Archive for Gastric Cancer
Vitamin C, gastric cancer cells and Helicobacter pylori
This study finds that Vit C can protect against the cancerous changes that can be associated with H. pylori infection but that the typical patient does not have enough Vit C in gastric juice to achieve this effect. Maybe that’s why the bacteria is there in the first place???… Okay, since this is yet another study showing that Vit C seems to play a pivotal role in treatment of H. pylori associated gastric conditions, why are we not seeing this as an essential co-factor for treatment? Just give it a few decades…
Gut — Abstracts: Zhang et al. 50 (2): 165
Dietary nitrate, mutagenic concentrations of NO at the GE junction.
Now this is a convoluted pathway…we eat processed meats high in nitrates. This gets absorbed in the GI tract and makes it back to the saliva where bacteria in the mouth convert the nitrate to nitrite. The nitrite is swallowed and turned to nitric oxide by gastric juice. This elevated nitric oxide is believed to be a contributing factor to cancer risk in the upper stomach and lower esophagus. Talk about a physiology/biochemistry lesson!! Just remember this next time you are about to take a bite of processed meat…
Gastroenterology Online -
You subscribe to the dogma that you need 8-10 glasses to get water health benefits. You know white tea benefits also are strong. But how do the two compare?
I was speaking to a group of employees at one of the local casinos today on the topic of diabetes and prediabetes. Of course, no topic related to diabetes would be complete without discussing the evils of Bisphenol A (BPA) from plastic water bottles. Unfortunately, pretty much everyone had a plastic water bottle from the lunch offerings. I hate to be such a killjoy.
I always strongly advocate tea drinking anywhere that I can while at the same time steering people aware from drinking out of plastic water bottles. As I’ve mentioned time and time again, there is a shocking lack of evidence for the “8-10 glasses of water per day” mantra that we seem to hear from every group giving health recommendations. Based on these recommendations, one would think that we are all merely 16.3 fluid oz of water away from drying up into a husk and blowing away.
Inevitably, someone in the crowd today asked about whether tea counts towards our water intake per day. I mean–hasn’t everyone heard that caffeine dehydrates us and we need to drink MORE water to make up for the tea drinking?
Let’s look at this a little more closely and compare the tea vs water debate.
On one side, we have the 8-10 glasses of water per day camp. The research to back up this claim? Pretty much nil. We do however, have loads of studies linking BPA exposure to obesity, diabetes and breast cancer. There is, of course, the whole environmental / landfill argument from all that plastic garbage. Then we have reports from the Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) that demonstrate that much of the popular bottled water brands are little more than tap water that is far to high in pollutants to be consumed by pregnant women in the state of California. Another recent study found a slight increase in diabetes risk with drinking more than 6 glasses of water per day.
Not looking too good for water so far.
On to tea.
- Reduces diabetes risk
- Protects our brain
- Protects our heart from damage
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers ovarian cancer risk
- Lowers breast cancer risk
The list could actually be quite longer, but I’m sure you’re getting the point.
The answer would be–why on Earth would you want to add water to compensate for the tea you’re drinking? In these studies above, the participants were not drinking tea AND water–they were drinking tea.
And, just in case all of the above is not convincing enough, this particular study looked at how much drinking tea protected against digestive system cancers (gastric, colon). On average, drinking tea lowered overall risk by 14%. The more tea someone drank and the longer they had been drinking tea, the greater the protection. This climbed to a 26% lower risk in those who drank 2-3 cups per day.
Most of the intake was in the form of green tea, but overall, I usually tell patients that whatever black tea does, green tea does better, and what green tea does, white tea does better. Personally, we go through so much tea at our house that we drink all kinds, looking more for taste than type of tea.
To get a better idea how my household makes tea, refer to an older blog post here that describes how we make it.
Do you have a favorite brand or type of tea?
Gastric Cancer Risk and Erythrocyte Composition of Docosahexaenoic Acid with Anti-inflammatory Effects.
Just in case you think I’m making all this “cancer diet” stuff up, here’s another study strongly linking the highly unsaturated fat (most notably the DHA omega-3 fatty acid) levels in red blood cells to gastric cancer. Although this was a small study with 179 cancer and 357 controls, the associations were incredibly strong.
