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Letters: Mangosteen Juice - Hip or Hype? And "Dave" checks back in...


We like to say, only half in jest, that someone needs to get up pretty early in the morning to find something that Dr. Myatt and her research team doesn't know about.

Here is a letter about a popular new MLM (Multi-Level-Marketing) product...

Hello Dr. Myatt,

Hope all is well with you.  I was wondering if you could tell me what you think of Mangosteen juice.  There seems to be a fair amount of research behind it but I don't know if it is hype.

Thanks again for all the good work you do!


To which Dr. Myatt replies:

Hi "Sharon":

Mangosteen is a fruit, and like many other fruits, contains antioxidants. There is some preliminary evidence that Mangosteen may have anti-cancer effects, but these are very preliminary studies. There are many other herbs, such as bromelain, turmeric and green tea, that are known to have anti-cancer effects and have been studied for decades instead of months.

For right now, I'd say Mangosteen is far more hype than substance.

In Health,
Dr. Myatt

And a quick comment from Nurse Mark: For those who want a great-tasting drink packed with flavonoids and antioxidants, try Greens First and Red Alert - two great-tasting drinks that each provide more than 10 servings-worth of fruits and vegetables in each serving of a delicious drink!

And our friend "Dave", with the bum knees, checked back in with us - here is an email exchange that I had with "Dave" recently... he had written briefly to say that he had stopped the narcotic painkillers, and that though withdrawals were not easy, he was feeling better already.

Nurse Mark wrote:

Hi "Dave,"

Just a quick follow-up to see how you are doing without the narcotic painkillers - you are right, withdrawal can be ugly, but I'm betting you are tougher than the drugs are...

I'm guessing that your doc has not offered you much in the way of alternatives, and so you are probably feeling pretty sore... there is a class of drug, "Cox-2 Inhibitors" that were popular for a little while because they were fairly effective and not narcotic - you probably heard of them: Vioxx was one of the big names, Celebrex was another... Unfortunately they had some bad side effects, like killing people - but they did relieve pain.

We have an alternative, that works in the same neighborhood, but differently - it is called Cox-2 Support. It works by supporting normal function the Cox-2 (pain and inflammation) pathways instead of by simply blocking the Cox-2 enzyme. Here is some information from our website:

Cox-2 Support
Botanical support for normal inflammatory response

Cyclo-oxygenase 1 and 2 (COX-1 and COX-2) are enzymes which convert essential fatty acids (especially Omega-6) to prostaglandins. Although the body requires prostaglandins, these intracellular messengers are found at excessively high levels at sites of inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory drugs such as celecoxib (Celebrex), rofecoxib (Vioxx) and valdecoxib (Bextra) work by blocking the COX-2 enzyme but not the COX-1 enzyme. Originally felt to be safer than older NSAIDS such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, the COX-2 inhibiting drugs are now known to cause increased risk of kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, sudden cardiac death, high blood pressure, fluid retention and severe stomach pain.

Fortunately, safe alternatives exist for normalizing inflammatory processes. Turmeric, the bright yellow spice herb, has been shown to be a natural COX-2 inhibitor, and drug companies are rushing to develop synthetic alternatives. Bromelain , the digestive enzyme from pineapple, is one of the most well-studied anti-inflammatory herbs of all time. Ginger inhibits COX-1 enzymes and prevents blood clotting more effectively than aspirin. Boswellia, also known "Indian frankincense," has been used traditionally for centuries as an anti-inflammatory agent. White willow bark is the source of natural salicin (aspirin). Phellodendron is a natural COX-2 inhibitor, found to be helpful in the management and potential treatment of inflammatory diseases. Phellodendron has been used for centuries in Chinese Medicine.

COX-2 Support combines these potent natural anti-inflammatory herbs in therapeutic doses to offer a safe, natural and effective alternative to dangerous COX-2 drugs.

This might be helpful for you! Let me know how it is going - you know you have friends in your corner!

Nurse Mark

And Dave wrote back to say:

Withdrawals are subsiding nicely thanks. My GP gave me ULTRAM. Said its non drug pain relief and it seems to have helped. Thursday I had my right knee scoped for 2 torn cartilages The swelling is intense let me tell you. I am trying to avoid the meds all together. The surgeon prescribed percocet 5/325. Not so bad as the dilaudid but still, I'd rather try drug free for a couple years and see how that feels for a change. Been a whole lot of years since I havent been on one pain med or another.

I have been taking that bromelain and feel okay with that. So I will continue with the homeopathic stuff for a while. Thanks to you two, I have found that I have been killing myself in order to get healthy. How ironic. My breathing has improved quite a bit already. Surprised me I must say. So I figure if I get healthy I can stay around a bit longer and enjoy the things life has to offer. By getting healthy, I can even look forward to finding those things life has to offer. Who knows I might even get active in something again. WOW what a concept. See what you two have started? A vicious circle. Feel better =do more=feel better. Sounds so simple but if you have not done this in a decade or so, you forget what it can be like. Thanks to you two, I may actually learn that again. I thank you for that.

Stay well, have a safe 4th and enjoy life to the fullest.

Best wishes to you both,

And here is a brief reply to "Dave"...

Hi "Dave",

Glad to hear things are getting better. I am very familiar with the pain and swelling of a scoped knee - I spent several years Nursing on an orthopedic floor - we did lots of knees... The best relief for the pain and swelling will be ice,  bromelain, ice, Cox-2 Support, ice, elastic bandage wraps, ice, and early mobilization - you gotta get it moving! Oh, and did I mention ice for the swelling?

By the way, your GP was not entirely honest with you when he/she told you that Ultram is a "non-drug" pain relief. It is very much a drug - it is a synthetic which is considered to be an atypical opioid. Because of the fact that it is not a DEA "controlled substance" like morphine or codeine, so that may be why your doc figures it's "not really a drug". It does have another interesting effect though, in that it is also a rapidly-acting SSRI - like anti-depressant head-meds such as Paxil, Zoloft, and others. This is probably another drug that would be good to be off as quickly as possible.

I'm guessing that if this drug is making you feel better, then some L5HTP supplementation would be safer and do an even better job of helping you out. L5HTP beats out SSRI drugs every time!

I can tell that you know only too well that the percocet offered to you by your surgeon is yet another narcotic: use it if you must - post operative pain is no fun, and knees can be really sore - but try to get off it as quickly as possible for it is devilishly addictive stuff...

Keep up the good work, and keep on the path to better health - we want a whole lot more good years of friendship from you !


Nurse Mark



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