snow angels

Wow, time flies when you’re moving fast! February has been a blur and soon, we may actually see some much anticipated green stuff under the massive covering of white stuff that has been plummeting on the North East this winter.

For me, the end of the month marks a beginning and an end. February is when I officially left my home state of NY and headed into the even more formidable snowy flurries of CT to start my new position. Sad from the goodbyes and excited at the new beginning, I found some solace and joy in updating my brain and my readers prior to moving day in the latest topics in wellness, nutrition, health, medications, and functional medicine.

Below are some of the major headlines for February. Some of you requested I provide a “shorter and sweeter” version of Top Reads. I know you weren’t dissing me, just requesting a way to still get the gist without the 32 page spreadsheet.

Due to my new job starting soon, I’ll probably be keeping my future blogs shorter and sweeter anyway, which will be tough for my inquiring mind and busy typing hands. However, I am committed to my readers and getting the information out.

So, here it is, my new and improved “Cliff Notes” Top Reads. What I did was leave the excerpts from the abstracts or articles intact with the most pertinent information. I still provided the full source reference for you to look up or click on if you want more exercise for your smart brains!

Well, I tried!

First off, I’ve given you the headlines, then some more detail in the summaries below.


February 2015 Top Reads Headlines By Category:



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  • FDA Clears A 23andMe Genetic Test
  • Statins- A Perspective On A New Found Risk
  • Blood Pressure- How Low Is Too Low In A Certain Population?
  • Caution Warranted With New Antihistamine Drug and Heart Arrhythmias
  • Antibiotic and Infant Risk For Pyloric Stenosis (Narrowing Of the Opening Of the Stomach)
  • Antibiotics Broader Effects Than Thought
  • Long-Acting Opioids Associated With Greater Risk Of Overdose
  • Top US Doctor Says Medical Marijuana May Have Use
  • Anticholinergics Linked To Memory Issues




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  • NYS Attorney General Accusation Of Herbal Supplement Fraud
  • American Botanical Council- NY Accusation Based On Bad Science
  • Do You Know Your (W:H) Numbers?
  • Infertility Linked To Celiac Disease
  • New Name For Chronic Fatigue
  • New Survey Results for Natural Health Approaches and Usage
  • What Dose Of Jogging Is Best?
  • Sleep, Teens, & Electronics
  • Sleep Recommendations Updated
  • Sleep and Waist Circumference
  • The Science of Tapping
  • The Path That Leads To Compulsive Overeating-In Mice
  • What Do All Mental Disorders Have In Common
  • Thriving Through the Ages
  • A Ketone Metabolite Linked to Benefits of Fasting & Inflammation
  • Obesity, Oxidative Stress, and Disease
  • Are We (Road) Salt Addicted?
  • Dementia & Geography
  • Shocking Memory!
  • Overestimating Risk- The Pros and Cons
  • Antioxidants and Asthma



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  • Less Pesticide Exposure In Sample of “Organic Eaters”
  • Shifting View on Saturated Fat
  • Top Nutrients for Brain
  • The Real Food Movement
  • Favorite Chocolate Excerpt of Valentine’s Day Week
  • Infertility, Endometriosis, and Infection
  • White Blood Cell Levels Of Vitamin C and Parkinson ’s disease Progression
  • Multivitamins- NO Risk for Cardiovascular Health in Large Observational Study with Women
  • Sugar On the Brain : Type 1 Diabetes In Children Linked to Mental Disorders
  • Fish Oil & Epilepsy
  • Why Nix the Fructose





FDA Clears A 23andMe Genetic Test

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today that they have authorized marketing of a direct-to-consumer genetic test from 23andMe.The test is designed to identify healthy individuals who carry a gene that could cause Bloom syndrome in their offspring. The agency also noted that it will now classify carrier screening tests, such as this one, as class II products, which means they are subject to general and special controls.

…The syndrome is rare among the general population but is more common in the Central and Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish population. In that group, approximately one in 50,000 people are affected.

Tuma, R. FDA Clears Sale of First Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Test. FDA Approvals. Medscape Medical News. February 19, 2015.