The highest RBC highly unsaturated fat level vs the lowest levels had a 61% lowered risk of gastric cancer. Even more incredible, the risk of having a well-differentiated adenocarcinoma (the type of gastric cancer more closely associated with H. pylori infection), was 90% lower. 90%. If we could find any drug that could lower the risk of a type of cancer by 90% it would have all the shareholders of that drug company owning their own islands.
Folic acid, gastric cancer issue. There are concerns with some findings that suggest that folic acid supplementation may increase risk of GI cancers. However, the research is pretty consistent. First, there is a relatively common genetic uniqueness (called a SNP) that causes us to need more folic acid. If you have this uniqueness, folic acid and B12 are a very good idea for a variety of reasons (stroke, cancer, heart dz). If you don’t, it is more likely to create a problem.
Second, overall folic acid may have the potential to make existing tumors worse, but protect them from forming in the first place. So, overall you need to know your genetic status. Then, your lifestyle needs to be “anti-GI cancer;” high fiber, low processed, Vit D, good bacteria, no antibiotics, etc. This will give you the best protection against one of our nastier cancers. If you have the uniqueness and have gastric cancer, folic acid and B12 can massively improve your risk of survival (by 86%!).
Health focus of control in patients with epilepsy and its relationship to anxiety, depression, and seizure control.
This article gets into some touchy, but very important, aspects of health. The bottom line, regardless of all other factors, is that we are in control of our own health. With a very few purely genetic associations, whatever happens to us is a result of the decisions that we make. Period. We and not anyone else, are responsible for our health. Many disease states will never be managed effectively until that patient “buys into” the fact that their health outcomes depend NOT on their doctor giving them the right medication or surgical procedure, but rather on their own choices. This article found that epileptic patients who had a higher internal locus of control had better seizure control. Keep in mind that much of mainstream medicine does not foster this independent thinking, but rather that your disease is a result of “bad luck” of the gene draw and there really isn’t anything you can do for it but take this pill. Read More.
Dietary Flavonoid Intake and Breast Cancer Survival.
Having a family member currently dealing with cancer, I can attest from firsthand experience that the discussion of anything outside of chemotherapy and radiation that may positively effect outcome is never discussed. Given the dire consequences of not staying current on the medical literature when it comes to oncology, this is absolutely NOT an acceptable situation. In this study alone, one of thousands finding protective effects of lifestyle, breast cancer patients with a higher intake of flavonoids had a better chance of survival. Specifically when comparing highest vs lowest intakes, flavones (found in certain spices, celery, citrus peels) showed 37% reduction in death, isoflavones (found in soy) showed a 48% reduction and anthocyanidins (found in berries) showed a 36% reduction. I find the isoflavone relationship interesting given that many oncologists tell their breast cancer patients to avoid soy. In this study of 1210 breast cancer patient isoflavones had a massive protective effect on the outcome. Read More.
Gastric Cancer Risk and Erythrocyte Composition of Docosahexaenoic Acid with Anti-inflammatory Effects.
Just in case you think I’m making all this “cancer diet” stuff up, here’s another study strongly linking the highly unsaturated fat (most notably the DHA omega-3 fatty acid) levels in red blood cells to gastric cancer. Although this was a small study with 179 cancer and 357 controls, the associations were incredibly strong. The highest RBC highly unsaturated fat level vs the lowest levels had a 61% lowered risk of gastric cancer. Even more incredible, the risk of having a well-differentiated adenocarcinoma (the type of gastric cancer more closely associated with H. pylori infection), was 90% lower. 90%. If we could find any drug that could lower the risk of a type of cancer by 90% it would have all the shareholders of that drug company owning their own islands. Read More.
Association of Dietary Intake of Soy, Beans, and Isoflavones With Risk of Cerebral and Myocardial Infarctions in Japanese Populations.
As I’ve mentioned before, there is no shortage of “deadly soy” articles all over the internet. Unfortunately, this just does NOT agree with the medical literature. Again, in this study we see some very drastic reductions for women in heart attacks and strokes with higher intakes of soy. With soy intakes greater than 5 times per week, the reduction in stroke risk was 36%, heart attacks 45% and for cardiac death 69%. These are massive reductions. Compare this to the statin class of drugs, with huge costs and serious side effects, and NO reduction in cardiac mortality. It is also likely that the intake of soy in this study really correlates with the adoption of a more plant-based diet. Read More.
