by Nick Soloway


Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
for more great articles by the author go here:

One could say that great minds think alike. It might be more accurate to say that eccentric minds sometimes get lost in similar parallel universes.

My colleague Mark Davis, the naturopath of dubious fame for being the fecal transplant expert, was our houseguest for a few days last November.

Over morning coffee, we realized that both of us had been engaged in a similar experiment, mixing dried saffron filaments with honey and adding the mixture to our morning coffee. We had both independently thought that this would be a great idea. If you stir 1 gram of saffron into half a cupof honey, each teaspoon will, in theory, provide about 30 mg of saffron. One could make a cup of saffron tea by simply adding a spoon of this saffronized honey to hot water and end up with a decent dose of saffron in it. We were both past drinking saffron tea; we were stirring our saffron-laced honey into our morning coffee.

It turned out that both of us had notice the saffron studies published over the past few years. The papers that initially grabbed our attention focused on psychological effects.
Agha-Hosseini reported back in 2008 that taking 30 mg/day of saffron improved premenstrual syndrome symptoms (PMS). Improvements were seen in the Total Premenstrual Daily Symptoms and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. It did take 3 to 4 menstrual cycles to see results, though.1

Four earlier human clinical trials had shown that saffron significantly relieved depression. Two of these studies, one by Akhondzadeh and a second by Noorbala, both published in 2005, used 30 mg of saffron a day in 6-week trials. Akhondzadeh compared saffron against placebo, while Noobala compared saffron effect against the fluoxetine [Prozac], Saffron worked better against depression than the placebo and better than the Prozac.2,3

These researchers reported similar results in 2006 and 2007 but used stigma and flower petals rather than just the stigma. In November 2006, Moshiri reported that petals (30 mg/day) were more effective than placebo.4 In March 2007, Akondzadeh reported that in an 8-week trial, petals (30 mg/ day) were as effective as fluoxetine (10 mg/day) in treating mild to moderate depression.5

A review by Kazdair et al. published in September 2015 lists a range ofactions:
Saffron has been suggested to be effective in the treatment of a wide range of disorders including coronary artery diseases, hypertension, stomach disorders, dysmenorrhea and learning and memory impairments. In addition, different studies have indicated that saffron has anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic, antigenotoxic and cytotoxic activities. Antitussive effects of stigmas and petals of C. sativus and its components, safranal and crocin have also been demonstrated.

The anticonvulsant and anti-Alzheimer properties of saffron extract were shown in human and animal studies. The efficacy of C. sativus in the treatment of mild to moderate depression was also reported in clinical trial. Administration of C. sativus and its constituents increased glutamate and dopamine levels in the brain in a dose-dependent manner. It also interacts with the opioid system to reduce withdrawal syndrome.6
Another review, published a few months earlier in July 2015, combined data from 12 earlier clinical trials “examining the effectiveness of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) on psychological and behavioral outcomes.” The conclusion: “Saffron may improve the symptoms and the effects of depression, premenstrual syndrome, sexual dysfunction and infertility, and excessive snacking behaviors.”7

The idea that saffron has value in treating depression is certainly quite old. In Greek mythology, Crocus was a mortal youth who became overly enamored with the nymph Smilax. He was left forlorn when she grew bored with him. The gods turned him into the crocus flower that we obtain saffron from. Smilax was also turned into a flower, one that we call bindweed.8

In yet another meta-analysis, this one from September 2014, Lopresti and Drummund combined data from six randomized placebo-controlled trials and concluded, “Saffron had large treatment effects and, when compared with antidepressant medications, had similar antidepressant efficacy. Saffron’s antidepressant effects potentially are due to its serotonergic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuro­endocrine and neuroprotective effects.”9


Obviously, using whole flowers would be more cost effective than stigmata. Fukui tested an even more cost-effective idea in 2011. Study participants were asked to simply smell a tincture of saffron several times a day. The saffron was dilute enough that the participants could not detect whether they had the tincture that contained saffron or the placebo. This no-cost intervention nevertheless significantly changed cortisol and other serum markers.10 Fukui’s study encouraged Dr. Davis and me to favor saffron tea over capsules, as it might act in part via an aromatherapy effect.

Saffron’s effect on cancer is of great interest. Most if not all cancer patients will experience some degree of depression, and the idea that an effective antidepressant might also provide benefits against cancer is attractive. An October 2011 study reported that a molecular constituent of saffron called crocetin “significantly enhanced the cytotoxicity induced by vincristine” against cervical, NSCLC, ovarian, and breast cancer cell lines.11Another October article described using saffron in a liposomal form to increase cytotoxic action against HeLa and MCF-7 cells.12 A May 2011 paper reported that “saffron exerts a significant chemopreventive effect against liver cancer through inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis.”13 An April 2011 paper reported that crocetin “affects the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting nucleic acid synthesis, enhancing anti-oxidative system, inducing apoptosis and hindering growth factor signaling pathways.”14 Papers from both May 2011 and 2010 suggest a potential benefit against lung cancer, the more recent telling us, “Saffron could decrease the cell viability in the malignant cells as a concentration- and time- dependent manner… [and could] be considered as a promising chemotherapeutic agent in lung cancer treatment in future.”15


An October 2010 paper had reached a similar conclusion: “The extract exerts pro-apoptotic effects in a lung cancer-derived cell line and could be considered as a potential chemotherapeutic agent in lung cancer.”16 A January 2011 paper reported that “Crocetin inhibits invasiveness of breast cancer cells through downregulation of matrix metalloproteinases.”17 Other papers have suggested possible utility in treating pancreatic cancer and lymphoma.18″20

