Drug Updates

Pig Virus Contamination in Baby Vaccination for Rotavirus (NVIC/FDA/Science Direct)

Possible Oncogene (Science Direct)

The lymphoid, renal, pulmonary, and hepatic lesions of naturally occurring postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) affected pigs have been studied by means of immunohistology. The characteristics of lymphoid lesions in the present study strongly suggest an immunosuppressive effect of PMWS in affected pigs.

FDA Update:

OK for Pig Virus in Rotateq

NVIC Summary & References:

Scientists working in the labs of Merck and the FDA don’t know if pig virus DNA will infect human cells and change human DNA so that the babies given contaminated rotavirus vaccines – or their children – will someday suffer immune suppression that damages lungs, kidneys, brains and reproductive ability before they die just like the baby pigs are dying today.

I attended the May 7 FDA meeting and made two public comments on behalf of the National Vaccine Information Center.  At that meeting I heard GlaxoSmithKline officials pledge to clean up Rotarix but Merck did not show up to answer any questions or make any public pledges.

A lot of experts sitting around the table used words like “we believe” and “we don’t think” and “there is no evidence” when they defended the assumed safety of contaminated rotavirus vaccines. Nobody seemed to know exactly how the vaccines became contaminated or why the tests used by drug companies and the FDA did not detect the contamination before they were licensed and released. Nobody seemed to know if the pig virus DNA was infectious or not, but then, quickly almost everyone at the table agreed the contaminated rotavirus vaccines should still be given to babies.

THIS is science? This is the kind of science we are supposed to trust to keep us healthy?

FDA Guidance for Vaccine Industry Substrates and Materials (Dr. Mercola/FDA)

Special Considerations for Continuous Cell Lines

Some continuous cell lines, including Vero cells and CHO cells, have been used as substrates for licensed biologicals. Cell lines might have biochemical, biological, and genetic characteristics that differ from primary or diploid cells (e.g., they are typically aneuploid and have accumulated genetic changes). Because the mechanism by which most cell lines become immortal is generally unknown, and because some cell lines form tumors when inoculated into immunodeficient rodents, there are additional concerns for continuous cell lines compared with diploid cells, including the potential that transformation was caused by an adventitious agent and potential risks from residual DNA.

Products prepared in cell lines (including viral vaccines) should be purified to be free (see Section V. Glossary) of adventitious agents and residual cells and should have low levels of cell-substrate DNA. When potential biological activity of residual cell substrate DNA is a concern, you should introduce procedures that extensively remove or degrade DNA. If you are considering the use of cell lines, we encourage you to develop and evaluate efficient methods for the purification of your product as an essential element of any product development program.

Residual DNA might be a risk to your final product because of oncogenic and/or infectivity potential. There are several potential mechanisms by which residual DNA could be oncogenic, including the integration and expression of encoded oncogenes or insertional mutagenesis following DNA integration. Residual DNA also might be capable of transmitting viral infections if retroviral proviruses, integrated copies of DNA viruses, or extrachromosomal genomes are present.

The risks of oncogenicity and infectivity of your cell-substrate DNA can be lessened by decreasing its biological activity. This can be accomplished by decreasing the amount of residual DNA and reducing the size of the DNA (e.g., by DNAse treatment or other methods) to below the size of a functional gene (based on current evidence, approximately 200 base pairs). Chemical inactivation can decrease both the size and biological activity of DNA. If DNA removal, digestion, or inactivation is undertaken, you should validate your methods.

You should measure the amount and size distribution of residual DNA in your final product.

FDA Purposes to Changes Rule to Fast Track Vaccines (NVIC)

This past spring, the FDA took a hands-off approach to Merck’s admission that DNA from a lethal pig virus is contaminating doses of RotaTeq vaccine being swallowed by millions of newborn babies. Now the agency responsible for making sure pharmaceutical products do not hurt people is proposing a Rule Change to give one staff employee the sole authority to allow “exceptions or alternatives” when drug companies want to change vaccine ingredients, such as preservatives (like thimerosal) or adjuvants (like aluminum) or the amount of residual protein and antibiotics in vaccines.
The FDA’s proposed change to Requirements for Constituent Materials was quietly published in The Federal Register on March 30 and the deadline for public comment is only days away – on Monday, June 28. 



