The thought of having cancer can be scary. But what exactly is cancer? And what does it do?

Cancer refers to any one of a large number of diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue. Cancer can spread its abnormal cells throughout your body.

Being diagnosed with cancer can be frightening. But understanding what’s going on inside your body can help you be aware of what’s causing your feelings of anxiety. Knowing more about cancer may also help you feel more in control of your disease.

What causes cancer?

Cancer is caused by damage (mutations) in your DNA. Your DNA is like a set of instructions for your cells, telling them how to grow and divide. When a mutation occurs in your DNA, normal cells will repair the mutation or simply die. In cancer, your cells continue living with this mutation. As a result, they grow and divide in chaotic fashion.

Mutations in your DNA can be caused by:

Your own habits.
Certain lifestyle choices are known to cause cancer. Smoking, drinking more than one drink a day (for women) or two drinks a day (for men), being overweight, damage to skin unprotected by sunscreen, and unsafe sexual behaviors can lead to the mutations that cause cancer. You can break these habits to lower your risk of cancer — though some habits are easier to break than others.

Your environment.
The environment around you may contain harmful chemicals that can cause mutations in your genes. Even if you don’t smoke, you might breathe secondhand smoke if you go places where people are smoking or you live with someone who smokes. Chemicals in your home or work environment, such as asbestos and benzene, can also cause cancer.

Your family history.
Some mutations in your DNA can be traced back to your parents. If cancer is common in your family, it’s possible that mutations are being passed from one generation to the next. You might be a candidate for genetic screening to see whether you have mutations that might increase your risk of cancer. Keep in mind that having an inherited genetic mutation doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get cancer.

Chronic conditions.
Some chronic health conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, can develop into cancer. Talk to your doctor about your risk.

Much is still unknown about cancer. Some people with many risk factors don’t develop cancer, and some people with no apparent risk factors develop cancer nonetheless.

How does cancer grow?

Cancer cells grow in an uncontrolled manner. One malignant cell becomes two, two become four, four become eight, and so on, until a mass of cells (a tumor) is created. The tumor interferes with the normal functioning of healthy tissue and can spread to other parts of your body.

Not all tumors are cancerous, and not all cancers form tumors. For example, leukemia is a cancer that involves blood, bone marrow, the lymphatic system and the spleen but doesn’t form a single mass or tumor.

Cancer invades and destroys normal tissue. It can also produce chemicals that interfere with body functions. For instance, some lung cancers secrete chemicals that alter the levels of calcium in your blood, affecting nerves and muscles and causing weakness and dizziness.

Cancer can also spread (metastasize) and invade healthy tissue in other areas of your body. Cancer can take years to develop. By the time a cancerous mass is detected, it’s likely that 100 million to 1 billion cancer cells are present, and the original cancer cell may have been dividing for five years or more.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has a different approach to treating cancer patients compared to modern medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine is to strengthen and build a patient’s Qi (energy) to fight the cancer.
Acupuncture has also proved to be effective in treating cancer patients side effect symptoms from radiation therapy and chemotherapy.


What is the stress response?

Often referred to as the “fight-or-flight” reaction, the stress response occurs automatically when you feel threatened. Your pituitary gland, located at the base of your brain, responds to a perceived threat by stepping up its release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which signals other glands to produce additional hormones. When the pituitary sends out a burst of ACTH, it’s like an alarm system going off deep in your brain. This alarm tells your adrenal glands, situated atop your kidneys, to release a flood of stress hormones into your bloodstream. These hormones — including cortisol and adrenaline — focus your concentration, speed your reaction time, and increase your strength and agility.

How stress affects your body

After you’ve fought, fled or otherwise escaped your stressful situation, the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in your bloodstream decline. As a result, your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal and your digestion and metabolism resume a regular pace. But if stressful situations pile up one after another, your body has no chance to recover. This long-term activation of the stress-response system can disrupt almost all your body’s processes, increasing your risk of obesity, insomnia, digestive complaints, heart disease and depression.

                          Digestive system. It’s common to have a stomachache or diarrhea when you’re stressed. This happens because stress hormones slow the release of stomach acid and the emptying of the stomach. The same hormones also stimulate the colon, which speeds the passage of its contents. Chronic stress can also lead to continuously high levels of cortisol. This hormone can increase appetite and cause weight gain.

                          Immune system. Chronic stress tends to dampen your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and other infections. Typically, your immune system responds to infection by releasing several substances that cause inflammation. In response, the adrenal glands produce cortisol, which switches off the immune and inflammatory responses once the infection is cleared. However, prolonged stress keeps your cortisol levels continuously elevated, so your immune system remains suppressed.

In some cases, stress can have the opposite effect, making your immune system overactive. The result is an increased risk of autoimmune diseases, in which your immune system attacks your body’s own cells. Stress can also worsen the symptoms of autoimmune diseases. For example, stress is one of the triggers for the sporadic flare-ups of symptoms in lupus.

                          Nervous system. If your fight-or-flight response never shuts off, stress hormones produce persistent feelings of anxiety, helplessness and impending doom. Oversensitivity to stress has been linked with severe depression, possibly because depressed people have a harder time adapting to the negative effects of cortisol. The byproducts of cortisol act as sedatives, which contribute to the overall feeling of depression. Excessive amounts of cortisol can cause sleep disturbances, loss of sex drive and loss of appetite.

                          Cardiovascular system. High levels of cortisol can also raise your heart rate and increase your blood pressure and blood lipid (cholesterol and triglyceride) levels. These are risk factors for both heart attacks and strokes. Cortisol levels also appear to play a role in the accumulation of abdominal fat, which gives some people an “apple” shape. People with apple body shapes have a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes than do people with “pear” body shapes, where weight is more concentrated in the hips.

                          Other systems. Stress worsens many skin conditions — such as psoriasis, eczema, hives and acne — and can be a trigger for asthma attacks.

Individual reactions to stress

Your reaction to a specific stressor is different from anyone else’s. Some people are naturally laid-back about almost everything, while others react strongly at the slightest hint of stress — and most fall somewhere between those extremes. Genetic variations may partly explain the differences. The genes that control the stress response keep most people on a fairly even keel, only occasionally priming the body for fight or flight. Overactive or underactive stress responses may stem from slight differences in these genes.

Life experiences may increase your sensitivity to stress as well. Strong stress reactions sometimes can be traced to early environmental factors. People who were exposed to extreme stress as children tend to be particularly vulnerable to stress as adults.

Reducing the effects of stress

Stress develops when the demands in your life exceed your ability to cope with them. It follows, then, that you can manage stress by:

                          Changing your environment so that the demands aren’t so high

                          Learning how to better cope with the demands in your environment

                          Doing both

Here are some helpful techniques:

                          Look after your body. To handle stress, your body requires a healthy diet and adequate rest. Exercise also helps, by distracting you from stressful events and releasing your nervous energy.