Hosseni et al. reported in September 2015 the results of their small clinical trial in which 13 patients with cancer metastasized to the liver were divided into two groups. Both groups received standard chemotherapy treatment. Patients in one group received 50 mg of saffron in a capsule twice a day during chemotherapy, while the second group received placebo. Of the 13 patients who started, only 7 finished the study. Two of the 4 patients who took saffron showed a partial and complete response. No response was seen in the placebo group. Admittedly, the sample size is too small for this study to be convincing. On the other hand, most of us would probably volunteer to get the saffron if we were offered it and not the placebo.21


A September 2015 article published in Oncotarget by Rangarajan and fellow researchers at Kansas University describes an experiment in mice which suggests that saffron extracts strikingly inhibit pancreatic cancer cell growth in both cell cultures and in mice. “The mice who were given the crocetinic acid demonstrated a 75 percent reduction in their tumor growth, while the mice in the control group, which didn’t receive the crocetinic acid, actually saw a 250 percent increase in tumor growth.”22

Saffron continues to appear quite safe to use, even in high- risk patient populations. A September 2015 paper by Mousavi et al. reported on a double-blind, placebo-controlled study performed on patients with schizophrenia. A total of 66 male patients were divided into three groups. While receiving their normal treatment, they also received a 12-week treatment with an aqueous extract of saffron (15 mg twice daily), crocin (15 mg twice daily), or placebo. Sixty-one patients completed the trial; none of them reported a serious side effect. White blood cell counts increased significantly in patients receiving saffron aqua extract, but it was within the normal range and had no clinical significance. Other hematologic components, markers of thyroid, liver, and kidney, or inflammation markers had no statistically significant difference among the groups.23

Recent publications suggest that saffron has benefit for a range of other conditions. Human clinical trials have been published in the last year or two, suggesting a benefit in depression, Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and erectile dysfunction.24-29

Studies on depression have advanced, moving from treating patients with mild to moderate depression in 2014 to a study on treating major depressive disorders in 2015.30,31

I used to tell patients interested in taking saffron that they should make a water alcohol extraction, adding half an ounce of boiling water to a gram of saffron, lettng it steep for a few days and then adding an equal volume of vodka and dosing it by the drop. While that method remains sound, both Mark Davis and I apparently simultaneously tried the same experiment; we both mixed a gram of saffron into half a cup of honey. Dr. Davis isn’t the only colleague who shares my interest in saffron; I’ve been trading abstracts and full text articles on saffron with Dr. Davis Lamson, the other “Davis” in my world.

There is something emotionally touching to find both “Davis Senior” and “Davis Junior,” the former being more than twice the age of the younger, fascinated by the same herb. It brings a sensation of confluence; we have all independently adopted the same therapy at the same time into our practices. To my amusement, Davis Lamson’s method of calculating the dose of milligrams saffron per teaspoon of honey suspension was far more complicated and involved convoluted conversions of cups to milliliters then back to teaspoons, while Mark Davis and I took the simple route of simply dividing 1000 mg/gm by 24 tsp/ half-cup honey; we all ended up with about 42 mg saffron/ tsp honey.

In the end, this honey suspension experiment did not work as well as Dr. Davis and I had hoped. Saffron is so very light; despite how viscous honey is, the saffron floats to the top of the honey. Dr. Davis has already modified his approach and meticulously hand-grinds the saffron filaments with a mortar and pestle before mixing it in. I take a simpler approach; when the saffron floats to the top, I just stir it back in. It isn’t a big deal.

I find myself feeling quite pleased with this saffron business. Perhaps it is all the saffron I’ve consumed of late. I think it is something else. The idea that Dr. Davis, Dr. Lamson, and I have wandered along our own paths to arrive at much the same place at the same time is pleasing. It is nice to find oneself in such fine company.

Coenzyme Q10

by Nick Soloway

Coenzyme Q10 and atrial fibrillation


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition in which the smaller chamber of the heart does not beat regularly, but merely quivers with no rhythmic contraction. This leads to reduced heart function, but because the atrial beat contributes only about 20 percent of the blood to the left ventricle (the rest passes passively through the mitral valve) it is usually not a debilitating condition. However, because the chamber is not contracting, the blood is more likely to coagulate while collecting in the intricate channels of the atrial wall. For this reason, patients who are in persistent AF are usually put on anticoagulants, such as warfarin (Coumadin), or some of the newer agents used for the same purpose, to prevent a dislodged clot from causing a stroke or other tissue damage.

Patients with heart failure often develop AF, and they may be at a higher risk of more severe cardiac arrhythmias, depending on the severity of their heart failure. In a new study, 102 heart failure patients were given either a combination of the usual heart failure drugs with a placebo, or the same drugs plus a daily supplement of 30 mg of coenzyme Q10. The subjects included 72 men and 30 women aged 45 to 82 years. They were evaluated at the start of the study by electrocardiogram, Holter monitor for 24 hours, and blood levels of inflammatory substances that are markers for heart risks. They were then evaluated again after 6 months and 12 months.

At both follow-up evaluations, those subjects in the coenzyme Q10 treatment group had a significantly lower incidence of AF. At 12 months, the incidence of AF was 6.3 percent in the group treated with coenzyme Q10, compared with 22.2 percent in the control group. The heart muscle function (ejection fraction) was significantly better in the treatment group (24 percent increase) at both follow-up evaluations compared to the control group (19 percent increase). In addition, the inflammatory markers were markedly lower in the coenzyme Q10 treatment group than in the controls. For example, the decline in C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the medication-only group was 20 percent, but in the coQ10 group the decline was 40 percent. (Zhao Q, et al., Effect of coenzyme q10 on the incidence of atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure. J Investig Med. 2015 Jun;63(5):735-9.)