Statins- A Perspective On A New Found Risk

This deserves the full abstract for an explanation:

In contrast to the current belief that cholesterol reduction with statins decreases atherosclerosis, we present a perspective that statins may be causative in coronary artery calcification and can function as mitochondrial toxins that impair muscle function in the heart and blood vessels through the depletion of coenzyme Q10 and ‘heme A’, and thereby ATP generation. Statins inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2, the cofactor for matrix Gla-protein activation, which in turn protects arteries from calcification. Statins inhibit the biosynthesis of selenium containing proteins, one of which is glutathione peroxidase serving to suppress peroxidative stress. An impairment of selenoprotein biosynthesis may be a factor in congestive heart failure, reminiscent of the dilated cardiomyopathies seen with selenium deficiency. Thus, the epidemic of heart failure and atherosclerosis that plagues the modern world may paradoxically be aggravated by the pervasive use of statin drugs. We propose that current statin treatment guidelines be critically reevaluated.

Okuyama H, Langsjoen PH, Hamazaki T, Ogushi Y, Hama R, Kobayashi T, Uchino H. Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2015; Feb 6:1-11. [Epub ahead of print]


Blood Pressure- How Low Is Too Low In A Certain Population?

NANCY, FRANCE — A new study of more than 1000 frail people in their 80s and 90s living in nursing homes “raises a cautionary note regarding the safety of using combination antihypertensive therapy in frail elderly patients with low systolic blood pressure,” according to lead author Dr Athanase Benetos (University Hospital of Nancy, France) and colleagues[1].

Specifically, the frail individuals with a systolic BP <130 mm Hg (low systolic BP) who also received two or more antihypertensive agents had a twofold higher risk of dying within 2 years compared with their peers. Merely having the low systolic BP alone did not up the risk.

Busko, M. Multiple HTN Meds Can Present a Risk in Frail Elderly With “Low” Systolic BP. Heartwire. February 19, 2015.


Caution With New Antihistamine Drug and Heart Arrhythmias

Physicians should take certain precautions in prescribing the first-generation antihistamine hydroxyzine to minimize the drug’s risk for potentially fatal heart arrhythmias, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced today.

Lowes, R. Limit Hydroxyzine Use to Reduce Cardiac Risks, EU Regulators Say. News Alerts. Medscape Medical News. February13, 2015


Antibiotic and Infant Risk For Pyloric Stenosis (Narrowing of opening of stomach)

Oral azithromycin or erythromycin use may increase risk for infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS), particularly with exposure in the first 2 weeks of life, according to findings from a retrospective cohort study published online February 16 and in the March issue of Pediatrics.

Barclay, L. Azithromycin Linked to Pyloric Stenosis Risk in Young Infants. Medscape Medical News. February 16, 2015.


Antibiotics Broader Effects Than Thought

This study used a popular model of microbiota depletion in a mouse by giving them a cocktail of antibiotics. They then analyzed how this affected their gut microbiota makeup and how these changes in bug populations and function impacted the rodents. (They found changes in immunity and that the antibiotics had direct effects on host tissues and antibiotic-resistant critters through a mechanism primarily of inhibiting mitochondrial gene expression.)

Conclusions In addition to revealing mechanisms of antibiotic-induced alterations, this study also describes a new bioinformatics approach that predicts microbial components that regulate host functions and establishes a comprehensive resource on what, why and how antibiotics affect the gut in a widely used mouse model of microbiota depletion by antibiotics.

Morgun, A. Dzutsev, X. Dong, R. L. Greer, D. J. Sexton, J. Ravel, M. Schuster, W. Hsiao, P. Matzinger, N. Shulzhenko. Uncovering effects of antibiotics on the host and microbiota using transkingdom gene networks. Gut. 2015; DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2014-308820

Oregon State University. Unwanted impact of antibiotics broader, more complex than previously known. Sceince Daily. February 10 2015.


Video Break!

Fix Food-Fix Antibiotics- Meat Without Drugs.


Long-Acting Opioids Associated With Greater Risk Of Overdose

Long-acting opioids were associated with a greater than 2-fold risk for unintentional overdose compared with short-acting formulations, according to a cohort study published online February 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine. Moreover, the risk was more than 5-fold greater in the first 2 weeks of using a long-acting opioid.

