Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, ROHP

International Best-selling & 17-Time Book Author, Board-Certified Doctor of Natural Medicine, Registered Nutritionist, Herbalist

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The Mushroom that Shows Great Promise against Cancer

January 28, 2015

When we think of cancer in our Western world, we tend to think of harsh chemicals or toxic radiation as the treatments.  But promising new research published in the journal Phytomedicine suggests that we might want to give serious consideration to the humble mushroom cordyceps that quietly rears its head deep within our forest floors. 

Photo credit: Terry Willard

Cordyceps (cordyceps militaris) is also known as caterpillar fungus and has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine as a lung and kidney tonic and for loss of stamina, fatigue, shallow breathing, wheezing, and as an aphrodisiac.

According to the Phytomedicine study on human leukemia cells, a compound found in cordyceps known as cordycepin seems to have a toxic effect on cancer cells while also causing cancer cells to commit suicide—a process known as apoptosis, without having a toxic effect on healthy cells.

The study examined the anti-cancer properties of a tea made from the mushrooms versus the mushrooms themselves and found that both had anti-cancer activity but the actual cordyceps mushrooms had stronger activity.  There are many different types of products on the market including:  powdered, tea, alcohol extract (tincture), dehydrated whole cordyceps, glycerine extract (glycerite), and capsules.

Additional earlier research in the Japanese journal Fitoterapia has also shown that cordyceps works against cancer in many different ways, including:

-Blocking the ability of tumors to grow (anti-tumor);

-Blocking the ability of cancer cells to multiply (anti-proliferative);

-Stopping cancer from spreading to different parts of the body (anti-metastatic);

-Improving the immune system’s ability to fight cancer (immunomodulatory); and

-Attacking free radicals before they can damage cells and tissues, which would otherwise make them vulnerable to cancer (antioxidant).

Research in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology showed that cordyceps was also effective against prostate cancer.  A study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found cordyceps to cause lung cancer cells to die.  Other research found that cordyceps reduced cell growth of a type of skin cancer known as melanoma.

Earlier research in the journal Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin found similar anti-cancer activity in an herbal tea made from dried cordyceps mushroom.  The researchers found that, like the Phytomedicine study, cordyceps caused cancer cells to commit suicide, suggesting a sixth method by which the mushroom works against cancer (apoptotic).

According to mycologist, herbalist, and author of The Fungal Pharmacy Robert Rogers, “(the mushroom) has a spicy, cinnamon fragrance that lends itself to soups and broths.”

If using cordyceps in capsule or supplement form, 600 mg/day is a common therapeutic dose.  Be sure to choose a supplement that is a 5:1 extract to ensure a high potency product.  Select one that is confirmed organic cordyceps sourced from a clean location. 

Discover other natural remedies that are showing tremendous promise against cancer in my new book The Probiotic Promise.

Check out my new books 60 Seconds to Slim, The Probiotic Promise, and Weekend Wonder Detox. Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more.  Follow me on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.  Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.  Take the FREE WEEKEND WONDER DETOX QUIZ to determine which detox is best for you.

Is Your Starbucks Habit Making You Fat?

January 5, 2015

Some Starbucks beverages contain more sugar than cola.When we think of fattening foods most of us think of fast foods, decadent desserts, fried foods, or TV dinners.  We’re far less likely to consider our Starbucks habit as the reason for our spare tire, muffin top, or those extra pounds we’re carrying around.  Yet, many Starbucks’ beverages contain more fattening sugar than a comparable soda, which everyone knows are loaded with sugar.  A can of Coke contains 39 grams of sugar, which is an extremely high amount of sugar even for a full day’s meals. 

So just how much sugar are you getting in your favorite Starbucks beverage?  I hit the nutrition information on the company’s site to find out.  Here is the sugar content in some of your favorite drinks.  All of the grams of sugar listed are for a typical “grande”-sized drink, which is the Starbucks lingo for a “medium.”  Here’s the amount of sugar in some of your favorite Starbucks drinks:

-An Eggnog Latte contains 48 grams of sugar.  That’s 12 teaspoons of sugar!

-Worse, a Caramel Brulee Latte contains an appalling 52 grams of sugar.  By comparison, a comparable size (16-ounce) Coke contains about the same amount of sugar at 53 grams.

-A Cinnamon Dolce Latte contains 40 grams of sugar

-A Café Mocha contains 35 grams of sugar, which only seems small in comparison to a Caramel Brulee Latte, but is actually a huge amount of sugar for a beverage.

-A Gingerbread Latte contains 39 grams of sugar.

-Chai Tea Latte contains 42 grams of sugar in a single beverage.  That is more than 10 teaspoons of sugar!

-The newer Teavana Oprah Chai Tea Latte contains less sugar than the Classic Chai Tea Latte but is still an excessive 31 grams of sugar. Come on Oprah, you can do better than that!

-Strawberry Smoothie contains an insane 41 grams of sugar in a single beverage!  Many people might choose this option thinking it is healthier than other Starbucks selections yet it is loaded with sugar.  It contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar.

-A Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino Blended Coffee is the worst Starbucks beverage I found.  It contains 65 grams of sugar or more than 16 teaspoons of sugar!

-Chocolate Smoothie contains 34 grams of sugar.  By comparison to many of the other beverages this one seems low in sugar, but 34 grams is almost as much as a can of Coke.

-Iced Green Tea Latte contains 49 grams of sugar.

-Bottled Coffee Frappuccino Coffee Drink contains 46 grams of sugar.  The bottled beverages are only 13.7 ounces so this beverage actually contains more sugar than a Coke.

Obviously, cutting out your high-sugar Starbucks beverage in favor of a low-sugar option like a regular coffee or tea sweetened with a few drops or a small amount of stevia (a natural herb) powder is a simple way to cut your sugar intake and lose weight.  For more healthy ways to lose weight check out my book 60 Seconds to Slim.


Check out my new books Weekend Wonder Detox, 60 Seconds to Slim, and The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more.  Follow my blog on my sites HealthySurvivalist.com and DrMichelleCook.com, and Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.  Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.  Take the FREE WEEKEND WONDER DETOX QUIZ to determine which detox is best for you.

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