Practical guidelines:

Coenzyme Q10 is essential for energy production in muscle cells, and the heart requires more than any other muscle. Levels are often too low in heart patients, and treatment with statin drugs can lower it further. The dose of coenzyme Q10 in this study was very low compared to typical treatment levels (30 mg as opposed to 100 to 400 mg, or even higher in heart patients with more severe disease).

It is easy to design a study to fail, and I am surprised that this study showed such statistically significant benefits with such a small dose and with a relatively small group of subjects. In the citations found with this study, only one article gives the specific dose of coenzyme Q10, and in that one the dose averaged 100 mg per day, so I am surprised that they chose to treat with only 30 mg. My recommendation is a dose of 100 to 200 mg per day (I take 400 mg) and ubiquinol (the reduced form) is likely to be better than the more common ubiquinone (the oxidized form), although this is converted in the body to ubiquinol.

Nick’s Comment:  Another treatment is using a mixture of Lecithin and vitamin B5 which helps increase the neurotransmitter that regulates heart rate.Read the article about this treatment here

Acupressure Improves Sleep Among Menopausal Women

by Nick Soloway

Acupressure Improves Sleep Among Menopausal Women


By MASSAGE Magazine October 1, 2015


To complement the Research Reports in the October 2015 issue of MASSAGE Magazine. Summary: In a recent study, self-administered acupressure significantly improved sleep quality among menopausal women experiencing sleep difficulties.


The consistent use of acupressure, applied at home as a self-care technique, resulted in a significant improvement in sleep quality among menopausal women, according to recent research.


The study, “The effect of acupressure on sleep quality in menopausal women: a randomized control trial,” involved 120 menopausal women ranging in age from 41 to 65, with a score higher than five on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.


The women were randomly assigned to either the acupressure group, the sham acupressure group or the control group. Those in the acupressure and sham acupressure groups were trained to use circular massage covering about one centimeter in diameter on specified points with about three to four kilograms of pressure. The women in the control group had a health-based conversation once a week.


Acupressure techniques assigned


Subjects in the acupressure and sham acupressure groups were asked to perform the techniques at home for 10 minutes two hours before going to sleep. They were instructed to do so every night except Fridays for four weeks in a row.


According to the researchers, women in the acupressure group were trained to massage four acupoints: Shenmen on the wrist crease; Sanyinjiao point (SP6) on both feet; Fengchi on the hairline at the back of the neck (occipital area); and Yintang at the top of the nose on the centerline between the eyebrows. Women in the sham acupressure group were instructed to massage four sham acupoints.


( You can find the points with these instructions…..Shenmen On the front of the wrist toward the inner end of the wrist crease just inside of the small prominent bone, Sanyinjiao three fingers above the inner ankle bone behind the tibia, Fengchi in the soft spot at the back of the neck, one and a half fingers from the midline and just below the margin of the skull bone, Yintang at the midpoint between the inner ends of the eyebrows. Find the most tender spot in the area and massage the point until the sensation reduces)


The results


The main outcome measure for this study was sleep quality, as measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Results of the research showed a significant improvement in sleep quality among the women in both the acupressure group and the sham acupressure group as compared to the control group. However, the improvement in sleep quality was much greater among women in the acupressure group as compared to the sham acupressure group.


“The total improvement of [Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score] in comparison to baseline was 41 percent in the acupressure group and 17 percent in the sham acupressure group,” stated the study’s authors.The researchers concluded that acupressure is effective when it comes to improving sleep quality among menopausal women.


Nick’s comment:  Even though this study was done with menopausal women the treatment can be used by anyone and at any age.


About the Authors


Authors: Zahra Abedian, Leila Eskandari, Hamid Abdi and Saeed Ebrahimzadeh.


Sources: Evidence-Based Care Research Centre, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Sheikh Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran; Health Center, Semnan University of Medical Science, Semnan, Iran. Originally published in the July 2015 issue of the Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences, 40(4), 328-334.



by Nick Soloway

Is Acne Due To Sugar, Dairy Products, And Bad Fats?






Acne is clearly associated with diet. Strongly linked to acne is a diet high in refined carbohydrates, dairy, and the wrong type of fats. In Westernized societies, acne is a nearly universal skin disease afflicting 79% to 95% of teenagers. In men and women older than 25 years, 40% to 54% still have some degree of facial acne. In contrast, acne is extremely rare in societies consuming healthful traditional diets.


Despite the now overwhelming scientific evidence linking diet and acne, many dermatologists still cling to the myth that diet has no impact on acne. They are wrong. It is now time for these doctors to apply the knowledge of nutrition with their patients by stressing the avoidance of the offending foods, especially refined carbohydrates.


Background Data:


Over the past few years the role of diet in acne has been strengthened because of a deeper knowledge of the underlying disturbances in the skin that contribute to acne. While acne is related to the metabolism of testosterone, there is another cofactor that is extremely sensitive to diet. This hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), is the major growth hormone of puberty and is one of the key reasons why acne affects teenagers. The level of IGF-1 correlates with the severity of acne, not testosterone or increased conversion to the more powerful form dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The effects of IGF-1 on the skin which promote acne are clearly are related to dietary factors, especially too much refined sugar.


A high sugar intake is one of the strongest dietary links to acne. A high intake of sugar influences IGF-1 and testosterone metabolism in the skin in a manner that promotes excessive sebum production and acne. It clearly worsens the severity of acne based upon both experimental and clinical studies. In contrast, a diet that restricts refined carbohydrates and has a lower glycemic load reduces sebum production and favorably effects acne.


