Pomegranate extract update – has similar mechanism to NSAIDs

Update, 8/18/2018, for anyone interested in phytonutrient biochemistry or herbal medicinal foods: Wintergreen and wintergreen berries are also a natural source of a painkiller in the NSAID group – aspirin. The plant can also be a source of phytonutrients that activate TRPA1 channels which can affect fluid balance and other symptoms. Winterberries are in the cranberry family and have a minty flavor. They are in season currently and eating more of them seems to increase my symptoms of inflammation and swelling more than the pomegranate extract or pomegranate seeds. Having too many variables in an experiment makes it unclear which factor might be a cause or if both may be involved. Experimental method tries to narrow variables to one factor at a time. Stopping both pomegranate products and wintergreen berries helped but other symptoms got worse, adding pomegranate back to my diet didn’t make the inflammation/swelling symptoms much different but more recently adding the wintergreen berries back into my diet did make the symptoms of lower leg inflammation/swelling and pain worse.

An excerpt from one of my other websites, G3.6.1.5: People with overactive TRPA1 channels may be sensitive to:

  • “(Winter-green),” (G3.67); Wintergreen is a natural flavoring herb in the mint family. It is typically used as an essential oil as a flavoring in many foods and other types of products. It has medicinal benefits related to it containing the chemical that acts as the pain killing ingredient of aspirin.(G3.73) (effectivecare.info, G3)

My ongoing self study of pomegranate extract for my mental and physical health symptoms has led me to use a fairly small dose, daily though is still best. Missing even a few days seems to increase mood and anxiety problems but using a very large serving has some side effects. Lower leg and foot swelling is associated with some physical health problems but it can also be a side effect of NSAIDs pain killers such as ibuprofen. (7) Pomegranate extract has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation by the same mechanism as NSAIDS – inhibition of cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX1 and COX2,  with more inhibition of COX2 than COX1). It also may have an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing inflammatory cytokines that signal increase in production of Nitric Oxide (NO) and Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). (1) Prostaglandin E2 is made from arachidonic acid and is involved in the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. (2) Nitric oxide can be beneficial but it can also transform into reactive oxidative species and add to the antioxidant burden of metabolism. (5) (9) Other studies including an animal study on obesity found pomegranate extract reduced inflammatory biomarkers and increased nitric oxide, which might make it helpful for Metabolic Syndrome. (6)

Pomegranate extract was found helpful in a dose related level against mammary tumerogenesis in an animal study, (0.2-5 gram/Kg body weight was used). Reducing COX2, heat shock protein 90 (HSP90), nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathways, and increasing Nrf2 pathways were found to be part of the mechanism for benefit. (4) That amount could be quite a lot. Equivalent amounts for a 75 kilogram/165 pound human would be 15-375 grams per day or roughly one tablespoon (15 grams approximately)-13.4 ounces/27 tablespoons per day. (Mammary tumerogenesis means the initial onset of breast cancer tumors.)

It helps to prop my feet when sitting or even lay down with my feet above my heart. I’m getting better at typing while laying down. Better mood and having feeling in my fingertips is worth it. There may some other health or diet issues affecting the leg swelling. Heart or kidney or vein problems can be a cause. (7) I do have vein problems and may have heart issues, which can be an increased risk with hyperthyroidism. Cutting back on salt, daily exercise, and elevating the lower legs above the level of the heart several times per day for a half an hour is recommended, wearing compression socks is also a recommendation and that makes me feel old. (7) Maybe 52 is old.

Lymphedema – lower leg swelling due to reduced drainage from vein problems may be the best fit for my personal history, and lack of stretching exercises lately may be part of the reason the problem has become worse lately. Physical therapists explain the problem and provide exercise, massage and compression wrapping suggestions in a free video available online. (8) The exercise routine is similar to what I generally do when I do stretching exercises – so that seems like a good habit to return to my daily schedule.

