Do you have seeds of doubt about which cumin is the real black cumin? You’re not alone. Two botanicals, Bunium bulbocastanum and Nigella sativa, are commonly referred to as black cumin.
Both are purported to have therapeutic properties, and both are spices. So what’s the difference?
Let’s cut through the confusion.
The Prophet Mohammed is quoted as saying, “This black cumin is healing for all diseases except death.”
The black cumin he was referring to is Nigella sativa. It’s been used for centuries to treat everything from abscesses to herpes zoster.
Nigella sativa is a flowering plant that’s also called:
It’s native to parts of:
the Middle East
The plant grows nearly three feet and has wispy foliage, small pale flowers, and fruit pods filled with seeds.
These seeds, about the size of caraway seeds, contain a number of active ingredients, including a powerful compound called thymoquinone (TQ).
TQ is said to:
enhance the immune system
protect against cancer
Considerable research is being conducted to determine potential applications for N. sativa in the treatment of a range of conditions, including:
N. sativa has gained interest as a possible anti-cancer agent. There are ongoing studies to look at the role of N. sativa in controlling the beginning, growth and spreading of tumors.
Recent studies show that there appears to be a cancer-cell-killing potential in N. Sativa that holds hope for future prevention and treatment protocols.
A large body of research supports the use of N. sativa for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. One study concluded that N. sativa relieves most common nasal allergy symptoms, including:
swelling of the nasal passages
In new studies, N. sativa is showing promise as a treatment for bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
Animal research indicates that N. sativa warrants further investigation for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Animal studies are showing promise for use of N. sativa for prevention of cognitive decline.
B. bulbocastanum is also called:
It’s native to:
The plant is about two feet tall and topped with white flowers similar to Queen Anne’s lace.
All parts of B. bulbocastanum have uses. The edible roots taste like coconut or chestnuts, while the leaves can be used as herbs. The seeds of B. bulbocastanum are most prized.
Although there hasn’t been extensive research on the therapeutic uses of B. bulbocastanum, several studies indicate that the herb may be effective in several treatment areas.
Discussion begins around 40 minute mark. Sen. Ron Johnson moderates a panel discussion, COVID-19: A Second Opinion. A group of world renowned doctors and medical experts provide a different perspective on the global pandemic response, the current state of knowledge of early and hospital treatment, vaccine efficacy and safety, what went right, what went wrong, what should be done now, and what needs to be addressed long term.
Learn how vitamin K2 MK7 differs from vitamin K1 and discover its functions and benefits, signs of deficiency, and how you can incorporate it into your daily diet.
Most people have a working knowledge of the “alphabet” vitamins. They know that the B’s give them energy. They’ll reach for vitamin D to develop strong, healthy bones and teeth. And they stock up on vitamin C, the immune booster, during cold and flu season. But ask about vitamin K and suddenly… crickets.
For all but the most nutrition-minded consumers, vitamin K and its varieties, K1 and K2, are a puzzle. Yet this power-packed nutrient is full of benefits that encourage your overall health: building strong bones, assisting in blood clotting, promoting a healthy heart, and more.
Let’s take a closer look at vitamin K2 (and its sub-type vitamin K2 MK7), its many positive effects, and how you can incorporate it into your daily diet.
What Is Vitamin K2?
Vitamin K was first reported in a German scientific journal in 1929. It was deemed to be a coagulator or “Koagulationsvitamin”—hence the “K” in vitamin K.
Vitamin K comes in two different forms: vitamin k1 and vitamin K2. Both of these are fat-soluble vitamins, meaning that their absorption into the bloodstream is enhanced when they are consumed along with healthy, dietary fats.
The Differences Between Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2
Although they both belong to the vitamin K family, these two nutrients differ in several ways, including their benefits.
One way to distinguish vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 is through their origins. Vitamin K1 is much easier to obtain from dietary sources:
Vitamin K1 is a phylloquinone, meaning it’s found mostly in green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin K2 is a menaquinone, which means it occurs in some animal products (especially organ meats) and fermented foods. It is also produced, in a smaller amount, by gut bacteria.
The two forms of vitamin K also play different biological roles in your body.
