November 5, 2007 Research UpdateBy
Vit D Intake During Pregnancy and Risk of Recurrent Wheeze in Children at 3 Years of Age.
The rates of vit D deficiency in pregnant women and their newborn babies is unconscionably high. While immediate concerns like ricketts jump to mind, of greater concern is how important Vit D is for health immune system balance. The findings of this study further cement this importance and, extrapolated out, would have impacts on asthma, allergy and autoimmune risk years later. Supplementation of pregnant women with Vit D is very cheap, safe and easy. Individual dosages can be given in a one time dose a month or so before delivery. We need to move on this as a medical culture or this fear mongering of sun exposure is going to further drain our healthcare future. Read More.
A matched patient-sibling study on the usage of paracetamol and the subsequent development of allergy and asthma.
Despite mounting evidence of links between paracetamol (Tylenol) use and asthma in children, it seems that many OBs have not caught on just yet. The bottom line is that there really are NO completely safe medications during pregnancy. This is such an important time in development of future health risks of the child / adult, and we need to be careful of everything that is put into a pregnant woman’s body. This does work out well for chiropractic, however, as adjusting pregnant women doesn’t seem to cause asthma. Read More.
n–3 Fatty acids are positively associated with peak bone mineral density and bone accrual in healthy men.
This raises some interesting questions. It is well accepted (in the research, anyway…) that inflammation is a major player in bone loss. Increased inflammation (notably increased levels of TNF-alpha, a key player in inflammation) increases the number of osteoclasts–the cells that break down bone. This leads to an increase in the breakdown in bone without balanced building up of bone. But this study evaluated the fatty acids of younger men. I would generally consider breaking the “inflammation cascade” as being effective in an older population, and would think that increased bone breakdown would be less of an issue in younger patients. So either my thinking is off, and inflammation is a player much earlier then we would think (which is scary in and of itself) or there is another mechanism at work. Either way, increased intake of healthier fats coupled with solid Vit D intake (supplemental or sun) will go a long way towards protecting bone health. Read More.
Continuous intake of polyphenolic compounds containing cocoa powder reduces LDL oxidative susceptibility and has beneficial effects on plasma HDL-cholesterol concentrations.
A major paradigm shift has occurred w/in the pharmaceutical company lately. For the past however many years, pharma companies have put out “blockbuster” drugs–high dollar drugs like Celebrex and Neurontin that, in reality, don’t add much new to the treatment possibilites. The development of these drugs is very expensive, but the payoff is vast. But a funny thing happened on the way to the bank. The most recent of these drugs that was believed to be a blockbuster in CVD treatment was to raise HDL levels. The human trials were a dismal failure, leading some to speculate that the end of the blockbuster days were over. Can’t say I’d lose any sleep. One the far end of the scale from the blockbuster, high cost drug, in this study we find that good ‘ole fashioned cocoa powered raised HDL levels by 24%, all without killing a single study participant. Read More.
NSAID Use and Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease.
Our society has unquestionably come to view NSAIDs like OTC ibuprofen and it’s prescriptive equivalents as relatively harmless ways to cope with “everyday” pain. The commercials make it sounds like these should be used with no more or less concern than a glass of water. The reality is that this class of drugs is notoriouisly suspect in a variety of chronic diseases. We know that as little as 400 mg of ibuprofen can disrupt the integrety of the GI tract. Use has been linked to PROGRESSION of arthritis by inhibiting the ability of the joint surface to heal itself (and, in my clinical opinion, many chronic pain sufferers continue to accumlate new areas of complaints that never seem to heal, which I directly related to NSAID use). Liver damage is known. Here’s the real rub. Cumulative use adds up. This is not a matter of taking this class of drugs a couple times per month. The likelihood of someone in today’s drug accepting society to hit high cumulative doses is great. And while kidney effects have been known as well for over a decade, the authors use some strong language in this study. “Chronic expsoure to NSAIDs should be avoided.” Read More.
Lower Blood Cell Folate Enhances the HPV-16 associated Risk of Intraepithelial Neoplasm.
There has been endless press over the past year since the release of the HPV vaccine, which, incidentally is never called that–it is called the “cervical cancer vaccine.” How’s that for a twist from the marketing guys? What seems to have gotten lost in the mix is that it is not exposure to these specific strains of HPV alone that leads to development of cervical cancer. There are many other factors involved, and folic acid status has long been known to be a major player, believed to play a role through aiding healthy cell division. This study adds further weight to that thought process. Today’s processed diet low in fresh fruits and vegetables and phytonutrients will lead to lower folate status and contribute to cervical cancer risk. Indeed, there have been clinical studies where high dose folic acid alone has reversed abnormal pap results. What is most remarkable, though, is just HOW MUCH of a risk the combination of HPV-16 and low folic acid was. A massive 9 X the risk!! Read More.
Dietary cysteine alleviates sucrose-induced oxidative stress and insulin resistance.
Anyone wanting some really boring biochemistry can look further into how dietary cysteine (an amino acid) gets converted into glutathione (one of the body’s strongest antioxidant and detoxification enzymes). For the rest of us, this article finds that, in rats, increasing dietary cysteine greatly alleviates the affects of a diet promoting diabetes and insulin resistance. Not that I would promote a diet high in refined carbs, but adding in high quality protein sources such as whey may help protect our bodies from the abuse we dole out as a result of our current lifestyles. Read More.
LKM512 yogurt consumption improves the intestinal environment and induces the T-helper type 1 cytokine in adult patients with intractable atopic dermatitis.
While many may find it strange that what happens in the gut affects the skin, this is a pretty well accepted route of treatment for many skin disorders. I’ve found that, in infants, adding in probiotics can very rapidly turn around eczema. In adults, where the patterns are much more ingrained, the results are not usually as dramatic. This study finds that consumption of a specifically designed yogurt that contains probiotics can help with atopic dermatitis scores in adults. Read More.
Effect of a High-Fiber Diet vs a Fiber-Supplemented Diet on C-Reactive Protein Level.
Once it was realized that hsCRP as a marker of inflammation was related to a variety of chronic diseases, the hunt was on to find a drug to lower the level of CRP. While this approach is definitely not new and is more the norm, I’ll never understand the motivation when natural approaches already work. We already know that exercise and higher intakes of omega-3 fatty acids help to lower hsCRP, but now we can add fiber to the list. And while the study looked at dietary as well as supplemental, the goal is to attain 30 g /day from diet alone; at this level of fiber it will come along bearing many other gifts in the form of phytonutrients. Read More.
Vitamin D and Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Case-Control Study.
I just spent this past weekend volunteering at the Breast Cancer 3-day in the medical tent providing injury care to the walkers. Invariably, in conversation with patients, the question of why they were walking came up. I will always remember the response of an 18 yr old girl who’s mom died of breast cancer 5 yrs ago. I asked her what SHE was doing to prevent breast cancer for herself. She replied with some degree of frustration that “they” won’t do anything because she was too young. Of course she was referring to mammography. But how twisted has our society become that we, at it’s most important moment, confuse prevention with early detection? This study is a perfect example of how much can be done to intervene in the process. But given our aversion to preventing cancer, and that this study found that early exposure (10-19 years of age) to the sun cut risk by 35%, how many generations will it be before we pass knowledge of prevention from the adults that “get it” to the youth that “need it??” Read More.
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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