Skwarecki B. Long-Acting Opioids Related to Unintentional Overdose Risk. Medscape Medical News. February 18, 2015


Top US Doctor Says Medical Marijuana May Have Use

(Reuters) – The United States’ top doctor said that medical marijuana can help some patients in comments on Wednesday that may boost pressure on the Justice Department to redesignate the drug under federal law. In an interview on “CBS This Morning,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said the medical effectiveness of marijuana had to be shown scientifically and much more information about it was coming.

Simpson, I. Top U.S. doctor says medical marijuana may help some conditions. Reuters. February 4, 2015.


Anticholinergics and Memory

A prospective population-based cohort study included 3434 participants (aged 65 years and older) from 1994-1996 to 2000-2003 in order to determine the impact of medications on memory. Replacement for deaths occurred in 2004 and all subjects were followed every 2 years. Amount of exposure was defined through pharmacy dispensing data of drugs dispensed in the past 10 years, excluding the previous 12 months. “A 10-year cumulative dose-response relationship was observed for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease…”

Conclusions and Relevance  Higher cumulative anticholinergic use is associated with an increased risk for dementia. Efforts to increase awareness among health care professionals and older adults about this potential medication-related risk are important to minimize anticholinergic use over time.

Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergics and Incident Dementia.A Prospective Cohort Study. JAMA Intern Med. January 26, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7663





NYS Attorney General Accusation Of Herbal Supplement Fraud

The New York State attorney general’s office accused four major retailers on Monday of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements and demanded that they remove the products from their shelves.

The authorities said they had conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart — and found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The tests showed that pills labeled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies.

New York Attorney General Targets Supplements at Major Retailers. New York Times. February 3, 2015.


American Botanical Council- NY Accusation Based On Bad Science

The AG’s study is not based on adequate science and its actions are thus premature. The use of DNA barcoding technology for testing of the identity of botanical dietary supplements is a useful but limited technology. DNA testing seldom is able to properly identify chemically complex herbal extracts as little or no DNA is extracted in many commercial extraction processes. Basing its actions on the basis of only one testing technology from only one laboratory, the NY AG results are preliminary and require further substantiation. Additional testing using microscopic analysis and validated chemical methods should be conducted to confirm the initial results upon which the AG is acting.

American Botanical Council. ABC Says New York Attorney General Misused DNA Testing for Herbal Supplements, Should Also Have Used Other Test Methods as Controls. Herbal Gram. February 3, 2015.


Do You Know Your (W:H) Numbers?

Waist-to-Hip ratio may beat BMI (body mass index) as a measure of heart health risk in postmenopausal woman.

Reuters Staff. Waist-to-Hip Ratio May Beat BMI, Waistline as CVD Predictor in Postmenopausal Women. Medscape. February 04, 2015.


Infertility Linked To Celiac Disease

Women with infertility were 3.5 times more likely to have celiac disease than women who didn’t have difficulty conceiving, the analysis found, based on a review of three studies including 449 women with infertility. For women with no known cause for their infertility, the connection was even stronger. These women were six times more likely to have celiac disease, based on data from five studies including 422 women with unexplained infertility. (Reuters)

Study Info With CeD (Celiac Disease) Findings:

Results: Of 105 relevant studies, 5 studies were included for calculation of pooled OR. Four additional studies, where data on controls were not available, were also considered for calculation of pooled prevalence of CeD. Women with infertility had 3.5 times higher odds of having CeD in comparison with control population (OR=3.5; 95% CI, 1.3-9; P<0.01). Similarly, women with “unexplained infertility” had 6 times higher odds of having CeD than controls (OR=6; 95% CI, 2.4-14.6). Of 884 women with infertility, 20 had CeD indicating a pooled prevalence of 2.3% (95% CI, 1.4-3.5). Of 623 women with “unexplained infertility,” 20 had CeD. The pooled prevalence of CeD in women with unexplained infertility was 3.2 (95% CI, 2-4.9).

