In this issue: Dear Subscribers,

Happy New Year!

Thank you to all of my subscribers for supporting the launch of the new AskLorna Talk Show. 2007 is poised to be a busy year. My latest lecture schedule is now posted at www.healthyimmunity.com

I was speaking to a woman at the Victoria Health Show this past weekend and she told me she was so pleased with the help she received from the website and the Ask Lorna Talk Show that she has made it her mission to tell all her friends and fellow workers. I was so thankful. Just think of how many people could be helped if every person who subscribes the newsletter had 10 friends join as well. Please help spread the message of health by encouraging your friends to join. Remember that all the Ask Lorna Talk Shows are archived on the site so you can listen to them whenever you wish. My hormone lecture is also archived on the Radio Show Archive page.



Goji Facts

I have had hundreds of emails from readers asking my personal opinion of goji. There is a tremendous amount of research into lycium barbarum also known as goji. Over 79 studies have been published. Click here to read the research. Critics of goji say the research is mainly Chinese and only one human study has been performed but if most herbs, nutrients or plant extracts had this much research Chinese, or animal or test tube I think we would be proud. Yes North American research would be good. Some trials are underway here in the U.S. but in the meantime let's look at the current research and why goji has a lot to offer. After doing research for this article I will definitely be including goji in my nutritional program. For those who have experienced bizarre storms this winter, especially the North West we should make sure our survival kit includes goji along with water and flashlights. The following research facts will show you why:

Goji (pronounced GoGee) is renowned in Asia as one of the most nutrient-rich natural foods. Also called lycium barbarum, goji has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for as long as Chinese history has been recorded. Goji's legendary health and longevity benefits have been handed down from generation to generation for considerably longer.

Goji's ancient story goes as follows: During the Tang Dynasty (around 800 AD), a well had been dug beside a wall near a famous Buddhist temple that was covered with goji vines. Over the years, countless berries had fallen into the well. Those who prayed there had the ruddy complexion of good health, and even at the age of eighty they had no white hair and had lost no teeth, simply because they drank the water from the well.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine goji is believed to enhance the immune system, improve eyesight particularly age-related macular degeneration, boost the production and activity of sperm, and enrich yin. Goji berries are eaten raw, or as a juice or wine.

Goji is a powerful antioxidant. One human trial found that goji increased zeaxanthin, a potent antioxidant. In fact, in December 2006, a new study on goji was just published also identifying its anti aging properties. The study concluded that goji could be used to compensate the decline in the body's antioxidant capacity and immune function that are accelerated by age-induced free radical activity. The Research

The reason I believe your survival kit should contain goji is because goji provides a significant percentages of your daily nutritional requirements including carbohydrates, protein, fat and fiber

Goji contains:
  • 11 essential and 22 trace minerals including calcium, selenium, zinc, iron, potassium
  • amino acids
  • Vitamins including Vitamin C, B2,
  • 8 polysaccharides and 6 monosaccharides
  • fatty acids including linoleic acid and alpha linolenic acid. It is the only berry source of omega 3s
  • Phytosterols including betasitosterol. You know from my earlier books how important sterols are to the immune system and cholesterol lowering
  • The carotenoids: beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and xanthophyll (77% of the carotenoids found in goji are zeaxanthin)
  • Over one third of the constituents of goji are polysaccharides which have a potent effect on the functioning of the immune system
Goji Research

Goji is being used in cancer trials. The world renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York has dedicated an entire page on their website to goji. In particular, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center noted that data from one study involving 75 cancer patients suggest that Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides may be beneficial when used with certain cancer treatments.

Goji helps with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). AMD is one of the most common eye diseases of elderly and the leading cause of blindness in North America. Recently macular degeneration has been found in people as young as 25. Lutein and zeaxanthin are recommended in the prevention and reduction of AMD. A human trial was designed to determine the concentration of zeaxanthin in the blood after the consumption of a single dose of native zeaxanthin palmitate from Goji. Independent of the diet participants ate, zeaxanthin concentrations increased significantly and peaked after 9-24 hours with the addition of goji. The Research

Goji improves the immune system. Most likely the immune system effects of goji are due to the special polysaccharides, sterols and key antioxidants found in this special food. The Research

Goji is very rich in Vitamin C The Research

Goji keeps sperm in good shape The Research

Goji induces immune responses in serious disease The Research

Goji helps the body adapt to stress from exercise and improves fatigue The Research

Goji's polysacharides help to regulate immune responses The Research

Goji's has been shown to inhibit LDL peroxidation. (LDL is the "Bad"cholesterol) Goji does not lower cholesterol but may well inhibit the production of LDL. Some believe it is goji's omega 3 content that is helping to improve LDL levels. The Research

Goji Fights Lipid Peroxidation In Two Ways
The accumulation of lipid peroxides in the blood can lead to cardiovascular disease, heart attack, atherosclerosis, and stroke. Our blood contains the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) to fight against lipid peroxidation, but levels of SOD decrease as we age. In a Ningxia Medical University study, goji berry consumption was accompanied by a remarkable 40 percent increase in SOD levels, and a decrease in lipid peroxides of an impressive 65 percent. An investigation by Huang Y et al. (1999) in China found that lipid peroxidation was also significantly inhibited by goji's flavonoids.