Lower leg swelling has been a symptom for me at various stages of previous ill health and with some other medications I’ve used in the past, but currently it does seem worse when I use larger amounts of the pomegranate extract. One teaspoon a day helps with the stable mood and I haven’t had numbness in my fingertips in months with the ongoing daily use of pomegranate extract in larger amounts, 2-3 tablespoons was typical. I stopped use of it altogether when the leg swelling became a problem to see if the swelling would get better but the mood symptoms got worse again after having seemed fine for quite a while – quite a while while using pomegranate extract daily and the leg swelling didn’t get a lot better. Being not well is unpleasant and some side effects can be better than being unwell.

Breast cancer treatments currently may cause hair loss, severe vomiting and may leave the patient with cognitive decline afterwards, and pomegranate extract doesn’t cause any of those symptoms in the amounts that I’ve tried. It is a diuretic and causes increased urination which I cope with by drinking extra fluids and using the pomegranate extract early in the day rather than at night. I may be preventing breast cancer tumor development (4) while drinking extra fluid and urinating in increased amounts – getting old isn’t great but the alternative isn’t better. I may go buy my first pair of compression socks and feel young at heart if not in body.

Industry math – one pomegranate peel makes about six cups of extract by my method which would provide 288 teaspoons/96 tablespoons. It may have improved somewhat but the worsening in mood was more obvious.  From an industry perspective getting 288 servings of a mood and nerve treatment from one pomegranate peel seems like it could be profitable. Dehydrating one teaspoon into a capsule serving also seems possible. Side effects with psychiatric medications are unfortunately common and can include swelling/edema of the lower legs or more severe edema including facial edema.

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./  

  1. Shukla, Meenakshi & Gupta, Kalpana & Rasheed, Zafar & A Khan, Khursheed & Haqqi, Tariq. (2008). Bioavailable constituents/metabolites of pomegranate (Punica granatum L) preferentially inhibit COX-II activity ex vivo and IL-1beta-induced PGE2 production in human chondrocytes in vitro. Journal of inflammation (London, England). 5. 9. 10.1186/1476-9255-5-9.
  2. Jean Y. Park, Michael H. Pillinger, Steven B. Abramson, Prostaglandin E2 synthesis and secretion: The role of PGE2 synthases, Clinical Immunology, Vol 119, Iss 3, 2006, pp 229-240, ISSN 1521-6616, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2006.01.016.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1521661606000453 (2)
  3. Arachidonic Acid – an overview, ScienceDirect, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/arachidonic-acid (3)
  4. Mandal A, Bhatia D, Bishayee A. Anti-Inflammatory Mechanism Involved in Pomegranate-Mediated Prevention of Breast Cancer: the Role of NF-κB and Nrf2 Signaling PathwaysNutrients. 2017;9(5):436. doi:10.3390/nu9050436. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452166/ (4) From Abstract: “Mammary tumor samples were harvested from our previous chemopreventive study in which PE (0.2–5.0 g/kg) was found to reduce mammary tumorigenesis in a dose-dependent manner. The expressions of COX-2, HSP90, NF-κB, inhibitory κBα (IκBα) and Nrf2 were detected by immunohistochemical techniques. PE decreased the expression of COX-2 and HSP90, prevented the degradation of IκBα, hindered the translocation of NF-κB from cytosol to nucleus and increased the expression and nuclear translocation of Nrf2 during DMBA-induced mammary tumorigenesis.” From Introduction:”During the last decade, pomegranate fruit has been gaining a widespread reputation as a dietary supplement as well as a functional food due to emerging scientific evidence on potential health benefits, including prevention and/or treatment of cardiovascular ailments, neurological disorders, oncologic diseases, dental problems, inflammation, ulcer, arthritis, microbial infection, obesity, diabetes, acquired immune deficiency syndrome and erectile dysfunction [,,,,,]. Pomegranate fruit contains phytochemicals, including flavonoids (e.g., anthocyanins and catechins), flavonols (e.g., kaempferol and quercetin), flavones (e.g., apigenin and luteolin), conjugated fatty acids, hydrolyzable tannins and related compounds which are thought to be responsible for various biological and pharmacological activities [,,,,,]. Based on preclinical and clinical studies conducted by various laboratories worldwide, pomegranate-derived substances, such as juice, extracts and phytoconstituents exhibited cancer preventive and therapeutic effects against colon, liver, lung, prostate and skin cancer [,,,,]. Various extracts, fractions and phytochemicals from pomegranate fruit, peel, seed and flower demonstrated cytotoxic, antiproliferative, proapoptotic, antiangiogenic, anti-invasive, and antimetastatic properties against estrogen receptor-positive and ‑negative breast cancer cells [,,,,,,,,,,,,,]” (4)
  5. Matsubara K, Higaki T, Matsubara Y, Nawa A. Nitric Oxide and Reactive Oxygen Species in the Pathogenesis of Preeclampsia. Miller FJ, ed. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2015;16(3):4600-4614. doi:10.3390/ijms16034600. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394437/ (5)
  6. Filomena de Nigris, Maria Luisa Balestrieri, Sharon Williams-Ignarro, Francesco P. D’Armiento, Carmela Fiorito, Louis J. Ignarro, Claudio Napoli,
    The influence of pomegranate fruit extract in comparison to regular pomegranate juice and seed oil on nitric oxide and arterial function in obese Zucker rats, Nitric Oxide, Volume 17, Issue 1, 2007, pp 50-54, ISSN 1089-8603, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.niox.2007.04.005.
    (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1089860307000432) (6)
  7. Swollen Legs: Causes and Treatments, WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/dvt/why-legs-puffy#1 (7)
  8. Bob Schrupp, Brad Heineck, 10 Exercises for Leg Lymphedema (Swelling or Edema of the Lower Extremities). physicaltherapyvideo, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t8Kp99e50k&feature=youtu.be (8)

