine (SAC), has been shown to offer a lot of health benefits, including the inhibition of cholesterol synthesis. (3)

In simpler terms, it means that this particular compound has the ability to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. S-Allylcysteine is water soluble and readily digestible.

What Does This All Mean?

Black garlic has some seriously powerful compounds that may be worth trying.

 

 

What Are The 5 Health Benefits of Black Garlic

What Are The 5 Health Benefits Of Black Garlic?

Garlic Power Maximized

While there are quite a few claims made about almost every single natural food product, quite a few of the health benefits of black garlic actually hold up to scientific scrutiny.
The following are the 5 recognized health benefits of black garlic:

1. Treating Type 2 Diabetes

People who suffer from type 2 diabetes do experience numerous problems with their health as a result of oxidative stress.
As a matter of fact, failure to control one’s diabetes effectively can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease, kidney disease, vision problems such as glaucoma, as well as potential nerve damage.

Using black garlic can help reduce oxidative stress resulting from increased blood sugar levels. This is because of it is very rich in antioxidants. (4)

As we referenced in an above segment, a number of scientific studies have shown that its high level of antioxidants has a much stronger effect when compared to raw garlic, meaning that black garlic can be much more effective when it comes to the prevention of diabetes-related complications.

2. Infection Prevention

Since black garlic contains S-allylcysteine, it has the potential to offer protection against infections. This compound is known to assist with the absorption of allici, which in return helps it metabolize easily. This is the reason why black garlic has the ability to boost protection against infections.

In addition, just like raw garlic, black garlic is a natural antibiotic, meaning that it has the ability to fight infections and viruses. As a matter of fact, garlic has been used to fight infections for thousands of years, including helping fight the plague in the past.

2. Improving Cholesterol Levels

It is very important to keep LDL (bad cholesterol) in check in orders to reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, and premature death. Using black garlic has been shown to offer numerous heart health benefits including assisting with HDL (good cholesterol) production.

Until recently, raw garlic has been associated with a lot of heart health benefits, but recent scientific studies (referenced above) have shown that black garlic can offer even more of these benefits, compared to raw garlic, including assisting in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

Researchers have been able to show that black garlic has a slightly different phytochemical makeup when compared to raw garlic.

This means that it can offer even greater benefits for supporting heart health.

3. Helping Heal The Liver From Alcohol Damage

Bad habits, including excessive drinking, can damage the liver irreparably. However, the human liver can heal itself naturally if an individual stops their bad habits before it is too late.

Alcoholic liver disease is known to occur when someone’s liver gets damaged as a result of oxidative stress, which results when the liver tries to break down the alcohol. The liver cells get damaged, leading to inflammation and scarring over time.

Scientific studies have shown that black garlic has the ability to help reduce inflammation as well as reversing the damage caused by alcohol to the liver.

It can also help remove the fat that is accumulated in the liver, due to its potent antioxidant properties.

Of course, this doesn’t mean someone can keep having one beer too many and then just eat a bulb of black garlic, but it may help those who pursue moderation.

4. Relieving Allergies

Black garlic can be effectively used to relief nasal problems such as sinus and also help with skin allergies.

Scientific studies have shown that black garlic can indeed help turn off genes that are known to cause inflammation and allergic reactions. (referenced above).

This probably doesn’t mean the someone with a dog allergy can just scoff a few black garlic cloves and give Buster a big hug, but it does mean it can play a supporting role in helping manage allergies.

5. Immune System Support

In addition the aforementioned 4 health benefits, it can also help strengthen the immune system due to the fact that it is very rich in antioxidants.

Another important benefit of using garlic to fight infections is that it does not harm the beneficial gut bacteria, unlike antibiotics.

A study performed on chickens showed that garlic (allium sativum) enhanced T-Cell production which may affect B-Cell production and immunoglobulin activity, increase immune system strength. (5)

What’s The Bottom Line Here?

Black garlic has the potential to offer some excellent health support as well as potent flavor.

 

 

slow roasted garlic

What Is Black Garlic?

Conclusion

Unlike raw garlic which is associated with a pungent odor, the fermentation process used to make black garlic helps reduce the strong flavor and pungent odor.

This helps make it more appealing and palatable. In addition, black garlic is said to taste almost like dried fruit; it is described as sweet, smoky, and chewy.

This essentially means that there is no reason why you should not start blending black garlic in your sauces and spreads and enjoy its awesome health benefits in return.

Knowing all the health benefits of black garlic, there’s no reason not to add a little to any dish and reap the rewards that some of the nutritious properties may offer.

 

We hope you found this article “What Is Black Garlic? The 5 Science-Backed Health Benefits” to be informative. Please be advised that the information on this website is not offered for the purposes of diagnosing or treating any illness or ailment and that anyone with medical issues should seek professional assistance.

What Is In Spirulina? Health Benefits Of A Superfood

what is in spirulina

What Is In Spirulina?

