The scientists created a new molecule from curcumin, a chemical component of the golden-colored spice turmeric, and found in laboratory experiments that it affects mechanisms that protect and help regenerate brain cells after stroke. Research scientist Paul A. Lapchak, Ph.D., director of Translational Research in the Department of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, presented these findings at the American Heart Association International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Feb. 9.
CNB-001protects brain cells from damage by repairing four major pathways. One mechanism also plays a major role in the growth and survival of neurons.
Are We Overprescribing Antipsychotics? (Medscape, 2/18/2011)
Editor’s note: Antipsychotics are now the top-selling class of medications in the United States, with prescription sales of $14.6 billion in 2009. Many clinicians worry these agents are being overprescribed and used inappropriately. Medscape recently hosted an email discussion between Dr. Nassir Ghaemi, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Larry Culpepper, a primary care physician with expertise in psychiatry, exploring the question of whether antipsychotics are being used appropriately by prescribing clinicians.
Now let’s look at anxiety and sleep: these are major sources of overuse. [Antipsychotics] may have some symptomatic benefit [in these conditions]; they can be sedating and some, like quetiapine, which is a many-fold more potent antihistaminic than diphenhydramine, have anxiolytic effects. But then again, so does diphenhydramine, without risk of [cardiovascular disease].
These scenarios are where antipsychotics are most overused among general practitioners. The long-term treatment of bipolar disorder is where they are most overused by psychiatrists. In the former case, an unthinking reliance on symptom-oriented treatment is a major factor in overuse (as opposed to a disease-oriented approach, as advocated in the Hippocratic tradition). In the latter, I believe spinning of the science, along with misinterpretations of FDA labeling, leads to overuse.
Every year, 230 million prescriptions for antidepressants are filled, making them one of the most prescribed drugs in the United States. The psychiatric industry itself is a $330 billion industry—not bad for an enterprise that offers little in the way of cures.
Despite all of these prescriptions, more than one in 20 Americans are depressed, according to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those depressed Americans, 80 percent say they have some level of functional impairment, and 27 percent say their condition makes it extremely difficult to do everyday tasks like work, activities of daily living, and getting along with others.
The use of antidepressant drugs—medicine’s answer for depression—doubled in just one decade, from 13.3 million in 1996 to 27 million in 2005.
If these drugs are so extensively prescribed, then why are so many people feeling so low?
On February 22, 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court shielded drug companies from all liability for harm caused by vaccines mandated by government when companies could have made a safer vaccine. 1
From now on, drug companies selling vaccines in America will not be held accountable by a jury of our peers in a court of law if those vaccines brain damage us but could have been made less toxic. 2
If you get paralyzed by a flu shot or your child has a serious reaction to a vaccine required for school and becomes learning disabled, epileptic, autistic, asthmatic, diabetic or mentally retarded, you are on your own. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
From now on – unless we stand up and draw the line on vaccine mandates – the government can legally use police powers to force every American to get hundreds of vaccinations or be punished while those, who are hurt by vaccination, can be more easily swept under the rug and left to fend for themselves. 20
Lipid signaling is dysregulated in many diseases with vascular pathology, including cancer, diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, and age-related macular degeneration. We have previously demonstrated that diets enriched in ?-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) effectively reduce pathological retinal neovascularization in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy, in part through metabolic products that suppress microglial-derived tumor necrosis factor–?. To better understand the protective effects of ?-3 PUFAs, we examined the relative importance of major lipid metabolic pathways and their products in contributing to this effect. ?-3 PUFA diets were fed to four lines of mice deficient in each key lipid-processing enzyme (cyclooxygenase 1 or 2, or lipoxygenase 5 or 12/15), retinopathy was induced by oxygen exposure; only loss of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) abrogated the protection against retinopathy of dietary ?-3 PUFAs. This protective effect was due to 5-LOX oxidation of the ?-3 PUFA lipid docosahexaenoic acid to 4-hydroxy-docosahexaenoic acid (4-HDHA). 4-HDHA directly inhibited endothelial cell proliferation and sprouting angiogenesis via peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor ? (PPAR?), independent of 4-HDHA’s anti-inflammatory effects. Our study suggests that ?-3 PUFAs may be profitably used as an alternative or supplement to current anti–vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment for proliferative retinopathy and points to the therapeutic potential of ?-3 PUFAs and metabolites in other diseases of vasoproliferation. It also suggests that cyclooxygenase inhibitors such as aspirin and ibuprofen (but not lipoxygenase inhibitors such as zileuton) might be used without losing the beneficial effect of dietary ?-3 PUFA.
