virgin Siberian pine nut oil and gastrointestinal health
1. What is Extra virgin
Siberian pine nut oil (EVSPO)? Is it safe to use?
Most pine nuts contain a fairly large amount
of edible oil – up to 60% of their total weight. In Russia
and China, it has been traditionally cold-pressed from pine
nuts collected from wild-growing pines by a delicate process
using unique traditional oil presses. The resulting richly
fragrant, golden-colored oil with a delicious nutty flavor
is called extra virgin Siberian pine nut oil (EVSPO). The oil is absolutely
safe to use. It is both a traditional, centuries-old food
and a potent natural remedy against a number of widespread
ailments, including peptic ulcers
Extra virgin pine nut oil has a history of many
centuries of therapeutic use in Russian and Chinese traditional
medicine. It is an outstanding concentrate of powerful free
radical scavengers fully capable of preventing or reversing
even the strongest oxidative stress.
Nowadays, Siberian pine nut oil is being
widely used by Russian, Chinese, and European doctors internally
for the treatment of peptic ulcers,
gastritis (inflammation of the stomach
lining) and GERD (acid reflux). They also prescribe it externally
to treat burns and bruises and improve skin condition, and
use it for therapeutic inhalations, baths, and massages. Along
with being a traditional peptic ulcer and
gastritis remedy, pine nut oil provides our
body with many vital nutrients, including good fats, amino
acids (building blocks for proteins), fat-soluble vitamins
and antioxidants, as well as
essential macro- and microelements such as magnesium, zinc,
iron, copper, and iodine.
2. How does
pine nut oil work for GI problems such as ulcers, gastritis, GERD, and IBS?
According to recent medical research, gastric
and duodenal ulcers, as well as gastritis, remain a serious
health problem in the United States and worldwide. During
their lifetimes, about 1 in 10 Americans develop at least
one ulcer. Ulcers affect about 5 million people each year,
and more than 40,000 people annually have ulcer-related surgery.
Each year, approximately 15,000 people in the United States
die of ulcer-related complications.
There is ample proof of the fact that
free radicals play a major role in the pathogenesis of
peptic ulcers and gastritis. All known risk factors for erosive/ulcerative
gastric and duodenal disorders – such as smoking, excess alcohol
consumption, unhealthy eating habits, physical and emotional
stress, etc. – deplete the natural antioxidant shields of
the gastroduodenal lining and cause a free radical overload.
As a result, the gentle, fragile mucosal lining of the stomach
and duodenum becomes one of the first tissues to suffer from
the damaging chain reactions induced by free radicals. Therefore,
many researchers and doctors agree that real, lasting solutions
to the problem of peptic ulcers and gastritis are to be found
in boosting the body’s weakened antioxidant shields with natural
Extra virgin Siberian pine nut oil is an outstanding
concentrate of powerful
free radical scavengers fully capable of preventing or
reversing even the strongest oxidative stress leading to peptic
ulcers and gastritis. There is also some evidence suggesting
that pine nut oil may be capable of working against peptic
ulcers in more than one way, its potent antioxidant activity
being just one of the factors contributing to its effectiveness
as a natural ulcer remedy. For example, a number of researchers
suggest that pinolenic acid - a unique fatty acid occurring
exclusively in pine nut oil - provides strong anti-inflammatory
and protective effects on gastric and duodenal mucosa. Based
on this strong body of research and scientific evidence, the
experts invariably agree that extra virgin Siberian pine nut oil is
a valuable and versatile digestive remedy providing a wide array of beneficial effects for the digestive tract.
What are the factors contributing to the development of peptic ulcers and gastritis?
In the past, it was thought that lifestyle factors,
such as alcohol abuse, physical and emotional stress, unhealthy
eating habits and smoking, cause peptic ulcers and gastritis.
Later, it was also thought that they may be caused by bacteria
called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), although
many researchers suggest that the presence of these bacteria
in the majority of peptic ulcer patients does not necessarily
mean that the bacteria cause ulcers, rather than just add
to the severity of the problem (for example, only a small
minority of people who have H. pylori in their system
ever develop a peptic ulcer). In fact, there is extensive
and mounting evidence of the fact that all of the above-mentioned
possible causes of ulcer formation merely compound the real
underlying cause: free radical damage and oxidative stress.