A number of other dietary factors have been identified as major contributors to acne. For example, milk and other dairy products are a significant problem for many acne sufferers. In addition to detrimental fats, dairy products contain hormones that can impact sebum production, as well as promotes an increase in IGF-1.


New Data:


To further evaluate the role of IGF-1 in acne researchers examined 60 acne cases and 40 gender- and age-matched, healthy subjects, representing the control group. Examination included skin biopsies.


Results showed that IGF-1 levels were higher in all acne lesions as compared to normal skin in all areas of the skin. Interestingly, there was also a significant association between a strong intensity of IGF-1 and high body mass index (BMI) values. Individuals with acne that had a BMI ≥ 30, a clear sign of obesity, had stronger IGF-1 intensity compared to those with a low (< 30) BMI value. In addition, dairy product intake was also strongly linked to acne severity.


The researchers concluded with “The significant association between strong IGF-1, high BMI, and severe acne underscores the value of dietary intervention in the management of AV.”




What this study really signified was that acne maybe a sign of localized insulin resistance in the skin. That is why acne severity correlated with the degree of obesity. In the early 1940s some dermatologists began referring to acne as “skin diabetes.” The reasons were very interesting. Although results from oral glucose tolerance tests in acne patients showed no differences from controls in blood glucose measurements, when researchers looked at the levels of glucose within the skin through repetitive biopsies, it revealed that the acne patients’ skin glucose tolerance was significantly disturbed.


Here is my take: anything that leads to a transient increase in skin sugar levels can worsen acne. This obviously includes ingesting a high sugar beverage or meal, but can also include the effects of stress (cortisol); deficiency of nutrients necessary for proper utilization of insulin and glucose; and other factors that adversely effect blood sugar control (e.g., abdominal obesity).


In addition to eliminating sugar and dairy, another key factor that I have found to be important in many patients with acne is to eliminate foods high in salt (most salt is “iodized”; this means that it has iodine added to it). The reason is that many acne sufferers are extremely sensitive to too much iodine – and that can lead to acne lesions.

I also recommend eliminating fried foods and foods containing trans-fatty acids (milk, milk products, margarine, shortening and other synthetically hydrogenated vegetable oils). These fats should be avoided as they increase inflammation in sebaceous glands.

In regards to nutrients required in acne, zinc is absolutely critical and has been shown to produce fantastic results in many cases in double-blind studies. Dosage is 30-45 mg per day. Use a highly absorbable form such as zinc picolinate.


High-chromium yeast is known to improve glucose tolerance and enhance insulin sensitivity and has been reported in an uncontrolled study to induce rapid improvement in patients with acne. Other forms of chromium may offer similar benefits. Dosage 400 mcg per day.


Finally, I think it is entirely appropriate to refer to acne as “skin diabetes.” It drives home important points about the underlying cause and its treatment.


by Nick Soloway

An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs




About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.1 As a result, for many years, one of the healthiest and most convenient food options suffered from a smear campaign that boosted sales of “egg alternatives.” But as happens so often, the truth  eventually comes out. In the case of eggs, the reality is they’ve gotten a bad rap.


Cholesterol: Good and Bad


The original confusion regarding egg consumption stemmed from their cholesterol content. The average large egg contains more than 200 mg of cholesterol, which accounts for about two-thirds of the recommended daily allowance. Since high cholesterol was linked to heart disease, it seemed logical to suggest limiting any foods with a high cholesterol content. Thus, eggs became a food to be avoided at all costs, resulting in about a 30 percent per-capita drop in egg consumption among Americans.2


Then scientists began to recognize the difference between “good cholesterol” and “bad cholesterol.” Healthy foods with “good fats” will raise HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or goodcholesterol levels, which is beneficial.3 Suddenly, eggs weren’t so bad after all.


Healthy and Nutritious


The reality is that eggs are an amazing source of protein, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. While once considered a health risk, the egg can actually be called a “superfood.”4 Yes, the yolk does contain the lion’s share of cholesterol, but it also contains almost 3 grams of protein and is a great source of vitamins A, D, B6, B12 and iron. Consuming only the egg white eliminates many of the nutrients and all of the antioxidants found in eggs.4-5


Eggs (yolk and white) contain vitamins A, B2, B5, B6, B12, D, E, and K, calcium, folate, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. As a whole, the egg has 77 calories, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of healthy or good fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, which lower triglycerides (a well-known risk factor for heart disease).4-5


This amazing food also contains the cell membrane-building nutrient choline, which is lacking in almost 90 percent of diets. Choline is important from a health perspective because it promotes normal cell activity, liver function and nutrient transportation in the body. Then there’s the nine essential amino acids the egg contains.5


Last, but not least, eggs can actually be beneficial for eye health, since they contain the important antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which have shown to help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.4


Convenient and Versatile


With all its amazing nutritional and health benefits, the egg is a great meal or snack. Whether boiled, poached, scrambled or fried, it can be part of any meal, and when you’re on the run, it is probably one of the most healthy items to eat on the go. With zero carbs, no sugar, no gluten and 6 grams of protein, an egg should be a dietary staple.5


Organic or Non-Organic?


As with many food items, it is my recommendation that the best source is always going to be organic. Surprisingly, the omega-3 levels in eggs can actually be affected by the hens’ diet and can be increased in either organic or conventional eggs. However, clearly a healthier diet and better care are provided to hens that lay eggs labeled organic.6


A primary concern in non-organic eggs may be contamination. However, while chicken meat has tested positive for arsenic and other contaminants, a study in 2011 tested 497 egg samples and found no residue of pesticides, contaminants or veterinary drugs including antibiotics. A poultry scientist from Auburn University, Pat Curtis, says that this shouldn’t be surprising, as chemicals are not typically given to laying hens, and when they are, there is a “mandated withdrawal period” before their eggs can be sold.6


While this may be comforting, I suggest that to avoid any risk of contamination by pesticides or other chemicals, organic will always be the best source.


