More threads by David Baxter PhD

Daniel E.

...To avoid contaminants, Stamets recommends that consumers ensure that the mushrooms they’re getting aren’t coming from China. "The air pollution in China is notorious," Stamets says. "The pollutants are constantly raining down on the ecosystem, contaminating the food chains and aquifers. Mushrooms—since they are composed of about 90 percent water—uptake many of these toxins."

"Fresh mushrooms (fruitbodies) should be cooked to liberate their nutrients. Raw, uncooked mushrooms pass largely undigested."

...There are a few tricks to getting the rich, umami flavor that mushrooms are known for.

"Mushrooms contain a lot of water," says Bergo. "So if you just put oil in a pan and add mushrooms, they can be heavy and kind of soggy, but if you put a little water in the pan, put a lid on it, and cook the mushrooms until they’ve relaxed, the water will be released."

Then you cook the water off, he says, and add your fat—oil or butter, typically—and cook them until they’re nice and crispy and brown.

"Mushrooms taste better when you brown them," Bergo says. "Browning them gives caramel notes like a good charred steak—although you don’t want to char mushrooms, golden brown is perfectly fine."

He also adds that mushrooms are really good in soup, and you don’t need to brown them at all. "Lion’s Mane in particular are great in soup, they’re kind of like little dumplings."
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Daniel E.


Vitamin D content of various foods

FoodVitamin D content in International Units (IUs) per serving
Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon1360
Swordfish, cooked, 3 ounces566
Salmon (sockeye) cooked, 3 ounces447
Tuna, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces154
Orange juice fortified with vitamin D, 1 cup137
Milk, vitamin-fortified, 1 cup115-124
Yogurt, fortified with 20% of the daily value of vitamin D, 6 ounces80
Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 2 sardines46
Liver, beef, cooked, 3 ounces42
Egg yolk, 1 large41
Cereal, fortified with 10% of the daily value of vitamin D, 1 cup40
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce6

Source: Vitamin D. Health Professionals. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. August 7, 2019.

What causes vitamin D deficiency?​

Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by specific medical conditions, such as:

  • Cystic fibrosis, Crohn's disease, and celiac disease: These diseases do not allow the intestines to absorb enough vitamin D through supplements.
  • Weight loss surgeries. Weight loss surgeries that reduce the size of the stomach and/or bypasses part of the small intestines make it very difficult to consume sufficient quantities of certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These individuals need to be carefully monitored by their doctors and need to continue to take vitamin D and other supplements throughout their lives.
  • Obesity: A body mass index greater than 30 is associated with lower vitamin D levels. Fat cells keep vitamin D isolated so that it is not released. Vitamin D deficiency is more likely in obese people. Obesity often makes it necessary to take larger doses of vitamin D supplements in order to reach and maintain normal D levels.
  • Kidney and liver diseases: These diseases reduce the amount of an enzyme needed to change vitamin D to a form that is used in the body. Lack of this enzyme leads to an inadequate level of active vitamin D in the body.

What other factors can lead to vitamin D deficiency?​

  • Age: The skin's ability to make vitamin D lessens with age.
  • Mobility: People who are homebound or are rarely outside (for example, people in nursing homes and other facilities) are not able to use sun exposure as a source of vitamin D.
  • Skin color: Dark-colored skin is less able to make vitamin D than fair-colored skin.
  • Human breast milk: A woman's breast milk only contains a small amount of vitamin D. Often infant formulas also only include a small amount of D also. Therefore infants are at risk of not receiving enough vitamin D. This is especially true for infants who are only fed breast milk.

Can medications cause a vitamin D deficiency?​

Yes. Vitamin D levels can be lowered by certain medications. These include:

Always tell your doctor about the drugs you take and any vitamin D supplements or other supplements or herbs/alternative health products that you take.

Daniel E.
A very cheap, traditional supplement -- a combination of five or more different spice powders -- that may have health benefits is a spice called Chinese Five-Spice. It cost me $3 for this spice at the grocery store (but ideally, I would get a mix not sourced from potentially highly-polluted areas like China).

If you put the same powder in capsules and called it "Ancient Cognitive-Immunity-Cardiac-Blood Pressure- Metabolic-Adrenal-Lung-Kidney-Liver-Joint-Digestive Support," you could probably sell 60 capsules for $50 on Amazon :D And since it has cloves in it, it can also be sold as an anti-parasite supplement for dogs and chickens :)

The seven spices in the $3 spice bottle I bought:

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Daniel E.
Even cheaper (as in free), this invasive herb literally grows like a weed in the Southwern U.S. (including all over my yard), New Zealand, Australia, etc. My flock of guineafowl love to eat it as a snack.

"The chemicals in white horehound can thin mucus secretions, reduce spasms in the stomach and intestines, and decrease swelling (inflammation)."
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Daniel E.

To get their audience’s attention, morning shows and talk shows need something exciting and new; accuracy may be less of a priority. Many science journalists are doing their best to accurately cover new research and discoveries, but plenty of science media are better classified as entertaining rather than educational.

Daniel E.