Vitamin K1 has an important role in helping with blood coagulation. . It supports blood clotting and prevents excessive bleeding, bruising, or, in extreme cases, hemorrhaging.
Vitamin K2 has a much wider range of benefits, including regulating/managing calcium, boosting your heart health, lowering blood sugar levels, and more. It also assists in blood clotting but to a lesser degree than vitamin K1.
What is Vitamin K2 MK7?
Vitamin K1 only comes in its one form. But vitamin K2 is further broken down, depending on the length of its compound chains, into MK4 through MK13.
Vitamin K2-MK7 (also known as vitamin K2-7, the MK7 comes from menaquinone 7) is widely regarded as being the most efficient and effective form of vitamin K2. A recent study revealed that of all the K2 vitamins, vitamin K2-MK7 is the version with the highest bioavailability (it is more easily absorbed and stays active for a longer time).
Vitamin K2 Benefits
Directs Calcium to the Right Places
Calcium is one of the most important nutrients. When your body uses it correctly, the result is strong, healthy bones and teeth. Unfortunately, your body needs significant help in ensuring it’s using calcium correctly.
Calcium should go to your bones. But if left undirected, it can end up in your soft tissue, instead. This causes vascular calcification (a hardening of the tissues) that can lead to bone spurs, liver and kidney stones, stiff blood vessels, cardiovascular disease, and major cardiac events.
That’s where vitamin K2 comes in. It acts as an air traffic controller, directing calcium exactly where it needs to go. In your body, it prevents calcium deposits from forming in your blood vessels, kidneys, liver, or other soft tissue. It even works to remove calcium from your arteries. In turn, it directs calcium to the places of your body where it can do the most good.
Prevents Heart Disease
When vitamin K2 directs calcium properly, hard deposits are prevented from forming inside soft tissues such as artery walls. This, in turn, keeps your blood vessels more flexible, ensuring a smoother, easier blood flow and boosting circulation.
By preventing arterial disease and blood vessel calcification, vitamin K2 takes stress off the heart. Simply put, without having to try to push blood through clogged arteries (medical term: arteriosclerosis), your heart doesn’t have to pump as hard. This makes your heart’s job easier and keeps your heart healthy!
Researchers have found strong correlations between vitamin K2 intake and cardiovascular health.
In one study on dietary intake of menaquinone, participants with high vitamin K2 intake had a 57% lower risk of dying from heart disease.
Another study showed that for every 10 micrograms of K2 consumed per day, the risk of heart disease was lowered by 10%.
Promotes Bone Health
In its role of calcium traffic controller, vitamin K2 regulates your body’s ability to properly deposit calcium where it’s needed.
There are two proteins in your body that help bind calcium to your bones through the processes of bone mineralization and calcium homeostasis: matrix GLA protein (MGP) and osteocalcin. Our favorite osteo-powerhouse, vitamin K2, activates these proteins, helping build bone strength, increasing bone mineral density, decreasing bone fracture rates, and fighting off bone disease (such as osteoporosis).
Japanese researchers have found vitamin K2 to be especially beneficial for postmenopausal women, who are more likely to suffer from decreased bone density. Clinical trial participants with increased K2 intake significantly decreased their risk of fractures. As a result, vitamin K2 is regularly prescribed in Japan to prevent and treat osteoporosis.
Regulates Vitamin D
Just because you eat foods with a high calcium content doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll benefit from it… without vitamin D.
One of the main functions of vitamin D (the “sunshine vitamin”) is to enhance your body’s ability to absorb calcium. It ensures that your body is drawing the maximum amount of calcium from the foods you eat.
But, vitamin D doesn’t direct where that calcium is deposited. This can create a toxic situation in your body, with high levels of calcium going to the wrong places (soft tissues instead of your bones).
Vitamin K2 plays an essential role as cofactor for creating optimal balance: vitamin D to raise the calcium levels and vitamin K2 to direct it.
Many people who don’t live in an area that gets a lot of sunlight take Vitamin D3 supplements that can act as a passable substitute.
Lowers Blood Glucose
K2 has also been proven to normalize blood glucose levels. This is due to the protein osteocalcin, activated by K2, which acts like a hormone and reduces both insulin sensitivity and blood glucose.
