Happy Halloween!

Be sure to check out my informational blog on Saratoga.com which includes:

1. Naturopathic Philosophy Highlight Fun Facts: Features in October 2011 Top Reads:

a.       Your Leaky Gut is Making You Fat!

b.      A Plea for Bone Health

2. Healthy Halloween Treat Alternatives

3. Radio For Your Body-Mind-Soul:

Core Balance for Women’s Health
Marcelle Pick
October 25, 2011 An Energetic Heart is Key to Overall Wellness
Join Marcelle Pick, NP and Functional Medical Practitioner, as she discusses the mind-body-science of heart coherence with Dr. Deborah Rozman.

4. Book of the week: The HeartMath Solution: The Institute for HeartMath’s Revolutionary Program for Engaging the Power of the Heart’s Intelligence

5. Don’t miss out:

a.       Read the rest of my latest Blog on the Top Health Stories of October 2011

b.      Check out my latest answer and more on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare: How does Naturopathic Medicine view Autism?

c.       View the Updated Link Resources on my homepage

Recommended Reading Lists

Vaccine information

TOP READS

NUTRIGENOMICS

The Overwhelming Evidence of the Power of Food (Dr. Hyman)

Findings from a few other key studies from just that one issue are worth noting:– Supplementing with conjugated linoleic acid (a special fat from meat and dairy fats) caused a modest loss in body fat. It also may prevent cancer, heart disease, and inflammation.

– Long-term fish consumption protects against arrhythmia or irregular heart beats.

– Eating a diet high in monounsaturated fats from olive oil can help reduce blood pressure while a high refined-carbohydrate diet can increase blood pressure.

– Combining fish oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise helps improve body composition and reduce heart disease risk factors (lower triglycerides, higher HDL).

– Women need more choline (a nutrient that is needed for cell membrane formation and to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine necessary for brain function) after menopause or are at risk of liver and muscle damage.

– If women with HIV are given a multivitamin, they have less anemia and their children also have less anemia.  Anemia in HIV is associated with a much faster rate of disease progression and death.

– In Bangladesh, where arsenic poisoning is common, giving folate, vitamins B12 and B6, choline, and niacin reduced the toxic effects of arsenic.

– People who eat more meat and saturated fat have a higher risk of skin cancer.

Cognitive and clinical outcomes of homocysteine-lowering B-vitamin treatment in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial (Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 Jul 21.)

Homocysteine is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. In the first report on the VITACOG trial, we showed that homocysteine-lowering treatment with B vitamins slows the rate of brain atrophy in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Here we report the effect of B vitamins on cognitive and clinical decline (secondary outcomes) in the same study.

In this small intervention trial, B vitamins appear to slow cognitive and clinical decline in people with MCI, in particular in those with elevated homocysteine. Further trials are needed to see if this treatment will slow or prevent conversion from MCI to dementia. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:21780182

Probiotics Studied to Effect Over 30 Different Health Conditions (Dr. Mercola)

  • Obesity, diabetes, depression, heart disease and irritable bowel syndrome are but a handful of conditions that may be helped by rebalancing your gut flora
  • Over 30 different beneficial pharmacological actions of probiotics have been identified
  • More than 200 studies show probiotics can be helpful for over 170 diseases
  • Symptoms indicating you’re lacking healthy bacteria include gas, bloating, constipation, frequent nausea, headaches, and sugar cravings

NAC for Addictions (Natural News/Biol Psych)

N-acetylcysteine, a form of the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine is a precursor to the brain neurotransmitter glutamate. There is observational evidence that low levels of glutamate in the brain will increase compulsive and addictive behaviors and intensify cravings. Taking NAC by mouth has been shown to increase glutamate concentrations in the regions of the brain (the nucleus accumbens) which, when low in glutamate, promotes addictive behavior.Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/022492.html#ixzz1ZSeOem7I

CONCLUSIONS:The efficacy of NAC lends support to the hypothesis that pharmacological manipulation of the glutamate system might target core symptoms of reward-seeking addictive behaviors such as gambling. Larger, longer, placebo-controlled double-blind studies are warranted. PMID:17445781

European health agency affirms the cardio benefits of EV olive oil (Vital Choice)

The European Foods Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a scientific opinion in which they said that “consumption of hydroxytyrosol and related polyphenols has a cause-and-effect relationship effect on the protection of blood lipids from oxidative damage” (EFSA 2011).