Nutrient-dense foods

Nutrient-dense foods have a lot of micronutrients relative to the number of calories they contain. Some examples of foods that pack a nutritional punch are:
  • Avocados
  • Chard, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach
  • Bell peppers
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Mushrooms (crimini and shiitake)
  • Baked potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cantaloupe, papaya, raspberries, strawberries [blueberries, blackberries]
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Seeds (flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower)
  • Dried beans (garbanzo, kidney, navy, pinto)
  • Lentils, peas
  • Almonds, cashews, peanuts
  • Barley, oats, quinoa, brown rice
  • Salmon, halibut, cod, scallops, shrimp, tuna
  • Lean beef, lamb, venison
  • Chicken, turkey
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Daniel E.

CoQ10 supplementation may significantly reduce serum triglycerides levels, and help to improve lipid profiles in patients with metabolic disorders.

Daniel E.

Certain drugs may lead to a B-12 deficiency, including:
  • Metformin (Glumetza, Riomet, others), a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes
  • Stomach acid-reducing proton pump inhibitors (Prevacid 24 HR, Prilosec OTC, others)
  • Stomach acid-reducing histamine (H-2) blockers (Tagamet HB, Pepcid AC, others)

Daniel E.

No herbal products have been shown to be effective for treating cancer. In fact, some herbal products may be harmful when taken during chemotherapy or radiation therapy because they may interfere with how these treatments work. Cancer patients should talk with their doctor about any complementary and alternative medicine products—including vitamins and herbal supplements—they may be using. For more information, see Complementary and Alternative Medicine.


Around 4 in 10 cancers could be prevented by things such as not smoking, keeping a healthy weight and cutting back on alcohol.


Exercise is important when it comes to cancer: It may lower cancer risk by helping control weight, reduce sex hormones or insulin, and strengthen the immune system; and it can boost quality of life during cancer treatment.
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Daniel E.
The recurring theme for almost every nutrient:

Beta glucan is a type of soluble fiber found naturally in a variety of food sources, including oats, barley, sorghum, and rye.

It has been associated with numerous health benefits and may help lower cholesterol levels, improve blood sugar management, and boost immune health.

It’s also widely available in supplement form and used as a natural treatment for many different conditions.

Still, the best way to increase your intake is by enjoying a variety of nutritious, fiber-rich foods as part of a healthy diet.
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Daniel E.

Oregano, originally grown in mountainous regions of Greece, happens to be one of the herbs with the highest antioxidant activity amongst the 27 culinary and 12 medicinal herbs tested by researcher Dr. Wei Zheng for a study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. When total phenolic content and antioxidant activity was compared to common vegetables and fruits, oregano was shown to have “42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges, and 4 times more than blueberries.”


  • Flavor:
    • Fresh leaves are peppery and assertive. Cooked leaves become mellow, earthy, and piney.
  • Pairs Well With:
    • Commonly paired with other Greek + Italian flavors, including dishes like pizza, tomato sauces, with rice, citrus, vinaigrettes, poultry and seafood.
  • Health benefits:
    • Some evidence shows that it may fight bacteria, relieve inflammation, regulate blood sugar and lipids, and fight cancer.
  • Cooking Tip:
    • To sub fresh oregano for dried, use 1 tablespoon fresh oregano for every 1 teaspoon of dried called for
Universal Greek marinade:
  • Mix together:
    • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 cloves of crushed garlic
    • 2 tbsps chopped fresh oregano
    • 2 tbsps chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 tablespoon each of rosemary, thyme, and basil leaves.
  • Marinate times:
    • Whole chickens and pork chops: 24-48 hours
    • Skewer-sized chunks of chicken and pork: 6-12 hours
    • Fish filets and steaks: 3-5 hours

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Daniel E.

"The low toxicity, diverse mechanisms of action, and high efficiency of melatonin support its use in cancer prevention and treatment."

Daniel E.

"Melatonin could become an attractive and low-cost alternative for slowing the processes of aging and its associated diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders."

Daniel E.

"We describe melatonin and its metabolites as potential “aging neutralizers”. Melatonin, an evolutionarily ancient derivative of serotonin with hormonal properties, is the main neuroendocrine secretory product of the pineal gland. It regulates circadian rhythmicity and also exerts anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and anti-tumor capacities."

Daniel E.

Despite there being a wide range of supplements that reportedly show promise for pain management, the scientific evidence for single-nutrient supplements in mitigating pain is insufficient [26]. However, additional systematic research focusing on whole-food dietary approaches may be of greater clinical relevance...

The possible exception to this is omega-3 supplementation, which often is delivered in a capsule for ease or palatability, but fish oil could alternatively be obtained through whole food...

There is an overall positive effect of whole-food diets on pain outcomes, with no single diet standing out in effectiveness. This suggests that commonalities among the approaches (e.g., diet quality, nutrient density, weight loss) may all be involved in modulating pain physiology. Further research linking how diet can modulate physiology related to pain (such as inflammation, oxidative stress, and nervous system excitability) is required to elucidate which pain populations may benefit and the most effective dietary intervention.
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Daniel E.

In this study, taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily increased the risk of cataract. But the risk was even higher in older women, those using hormone replacement therapy, and those taking corticosteroids (used to treat many conditions including allergy, asthma, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease). It's thought that the combination of these factors may increase inflammation in the body and free radical production.
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