A high blood glucose level is also associated with an elevated risk of diabetes and mood disorders. Studies show that when K2 lowers blood sugars, it also works to reduce the possibility of type 2 diabetes and minimize depression and anxiety.
Assists in Blood Clotting
Your body uses the entire vitamin K family to produce a protein called prothrombin, which is crucial to blood clotting. This reduces both excessive bleeding and severe bruising, and promotes wound healing. It also prevents potentially dangerous—even fatal—hemorrhages.
Some blood thinning medications (anticoagulants such as Warfarin) are known to antagonize vitamin K. Patients who take these medicines are monitored to make sure their vitamin K levels remain consistently high.
Boosts Cardiac Output
Vitamin K2-MK7 also fuels mitochondria—the “batteries” that supply energy to all of the cells in your body, including muscles. One muscle in particular has a lot of mitochondria: your heart.
In a study of athletes who took vitamin K2 for eight weeks, their cardiac output (the amount of fresh oxygenated blood pumped by the heart) increased by 12%.
Strengthening the heart muscle is a huge workout benefit not just to elite athletes, but for everyone. We all need healthy hearts!
May Improve Dental Health
At this time, there haven’t been enough studies to establish a definitive correlation on the effects of K2 on dental health. But scientists have made some reasonable conclusions.
By prompting the activation of osteocalcin, and therefore dentin, K2 likely promotes healthy teeth, too.
May Help Fight Cancer
Researchers are constantly investigating new ways to prevent, treat, and cure cancer. Recently, several promising studies have shown a possible link between K2 and the successful recovery from two specific types of cancer: liver and prostate cancer.
Liver Cancer: Two separate clinical studies found that a high vitamin K2 intake seemed to reduce the recurrence of liver cancer and increased the participants’ survival times.
Prostate Cancer: Another study found that participants who increased their K2 levels had a 63% lower risk of advanced prostate cancer.
It’s important to note that these are preliminary studies. Much deeper studies and evaluations need to be conducted before K2 can be considered a treatment option for cancer.
Sources of Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 can be taken naturally or as a dietary supplement, with a recommended daily intake of 320 mcg. Although that’s a fairly low amount, there’s no danger of having an excess of vitamin K2, because your body will quickly break down and excrete any amounts that it doesn’t need.
Egg yolks: between 67 and 192 micrograms per yolk (depending on the hen’s diet)
Generally speaking, the foods on this list derived from animal products will contain MK4, while the fermented foods will contain MK5–MK14.
The list of foods that contain enough K2 isn’t very long, and some of these foods are an acquired taste not common to the standard Western diet. The most commonly eaten food, cheese, is high in fat and not recommended in high enough amounts to function as your only source of vitamin K2. And, if you need or prefer a diet without animal products, soybeans would be your only option.
Because of these limitations, vitamin K2 is often recommended through supplementation.
Additionally, when there’s a deficiency (discussed below), supplements are an easy and effective way to boost vitamin K2 levels back to where they need to be to promote your overall health. However, there are a few disclaimers about taking supplements:
If you decide to take a supplement, only buy from reputable companies that put all of the necessary nutritional information on their labels.
Concentration levels can vary, so choose your supplements carefully and be sure that you are getting the right dosage (320 mcg is optimal).
Look for Pharmaceutical Grade products; these are guaranteed to be at minimum 99% pure.
Another big issue to be aware of with vitamin K2 supplements is their stability. Supplements can deteriorate quickly on the shelf. Look for products formulated with MenaquinGoldTM, which ensures maximum stability.
Many dietary supplements, including vitamin k2, have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. They may help to lower risk factors of certain conditions, but they shouldn’t be used as a substitute for professional medical treatment or prescribed medication.
The Gut Microbiome
Your gut microbiome is home to a thriving community of bacteria, both good (probiotics) and bad (pathogens). Both bacterial types can form thriving communities in your gut, with a precarious struggle between the two. In an ideal world, your “beneficial” bacteria would outnumber the bad bacteria in quantity and quality, leading to a healthy, balanced gut.
