Stem Cells Boost Immunity Against Candida albicans Infections

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the discovery of this new host/pathogen interaction mechanism and its consequences in the modulation of immune response may provide a new target for intervention in the fight against serious infections.

María Luisa Gil

Professor of microbiology , The University of Valencia

Coconut Oil To Kill Candida Fungus

Using stem cells to boost immunity against Candida albicans infections

26/10/2016 Asociación RUVID

Researchers from the Universitat de València (UV) and the Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have partnered to describe a biological mechanism that generates cells which are better equipped to fight off serious infections caused by the Candida albicansfungus.

The fungus, which is often found in innocuous form in the oral cavity, vagina and gastrointestinal tract, can cause superficial skin and mucus infections in healthy people. It can also cause serious internal or invasive infections in immunodepressed patients and is as such considered an opportunistic pathogenic fungus.

The research, published in Microbes and Infection, analyses the interaction betweenhematopoietic progenitor and stem cells with this fungus. María Luisa Gil, professor or microbiology at the University of Valencia, explains:

“When stem cells interact directly with the Candida albicans microorganism, this leads quickly to the conversion of these cells into mature mieloid cells -neutrophil, monocyte, macrophages and dendritic cells-, which are what fuel our natural immune system, our first defense against infections”.

The fact of stems cells interacting with the C. albicans microorganism is important because until now it was thought that only mature cells recognised and responded directly to microorganisms and derivatives. The study shows that this interaction can lead to the generation of cells that are functionally better prepared to face off an infection.

Indeed, the discovery of this new host/pathogen interaction mechanism and its consquences in the modulation of immune response may provide a new target for intevention in the fight against serious infections.

Research group and funding

The Immunology of Fungal Infections research group of the Infections) reports to both the department of Microbiology and Ecology, and the Interdisciplinary Research Structure for Biotechnology and Biomedicine (ERI-BIOTECMED) of the University of Valencia. Part of the experimental work was carried out at the University’s Central Service for Experimental Research (SCSIE), and in collaboration with researchers from Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The group has been researching immune response to the Candida albicans fungus for a number years. The incidence and seriousness of C. albicans infections has increased considerably over recent decades, due mainly to the increase in at-risk population. The work has received funding from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (ref. SAF2014-53823-P, co-funded by the ERDF).

Full bibliographic information

Javier Megías et al. TLR2, TLR4 and Dectin-1 signalling in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells determines the antifungal phenotype of the macrophages they produce. Microbes and Infection. Volume 18, Issue 5, May 2016, Pages 354–363.

Creme de Papaya Recipe

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Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

A deliciously refreshing dessert, which is easy to make and a crowd favorite.

In honor of Brazil’s win in the 2018 World Cup, we’re happy to share this recipe courtesy of HLB Specialty Foods.

Crème de Papaya
This Brazilian dessert is an all-time favorite and can be found in most Brazilian restaurants, in the US and elsewhere.


  • 1 Golden Papaya (or 1/2 large Formosa Papaya)
    • Vanilla Ice Cream
    • Crème de Cassis Liquor
    • Mint Leaf (for decoration)


  1. Blend together 1 small papaya (or a ½ large papaya) with 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream.
    2. In each serving bowl, pour 2 teaspoons of Crème de Cassis liquor.
    3. Pour the papaya and ice cream mix into the bowl.
    4. Add a mint leaf as decoration.
    5. Enjoy the light and refreshing taste of Crème de Papaya.

Serves 2 

For more info and recipe ideas, please visit Papaya Desserts.

Papayas are considered one of the healthiest fruits in the world. With the sweet and mild flavor, they also taste great and compliment any dish wonderfully.

Papayas are fat-free and loaded with nutrients, including vitamin A, B, C, antioxidants, calcium, and papain, a super enzyme that breaks down protein and helps the digestion. Just one cup of papaya has our daily vitamin C requirement and is therefore a perfect food for adults and kids.

Several studies, including those by Rutgers University and University of Florida, have confirmed that papayas are one of the most nutrient dense fruits in the world, and can help prevent cancer, heart disease, and a variety of other maladies.

