Compiled by Sarah A LoBisco, ND

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It’s the end of summer, time to exercise that brain again in prep for back to school.

This month’s highlights include:

  • Mom’s Dietary Effects on Baby
  • How blood type effects nutrient absorption
  • Genetic differences in liver enzymes effect impulse control
  • Sources on how to SAFELY remove dental fillings
  • What Antibiotic may cause damage to your liver


…skim the summaries below and boost your pre-frontal cortex…

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AND don’t forget to check out my blog on the power of the gogi berry and nutrigenomics!



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Diet of Mom Affects Baby

What a woman eats when she is pregnant can influence her child’s genetics in ways that have long-lasting effects on their weight, finds research published in the journal Diabetes. This is the first study to show that maternal diet is linked to epigenetic changes in people and that these changes are related to body fat in children years later.

The moms who ate diets lower in vegetables, fruits, grains and ohter carbohydrates were more likely to have babies with subtle changes in their DNA markers that dictate how genes are read and expressed.

These children were more likely to be heavier and have higher body fat at age nine. The findings reinforce how important it is for women of childbearing age and pregnant women to eat a balanced, nutritous diet, the researchers conclude.

Original Source: Godfrey, KM, A Sheppard, PD Gluckman, KA Lillycrop, GC Burdge, C McLean, J Rodford, JL Slater-Jefferies, E Garratt, SR Crozier, BS Emerald, CR Gale, HM Inskip, C Cooper and MA Hanson. 2011. Epigenetic gene promoter methylation at birth Is associated with child’s later adiposity. Diabetes

Synopsis by Renee Gardner and Wendy Hessler. Mom’s pregnancy diet linked to DNA changes, child’s obesity: Environmental Health News. Jun 20, 2011. Environmental Health Science.

Tea Helps Mediate Fructose Diets in 4 Legged Critters

The results showed that a fructose-rich diet significantly elevated serum triacylglycerols, cholesterol, insulin, and leptin concentrations, as compared with those in the control group. Interestingly, consuming tea leaves for 12 weeks almost normalized the serum triacylglycerols concentrations

Source: Hsiu-Chen Huang and Jen-Kun Lin. Pu-erh tea, green tea, and black tea suppresses hyperlipidemia, hyperleptinemia and fatty acid synthase through activating AMPK in rats fed a high-fructose diet. Food Funct., 2012,3, 170-177. DOI: 10.1039/C1FO10157A

Supplementing with Vitamin E Helps Protect Blood vessels

Collectively, these findings support that short-term supplementation of ?-TmT maintains VEF during postprandial hyperglycemia possibly by attenuating lipid peroxidation and disruptions in NO• homeostasis, independent of inflammation.

Mah, E. et al. Supplementation of a ?-tocopherol-rich mixture of tocopherols in healthy men protects against vascular endothelial dysfunction induced by postprandial hyperglycemia (abstract). JNB.  July 2012.

Fish Oils Myth and Magic

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Omega 3s boost antixodiant power and decrease inflammation. They probably don’t thin the blood that much, though:

High-Dose Fish Oil changed the expression of 1,040 genes, whereas the High-Oleic Sunflower Oil changed the expression of only 298 genes.  And the High-Dose Fish Oil decreased the expression of genes involved in inflammation and processes that promote atherogenesis (buildup of dangerous arterial plaque).

Among others, these beneficial changes included:

  • Decreased expression of the pro-inflammatory gene switch called Nf-kappaB.
  • Decreased expression of genes that promote synthesis of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.
  • Decreased expression of genes that promote accumulation of pro-inflammatory body fat (adipose tissue).