Reuters Health Information. Celiac Disease Might Explain Fertility Problems. Medscape. February 04, 2015

Celiac Disease in Women With Infertility: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. January 1, 2015. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000285


New Name For Chronic Fatigue

“The central point is that ME/CFS is a diagnosis to be made,” according to the IOM’s report, “Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining and Illness.” To reflect the condition’s hallmark defining symptom, postexertional malaise, the report proposes a new name be adopted, “systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID),” defined in both adults and children by the following:

  1. a substantial reduction or impairment in the ability to engage in pre-illness levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities that persists for more than 6 months and is accompanied by fatigue, which is often profound, is of new or definite onset (not lifelong), is not the result of ongoing excessive exertion, and is not substantially alleviated by rest;
  2. postexertional malaise (often described by patients as a “crash” or “collapse” after even minor physical or mental exertion);
  3. unrefreshing sleep; and
  4. cognitive impairment and/or orthostatic intolerance.

Tucker, M. IOM Gives Chronic Fatigue Syndrome a New Name and Definition. Medscape Medical News. February 10, 2015.



New Survey Results for Natural Health Approaches and Usage

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), along with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just released results from its 2012 National Health Interview Survey on the usage of complementary and integrative products and modalities among adults and children.

Some interesting findings include:

  • 2012 overall usage is about the same, once 2002 and 2007 results were adjusted.
    • Yoga usage has nearly doubled among whites, blacks and Hispanics.
    • Various therapies and modalities are used complementary to, not in lieu of (‘alternative medicine’) conventional medical delivery.
    • An increase of products and modalities to address pain management.
    • Herbal medicine usage remains largest category.
    • Fish oil and melatonin usage has increase exponentially, while glucosamine, chondroitin and Echinacea usage has dropped precipitously.
    • Significant drop in usage among the poor.

Access the complete report here.


Sabin, G. NIH (NCCIH) Releases 2012 Survey Results for Natural Health Approaches and Usage. Fons Consulting. February 2015.

Clarke TC, Black LI, Stussman BJ,et al. Trends in the use of complementary health approaches among adults:United States, 2002–2012. National health statistics reports; no.79. Hyattsville,MD: National Center for Health Statistics.2015


What Dose Of Jogging Is Best?

5,000 healthy Danish adults were selected for a study to determine the best dose of jogging. 1,100 healthy joggers and 413 sedentary people were followed for more than 12 years. The joggers noted their hours, perception of pace, and frequency of jogging. The strenuous and sedentary joggers were equally and more likely to die compared to the moderate joggers.

“In this study, the dose of running that was most favorable for reducing mortality was jogging 1 to 2.4 hours per week, with no more than three running days per week,” said study researcher Jacob Marott of the Frederiksberg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark. The best pace was slow or average — about 5 miles per hour, he added.

Limitations To Consider:

In Lee’s own study of 55,000 adults, including more than 13,000 runners, he found a lower risk of death over the follow-up period in joggers with the highest running time and frequency — nearly three hours a week and at least six times a week — compared with non-runners. It was published in 2014, also in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In the Copenhagen study, joggers self-reported their pace. Even the slow joggers were getting vigorous exercise, the researchers said.

When It Comes to Jogging, Easy Does It, Study Suggests. Health Day. February 2, 2015.

Dose of Jogging and Long-Term MortalityThe Copenhagen City Heart Study. Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(5):411-419. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2014.11.023


Sleep, Teens, & Electronics

A large cross-sectional population-based survey study from 2012 was done with 9846 adolescents from three age cohorts aged 16–19 to assess both the effect of frequency of electronic devices at bedtime and hours of screen-time during leisure time on sleep measurements.

Conclusions: Use of electronic devices is frequent in adolescence, during the day as well as at bedtime. The results demonstrate a negative relation between use of technology and sleep, suggesting that recommendations on healthy media use could include restrictions on electronic devices.

Sleep and use of electronic devices in adolescence: results from a large population-based study. BMJ Open. 2015;5:e006748 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006748


Sleep Recommendations Updated

National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary. DOI:



Sleep and Waist Circumference

A meta-analysis of 21 studies out of 1,376 articles was done to assess the magnitude and the consistency of the relation of insufficient sleep and waist circumference.