In 2008, an extraordinary study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. It is called the ACCORD study (i), and it is one of the most profound pieces of literature that exists regarding why conventional treatments for diabetes simply do not work.
In the study 10,000 patients with diabetes were designated to receive intensive or regular therapy to lower blood sugar. These patients were monitored and their risks of heart attack, stroke, and death were evaluated. The patients who had their blood sugar lowered the most had a higher risk of death.
Let me repeat that, because I really want you to understand it: The patients who had their blood sugar LOWERED the most had a HIGHER risk of death. How could this happen if, as we believe, elevated blood sugar is the cause of all the evils of diabetes? Why would lowering blood sugar lead to worse outcomes?
Amazingly, the study had to be stopped after three and a half years because it was evident that the aggressive blood sugar lowering led to more deaths and more heart attacks. This completely explodes the way conventional medicine understands and treats diabetes. It’s a revolutionary study. Yet for those of us who have been working to understand the REAL causes of diabesity, it isn’t all that surprising.
How could LOWERING blood sugar INCREASE your risk of death?
The reason is simple: Elevated blood sugar is actually a symptom of underlying metabolic, physiologic, and biochemical processes that are out of balance … and lowering blood sugar with medications does not address the underlying issues that gave rise to the high blood sugar in the first place. This may surprise you, but many of the methods used to lower blood sugar such as insulin or oral hypoglycemic drugs actually make the problem worse by increasing insulin levels.
One of the hottest fields in biomedical research is “nutrigenomics” – the science of how nutrients and other food factors influence our genes in their roles as active, second-to-second directors of key bodily processes. For example, while the polyphenols in fruits, vegetables, cocoa, tea, coffee, whole grains, nuts, and other plant foods act as antioxidants in the test tube, they exert only very minor direct antioxidant effects in the body. Instead, polyphenols seem to bring us health benefits by influencing the “expression” (activation) of genes in our cells. Gene expression is a process in which a gene is “switched on” at a certain time and commands a cell to take certain actions, such as assembly of proteins or RNA that initiates or influences bodily processes.
Top magnesium sources
According to USDA data, the top food sources of magnesium include these, in descending order of magnesium content:
Cocoa powder – 456mg per 3 oz (27mg per Tbsp)
King salmon – 122mg per 3 oz, cooked
Halibut – 90-107mg per 3 oz, cooked
Sablefish – 71mg per 3 oz, cooked
Almonds or cashews – 225-240mg per 3 oz (75-80mg per oz)
Other major food sources include bran, seaweed, leafy green vegetables, meats, grains, and milk.
Thus, gene expression is the most fundamental level at which a person’s genetic profile or “genotype” gives rise to their unique set of physical and mental characteristics, or “phenotype”.
(In contrast, “nutrigenetics” is the study of how a person’s genetic makeup influences their body’s responses to specific nutrients and food factors.)
Now a new study from the University of California at Los Angeles suggests that magnesium brings many of its benefits through its nutrigenomic effects.
In the new study, people assigned to take magnesium supplements enjoyed a decrease in levels of C-peptide – which indicates improved insulin sensitivity – and down-regulation (suppression) of genes that promote chronic inflammation and other metabolic effects linked to diabetes.