Specifically, the opinion named hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein complex – the key polyphenols in olives and unrefined (extra virgin) olive oil – as beneficial for a range of key cardiovascular and immune functions:

  • Exert anti-inflammatory effects
  • Maintain normal blood pressure
  • Contribute to upper respiratory tract health
  • Contribute to body defenses against external agents
  • Help to maintain a normal gastrointestinal tract function
  • Protect low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles from oxidative damage
  • Maintain normal (healthy) blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol

Prunes and Bone Loss (BetterBones Blog)

Prunes help bone loss and help restore them by decreasing inflammation and providing minerals such as potassium, copper, and boron!

The latest research shows a decrease in hsCRP, a blood inflammatory marker.

HEALTH

Cancer Beats Heart Disease (Cancer Prevention)

The American Cancer Society’s 2005 statistical report shows that, for the first time, cancer kills more Americans under age 85 than does heart disease. In 2002, the most recent year for which information is available, 476,009 people under age 85 died of cancer compared with 450,637 who died of heart disease.

We assessed whether extra-immunization can serve as a clinical indicator for fragmentation of care.

CONCLUSIONS: Extra-immunization is associated with receiving immunizations from multiple providers and multiple facility types. PMID: 21812169 PMCID: PMC3113430

Sleep & High Blood Pressure (AHA)

A study which discussed the link of Slow Wave Sleep (SWS) and hypertension:

The importance of sleep to health and cardiovascular disease has become increasingly apparent. Percentage time in SWS was inversely associated with incident hypertension, independent of sleep duration and fragmentation, and sleep-disordered breathing. Selective deprivation of SWS may contribute to adverse blood pressure in older men.

How to Get Better Sleep (Dr. Hyman)

Here’s how restore your natural sleep rhythm. It may take weeks or months, but using these tools in a coordinated way will eventually reset your biological rhythms:

  • Practice the regular rhythms of sleep — go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
  • Use your bed for sleep and romance only — not reading or television
  • Create an aesthetic environment that encourages sleep — use serene and restful colors and eliminate clutter and distraction
  • Create total darkness and quiet — consider using eyeshades and earplugs
  • Avoid caffeine — it may seem to help you stay awake but actually makes your sleep worse
  • Avoid alcohol — it helps you get to sleep but causes interruptions in sleep and poor-quality sleep
  • Get regular exposure to daylight for at least 20 minutes daily — the light from the sun enters your eyes and triggers your brain to release specific chemicals and hormones like melatonin that are vital to healthy sleep, mood, and aging
  • Eat no later than three hours before bed — eating a heavy meal prior to bed will lead to a bad night’s sleep
  • Don’t exercise vigorously after dinner — it excites the body and makes it more difficult to get to sleep
  • Write your worries down — one hour before bed, write down the things that are causing you anxiety and make plans for what you might have to do the next day to reduce your worry. It will free up your mind and energy to move into deep and restful sleep
  • Read more at the above link

Why Take Supplements (D’adamo Newsletter)

This month we have an audio clip of Dr. D’Adamo being interviewed at the opening of the D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition Center in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Dr. D’Adamo discusses supplements and answers the inevitable, “Why Brooklyn?” question. (2011 interview; 5:56)

Your Leaky Gut is Making you Fat! (Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Aug 18. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.251. [Epub ahead of print])

Increased visceral fat, as opposed to subcutaneous/gluteal, most strongly relates to key metabolic dysfunctions including insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, and inflammation. Mesenteric fat hypertrophy in patients with Crohn’s disease and in experimental rodent models of gut inflammation suggest that impaired gut barrier function with increased leakage of gut-derived antigens may drive visceral lipid deposition. The aim of this study was to determine whether increased intestinal permeability is associated with visceral adiposity in healthy humans. Normal to overweight female subjects were recruited from a population-based cohort. Intestinal permeability was assessed using the ratio of urinary excretion of orally ingested sucralose to mannitol (S/M). In study 1 (n = 67), we found a positive correlation between waist circumference and S/M excretion within a time frame of urine collection consistent with permeability of the lower gastrointestinal tract (6-9 hours post-ingestion; P = 0.022). These results were followed up in study 2 (n = 55) in which we used computed tomography and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry to measure visceral and subcutaneous fat areas of the abdomen, liver fat content, and total body fat of the same women. The S/M ratio from the 6-12 h urine sample correlated with visceral fat area (P = 0.0003) and liver fat content (P = 0.004), but not with subcutaneous or total body fat. This novel finding of an association between intestinal permeability and visceral adiposity and liver fat content in healthy humans suggests that impaired gut barrier function should be further explored as a possible mediator of excess visceral fat accumulation and metabolic dysfunction. PMID:21852815