Conclusions: Internationally, cross-sectional studies demonstrate a significant negative relation between sleep duration and WC, indicating shorter sleep durations covary with central adiposity. Future research should include prospective studies.

Sperry SD, Scully ID, Gramzow RH, Jorgensen RS. Sleep Duration and Waist Circumference in Adults: A Meta-Analysis. Sleep. 2015 Jan 12. pii: sp-00440-14.


The Science of Tapping

You don’t have to keep suffering from pain unnecessarily. Research shows that pain can be reduced by up to two-thirds with a simple and easily-learned method: the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Read the article for links and sources to studies..

Church, D. EFT: Tap Away Your Stress and Pain with This Extraordinary Healing Tool. February 19, 2015.


The Path That Leads To Compulsive Overeating-In Mice

Compulsive overeating and sugar addiction are major threats to human health, but potential treatments face the risk of impairing normal feeding behaviors that are crucial for survival. A new study reveals a reward-related neural circuit that specifically controls compulsive sugar consumption in mice without preventing feeding necessary for survival, providing a novel target for the safe and effective treatment of compulsive overeating in humans.

Cell Press. Brain circuit that controls compulsive overeating and sugar addiction discovered. ScienceDaily. January 2015.

Decoding Neural Circuits that Control Compulsive Sucrose Seeking. Cell. 2015; 160 (3): 528 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.01.003

Visualizing Hypothalamic Network Dynamics for Appetitive and Consummatory Behaviors. Cell. 2015; 160 (3): 516 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.12.026



What Do All Mental Disorders Have In Common?

To address that question, he and his colleagues pooled data from 193 separate studies containing, in all, magnetic-resonance images of the brains of 7,381 patients falling into six diagnostic categories: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder and a cluster of related anxiety disorders. Comparing the images with those from 8,511 healthy control subjects, the research team identified three separate brain structures, several centimeters apart from one another, with a diminished volume of gray matter, the brain tissue that serves to process information.

(Note: The common brain structures found are involved in higher-level executive functions (planning, multi-tasking, ect). There were also some incongruities in other areas of gray matter loss noted in depression and schizophrenia).

Stanford University School of Medicine. Different mental disorders cause same brain-matter loss, study finds. February 4, 2015. Accessed at


Video Time Again- Thriving Through the Ages

Perspective alert:

Dr. Northrup. Goddesses Never Age: Thriving With Each Passing Year. February 19, 2015.



A Ketone Metabolite Linked to Benefits of Fasting & Inflammation

Two ketone bodies, B-hydroxybutryate (BHB) and acetoacetate (AcAc) are what is used to support mammals during states of low fuel and are alternative sources of energy production. It was found that BHB, but not other structurally related short chain acids, was linked to modulating health effects associated with caloric restriction and dieting.

… suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of caloric restriction or ketogenic diets may be linked to BHB-mediated inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome.


Plan English Summary From Yale:

Researchers have found that a compound produced by the body when dieting or fasting can block a part of the immune system involved in several inflammatory disorders such as type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Youm Y-H, Nguyen KY, Grant RW, Goldberg EL, Bodogai M, Kim D, D’Agostin K, Planvasky, N, et al. The ketone metabolite ?-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasome–mediated inflammatory disease. Nature Medicine. 2015; DOI: 10.1038/nm.3804

Yale University. Anti-inflammatory mechanism of dieting and fasting revealed. ScienceDaily, 16 February 2015..


Obesity, Oxidative Stress, and Disease

. Recently, adipose tissue, especially in the visceral compartment, has been considered not only as a simple energy depository tissue, but also as an active endocrine organ releasing a variety of biologically active molecules known as adipocytokines or adipokines. Based on the complex interplay between adipokines, obesity is also characterized by chronic low grade inflammation with permanently increased oxidative stress (OS). Over-expression of oxidative stress damages cellular structures together with under-production of anti-oxidant mechanisms, leading to the development of obesity-related complications.

Oxidative Stress in Obesity: A Critical Component in Human Diseases. J. Mol. Sci. 2015; 16(1), 378-400. doi:10.3390/ijms16010378


Are We (Road) Salt Addicted?