  9. Aouache R, Biquard L, Vaiman D, Miralles F. Oxidative Stress in Preeclampsia and Placental Diseases. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2018;19(5):1496. doi:10.3390/ijms19051496.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5983711/ (9)

Links on heart disease, calcium and iodine

Whether nutrient deficiencies or other metabolic imbalance is the cause is not clear or it may be a response to oxidative stress, however levels of the trace nutrients magnesium, selenium, zinc, and vitamin D3 were found to be low and the level of calcium elevated in myocardium, a type of muscle tissue in the heart. (1)

The short story – adequate nutrition is needed to support pregnancy and lactation (breast feeding) – longer duration breast feeding (6-12 months or more) is associated with less heart disease (2) and breast cancer (3risk. Increased amounts of iodine is needed for pregnancy and lactation (4) and low iodine and low selenium may be involved in breast cancer risk. (5)

A high protein diet, especially one high in dairy products is associated with more heart disease risk. (6) Background information – a high protein diet creates more work for the kidneys in order to excrete the extra nitrogen from protein that was converted into energy (ketones) (7(29) instead of being used to build muscle or other proteins.

Magnesium may help protect against calcification in heart disease in two important ways. It is needed for the kidneys to be able to excrete excess calcium. It also acts as a calcium channel blocker by providing electrical power from inside of cells or organ tissue in order to help keep excess calcium from entering the soft tissue and blood vessels through the membrane calcium channels. Medications used for hypertension include several calcium channel blockers.

Potassium is also important to protect against calcification of blood vessels by preventing increased calcium entry into the cell. The mineral is also important for preventing high blood pressure/hypertension – in addition to excess sodium/salt, too little potassium can be a problem. See excerpt with the link. (29)

Five to nine servings of vegetables or fruits per day is the recommendation for a healthy balanced diet (five) or potentially cancer preventing diet (nine). They are a good source of potassium and magnesium in addition to other trace nutrients.

Cholesterol plaque formation (atherosclerotic plaques) along vessel membrane walls may be simply acting as a coating to prevent the electrically active calcium ions from entering cells or doing other damage by plastering it in place, like plaster or spackle on dry wall. Calcium and magnesium levels in normal health are very carefully controlled by the kidneys. Lack of potassium and excess sodium may also affect the kidneys ability to excrete excess calcium.

The current understanding of atherosclerosis does not describe the role of magnesium in this way – current description: (8) and (9).

The role of potassium, magnesium and calcium in hypertension is available here: (10) and (29).