The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to amend the biologics regulations to permit the Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) or the Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), as appropriate, to approve exceptions or alternatives to the regulation for constituent materials. FDA is taking this action due to advances in developing and manufacturing safe, pure, and potent biological products licensed under a section of the Public Health Service Act (the PHS Act) that, in some instances, render the existing constituent materials regulation too prescriptive and unnecessarily restrictive. This rule provides manufacturers of licensed biological products with flexibility, as appropriate, to employ advances in science and technology as they become available, without diminishing public health protections.


Revisions of Requirements for Constituent Materials

Prescription Drug Use in the United States (Kaiser)


The average American, aged 19 to 64, now takes close to 12 prescription drugs! The average senior typically fills over 30 prescriptions every year, and even children, between the ages of 0-18, are taking an average of close to 4 prescriptions annually! This brings up yet another problem, which is the exponentially increased health risk of mixing multiple drugs. Both of these issues – prescription drug abuse, and drug overuse – have a major impact on the health, well being, and longevity of the American population, as well as our health care system. The Baltimore Sun quotes R. Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, as saying: “With drug use accounting for tens of billions of dollars per year in health care costs, and drug overdoses ranking second only to motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death, the nation needs to discard the idea that enforcement alone can eliminate our drug problem.”

FDA Warns of Fracture Risk with PPIs (webmd)

May 25, 2010 — Popular PPI antacids — Aciphex, Dexilant, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, Vimovo, and Zegerid — raise the risk of bone fracture, especially when used for a year or more or at high doses, the FDA warns. The warning comes after U.S. and Canadian researchers linked the use of PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) to fracture risk in middle-aged adults.  Another U.S. study suggests that the drugs may also increase risk of infection with C. difficile, a bacterium that can cause severe diarrhea. “There is a possible increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine if you take certain drugs for heartburn, acid reflux, or ulcers,” the FDA today warned consumers.

PPIs also Increase Risk of C. Diff & GI Bleeding

Arch Intern Med. 2008 Apr 28;168(8):826-31.

Use of alendronate and risk of incident atrial fibrillation in women.

Heckbert SRLi GCummings SRSmith NLPsaty BM.

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, University of Washington, 1730 Minor Ave, Ste 1360, Seattle, WA 98101-1448, USA. heckbert@u.washington.edu

Comment in:


BACKGROUND: A recent publication from the HORIZON (Health Outcomes and Reduced Incidence With Zoledronic Acid Once Yearly) trial in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis reported a higher risk of serious atrial fibrillation (AF) in zoledronic acid recipients than in placebo recipients. This adverse effect was unexpected and had not been recognized previously. CONCLUSION: Ever use of alendronate was associated with an increased risk of incident AF in clinical practice. PMID: 18443257

The New Anti-Inflammatory Medicine? Omega Fish Oil? (Vital Choice)

Inflammatory pain, such as arthritic and post-operative pain, is triggered by tissue injury, leading to the release of compounds that increase inflammation and also act within the spinal cord to promote persistent pain.
The researchers found that two resolvins – RvE1 (derived from EPA) and RvD1 (derived from DHA) – reduced inflammatory pain symptoms in mice.
The results showed that RvE1 was 10,000 times more potent at alleviating pain than omega-3 EPA itself, which suggests that resolvins should be targets for drug development.
Confirming the mechanism by which omega-3s can relieve pain indirectly, an artificial compound called Chemerin – which binds to the same cell receptor as RvE1 and RvD1 – also significantly reduced pain symptoms.
Aside from its proven anti-inflammatory effects, they also found that RvE1 acts in the spinal cord to prevent the persistent activation of nerve cells that underlies chronic pain.
Importantly – and unlike powerful analgesic opiate-class drugs like codeine or oxycontin – the analgesic effects of the omega-3-derived resolvins did not alter the animals’ normal sensitivity to pain.
We hope that findings like these will lead to a new class of analgesic drugs that are much safer but just as effective as NSAIDs.