All known risk factors for erosive/ulcerative gastric and
duodenal disorders (for example, the lifestyle-related factors
described above) deplete the natural antioxidant shields of
our body and cause a free radical overload. Even the much
discussed Helicobacter pylori bacteria contributes
to the free radical overload by producing an enzyme called
urease, the action of which eventually leads to the release
of more free radicals, causing damage to the epithelium. As
a result, the gentle, fragile mucosal lining of the stomach
and duodenum becomes one of the first tissues to suffer from
the damaging chain reactions induced by free radicals.
Therefore, effective treatment and prevention of peptic ulcers
must be based on using the best available natural antioxidant
complexes in order to enhance our body's depleted antioxidant
shields. One such healing antioxidant complex, abundant in
very potent and effective free radical scavengers, is contained
in extra virgin Siberian pine nut oil.
Were there any studies performed to ascertain the
efficacy of Siberian pine nut oil as a peptic ulcer
and gastritis remedy?
Yes, there was extensive scientific research
and many studies conducted to this effect.
First, there was a number of studies which established
the role of free radicals and oxidative stress in the pathogenesis
of peptic ulcers and gastritis and showed that natural antioxidants
are capable of stopping and reversing the ulcer-causing free
radical damage to the gastric mucosa.
Second, the effectiveness of extra virgin Siberian pine
nut oil in peptic ulcer and gastritis treatment was specifically
established in several studies conducted in Russia and China.
In these countries, as well as in several Eastern European
countries, Siberian pine nut oil has now officially been
approved as a naturopathic remedy for peptic ulcers, gastritis, and acid reflux.
What about H. Pylori? Isn't it enough to kill this
"bug" to get rid of peptic ulcers?
This is a gross oversimplification of the real
facts surrounding the role of Helicobacter pylori
in the pathogenesis of gastric inflammation and peptic ulcers.
H. pylori and its effects on the human body are still
very poorly understood. While promoting the use of a combination
of two or more strong antibiotics to get rid of H. pylori,
the mainstream medical establishment still cannot explain why only
a small portion of those "infected" with these bacteria
ever develop even a single peptic ulcer, while the vast majority
of these "infected" individuals fail to develop
any symptoms whatsoever. In some countries, as many as 90
percent of the population are "infected" with H.
pylori, yet the frequency of peptic ulcer disease in
these countries is rather limited.
Unlike regular pathogenic bacteria, H. pylori
do not invade the cells of the surrounding tissue, they just
"habitate" there. Moreover, in sharp contrast to
pathogenic bacteria, H. pylori do not cause our immune
system to eliminate them or develop immunity to a repeated
In a large percentage of peptic ulcer sufferers, H. pylori
is not even present (these cases are called H. pylori-negative).
And isn't it interesting that, in spite of being blamed for
90 percent of all duodenal ulcers, H. pylori is never
even present in the duodenum?
Moreover, an increasing number of doctors and medical researchers,
led by Dr. Martin Blaser, Professor of Translational Medicine, Director of the NYU Human Microbiome Program, former Chair of the Department of Medicine, and Professor of Microbiology at NYU School of Medicine, think that Helicobacter
pylori may be protective against gastroesophageal reflux
disease (GERD), Barrett's esophagus, and adenocarcinoma of
the esophagus and stomach cardia - a particularly deadly form
of cancer that is becoming more and more widespread. According
to Dr. Blaser, H. pylori and humans have co-evolved
for many thousands of years, and, until very recently, all
humans were colonized by these bacteria. This means that H.
pylori must be a long-established part of our normal
bacterial flora, or "indigenous biota".