                          Learn to relax. It’s the polar opposite of the stress response. Deep-breathing exercises may put you in a relaxed state. Follow these steps:

  1. Inhale through your nose to a count of 10. As you inhale, your upper abdomen should rise — not your chest.
  2. Exhale slowly and completely, to a count of 10.
  3. Repeat five to 10 times. Try to do this several times every day, even when you’re not feeling stressed.

If you have persistent trouble relaxing, consider taking up meditation or studying yoga or tai chi, Eastern disciplines said to focus your mind, calm your anxieties and release your physical tension. Therapeutic massage may also loosen taut muscles and calm frazzled nerves. Acupuncture can unblock the energy channel of the body and help the body to relax


Depression is a disorder that affects your thoughts, moods, feelings, behavior and physical health. People used to think it was “all in your head” and that if you really tried, you could “pull yourself out of it.” Doctors now know that depression is not a weakness, and you can’t treat it on your own. It’s a medical disorder with a biological or chemical basis.

Sometimes, a stressful life event triggers depression. Other times depression seems to occur spontaneously with no identifiable specific cause. Whatever the cause, depression is much more than grieving or a bout of the blues.

Depression may occur only once in a person’s life. Often, however, it occurs as repeated episodes over a lifetime, with periods free of depression in between. Or it may be a chronic condition, requiring ongoing treatment over a lifetime. The disorder affects more than 18 million Americans of all ages and races.

Until now, modern medicine could offer people with depression only a pill or the prospect of talking it out, sometimes for years. Soon, though, doctors may offer an alternative – the 5,000 year-old Chinese art of Acupuncture.
In a recent University of Arizona study, clinically depressed women received eight weeks of acupuncture, in which practitioners gently pressed needles into specific body points to correct imbalances believed to trigger illness. The results: After getting treatments aimed at relieving depression, about two-thirds were cured of the condition, a rate similar to that achieved with antidepressants and psychotherapy.
(Researchers ruled out the placebo effect by giving one group acupuncture at points believed to be unrelated to depression.)
Although the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine, is preliminary, author John Allen, Ph.D., believes acupuncture eventually may benefit people for whom other treatments fail. Unlike antidepressant drugs, for instance, acupuncture has no side effects. And Allen predicts that it may offer the best way yet to forestall future episodes of depression. That’s a significant worry, since people who’ve suffered one bout of depression have a 50 percent chance of enduring another.

The TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) model of the body is a culturally based philosophy of how the human body works.

The elements of the TCM model of the body are the Fundamental Substances; Qi, Blood, Jing (Essence), Shen (Mind) that nourish and protect the Zang-Fu organs; and the meridians (jing-luo) which connect and unify the body. Every diagnosis is a “Pattern of disharmony” that affects one or more organs (such as “Spleen Qi Deficiency” or “Liver Fire Blazing” or “Invasion of the Stomach by Cold”), and every treatment is centered on correcting the disharmony.

Unlike the Western anatomical model which divides the physical body into parts, the Chinese model is more concerned with function. Thus, the TCM Spleen is not a specific piece of flesh, but an aspect of function related to transformation and transportation within the body, and of the mental functions of thinking and studying. Indeed, the San Jiao or Triple Burner has no anatomical correspondent at all, and is completely a functional entity.

Chinese medicine is a coherent and independent system of thought, it has been developed over two millennia. Based on ancient texts, it is the results of a continuous process of critical thinking, as well as extensive clinical observation and testing. It represents a thorough formulation and reformulation of material by respected clinicians and theoreticians. It is rooted in the philosophy, disease is caused by an unhealthy relationship with nature and that treatment lies in establishing balance with nature, Yin/Yang and five elements.

Traditional Chinese medicine is holistic, based on the idea that no single part of the body can be understood except in its relation to the whole. A symptom, therefore, is not traced back to a cause, but is looked at as a part of a totality. If a person has a symptom, Chinese medicine wants to know how the symptom fits into the patient’s entire bodily pattern. A person who is well, or “in harmony”, has no distressing symptoms and expresses mental, physical, and spiritual balance. When that person is ill, the symptom is only one part of a complete bodily imbalance that can be seen in other aspects of his or her life and behavior. Understanding that overall pattern with the symptom as part of it, is the challenge of Chinese medicine.

People all over the world are using TCM including acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.


Maitake D-fraction: Healing and Preventive Potential for Cancer

Hiroaki Nanba, Ph.D.


I have been studying medicinal mushrooms for the last 15 years and have reported that of all mushrooms studied, Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa) has the strongest activity in tumor growth inhibition both in administered orally and intraperi-toneally.1,2,3 In this report, Maitake extract D-fraction was investigated to determine its effectiveness not only on the inhibition against tumors already growing, but also on the inhibition of formation of the secondary focus due to metastasis of tumor cells in lymph and/or blood. In the tests of cancer inhibition rates on mice bearing MM46 (breast cancer), they were bred for one month with foods containing 20% edible mushroom powder. The result was that Maitake outperformed all other mushrooms. Through the 31 day oral administration, total remission of the tumor was visibly confirmed on four out of ten Maitake fed mice. The remaining six rodents also indicated almost 90% suppression rate compared to untreated (control) mice. Most other mushroom extracts are reported ineffective when given orally.4,5 The results of human studies on Maitake D-fraction is reported which indicated strong potential of Maitake D-fraction for cancer treatment.



Maitake (Pron. “my-tah-key”) is indigenous to northern part of Japan. The basket-ball sized mushroom, weighing sometimes over 50 pounds, grows on the foot of old Japanese oak trees. For hundreds of years, this rare and tasty mushroom has been prized in traditional Japanese herbology. Maitake literally means “Dancing Mushroom”. People who found the mushroom in deep mountain valleys started dancing with joy since they knew its delicious taste and the health benefits. Also, in the feudal era, it could be exchanged with the same weight of silver. Maitake was, and still is, one of the most valuable and expensive mushrooms.
This legendary giant mushroom has been available by cultivation since the mid 1980s which gave opportunities for mycologists and pharmacologists to study the various medicinal properties on the mushroom as claimed in anecdotes and folklore. In addition to its antitumor effect, anti-hypertension, anti-diabetes, anti-obesity and anti-hepatitis activities have been found in Maitake. Its anti-HIV activity was also confirmed by both Japan National Institute of Health and U.S. National Cancer Institute in early 1992. 