The 13 Science-Based Health Benefits

Miracle foods can be overhyped and can come with a lot of spurious claims and spirulina is one of those foods that makes that super foods list.

We went searching and researching the positive benefits of spirulina that actually stand up to scrutiny and what we found were these 13 health benefits that make spirulina a pretty decent addition to a healthy diet.

To learn more about this pretty decent nutritional food, please read on.

 

what is spirulina
What Is Spirulina?

Where Does It Come From?

Spirulina is a blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) which grows in fresh water. The algae can be harvested from non-contaminated water bodies or ponds.

Spirulina is also commonly used as an ingredient in energy bars, superfood beverages, and natural supplements. You can find it available in dry powder form, including flakes, powders, or as a supplement in capsules and tablets.

Spirulina grows naturally in large bodies of water in subtropical and tropical climates. However, most of the spirulina consumed in the US is grown in laboratories.

This helps eliminate the risk of contamination, which is actually pretty common with wild spirulina.

So What Exactly Is It?

It’s really an edible freshwater algae.

 

 

spirulina health food

What Is In Spirulina That Makes It A Health Food?

Is It One At All?

Spirulina contains protein, insoluble and soluble fiber and many nutrients that make it a nutritionally dense and valuable asset to almost any diet.

In the following segment, we will highlight the many health benefits of spirulina and the nutritional power that has made it an increasingly popular health food.

Is It Really Healthy?

The following list of benefits would make it seems so.

 

 

The 13 Health Benefits Of Spirulina

What Are The 13 Health Benefits Of Spirulina?

Let’s Take A Look…

Many people anecdotally swear by the value of spirulina as a healthful addition to their diet.

It would appear that a lot of the compounds found in spirulina can be validated by science as being beneficial to human health.

The health benefits of spirulina may include:

 

1. It May Help With Lowering Blood Pressure

Spirulina contains a pigment called phycocyanin which possesses anti-hypertensive properties that lower blood pressure. (1)

This may be exciting news for those people who have difficulty maintaining a healthy blood pressure. The pigment reverses the effects of endothelial dysfunction which is part of the metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome may be one of the contributing causes of many incidents of stroke, heart disease, and even diabetes.

 

2. It Contains A High Concentration Of Nutrients

Spirulina is considered the most nutrient concentrated food in the world. It is a remarkable source of the following nutrients:

Iron
Spirulina may be the best plant based source of iron making it an ideal option vegetarians use.

Vitamin B1
This vitamin is also called thiamine and is used in digesting proteins and fats. It is also used to improve brain and nerve functioning and it can be adequately provided by spirulina.

Calcium
The blue-green algae contains more than 26 times the content of calcium in milk.
For vegans, people with lactose intolerance or other dairy allergies, calcium may be a genuine issue and finding good sources of calcium is important to their diet.

Spirulina also contains smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals such as chromium, potassium, vitamin c, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and manganese.

 

3. It Could Help To Remove Heavy Metals From The Body

This freshwater plant can bind with heavy metals. (2)

The binding enhances the removal of the metals from the body. Daily consumption of spirulina (5 grams) combined with zinc supplements can actually decrease toxicity due to the arsenic metal by a half.

Spirulina may also bind with other radioactive isotopes so it can be useful in radioactivity. The algae also have a high chlorophyll content which boosts the immune system by removing toxins from the blood.

 

4. It May Accelerate Weight Loss In Some Individuals

There are several mechanisms used by spirulina to lower the storage of fat in the body. This, in turn, helps to decrease the body weight. A good example is by contributing to the burning of fats since protein requires more energy for its metabolism.

Spirulina can also curb hunger due to its high protein content. This benefits overweight people preventing them from eating more food.

It’s a low glycemic food too, which means it won’t elevate blood sugar and impair the fat burning potential of a diet.

 

 

5. It Has Antioxidant Properties

The phycocyanin contained in spirulina is also a powerful antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory agent. Its antioxidant properties protect the body cells from damage.

Oxidative damage can cause aging including wrinkly skin as well as contributing to the degradation of neural tissue. For this reason, brain foods such as spirulina are excellent for those who want to operate at peak physical and mental capacity. (3)

 

6. It May Be Useful When Dealing With Allergies

Some of the main symptoms of many allergies are breathing problems which can be caused by nasal congestion.
The congestion is caused by inflammation which can be reduced by spirulina due to the anti-inflammatory properties of phycocyanin.

For people with dog allergies, food allergies and the many people living with inflammation related conditions, this could be of interest although, more scientific research is needed to show definitive proof that spirulina specifically can alleviate symptoms of such allergies.

 

7. Boosts Your Energy Levels

The chemical composition of spirulina enables it to avail a lot of energy to its consumers. Because it not only contains iron but also antioxidants and protein, it may have a beneficial effect, especially for those who find themselves iron deficient.

 

8. Fighting Anemia

Spirulina is an effective natural supplement that has the ability to fight anemia.