Magnesium has been found to help reduce vascular calcification (atherosclerotic plaques in blood vessels) in animal based research, (11) {and I believe in a few human research studies too but I have to find the links again. See Table 7 for a list of symptoms common to magnesium deficiency, hypertension and myocardial infarction are included: (14)} Magnesium may also help reduce prostate cancer risk or progression, (15), and low magnesium levels may be an underlying factor in the formation of cancer tumors, (18); and depression (16) can be a symptom of magnesium deficiency (14) and frequently co-occurs with other diagnoses. (17)

The short story – excess calcium may increase heart disease risk while adequate iodine, selenium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin D are all important for a healthy pregnancy, ability to lactate for a longer duration and reduce the risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

Addition, miscarriage history and history of having more than four pregnancies/four children has been associated with increased risk of heart disease for the mothers. (12) Increased losses of iodine and magnesium stores from the bones may be an underlying factor.  Premature infants born to multiparous women (women who had previous pregnancies) are more likely to have low Thyroid Stimulating Factor – which is associated with hypothyroidism which can simply be due to low iodine levels during the pregnancy. (13)

The long story is in the links below;

except for references about magnesium, potassium and vitamin D for pregnancy and breast feeding but they are also important for pregnancy and lactation. The baby may not thrive or may be fussier if the breast milk is low in essential nutrients or it may be difficult to maintain an adequate supply if the woman is malnourished.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes. Thanks.

  1. Karl T. Weber, William B. Weglicki, Robert U. Simpson, Macro- and micronutrient dyshomeostasis in the adverse structural remodelling of myocardium, Cardiovasc Res. 2009 Feb 15; 81(3): 500–508. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18835843 (1)
  2. Katherine Lindemann, Mothers who breastfeed may be less likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke later in life, an interview with Sanne A. E. Peters, University of Oxford, Research Fellow in Epidemiology, June 21, 2017, researchgate.net blog post,   https://www.researchgate.net/blog/post/breastfeeding-may-have-long-term-health-benefits-for-mothers-too  Benefits were seen/measured with six months increments in breastfeeding duration, with a large group of Chinese mothers, “Mothers who had breastfed their babies had a nine percent lower risk of heart disease and an eight percent lower risk of stroke.” (2)
  3. Loren Lipworth, L. Reness Bailey, Dimitrios Trichopoulos,

    History of Breast-Feeding in Relation to Breast Cancer Risk: a Review of the Epidemiologic Literature, JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 92, Issue 4, 16 February 2000, Pages 302–312, https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/92/4/302/2624708 “Overall, the evidence with respect to “ever” breast-feeding remains inconclusive, with results indicating either no association or a rather weak protective effect against breast cancer. […] It appears that the protective effect, if any, of long-term breast-feeding is stronger among, or confined to, premenopausal women. It has been hypothesized that an apparently protective effect of breast-feeding may be due to elevated breast cancer risk among women who discontinue breast-feeding or who take medication to suppress lactation; however, the evidence is limited and should be interpreted with caution” (3)