Really, Really, Please don’t Take Calcium for Your Bones! (Better Bones Blog)
Did you know Sweden has the highest intake of calcium in diary products and the highest rate of osteoporosis!! Here’s an insight as to why calcium isn’t the key to maintaining bone health:

There are just three aspects of bone health toward which our small, furry friends have contributed data recently:

  • Development of brittle bones in the aged is not just a matter of bone mineral loss, but is also caused by over-mineralization of, and loss of, the matrix of bone collagen and protein that forms the “living” part of bones.
  • Adequate protein is essential for maintaining bone strength in the elderly.
  • Mechanical loading (exercise) builds bone strength, even in the aged.

But, Do Yoga For Your Bones! (Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation)

Context: More than 200 000 000 people suffer from osteoporosis or osteopenia worldwide. An innocuous and inexpensive treatment would be welcome.

Study design: Serial controlled repeated measure.

Patients: Eighteen serial patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia, average age 68 years.

Methods: Qualifying blood and urine tests and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan preceding 10-minute daily yoga. DEXA scan repeated after 2 years.

Outcome Measurement: Comparison of pre- and postyoga DEXA scans, injuries.

Results: Yoga practitioners gained 0.76 and 0.94 points for spine and hips, respectively, on the T-scale when compared with controls (P = .01). Five patients with osteopenia were reclassified as normal; 2 patients with osteoporosis are now osteopenic. There were no injuries.

Conclusion: Yoga appears to be an effective way to build bone mineral density after menopause.

Why Say No to GMO?

(Dr. Mercola)There’s already plenty of evidence that the Bt-toxin produced in GM corn and cotton plants is toxic to humans and mammals and triggers immune system responses. The fact that it flows through our blood supply, and that is passes through the placenta into fetuses, may help explain the rise in many disorders in the US since Bt crop varieties were first introduced in 1996.

In government-sponsored research in Italy, mice fed Monsanto’s Bt corn showed a wide range of immune responses. Their elevated IgE and IgG antibodies, for example, are typically associated with allergies and infections. The mice had an increase in cytokines, which are associated with “allergic and inflammatory responses.”

As you may know, chronic inflammation is at the root of many increasingly common diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Food allergies are also skyrocketing, as is infertility, which could also be a potential side effect of GM foods, based on results from animal studies. Monsanto insists that GM foods are no different from conventionally grown varieties, but the research does NOT support this claim. Here is just a sampling of the unsavory findings associated with GM foods:

You are as Healthy as you Think (Science Daily)

Aluminum and Breast Health (J of Inorganic Chemistry)

Aluminum is omnipresent in everyday life and increased exposure is resulting in a burgeoning body burden of this non-essential metal. Personal care products are potential contributors to the body burden of aluminum and recent evidence has linked breast cancer with aluminum-based antiperspirants. We have used graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) to measure the aluminum content in breast biopsies obtained following mastectomies. The aluminum content of breast tissue and breast tissue fat were in the range 4–437 nmol/g dry wt. and 3–192 nmol/g oil, respectively. The aluminum content of breast tissue in the outer regions (axilla and
lateral) was significantly higher (P = 0.033) than the inner regions (middle and medial) of the breast. Whether differences in the regional distribution of aluminum in the breast are related to the known higher incidence of tumors in the outer upper quadrant of the breast remains to be ascertained

Low Cholesterol, Lowered Brain Function (Science Daily)

It is the function of reducing the synthesis of cholesterol that Shin’s study shows may also harm brain function.”If you try to lower the cholesterol by taking medicine that is attacking the machinery of cholesterol synthesis in the liver, that medicine goes to the brain too. And then it reduces the synthesis of cholesterol which is necessary in the brain,” said Shin.

In his experiments, Shin tested the activity of the neurotransmitter-release machinery from brain cells without cholesterol present and measured how well the machinery functioned. He then included cholesterol in the system and again measured the protein function. Cholesterol increased protein function by five times.

“Our study shows there is a direct link between cholesterol and the neurotransmitter release,” said Shin. “And we know exactly the molecular mechanics of what happens in the cells. Cholesterol changes the shape of the protein to stimulate thinking and memory.”