Adding spirulina to your diet on daily basis is known to help increase the hemoglobin content of red blood cells.
It may be very good for people who are suffering from anemia as well as the elderly.

 

9. Dealing With Insomnia

People who have difficulty sleeping may benefit a lot from including spirulina in their daily diet.

Spirulina is known to be a rich source of a certain amino acid called tryptophan that helps promote the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps promote better sleep. Tryptophan can assist in the serotonin to melatonin production cycle that helps increase the potential for sleep.

 

10. Helping the Body Eliminate Toxins

As mentioned above, spirulina is known to have the ability to help remove harmful chemicals from our bodies, which are contained in the foods that we eat.
It is one of the most effective chelating agents known to man. This means that spirulina has the ability to bond chemically with certain metal ions.

Adding a little spirulina powder to your food may actually help eliminate any harmful chemicals it may contain, though it certainly wouldn’t be a reliable eliminator of toxins and shouldn’t be used as such.

 

11. Adding Beneficial Bacteria To Your Digestive Track

Most of the foods that we consume do not promote the health of our digestive track because of their sterility. In addition, many people with busy modern lifestyles take a lot of antibiotics and also consume heavily processed grains. All which can affect disgestive health.

These factors have been associated with serious intestinal stomachic problems that affect a big number of people.

Adding spirulina to your diet regularly is known to stimulate the growth as well as the production of beneficial bacteria in your gut while controlling candida and other harmful bacteria at the same time. This helps promote intestinal health. (4)

 

12. Serving As A Super Food

Spirulina is one of the best super foods that you can eat. It can serve as a nutrition and dietary alternative.

As a superfood, spirulina packs a lot of nutritional punch in a very small helping. It has an exceptionally high concentration of minerals and vitamins when compared to most foods.

It is rich in iron, calcium, and micronutrients, including manganese, potassium, and magnesium.

For people who are temporarily lowering their calories for weight loss goals, this can make spirulina a nutritionally dense source of low calorie sustenance.

 

13. Providing Lots Of Plant Based Proteins

Spirulina is mostly made up of amino acids and proteins. The protein it contains is high quality and is often compared to that found in eggs.

The protein is also highly usable and boasts a remarkable utilization rate of 50-60 percent (high for plant based proteins).

It is also a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids. For vegans and vegetarians, spirulina is a very important source of protein.
Because of its relatively neutral taste, it can be included in virtually any meal. You can always include spirulina in your diet plan as a rich source of protein by sprinkling it in powder form over your meal. In addition, you can take it in form of tablets.

So there we have it. 13 legitimately effective health benefits that spirulina can provide for most individuals.

The sheer utility of spirulina is very efficient and it’s no longer the expensive supplement it was a decade ago because of better farming methods.

What’s The Take Home Message Here?

There are some very good reasons to consume spirulina and enjoy the possible health benefits

 

What Are The Side Effects Of Spirulina?

Are There Any?

Most spirulina that is farmed is very safe and grown under strict controls that are put in place.

Wild spirulina can be a little (or a lot) more dangerous depending on its exposure to certain environmental factors.

Any blue-green algae that is contaminated can possibly cause damage to the liver.

Side effects of contaminated spirulina may include general nausea, needing to vomit, accelerated heart rate, a feeling of weakness or a simple thirst.

According to WebMD, the worst case scenario of contamination may result in illness and potential death.

For this reason, it would be prudent to purchase and consume respected spirulina brands.

What’s The Bottom Line?

It’s overwhelmingly safe, but contaminated, wild spirulina could be very dangerous.

 

 

conclusion

What Is In Spirulina?

Conclusion

Spirulina might be one of the most convenient and healthy sources of nutrition of the planet.

With its massive serve of protein, it could be a wonderful supplement to vegans, athletes, bodybuilding enthusiasts and anyone looking to add a little extra quality protein to their diet.

We’ve shown that it has many nutrients and health benefits that make it worthy of at least thinking about.

While most packaged spirulina is excellent and high in quality and safety, some wild spirulina may not be subject to the controls of the farmed variety and therefore could be dangerous.

We hope you enjoyed this article about what is in spirulina and please feel free to join the discussion below.

What Is A Colon Cleanse? Is It Worth Trying?

what is a colon cleanse

What Is A Colon Cleanse?

Why Do People Do It?

As most people know, the digestive system is incredibly important for your body’s health.

As a part of your body’s nutritional absorption process, your digestive system breaks down and absorbs nutrients and also helps to protect your body against bacteria and harmful micro-organisms.  Unfortunately, some people’s inner health isn’t perfect and as the result of poor diet or a dysfunctional intestinal support can leave impacted fecal matter in the lining of the colon.

While there are many ways to improve and maintain the health of your digestive system, colon cleanses have become a popular option.

It can be an uncomfortable thought, but if you want to know more, please read on below.