Insulin Metabolism is Altered in Migraineurs: A New Pathogenic Mechanism for Migraine?
One of the major problems with the way we treat headaches in this system of medicine is that we never step back and ask “why” this headache is occurring. Nope–just given some medication to suppress the signal the brain is sending out. The problem with this approach is that we know that migraine patients are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. This article just adds further weight to the idea that just treating the headache is flat out wrong. This study finds that patients with migraines had higher insulin levels, indicating some degree of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance will lead to problems getting glucose into some cells, like the neurons. Less glucose means less efficient energy production. Less energy means a sick neuron. And who wants sick brain cells? The ONLY treatment for headaches is a whole body approach. Read More.
Interactions between oxidative stress and inflammation in salt-sensitive hypertension.
While this was a rat study, it does raise the question of whether salt, by itself, is truly an issue at all with hypertension. And given that reducing salt intake does not produce much bang for the buck anyway, it is surprising how much we hang our “hat” on this recommendation. Truly, high sodium intake is likely to be a marker for intake of processed foods. More processed foods will have little or no redox potential. This correlates strongly with the findings in this study, suggesting that antioxidants attenuate the kidney damage that occurs from high salt intake. Read More.
L-Carnitine treatment reduces severity of physical and mental fatigue and increases cognitive functions in centenarians.
While the results of this study seem pretty amazing, the bottom line is that L-carnitine is necessary for fatty acids to be shuttled into the mitochondria to be burned for energy. So, basically, all the researchers did was increase the ability of these patients to create ATP and energy for the cells. In addition to supplementation with L-carnitine, exercise, higher phytonutrient diet, low stress and a hundred other interventions will positively effect this same pathway. Read More.
Calcium intake and hip fracture risk in men and women.
I’ve never really been a strong supporter in the use of calcium to strengthen bones. Worse yet, I cringe every time I hear a dairy commercial claiming that milk gives you strong bones and muscles. This is a very large meta analysis (almost 171,111 women and 67,000 men) that did not find any association between calcium intake and fracture risk. So why is this? Haven’t we been heavily brainwashed into taking our Tums for calcium and drink 15 servings of dairy per day and our bones will set off the metal detectors at the airports? I’m not sure how much of this is the dairy industry’s doing, but consider this. We have large amounts of evidence on the benefits of Vitamin D across just about every disease state. But, for Vit D to protect us, it has to get converted to its active form, calcitriol. Conversion to calcitriol is controlled by calcium levels. Low calcium = better conversion to the active form = more protection from calcitriol. The reverse is true for low calcium. So it is highly possible that a high calcium diet (such as dairy) would actually create great harm by lowering the conversion of Vit D to its active form. The more this has come to light, the more I have recommended good levels of Vit D coupled with a good quality diet with an overall adequate source of calcium. Let the body use the active form of Vit D to absorb the calcium it needs and we’re all going to be better off long term. Read More.
Early protein intake and later obesity risk: which protein sources at which time points throughout infancy and childhood are important for body mass index and body fat percentage at 7 y of age?
We have a perception in this society that the foods we eat today will have an effect on us in a few days, weeks or months, but the association with our health years down the line is very poor. Unfortunately, the choices we make today have massive implications for future health. In this particular study, animal based proteins at 12 months led to an increased risk of being overweight at 7 years. And yes, dairy was particularly bad. Read More.
Declining Wild Salmon Populations in Relation to Parasites from Farm Salmon.
It is very rare that a server in a restaurant understands that there is a significant difference between farm raised and wild caught salmon. One server even thought that “Atlantic salmon” on the menu grown in aquifers in a river (must’ve been the “Atlantic” river….) but fed corn are a good thing. Farm raised are generally fed corn (high in omega-6 instead of the omega-3 we associate with fish) and given a dye for the pink color. No comparison to wild caught. Now, in this article, we find that the growing of farm fish is creating a hazard for wild caught salmon. Yet ANOTHER reason not to eat or support farm raised. Read More.