Chloride concentrations in northern U.S. included in this study have increased substantially over time with average concentrations approximately doubling from 1990 to 2011, outpacing the rate of urbanization in the northern U.S.

Unfortunately, our use of chloride negatively impacts aquatic life.

River chloride trends in snow-affected urban watersheds: increasing concentrations outpace urban growth rate and are common among all seasons. Science of the Total Environment. March 2015.   doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.12.012

EPA Source Water Bulletin:



Dementia & Geography

A study aimed to estimate the role of geographical variation in comparison to genetics on dementia rates. This was done by studying two twin cohorts in Sweden and Scotland and distinguishing variances based on environmental factors. Geographic variation in dementia rates were found to be 2-to-3 fold in Sweden, and in Scotland, variation in dementia odds was found only after childhood.

There is geographical variation in dementia rates. Most of this variation is likely to result from unshared environmental factors that have their effect in adolescence or later. Further work is required to confirm these findings and identify any potentially modifiable socioenvironmental risk factors for dementia responsible for this geographical variation in risk. However, if these factors do exist and could be optimized in the whole population, our results suggest that dementia rates could be halved.

Geographical variation in dementia: examining the role of environmental factors in Sweden and Scotland. Epidemiology. 2015 Mar;26(2):263-70. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000230.



Shocking Memory!

Basically, participants were shocked to make events more noteworthy and worth remembering. (Imagine volunteering for that study!)

Here we show, in humans, that information is selectively consolidated if conceptually related information, putatively represented in a common neural substrate, is made salient through an emotional learning experience. Memory for neutral objects was selectively enhanced if other objects from the same category were paired with shock. Retroactive enhancements as a result of emotional learning were observed following a period of consolidation, but were not observed in an immediate memory test or for items strongly encoded before fear conditioning. These findings provide new evidence for a generalized retroactive memory enhancement, whereby inconsequential information can be retroactively credited as relevant, and therefore selectively remembered, if conceptually related information acquires salience in the future.

Emotional learning selectively and retroactively strengthens memories for related events. Nature. 2015 Jan 21. doi: 10.1038/nature14106. [Epub ahead of print]


Overestimating Risk- The Pros and Cons

The latest analysis, which included patients from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), showed that the 2013 ACC/AHA risk calculator, which is designed to assess the 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, overestimated the risk of cardiovascular end points by 86% in men and 67% in women. Overall, the ACC/AHA risk score overestimated risk by a net of 78%, report investigators.

O’Riordan M. Another Study Shows ACC/AHA Risk Calculator Overestimates CVD Events. Heartwire. February 18, 2015.



Antioxidants and Asthma

A nested case-control study of Shanghai women (aged 40-70 years) without prevalent asthma at baseline were followed for over 8 years. The researchers matched those with incident asthma to two asymptomatic control subjects. Various measures of antioxidant status were measured and compared including platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolases (PAF-AH) and a component of vitamin E (a-tocopherol).

CONCLUSIONS: In this prospective study, ?-tocopherol, within normal reference ranges, and PAF-AH enzymatic activity were associated with decreased asthma development. These modifiable risk factors may be an effective strategy to test for primary asthma prevention.

Larkin EK; Gao YT; Gebretsadik T; Hartman TJ; Wu P; Wen W; Yang G; Bai C; Jin M; Roberts LJ; Gross M; Shu XO; Hartert TV. New risk factors for adult-onset incident asthma. A nested case-control study of host antioxidant defense. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015; 191(1):45-53 (ISSN: 1535-4970)




 HiRes (2)

Less Pesticide Exposure In Sample of “Organic Eaters”

Researchers assessed the long-term dietary exposure to 14 OPs (organic pesticides) among 4,466 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis to examine the influence of organic produce consumption on this exposure. The authors estimated exposure through intake patterns and urinary dialkylphosphate (DAP) levels across tertiles of estimated exposure (n=480). In a second analysis, they compared DAP levels across subgroups with differing self-reported organic produce consumption habits (n=240). More frequent eating of organic was linked to lower DAPs.

Results: Among conventional consumers, increasing tertile of estimated dietary OP exposure was associated with higher DAP concentrations (p<0.05). DAP concentrations were also significantly lower in groups reporting more frequent consumption of organic produce (p<0.02).