Viagra Linked to Hearing Loss (ChiroAccess Newsletter)

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 May;136(5):488-92.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of self-reported hearing impairment and PDE-5i use in each group was 17.9% and 2%, respectively. Men who reported hearing impairment were more likely to have also reported the use of any PDE-5i (odds ratio [OR], 2.23; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36-3.66). However, this association was limited to sildenafil (Viagra) (OR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.23-3.43); no significant associations were observed for tadalafil (Cialis) or vardenafil (Levitra) (ORs, 1.40 [95% CI, 0.49-4.04] and 0.88 [95% CI, 0.35-2.22], respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Current warnings regarding the risk of hearing loss related to PDE-5i use seems to be justified. However, the cross-sectional nature of the current study provides only limited insight regarding this relationship, and thus additional research is warranted.

Metformin Depletes B12 ( British Medical Journal)

Conclusions Long term treatment with metformin increases the risk ofvitamin B-12 deficiency, which results in raised homocysteine concentrations.Vitamin B-12 deficiency is preventable; therefore, our findings suggest that regular measurement of vitamin B-12 concentrations during long termmetformin treatment should be strongly considered.

Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy Linked to Miscarriage (webmd)

Overall, the analysis showed:

  • A 68% increased risk in miscarriage in pregnant women using any class of antidepressant drugs compared with women who had never used antidepressants.
  • A 61% increased risk among those who used SSRIs.
  • A 75% increased risk of miscarriage associated with the SSRI Paxil.
  • A 19% increased risk of miscarriage among those who had a history of depression.

There was also an independent risk associated with Effexor, part of the class of antidepressants called serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

“Animal studies had shown that rats were aborting more frequently when they were using antidepressants,” Anick Bérard, PhD, director of the research unit on medications and pregnancy at the University of Montreal and senior study author, tells WebMD in an email. “No human study had looked at classes, types, and dosages of antidepressants and the risk of spontaneous abortions.”

Although any kind of exact biological mechanism remains unclear, Bérard says “it is believed that antidepressants have a mediated serotonin effect that would put pressure on the uterus at a very early stage of pregnancy.”More research would be needed to flesh out any biological connection.

The Overuse of Antibiotics-A Viscious Cycle (Reuters)

The more antibiotics are prescribed for coughs and flu-like illnesses, or urine infections, the more bacteria become resistant in a vicious cycle, said British researchers who analyzed 24 previous studies of antibiotic resistance.

“The effect is greatest in the month immediately after treatment, but may last for up to a year, and this residual effect may be a driver for high levels of resistance in the community,” said Alastair Hay, a consultant senior lecturer in primary health care at Bristol University, who led the research.

Medical experts say overuse of antibiotics in Europe, the United States and other wealthy regions is building widespread resistance in and threatening vital medical treatments from hip replacements and cancer therapies, to intensive care.

Experts say the annual cost in the United States of treating infections traceable to just six drug-resistant bacteria is more than $1.87 billion — more than the yearly cost of treating flu.

Blood Pressure Drug May Increase Risk of Cancer (webmd)

A study published online in The Lancet Oncology states that although there are no major safety concerns associated with ARBs, a previous trial had reported a significantly increased risk of fatal cancers in patients receiving the ARB candesartan compared with a placebo.

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland examined data from previous trials of ARBs. They also looked at new cancer data in five trials involving 61,590 patients, common types of cancers (lung,prostate, breast) in another five trials of 68,402 patients, and cancer deaths in eight trials involving 93,515 patients.

Environmental Medicine

Climate’s Impact on Health (Medical News Today)

The white paper highlights the state-of-the-science on the human health consequences of climate change on:

  • Asthma, respiratory allergies, and airway diseases
  • Mental health and stress-related disorders
  • Cancer
  • Neurological diseases and disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • Waterborne diseases
  • Foodborne diseases and nutrition
  • Weather-related morbidity and mortality
  • Heat-related morbidity and mortality
  • Vectorborne and zoonotic diseases (like malaria, which can be transmitted from animals to humans)
  • Human developmental effects

Climate & The Organic Revolution (3 minute video)

GMO Pesticides Cause More Resistant Bugs (Pubmed)


Long-term ecological effects of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crops on nontarget pests have received limited attention, more so in diverse small holder-based cropping systems of the developing world. Field trials conducted over 10 years in northern China show that mirid bugs (Heteroptera: Miridae) have progressively increased population sizes and acquired pest status in cotton and multiple other crops, in association with a regional increase in Bt cotton adoption. More specifically, our analyses show that Bt cotton has become a source of mirid bugs and that their population increases are related to drops in insecticide use in this crop. Hence, alterations of pest management regimes in Bt cotton could be responsible for the appearance and subsequent spread of nontarget pests at an agro-landscape level.