Epidemiology and natural history of Crohn’s disease.
This is a numbers study that shows how poorly this disease is managed currently. 57% of patients will require resection (removal of a portion of small intestine). With all the knowledge out there about functional bowel disorders, it is frankly just short of shocking that management is not better. We have the tools, why not use them? In my experience, many of the Crohn’s patients I’ve seen have overgrowth of yeast. Control the sugars in the diet, load them up with probiotics and a diet that promotes growth of healthy flora will put most Crohn’s cases into remission. Synergy Abstract - Click here for more information.
Two Diets for the Prevention of Recurrent Stones.
It is still surprising to me that the idea that patients with recurrent kidney stones are given the recommendation to lower intake of calcium, despite the finding that calcium intake is just not associated with stones. Stones have more to do with a animal based over a plant based diet. Avoid caffeine, drinks copious amounts of water and choose predominately plant foods. Actually, calcium supplementation with calcium citrate many actually lower the risk of stones… NEJM — Abstracts: Borghi et al. 346 (2): 77. Click here for more information.
Vit C and H pylori-infected patients during acid-suppression.
Go figure on this one…acid suppression is known to corpus gastritis (inflammation of the main portion of stomach) from H. pylori infection worse. No big shocker since H. pylori does not do so well in an acid environment. Well, this study finds that adding Vit C inhibits this inflammation. So we have two options here–make Vit C supplementation an intergral part of any H. pylori therapy, or run some studes on the effect of only high dose Vit C of H. pylori infection. I just cannot stress how important stomach acid is to our health, and acid suppression without thought to the physiological consequences is, to me, malpractice. Synergy Abstract - Click here for more information.
Soy-Derived Phytoestrogens on Serum Lipids and Lipoproteins.
This study finds no benefits of soy phytoestrogens on serum lipids. Before we run out and drop soy from a healthy lifestyle, there are a few things to consider here. First, soy foods, not supplements, have consistently been shown to be a part of a healthy lifestyle. I am a firm believer in the wisdom of Mother Nature, and believe that she put multiple factors in every food that work synergistically to achieve health benefits. Also, by adding soy into one’s diet, it will invariably be replacing more harmful animal products. JCEM — Abstracts: Dewell et al. 87 (1): 118. Click here for more information.
DHEA Inhibits VSMC Proliferation Independent of ARs and ERs.
I know it’s a big, long, complicated title, but basically this study shows that DHEA has independent effects on reducing atherosclerosis. Although DHEA is produced by the adrenals and converted to testosterone and then estrogen, this is an example of a precurser hormone/molecule having physiologic effects. Pretty amazing. Now, I would not recommend running out and taking bottles of DHEA to lower risk of CVD. However, making sure that your adrenal glands are functioning optimally is very important to maintaining healthy, physiologicaly normal levels. JCEM — Abstracts: Williams et al. 87 (1): 176. Click here for more information.
Clinical factors, diet, and drugs on upper GI glutathione system.
Glutathione is one of the body’s more powerful methods of dealing with toxins and free radicals. This article finds that fruits and veggies will increase the concentrations of glutathione and the related enzyme glutathione transferase. While this is no great shocker, it does indicate that high levels of these compounds through higher intake of fruits and veggies may be a first line of defense against toxins that we take in through our diet. Gut — Abstracts: Hoensch et al. 50 (2): 235. Click here for more information.
Vitamin C, gastric cancer cells and Helicobacter pylori.
This study finds that Vit C can protect against the cancerous changes that can be associated with H. pylori infection but that the typical patient does not have enough Vit C in gastric juice to achieve this effect. Maybe that’s why the bacteria is there in the first place???… Okay, since this is yet another study showing that Vit C seems to play a pivotal role in treatment of H. pylori associated gastric conditions, why are we not seeing this as an essential cofactor for treatment? Just give it a few decades… Gut — Abstracts: Zhang et al. 50 (2): 165. Click here for more information.
Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
Ginger is another of those natural compounds that has shown some pretty strong potential as an anti-inflammatory, particular in cases of osteoarthritis. Remember, also, that ginger has some very strong anti-emetic (anti-nausea) properties as well and can work well for morning sickness. Entrez-PubMed. Click here for more information.