Curl CL, Beresford, SAA, Fenske RA, Fitzpatrick AL, Lu C, Nettleton JA, Kaufman JD. Estimating Pesticide Exposure from Dietary Intake and Organic Food Choices: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1408197

Full article link:

Other sources on pesticides and organic products:

  1. NASS Surveys: Vegetable Crops 2010. July 27, 2011.
  2. The Organic Center. Your Daily Bread. April 2012.
  3. USDA. Pesticide Data Program. Annual Summary Report 2013. December 2014.


Shifting View on Saturated Fat

This topic deserves a WHOLE Blog. Click here for more information at


Top Nutrients for Brain

Published in The Lancet Psychiatry today, leading academics state that as with a range of medical conditions, psychiatry and public health should now recognise and embrace diet and nutrition as key determinants of mental health.

Studies show that many of these nutrients have a clear link to brain health, including omega-3s, B vitamins (particularly folate and B12), choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), vitamin D, and amino acids.

University of Melbourne. Diet, nutrition essential for mental health. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2015.

Jerome Sarris, PhD et al. Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry. The Lancet Psychiatry. January 2015 DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(14)00051-0


The Real Food Movement

  • Family Farmed is a non-profit organization that connects farmers, supermarkets, and trade buyers to build a system of local food channels.
  • Chicago Public Schools, which sources apples, broccoli, cabbage, antibiotic-free chicken and other foods from local farmers, is one of the success stories of this local food movement.
  • Food hubs are also popping up around the US. They serve an important role as intermediaries by aggregating local food from local farmers, which is then redistributed to supermarkets, restaurants, or other wholesale buyers

Mercola, J. Increasing Healthy Locally Grown Food—The Good Food Movement. February 15, 2015.


Video Break 3: Are You Being Betrayed By Your Food?

Alan Lewis. Food Betrayl-Don’t Believe the Lies.Tedx Boulder. Fiberrati.





Favorite Chocolate Excerpt of Valentine’s Day Week

Recently, the scientific community has become aware that the microbe-derived metabolites of polyphenols represent a large proportion of dietary polyphenol intake [106,125,126,127,128], impacting on their bioavailability and potentially exhibiting some bioactive effects [129,130,131,132]. Moreover, regular consumption of polyphenol-rich cocoa could in turn influence the colonic bacterial population and metabolic activities [133], enlarging inter-individual flavanol bioavailability variation [134]. For example, a significant difference in bacterial metabolite profiles between regular cocoa product consumers and non-consumers was reported in response to dark chocolate intervention [135]. Nowadays, microbial cocoa metabolites are being reconsidered with regard to their health-related bioactivities, including those related to CVD inflammation, which we will address later in the corresponding section.

Khan N, Khymenets O, Urpí-Sardà M, et al. Cocoa Polyphenols and Inflammatory Markers of Cardiovascular Disease. Nutrients. 2014;6(2):844-880. doi:10.3390/nu6020844.


Infertility, Endometriosis, and Infection

A study was done to determine the prevalence of chronic endometritis (CE) in 106 women with a history unexplained infertility and repeated unexplained implantation failure (RIF) at IVF. The study also assessed how antibiotic treatment in those with EC would affect the reproductive outcome of clinical pregnancy rate (PR) and live birth rate (LBR) at post IVF attempt. These results were compared with women without signs of CE (group1) and persistent CE (group 2). It was found that seventy women were diagnosed with CE and that those in group 1 had more positive outcomes.

Cicinelli E; Matteo M; Tinelli R; Lepera A; Alfonso R; Indraccolo U; Marrocchella S; Greco P; Resta L. Prevalence of chronic endometritis in repeated unexplained implantation failure and the IVF success rate after antibiotic therapy. Hum Reprod.  2015; 30(2):323-30 (ISSN: 1460-2350)



White Blood Cell Levels Of Vitamin C and Parkinson’s disease Progression

A sixty-two subject study of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) concluded:

Our findings suggest that lymphocyte vitamin C levels in the peripheral blood may be a potentially useful biomarker for the progression of PD.