PMID: 20466880

More Reasons to be Very Concerned About Bt Crops (Dr. Mercola)

So far it’s been revealed that Bt crops are spurring the creation of new pests and Bt-resistant bugs, along with being toxic to animals. What’s left? The crops are also potentially toxic to humans.

The Bt toxin kills pests by splitting open their stomachs. Monsanto claims the crops are safe for humans, however, because organic farmers have used natural Bt sprays as pest control for years. But Jeffrey Smith points out that there’s actually a very big difference:

“GM plants produce about 3,000-5,000 times the amount of toxin as the sprays. A Bt-producing GM plant continuously produces the toxin in every cell where it does not dissipate by weather and cannot be washed off.

The bacterial spray form, on the other hand, is broken down within a few days to two weeks by sunlight, high temperatures, or substances on the leaves of plants, and can be “washed from leaves into the soil by rainfall,” or rinsed by consumers.

The natural toxin produced in bacteria is inactive until it gets inside the alkaline digestive tract of an insect. Once inside, a “safety catch” is removed and the Bt becomes toxic.

But scientists change the sequence of the Bt gene before inserting it into GM plants. The Bt toxin it produces usually comes without the safety catch. The plant-produced Bt toxin is always active and more likely to trigger an immune response than the natural variety.”

In India, farm workers who handle Bt crops are already reporting allergy and flu-like symptoms. There’s also concern that the Bt toxin could remain active in your intestines, turning your digestive tract into a virtual pesticide factory. As Smith says:

“The only published human feeding study revealed that even after you stop eating GMOs, harmful GM proteins may be produced continuously inside of you; genes inserted into GM soy transfer into bacteria inside your intestines and continue to function.

If Bt genes also transfer, eating corn chips might transform your intestinal bacteria into a living pesticide factory”

Hammy the Hamster Goes Organic (OCA)

If you need a pick-me-up after learning the depressing news that GMO-fed hamsters become sterile, have higher rates of infant mortality, and have cubs that grow fur in their mouths, watch this terribly cute video that shows that, when not being force-fedGMOs by Russian biologists, hamsters will choose organic.

9 Reasons to Go Organic:

Overview- Better for the environment, less toxins/pesticides, sewer sludge, more nutrients

Laundry Detergents Tainted with Toxin (OCA)

When cleaning products and detergents are processed using ethoxylation, a cheap technique that lessens the severity of the harsher ingredients, 1,4-dioxane is created. Since it is considered a byproduct of ethylene oxide reacting with other ingredients, 1,4-dioxane is technically considered a contaminant and thus does not have to be included on product labeling. As a result, consumers are largely unaware of its presence in major household products.

For the study, Steinman evaluated 20 different laundry detergents from both conventional and “natural” brands. Evoxa, an independent, third-party laboratory that is highly respected for its rigorous methods and high standards, conducted all product testing. The results are as follows:

Conventional brands:
1. Tide (P&G) – 55 parts per million (ppm)
2. Ivory Snow Gentle (P&G) – 31 ppm
3. Tide Free (P&G) – 29 ppm
4. Purex (Dial Corp.) – 25 ppm
5. Gain 2X Ultra (P&G) – 21 ppm
6. Cheer BrightClean Detergent (P&G) – 20 ppm
7. Era 2X Ultra (P&G) – 14 ppm
8. Arm & Hammer (Church & Dwight Co.) – 5.0 ppm
9. Wisk 2X Ultra (Sun Products Corp.) – 3.9 ppm
10. Woolite Complete Detergent (Reckitt Benckiser) – 1.3 ppm

11. All laundry detergent (Unilever) – 0.6 ppm

12. Dreft powdered detergent (P&G) – non-detectable (ND)

13. Sun Burst (Sun Products Corp.) – ND

“Natural” brands: (ND= not detected )
1. Planet Ultra Liquid laundry detergent – 6.1 ppm
2. Mrs. Meyers laundry detergent – 1.5 ppm
3. Clorox Green Works Natural laundry detergent – ND
4. Ecos laundry detergent (Earth Friendly Products) – ND
5. Life Tree Laundry Liquid – ND
6. Method Squeaky Green laundry detergent – ND