  4. Angela M. Leung, MD, MSc, Elizabeth N. Pearce, MD, MSc,* and Lewis E. Braverman, MD, Iodine Nutrition in Pregnancy an Lactation, Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2011 Dec; 40(4): 765–777. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3266621/  Iodine needs are increased during pregnancy and lactation and in iodine replete geographic areas breast milk levels seemed adequate for the infant’s needs. 250-290 micrograms is estimated to be needed compared to the RDA of 150 micrograms. That level did not seem adequate in geographically low area of New Zealand: ” In a recent study, the iodine needs for breastfed infants in iodine-deficient New Zealand remained inadequate even when their mothers were supplemented with 150 μg/d of iodine during the first 6 postpartum months.” (4)
  5. Peter PA Smyth, The Thyroid, Iodine and Breast CancerBreast Cancer Res. 2003; 5(5): 235–238.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC314438/ Autoimmune thyroid disease and goiter is more common in patients with breast cancer. Iodine and selenium may be protective against both conditions, a review of literature rather than a study. (5)
  6. Heart Risk of High Protein Diets, June 4, 2018, The Hippocrtic Post,  https://www.hippocraticpost.com/ageing/heart-risk-of-high-protein-diets/?utm_source=website&utm_medium=webpush&utm_campaign=notifications The group of men with the highest intake of protein in percentage of total calories had increased risk of heart disease, except for protein from fish or eggs. “When they compared men who ate the most protein to those who ate the least, they found their risk of heart failure was:33 percent higher for all sources of protein;
    43 percent higher for animal protein;
    49 percent higher for dairy protein;
    17 percent higher for plant protein.” (6)
  7. Sherwin RS, Hendler RG, Felig P.,  Effect of Ketone Infusions on Amino Acid and Nitrogen Metabolism in ManJ Clin Invest. 1975 Jun;55(6):1382-90.
       https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1133179 (7)
  8. Isabella AlbaneseKashif KhanBianca BarrattHamood Al‐KindiAdel Schwertani, Atherosclerotic Calcification: Wnt is the Hint, Basic Science for Clinicians, February 8, 2018 Journal of the American Heart Association,  http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/7/4/e007356 (8)
  9. The Cardiovascular System in Disease, Diseases of the Vessels, Chapter 6, Ch006-M3430.indd 4/19/2007, http://booksite.elsevier.com/samplechapters/9780723434306/9780723434306.pdf (9)
  10. Mark C. Houston MD, MS, Karen J. Harper MS, PharmD,  Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium: Their Role in Both the Cause and Treatment of Hypertension, JCH, Vol 10, Issue 7, pp 3-11, July 2008,  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1751-7176.2008.08575.x (10)
  11. Fatih Kircelli, Mirjam E. Peter, Ebru Sevinc Ok, Fatma Gul Celenk, Mumtaz Yilmaz, Sonja Steppan, Gulay Asci, Ercan Ok, Jutta Passlick-Deetjen, Magnesium reduces calcification in bovine vascular smooth muscle cells
    in a dose-dependent manner, Nephrol Dial Transplant (2012) 27: 514–521, https://watermark.silverchair.com/gfr321.pdf?token=AQECAHi208BE49Ooan9kkhW_Ercy7Dm3ZL_9Cf3qfKAc485ysgAAAZ0wggGZBgkqhkiG9w0BBwagggGKMIIBhgIBADCCAX8GCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQMbSRHWigPf17i-jCnAgEQgIIBUIkKsm3S-WvD5qd-tNiIBBwsoiqBg-FrbTXdm2oS2q2AdX0wuviR-rsM-hi6IMVKWwMEinUYTbh7DopBg7SWLxBIi4bHXaQft3IHdQqhDKr_RiB69uxkVRwW_2aHFGYjR0FzhUSfhDrmVLweVHZRTIYDVbrSkgaVgLnFq4YHvxohG08oMbAeF4C26XL026jpA7J1xbOodHz_o5MUvoQgVcxwhrIFuu7ysxD_B7bjJehfrw6SLjkrm3Q43jrsS3vS37v_hIig_lTQyFCPe5L6UhFwlQvH1mwPIKPNituSvoob5OxY5odMFjtcXNg0Wz2tqLajbKP_Cg4Rt1X0c67CLvTGMkos_d7QLKbxwiFibtfpcrPJlIfbPPEIjd4jKRI2MWFePBaQTQLnUOoC934JHOp4abLCC5jRaOAgHykzJhZPOpvgmvrgj-jJmZBtfdgW9g (11)
  12. Kashmira Gander, Having More Kids Linked to Heart Disease Risk in Mothers, According to New Study, June 4, 2018, newsweek.com, http://www.newsweek.com/kids-linked-heart-disease-risk-mothers-according-new-study-956066 (12)
  13. Kelli K Ryckman, M.S., PhD, Cassandra N Spracklen, M.S., John M Dagle, M.D., PhD., Jeffrey C Murray, M.D.Maternal Factors and Complications of Preterm Birth Associated with Neonatal Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Sep; 27(0): 929–938. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4260397/ “Maternal and neonatal thyroid levels are tightly correlated and hypothyroidism …. Multiparous women had infants with lower TSH levels (P=8×10−4) compared to …” (13)