Ide K, Yamada H, Umegaki K, et al. Lymphocyte vitamin C levels as potential biomarker for progression of Parkinson’s disease. Nutrition. 2015 Feb;31(2):406-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.08.001. Epub 2014 Aug 23.



Multivitamins- NO Risk for Cardiovascular Health in Large Observational Study with Women

Design: A prospective cohort study of 37,193 women from the Women’s Health Study aged ?45 y and free of CVD and cancer at baseline and followed for an average of 16.2 y. At baseline, women self-reported a wide range of lifestyle, clinical, and dietary factors. Women were categorized into 1) no current use and 2) current use of multivitamins. Duration and updated measures over the course of the follow-up to address short-term effects were also considered. Women were followed for major CVD events, including myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and CVD death.

…Conclusions: In this study of middle-aged and elderly women, neither baseline nor time-varying multivitamin use was associated with the long-term risk of major CVD events, MI, stroke, cardiac revascularizations, or CVD death. Additional studies are needed to clarify the role of multivitamins on CVD.

Multivitamin use and cardiovascular disease in a prospective study of women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 ajcn.088310; First published online November 5, 2014



Why Nix the Fructose?

This review examines data from human and animal studies on the negative repercussions of added sugars on health. The authors support stricter guidelines for restricting fructose-containing added sugar which, unlike whole foods, are linked to the development of diabetes mellitus and related metabolic derangements that raise cardiovascular (CV) risk.

There is no need for added fructose or any added sugars in the diet; reducing intake to 5% of total calories (the level now suggested by the World Health Organization) has been shown to improve glucose tolerance in humans and decrease the prevalence of diabetes and the metabolic derangements that often precede and accompany it. Reducing the intake of added sugars could translate to reduced diabetes-related morbidity and premature mortality for populations.

DiNicolantonio JJ. O’Keefe JH, Lucan SC. Added Fructose. A Principal Driver of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Its Consequences. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. January 29, 2015. DOI:

Cross References from article:

High fructose corn syrup and diabetes prevalence: A global perspective. Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice. 2013. (8):1. DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2012.736257

Reiser, S., Bohn, E., Hallfrisch, J., Michaelis, O.E., Keeney, M., and Prather, E.S. Serum insulin and glucose in hyperinsulinemic subjects fed three different levels of sucrose. Am J Clin Nutr. 1981; 34: 2348–2358


Sugar On the Brain : Type 1 Diabetes In Children Linked to Mental Disorders

a population-based case-cohort study of individuals born in Sweden between 1973 and 2009. Children with type 1 diabetes (n = 17,122) and their healthy siblings (n = 18,847) were identified and followed until their 18th birthday. Their risk of psychiatric disorders was compared with that of matched control subjects.

Children with type 1 diabetes are at high risk of psychiatric disorders, which seems to be a consequence of the disease rather than due to a common familial etiology. The results support recommendations on comprehensive mental health surveillance in children with type 1 diabetes, especially in recently diagnosed children.

Risks of Psychiatric Disorders and Suicide Attempts in Children and Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes: A Population-Based Cohort Study. Diabetes Care. February 3, 2015, doi: 10.2337/dc14-0262


Fish Oil & Epilepsy

A phase II randomized controlled crossover trial of low-dose and high-dose fish oil in 24 participants with drug resistant epilepsy was done to assess if low-dose or high-dose fish oil reduces seizures or improves cardiovascular health. This study lasted 42 weeks and contained three 10-week treatment periods and two 6-week periods with no treatment. .

FINDINGS: Low-dose fish oil (3 capsules/day, 1080?mg eicosapentaenoic acid+docosahexaenoic acid) was associated with a 33.6% reduction in seizure frequency compared with placebo. Low-dose fish oil was also associated with a mild but significant reduction in blood pressure. High-dose fish oil was no different than placebo in reducing seizures or improving cardiac risk factors.

DeGiorgio CM1, Miller PR1, Harper R1, Gornbein J1, Schrader L1, Soss J1, Meymandi S1. Fish oil (n-3 fatty acids) in drug resistant epilepsy: a randomised placebo-controlled crossover study. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2015 Jan;86(1):65-70. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2014-307749. Epub 2014 Sep 8.