In February 2005, Dr. Blaser published
a landmark article about H. pylori, entitled An
Endangered Species in the Stomach, in Scientific
American magazine. In this article, he has convincingly
demonstrated that the decline of H. pylori in developed
countries over the past 100 years has paralleled an upsurge
in potentially fatal diseases of the esophagus. Here are some
of Dr. Martin's conclusions presented in the article:
"The possibility that this bacterium may
actually protect people against diseases of the esophagus
has significant implications. For instance, current antibiotic
treatments that eradicate H. pylori from the stomach
may have to be reconsidered to ensure that the benefits are
not outweighed by any potential harm. To fully understand
H. pylori's effects on health, researchers must investigate
the complex web of interactions between this remarkable microbe
and its hosts. Ultimately, the study of H. pylori
may help us understand other bacteria that colonize the human
body, as well as the evolutionary processes that allow humans
and bacteria to develop such intimate relations with one another."
Consequently, the jury is still out with regard
to the exact role of Helicobacter pylori in health
and disease. While there is a possibility that this bacterium
plays a certain role in ulcer development, there is also extensive
data supporting the opposite point of view: namely, that these
bacteria may, under certain adverse circumstances, become
a contributing factor to the disease, but not its underlying
cause. And, taking into account the mounting evidence of a
protective role played by Helicobacter pylori in
relation to esophageal diseases, the currently popular medical
practice of wholesale eradication of H. pylori by
antibiotics may create more serious problems than the ones
it is supposed to solve.
Without doubt, this issue requires a lot of
additional research before any final conclusions can be drawn.
In any event, it is definitely premature to recommend strong
antibiotics as the "default" allopathic cure for
peptic ulcers and gastritis, if only because bacteria tend
to develop resistance toward antibiotics, leading to the appearance
of new, antibiotic-resistant strains. The strongly negative
side effects of antibiotics, namely the extermination of the
numerous beneficial strains of bacteria, leading to further
damage to the gastrointestinal system, should not be overlooked,
either. When a so-called "triple" or even "quadruple" therapy (two or three antibiotics
plus a proton pump inhibitor) is used, patients are required to
take up to 20-25 (!) pills a day. Side effects of "triple/quadruple
therapy" include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark stools,
metallic taste in the mouth, dizziness, headache, and yeast
infections in women.
Another serious and potentially life-threatening
condition that sometimes develops after the use of antibiotics
is called pseudomembranous colitis. On average, it develops
in 0.5 to 4 percent of those treated with antibiotics to eliminate
As was already noted above, all known risk factors
for erosive/ulcerative gastric and duodenal disorders, including
smoking, alcohol, stress, and poor diet, deplete the natural
antioxidant shields of our body and cause a free radical overload.
H. pylori just "adds its two cents" to
the total free radical assault on the protective lining of
the stomach and the duodenum.
Under normal circumstances, i.e. when the antioxidant status
of our body is not compromised or stretched too thin, the
natural antioxidant defenses are able to withstand this assault
(whether it is caused by H. pylori or not) and keep
the fragile gastrointestinal lining from inflammation and ulceration.
However, when these antioxidant shields become depleted or
weakened, our body loses its ability to successfully
cope with free radicals, resulting in peptic ulcers and other inflammation-related conditions of the GI tract. A vivid
example of such a situation may often be seen in emergency
rooms, where patients who have suffered from head trauma or
burns tend to develop peptic ulcers on a massive scale in
a matter of days or even hours, because the body is using
all of its available antioxidant reserves to fight the life-threatening
The bottom line of this rather long explanation is that the
nature and functions of H. pylori are far from being
well understood by scientists, but one thing should be clear
to any unbiased observer: it definitely should not be viewed
as a "bug" that must be killed to cure peptic ulcers.
Yes, it may contribute to the pathogenesis of peptic ulcers,
but only as one of many other causative factors which may
be at work here. Therefore, its elimination does not guarantee
anything, because, if the antioxidant shields of the gastroduodenal
mucosa continue to be inadequate, sooner or later it will
again fall victim to imflammation and ulceration, and peptic
ulcers will return.
A much more prudent and effective approach to the healing
and prevention of peptic ulcers and gastritis is to boost
the antioxidant status of our body with powerful natural antioxidant
foods and remedies like extra virgin
Siberian pine nut oil. If the antioxidant shields are brought back
to normal and kept functioning at their fullest potential,
they would be able to successfully withstand any free radical
pressure, including such pressure that may be caused by Helicobacter
pylori. Only through such an optimization of the antioxidant
status of our body it is possible to achieve true healing
and prevent peptic ulcers from recurring.
6 . Does Siberian
pine nut oil relieve ulcer- and gastritis-related abdominal
pain and bloating?
Yes, it usually does, although the results may vary. In a recent clinical study of
25 peptic ulcer and five chronic gastritis sufferers, abdominal
pain was completely gone in all 30 patients after 21 days
of pine nut oil use.
Are there any side effects associated with the use of Siberian pine nut oil?
No, there are absolutely
no side effects. Extra virgin Siberian pine nut oil is a traditional,
all-natural healing food and digestive remedy which has been used in Russia, Europe,
and China for many centuries.
My doctor has prescribed antibiotics and antacids for my ulcer.
Can I combine Siberian pine nut oil with these medications?
First of all, although it is a good idea to
consult a qualified health professional with any health problem
(we think that, in most situations, a naturopathic physician
is the best available choice), you must be informed that all
synthetic antibiotics and stomach acid suppressors have very
strong and serious side effects.
For example, the antibiotics prescribed to eliminate Helicobacter
pylori may fail to destroy their intended target, but
are guaranteed to kill billions upon billions of beneficial
bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract, effectively annihilating
normal gastrointestinal flora. It may take months or even
years to bring it back to normal (in some people, this fragile
bacterial ecosystem never recovers). Additional side effects
associated with the use of antibiotics, to name just a few,
are severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Synthetic drugs meant to suppress the production of stomach
acid have many nasty side effects of their own. It is important
to know that, when our stomach loses its ability to produce
gastric acid, we become unable to digest protein and assimilate
protein-bound vitamins, including vitamin B12.
As a result, incompletely digested protein is flushed into
the duodenum, leading to food allergies and amino acid deficiencies.
A deficiency of vitamin B12
(cobalamin) may lead to anemia and has been implicated in
a spectrum of neuropsychiatric disorders. Additionally, stomach
acid suppressors may cause impotence and breast enlargement
If you still decide to undergo
a course of antibiotic/acid suppressor therapy, you may (or,
rather, should) definitely combine these medications with
extra virgin Siberian pine nut oil. Pine
nut oil will partially offset the negative consequences of
synthetic drugs and provide important pain relief and healing
benefits of its own.
9. How would the
use of pine nut oil react with a person who has had the gallbladder
Unless the surgery took place less than a month
ago, extra virgin Siberian pine nut oil would be perfectly
safe to use in such circumstances. After gallbladder is surgically
removed, the bile duct simply enlarges to assume the bile-storing
role. Therefore, the additional stimulating effect produced
by the oil would not be harmful, while the therapeutic benefits
of this oil are truly unique.
10. Do have any suggestions
for taking your pine nut oil besides just straight?
For fastest therapeutic results, we recommend
taking pine nut oil straight. If desired, it may be mixed
into a drink/smoothie, or used in a recipe. You will still get a full
complement of the healing ingredients present in the oil,
but the results may not be as fast.
11. What are free
radicals and antioxidants? How do their affect our health?
also known as “reactive oxygen species” (ROS), are atoms or
atomic groups that contain unpaired electrons. Since electrons
have a very strong tendency to exist in a paired rather than
an unpaired state, free radicals indiscriminately pick up
electrons from other atoms, converting those other atoms into
secondary free radicals, and thus setting up a chain reaction
that can cause substantial biological damage. To protect itself
from the damaging action of free radicals, our bodies use
substances called antioxidants,
which are also often referred to as free radical scavengers.
Many scientists think that the process of aging
is caused by the indiscriminate chemical reactivity of free
radicals leading to random biological damage. If the free
radical overload becomes overwhelming, premature aging and
degenerative diseases result. This hypothesis was confirmed
by many practical experiments, and it is now considered a
major theory of aging.