  14. R. Swaminathan, Magnesium Metabolism and Its Disorders, Clin Biochem Rev. 2003 May; 24(2): 47–66.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1855626/ (14)
  15. Oseni, Saheed & Quiroz, Elsa & Kumi-Diaka, Jim. (2016). Chemopreventive Effects of Magnesium Chloride Supplementation on Hormone Independent Prostate Cancer Cells. Functional Foods in Health and Disease. 6. 1-15.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/291164181_Chemopreventive_Effects_of_Magnesium_Chloride_Supplementation_on_Hormone_Independent_Prostate_Cancer_Cells (15)

  16. Eby GA, Eby KL, Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment.Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(2):362-70. Epub 2006 Mar 20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16542786 (16

  17. Hee-Ju Kang, Seon-Young Kim, Kyung-Yeol Bae, Sung-Wan Kim, Il-Seon Shin, Jin-Sang Yoon, and Jae-Min Kim, Comorbidity of Depression with Physical Disorders: Research ad Clinical ImplicationsChonnam Med J. 2015 Apr; 51(1): 8–18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406996/ (17)
  18. : Castiglioni S, Maier JAM. Magnesium and cancer: a dangerous liason. Magnes Res 2011; 24(3): S92-S100 doi:10.1684/mrh.2011.0285   http://www.mgwater.com/Magnesium%20and%20Cancer.pdf (18)
  19.  Pharmacology of Cardiac Potassium Channels, Cardiovascular Research, Volume 62, Issue 1, 1 April 2004, Pages 9–33, Oxford Academic – see Table 4, https://academic.oup.com/cardiovascres/article/62/1/9/373105 (19)
  20. Lakshman Goonetilleke, John Quayle, TREK-1 K+ Channels in the Cardiovascular System: Their Significance and Potential as a Therapeutic Target, Cardiovascular Therapeutics 30 (2012) e23–e29  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1755-5922.2010.00227.x (20)
  21. University of Pittsburgh: Cardiovascular system during the postpartum state in women with a history of preeclampsia, Chapter 2: Cardiovascular System,  pp 190-191, Advances in Physiology Research and Application: 2012 Edition, Scholarly EditionsDec 26, 2012, ebook, https://books.google.com/books?id=3SyvNMZLBU0C&pg=PA190&lpg=PA190&dq=TREK+1+preeclampsia&source=bl&ots=2SzKQHcFJ0&sig=fGwDeK6cMIkUXhtwPDNKqio1zIQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwirhN_h6-XbAhUSbq0KHWDZCS0Q6AEIUjAF#v=onepage&q=TREK%201%20preeclampsia&f=false (21)
  22. Ma R, Seifi M, Papanikolaou M, Brown JF, Swinny JD, Lewis A.TREK-1 Channel Expression in Smooth Muscle as a Target for Regulating Murine Intestinal Contractility: Therapeutic Implications for Motility Disorders.  Front Physiol. 2018 Mar 6;9:157, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5845753/ (22)
  23. Antidepressant Drugs Suppress Activity of Potassium Channels, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Feb. 8, 2011, psypost.org,  https://www.psypost.org/2011/02/antidepressant-ssri-potassium-channel-4068 (23)
  24. Nicholas J. Talley, SSRIs in IBS: Sensing a dash of disappointment. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, May 2003, Volume 1, Issue 3, Pages 155–159.  https://www.cghjournal.org/article/S1542-3565(03)70030-5/fulltext (24)
  25. Tülay Özkan Seyhan, Olgaç Bezen, Mukadder Orhan Sungur, İbrahim Kalelioğlu, Meltem Karadeniz, and Kemalettin Koltka,

    Magnesium Therapy in Pre-eclampsia Prolongs Analgesia Following Spinal Anaesthesia with Fentanyl and Bupivacaine: An Observational Study., Balkan Med J. 2014 Jun; 31(2): 143–148.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4115934/ Exerimental group needed less fluid replacement and waited longer before requesting additional pain killing medication than the women with normal (no preeclampsia) deliveries. (25)

  26. Ramanathan J, Vaddadi AK, Arheart KL. Combined spinal and epidural anesthesia with low doses of intrathecal bupivacaine in women with severe preeclampsia: a preliminary report. Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2001 Jan-Feb;26(1):46-51. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11172511 (26)
  27. KCNK2 potassium two pore domain channel subfamily K member 2 [ Homo sapiens (human) ], Gene ID: 3776, updated on 23-May-2018,   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/3776 (27)