As I stated above, based on the available research, I will be including goji in my nutritional program. There are many ways to consume the goji berry. One of the best and most enjoyable ways to get your daily dose of polysaccharides is using a standardized juice made from fresh goji berries.



The Pill Causes Long-term Sex Drive Problems

The pill is prescribed for many "non-contraceptive" reasons from acne to fibroids with no consideration as to safety from breast cancer and blood clots. Women taking "low dose" birth control pill are getting more estrogen than what is recommended for menopausal women. "Low dose means lower than before" which is still a problem as the research shows. Now research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine shows the pill has a very negative effect on testosterone levels that persists long after a woman has stopped taking the pill. With over 40 percent of North American women reporting no sex drive or sexual problems this effect should be discussed with every woman considering the pill.

Researchers measured sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) before and after stopping the pill. Sex hormone binding globulin is a protein that binds testosterone making it unavailable to receptors so women do not benefit from testosterone's effects. Testosterone's positive effects include maintaining a healthy sex drive, lubrication, the ability to achieve orgasm, increased endurance and muscle tone and overall vitality. Researchers found that women who had taken the pill had low unbound testosterone and more symptoms of low libido, vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse than women who had never taken the pill and these levels remained low long after discontinuing the contraceptive.

The research involved 124 premenopausal women with sexual health complaints for more than 6 months. Three groups of women which included 62 oral contraceptive continued-users who had been on oral contraceptives for more than 6 months and continued taking them; another group of 39 women who stopped oral contraceptives who had been on oral contraceptives for more than 6 months; and the last group of 23 women who had never used oral contraceptives. The researchers concluded that SHBG values in the oral contraceptive group who continued to use the pill were 4 times higher than those in the group who had never used the pill. Despite a decrease in SHBG values after discontinuation of oral contraceptive pill use, SHBG levels in those who discontinued the pill remained elevated when compared to those who had never taken the pill. The SHBG remained much higher even 4 months after discontinuing the pill.

The Pill and Damaged Genes
The researches believe that possibly prolonged exposure to the synthetic estrogens causes alterations in the gene expression of SHBG in the liver in some women who have used the pill. Long-term studies need to be performed to see if these increased SHBG levels after using the pill are permanent. I would go one step further and suggest that any women who has used synthetic estrogens for longer than six months be tested to see if she has elevated SHBG.

Doctor Recommends All Women Be Warned
Endocrinologist, Dr. Claudia Panzer, lead author of the study, noted that "it is important for physicians prescribing oral contraceptives to point out to their patient's potential sexual side effects, such as decreased desire, arousal, decreased lubrication and increased sexual pain. Also if women present with these complaints, it is crucial to recognize the link between sexual dysfunction and the oral contraceptive use.

Women Know the Pill Affects Sex Drive
Many women for decades have reported a reduction in sex drive when taking the pill. All too often those complaints were largely ignored. The birth control pill suppresses both ovulation and also the male hormones produced by the ovaries in the middle of the menstrual cycle. SHBG binds the testosterone, therefore, the pill decreases testosterone's availability in two ways: one by reducing overall testosterone production by the ovaries and two by increasing SHBG.

More than a 100 million women worldwide use oral contraceptives. The pill was introduced over 40 years ago in the 1960s but until recently no one looked at the long term health effects of elevated SHBG. In other words we are still learning about the pill's negative effects. Eighty percent of all North American women born since 1945 have used the pill at some point. It is interesting how even after 40 years of drug use we are still uncovering potentially dangerous side effects of the pill. If you are taking the pill for contraception make sure you take 2 ESTROSMART at breakfast to protect you from the negative effects of the synthetic hormones and the metabolites (16-alpha hydroxyestrone) produced by the pill which promote cervical cancer. Look at alternatives to this type of contraception like the fertility monitors that are now available like The First Response Fertility Monitor that will advise you when you are ovulating so you can use condoms or abstain from sex during that time frame. At some point I hope doctors will stop and ask if the increasingly large number of women with breast cancer, infertility and low libido has anything to do with the mass hormone treatments we are giving women from a very young age.



Antidepressants Linked to More Fractures

A new study published in Archives of Internal Medicine performed at McGill University found that older adults who take antidepressants including Prozac and Paxil have double the risk of fractures and more falls. Participants in the study had been taking one of the serotonin reuptake inhibitors also known as SSRIs for five years had double the risk of wrist, ankle, hip and other fractures than those not taking these drugs. Bone mineral density was also decreased by 2.4 percent. I have written earlier newsletters on the increased breast cancer risk for those taking antidepressants. Those people who have attended my lectures have also heard me speak about the increased number of antidepressant prescriptions given to menopausal women to treat symptoms of the change. With these additional concerns about bone loss and increased fractures we should be looking at safer ways to treat mild to moderate depression. 5-HTP and/or St. John's wort are worth investigating