Source: Wetherby, C. Omega-3s’ Secret Antioxidant Power. VitalChoice Newsletter. August 27, 2012.,b1h0JlRD

Schmidt S, Stahl F, Mutz KO, Scheper T, Hahn A, Schuchardt JP. Transcriptome-based identification of antioxidative gene expression after fish oil supplementation in normo- and dyslipidemic men. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 May 23;9(1):45.http:/ /

Blood Type and Calcium

Dr. D’Adamo explains epigenetic factors in determining your needs:

Blood Type O

Type O should continually supplement their diet with calcium, since the Type O Diet does not include dairy products, which can be the most concentrated source of this mineral. With the Type O tendency to develop inflammatory joint problems and arthritis, the need for consistent calcium supplementation becomes clear. Writes Dr. D’Adamo in his book Menopause; “You may have heard that a high-protein diet can lead to excess calcium loss, which can be a concern for any midlife woman. However, this is not a danger for Blood Type O, since you have naturally high levels of intestinal alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme made by the intestine to split dietary fat and help assimilate calcium.

Source: D’Adamo, P.  Calcium From the Sea: A New Discovery, A Superior Calcium.  Blood Type August 2012 Newsletter.

ABO Blood Type Is a Risk Factor For Cardiac Disease

August 14, 2012 (Boston, Massachusetts) — Data from two prospective cohort studies have identified the ABO blood group as a risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease [1]. Individuals with blood groups A, B, or AB were 5% to 23% more likely to develop coronary heart disease compared with subjects with O blood type, and the associations were not altered by multivariate adjustment of other risk or dietary factors.

In terms of possible underlying mechanisms for the increased risk, He et al note that in non-O individuals, plasma levels of factor VIII-von Willebrand factor (vWF) are approximately 25% higher than in individuals with type O blood type. Elevated levels of factor VIII-vWF have been previously identified as a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

Michael O’Riordan. ABO Blood Type Is a Risk Factor for Coronary Heart Disease. HeartWire. Medscape Today. August 14, 2012.

Citicoline for Cognitive Health

August 1, 2012 (Vancouver, British Columbia) — The dietary supplement citicoline, which is sold over the counter in 70 different countries, including the United States, appears to help memory in patients with vascular mild cognitive impairment (VaMCI) and may hinder cognitive deterioration, new research suggests.

Preliminary results from a longitudinal study presented here at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2012 showed that at 9 months, there was a significant difference in Mini–Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores in citicoline users vs nonusers.

“If we compare the citicoline group with the nontreatment group, there was a statistically significant difference [in MMSE scores]. On the other hand, we also saw a small increase in activities of daily living [ADL], but this was not statistically significant,” principal investigator Pietro Gareri, MD, PhD, Ambulatory Center for Dementia, Catanzaro, Italy, told Medscape Medical News.

Source: Caroline Cassels. Supplement May Aid Vascular Dementia Memory Problems. Medscape Medical News from the: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2012. August 1, 2012.

Brain Differences-Dopamine and Liver Health

August 1, 2012 – Raising levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the prefrontal cortex may dampen impulsivity, a finding that has potential implications for treatment of addiction, new research suggests.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted by investigators from the University of California, San Francisco, showed that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor tolcapone significantly curbed impulsivity in study participants.

“Impulsivity represents a risk factor for addiction across many substances of abuse,” study investigator Andrew Kayser, PhD, told Medscape Medical News.

“Previous work has suggested that impulsivity is associated with a more efficient variant of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, a dopamine-degrading enzyme that’s primarily active in frontal cortex,” added Dr. Kayser.

Source: Megan Brooks. Parkinson’s Drug May Curb Impulsivity. From Medscape Medical News > Psychiatry. August 1, 2012.


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Safely Removing Dental Amalgams

While even a single mercury filling can contribute to health problems, you should not rush into removing amalgam fillings, as improper removal can take a heavy toll on your health by releasing large amounts of mercury vapor into your system all at once.  So please, do NOT make the mistake of having your amalgam fillings removed by a dentist who is not properly trained in safe amalgam removal. Research has shown that if you do not take proper safety precautions during the removal process, mercury levels in your blood can rise three to four-fold, which may result in acute toxicity.