     

  28. Tayyba Y Ali, Fiona Broughton Pipkin, and Raheela N Khan, The Effect of pH and Ion Channel Modulators on Human Placental Arteries. PLoS One. 2014; 9(12): e114405. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4260857/  “In vessels isolated from placentae of women with pre-eclampsia (n = 6), pH responses were attenuated.” (28) *attenuated means a weakened response, less responsive to the stimulus.
  29. Qi Qian, Dietary Influence on Body Fluid Acid-Base and Volume Balance: The Deleterious “Norm” Furthers and Cloaks Subclinical Pathophysiology, Nutrients 2018, 10(6), 778; Open Access, http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/6/778/htm “Recently, Sun et al. [53] demonstrated a causal role for dietary K+ in the regulation of osteogenic differentiation and calcification of vascular smooth muscle cells, both in vitro and in atherosclerotic animal models. Specifically, lower levels of extracellular fluid K+ induce vascular smooth muscle cell osteogenic transformation by elevating intracellular calcium. The latter activates CREB (cyclic AMP response element-binding protein) leading to an enhanced expression of osteogenic markers, e.g., RUNX-2, and simultaneously reduced smooth muscle cell markers, e.g., α-actin. Remarkably, even a slight serum K+ reduction (mean K+ level, 3.70 ± 0.21 mEq/L) in mice can trigger significant vessel calcification associated with elevated pulse-wave velocity, a reliable indicator of aortic stiffness. On the contrary, when K+ levels are raised to ~4.73 mEq/L by dietary modification, signs of osteogenic differentiation were abrogated, and vascular calcification prevented. Consistent with the notion of K+ being protective to vasculature, a high ratio of urine Na+/K+ excretion (indicative of high Na and low K+ intake) has recently been linked to the genesis of HTN [54].?” (29)
  30.  Robert Vink, Mihai Nechifor, editors, Magnesium in the Central Nervous System, University of Adelaide Press, 2011, adelaide.edu.au, free ebook pdf, https://www.adelaide.edu.au/press/titles/magnesium/magnesium-ebook.pdf  See page 20 re TRPM7 channels and different effects of oxidative stress on calcium versus magnesium being allowed through the ion channel. Magnesium helps survival while calcium can increase risk to the cell.  other notes about the book:   https://twitter.com/deNutrients/status/1012685811001806849?s=19

Wardrobe extenders may help health

Wearing undergarments like bras that fit too tightly or for most of the day and night may increase risk of breast cancer and can increase pain from fibrocystic breast disease. Bra extenders are very inexpensive solutions to tight garment bands and are available in different sizes and colors. Band extenders that add one to three inches can be purchased for a few dollars. The search term ‘bra extenders’ will provide many examples of the product.

Research has not been performed regarding their use against breast cancer but a better fitting bra may reduce pain associated with fibrocystic disease. Women who did not wear bras regularly had half the rate of breast cancer compared to other women in a study published in 1991. The focus of that study had been on a different topic than clothing habits [1]. A 1991-1993 Bra and Breast Cancer Study found a similar correlation [2]. Mainstream sources do not list the amount of time that bras are worn as a cause of cancer [3].  Further research to substantiate or disprove the correlation from the 1991 studies is needed.

However too tight garment bands can be painful and they may reduce detoxification of blood by the lymphatic system. Lymphatic fluid helps remove toxins from the body at the lymph nodes. The lymphatic system has a series of vessels that are similar to arteries and veins. The lymph fluid interacts most directly with blood flow at the lymph nodes. Blood is pumped through the arteries and veins by the power of the heart.  Only the activity of the surrounding muscles moves lymphatic fluid. Regular movement during exercise or an active lifestyle may help health by increasing the removal of toxins at the lymph nodes. White blood cells that can fight infection and cancer are also active at lymph nodes.