7. Seventh Generation Free & Clear laundry detergent – ND

Mobile Phone Use and Brain Tumors (Journal of Clinical Oncology)

Results Of 465 articles meeting our initial criteria, 23 case-control studies, which involved 37,916 participants (12,344 patient cases and 25,572 controls), were included in the final analyses. Compared with never or rarely having used a mobile phone, the odds ratio for overall use was 0.98 for malignant and benign tumors (95% CI, 0.89 to 1.07) in a random-effects meta-analysis of all 23 studies. However, a significant positive association (harmful effect) was observed in a random-effects meta-analysis of eight studies using blinding, whereas a significant negative association (protective effect) was observed in a fixed-effects meta-analysis of 15 studies not using blinding. Mobile phone use of 10 years or longer was associated with a risk of tumors in 13 studies reporting this association (odds ratio = 1.18; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.34). Further, these findings were also observed in the subgroup analyses by methodologic quality of study. Blinding and methodologic quality of study were strongly associated with the research group.

Conclusion The current study found that there is possible evidence linking mobile phone use to an increased risk of tumors from a meta-analysis of low-biased case-control studies. Prospective cohort studies providing a higher level of evidence are needed.

Report from President’s Cancer Panel on Environmental Concerns and Links to Cancer (IFM)

Public and governmental awareness of environmental influences on cancer risk and other health issues has increased substantially in recent years as scientific and health care communities, policymakers, and individuals strive to understand and ameliorate the causes and toll of human disease. A growing body of research documents myriad established and suspected environmental factors linked to genetic, immune, and endocrine dysfunction that can lead to cancer and other diseases.

Between September 2008 and January 2009, the President’s Cancer Panel (the Panel) convened four meetings to assess the state of environmental cancer research, policy, and programs addressing known and potential effects of environmental exposures on cancer. The Panel received testimony from 45 invited experts from academia, government, industry, the environmental and cancer advocacy communities, and the public.

This report summarizes the Panel’s findings and conclusions based on the testimony received and additional information gathering. The Panel’s recommendations delineate concrete actions that governments; industry; the research, health care, and advocacy communities; and individuals can take to reduce cancer risk related to environmental contaminants, excess radiation, and other harmful exposures.

McDonald’s Recalls Shrek Glasses Due to Cadmium (Webmd)

Hidden Dangers of Irridation (citizens.org/Mercola)

In 1971, two University of Massachusetts food researchers discovered that when certain fats commonly found in food are irradiated, the resulting by-products include a unique class of chemicals called cyclobutanones. The discovery was significant, because cyclobutanones have never been found to naturally occur in any food.

Thirty years later, the discovery of these chemicals lies at the center of an international debate that could have profound implications for the future of irradiated food. In recent experiments conducted by German government scientists, one of these chemicals, 2-? or 2-DCB ? was shown to cause genetic damage when given to rats, and genetic and cellular damage to human and rat cells.

Two other chemicals in the cyclobutanone family ? 2-TCB and 2-TDCB ? were also shown to cause genetic and cellular damage to human cells.

Update on Cigarettes (Dr. Mercola)

What this means is that no one is testing for residues of EPA-approved pesticides in cigarettes, despite their potential to cause serious damage to smokers and non-smokers alike.

For this reason, if you are going to smoke it would be best to use organic cigarettes that are free from these toxic chemicals and pesticides.

Cigarettes contain:

  • Acetone – found in nail polish remover
  • Acetic Acid – an ingredient in hair dye
  • Ammonia – a common household cleaner
  • Arsenic – used in rat poison
  • Benzene – found in rubber cement
  • Butane – used in lighter fluid
  • Cadmium – active component in battery acid
  • Carbon Monoxide – released in car exhaust fumes
  • Formaldehyde – embalming fluid
  • Hexamine – found in barbecue lighter fluid
  • Lead – used in batteries
  • Napthalene – an ingredient in moth balls
  • Methanol – a main component in rocket fuel
  • Nicotine – used as insecticide
  • Tar – material for paving roads
  • Toluene – used to manufacture paint

As you probably already know, regularly inhaling these chemicals is not a wise choice if you want to stay healthy.

Aside from the risk of the cigarettes themselves are the potentially infectious bacteria they may contain. Research has shown that cigarettes are “widely contaminated” with bacteria, including some known to cause disease in people.