Allergy Information


According to the Mayo Clinic, eggs are one of the most common food allergen for children, with symptoms manifesting as early as infancy.7 While allergic reactions may vary from one person to another, they will generally occur soon after exposure and can include the following: skin inflammation or hives; nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing; digestive symptoms such as cramps, nausea and vomiting; and asthmatic signs and symptoms such as coughing wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath.7-8


One of the easiest ways to test for food allergens is to keep a food or dietary journal. Parents can track what their child eats and when they have an allergic reaction; then remove eggs from the child’s diet to see if there is a reduction or elimination of symptoms.9


If your child patient is allergic to eggs, it helps if parents are aware of potentially hidden sources of egg in the child’s diet such as: marshmallows, mayonnaise, baked goods, breaded foods, processed meat, salad dressings, most pastas and even pretzels, as they are typically dipped in an “egg wash” before being salted. Additionally, there are manufacturing terms that can indicate the presence of eggs, including albumin, globulin, lecithin, livetin, lysozyme, vitellineand words starting with the prefix “ova” or “ovo,” such as ovalbumin or ovoglobulin.7-8


The Vaccine Link


Some vaccines actually contain egg proteins and may pose a risk of triggering an allergic reaction. While some sources say the risk is minimal and that informing the pediatrician of the egg allergy can avoid any complications, it is wise to consider these concerns and make sure parents are informed.8-10 The following vaccines are produced with eggs or egg protein:8-10

§  Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines are produced using eggs.§  Flu (influenza) vaccines sometimes contain small amounts of egg proteins.

§  Yellow fever vaccine can provoke an allergic reaction in some people who have egg allergies.

§  Other vaccines are generally not risky for people with an egg allergy, but it is always best to discuss concerns with a doctor, as they can test for allergic reactions.


An Egg a Day


Eggs are one of the most beneficial food items available for consumption. They are incredibly filling and high in protein, which is by far the most filling macronutrient. Eggs score high on the satiety index, which measures the ability of foods to induce feelings of fullness and reduce subsequent caloric intake. When all is said and done, for any meal or snack, you can’t beat an egg.


Getting Kids to Consider Eggs


Little ones can be extremely picky eaters, particularly during the first 10 years of life, but introducing the egg early may help foster a healthy protein habit. A simple way of using the egg for breakfast is creating an egg burrito, which also gives parents the opportunity to fill gluten-free tortillas with finely chopped veggies. For Paleo families, a lettuce wrap will substitute for grain products. Half a hard-boiled egg with a slice of apple or avocado can serve as a balanced snack.


For the sneak approach, scrambled eggs, finely chopped and added to spaghetti sauce, can do the trick. And a raw egg (presuming you know the source of your eggs) added to a smoothie will never be noticed.



by Nick Soloway

Migraine headaches are one of the most common causes of pain and can vary from a minimal impact on activities of daily living to even incapacitating. Numerous over the counter and prescription drugs exist for acute migraine headaches but problems abound with poor satisfaction in many cases and varied side effects in others. In addition, some migraine sufferers have very frequent chronic and recurrent attacks, necessitating the frequent use of some of these acute intervention drugs and thus again, side effects can become an issue. An effective herbal intervention for acute pain relief would be a welcome addition to the list of options.


This double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial compared the efficacy of ginger to sumatriptan, a standard conventional prescription treatment, in the treatment of common migraine. Study subjects were randomly delivered either one ginger capsule of 250 mg upon onset of headache or 50 mg of sumatriptan. Questionnaires were completed for each headache attack, recording time of headache onset, severity, timing of drug taking and response self-assessments at 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes and 24 hours. Any adverse effects were also recorded. The overall study duration was one month.


One hundred sufferers of common migraine headaches, from a Hospital in Iran were the study subjects. The average age of participants was 35.1 in the sumatriptan group and 33.9 in the ginger group. Women comprised 68% of the sumatriptan group vs. 74% of the ginger group. The average duration of a migraine diagnosis was similar in both groups at approximately 7 years. The average number of headache attacks in the sumatriptan groups were 5.8 and 4.9 in the ginger treated group. Inclusion criteria for the study included a confirmed diagnosis of migraine without aura by a neurologist, 18 years and older, high school diploma or higher and a frequency of 2 to 10 headaches/month.


Both sumatriptan and ginger powder decreased the mean severity of common migraine attacks within 2 hours of use. No significant difference existed between the two treatments. Before taking the medication, 22% of the sumatriptan group and 20% of the ginger group had severe headaches. The mean headache severity at 2 hours after sumatriptan or ginger use demonstrated similar effectiveness for both groups. There was 4.7 unit reduction in the headache severity in the sumatriptan group and a 4.6 reduction in the ginger group. Favorable relief was achieved in 70% of the sumatriptan treated headache individuals and 64% of the ginger treated patients at 2 hours following intake. Both the sumatriptan and ginger significantly provided pain relief and no significant differences were achieved.


There were more side effects from sumatriptan using including dizziness, sedation, vertigo and heartburn. The only clinical adverse effect of ginger was dyspepsia.




Ginger products have a long tradition of use for joint pain, nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, lipid lowering and a broad range of anti-inflammatory implications. For migraines, a previous study in 2005 demonstrated that ginger completely alleviated migraine headache in 48% of individuals and partially in 34% of individuals within 2 hours. Another study demonstrated that the ginger treated group had a higher pain relief rate at 65% for ginger versus 36% for the placebo.