A strong gut plays a key role in boosting your overall health and wellbeing. One of the ways it does so is by producing vitamin K2.
Beneficial bacteria is responsible for the production of K2 in the colon. This can play a significant role in the presence of vitamin K2 in your body, especially during short lapses in dietary consumption (through supplements or food). However, it’s not generally produced in high enough quantities to be your body’s only source of vitamin K2.
Signs of a Vitamin K2 Deficiency
According to estimates, 97% of adults are deficient in Vitamin K2. Here are some general symptoms to be aware of:
Delayed blood clotting
Prolonged prothrombin time (the time it takes for a blood sample to form clots, as measured by a physician)
Excessive bleeding or bruising
Osteopenia (the precursor to osteoporosis)
Unfortunately, many of these symptoms aren’t obvious until they are in a more advanced stage, which is why it’s crucial to make sure you are getting enough vitamin K2 daily.
Infants and Vitamin K2 Deficiency
Infants are particularly susceptible to a vitamin k deficiency, because this essential nutrient can’t cross the placenta and only negligible amounts are found in breast milk. This can create a serious and sometimes fatal situation.
In newborns and infants, even minor bleeding will be dangerous because the lack of K2 causes problems with blood clotting. To safeguard them from a severe situation, they’re typically given a vitamin K shot before they leave the hospital. This shot protects them until they are roughly 6 months of age, at which point they’ll have enough vitamin K in their system.
Newborns who do not receive a vitamin K shot at birth are 81x more likely to experience severe bleeding than those who do.
Special Note: Vitamin K2 and Antibiotics
Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat bacterial infections. Unfortunately, they don’t just eliminate bad bacteria. They also kill off the flourishing colonies of beneficial bacteria that our bodies need to maintain optimal health.
Since this beneficial bacteria is responsible for creating a portion of the vitamin K2 found in our bodies, antibiotics can create a deficiency. If you’re taking antibiotics, you should pay special attention to your vitamin K2 levels.
If your vitamin alphabet has been ending at vitamin E, it’s time to expand your nutrients! Bone health, heart health, and more are all benefits of vitamin K2, the “superhero” version of vitamin K.
Vitamin K2 is a powerhouse nutrient that offers a wide range of health-enhancing benefits. If dietary changes alone aren’t enough for you to reach the optimum intake, consider supplements to reach the recommended daily dosage and boost your overall healthcare.
Dr. Bhakdi explains how and why the gene-based COVID-“vaccines” trigger the breakdown of immunological defenses against infectious agents that lie dormant (“sleeping”) in our bodies. These include many viruses such as Herpes zoster (shingles), Epstein-Barr-Virus (infectious mononucleosis), Cytomegaloviruses, bacteria – particularly tuberculosis – and parasites.
Moreover, our sentinel lymphocytes are vitally important in protecting us against tumors because they swiftly exterminate cancer cells that continually arise in our bodies. “Vaccine”- mediated destruction of these sentinel lymphocytes is going to have disastrous global consequences. Patients with dreaded “old” infections such as tuberculosis and with malignant tumors will flood the hospitals around the world.
Everyone from the young to the elderly should learn how to deal with their nerves. Although laughter is the best medicine at times, it is best to learn how to approach the different scenarios in the vagaries of life. We have come up with some simple tips to help you cope better. Hope this helps!
Get enough sleep
Make sure that you get plenty of rest the night before an interview. When you are well rested it is easier to keep your nerves in check. Take a look at these Black Friday mattress coupons and invest in your sleep.
Avoid speaking quickly
When you have nerves, you’d probably speak a lot faster than usual. If you’re in a situation where you are nervous such as waiting to be interviewed, you should practice breathing in slowly through your nose for 3 seconds and then breathe out slowly over 3 seconds. Make sure and repeat this at least three times and it will take you about 18 seconds to complete. Once you’ve done this, you would have naturally reduced your heart rate and your speech should be more controlled.
Prevent yourself from shaking
If you have hands that shake due to nerves, simply squeeze your muscles in your thighs or butt. Once you clench these muscles, your hands will stop shaking. This will help you to feel and look a lot more confident than you actually are. Also, your clothes will prevent others from seeing what you’re doing.