 

 

colonic irrigation

What Is A Colonic Irrigation?

External/Internal Waste Removal

A colon cleanse is designed to make the digestive system more effective by getting rid of any undigested waste from your lower intestines and allowing for better nutrient absorption.

An inefficient digestive system can lead to illness and multiple nutrient deficiencies so it’s important for some people to maintain the health of a digestive system with a variety of approaches.

To perform the most popular colon cleanse, the colonic irrigation, a tube is gently placed in the rectum and then the colon is flushed with a liquid that is usually water, but in some cases may contain other safe additives.

The firmly impacted fecal matter is then removed and flushed out, which can be a positive effect for those with bowel problems.

What’s The Bottom Line?

A tube in the anus is flushed with fluid to remove intestinal waste.

 

 

benefits of a colon cleanse

What Are The Benefits Of A Colon Cleanse?

The Positives

Like we mentioned above, a colon cleanse works by getting rid of any bacteria and harmful build-up in the colon. For many people, their digestive system is sluggish and doesn’t work as well as it should so waste backs up and creates discomfort and pain.

Waste Removal

Adding a cleanse may work to get rid of any harmful waste more efficiently than other methods.

For people suffering from painful constipation, they may feel a huge relief from both the aching and possible cramping.

Energy

Another beneficial side effect of cleanses is that many people anecdotally claim to experience increased energy.

It could be explained by better nutritional absorption being possible as nutrients can pass through the walls of the large intestine without having to fight for absorption.

Weight Loss

Finally, one of the effects of a colon cleanse is that it can improve weight loss goals.

A cleanse will get rid of any undigested food and waste in the digestive system which can add significantly to a person’s weight over time.

Colon cleansing works to get rid of any waste and most people experience an initial weight loss that’s fairly significant. Some rare cases involve people losing up to ten pounds immediately, though these would be statistical outliers.

What Can We Take Away Here?

It’s far more likely to be effective for those with constipation and intestinal issues

 

 

supplements

What Are The Types of Cleanses?

What Are The Options Available?

While many people swear by colon cleanses, there isn’t one single type of cleanse available.

This area actually encompasses a number of alternative medical therapies designed to remove toxins from the colon.

Supplementation

One of the types of colon cleanses is a variety of supplements that are administered either orally or rectally to remove impurities from the colon. These can include colon cleanse tablets, specific supplements, or herbal teas.

These supplements can cause changes to the digestive system so it’s important to follow the directions with colon cleanses and also adjust your schedule accordingly.
Many people find that it’s easier to do a cleanse when they’re at home or taking a day off of work.

We will discuss some of these alternative methods further down.

A Colonic

Another more popular type of colon cleanse involves irrigating the colon. This process does not always seem very appealing but is a faster cleansing method than some other approaches. There are options to do this process at home or colon therapists can also provide this service, generally in an office space. The procedure does take a fair amount of time but it’s a simple process to go through.

The type of colon irrigation can vary but the recommended irrigation method is fairly straightforward.

The therapist will gently insert a tube into the rectum which is attached to a pump that pushes water or the irrigation fluid into the large intestine. Once the colon has been saturated, the therapist will remove the initial tube and insert another.

Generally, the therapist will massage the abdomen so that any waste and water is expelled from the colon. The entire process may take an hour or longer depending on the colon therapists recommendations and practices.

What Does This All Mean?

Colonic irrigation isn’t the only colon cleanse, but it is the most popular.

 

 

veggies

Before A Colonic Irrigation (Colon Cleanse)

What To Do

Before taking on any of these therapies, it’s recommended to work on both diet and hydration to get the best results.

The first recommendation is to change your diet to a legitimate detoxification regimen (though that word is synonymous with pseudo-science). (1)

While diet recommendations can vary slightly, the primary changes to make are increasing fruit and especially vegetables which are rich in both insoluble and soluble fiber and allow for an improved colon cleanse. A high fiber diet is also known to reduce the rates of colon cancer too.

It’s also recommended to cut out any added sugars and high fat foods which can slow down digestion and put a burden on the colon.

The second recommendation is to ensure proper hydration before and during a colon cleanse.

In fact, colon cleanses can cause dehydration if you’re not careful. Drinking several glasses of cold water throughout the day is important to flush out toxins and maintain hydration.

What Can Be Learned From This?

A good diet that is high in fiber is healthy no matter what, but can also assist in a colonic

 

 

side effects of a colon cleanse

What Are The Side Effects Of A Colon Cleanse?

Colonic Cautions

Although many people can have colon cleanses, it may not be ideal for anyone who has difficulties with their digestive system.

For example, anyone who has had surgery on their intestines, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, or Crohn’s disease may experience negative side effects with colon cleanses.

Anyone interested in having a cleanse done should discuss medical issues before the procedure to determine what options are available and how to maintain safety throughout the process.

What’s The Take-Away From This?

People with medical issues involving the intestines should take caution

 

 

detoxification drink

What Are The Alternative Methods?