I am quite impressed that the current study reveals both sumatriptan at 50 mg and ginger powder at 250 mg decreased the mean severity of a common migraine attack and within 2 hours of use. Pain relief and patient satisfaction did not show any significant difference, although side effects due to ginger were far less than those with sumatriptan.

In my experience, the natural medicine strategies for reducing the frequency and severity and duration of migraines are quite effective and include basic lifestyle and nutritional plans, but more robustly involve a multi-factorial approach using riboflavin, ginger, feverfew, 5-HTP, butterbur, magnesium, CoQ10, and sometimes cyclic estrogen patches in women with menstrual migraines. I have never felt very optimistic about acute intervention with these supplements or others in reducing the severity of an acute migraine. I am encouraged by this study, that acute use of ginger capsules for acute migraines may provide pain reduction, with an overall 44% palliation in all headache attacks within 2 hours.




Maghbooli M, Golipour F, Esfandabadi A, Yousefi M. Comparison between the efficacy of ginger and sumatriptan in the ablative treatment of the common migraine. Phytotherapy Res 2014;28:412-415


Nick’s comment:  I have treated many people with severe migraines and after several treatments they are significantly reduced or eliminated completely. The main culprit besides either a short leg or short pelvis is a trigger point in the lower trapezius that initiates the migraine process.  Once lifts are used to correct the short anatomy the trigger point is eliminated and then… no more headaches.  I had migraines since I was in elementary school and have used lifts and had the trigger point treated,  I haven’t had any kind of headache for 15+ years.

Toenail Fungus

by Nick Soloway

This Surprising Cure for Skin Irritations Also Cures Toenail Fungus


Here’s a remedy that everyone should have in their home. It is so versatile. I have been prescribing it for years for all kinds of skin conditions. It helps everything from insect bites to skin pigments to wrinkles.


I’m talking about ozonated olive oil. Now a new study shows that it works for one of the most obnoxious skin problems out there — onychomycosis.


Now if you don’t know what onychomycosis is, don’t feel too bad. Most people know it simply as toenail fungus. But no matter what you call it, this is one of those skin disorders that bugs people the most. It’s unsightly. It makes it hard to trim the nails. And it’s incredibly difficult to get rid of. The conventional treatment is to use antifungal drugs like ketoconazole. But often these drugs can be toxic and expensive, and frequently they don’t work. This new study shows that ozonated olive oil works much better than even ketoconazole.


The researchers studied no less than 400 patients with onychomycosis. They treated half of them with ozonated olive oil twice a day. They treated the other half with ketoconazole cream 2%. The study went on for three months. They considered a patient cured when the nails regained the normal color, growth, and thickness, and also had a negative fungus culture. Compared to the ketoconazole group, the ozone group responded better and faster.


The ozone group saw positive changes within one month while the ketoconazole group took three months to see significant changes. And 95% of the ozonated oil patients were cured while only 13.5% of the ketoconazole group could make that claim. But it gets even better. After one year, only 2.8% of the ozonated oil folks had a recurrence compared to 44.4% of the drug group. And here’s the best part.


Ozonated olive oil is safe, inexpensive, keeps forever, and is effective for all kinds of skin disorders. Every home should have it available. You can order it by calling toll-free 877-543-3398. If you have any kind of irritation of the skin from a rash to an infection to an insect bite, it can help. So before you run right down to the dermatologist, just apply some of the oil two to three times per day. In all likelihood, you will save yourself the trip.

Ozonated olive oil is made by bubbling up ozone through olive oil. Through the process, the olive oil picks up the ozone and various naturally occurring peroxides are formed. It is these peroxides that are toxic to bacteria and fungi while at the same time stimulating the body’s own natural healing responses.


REF: Menéndez, S., L. Falcón, and Y. Maqueira. “Therapeutic efficacy of topical OLEOZON® in patients suffering from onychomycosis.” Mycoses. 2011 September;54(5):e272-7.




by Nick Soloway

The Natural Way to Beat Gout


By Dr. Mark Stengler on 04/15/2012


I don’t know what’s worse: Gout, or the drugs prescribed to treat this painful condition.

Some of these meds can actually make the gout worse before it gets any better – assuming you even get better at all. And one common gout med comes with death as a possible side effect.


(That’s a heck of a price to pay for a little relief.)


One of these meds was just at the heart of an $800 million Big Pharma acquisition, so you can expect to see some pretty aggressive marketing for it in the coming months.

Don’t fall for it.


I’ve had great success curing this condition naturally, and the science backs up one of my favorite approaches: plain old vitamin C.


You should be increasing your C intake anyway, since most people are badly deficient. And along with the vitamin’s famous immune-boosting powers, it can also help protect you from gout.


One study of 46,994 men tracked for up to 20 years finds that those who got at least 1,500 mg a day had a 45 percent lower risk of gout than those who took in 250 mg or less.


Each 500 mg boost in C levels cut the risk of the condition by 17 percent, according to the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.


It works because vitamin C can keep levels of uric acid down – and excess uric acid is what causes gout in the first place.


But if C alone doesn’t keep your gout at bay, try one of my favorite fruits – the cherry.


I still see doctors dismissing cherries for gout as a folk remedy, which only tells me they’re not keeping up with the science on this – because the studies show they work.


The pigments that give cherries their red color are high in anthocyanins, anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that dissolve uric acid crystals, helping them to be excreted by the kidneys. Cherries are also high in potassium, which helps the body maintain a slightly alkaline state – and since uric acid is, as the name suggests, acidic, it has a harder time forming.