The American Cancer Society even reports that smoking cigarettes kills more Americans each year than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined, while other research has shown that just by smoking one pack of cigarettes:

  • A smoker’s life is cut short by two hours
  • Men lose a total of 4.4 years of their life
  • Women lose a total of 2.4 years of their life

Why I recommend therapeutic Grade Supplements & Protein Shakes (Dr. Mercola)

The protein shakes tested by Consumer Reports are frequently used by not only body builders, but also “regular folks,” including some pregnant women, who use them as meal replacements to lose weight and increase muscle mass.

Unfortunately, some of these products turn out to be significantly contaminated with heavy metal toxins such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.

Of the 15 protein drinks tested, three of them contained very worrisome levels of arsenic, cadmium and lead.

Arsenic and cadmium appear to be the most problematic here, as the levels of these two compounds in some cases exceeded maximum “safe” limits. However it’s worth noting that, ideally, you don’t want to ingest these toxins at ANY level, as even low-dose exposure can contribute to lingering health problems.

Various toxins can also act together synergistically, creating even more potent, damaging effects.

Exposure to low levels of arsenic can cause nausea and vomiting, decreased production of red and white blood cells, abnormal heart rhythm, damage to blood vessels, and a sensation of “pins and needles” in your hands and feet. Long-term exposure has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver and prostate.

Cadmium is also a known human carcinogen. It damages DNA and also disrupts a DNA repair system that helps to prevent cancer.

According to ABC News, cadmium also “raises special concern because it accumulates in and can damage the kidneys… and it can take 20 years for your body to eliminate even half the cadmium absorbed today.”

Nutrition & Nutrigenomics

A Soda Tax?  (Alternet)

The ABA and affiliated moneyed interests successfully flexed their lobbying muscles and produced a $10 million nationwide ad campaign in order to extinguish talk of a federal soda tax. Such language never made it into the bill Congress eventually passed.

Sugar-infused drinks have long been a stalwart of U.S. culture — Coca-Cola was born in 1886 — but Americans drink them much more than ever before. And it’s not hard to see there is a definite correlation between the obesity epidemic — which costs us $147 billion a year — and the explosion in soft drink consumption.

While the soda problem is apparent among Americans of all ages, youth are the most affected. After all, they’ve grown up on campaigns extolling “the Pepsi Generation.” Studies show that beverages now account for 10 to 15 percent of all calories consumed by children and teens — and for each extra can or glass of sugared beverage consumed per day, the chances of a child’s becoming obese increases by a staggering 60 percent. The average 18-year-old today is less than an inch taller than the average 18-year-old back then, but is 15 pounds heavier.

Vitamins & Calcium Protective in Breast Health (Vital Choice)

The researchers reached an encouraging conclusion: “Vitamins and calcium intake are protective for breast cancer … Vitamins intake is an independent protective factor for [breast cancer] while the protective effect of calcium may be explained by an increased [DNA repair capacity].” (Vergne y et al. 2010) Specifically, women who took vitamin supplements were 30 percent less likely to have breast cancer. And women who took calcium supplements were 40 percent less likely to have breast cancer. The link between taking daily vitamin pills and a 30 percent lower risk of breast cancer persisted after the researchers controlled for the women’s recorded levels of DNA repair capacity. In contrast, calcium supplements no longer appeared as protective when the researchers controlled for women’s DNA repair capacity (DRC).

Eat Your Broccoli for Breast and Prostate Health

Breast Cancer and Broccoli

“Sulforaphane has been studied previously for its effects on cancer, but this study shows that its benefit is in inhibiting the breast cancer stem cells. This new insight suggests the potential of sulforaphane or broccoli extract to prevent or treat cancer by targeting the critical cancer stem cells,” says study author Duxin Sun, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the U-M College of Pharmacy and a researcher with the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Prostate Cancer

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that consuming broccoli interacts with GSTM1 genotype to result in complex changes to signalling pathways associated with inflammation and carcinogenesis in the prostate. We propose that these changes may be mediated through the chemical interaction of isothiocyanates with signalling peptides in the plasma. This study provides, for the first time, experimental evidence obtained in humans to support observational studies that diets rich in cruciferous vegetables may reduce the risk of prostate cancer and other chronic disease.