Colon Cleanse From The Inside

There are other options available for colon cleanses that use a combined approach to both cleanse and heal the intestinal tract. The first approach is containing adequate dietary fiber. This change is designed to stimulate the digestive system to keep it in motion.

Fiber

Many cleanse programs recommend psyllium seed husks, flaxseed meal and white chia seeds as fiber sources. A few tablespoons of this fiber every day adds a fair amount of concentrated fiber.

Healthy Elixirs

The second popular, but scientifically unsound approach is an intestinal detoxification program and colon stimulation. These formulas are designed to cleanse the colon and also health the gastrointestinal system.

Anyone using this recommendation is usually told they will see changes to their health as the detox program works to draw out any poisons or toxins in the system. There is little supporting evidence to suggest detox programs work.

A person with a poor diet who begins to consume healthy foods could be considered to be performing a more legitimate detox program by assisting many important metabolic functions with good nutrition.

Probiotics

Finally, the third approach is a consistent use of a probiotic formula. Because we know that probiotics play an important role in digestive health, any cleansing program should get rid of bad material while also replacing good material.

Also, for many people, a good probiotic formula will help to improve colon function. (2)

Using this program as a colon cleanse is recommended by some natural health practitioners as a stable and functional continuous colon cleanse.

What Does This All Mean?

Fiber and probiotics are good for inner health but most detox hype is just that.

 

 

conclusion

What Is A Colon Cleanse?

Conclusion

Although some people think that a colon cleanse is only one method, there are actually multiple ways to go about having a cleanse done.

Many people find that some methods work better for them. Considering the options available is a good way to get started.

It seems as though someone with constipation and cramping might benefit the most from a colon cleanse, but someone with a serious medical condition will require the consultation of a doctor before a colon cleanse.

 

We hope you enjoyed this article “What Is A Colon Cleanse?”  and found it useful and informative.  If you have any suggestions or something to share, please leave a comment below.

What Is Mesothelioma Cancer? Signs & Symptoms

what is mesothelioma cancer

What Is Mesothelioma Cancer?

Signs, Symptoms, And Treatments

Many people have heard of mesothelioma cancer, most likely through advertisements of legal firms on television wishing to represent unfortunate victims this disease, but this condition is not always well-understood.

This asbestos-related cancer forms on body tissue in the lungs and abdomen creating many painful and potentially serious health problems.

Although there are treatment options available, this serious disease is challenging for patients and families

This article is designed to show all available treatment options, the signs to look for and exactly what can be done to manage this condition.

To learn more, please read on.

 

asbestos exposure

Mesothelioma Through Asbestos Exposure

Deadly Buildings

Each year there are approximately 3,000 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the United States. The majority of these cases can be traced to people’s exposure to asbestos.

The cancer is diagnosed when it can be detected on the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart.

Although asbestos use in buildings has dropped significantly, there are still many people developing this cancer. The reason is that it can take anywhere from 20-50 years after exposure for symptoms appear.

Many older buildings may be demolished and people in associated industries may find themselves in danger from asbestos exposure in these possibly dangerous establishments.

What Does This Mean?

Mesothelioma is predominantly contracted through exposure to asbestos.

 

 

Mesothelioma Signs & Symptoms
Mesothelioma Signs & Symptoms

What To Look For

Like many potentially fatal illnesses, catching mesothelioma early is the number one key to better outcomes.  Knowing what signs to look for can help to motivate someone into seeking professional help in a timely manner.

Symptoms of this cancer are varied but usually include:

Upper Respiratory Issues

This can include both chest pain and difficulty breathing. (1)

In the case of asbestos related mesothelioma, breathing in the contaminated particles was likely the initial issue, so it’s easy to see how this would create problems in the lungs.

Abdominal Irritations

When the cancer appears in the abdomen, an individual may also experience some abdominal pain and discomfort.

Heart Complications

In rarer cases, this insidious illness can affect the heart and cause cardiovascular issues.  Heart complications can manifest symptoms such as possible chest pain and tightness.

What’s The Bottom Line Here?

It’s most likely that the illness will manifest in the lungs, but it can also affect the abdomen.

 

 

Mesothelioma Diagnosis Procedures

How Do They Test For It?

The diagnosis of mesothelioma is not the same for every person but may begin a variety of tests which are performed to efficiently discover and diagnose the possibility of an illness.

Tests done to diagnose mesothelioma may include:

X-rays

CT scans

Biopsies

MRIs

X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs can help detect internal tumors and abnormalities, where biopsies can be taken to perform biological testing similar to the way skin cancer can be detected. (2)

Sometimes, it takes two or three months to positively identify this cancer. Early diagnosis (like many ailments) is the key to having the most treatment options available.

What Can We Take Away From This?

There are many ways to test for this disease, but it can take some time to establish development.

 

 

Types of Mesothelioma - human body

Types of Mesothelioma

What Are They?