I’ve found sour cherries work best, or cherry juice. But for pure convenience, I recommend cherry extract supplements, which have proven to be just as effective and are available in any health food store.



My Gut Feeling is You Need More Stomach Acid


By Suzy Cohen, RPh on 01/05/2010


Dear Pharmacist,


In a previous column on apple cider vinegar (ACV), you stated that “heartburn and reflux can sometimes be related to insufficient levels of stomach acid, not high levels like many of you who take acid blockers assume.” Really Suzy? I’ve been on Omeprazole for years for heartburn. My doctor says you’re nuts and got angry when I questioned him.


–T.B. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida


Answer: Doctors who thoroughly understand gastrointestinal function know this basic principle of physiology. A simple blood test evaluates stomach acid levels. Most physicians don’t test your “gastrin” level, they just hand you a prescription for medication. This bothers me.


Judging from the millions of pills that are dispensed from American pharmacies on a daily basis, the business of convincing you that “stomach acid is bad”  is working. Don’t misunderstand, acid blocking drugs are effective and necessary for certain individuals, but they are way overprescribed. As a nation, we should spend more money educating the public on how to eat healthier, rather than drugging people up each day, and advertising double-bacon triple-bypass cheeseburgers. I’m just saying…


Anyway, the signs of low acid (termed hypochlorhydria) may be heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, burping, cramps, food sensitivities and a higher risk for autoimmune disorders, gallbladder disease, pancreatitis and cancer. Hypochlorhydria is a huge problem in this country and it’s getting more widespread, especially since the advent of acid blocking meds. Insufficient acid (whether it is drug-induced or not) can also cause:


·         Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

·         Osteoporosis

·         Elevated homocysteine

·         Rosacea and acne

·         Rheumatoid arthritis

·         Eczema and psoriasis

·         Yeast infections

·         Adrenal exhaustion

·         Vitiligo


Why does acid help? Many reasons, and one of them is that it keeps the tiny trap door shut between your stomach and esophagus. This sphincter is pH sensitive and in a healthy person, it stays shut because of the natural stomach acid. With acid deficiency, the stomach pH increases and this may cause the trap door to swing open, causing that familiar burn. Many people swear by the vinegar trick because it provides various acids including “acetic” acid, but gulping ACV forever is not my preference because it may be too caustic.


Digestive acids are sold at health food stores by names such as “betaine hydrochloride,” “betaine with pepsin” or “trimethylglycine.” Begin supplementation slowly and increase your dosage upward based on symptom relief. Take acid supplements at the end of each meal, not the beginning.  Ask a knowledgeable physician if acid supplements are appropriate for you, especially if you take medications of any sort.  Acid supplements aren’t right for everyone and should be approached with caution.


Betaine supplements work best when you eat healthy foods; you may also need to be gluten and casein free. Depending on your condition, you could also greatly benefit from probiotics, digestive enzymes, ginger, cayenne pepper, glutamine, bile salts and/or DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice). 


For further information on how to self test for low stomach acid and how to supplement with Hydrochloric acid  read my previous email:


Stress, Anxiety, And Insomnia

by Nick Soloway

Natural Support For Stress, Anxiety, And Insomnia


Everyday stress is a normal part of modern living. Job pressures, family arguments, financial woe, traffic and time management are just a few of the stressors we face on a daily basis. For some people, the stress can be overwhelming and may lead to anxiety and insomnia. Fortunately, there is a safe and effective natural remedy that is quickly gaining in popularity in North America.

Natural promotion of a relaxed state

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a natural calming and antiepileptic agent in the brain. In fact, it is one of the brain’s most important regulators of proper function. It appears that many people with anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy and other brain disorders do not manufacture sufficient levels of GABA, according to a 2002 article in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. Many popular drugs such as Valium, Neurontin, baclofen and Valproate act by increasing the effects of GABA within the brain. However, although these drugs have numerous side effects and are highly addictive drugs not suitable for long-term use, GABA in the right form is completely safe and remarkably effective, without side effects.

Studies with synthetic GABA have shown that it does not produce the same benefits as natural PharmaGABA—a special form of GABA naturally manufactured from Lactobacillus hilgardii—the bacteria used to ferment vegetables in the preparation of the traditional Korean dish kimchi.

Alpha-wave production in the brain

Unlike chemically produced, synthetic GABA, natural PharmaGABA is able to produce relaxation with greater mental focus and energy. Specifically, research has shown that PharmaGABA increases the production of alpha brain waves (a state often achieved by meditation and characterized by being relaxed, with greater mental focus and mental alertness). It also reduces beta waves (associated with nervousness, scattered thoughts and hyperactivity).

PharmaGABA is approved for use in Japan as an aid to conquer stress and promote relaxation. It is a very is a popular ingredient in functional foods and beverages, as well as dietary supplements designed to produce mental and physical relaxation without inducing drowsiness. The most popular applications of PharmaGABA are in chocolate and coffee beverages. It is particularly helpful in counteracting the effects of caffeine.
PharmaGABA is fast-acting, especially when it is taken in a chewable tablet. Generally, the effects are felt within the first 15 minutes and have been shown to last up to four to six hours.

PharmaGABA is clinically proven

Clinical studies with PharmaGABA have yielded some very interesting results. For example, a 2006 study in the journal Biofactors had subjects who were afraid of heights traverse a suspension bridge that spanned a 150-foot canyon. Halfway across the bridge, the researchers took a saliva sample and measured blood pressure of the participants. What the researchers were looking for in the saliva was the level of secretory IgA—an important antibody in saliva that helps fight infection. Typically, during times of stress saliva levels drop, sometimes quite precipitously. In this experiment, subjects experienced drops in secretory IgA levels if they were only given a placebo, but when they were given PharmaGABA, the secretory IgA levels in the saliva were maintained halfway across the bridge and actually increased upon completion of the crossing.