Therefore, make sure to use a biological dentist that is trained in properly removing mercury fillings. Here are several sources to help you locate a dentist trained in biological dentistry:

For a complete description of how to safely remove mercury amalgam, see the guidelines created by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT)7. Some things that need to be done to keep you (and your dentist) safe during the procedure include:

  • Providing you with an alternative air source and instructing you not to breathe through your mouth
  • Using a cold-water spray to minimize mercury vapors
  • Putting a rubber dam in your mouth so you don’t swallow or inhale any toxins
  • Using a high-volume evacuator near the tooth at all times to evacuate the mercury vapor
  • Washing your mouth out immediately after the fillings have been removed (the dentist should also change gloves after the removal)
  • Immediately cleaning your protective wear and face once the fillings are removed
  • Using room air purifiers

Source: Mercola, J. European Commission Report Recommends Phasing Out Dental Amalgam. August 08 2012.

Caffeine and Muscle Power

A new study to be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting on 30th June has shown that caffeine boosts power in older muscles, suggesting the stimulant could aid elderly people to maintain their strength, reducing the incidence of falls and injuries.

Source: Eurejalert. Caffeine boosts power for elderly muscles. June 28, 2012.

Supporting Healthy Bones in Menopause

For me, menopause and beyond represents a chance for us to be “deliberate creators” – that is, it’s an opportunity to design our physical, mental, and nutritional activities with an awareness to be consciously aligned with our priorities for the second half of our lives. For those of us with strong bones as our health goal, our focus should be to maintain as much of our bone mass and muscle mass as possible. And if we really get into exercise, perhaps we can even build both bone and muscle.

Source: Brown, S. Beyond menopause: what you can do for your bones. August 2012. Better Bones Blog.

EFT Effective for Mood, Pain, Cravings

This study examined whether self-intervention with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy that combines a cognitive and a somatic element, had an effect on healthcare workers’ psychological distress symptoms. Participants were 216 attendees at 5 professional conferences. Psychological distress, as measured by the SA-45, and self-rated pain, emotional distress, and craving were assessed before and after 2-hours of self-applied EFT, utilizing a within-subjects design. A 90-day follow-up was completed by 53% of the sample with 61% reporting using EFT subsequent to the workshop. Significant improvements were found on all distress subscales and ratings of pain, emotional distress, and cravings at posttest (all p<.001). Gains were maintained at follow-up for most SA-45 scales. The severity of psychological symptoms was reduced (-45%, p<.001) as well as the breadth (-40%, p<.001), with significant gains maintained at follow-up. Greater subsequent EFT use correlated with a greater decrease in symptom severity at follow-up (p<.034, r=.199), but not in breadth of symptoms (p<.0117, r=.148). EFT provided an immediate effect on psychological distress, pain, and cravings that was replicated across multiple conferences and healthcare provider samples.

Church, D., & Brooks, A. J. (2010). The effect of a brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, Oct/Nov, 40-44.


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FDA Approves Generic Singulair

August 3, 2012 — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved the first generic versions of the asthma and allergy drug montelukast sodium (Singulair, Merck), which will be marketed by 10 different pharmaceutical companies.In 2010, Singulair racked up $4.1 billion in sales, good for seventh place on the list of the 10 best-selling drugs, according to IMS, a pharmaceutical market intelligence firm.

The most common adverse events reported by patients taking montelukast in clinical trials were upper respiratory infection, fever, headache, sore throat, cough, stomach pain, diarrhea, earache, influenza, runny nose, and sinus infection.

More serious adverse events are behavior and mood-related changes such as aggression, depression, or hallucinations; numbness in legs and arms; rash; influenza-like symptoms; or severe pain and swelling of the sinuses. Patients experiencing these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider immediately, according to the FDA.

Source: Robert Lowes. FDA Approves Generic Singulair. August 3, 2012.