While reducing the cholesterol in the brain may make you have less memory and cognitive skills, more cholesterol in the blood does not make people smarter. Because cholesterol in the blood cannot get across the blood brain barrier, there is no connection to the amount of cholesterol a person eats and brain function.

DRUGS

Liver Damage Side Effects in Statins (J of Hepatology)

Idiosyncratic liver injury associated with statins is rare but can be severe. After recovery similar pattern of liver injury can be reproduced on re-exposure. Most patients experience liver injury 3-4 months after start of therapy. Atorvastatin is mostly associated with cholestatic liver injury whereas hepatocellular injury is more common with simvastatin.

Other Risks of Statins (BMJ 2010)

A dose-response effect was apparent for acute renal failure and liver dysfunction. All increased risks persisted during treatment and were highest in the first year. After stopping treatment the risk of cataract returned to normal within a year in men and women. Risk of oesophageal cancer returned to normal within a year in women and within 1-3 years in men. Risk of acute renal failure returned to normal within 1-3 years in men and women, and liver dysfunction within 1-3 years in women and from three years in men. Based on the 20% threshold for cardiovascular risk, for women the NNT with any statin to prevent one case of cardiovascular disease over five years was 37 (95% confidence interval 27 to 64) and for oesophageal cancer was 1266 (850 to 3460) and for men the respective values were 33 (24 to 57) and 1082 (711 to 2807). In women the NNH for an additional case of acute renal failure over five years was 434 (284 to 783), of moderate or severe myopathy was 259 (186 to 375), of moderate or severe liver dysfunction was 136 (109 to 175), and of cataract was 33 (28 to 38). Overall, the NNHs and NNTs for men were similar to those for women, except for myopathy where the NNH was 91 (74 to 112).

CONCLUSIONS: Claims of unintended benefits of statins, except for oesophageal cancer, remain unsubstantiated, although potential adverse effects at population level were confirmed and quantified. Further studies are needed to develop utilities to individualise the risks so that patients at highest risk of adverse events can be monitored closely.

Statins and Cancer (JACC)

Conclusions: Risk of statin-associated elevated liver enzymes or rhabdomyolysis is not related to the magnitude of LDL-C lowering. However, the risk of cancer is significantly associated with lower achieved LDL-C levels. These findings suggest that drug- and dose-specific effects are more important determinants of liver and muscle toxicity than magnitude of LDL-C lowering. Furthermore, the cardiovascular benefits of low achieved levels of LDL-C may in part be offset by an increased risk of cancer.

NSAIDs and Antidepressants Increase Risk of Miscarriage (Dr. Mercola)

NSAIDs work by suppressing the production of prostaglandins (fatty acids needed for successful implantation of an embryo in the womb). Because NSAIDs and aspirin act on your whole body, they could lead to abnormal implantation that predisposes an embryo to miscarriage. The link is well established now, as still more research from 2003 found women who take NSAIDS or aspirin during pregnancy increase their risk of miscarriage by 80 percent.

Most Medications are Not Tested for Safety During Pregnancy

The truth is you need to be very careful when taking any drugs while you’re pregnant. The nine months of development that take place in the womb are the most rapid and most vulnerable period of your baby’s life. For this reason, it is generally best to avoid taking any medications unless absolutely necessary, including while you’re trying to conceive, as you could become pregnant and not know it. Most medications have never been tested on pregnant women and their effects on a developing baby are completely unknown. Even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges that very little is known about the impacts of most medications on unborn babies:

“We do not have enough information about the effects of many medications when they are taken by pregnant women … All prescription and over-the-counter medications are tested to see if they are safe and effective before they become available to the public. Pregnant women usually are not included in these tests because of the possible risks to the unborn baby.As a result, little information is available about the safety of most medications during pregnancy—including those available over the counter—when they first become available.”

This is true even among drugs that are widely used by pregnant women. For instance, nearly 4 percent of pregnant women take antidepressants during their first trimester, even though a study last year — by one of the same researchers who conducted the new NSAID study — found they may increase your miscarriage risk by 68 percent. So it’s best to use extreme caution with medications and only use those that are absolutely necessary.

Adverse Reactions in Older Adults (DAWN)

Link to drugs related to ER visits in adults.

Acid Suppressor Drugs Linked to Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (JAMA)

Conclusions In this large, hospital-based pharmacoepidemiologic cohort, acid-suppressive medication use was associated with 30% increased odds of hospital-acquired pneumonia. In subset analyses, statistically significant risk was demonstrated only for proton-pump inhibitor use.

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