Soda & HTN (webmd)

The new study involved 810 adults aged 25 to 79 with prehypertension or early stage 1 hypertension who were taking part in an 18-month study designed to prevent or reduce high blood pressure with weight lossexercise, and diet.

Prehypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure reading between 120 and 139 or a diastolic blood pressure of 80 to 89. Stage 1 hypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure between 140 and 159 or a diastolic blood pressure between 90 and 99. Systolic blood pressure is the upper number in a blood pressure measurement and refers to the pressure when the heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure, the lower number, is the pressure between beats. A blood pressure reading of less than 120/80 is considered ideal.

Most people in the study drank an average of 10.5 fluid ounces of sugar or high fructose corn syrup-sweetened beverages a day including non-diet soft drinks, fruit drinks, lemonade, and fruit punch when the study began.

Halving their soda intake resulted in a 1.8 point reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 1.1 point drop in diastolic pressure.

Redefining Mood Imbalances as Brain Biochemical Imbalance –

Nature & Nuture (Dr. Amen Newsletter)

Excerpts from JAMA article: Using the biochemistry and function of the brain and environment to help with mood, not just neurotransmitters

  • Rather than defining the biology of a single illness, extinction is an important feature of posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and various phobias.
  • Two noteworthy points are emerging from systems neuroscience. First, there seem to be emerging relationships between genetic variation and development of neural circuits that mediate complex cognition and behavior, from reward to emotion regulation.
  • Second, the current diagnostic categories, based on clinical characteristics, do not seem to align well with findings from genetics and neuroscience.
  • The National Institute of Mental Health recently launched the Research Domain Criteria project to reformulate psychiatric diagnosis according, in part, to emerging biology rather than the current approach, which is limited to clinical consensus.
  • Reconceptualizing disorders of the mind as disorders of the brain has important implications for how and when to intervene.
  • If genetics and neuroscience could provide rigorous, specific, early detection years before psychosis or depression, these illnesses might be redefined in terms of a trajectory. As a result, interventions, rather than being ameliorative or rehabilitative, could become preemptive or even preventive. But this transformation in diagnosis and treatment, which can be informed by recent progress in cardiovascular disease and cancer, will depend on an intense focus on the genetics and circuitry underlying mental illness to ensure new approaches to detecting risk, validating diagnosis, and developing novel interventions that may be based on altering plasticity or retuning circuitry rather than neurotransmitter pharmacology.
  • Likewise, advances in understanding the circuitry underlying extinction learning have led to promising new behavioral approaches for blocking previously learned fear responses.
  • A “decade for psychiatric disorders” cannot come too soon. With no validated biomarkers and too little in the way of novel medical treatments since 1980, families need science to provide more than hope.
  • Genetics and neuroscience finally have the tools to transform the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.
  • But first, it is time to rethink mental disorders, recognizing that these are disorders of brain circuits likely caused by developmental processes shaped by a complex interplay of genetics and experience.

Nutrigenomics & Treating Cancer and Obesity-starve the cells with food! (Dr. Mercola)

This is a really exciting 20 minute video clip and write up by Dr. Mercola, showing how food can modulate cell growth factors and the synergism with real food:

William Li discusses a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases — anti-angiogenesis, which means preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. The crucial step: Eating cancer-fighting foods that beat cancer at its own game

Super Supplement to Control Insulin & Help Alzheimer’s? (IngentaConnect)


Insulin resistance is implicated in the pathophysiological changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and pharmaceutical treatments that overcome insulin resistance improve memory function in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer’s disease. Chromium (Cr) supplementation improves glucose disposal in patients with insulin resistance and diabetes. We sought to assess whether supplementation with Cr might improve memory and neural function in older adults with cognitive decline. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, we randomly assigned 26 older adults to receive either chromium picolinate (CrPic) or placebo for 12 weeks. Memory and depression were assessed prior to treatment initiation and during the final week of treatment. We also performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans on a subset of subjects. Although learning rate and retention were not enhanced by CrPic supplementation, we observed reduced semantic interference on learning, recall, and recognition memory tasks. In addition, fMRI indicated comparatively increased activation for the CrPic subjects in right thalamic, right temporal, right posterior parietal, and bifrontal regions. These findings suggest that supplementation with CrPic can enhance cognitive inhibitory control and cerebral function in older adults at risk for neurodegeneration.