There are actually four different types of this cancer which may affect patients in a variety of ways. Although most people who know mesothelioma associate it with the lungs, some individuals are surprised to find out it can significantly affect other areas.

The 4 specific types of mesothelioma are:

Lung

Abdomen

Heart

Testicular

An oncologist or cancer doctor will be able to identify the type of cancer based on its location and cell type. (3)

The most common type of mesothelioma is found in the lungs and abdomen while the most common cell type is epithelial and is actually the most responsive to treatment.

What Can We Learn From This?

It’s a little known fact that this disease can affect the heart as well as male testes.

 

 

Finding ThePrognosis Is Mesothelioma Curable

Finding The Prognosis

Is Mesothelioma Curable?

Keep in mind that each person is different and a given prognosis will depend on a variety of factors.

When meeting with a doctor, they will generally say that a patient’s prognosis is good, favorable, bad, or poor. The physicians will base their prognosis on one’s ability to recover and also how the cancer is going to impact both their body and health.

Can It Be Cured?

Although mesothelioma is an incurable disease, there have been advances in treatment and care.

Increased treatment options, improvements in diet, and other therapies are all treatment options that improve prognosis.

Longevity

Many factors can affect longevity after diagnoses including age, race, gender and the progression of the illness.

What Does This All Mean?

While not immediately curable, mesothelioma sufferers may liver longer dependent on biological factors

 

 

Mesothelioma Treatment Options

Mesothelioma Treatment Options

What Are They?

For those who have been diagnosed with this unfortunate illness, there are three primary treatment options available.

To anyone with mesothelioma cancer the possible treatments may include:

Surgery

Surgery works by removing tumors that have built up in the sufferer’s body or draining fluid that can appear in the chest and abdomen.

Radiotherapy

Radiation helps to improve cancer symptoms by shrinking cancer growth and may improve both pain and breathing.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy also shrinks tumor growth and may help if the patient is experiencing chest pain.

The recommended treatment is going to be based on a given diagnosis, stage of cancer, and the type of mesothelioma.

If the cancer is in the early stages and has not spread, generally doctors will recommend a combination of these three treatments instead of just one.

In cases where the cancer has spread or the patient is not interested in pursuing aggressive treatment, doctors may then recommend either radiation or chemotherapy which will alleviate the symptoms of the disease.

What Does This All Mean?

The usual cancer treatments are very much the solution here, with early detection being key to success.

 

 

Are There Any Breakthroughs In Curing Mesothelioma

Are There Breakthroughs In Curing Mesothelioma?

New And Alternative Treatments

Keep in mind that while the three above-mentioned treatment options are primarily used, there are also clinical trials which patients may want to pursue.

Experimental Treatments

Experimental treatments have not been proven to be effective but are an option and can be pursued in cases where the risks become low in proportion to the prognosis.

They have the potential to make a huge difference if successful.

Many new medications are being trialed so hopefully in the not too distant future from the the time of writing this, we will see a medical breakthrough. (4)

Future Vaccine

Scientists are also working on a potential vaccine which may be able to reduce the risk of mesothelioma and possibly prevent it altogether. (5)

Alternatives

Additionally, there are alternative treatments such as massage therapy or yoga.

These treatments are not designed to treat the cancer, but can help by alleviating some of the symptoms involved with cancer treatments.

A healthy and nutritious diet may maximize immune system function by providing the body with everything it needs.

Blood Pressure

There is also a link between the danger of hypertension and cancer, so maintaining a healthy blood pressure is also an important factor in fighting any illness. (6)

Discussing the treatment options and plan of care with a doctor is a good way to determine what an individual would like to pursue for their care.

What Can We Learn From This?

While there are no immediate breakthroughs, there is a lot of scientific research taking place.

 

 

Mesothelioma Medications

Mesothelioma Medications

What Are They?

A mesothelioma treatment plan is going to be individualized but will usually contain several medications that work to prevent cancer from spreading as well as shrinking any existing tumors.
These medications may be used with other therapies and are designed to attack the cancer in different ways for the best outcomes.

Each medicine falls into a different category based on how it works against cancer.

The primary categories of medication are chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, photosensitizing, and anti-angiogenesis.
Some of these drugs are in the testing phase and may not be used in all cases.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for any cancer. This medication works by seeking and destroying cells that are rapidly increasing which includes cancer cells.

Although the side effects of chemo can be difficult, it is still considered to be one of the best treatment options for mesothelioma.

Two chemotherapy medications cisplatin and pemetrexed are commonly used initially. If these medications are not found to be effective, a doctor may change the patient’s treatment regimen.

TTG (Target Therapy Drugs)

Targeted therapy drugs are drugs that target molecular alterations that can be identified in cancer cell development, growth, and expansion. Unlike chemotherapy, targeted therapy is more specific and will attack only cancer cells. These drugs are currently in trials to determine if they are effective for mesothelioma.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy agents are drugs that do not directly attack cancer cells. Instead, they are used to enhance your own immune system and help your body to attack cancer cells.