Sesasame Oil Works Synergestically with Anti-Diabetic Medicine to Improve Glucose and Lipid Profile (Clin Nutr. 2010 Dec 15. Abstract)
A study of 60 type II diabetics looked at the use of sesame oil on blood sugar (glucose) and lipid markers (TC=total cholesterol, TG=triglycerides). It seems that a food can modify biochemistry! The results were as follows:
RESULTS: As compared with sesame oil and glibenclamide alone, combination therapy showed an improved anti-hyperglycemic effect with 36% reduction of glucose (P < 0.001 vs before treatment, P < 0.01 vs sesame oil monotherapy, P < 0.05 vs glibenclamide monotherapy) and 43% reduction of HbA(1c) (P < 0.001 vs before treatment, P < 0.01 vs sesame oil monotherapy, P < 0.05 vs glibenclamide monotherapy) at the end point. Significant reductions in the plasma TC, LDL-C and TG levels were noted in sesame oil (20%, 33.8% and 14% respectively vs before treatment) or combination therapies (22%, 38% and 15% respectively vs before treatment). Plasma HDL-C was significantly improved in sesame oil (15.7% vs before treatment) or combination therapies (17% before treatment). Significant (P < 0.001) improvement was observed in the activities of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants in patients treated with sesame oil and its combination with glibenclamide.
Zinc for the common cold (Cochrane Database)
The common cold is often caused by the rhinovirus. It is one of the most widespread illnesses and is a leading cause of visits to the doctor and absenteeism from school and work. Complications of the common cold include otitis media (middle ear infection), sinusitis and exacerbations of reactive airway diseases. There is no proven treatment for the common cold. However, a medication that is even partially effective in the treatment and prevention of the common cold could markedly reduce morbidity and economic losses due to this illness.
Zinc inhibits rhinoviral replication and has been tested in trials for treatment of the common cold. This review identified 15 randomized controlled trials, enrolling 1360 participants of all age groups, comparing zinc with placebo (no zinc). We found that zinc (lozenges or syrup) is beneficial in reducing the duration and severity of the common cold in healthy people, when taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms. People taking zinc are also less likely to have persistence of their cold symptoms beyond seven days of treatment. Zinc supplementation for at least five months reduces incidence, school absenteeism and prescription of antibiotics for children with the common cold. People taking zinc lozenges (not syrup or tablet form) are more likely to experience adverse events, including bad taste and nausea. As there are no studies in participants in whom common cold symptoms might be troublesome (for example, those with underlying chronic illness, immunodeficiency, asthma, etc.), the use of zinc currently cannot be recommended for them. Given the variability in the populations studied (no studies from low- or middle-income countries), dose, formulation and duration of zinc used in the included studies, more research is needed to address these variabilities and determine the optimal duration of treatment as well as the dosage and formulations of zinc that will produce clinical benefits without increasing adverse effects, before making a general recommendation for zinc in treatment of the common cold.
(Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD001364. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub3)
Based on lab studies and preliminary clinical research, the anthocyanins in berries appear to exert nutrigenomic effects that benefit immune and brain health, support sugar metabolism, moderate inflammation, and reduce oxidative stress from free radicals (Seeram NP 2010; Prasad S et al. 2010).Now, an analysis by scientists from Harvard University and the UK’s University of East Anglia indicates that berry-borne anthocyanins – which most study participants got from blueberries and strawberries – may help prevent high blood pressure.…The benefits of berries seem to have a great deal to do with the health of our arteries.As they wrote, “The underlying biological mechanisms by which flavonoids regulate blood pressure include the effects of flavonoids on vascular blood flow, vascular reactivity, and glucose uptake.” (Cassidy A et al. 2011)Growing evidence suggests that, instead of benefiting arteries through direct antioxidant effects, anthocyanins seem to regulate the amount of nitric oxide in the endothelial lining of our arteries. (Nitric oxide is essential to keeping arteries open.)Dr. Rimm and his co-workers noted that an average serving of blackcurrants or blueberries contains in excess of 500 milligrams of anthocyanins.
Negative Nutrigenomics: Sugar Drinks Linked to Blood Pressure (webmd)
Soda pop drinkers on average consume 400 more calories a day and chug down more sugar and salt into their cardiovascular system than abstainers.
Feb. 28, 2011 — New research suggests that drinking sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages every day may raise blood pressure, but a beverage industry trade group calls the study significantly flawed.