Maitake D-fraction
Among the various fractions in the process of standardization of the mushroom extraction, it is known that Maitake D-fraction is most potent in enhancing the immune system, demonstrating highest cancer inhibition in oral administration.3,6 The protein-bound Maitake D-fraction is the acid-insoluble, alkali-soluble and hot water extractable fraction (1,6 beta-glucans carrying 1,3 branched chains) with molecular weight of about one million. Maitake D-fraction has strong ability to potentiate and activate the cellular immune system. We investigated how much each immune-competent cell is activated by the administration of Maitake D-fraction. Mice in experiment groups were administered either 0.5 mg/Kg of D-fraction by I.P. injection for 10 days or 1.0 mg/Kg of D-fraction by oral administration for 10 days. The activity of Natural Killer cells, cytotoxic T-cells and delayed-hypersensitive T-cells were all increased by 1.5-2.2 times by Maitake D-fraction. Also, it was observed that production of interleukin-1 (which activates T cells), and super-oxide anion ( which damages tumor cells) were enhanced. The production of interleukin-2 was also observed to increase by 1.7 fold (Table 1). From these results it may be concluded that the cellular immune-competent cells ability to inhibit tumor growth may be potentiated by Maitake D-fraction.
The purified D-fraction extract and Maitake crude tablets were tested using mice to investigate acute and chronic toxicity. Based on a previous animal test which indicates the optimal dose of 1mg/kg of D-fraction for anti-tumor activity, ten times more dosage was employed intraperit-oneally for 30 days. On the 31st day, no abnormal symptoms were observed, when mice were sacrificed and their organs and blood were checked. Furthermore, 5 mg/kg of D-fraction was injected for 120 days and the toxicity was investigated in the same manner. Since no abnormality was found in this test, we came to the conclusion that there is no toxicity in the D-fraction. At present, it is not permitted to inject D-fraction into the human body, therefore, in our study the D-fraction was used via oral administration. Maitake tablets were also investigated for possible toxicity. Maitake has been appreciated by the Japanese people as the premier culinary mushroom for hundreds of years, and it is therefore unlikely to exhibit any toxicity. However, we did the same test as was done with the D-fraction, by feeding it to mice by mixing it in their diet at a 1:4 ratio for a period of 13 months. After completion of these tests, we concluded that both Maitake D-fraction and the tablets made of Maitake crude powder were safe with no toxicity.


Clinical Results
A number of animal tests have confirmed Maitake’s strong ability in cancer inhibition.7-10 but human trials have not been conducted until recently. A non-randomized clinical study using D-fraction was conducted to see if it is effective against advanced cancer patients as it is against animals. A total of 165 cancer patients in stage III-IV, from 25-65 years old, participated in the study and the data was collected under the cooperation of their medical doctors with major university hospitals and cancer treatment clinics in the western part of Japan. Patients were either taking Maitake D-fraction with crude powder tablets only, or Maitake D-fraction, crude tablets in addition to chemotherapy. Tumor regression or significant symptom improvements was observed in 11 out of 15 breast cancer patients, 12 out of 18 lung cancer patients and 7 out of 15 liver cancer patients. If Maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy together, these response rates improved by 12-28 percent.

Clinical Results
A number of animal tests have confirmed Maitake’s strong ability in cancer inhibition.7-10 but human trials have not been conducted until recently. A non-randomized clinical study using D-fraction was conducted to see if it is effective against advanced cancer patients as it is against animals. A total of 165 cancer patients in stage III-IV, from 25-65 years old, participated in the study and the data was collected under the cooperation of their medical doctors with major university hospitals and cancer treatment clinics in the western part of Japan. Patients were either taking Maitake D-fraction with crude powder tablets only, or Maitake D-fraction, crude tablets in addition to chemotherapy. Tumor regression or significant symptom improvements was observed in 11 out of 15 breast cancer patients, 12 out of 18 lung cancer patients and 7 out of 15 liver cancer patients. If Maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy together, these response rates improved by 12-28 percent.

The criteria to judge the effectiveness are established as follows. A positive response is defined as one of the following:
1) if the size of tumor in CT or MRI screen reduced or stayed unchanged.
2) if the value of tumor mark decreased.
3) if T, N or M factors reduced or remained unchanged.
4) if the remaining life expectancy indicated by the doctor was prolonged by more than 4 times.
As can be seen, these results suggest that breast, lung and liver cancers were improved by Maitake, but it was less effective against bone and stomach cancers or leukemia. The following are some of the typical cases which demonstrated improvements by taking Maitake D-fraction and tablets.

51 years old, male, Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma)
He had received Adriamycin (ADM) since 1993, but refused it because of little effectiveness and severe side effects of chemotherapy. He took 35 mg of D-fraction and 4 g of Maitake caplet per day. After 8 months, the level of bilirubin and albumin are improved as well as T and N factors. The value of bilirubin reduced to 1.8 mg/dL from 4.7 mg/dL. Also, albumin improved from 2.1 g/dL to 3.7 g/dL and the prothrombin activation was increased to 92% from 36%. Meanwhile, T-factor improved from 3-4 to 1-2 and N-factor changed from 0-1 to 0. T-factor 3 means that tumor diameter is more than 2 cm and some tumors remove into blood vessels. N-factor 1 means that the tumors metastasized to lymph nodes.

56 years old, female, Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma)

She was diagnosed in stage III with serum bilirubin of 3.5 mg/dl, albumin of 2.8 g/dl and prothrombia activation of 48%. By eye observation, T-factor was 3, N-factor as 1 and M-factor as 0. She received trans-catheter arterial embolization (TAE) in January, 1994, and 10 mil of lipiodol, 15 mg of ADM and 100 mg of Cisplatin (CDDP) were administered by injection. Then, 200 mg of 5-FU was orally administered for 60 consecutive days but no improvements were observed. In December, 1994, she started taking 55 mg of D-fraction liquid and 6 g of Maitake tablets everyday. As of July, 1995, value of bilirubin was 2.7, albumin 3.1, and prothrombia activation was improved to 63%. She is now diagnosed as stage I. 


53 years old, female, Lung cancer (epidermoid carcinoma)
In November, 1993, she was diagnosed as stage III-A according to the TNM classification by UICC (Unia Intern Contra Cancrum). CDDP 80 mg/m, CPA 350 mg/m and ADM 50 mg/m were administered. However, she gave up taking these chemos in March, 1994, because of severe side effects. Since then, she took 100 mg/m of Etoposide with 50 mg of D-fraction and 4 g of tablets. After 14 months, she improved to stage I. 


71 years old, male, Lung cancer (epidermoid carcinoma)
He was diagnosed as advanced stage IV but refused to take chemotherapy. He had taken D-fraction 70 mg and 6 g tablets everyday but unfortunately died 20 months later. However, he showed improvement and was diagnosed as stage III-A before he died. As he was told he had only 3 months to live by his doctor, Maitake must have contributed to extending his life for 17 more months. T-factor 2 means that tumor size is more than 3 cm and tumors advanced to the hilus. N-factor 2 means that tumor metastasized to lymph nodes (homolaceral mediaspinum). M-factor1 means that there is remote metastasis. 


45 years old, female, Breast cancer (intraductal carcinoma)
ER+ (Estrogen receptor positive) was observed on this patient who had 1.8 cm dia. of tumor focus and had the rigid pleura. In April, 1992, she had surgery to remove the focus and then received mild chemotherapy such as 5-FU and ADM until February, 1994, but a cancer recurrence (diameter of focus 0.9 cm) was found in April, 1994. She refused to undergo surgery at this time, and started taking 100 mg of D-fraction and 5 g of Maitake tablets every day for 6 months. After 6 months, the dose of D-fraction reduced to 50 mg a day. As of may, 1995, it was confirmed that the recurred tumor focus disappeared. 