A normal immune system does not attack cancer cells because it does not recognize them as being foreign. However, with the addition of immunotherapy medications, your immune system may be able to recognize the difference between healthy and cancerous cells.

Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy is actually a two-step process that uses one medication to make cells vulnerable to light and then uses light to destroy the cancer cells. This type of therapy is currently being tested in mesothelioma patients and has been found to improve survival times.

Anti-Angiogenisis Drugs

One final therapy is anti-angiogenesis drugs. Angiogenesis is a normal function that allows your body to heal itself by creating new blood vessels. However, in cancer patients, this function also builds vessels to tumors which supply them with the nutrients needed to grow and spread.

Stopping this process may be a way to stop mesothelioma as well as other types of cancer.

There are currently multiple studies looking at anti-angiogenesis drugs and if they are effective treatment options.

What’s The Bottom Line Here?

Several modest medications exist which may be cycled to test effectiveness in a patient.

 

 

drawing our conclusion

What Is Mesothelioma Cancer?

Conclusion

Although mesothelioma cancer is a frightening diagnosis, it is a condition that is being studied and treated more successfully now than ever before.

In the past, a prognosis was instantly bleak with a short potential longevity of under 180 days, but now those numbers are becoming longer all the time.

Prompt diagnosis and early treatment is the key to achieving the best outcomes so much like any ailment, it’s essential to the success of care that prompt detection occurs.

Having a primary care doctor and being aware of any changes to an individual’s body may help to identify any early signs.

 

We hope you found this article “What is mesothelioma cancer?” to be informative. Please be advised that the information contained in this article is collated and offered not for the purposes of curing, treating or diagnosing any medical conditions. Please seek a professional medical opinion if you have any issues.

What Are The Early Symptoms Of Colon Cancer?

What Are The Early Symptoms Of Colon Cancer

What Are The Early Symptoms Of Colon Cancer?

Discover The Warning Signs

Cancer is a terrible disease that affects different parts of the body due to the effects of uncontrolled cell activity, it’s one of the largest killers of human beings on the planet with 1 in 3 people having some form of cancer in their life.

Colon cancer affect a lot of people in the USA and the rest of the world with 140,000 people a year in the USA alone, being diagnosed with this illness and at least 50,000 people dying to it.(1)

This shows just how deadly and prevalent cancer of the colon is and why caution and vigilance must be taken.

 

what is a colon

What Is A Colon?

What Is It? Where Is It?

Also known as the large intestine or lower intestine, the colon is situated below the stomach and small intestine area.

This is the part of the digestive system that absorbs water and certain mineral salts. Whatever is not removed during the digestive process, then becomes fecal waste and is transported through muscular contractions, to the rectum.

The colon is fed by the small intestine and passes waste through to the rectal area.

Some people reading this may recognize the colon as being called a bowel (or large bowel) in Brtish English. These terms are interchangeable, so colon cancer is the same thing as bowel cancer.

 

what is colon cancer

So, What Is Colon Cancer?

Pathophysiology Of Colon Cancer

Colon cancer refers to cancer that affects the large intestine and as mentioned in the above segment, may be known as bowel cancer by many people in the Commonwealth countries.

So, what happens when one suffers from colon cancer?

Most colon cancers originate from adenomatous polyps. These are small benign tumors forming the inner walls of the large intestine.

Some of the polyps become malignant if they are not removed earlier by colonoscopy. The cancerous colon cells then invade nearby healthy tissues and damage them.

This causes various complications.

The malignant cells can travel further through lymph nodes and blood to other distant body parts and cause similar damage and complications.

This process is called metastasis and can result in a severely worsened condition that may be quite hard to treat.

What Does This All Mean?

Most cancer of the colon occurs when polyps go by undetected and become malignant.

 

 

treatments for colon cancer
Early Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Catching It Early

Like most cancers, catching colon cancer early can help in the prevention of long-term illness. Understanding the symptoms increases the likelihood of seeking medical advice that could save a life.

The first stage may have no noticeable symptoms unlike skin cancers such as melanoma, so the minute one of the early symptoms of colon cancer become apparent, it’s more important than ever to seek medical attention.

As the cancer grows, an individual may suffer any of the following symptoms:

 

Stool inconsistency

A person may find very different stool consistency when going to the bathroom, which may be very unusual and troubling.

 

Blood In stool

Upon a bathroom visit and individual may find their stool has some blood in it, which may be alarming. Blood in the stool should require immediate medical attention.

 

Fatigue And Weakness

This can manifest as tiredness and a general lack of energy. A direct drop in energy levels might be quite noticeable or may be too gradual in its decline to go by noticed.