The tightness or over-tightness of the band is likely to be the main issue, but how far the underwire extends under the arm could also affect fluid movement. Lymphatic flow moves sideways towards the underarm area more than downward. [4]

Excess heat of the constricted tissue may also be a concern. [5 and 6]

A study and television documentary, “Bras – Bare Facts,” (2000) found not wearing a bra to greatly reduce fibrocystic breast pain on average for a group of 100 women. – partial transcript on a site with a few anatomical pictures: [6] Excerpt from the documentary about fibrocystic pain:

“It may be that the bra is producing a heating effect on the breast resulting in the breast secreting more fluid. At the moment we don’t know, but it is possible that a cooler is a healthier breast from the point of view of producing less fluid, producing less cysts and producing less pain.” [6]

Iodine deficiency has also been associated with fibrocystic breast disease so complete elimination of bras is probably not necessary. [7] Adequate iodine and selenium intake early in life and elimination of excess bromide might help though.

Men may need to check the fit of their clothing for a different reason. Wearing tight jeans for many hours may reduce male fertility. Increased body temperature seems to be the issue rather than reduced lymphatic flow. A laptop used directly on the male lap has also been associated with reduced male fertility. [9] Carrying a cell phone in a pants pocket for hours may also be a concern to fertility due to the radiofrequency electromagnetic waves [8]

This article is based on a shorter comment and reply that was previously posted elsewhere.

/Disclaimer: Information presented on this site is not intended as a substitute for medical care and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment by your physician./

  1. Hsieh CC, Trichopoulos D.,  “Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk.” Eur J Cancer. 1991;27(2):131-5. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  2. Singer S.R., Grismaijer S., “Bras Still Cause Breast Cancer: Are Your Patients Dressed To Kill?” ANMA Journal pdf [isisboston.com]
  3. Stephan P., “Bras Cause Breast Cancer: Myth or Fact?” (3/17/2010), about.com [breastcancer.about.com]
  4. Mitchell A., “Tight Bra Syndrome; Or, why you might want to skip the  underwire and take your bra off when you get home.” pdf [ameliamitchell.com]
  5. Kumar A., “Burn the bra! (and men’s tight underpants too): compromised ‘chaotic’ cooling by constrictive clothing in the causation of testicular and breast cancers. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Dec;73(6):1079-80. Epub 2009 Oct 14. [link to a Medical Hypothesis article, no abstract available.]
  6. The British study on bra wearing and breast pain.” -includes a partial transcript of the “Bras – Bare Facts” documentary (2000) [007b.com]
  7. Jones A., “Fibrocystic Breast Disease.” Women’s Health Institute of Texas [1-thyroid.com]
  8. Mann D., “Cell Phone Use Linked to Male Infertility.” (9/19/2008) webmd.com [webmd.com]
  9. Sinha K., “Tight jeans reduce fertility,” Times of India, (April 12, 2007) [articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com]

Binding of body parts is also likely to cause health problems, reduce lymphatic flow, increase heat and sweat which may promote yeast overgrowth, and possibly restrict motion. If society could just accept people as people instead of focusing so much on appearance and body parts more of us might create wonders with all the energy not being wasted on trying to fit in or on feeling a need to fit gender norms.

https://www.psychology.org.au/getmedia/61cf6bf1-7ac9-419b-bf13-7abb52ecd5b5/Submission-senate-inquiry-domesic-violence-gender-inequality.pdf
“Violence is both a social construct and a (painfully) lived experience –
domestic violence can be viewed as an extension of rigid gender roles that
are socially constructed and involve the sets of traditions, habits and beliefs
which permit some men to assume dominance and control over women, and
thus, to assume the right to use violence as a means of exercising that
control. “

Women and girls are hypersexualized while boys and men tend to be portrayed as people with varied characteristics. Advertising showing girls and women for products may be very sexualized while the same product for men or boys may be presented as normal clothing, a couple examples: https://twitter.com/PepiteSexiste/status/1062805463115407360

Why are girls shown to wear very little clothing in cold weather and risk getting overchilled? It sets a role model for other girls to also ignore health over societal expectations.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6450485/Trans-activists-send-free-breast-binders-13-year-olds.html?ito=amp_twitter_share-bottom
Trans activists send free breast binders to 13 year olds.

Love the body you’re in and the mind – health is something that difficult to recover if harmed.

Self harm can occur with physical and mental problems, therapy and health care both may help.  See this post for more about a physical problem associated with self harm urges, and a link to a book written for counselors from which I adapted the list below: