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Update Newsletters
27 January 2008 Issue

1. CVA Sustaining Membership

2. Finding Like-Minding CVA Members

3. Book Notice

4. Quote from “Christianity and Vegetarianism”

5. Health Benefits of Hemp Oil, by Glenn Reben

1. The CVA offers Sustaining Membership to those paying our $25 annual subscription. In addition to the weekly e-newsletter available to all members, Sustaining Members receive the Take Heart! daily e-messages, which include inspirational comments, biblical commentary, health tips, an advice column, and recipes.

To become a Sustaining Member, go to our membership page, and fill out the form, which will take you to the dues-paying section. Or, you can send a check to CVA, PO Box 201791, Cleveland, OH 44120. Donations to the CVA are tax-deductible.

2. Finding Like-Minded CVA Members

Periodically, we list in a CVA e-newsletter the first names, city locations, and e-mails of people looking for other CVA members. If you want to be listed, contact cva@christianveg.org .

3. Book Notice

Ron recommends A Beautiful Bowl of Soup by Paulette Mitchell (SF: Chronicle Books, 2004). He writes, “I especially recommend the cashew chili (with raisins) on p. 81.”

4. Quote from “Christianity and Vegetarianism: Pursuing the Nonviolence of Jesus” by Fr. John Dear, S.J. (available from PETA, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510)

While people suffer and die of starvation in Central and South America, these regions ship their grain to the U.S. to feed our cows, pigs, and chickens so that we can satisfy our desire for animal flesh, milk, and eggs. (p. 3)

5. Health Benefits of Hemp Oil  By Glenn Reben

The Scriptures teach us many things about the proper fuel and care for our bodies, fearfully and wonderfully made by the hand of the Almighty. We were given every herb bearing seed bringing forth fruit after its own kind (no hybridizing or genetic modification) for our primary food; leaves of plants and trees for healing; and herbs for the service of man, just to mention a few.

One such plant of which the health virtues have been in relative obscurity until the past five years or so is the hemp seed. Hemp seeds and the oil extracted from them are loaded with nutritional value. Andrew Weil, M.D., in his article “Therapeutic Hemp Oil,” has asserted that hemp oil is nature's most perfectly balanced source of essential fatty acids (EFA's), with a 3:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids. Hemp oil is also an excellent source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA). According to Dr. Barry Sears, author of The Zone Diet, GLA is the key fatty acid in changing the levels of eicosanoids, which are biological response modifiers sent out each second by the cells to test the environment and communicate back what is happening.

He also states that GLA is transformed into DGLA which can be metabolized into PGE 1, a very good anti-inflammatory agent which also aids in blood flow. This is one reason many people have reported improvement from joint pain and allergies, which are both inflammatory conditions, after incorporating hemp seed oil into their everyday diet.

According to Dr. Avad and colleagues at the University of Buffalo (NY), a plant-based fat known as b-sitosterol (which is abundant in hemp oil) enhances an intracellular signaling system that tells cells not to divide. This study showed a 28% inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth after being exposed to b-sitosterol for 5 days in vitro. Dr. Avad has said that they found the same effect in vitro with breast and colon cancer cells.

In future articles, I will discuss more of the functions of EFAs, potential problems resulting from their deficiencies in the body, and the value of hemp seed oil in the diet of both humans and animals. I can be reached at greben@socket.net  for information on obtaining high-quality, non-GMO hemp products.

I remain skeptical of the health claims regarding hemp oil, and citations from the medical literature would be helpful. I also have questions about b-sitosterol’s inhibition of cancer cell growth in vitro. First, this does not prove that b-sitosterol will effectively prevent or treat cancer. Second, nearly all organs require cell division for good health, and I wonder whether agents that inhibit cell division might interfere with important bodily functions. Readers are welcomed to offer their own questions or comments.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

Your question and comments are welcome

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