44 years old male, Brain tumor (astrocytoma)
This is an example of an effective trial of D-fraction therapy against a brain tumor. The patient has taken 100 mg of D-fraction and 6 g of Maitake tablets every day for 4 months without taking any other medication including chemotherapy or radiation. In this case, the patient showed dramatic improvement. He had received chemotherapy (CCNU) in four cycles since February, 1994. But he could not accept it because of severe side effects and received no treatment for four months before starting Maitake administration. After 4 months since he started taking Maitake, a complete regression of an egg-sized tumor focus was confirmed.
It can not be concluded that Maitake D-fraction and crude powder alone have the strong anti-cancer activities in human cancer. It should be noted, however, that most of the patients under the Maitake treatment claimed improvement of overall symptoms, even when the tumor regression was not observed. Various side effects from chemotherapy such as lost appetite, vomiting, nausea, hair loss and leukopenia (deficiency of white blood cells) were ameliorated by 90% of the patients. Reduction of the pain was also reported by 83% of the patients. 


Preventing Cancer Metastasis
Another interesting of investigation was whether the formation of secondary focus due to metastasis of cancer cells could be inhibited. This test was conducted using mice in the following manner; MM-164 liver carcinoma (1 x 107 cells) was injected to left rear footpad of mice and the footpad was cut off after 48 hours. Then, normal feed was given to the control group (A), 20% Maitake powder was given to group (B) and 1 mg/Kg of D-fraction was given to group (C) with normal food. All three groups were bred for another 30 days, and the number of tumor focus metastasized in the liver was counted by microscope. It was observed that the metastasis to the liver was prevented by 91.3% by the administration of D-fraction and by 81.3% by Maitake powder. It is believed that tumor cells present in blood and/or lymph were necrotized by the activated cellular immune-competent cells. The result of this animal test indicates that cancer metastases could be reduced to less than one tenth by the use of Maitake D-fraction daily. 


Synergistic Effect with Chemotherapy
Maitake does not kill cancer cells directly. It stimulates the activities of immune-competent cells and potentiates their action against cancer cells. Chemotherapy is supposed to kill cancer cells directly. Which is more effective in terms of cancer growth inhibition? Here are some interesting results from our study on this effect. We used Mitomycin C (MMC), probably the most popular antibiotic used for various cancer treatments, despite its very severe side effects. In this animal test, Maitake D-fraction, MMC , and D-fraction and MMC together (cutting each dose by half) were injected into tumor-bearing mice respectively. As can be seen in Figure 3, D-fraction alone demonstrated superior tumor growth inhibition to that of MMC (about 80% vs 45%). When MMC and D-fraction were given together, cutting each dose by half, tumor inhibition was further enhanced (nearly 98%). The result indicates some synergistic effect between MMC and Maitake, i.e., tumor cells are directly attacked by MMC while the immune system is activated by D-fraction. Chemotherapy is sometimes very harmful as it significantly lowers the immune system of the patients. We have seen many advanced cancer patients recover from severe side-effects caused by chemotherapy by taking Maitake D-fraction (orally) as an adjuvant. From the above studies, it appears that Maitake and chemotherapy work together, and Maitake has proven to be a valuable adjuvant in the chemotherapeutic treatment of cancer. 


Since the cultivation method of Maitake mushroom was established in mid 1980’s, this legendary and delicious mushroom has gained much popularity among Japanese people. Anecdotes and folklore on its medicinal values have also been elucidated by a number of mycologists and pharmacologists and its strong anti-tumor activity has attracted many researchers. It should be noted that, unlike many other mushroom extracts that have to be injected intravenously, Maitake D-fraction has a strong ability to inhibit tumor growth when given orally as well. In this context, various tests were conducted focusing on inhibition of growth and metastasis of cancer after surgery, by oral administration of Maitake. Even though this was a limited and non-controlled trial, the clinical study indicated that Maitake D-fraction is effective against such cancers of the breast, lung, liver, prostate and brain. Both human and animal tests demonstrate a synergistic effect with chemotherapy while ameliorating severe side effects from chemotherapy. Though the data is preliminary, the results of animal (and limited clinical ) studies based on Maitake D-fraction suggest significant healing and preventing potential for cancers and other immune-related health disorders. It is important to note that even among Maitake Mushrooms ( Grifola-frondosa), there are many strains and some contain very little Beta-glucan, the active ingredient to stimulate the immune system. From such strains of Maitake, D-fraction may not be obtained.

Acknowledgements: The author acknowledges Maitake Products, Inc. 222 Bergen Turnpike, Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660 for supplying the Maitake D-fraction and Maitake crude powder.




Medicina ortomolecular

A medicina ortomolecular constitui um ramo da chamada medicina alternativa no qual se acredita que as doenças são resultado de desequilíbrios químicos. Assim, os tratamentos ortomoleculares buscam a restauração dos níveis de vitaminas e minerais considerados ideais no organismo.

Medicina Ortomolecular é o ramo da ciência cujo objetivo primordial é restabelecer o equilíbrio químico do organismo. Este acerto (orto=certo) das moléculas se dá através do uso de substâncias e elementos naturais, sejam vitaminas, minerais, e/ou aminoácidos.

Estes elementos,além de proporcionarem um reequilíbrio bioquímico, combatem os radicais livres. Mas por que o organismo se desequilibra? Para entendermos como isto se dá, podemos partir de uma analogia. O organismo é uma máquina que está permanentemente se produzindo.

 Durante este processo de produção podem surgir falhas, seja na chegada de matéria-prima (vitaminas, minerais, etc.), seja na própria integração de todo e qualquer sistema que compõe a máquina.

Estes sistemas devem trabalhar de forma harmoniosa, como uma engrenagem. Estas engrenagens são os sistemas : NEUROENDÓCRINO, PSÍQUICO E IMUNE. Qualquer falha em algum ponto ou mecanismo desta máquina (ser humano) compromete toda a produção (vida), surgindo os defeitos (doença). Por exemplo: uma pessoa deprimida tem mais chances de apresentar infecções recorrentes, já que uma falha no sistema psíquico leva conseqüentemente a alterações no sistema imune.

Outro fator importante na gênese de várias enfermidades, como artrite e câncer, é a formação de radicais livres. Podemos entendê-los da seguinte forma: o organismo utiliza cerca de 98 a 99% do oxigênio que consumimos para produzir energia. A pequena parcela que sobra (1 a 2%) não participa do processo, formando as espécies tóxicas reativas do oxigênio – os radicais livres. Estes correspondem a átomos ou grupos de átomos com um elétron não emparelhado em sua órbita mais externa, sendo, portanto, muito reativos pois para recuperar o equilíbrio precisam ‘doar’ o elétron desemparelhado.

Desta forma, combinam avidamente com as várias estruturas celulares do corpo, o que resulta em destruição e, conseqüentemente, em enfermidades. Entre estas podem ser citadas o câncer, osteoartrite, lúpus, enfisema e doenças cardio vasculares. O Homem está sendo permanentemente submetido a condições que levam ao excesso de radicais livres como, por exemplo, o estresse, o fumo, a poluição, exposições prolongadas ao sol, entre outras.