How to Choose The Right Papaya

Whether looking for a small Golden papaya or a large Tainung papaya variety, avoid bruised and very soft fruits that have dark, deep pits. If the papaya has a slight give and has at least two stripes of yellow, it is ready to be consumed. If still green on the outside, leave the fruit ripening on the kitchen counter for a few days or wrap it in paper to speed up ripening. The large Tainung papaya variety is ready to eat when still mostly green on the outside. It is more important that the fruit feels soft to the touch. The small Golden papaya variety is more flavorful when golden yellow on the outside and also soft to the touch.

For more information, please visit


Insect Enriched Bread

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Edible insects contain high levels of fat, protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber, sometimes at levels similar to red meat or fish. House crickets are said to contain an average of 205 grams of protein per kilogram, compared to 256 for beef. Other insect varieties contain unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids and iron.

Great for protein and growing spore-forming bacteria

Dive Brief:

  • Adding 10% or 30% cricket powder to wheat flour resulted in bread with a higher nutritional profile, with more fatty acid composition, protein content and essential amino acids, Italian researchers found. The study demonstrated that “edible insects powder can successfully be included in leavened baked goods to enhance their protein content,” and that edible insects “can constitute a novel source of innovative ingredients to be used in bread making.”
  • Untrained panelists seemed to like the bread enriched with 10% cricket powder, researchers noted, but the presence of spore-forming bacteria in the cricket-based bread raised potential safety issues.
  • Researchers managed to overcome the problem by applying preventive treatments, such as microwaving the insect powder before adding it to the bread, according to BakeryandSnacks. Their study was published in Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies.

→  Read full article

A Consumer’s Guide to Digestive Health

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Click Image to Read the Nutrition News Fiber Report

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

 Only 3% of Americans meet dietary fiber intake recommendations.

Thus, 97% of us are not eating enough fiber.

NHANES,National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

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What 50 Grams Of Fiber Looks Like
High Fiber Foods
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Feeling Full Of It?

Maybe you really are. The good news is that the key to your optimal health requires fiber.

In the United States and most other Western countries, diet-related chronic diseases (eg., heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc.) represent the single largest cause of disease and death. They are epidemic in Westernized populations and typically afflict 50-65% of all adults.

In the US, these diseases cause seven of every 10 deaths. In addition, the annual tab amounts to 86% of all health care spending – or $258 trillion!


“All disease begins in the gut.” – Hippocrates

After almost 2,500 years of studies, research and tests, it turns out the ancient Greek physician commonly referred to as the “father of medicine” was pretty close when he made this declaration. Of course not every disease originates in the gut, but good digestion is the foundation for good health. When all functions as it should, we feel healthy, vibrant, and energetic.  When it doesn’t, we feel sluggish, uncomfortable and even ill.

According to a report by the National Institutes of Health, up to 70 million Americans have been diagnosed with some form of a digestive disorder. In fact, those numbers are on the rise. Add those with chronic problems yet to be officially diagnosed, and those with more occasional digestive problems and the list quickly grows to include just about everyone.

The good news is, there are a variety of health aids on the market designed to address and resolve many digestive issues and ensure a healthy gut. The bad news, you almost need to be a registered dietician or medical doctor in order to properly sort through the seemingly endless options.

Do I need fiber or a laxative? What is the difference between an internal cleanse and a detox? Can this be taken by men, women or both? Ugh! Before getting overwhelmed, check out this simple guide to help digest all the possibilities.

Starting with Fiber

Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods that travels through the digestive system, absorbing water along the way and easing bowel movements. A diet high in fiber promotes a healthy digestive tract and increases regularity. Fiber can also create a feeling of fullness, a useful tool in weight control.

Additionally, a diet high in fiber can decrease your risk of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. The problem is that most adults only get about half that, so fiber supplements are often recommended.

One of the most popular fiber supplements is psyllium, which comes from the ‘husk’ or outer coating of the psyllium plant’s seeds. On contact with water, psyllium thickens into a gel-like substance that acts like a broom to sweep waste from the digestive tract and colon.

“You want to avoid lower grade fiber products that grind the whole plant, including parts that are essentially fillers,” explains Craig Hays, Organic Chemist and Quality Assurance Manager at Yerba Prima (, an innovator of dietary fiber and internal cleansing products. “Check the label to make sure that the psyllium plant seeds are used.”