 

Bowel Movement Pains

This can range from a mild discomfort to a sharp, painful bowel movement, which should always result in a visit to a doctor

 

Constipation & Diarrhoea

Both ends of the spectrum, this can be very embarrassing to talk about with a physician, but it needs to be done if such symptoms of colon cancer emerge.

Some people feel a deep shame talking about such things, but it’s important to view doctors as professionals trained to deal with such personal matter.

A little embarrassment could save a life.

 

Iron Deficiency

This may be determined by a blood iron test, though a person would have to show iron deficiency symptoms, and seek medical advice.

Iron deficiency symptoms may include:
A general lack of energy, lack of strength, racing heartbeat, difficulty breathing, having hands that are cold to the touch, pasty colored skin, weight loss, and tongue pain.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This painful bowel ailment leaves sufferers in pain and at odds with what to eat and sometimes in fear of the bathroom.

Other symptoms will present depending on the affected areas if at all metastasis occurs.

What’s The Take Away From This?

There are many symptoms to be on the look out for, but by the time they manifest, it can mean the cancer has spread.

 

 

causes of colon cancer
What Are The Causes of Colon Cancer?

The Many Causes Of A Deadly Disease

Normal cells undergo a programmed process of growth, division, and death. Cancer cells, however, grow uncontrollably and resist death, quite the opposite of normal cells and what would be an ideal situation.

The exact causes of these cell changes in the colon are not known but can be attributed to the following.

 

1. Genes

Mutations and or damage to DNA cause uncontrolled growth of cells in the colon.
If these cells are unable to correct the mutations and damages, they resist cell death and become cancerous. Colon cancer can also be as a result of inherited altered genes from parents.

 

2. Polyps

Some polyps can be precancerous. Some of the common types of polyps include:

Hyperplastic polyps
These are generally dangerous and which are rarely cancerous

Adenomas
These can cause cancer but often removed during a colonoscopy

Inflammatory polyps
Often occur after colitis and may be cancerous long term if not treated

 

3. Age

Most colon cancer patients are aged 50 and above. This isn’t to say anyone younger than fifty years old can’t get cancer of the colon because they most certainly can.

Ten percent of people who get colon cancer are under fifty years old.

 

4. Lifestyle

Colon cancer is most likely to affect people who have sedentary lifestyles,  smoke tobacco and are overweight or obese. It is also common to those consuming high fat and calories but low fiber diets.

The health benefits associated with aerobic exercise and general activity seem to afford a lower risk of colon cancer than those who lead far less active lifestyles.

 

5. Other Pre-existing Medical Conditions

Illnesses such as ulcerative colitis, diabetes acromegaly, diabetes, and Crohn’s disease are examples of diseases that are associated with a heightened risk of colon cancer.

What Does This Mean For The Average Person?

There are some definite preventative measures that can be taken such as quitting smoking, eating more fiber and getting some exercise.

 

 

colon cancer treatment options

What Are The Colon Cancer Treatment Options?

What Is Available?

The colon cancer treatment options that are available to an individual will depend on the type and stage of cancer and health and individual characteristics of the patient.

The typical colon cancer treatments are either aimed at the precise removal of the cancer or relieving its painful symptoms and may include:

 

Chemotherapy

This damages cancer cells by using chemicals that either destroy their DNA or interfere with the process of their cell division.

Chemotherapy, however, has side effects for example hair loss, anemia, susceptibility to infection, and fatigue.

Considering that anemia may be one of the signs of colon cancer, chemotherapy may require very careful iron supplementation.

 

Colonoscopy & Endoscopic Mucosal Resection

This is fairly non-invasive (compared to a colectomy)and involves a tubular device that allows a visual look into the affected colon and then EMR tools can be used to remove polyps from the intestinal area. (3)

 

Surgical Removal

The surgical procedure to eliminate colon cancer is called a colectomy which is the removal of a portion of a colon.

The job of a colectomy in this instance is to remove part of the colon that has the cancerous growth.

The extent of the surgery will determine if the nearby lymph nodes also need removal.

 

Radiotherapy

This destroys the cancer cells by damaging their molecules. The damage is caused by high-energy rays that focused on the cells.

Radiation therapy has several side effect though, that may include nausea, hair loss, stomach problems, and loss of appetite. (2)

What Does This Mean?

If you detect the early symptoms of colon cancer you may avoid the last two, more invasive treatments

 

 

 

what are the symptoms of colon cancer

What Are The Early Symptoms Of Colon Cancer?

Conclusion

Cancer is an awful disease which can have devastating consequences for both the sufferers and their families.

Catching the early warning signs is more crucial than ever with colon cancer because these symptoms manifest a little later, meaning there’s less time to wait.

Keeping an eye on the signs and being proactive could be the key to managing treatment, but the importance of a nutritious, high fiber diet can not be understated here, as well as partaking in regular exercise to maintain a health weight.

 

We hope you found the article “What are the early symptoms of colon cancer” informative. The information provided is not for the purpose of diagnosing, curing or treating any illness and is informational only. Please seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health.