A 2007 study with PharmaGABA published in Alternative Medicine Review demonstrated an impressive ability to improve sleep quality. The ability to feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day requires us to achieve deep levels of sleep and to stay in this deep sleep for sufficient time. Unfortunately, many people do not achieve these deep levels of sleep. Conventional sleeping pills actually inhibit deep levels of sleep and disrupt normal sleep patterns, causing people to wake up feeling more tired when they went to bed. That is definitely not the case with PharmaGABA.

Dosage recommendations

PharmaGABA can be used whenever someone feels a bit “stressed out.” For best results use it in a chewable tablet form at dosage of 100 to 200 mg up to three times daily. To promote a better night’s sleep, take 200 to 300 mg at bedtime. PharmaGABA is completely safe and without any known adverse drug interaction. As a general guideline, take no more than 600 mg within a six-hour period and no more than 1,200 mg within a 24-hour period.

Additionally:  Search for and read my articles on TheanineLavenderStress Busters and Bacopa on my website.

Natural Cancer Cure

by Nick Soloway

Broccoli Sprouts Are An Intense Natural Cancer Cure

By Danica Collins on 08/21/2011

Did You Know…that broccoli sprouts are a natural cancer cure, the second leading cause of death in the United States? These humble young plants that look like alfalfa and taste peppery (like radishes) pack a powerful cancer-prevention punch.

Natural cancer cure and preventions are gaining increasing attention, since according to the National Cancer Institute, at least 35% of cancer deaths are connected to diet. And while you’ve already heard that broccoli is one of the most powerful natural cancer-fighting super foods available, numerous studies have confirmed that broccoli sprouts offer even more intense benefits than the mature plant.

That’s because broccoli is a natural cancer-fighting compounds — such assulforaphane – are most concentrated in the sprouts. For example, just one ounce of broccoli sprouts contains more sulforaphane than two pounds of broccoli.

Sprouts Contain 20 to 50 Times or More Cancer-Protective Compounds

“Three-day-old broccoli sprouts consistently contain 20 to 50 times the amount of chemo protective compounds found in mature broccoli heads, and may offer a simple, dietary means of chemically reducing cancer risk,” says Paul Talalay, M.D., J.J. Abel, Distinguished Service Professor of Pharmacology.

Talalay’s research at John Hopkins included a study with rats. One group received broccoli sprouts while the control group received nothing. Both groups were exposed to a carcinogen, dimethylbenzanthracene. The broccoli sprouts group not only developed far fewer tumors, but the tumors that did develop were smaller and grew much more slowly.

“In animals and human cells, we have demonstrated, unequivocally, that this compound (sulforaphane) can substantially reduce the incidence, rate of development, and size of tumors,” said Talalay.

Carcinogenic Detox

The John Hopkins study is just one example of a huge body of important research on similar theories. To date, more than 700 studies have examined the link between cruciferous vegetables, sulforaphane, and cancer prevention.

In another such study, 100 individuals were given broccoli sprouts and 100 others were given a placebo. The broccoli sprouts group showed asignificant decrease in a biomarker for DNA damage. This decrease strongly suggests enhanced carcinogenic detoxification. Put simply, those who ate the broccoli sprouts were cleansed of cancer-causing substances.

Preventing Stomach Cancer

In yet another series of studies, Japanese researchers discovered an exciting link between broccoli sprouts and Helicobacteri pylori (H. pylori)infection. H. pylori is known to cause gastritis and believed to be a major factor in peptic ulcer and stomach cancer.

The researchers found that a diet rich in broccoli sprouts significantly reduced Helicobacteri pylori (H. pylori) infection among a group of 20 individuals.

“Even though we were unable to eradicate H. pylori, to be able suppress it and relieve the accompanying gastritis by means as simple as eating more broccoli sprouts is good news for the many people who are infected,” said Akinori Yanaka, the study’s lead investigator.

Stopping the Spread of Cancer with 13C

Broccoli and Brussels sprouts may also help stop the spread of cancer, because consuming them prompts the body to produce a substance known as 13C (indole-3-carbinol). Researchers at the Ohio State University have found exciting evidence for 13C’s ability to fight cancer cells’ proliferation.

The research was published recently in Cancer Prevention magazine, and focused on breast cancer cells. Nearly half of breast cancer patients — especially those with advanced, life-threatening cancer — have escalated levels of a molecule called Cdc25A.

“Cdc25A is present at abnormally high levels in about half of breast cancer cases, and it is associated with a poor prognosis,” said study leader Xianghong Zou, assistant professor of pathology at the Ohio State University Medical Center.

But the good news is that 13C attacks and destroys both Cdc25A and breast cancer cells. What’s more, researchers believe 13C can also fight other cancers and possibly even reverse Alzheimer’s disease .

An Easy to Grow, Easy to Eat Natural Cancer Cure

You can easily grow broccoli sprouts at home, if you wish. Many health food markets and co-ops carry broccoli seeds, and all you need to do is soak the seeds for a few days, keeping them moist and rinsing them once a day.

By day 3, the seeds will sprout. In 3 more days, the sprouts will attain their maximum carcinogen detoxifying properties.

Broccoli sprouts are easily incorporated into your cooking repertoire. Just add the sprouts to salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, or spreads, or use them as edible garnishes.

Meanwhile, you can take heart in knowing that you’re enjoying some of the strongest possible natural cancer cure available at your local grocery store or your backyard!