Reduce voice shaking
In order to get rid of voice shaking, stick your tongue out from your mouth as far out as you can and say the Humpty Dumpty rhyme. This will help to open your throat and make you sound a lot more authoritative and confident. Be sure to do this before you go on an interview and not in front of anyone.
Stand up while waiting
Before your interview, you’ll likely be given a seat so you can wait until you’re called. However, avoid sitting and stand instead. You definitely don’t want your first impression to be that of a person who is trying and struggling to get out of their chair. When you remain standing this will make you appear to be more confident and you’ll also be on eye level when you meet your interviewers.
Figure out a good sitting position
Don’t trust the back of any chair that you sit on. It is very easy to lean back too much which can cause your throat to tighten. Instead, it is better to lean forward slightly and this will make you look and feel a lot better and more dynamic.
Keep your hands in sight
There are studies that show that when you keep your hands visible such as on the table as opposed to hiding them, you’ll be more likely to get the job. This is because it indicates honesty.
Make others feel good
In an interview, most people try to make themselves look good. However, if you’re like most people, you likely get quite bored when other people attempt to talk about themselves for most of the time without being interested in you. So, make sure that you ask the interviewer questions about themselves and be eager about their replies. You should always try to seem focused and passionate when it comes to the job but avoid bragging about yourself too much.
When you’re very nervous, you’ll likely find it difficult to truly listen and accurately answer questions. This is due to the fight or flight mode you’d find yourself in. Therefore, try to reduce this and actually listen. It will also make them feel valued and special.
Lastly, always try to use your normal voice as opposed to a public and formal voice when speaking. For example, avoid talking too loudly. You should try to talk as though you’re among friends.
The world is currently in the grips of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has mutated to allow human-to-human spread. Infection can cause fever, dry cough, fatigue, severe pneumonia, respiratory distress syndrome and in some instances death. COVID-19 affects the immune system by producing a systemic inflammatory response, or cytokine release syndrome. Patients with COVID-19 have shown a high level of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. There are currently no effective anti-SARS-CoV-2 viral drugs or vaccines. COVID-19 disproportionately affects the elderly, both directly, and through a number of significant age-related comorbidities. Undoubtedly, nutrition is a key determinant of maintaining good health. Key dietary components such as vitamins C, D, E, zinc, selenium and the omega 3 fatty acids have well-established immunomodulatory effects, with benefits in infectious disease. Some of these nutrients have also been shown to have a potential role in the management of COVID-19. In this paper, evidence surrounding the role of these dietary components in immunity as well as their specific effect in COVID-19 patients are discussed. In addition, how supplementation of these nutrients may be used as therapeutic modalities potentially to decrease the morbidity and mortality rates of patients with COVID-19 is discussed.
Background: An ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread around the world. It is debatable whether asymptomatic COVID-19 virus carriers are contagious. We report here a case of the asymptomatic patient and present clinical characteristics of 455 contacts, which aims to study the infectivity of asymptomatic carriers.
Material and methods: 455 contacts who were exposed to the asymptomatic COVID-19 virus carrier became the subjects of our research. They were divided into three groups: 35 patients, 196 family members and 224 hospital staffs. We extracted their epidemiological information, clinical records, auxiliary examination results and therapeutic schedules.
Results: The median contact time for patients was four days and that for family members was five days. Cardiovascular disease accounted for 25% among original diseases of patients. Apart from hospital staffs, both patients and family members were isolated medically. During the quarantine, seven patients plus one family member appeared new respiratory symptoms, where fever was the most common one. The blood counts in most contacts were within a normal range. All CT images showed no sign of COVID-19 infection. No severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections was detected in 455 contacts by nucleic acid test.
Conclusion: In summary, all the 455 contacts were excluded from SARS-CoV-2 infection and we conclude that the infectivity of some asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers might be weak.
A new monoclonal antibody treatment has been found to protect chronically ill adults from developing COVID-19. The Phase 3 trial results suggest the novel antibody cocktail, delivered by intramuscular injection, could offer up to 12 months protection.
Antibodies are like our immune system’s front-line soldiers. They constantly circulate around the body, on the hunt for whatever specific pathogen they have been trained to target.
