June 23, 2003 Research UpdateBy
Supplementation with branched-chain amino acids in advanced cirrhosis.
It seems like I’ve been coming across more and more patients who have or know someone close to them that has a liver that is failing. Given the increased pharmaceutical drug and over the counter pain relievers (Tylenol is now one of the top or possibly even #1 cause of liver failure) this is not surprising. Here we see branched chain amino acids protecting the liver. Add to this regimen milk thistle and N-acetyle cysteine and you’ve got some powerful tools to help retain what functional liver these patients have left.
Gastroenterology Online - Click here for more information.
Glycyrrhizin, an active component of liquorice roots, and replication of SARS-associated coronavirus.
This study found that licorice was more effective than many other common prescription antivirals on the market. I’m trying to figure out why this wasn’t all over the news…
The Journal : Current Issue - Click here for more information.
SSRIs: suicide risk and withdrawal.
Wow. GlaxoSmithkline withheld info from the UK’s regulatory agency when it got approval for paroxetine (Paxil). The study basically showed no increased efficacy over placebo. My question is…this kind of behavior is rampant here in the US as well. How on Earth do these companies not get shut down by the regulatory agencies? Unfortunately, I think we can all guess at the answer.
The Journal : Current Issue - Click here for more information.
Induction of interleukin-12 production in mouse macrophages by berberine deviates CD4+ T cells from a Th2 to a Th1 response.
Berberine is a compound that was made famous by goldenseal. In this study berberine was able to shift the cytokine balance from a Th2 to a Th1 mediated profile. In essence, this would help shift an asthma or allergy sufferer towards a more normal response. Interestingly, berberine is also well known to be an effective broad spectrum antibiotic, antihelminth and antiviral compound. Click here for more information.
Epidural corticosteroid injections for sciatica.
The epidural for low back pain is always one that hits close to home. In my own practice, I rarely see long term benefit from steroid injections. Flexion/distraction therapy is an extremely effective and safe treatment for sciatic pain. Also, I see a high number of patients that have been told they have sciatica but, clinically have no evidence of it. This may be another example of clinicians using advanced imaging like MRIs instead of using their exam findings and intuition.
Ann Rheum Dis — Abstracts: Valat et al. 62 (7): 639 - Click here for more information.
Metabolic disturbances in obesity versus sleep apnoea: the importance of visceral obesity and insulin resistance
I must admit this is a very interesting concept. Basically, this article opens up the idea that sleep apnea may actually be a manifestation of underlying insulin resistance and obesity. We have always known that abdominal obesity was a risk factor for sleep apnea, but the association with insulin resistance would really change the approach to treatment. I am always in support of a CPAP machine because sleep apnea can have some pretty serious long term consequences, but now we should add aggresive lifestyle changes for insulin resistance as well. Click here for more information.
Effect of vitamins and aspirin on markers of platelet activation, oxidative stress and homocysteine in people at high risk of dementia.
It was nice to see therapeutic levels of the vitamins used in this study. Many times the researchers will use levels just barely above the RDA and when the findings do not show a benefit, the results are plastered all over the news. Here we see 1 mg of B12 (something like 15,000 times the RDA) and 2 mg of folic acid (5X). The antioxidant levels are not as high as I would like but they still showed lowering of markers of oxidative stress. Click here for more information.
Effects of low-dose warfarin and aspirin versus no treatment on stroke in a medium-risk patient population with atrial fibrillation.
This article touches on what I consider a controversial topic. The chronic use of warfarin in a patient with atrial fibrillation produces a “small beneficial effect” on stroke and major vascular events. The question is, does a “small beneficial effect” justify the continued use of warfarin that would prohibit intake of foods (green, leafy veggies, ginko, ginseng, high dose Vit E, fish oils) that have a huge beneficial effects across the spectrum of multiple chronic diseases? This is a question that only a patient and their prescribing physician can answer, evaluating the risk for other chronic diseases vs ischemic stroke. Click here for more information.
Adolescent diet and risk of breast cancer.
While it should come as no surprise that the diets we eat in our teenage years will affect our risk of cancer down the line, at some point our national organizations (AHA, American Cancer Society, American Dietetic Association) need to wake up and smell the coffee. As a nation, we do a sickeningly poor job at prevention given the sheer volume of preventative measures. Now, at a time when the bar is raised further (i.e. educating our teens…) our national organizations maintain the status quo. Click here for more information.
Effect of supplemental phytonutrients on impairment of the flow-mediated brachialartery vasoactivity after a single high-fat meal.
UGHHH!! That’s just what we need–a research article that finds that a fruit-and-veggies-in-a-pill can help balance out the effects of a high fat meal!!! As Americans we are always looking for the easy way out and this will just support that attitude. NOTHING will ever replace a diet low in saturated fats and high in fruits and veggies. NOTHING!!
Cardiosource - Click here for more information.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Since acquiring a passion for how the body works in chiropractic school, I have continued to indulge this desire by reading some 120 peer reviewed medical journals per month. I’m always learning more about how to help people avoid chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, obesity and cancer, and pass along this information in my blog. There are currently almost 2,000 posts cataloged on almost every health topic imaginable. Click Here for more bio information