The study found that the more sugary sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages people drank, the higher their blood pressures tended to be.
Every extra sugar-sweetened beverage drank per day was associated with a 1.6 point rise in systolic blood pressure (the upper number) and a 1 point rise in diastolic pressure (the lower number).
The highest blood pressures were seen in study participants who drank the most sugar-sweetened beverages and also had the most added salt in their diets, study co-author Ian J. Brown, PhD, tells WebMD
“The difference between hypothyroidism where there is a deficiency of thyroid hormone, and thyroid hormone resistance, is that the same amount of thyroid hormone—within the laboratories’ reference range—that would maintain normal metabolism in cells don’t do so adequately.
Those people [with thyroid hormone resistance] need a much higher dosage of hormones—a dosage that would cause most endocrinologists to scream, “You’re going to die of heart attack if you don’t get off that,” Dr. Lowe explains.
The Biochemistry Behind More Plant Foods (Dr. Redmond, Metametrix).
- You will certainly see higher levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene.
- Diets predominantly or exclusively made up of plants provide higher intakes of non-essential amino acids, arginine, and puruvigenic amino acids (glycine, alanine, and serine), which are associated with greater net glucagon activity. They also provide lower intakes of methionine and lysine which are related to lower cardiovascular disease. (Bratisl Lek Listy 2005; 106(6-7): 231-234.)
- Increased intake of fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxygaunosine, a marker of oxidative damage to DNA. While many clinicians have patients take antioxidant supplements, good studies rely on intakes of concentrated sources of fruits and vegetables, such as tomato paste or pomegranate juice.
- Fruits and vegetables act as prebiotics, leading to increased gut bacteria and SCFAs. Many studies have found higher rates of fruit and vegetable intake are associated with lower rates of colon cancer. SCFAs are formed during intestinal degradation of fruits and vegetables. Foods with a prebiotic effect have also been shown to increase calcium absorption and bone mineral density.
- Increased fruit and vegetable intakes have been found to decrease inflammation, leading to a decrease in C-reactive protein (CRP) levels.
- Increasing fruit and vegetable intake to 10 servings per day was found to be just as effective as medication in lowering blood pressure. The diet used was the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. dashdiet.org/
Eat More Veggies – It’s National Nutrition Month!. 1 March 2011 10:07 by Elizabeth Redmond. Metametrix Institute Blog. www.metametrix.org
It’s a fact that much of the high-quality soy grown in the U.S. has been genetically engineered, so the traditional BOCA line of soy-based products may contain ingredients derived from these crops.”– BOCA’s Frequently Asked Questions
BOCA Burgers is a popular so-called “natural” brand of veggie burgers owned by . Companies like Kraft work hand-in-hand with to lace common foods with GM (Genetically Modified) ingredients, with absolutely no labeling nor safety-testing required, and in many cases market these products as “natural.” Kraft, North America’s largest food company, has perfected the art of turning genetically engineered crops and animals raised in on GMO feed and injected with Monsanto’s (now Elanco’s) rBGH into “food.”
While Kraft/BOCA claims to offer what they describe as “non-GMO” versions of its soy foods, these products are neither certified organic (organic prohibits GMOs) nor monitored by the Non-GMO Project, so it’s impossible to verify BOCA’s non-GMO claims. Likewise, Back to Nature, another so-called “natural” Kraft brand, claims that some of the corn and soy ingredients in their non-organic foods are “non-genetically engineered,” but these claims are not verifiable either.
