November 30, 2003 Research UpdateBy
Licorice Ethanolic Extract with PPAR-gamma Ligand-Binding Activity Affects Diabetes, Abdominal Obesity and Hypertension.
This animal study gives results of the effects of licorice on the orphan nuclear receptor (so named because we previously were not sure what these genes did when they were turned on) PPAR-gamma. Keep in mind that we are only beginning to understand what these genetic receptors due, but we do know that they are a foundation upon which many aspects of our health (and disease) are built, so any compound affecting these receptors has the ability to impact several disease states. Conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids also affect these receptors. As a side note, this is not the sugar-laden licorice we find in today’s licorice ropes–this is the real stuff.
nutrition.org — Abstracts: Mae et al. 133 (11): 3369. Click here for more information.
Lifespan Prolonged in Autoimmune-Prone Mice Fed Diet with Indole-3-Carbinol.
This study brings up an important factor of one of today’s common medical practices. Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to lower risk of cancer by affecting the 2/16 hydroxylation ratio of estrogen at a genetic level. This study adds the benefit of potential modulation of autoimmune conditions as well. I3C is found in cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. The catch? I3C is not the active form–it must be converted to diindolmethane by stomach acid. Might our obsession with shutting down acid production lead to increased rates of certain types of cancer?
nutrition.org — Abstracts: Auborn et al. 133 (11): 3610. Click here for more information.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid Inhibits Cell Proliferation through a p53-Dependent Mechanism.
Remember that CLA is formed in ruminent animals by the action of gut bacteria on certain fatty acids (NOT from the typical “corn-fed” diet of todays’ livestock). This would mean that, in the past, CLA levels were high in the milk and meat of livestock. However, with todays’ poor farming habits, CLA levels are virtually gone. CLA has an action similiar to the licorice noted above–affects PPAR-gamma receptor sites, and as such has a broad spectrum beneficial effect on health. We already know CLA lowers certain cancer rates–now researchers are starting to work towards the “how” portion of the puzzle.
nutrition.org — Abstracts: Kemp et al. 133 (11): 3670. Click here for more information.
Mushroom-derived protein inhibits development of food-allergic reactions in mice.
I realize the title to this one is a little daunting, but the concepts are very important. The rates of atopic disorders and asthma are climbing, for reasons covered many times in past Research Updates (vaccines, sterile lifestyle, killing off probiotics…). While prevention of these conditions is important, it is nice to know we are finding ways to “fix” the imbalance of Th1/Th2 cytokines. This mouse study finds that an extract of mushroom has the potential to shift away from the Th2 dominant profile of atopic/asthmatic patients. Zinc is another nutrient that plays a key role in this important balance.
Oral administration of an edible-mushroom-derived protein inhibits the development of food-allergic reactions in mice – Clin ..Click here for more information.
Comparison of Apolipoprotein B and LDL-C with Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors in the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study (IRAS).
Whoa!!! Slow down here!! Mainstream medicince is still trying to swallow the idea that CRP and homocysteine are major risk factors for CVD!! We really shouldn’t throw too much research at clinicians all at once. Besides, if we start realizing that cholesterol isn’t the major risk factor for CVD, than what are we going to do with the billions and billions of dollars spent on statins??
Circulation — Abstracts: Williams et al. 108 (19): 2312. Click here for more information.
Joint Effects of CRP, Glycated Hemoglobin in Predicting Future Cardiovascular Events of Patients With Advanced Atherosclerosis.
Cholesterol? Didn’t somebody say cholesterol? Please?? I thought I heard someone, somewhere say cholesterol…
Circulation — Abstracts: Schillinger et al. 108 (19): 2323. Click here for more information.
Effect of firmness of mattress on chronic non-specific low-back pain.
This is interesting, an a question I hear frequently in my office. Unfortunately, the answer is never easy and seems to vary based on the patient. I have a patient that used to work in R&D for Simmons company, and his company found that the firmness needed is dependent upon primary tissue involvement; i.e. muscle problem or joint problem. This would explain why different patients would respond differently to different mattress firmness.
The Journal : Back Issues. Click here for more information.
Retrospective analysis of evidence base for tests used in diagnosis and monitoring of disease in respiratory medicine.
I bring this article to your attention not to chastise, but to illuminate the fact that mainstream medicine has no right casting stones at “alternative” medicine (aspects of which, incidently, have been around for hundreds or thousands of years) and the lack of research. As far as I’m concerned, if an intervention has some basic research, makes sense from the viewpoint of physiology and has high level of safety then it is worth a trial in appropriate cases.
bmj.com Abstracts: Borrill et al. 327 (7424): 1136. Click here for more information.
Caffeine ingestion and fluid balance: a review.
The results of this study are a little surprising for me. Basically, although caffeine is known to have a diuretic effect, this review suggests that this effect is only temporary and only seen if the person is an occasional caffeine ingester.
Caffeine ingestion and fluid balance: a review – J Hum Nutr Diet, Vol 16, Issue 6, pp. 411-420 (Abstract). Click here for more information.
Aspirin Use May Increase Pancreatic Cancer Risk.
Well, doesn’t this just throw a wrench in the works for the “aspirin a day” crowd. I’ve always had a problem with the blatant use of aspirin to lower risk of heart attack. If someone’s really interested, I can give you 15 other things to do to lower risk of heart attack that will not increase risk of something else (actually, in most cases these changes will lower risk across the board for many other chronic diseases). In this case, this presentation showed an increase in pancreatic cancer risk. For those of you that don’t know, pancreatic cancer is close to last on the list of cancers you would like to get. We just don’t have three year survival rates because most don’t live that long (with the exception of Dr. Gonzalez’s work).
News Main – American Association for Cancer Research. 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