In early 2020 researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center homed in on a handful of particularly potent antibodies, isolated from some of the earliest detected COVID-19 patients. The antibodies were subsequently licensed by pharma company AstraZeneca and turned into monoclonal antibody treatments designed to prevent symptomatic COVID-19 infections.
The new treatment has been dubbed AZD7442 and the latest clinical trial results announced by AstraZeneca indicate it could play an important role in helping protect the most vulnerable from severe COVID-19.
The company’s recent announcement details results from a trial called Provent, which commenced in late 2020. The trial enrolled over 5,000 subjects, focusing on those most at risk of severe COVID-19 either due to chronic pre-existing illness or at risk of a weak response to vaccination due to being immunocompromised.
The newly announced results come from a primary analysis of the recently completed trial and are yet to be peer-reviewed or published in a journal. Over the course of a six-month follow-up period the trial saw no cases of severe COVID-19 or death in those patients receiving AZD7442. This compares to the placebo group that saw three severe COVID-19 cases, two of which led to death.
Overall, AstraZeneca indicates there were 25 symptomatic COVID-19 cases detected in the total trial cohort. AZD7442 was found to reduce a chronically ill person’s risk of symptomatic COVID-19 by 77 percent.
Provent is not the only clinical trial testing AZD7442, but it is the first to deliver promisingly positive data. Another trial, dubbed Storm Chaser, recently failed to meet its primary endpoint.
Storm Chaser was testing the same antibody cocktail as a post-exposure tool in those who had potentially been recently exposed to SARS-CoV-2 but had yet to test positive to the virus. After enrolling over 1,000 subjects in the Storm Chaser trial, AstraZeneca announced in June it had found no statistically significant difference in COVID-19 cases between placebo and AZD7442 groups.
Penny Ward, a researcher from King’s College London who did not work on these AstraZeneca trials, hypothesizes the different results between the two trials could be due to the fact AZD7442 is administered by intramuscular (IM) injection, which may be slower to take effect than if the treatment were delivered by intravenous infusion.
“What the Storm Chaser trial tells us is that IM injection does not provide an immediate level of antibody sufficient to cut off viral replication and prevent disease among individuals exposed to the virus who are already infected,” says Ward. “It would be interesting to see if earlier administration using an IV infusion would be more successful than IM injection in this setting.”
The simplicity of delivering this treatment by intramuscular injection is one of the factors that sets it apart from other recent monoclonal antibody treatments under investigation for COVID-19. Another novel feature of this monoclonal antibody treatment is its potential long-term efficacy.
AstraZeneca worked to optimize the half-life of these monoclonal antibodies and initial studies indicate a single treatment may produce effective protection for up to 12 months. This preliminary data analysis for the Provent trial covers six months of follow-up, with another nine months of observation to follow.
James Crowe Jr., from the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, says this new treatment may be a game-changer for vulnerable subjects who don’t respond well to vaccines. Crowe Jr. was part of the Vanderbilt team working on the isolation of these potent antibodies in early 2020.
“It’s deeply gratifying to see the antibodies we isolated under challenging circumstances, in the middle of the international lockdown last spring, protecting the most vulnerable amongst us,” says Crowe Jr. “This single-shot prevention is likely to be a game changer for at-risk patients.”
Although the Provent trial took place prior to the emergence of the Delta variant, preliminary preclinical research indicates these monoclonal antibodies should still be effective at neutralizing current SARS-CoV-2 variants. AstraZeneca says it is preparing submissions to regulatory bodies for emergency use authorization of AZD7442.
Ward points out that until the full trial data is peer-reviewed and published the optimal method of administration for this novel monoclonal antibody in clinical practice is unclear. However, she does stress these findings are good news for those vulnerable patients worried their vaccination has not been completely effective.
“This could be very important as an option for patients at high risk from COVID infection who have responded poorly to vaccination or who must take immune-suppressing treatment for other disease (cancer, post-transplant, autoimmune disease etc),” says Ward. “Indeed it could potentially be game changing for these individuals, who are currently being advised to continue to shield despite being fully vaccinated.”