In addition to premature aging, the destructive
effects of free radical chain reactions may be conducive to
the development of such widespread and serious health conditions
as gasritis and peptic ulcers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes,
infertility, renal, liver and lung disease, inflammatory and
autoimmune diseases, and cancer. Free radicals may damage
DNA and cause it to reproduce incorrectly, too rapidly, or
not at all. They can also change DNA to produce potential
12. How does our
body protect itself from free radicals? What can we do to
help it protect itself?
Our body has developed several endogenous (internal) antioxidant
systems to deal with the production of free radicals. These
systems may be divided into enzymatic and non-enzymatic groups.
The enzymatic antioxidants include superoxide dismutase (SOD),
catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. SOD catalyzes the breaking
down of a free radical called superoxide, which plays a major
role in lipid peroxidation, into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide,
which is further decomposed into water and oxygen by catalase.
Glutathione peroxidase is also used by the body to consume
free peroxide in the cells.
It is very important to note that, for maximum
efficiency, these antioxidant enzymes require trace metal
cofactors. SOD, for example, consists of proteins cofactored
with copper, zinc, manganese or iron. Iron is also required
as a cofactor for catalase.
The most well-researched non-enzymatic antioxidants
include lipid-soluble vitamin E, vitamin A and carotenoids
(including beta-carotene), as well as water-soluble vitamin
C and glutathione (GSH). Glutathione, which is synthesized
intracellularly from amino acids cysteine, glycine, and glutamate,
is capable of scavenging free radicals either directly or
enzymatically via glutathione peroxidase.
We can help body to “scavenge” or “neutralize”
free radicals before they cause harm by avoiding environmental
toxins as much as possible and increasing dietary antioxidant
intake. Because antioxidant compounds are effective at very
low concentrations, we can gain protection from even moderate
dietary changes that increase antioxidant nutrients.
13. What makes extra
virgin Siberian pine nut oil such a powerful concentrate of antioxidants?
Extra virgin pine nut oil is an abundant natural source of powerful antioxidants, as well as antioxidant
cofactors and “building blocks”. First, it contains up to
56 mg/100 g of natural alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) – the
most effective non-enzymatic antioxidant for terminating the
chain reactions of lipid peroxidation in cell membranes. In
its vitamin E content it is second only to wheat germ oil
and Camelina oil. It is significantly
richer in vitamin E than any other common vegetable oil (for
example, extra virgin olive oil contains five times less vitamin
E than extra virgin pine nut oil).
next important group of antioxidant compounds present in extra
virgin pine nut oil are carotenoids. Carotenoids are organic
pigments occurring in plants and some types of algae and fungus.
Their molecular structure makes them very efficient free radical
scavengers, resulting in a powerful antioxidant effect. Some
carotenoids fall into the category of pro-vitamin A. From
them, our body makes retinol (vitamin A), which is a potent
Pine nut oil is a rich source of carotenoids,
supplying about 30 mg/100 g of these antioxidant and pro-vitamin
compounds. The fact that these carotenoids are dissolved in
oil greatly increases their bioavailability to our bodies
in two ways. First, the carotenoids are already released from
the plant matrix (under certain circumstances, this release
may be difficult, making carotenoids in some foods less usable
compared to others), and, second, fat is a necessary cofactor
for carotenoid uptake.
Another major antioxidant, glutathione, is synthesized
by our cells from three amino acids: cysteine, glycine, and
glutamate. Pine nut oil, rich in essential and non-essential
amino acids, supplies all three of these glutathione building
blocks. Therefore, it is also an important glutathione booster,
capable of enhancing the free radical scavenging performance
of this major antioxidant.
Finally, extra virgin pine nut oil is exceptionally
rich in trace metal cofactors for enzymatic antioxidants superoxide
dismutase (SOD) and catalase. It contains 20 mg/100 g of zinc,
16 mg/100 g of manganese, and 4 mg/100 g of copper – all of
them required for maximum efficiency of SOD. It also supplies
about 19 mg/100 g of iron, an essential cofactor for both
SOD and catalase. Consequently, pine nut oil not only provides
our body with a potent boost of “external”, non-enzymatic
antioxidants (vitamin E and carotenoids), but also reinforces
and optimizes its own enzymatic potential for scavenging free
radicals expressed through superoxide dismutase, catalase,
and glutathione peroxidase.