Protect Your Liver on This Antibiotic

As the use of these antibiotics has risen, unpredictable adverse effects have emerged including hemolysis, renal failure, hepatotoxicity, QT interval prolongation, and other serious events that have led to the market removal of some of the antibiotics in this class (eg, temafloxacin, grepafloxacin, trovafloxacin, and most recently, gatifloxacin), the authors report. The European Medicines Agency has raised concerns about potential hepatotoxicity for moxifloxacin, and Health Canada has issued a warning about the risk for moxifloxacin-associated liver injury.

Diedtra Henderson. Two Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Linked to Risk for Liver Injury. Medscape Medical News. August 13, 2012.

These Anemia Drugs May Be Risky

For years, a trio of anemia drugs known as Epogen, Procrit and Aranesp ranked among the best-selling prescription drugs in the United States, generating more than $8 billion a year for two companies, Amgen and Johnson & Johnson. Even compared with other pharmaceutical successes, they were superstars. For several years, Epogen ranked as the single costliest medicine under Medicare: U.S. taxpayers put up as much as $3 billion a year for the drugs.

The trouble, as a growing body of research has shown, is that for about two decades, the benefits of the drug — including “life satisfaction and happiness” according to the FDA-approved label — were wildly overstated, and potentially lethal side effects, such as cancer and strokes, were overlooked.

Source: Bill O’Leary. Washington Post. Anemia drugs made billions, but at what cost? July 19, 2012.

Why Drugs Aren’t Cutting Costs in HealthCare

Some things in medicine appear obvious, while others are more obscure. I have wondered for years how pharmaceuticals are developed, from conception to a final product that receives US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and associated insurance reimbursement for its use. I, of course, knew of the Tufts Medical School study that contended that nearly $800 million is expended to bring a new drug to market.1 I was also aware of the extraordinary research and development achievements of thousands of skilled men and women working in pharmaceutical industry laboratories and clinics, using the latest technology to pioneer new products. What I did not understand is how, after years of basic and applied research and phase 1 through 3 clinical trials, so many new products, after receiving FDA approval and going on the market, could cause unexpected adverse effects, including premature death, that required them to be removed from the market. Over the last few years, several major breakthrough drugs, such as lotronex (Alosteron) for irritable bowel syndrome, troglitazone (Rezulin) for diabetes, and rofecoxib (Vioxx) and valdecoxib (Bextra) for inflammatory pain, have been removed from the market because of the development of life-threatening side effects months after initiation of their use in some patients. We have seen hormone replacement therapies for postmenopausal women, including conjugated estrogen tablets (Premarin) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera), go from being the number-one prescribed family of medications in the United States to being recognized as potential contributors to heart disease, cancer, and possibly dementia in some women.2 How does this happen in the face of diligent research and government oversight of the drug approval process?

Source: Jeffrey Bland, PhD. Chronic Disease management, Drugs, and Risk/Benefit. Modern Health Care Professional. July 12, 2012.

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First Gene Therapy Drug Approved In Europe

July 23, 2012 — The European Medicines Agency has for the first time recommended approval of a gene therapy, for the treatment of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) deficiency. The agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended marketing authorization under “exceptional circumstances” for alipogene tiparvovec (Glybera, uniQure). The drug was designated an “orphan medicine” on March 8, 2004, and is recommended for use in a restricted group of adults with familial LPL deficiency who have severe or multiple pancreatitis attacks despite dietary fat restrictions.

LPL deficiency is a rare genetic disease that results from a defect in the gene for LPL, an enzyme that breaks down fats. This causes excessive fat particles to accumulate in the blood, leading to pancreatitis attacks. Glybera is made from an adeno-associated viral vector (AAV1) that has been modified so that it carries a gene for LPL but does not replicate. It is injected into a muscle, where it corrects the LPL deficiency by enabling muscle cells to produce LPL.

Source: Brown, T. First Gene Therapy Ever Recommended For Approval in Europe.Medscape Genomics.  7/23/12.