A Medicina Ortomolecular, através do uso de vitaminas e minerais, objetiva, entre outros, neutralizar os efeitos tóxicos destas espécies reativas, proporcionando uma melhor qualidade de vida. A Medicina Ortomolecular também trata das deficiências de uma série de nutrientes. Sabe-se, por exemplo, que um fumante gasta 25 mg de vitamina C a cada cigarro que consome.

Caso esta pessoa fume um maço por dia, estará perdendo 500 mg desta vitamina diariamente. E, hoje em dia, sabemos os inúmeros benefícios que esta vitamina proporciona, seja no combate a radicais livres, na síntese de hormônios, ou mesmo estimulando o sistema imunológico. Todavia, apesar da medicina ortomolecular ter um sentido curativo, ela também é eminentemente preventiva. Assim, p. ex.,é possível tratar uma pessoa com estresse antes que ele evolua para uma hipertensão arterial. Da mesma forma, é possível tratar obesidade antes que ela ocasione diabetes. O mais importante é que com a Medicina Ortomolecular o paciente volta a ser encarado como um todo, um conjunto que deve funcionar em harmonia.

Com esta visão global, qualquer tratamento torna-se muito mais vantajoso, pois encontra a origem dos problemas, a verdadeira raiz a partir da qual todo o processo patológico se desenvolve.

Ou ,ainda, voltando à analogia, se encontrarmos o defeito exatamente onde ele origina-se na máquina, é muito mais fácil consertá-la antes que o problema atinja toda a produção, que nada mais é do que a própria vida.


Orthomolecular medicine


Biologically based alternative
and complementary therapy

NCCAM classifications

1.    Alternative Medical Systems

2.    Mind-Body Intervention

3.    Biologically Based Therapy

4.    Manipulative Methods

5.    Energy Therapy

See also

Orthomolecular medicine is a form of complementary and alternative medicine with the goal of preventing and treating disease with optimal amounts of substances which are natural to the body. These often take the form of nutrients in modified diets with additional dietary supplements, eliminating deleterious substances and food artifactssuch as allergens, refined foods, sugar and transfats.

The term “orthomolecular” was first coined in a 1967 letter by Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling and later elaborated on in a 1968 paperon

micronutrients and psychiatry to express the idea of “the right molecules in the right amounts” (ortho is Greek for rightin  this paper, Pauling indicated that

the right molecules are “substances that are normally present in the human body.”

Orthomolecular medicine began with a particular focus upon mental illness, and orthomolecular psychiatry remains a major subdiscipline Proponents state that orthomolecular treatments are based on patients’ personal biochemistries and employ naturally-occurring or bioequivalent biomolecules, particularly nutrients such as vitamins, dietary minerals, proteins, antioxidants amino acids, lipotropes prohormones, dietary fiber, fatty acids and other similar substances as well as various digestive factors.

Some megavitamin therapies can be classified as components of orthomolecular medicine. Orthomolecular practitioners often recommend levels beyond the Recommended Daily Allowance, especially for vitamin C, and prescribe the removal of unhealthy foods from the diet. Megavitamin therapies have become relatively popular, with a survey in 2002 finding that approximately one in twenty-five US adults use high doses of vitamins as a form of therapy with this being particularly common in people diagnosed with cancer.

Nutrients are useful in preventing and treating some illnessesbut the mainstream medical consensus is that the broad claims of disease treatment by advocates of orthomolecular medicine are unsubstantiated by the available evidence.The American Medical Association stated in 1997 that “much of the dietary intervention stressed by alternative healers is prudent and reasonable”, but described as a “myth” the idea that “most diseases are caused by faulty diets and can be prevented by nutritional interventions”.

Critics have described some aspects of orthomolecular medicine as food faddism or quackery Research on nutrient supplementation in general suggests that some nutritional supplements might be beneficial, and that others might be harmful.

We’re late to the party on this one, but Vidal Sassoon has listed his renovated, 3,392-square-foot Richard Neutra-designed Modernist-style house on 5.23 acres in Los Angeles’ Bel-Air area for $19.995M

We’re obviously late in getting around to this, but we wanted to give our readers our take on hairdresser Vidal Sassoon having listed his architecturally significant, Richard Neutra-designed house in Los Angeles’ Bel-Air area, which he purchased in 2004 for $6 million and now has on the market for $19,995,000.





First, we’d love to give props to Radar Online, who broke the story in June, and also to the Real Estalker, who also published a fine post on the listing. And Deidre at the Luxist also wrote a nice summary of the Sassoon house a few weeks back as well. And as the Real Estalker correctly noted, this isn’t believed to be Vidal’s main house; his principal residence is a 6,189-square-foot house on a 1.432-acre tract on Calle Vista Drive in Beverly Hills, down the street from Tom Cruise’s new house.

As for the Neutra-designed Bel-Air house, it was built in 1959 and ostensibly was bought by Sassoon as an investment. Located at 15000 Mulholland Drive and known as the Singleton house because it was built for Teledyne co-founder Henry Singleton, the four-bedroom, 3,392-square-foot house has been renovated but still has its original living room and dining room, according to listing information. Other features include five baths, a large kitchen, a sitting room/media room, an art gallery, a master suite with a sitting room, a swimming pool, two potential building pads on the site, and a long, ‘imposing’ private drive, according listing information.

The house uses seamless glass walls so that it appears to be a part of the natural surroundings, and also has flat roofs and simple post-and-beam construction. The home overlooks the Stone Canyon Reservoir Preserve. It has views of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Pacific Ocean and downtown L.A. A modernist architect, Neutra (1892-1970) once was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Sassoon purchased the property in 2004 from the Massachusetts-based MIT Real Estate Foundation, according to public records.

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What is foot reflexology?

Reflexology is an ancient natural therapy which utilizes energy zones on the hands and feet to provide relief for a variety of illnesses as well as to energize the body system. It has been in practice in China for thousands of years and till today, remains a popular and common therapy in China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand and is also increasingly popular in other parts of the world including Europe, Australia and USA.

foot reflexology

The Chinese believe every meridian point in our foot reflex to a part of our body system


How does foot detoxification work?

It is widely known that the waste products(toxins) accumulated from the food we eat and the polluted air we breathe in contribute to many health problems to our body. When the waste products in our body reaches an excessive level, they can cause fatigue, lethargy, restlessness or other health problems.

These health problems are virtually undetectable and the doctor will continue to give you a clean bill of health despite you knowing somewhere, somehow, things are not quite right with your body. Afterall, who knows your body better, yourself or the wise doctor who probably think that you are imagining things!

There are various methods to clear the build up of these waste products(toxins) in our body; including fasting, dieting, sweat out in a sauna, regular physical exercise or even colon-cleansing. Some of these detox and cleansing methods are costly, some are difficult to maintain and some are plain dangerous!