If constipation is an issue, a fiber supplement alone may not be sufficient. If this is the case, a mild laxative may provide relief but should only be taken for a very short duration

Cascara Sagrada and Senna, two of the most common natural laxatives, both act on the colon to stimulate muscle contractio“In normal doses and for short periods of time they are effective,” says Hays. “If higher doses are taken they can over stimulate the colon and cause problems.”Senna or Cascara, taken along with fiber to provide bulk to your stool, makes for easier passage through the system. Some laxative formulations like Yerba Prima’s Fiber Plus Senna Powder, combine the two, along with other herbs designed to soothe the digestive system.


The digestive system is designed to expel toxins from our bodies. However, with the overwhelming amount of chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, environmental toxins, as well as drugs, alcohol, processed foods and added sugars that we are exposed to daily can put undue stress on the liver and the body’s elimination capacity. Detoxification is a popular strategy for aiding this process.

One of the most effective ingredients for a safe, natural detox is bentonite, a natural volcanic clay that attracts toxins through adsorption and is taken in a solution or capsule form. The clay is not digested, but passes through the gastrointestinal tract, where it binds to toxins and carries them out of the body through the bowel.

“Bentonite attracts toxins like a magnet as it passes through the body’s digestive tract,” says Hays. “When combined with psyllium, it is even more effective because that ‘ball of toxins’ is swept out of the body by the fiber.”

Total Body Cleanse

Because exposure to environmental contaminants, including industrial pollution and heavy metals, is cumulative, many experts advise performing a total body cleanse on an annual or semi-annual basis. The goal is to remove accumulated chemicals through all the body’s channels of elimination: the bowels, kidneys, lungs, liver, and lymphatic system.

“People do a cleanse when they want to jumpstart their system and get back on a healthy track,” says Hays, whose company developed the first whole body internal cleanse.  “It is popular as part of a new year’s resolution, in preparation to a change in diet or when starting an exercise regimen.”

A cleanse can be achieved by taking many individual supplements, however, it is considerably easier (and cheaper!) to take a product that provides a complete range of desired health effect“. Just as you would not run your car until it breaks down without maintaining it, you should not do that to your body,” adds Hays.

Gender Specific Formulations

Because men and women have different physiological and nutritional needs, there are different requirements for men and women when it comes to internal cleanses.

Female consumers should look for internal cleansing systems that are designed to enhance good digestion, nutrient assimilation, waste and toxin elimination, energy stability and hormonal balance. Certain herbs and extracts have been used for thousands of years to ease menstrual- related issues – like Chaste-tree berry and Dong Quai Root extract. The combination helps women feel healthier and more energetic throughout the month.

Similarly for men, formulations that contain a common base of powerful cleansing supplements, along with gender specific ingredients, can protect and rebuild elimination systems leading to overall better health.  This includes saw palmetto for prostate health, as well as Asian ginseng and sarsaparilla root extract to support male vitality.

“Whether you are taking fiber, detoxing or doing a total body cleanse, it is all about taking care of yours digestive health so you can look and feel your best each and every day,” concludes Hays.

For more information of digestive health contact Yerba Prima;,, or call (800) 488-4339 or International +1 (541) 488-2228.


10 Nutrigenomics Breakthroughs

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‘You are what you eat’ is a phrase that might strike fear into your heart depending on what is in your mouth at the time! 


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10 Nutrigenomics Breakthroughs from ten years of research (2008-2018)

By Aidan Connolly

If our genes are the blueprint that defines who we are, it is how they express themselves in the presence of nutrition, to produce proteins. ‘Gene expression’ patterns caused by food, also called nutrigenomics, tell us if we are sick, how we will react if we get sick, and if what we are eating or doing can make us better.

That’s the basic idea. We can see this play out in the way thoroughbred horses or zoo animals are fed. They’re given the highest quality food, it’s measured to the ounce and fed to the animals at specific times. There is a great deal about nutrigenomic data that has been gleaned from animal studies.

The Alltech Nutrigenomics Center has been studying animal nutrition’s impact on gene expression. This allowed scientists to determine in hours what outcomes to expect from feeding specific foods, feeds and dietary supplements to animals without waiting months or even years for results typical in farm trials.

Over the past ten years, nutrigenomics has now been used to

a)    Understand how specific foods change gene expression

b)    Quickly screen for new nutrients with similar benefits

c)     Predict responses to nutrients or foods.

What are the top 10 Highlights in Nutrigenomic research? Read more of Aidan Connolly’s article and be amazed at how much more we know now that we did ten years earlier.

→  Read full article

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