Now conventional wisdom has been overturned by the results of a study presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).This study included 2,729 runners who run 10 or more miles per week. Of these runners, 1,366 were randomly assigned to perform pre-run stretching, and 1,363 were randomized to a no-stretching control group.Runners in the test group stretched their quadriceps, hamstrings, and gastrocnemius/soleus (back of calf) muscle groups.The entire routine took 3 to 5 minutes and was performed immediately before running.The study found that stretching before running neither prevents nor causes injury.There was no significant difference in injury rates between the runners who stretched and the runners who didn’t, for any specific injury location or diagnosis.Groin pulls, foot-ankle injuries, and knee injuries were the most common kinds reported.Instead of skipping the pre-run stretch, the results revealed the four top risk factors:
- Higher body mass index
- The distance run daily … more miles, more risk
- History of chronic injury or injury in the past four months
- Switching your pre-run routine (i.e., changing from no stretching to stretching, or vice versa)
And…when your injured, re-think steroids:
An evidence review published 17 years ago found not enough evidence to say whether steroid injections help tendon injuries …but noted that they can hinder recovery:
“The decreased tendon strength with intratendinous injections in animal studies suggests that rupture may be a potential complication for several weeks following injection.” (Shrier I et al. 1996)
Now a successor study, published last year by sports medicine experts from Australia’s University of Queensland and Griffith University, provides a clearer – albeit not definitive – picture (Coombes BK et al. 2010).
We are all aware that drugs like Viagra are used for erectile dysfunction. They work by increasing your nitric oxide production, which relaxes your blood vessels, which in turn increases the blood flow to the penis.
However, the price you pay for these ED drugs is a slew of potentially dangerous side effects—including heart disease, stroke and sterility—conditions that clearly will not lead you to a long, healthy, romance-filled life.
But there are natural agents scientifically proven effective against ED when used alone or in various combinations, and they are MUCH SAFER than pharmaceutical drugs.
Several worth mentioning are:
- Panax ginseng
- Maca root (Lepidium meyenii), a medicinal plant from Peru
- Yohimbine, an alkaloid from the Yohimbe plant
- Choline and vitamin B5
Research shows that coronary artery disease underlies some forms of erectile dysfunction. In fact, 75 percent of men with heart disease have problems with erections. L-Arginine increases the action of nitric oxide—similar to drugs like Viagra, but WITHOUT the potentially dangerous side effects.
Scientific studies have shown that L-arginine can be particularly effective when used in combination with two other natural agents:
- L-arginine and yohimbine were found to increase sexual arousal in a 2002 study of postmenopausal women with sexual arousal disorder.
- L-arginine and pycnogenol resulted in significant improvement in sexual function in men with ED, according to this 2003 study.
In terms of dosage, a pilot study published in the journal European Urology found 6 grams of L-arginine combined with 6 mg of yohimbine was successful in treating men with ED.
Panax ginseng and Maca root have been used for centuries as libido-boosters. The amino acid L-arginine can be helpful, especially if your ED is related to cardiovascular disease, for the following reason.
Finally, the combination of choline (1,000-3,000mg) and vitamin B5 (500-1,500mg), help you build acetylcholine (ACH), which is one of the neurotransmitters in your brain responsible for transmitting sexual messages. If you chose to use choline I would recommend sources from sunflower lecithin rather than soy lecithin.
A Hit in the Head for Organic Foods-Approval of GMO Alfalfa Could Lead to Contamination (Dr. Mercola/OCA)
It is interesting to note that Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology and one of the world’s leading experts on genetically modified foods does not agree with Cummins’ accusations against Whole Foods and Organic Valley, both of which are members of the Non-GMO project.
“There’s been some high voltage opinions darting about the blogosphere about the Non-GMO Project, which is the new third-party verifying organization for companies making Non-GMO claims. I have been watching and working with this organization for many years and I want to weigh in,” Smith writes in a recent article.
“I have unqualified support of the mission, tactics, and integrity of the organization. In fact, last year we made the requirement that for any product to be listed as non-GMO in our Non-GMO Shopping Guide or iPhone app ShopNoGMO, it had to be enrolled in the Non-GMO Project.”
According to Smith, Whole Foods has “definitely been a leader in converting their store brands to non-GMO. In fact, it is their enrollment of all their store brand products into the Project, at a cost of millions, which has opened the way for the rest of the industry.
I think it’s time for all of us to become united on this issue and use our collective power, to mobilize millions of consumers and the entire natural foods industry, to achieve the tipping point of consumer rejection of GMOs and force them out of the market.”