Detoxification patches are totally natural for the body, safe, easy to use and provide rapid detox.

These tree extract plaster helps to cleanse your body’s waste products in an easy, trouble-free and painless way. Just wrap one sheet of plaster on the sole of your foot before going to bed, and allow it to work while you are asleep. The color of the sheet will change according to the condition of your health. Those with health problems will notice the sheets are initially darker the following morning. With regular use, the sheets will progressively get lighter and lighter, indicating a steady improvement in your health. The patch can also be applied to specific problems on localised parts of the body, such as the wrist, knee, shoulder, ankle, and groin.

rapid detox through the night

Apply a foot detox patch to each foot before sleeping every night

The product works on the principle that tree trunks, which are composed of numerous tiny tubes, are able to draw water and nutrients through the roots and up to all other parts of the tree. Expanding on Reflexology Concept, that different parts of the foot are connected to every other parts of our body, the flexi-patch are applied on the sole to help dispel wastes products from the body, very much alike the way the tree trunk operates.

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Why does foot reflexology and detoxification
work so well together

Traditionally, the Chinese and Japanese have known about the detoxification effect of certain tree extracts and the meridian pressure points of relexology and accupressure. Combined with other herbs and when applied to the sole of the foot, it has been found to vastly improve circulation and promote detoxification of the human body leading to general better health and well-being. This combination of toxin cleansing and reflexology has made this formula a favourite among Asians, young and old, healthy and weak.

Today, this beneficial formula is packed in plaster pack using modern, hygiene packing methods and sold worldwide.

World’s easiest – and safest – detoxification method!

Detoxification is not a new health concept. In fact, it has been around for a long, long time. Popular detox methods in modern time include the suana, dieting, colon cleansing, detoxification pills and solutions etc.

However, non of these detoxification methods are as natural, easy, quick, cost effective, safe and effective as detoxification foot patches. In fact, some of these artificial detox methods are even downright dangerous and had even accounted for a death or two.

If you believe in the beneficial health effect of detox, use Nutriwork foot patches. Do not play with your own or family’s health.

Sir Richard Branson, presidente do Grupo Virgin, faz uma saudação a bordo na nave WhiteKight2 em Mojave, Califórnia. O avião foi projetado para lançar a 15.000 metros de altura o veículo que transportará os futuros turistas espaciais. O primeiros vôos custarão em média 200.000 dólares.

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is an English business magnate, best known for his Virgin brand of over 360 companies. Branson’s first successful business venture was at age 16, when he published a magazine called Student.[1] He then set up a record mail-order business in 1970. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores and rebranded as zavvi in late 2007. With his flamboyant and competitive style, Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s – as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded the Virgin Records music label. Richard Branson is the 236th richest person according to Forbes‘ 2008 list of billionaires as he has an estimated net worth of approximately $7.9 billion USD.

Early life

Branson was born at Stonefield Nursing Home in Blackheath, South London, the son of Edward James Branson and Eve Branson (née Huntley Flindt).[2] His grandfather, the Right Honourable Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson, was a Judge of the High Court of Justice and a Privy Councillor.[3] Branson was educated at Scaitcliffe School (now Bishopsgate School)[4] until the age of thirteen. He then attended Stowe School until he was fifteen. Branson has dyslexia, resulting in poor academic performance as a student, yet by the age of fifteen he had started two ventures that eventually failed: one growing Christmas trees and another raising budgerigars.

At sixteen, Branson left school and moved to London, where he began his first successful business, Student magazine. When he was seventeen, he opened his first charity, the “Student Advisory Centre.”

Branson started his first record business after he travelled across the English Channel and purchased crates of “cut-out” records from a record discounter. He sold the records out of the boot of his car to retail outlets in London. He continued selling cut-outs through a record mail order business in 1970. Trading under the name “Virgin” he sold records for considerably less than the so-called “High Street” outlets, especially the chain W. H. Smith. The name ‘Virgin’ was a selling point because records were sold in a new condition (unlike in other shops where records were being handled when listened to in record booths). At the time many products were sold under restrictive marketing agreements which limited discounting, despite efforts in the 1950s and 1960s to limit so-called resale price maintenance.[5] In effect Branson began the series of changes that led to large-scale discounting of recorded music. Branson and some colleagues were discussing a new name for his business when one suggested that it should be called ‘Virgin’ since they were all virgins to business.

Virgin logo designed by Roger Dean for the fledgling Virgin Records label

Virgin logo designed by Roger Dean for the fledgling Virgin Records label

Branson eventually started a record shop in Oxford Street in London and, shortly after, launched the record label Virgin Records with Nik powell. Branson had earned enough money from his record store to buy a country estate, in which he installed a recording studio. He leased out studio time to fledgling artists, including multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield.

In 1971, Branson was arrested and charged for selling records in Virgin stores that had been declared export stock. He settled out-of-court with UK Customs and Excise with an agreement to repay the unpaid tax and fines. Branson’s mother Eve re-mortgaged the family home to help pay the settlement.

Virgin Records’ first release was Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, which was a best-seller and British LP chart topper. The company signed controversial bands such as the Sex Pistols, which other companies were reluctant to sign. It also won praise for exposing the public to obscure avant-garde music such as the krautrock bands Faust and Can. Virgin Records also introduced Culture Club to the music world. In the early 1980s, Virgin purchased the gay nightclub Heaven. In 1991 in a consortium with David Frost, Richard Branson had made the unsuccessful bid for three ITV franchisees under the CPV-TV name.

In 1992, to keep his airline company afloat, Branson sold the Virgin label to EMI, a more conservative company which previously had rescinded a contract with the Sex Pistols, for $1 billion . Branson is said to have wept when the sale was completed since the record business had been the genesis of the Virgin Empire.[citation needed] He later formed V2 Records to re-enter the music business.

Personal life

The eldest and only boy of three children, his sisters are Lindi and Vanessa. His father Ted, followed in his father’s footsteps assuming the career of a barrister. Branson’s mother, Eve, worked in the theatre, as a glider pilot instructor and as a flight attendant.Branson had poor academic records, contrasted with excellent performance in sports.[6]Branson is married to his second wife, Joan Templeman, with whom he has two children, Holly, a doctor, and Sam Branson. The couple wed, at Holly’s suggestion when she was eight years old, at Necker Island in 1989.He owns Necker Island, a 74 acre island in the British Virgin Islands. He also owns real estate on the Caribbean Island of Antigua and Barbuda.In 1998 Branson released his autobiography entitled Losing My Virginity.Branson was deeply saddened by the disappearance in September 2007 of fellow adventurer Steve Fossett and wrote an article for Time magazine in October 2007 entitled “My Friend, Steve Fossett” that concluded with him talking about praying for his friend[7]

Business Ventures

Branson formed Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984, launched Virgin Mobile in 1999, Virgin Blue in Australia in 2000, and later failed in a 2000 bid to handle the National Lottery.

In 1997, Branson took what many saw as being one of his riskier business exploits by entering into the railway business. Virgin Trains won the franchises for the former Intercity West Coast and Cross-Country sectors of British Rail. Launched with the usual Branson fanfare with promises of new high-tech tilting trains and enhanced levels of service, Virgin Trains soon ran into problems with the rolling stock and infrastructure it had inherited from British Rail. The company’s reputation was almost irreversibly damaged in the late 1990s as it struggled to make trains reliably run on time while it awaited the modernisation of the West Coast Main Line, and the arrival of new rolling stock.

Virgin acquired European short-haul airline Euro Belgian Airlines in 1996 and renamed it Virgin Express. In 2006 the airline was merged with SN Brussels Airlines forming Brussels Airlines. It also started a national airline based in Nigeria, called Virgin Nigeria. Another airline, Virgin America, began flying out of the San Francisco International Airport in August 2007. Branson has also developed a Virgin Cola brand and even a Virgin Vodka brand, which has not been a very successful enterprise. As a consequence of these lacklustre performers, the satirical British fortnightly magazine Private Eye has been critical of Branson and his companies (see Private Eye image caption).[8]

After the so-called campaign of “dirty tricks” (see expanded reference in Virgin Atlantic Airways), Branson sued rival airline British Airways for libel in 1992. John King, then-chairman of British Airways, counter-sued, and the case went to trial in 1993. British Airways, faced with likely defeat, settled the case, giving £500,000 to Branson and a further £110,000 to his airline and had to pay legal fees of up to £3 million. Branson divided his compensation (the so-called “BA bonus”) among his staff.

On 25 September 2004, Branson announced the signing of a deal under which a new space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, will license the technology behind Spaceship One—funded by Microsoft co-Founder Paul Allen and designed by legendary American aeronautical engineer and visionary Burt Rutan—to take paying passengers into suborbital space. Virgin Galactic (wholly owned by Virgin Group) plans to make flights available to the public by late 2009 with tickets priced at US$200,000.

Branson’s next venture with the Virgin group is Virgin Fuels, which is set to respond to global warming and exploit the recent spike in fuel costs by offering a revolutionary, cheaper fuel for automobiles and, in the near future, aircraft. Branson has stated that he was formerly a global warming skeptic and was influenced in his decision by a breakfast meeting with Al Gore.[9]

Branson has been tagged as a “transformational leader” in the management lexicon, with his maverick strategies and his stress on the Virgin Group as an organization driven on informality and information, one that is bottom-heavy rather than strangled by top-level management.He was 9th in the Sunday Times Rich List 2006, worth just over £3 billion.On 21 September 2006, Branson pledged to invest the profits of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains in research for environmentally friendly fuels. The investment is estimated to be worth $3 billion.[10][11]

On 4 July 2006, Branson sold his Virgin Mobile company to UK cable TV, broadband, and telephone company NTL/NTL:Telewest for almost £1 billion. As part of the sale, the company pays a minimum of £8.5 million per year to use the Virgin name and Branson became the company’s largest shareholder.[citation needed] The new company was launched with much fanfare and publicity on 8 February 2007, under the name Virgin Media. The decision to merge his Virgin Media Company with NTL was in order to integrate both of the companies’ compatible parts of commerce. Branson used to own three quarters of Virgin Mobile, whereas now he owns 15 percent of the new Virgin Media company.[12]

In 2006, Branson formed Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation an entertainment company focussed on creating new stories and characters for a global audience. The Company was founded with author Deepak Chopra, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan and Gotham Chopra.

Branson also launched the Virgin Health Bank on 1 February 2007, offering parents-to-be the opportunity of storing their baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells in private and public stem cell banks after their baby’s birth.In June 2006, a tip-off from Virgin Atlantic led US and UK competition authorities to investigate price-fixing attempts between Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. In August 2007, British Airways was fined £271 million over the allegations. Virgin Atlantic was given immunity for tipping off the authorities and received no fine – a controversial decision the Office of Fair Trading defended as being in the public interest.[13]

On 9 February 2007, Branson announced the setting up of a new Global science and technology prize—The Virgin Earth Challenge—in the belief that history has shown that prizes of this nature encourage technological advancements for the good of mankind. The Virgin Earth Challenge will award $25 million to the individual or group who are able to demonstrate a commercially viable design which will result in the net removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases each year for at least ten years without countervailing harmful effects. This removal must have long term effects and contribute materially to the stability of the Earth’s climate.

Branson also announced that he would be joined in the adjudication of the Prize by a panel of five judges—all world authorities in their respective fields: Al Gore, Sir Crispin Tickell, Tim Flannery, Jim Hansen and James Lovelock. The panel of judges will be assisted in their deliberations by The Climate Group and Special Advisor to The Virgin Earth Prize Judges, Steve Howard.

Richard Branson got involved with football when he sponsored Nuneaton Borough A.F.C. for their January 2006 FA Cup 3rd round game against Middlesbrough F.C.. The game ended 1-1 and the Virgin brand was also on Nuneaton Borough’s shirts for the replay which they eventually lost 2-5.[citation needed]

In August 2007, Branson announced he takes up 20 percent stake in Malaysia’s AirAsia X.On October 13, 2007, Branson’s Virgin Group sought to add Northern Rock to its empire after submitting an offer which would result in Branson personally owning 30% of the company, changing the company’s name from Northern Rock to Virgin Money.[14] The Daily Mail ran a campaign against his bid and Vince Cable suggested in the House of Commons that Branson’s criminal conviction for tax evasion might be felt by some as a good enough reason not to trust him with public money. [15]

On January 10, 2008, Branson’s Virgin Healthcare announced that it would open a chain of health care clinics that would offer conventional medical care alongside homeopathic and complementary therapies.[16] The Financial Times reported that Ben Bradshaw, UK’s health minister, welcomed the launch. “I am pleased that Virgin Healthcare is proposing to work with GPs to help develop more integrated services for patients.”

Humanitarian initiatives

In the late 1990s, Branson and musician and activist Peter Gabriel discussed with Nelson Mandela their idea of a small, dedicated group of leaders, working objectively and without any vested personal interest to solve difficult global conflicts.

On July 18, 2007, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nelson Mandela announced the formation of a new group, The Elders, in a speech he delivered on the occasion of his 89th birthday. The founding members of this group are Desmond Tutu, Graça Machel, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Jimmy Carter, Li Zhaoxing, Mary Robinson, and Muhammad Yunus.[17]

The Elders will be independently funded by a group of “Founders”, including Branson and Gabriel.Desmond Tutu serves as the chair of The Elders—who will use their collective skills to catalyze peaceful resolutions to long-standing conflicts, articulate new approaches to global issues that are causing or may cause immense human suffering, and share wisdom by helping to connect voices all over the world. They will work together over the next several months to carefully consider which specific issues they will approach.

In September 2007, Richard Branson chaired the jury of the first Picnic Green Challenge, a 500.000 Euro award for best new green initiative, set up by the Dutch Postcode Lottery and the PICNIC Network of creative professionals.

In March 2008, Richard Branson hosted an environmental gathering at his private island, Necker Island, in the Caribbean with several prominent entrepreneurs, celebrities, and world leaders. They discussed global warming-related problems facing the world, hoping that this meeting will be a precursor to many more future discussions regarding similar problems. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, and Larry Page of Google were in attendance.[18]

World record attempts

A 1998 attempt at an around-the-world balloon flight by Branson, Fossett, and Lindstrand ends in the Pacific Ocean on December 25, 1998.

A 1998 attempt at an around-the-world balloon flight by Branson, Fossett, and Lindstrand ends in the Pacific Ocean on December 25, 1998.

Richard Branson made several world record-breaking attempts after 1985, when in the spirit of the Blue Riband he attempted the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing. His first attempt in the “Virgin Atlantic Challenger” led to the boat capsizing in British waters and a rescue by RAF helicopter, which received wide media coverage. Some newspapers called for Branson to reimburse the government for the rescue cost. In 1986, in his “Virgin Atlantic Challenger II”, with sailing expert Daniel McCarthy, he beat the record by two hours. A year later his hot air balloon “Virgin Atlantic Flyer” crossed the Atlantic. This was the largest balloon at 2.3 million cubic feet (65,000 m³), and the first hot-air balloon crossing the Atlantic. It reached 130 miles per hour (209 km/h).

In January 1991, Branson crossed the Pacific from Japan to Arctic Canada, 6,700 miles (10,800 km), in a balloon of 2.6 million cubic feet (74,000 m³). This broke the record, with a speed of 245 miles per hour.

Between 1995 and 1998 Branson, Per Lindstrand and Steve Fossett made attempts to circumnavigate the globe by balloon. In late 1998 they made a record-breaking flight from Morocco to Hawaii but were unable to complete a global flight before Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones in Breitling Orbiter, March 1999.

In March 2004, Branson set a record by travelling from Dover to Calais in a Gibbs Aquada, in 1 hour, 40 minutes, and 6 seconds, the fastest crossing of the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle. The previous record of six hours was set by two Frenchmen.[19]


Branson was knighted in 1999 for ‘services to entrepreneurship’ and presented as a millennium icon. In the 1980s, he was briefly given the post of “litter tsar” by Margaret Thatcher—charged with “keeping Britain tidy”.[23][24] He was again seen as close to the government when the Labour Party came to power in 1997.[citation needed] In 2005 he declared that there were only negligible differences between the two main parties on economic matters.[25] He has frequently been mentioned as a candidate for Mayor of London, and polls have suggested he would be a viable candidate, though he has yet to express interest.[26][27][28]

Business practices

Branson’s business empire is owned by a complicated series of offshore trusts and companies. The Sunday Times stated that his wealth is calculated at £3.065 billion; if he were to retire to his Caribbean island and liquidate all of this he would pay relatively little in tax.[29]

When Virgin Mobile launched its service in Canada on 1 March 2005, the use of “naughty nurses” in its advertising triggered “The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario” to demand an apology from Branson and an immediate stop to the campaign, and called on members to boycott Virgin Mobile. Virgin Mobile spokeswoman Paula Lash said the company never intended to offend anyone, but was not about to pull the advertising.[30]

When Virgin Mobile included “super hot holiday” wrapping paper with the December 2005 issue of youth magazine Vice, as part of the Hot Box promotion,[31] the wrapping paper contained illustrated holiday angels, where the male angel is touching the female’s breast, while the female angel has her hand on the male’s genitals.[32] Famous Players stopped its partnership deals with Virgin Mobile after a complaint.

In 1988, Branson wanted to buy Virgin Music back for the same amount of money, per share, that he had sold it for, valuing the company at £248m. The shareholders agreed, although they were unaware that Branson had already agreed to sell the same shares to Pony Canyon, a Japanese media company, for £377m. The incident was revealed in 2000 when Branson was on the verge of winning the franchise for the National Lottery from Camelot Group.


In 1993, Branson was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Technology from Loughborough University.

He was knighted in 1999 for his “services to entrepreneurship”.[33][34]

Branson is the patron of several charities, including the International Rescue Corps and Prisoners Abroad, a registered charity which supports Britons who are detained outside of the UK.

Sir Richard appears at No. 85 on the 2002 list of “100 Greatest Britons” (sponsored by the BBC and voted for by the public). Sir Richard also ranks No. 86 on Channel 4‘s 2003 list of “100 Worst Britons“. Sir Richard was also ranked in 2007’s Time Magazine “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World”.

On 7 December 2007, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon presented Branson with the United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World Award for his support for environmental and humanitarian causes.[35]


Neutra’s Singleton Residence Still Up For Grabs (For Only $19M…)

By my favorite MCM architect. Neutra had several houses I’d call masterpieces, and this is definitely one of them. It is a perfect blending of nature with the built environment.

There has been a reduction in the price. It originally listed at $25M!

Sotheby’s description:

“RICHARD NEUTRA, ARCHITECT. THE SINGLETON RESIDENCE, 1959. This is one of the most famous architectural sites in America, comprising five plus acres on top of Bel Air, with exceptional views. Neutra designed this residence to sit in perfect harmony with nature. Renovated and expanded with respect, integrity and no expense spared. A new master bedroom wing has been seamlessly added, the kitchen expanded, and a gallery now blends the approach to the earlier Neutra addition into the overall floorplan with élan.”


November 18, 2007Posted by mcarch | Neutra, Real Estate | , , , | 4 Comments

On the Market: A Neutra in Bel Air


“The Singleton House Is For Sale! The Singleton House Is For Sale!” writes an excited Curbed reader. And so it is. Listed at $19.955 million, the Richard Neutra-designed 1959 home sits on 5.2 acres in Bel Air. “Two potential extra building pads on site,” notes the listing. And there’s a “long, imposing private drive.


When we announced yesterday that the Neutra-designed Singleton House was for sale for $19.5 million, there was debate in the comments. Is it or is it not currently owned by Vidal Sassoon? Turns out, it is. Vidal bought the place in 2004 and according to Radar, oversaw a “meticulous renovation,” including “an art gallery in the joint, as well as a massive kitchen and a sprawling swimming pool—all stunning. Because if Vidal Sassoon’s place doesn’t look good, he doesn’t look good.”

15000 MULHOLLAND DR $19,995,000
4 Beds 5.00 Baths
View larger image
Additional PhotosMLS Number

Bel Air – Holmby Hills
RICHARD NEUTRA, ARCHITECT. THE SINGLETON HOUSE, 1959 One of the most famous architectural sites in America. 5+ acres on top of Bel Air. Designed to sit in perfect harmony w nature. Hypnotic views. Renovated/expanded w integrity. No expense spared. Orig legendary LR & DRs, stunning lge kit, sitting rm/media rm, art gallery. Master wing w sitting room, BR, sumptuous bthrm, + add’l suite/office/gym. Perfectly sited swimming pool. 2 potential extra building pads on site. Long, imposing private drive
Bonus, Dining, Living, Media