Sinistrality-a side-effect of prenatal sonography.
This is unquestionably one of the scarier articles I have come across in a long time. You need to fully understand that fetal ultrasonography is used extensively in Western medicine and that studies have never been done to determine safety. Couple that with the fact that ultrasonography rarely, if ever, changes the outcome of the pregnancy. So, used extensively despite lack of a safety profile, and appearantly for no clinical reason. Well, here’s the shocker–this article suggests that this procedure does have an effect on the developing brain. HELLO!!! While this article looks at effects on handedness (an easy marker to look for), what other subtle neurological damage/changes are we inducing??????
Click here for more information.
Some Supplements Found to Exceed Safe Levels of Vitamin B.
This is an important news release in that it brings to light a whole plethora of issues and concerns. First, the recommended dosages of many nutrients is ridiculously low. So the fact that certain vitamins exceed the RDA is hardly cause for concern in my book. Second, there are many cases where high doses of certain B vitamins are essential for a patient. Consider for example that about 25% of the population has a sluggish methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) system. These patients will require high dosages of folic acid to drive the enzyme and perform essential functions such as protecting against cancer and helping proper cell division. The RDA can’t come close to touching what these people need. I will frequently use a B12 supplement with 2000 mcg (RDA is a measly 6 mcg) in my seniors to override poor absorption. The news release does mention that high doses of B vitamins should be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional, and I do strongly agree with this; however, few physicians have the background to give good recommendations. If your doctor seems unsure, find someone who is sure–don’t take nutritional advice from a physician who does not understand it.
News Release: Some vitamin B supplements may contain more than the recommended amount of the nutrients, according to a new report. ConsumerLab.com, a commercial testing company in White Plains, New York, conducted the study. “Consumers should be aware that more than 40% of the products that we evaluated exceeded levels at which they are known to be safely tolerated — some having more than 10 times the upper limit,” said Dr. Tod Cooperman, ConsumerLab.com’s president, in a prepared statement from the company. ConsumerLab.com tested 21 B vitamin supplement products. Some contained a single dose of a particular B vitamin while others included several. Nine of the 21 products exceeded established Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for adults — “above which there is increased risk for side effects with regular use,” according to the report. The report notes that three of the niacin-only products exceeded the UL for niacin, as did six of the seven B complex products. The UL for niacin is 35 mg, while these products recommended daily doses ranging from 400 mg to 510 mg. “There may be good medical reasons for exceeding these levels, but there may also be significant side effects,” Dr. Cooperman pointed out, and he advised people wanting to use high doses of B vitamins to consult with a healthcare professional.” Vitamin B dietary supplements are becoming increasingly popular due to last year’s decision by the US Food and Drug Administration to allow manufacturers to tout recent findings about the ability of B vitamins to reduce vascular disease risk.
Polyphenols inhibit pancreatic cancer growth.
I realize that, to some of you, this seems like old news (and it is…). For those of you new to Updates, fruits and veggies contain literally thousands of substances we have not even identified yet that protect us from just about every disease on the planet…Article Abstract - Click here for more information.
Hep A Infections in the US, Implications for Childhood Immunization.
This is one that really irritates me. Hepatitis A infections in children are frequently so minor they are not even noticed. Adult cases are where problems can occur. However, we vaccinate the children as an attempt to cut into the cycle of the transmission of the virus. Because children are accessible and we can mandate stuff like vaccinations. Remember the next time your child or someone you know gets a hep A vaccine–your child is being used. Pediatrics — Abstracts: Armstrong and Bell 109 (5): 839 - Click here for more information.
Zinc for the Treatment of Acute Diarrhea in Young Children.
I’m not sure of the mechanism by which zinc would work directly, but indirectly zinc is essential for healthy immune function. To this mix of zinc I would also include probiotics in the several billions CFUs per day. Pediatrics — Abstracts: Strand et al. 109 (5): 898 - Click here for more information.
Drug companies maintain “astounding” profits.
Is anyone surprised about this title? Is anyone surprised that the healthcare system is so overburdened from pharmaceutical payments? The things that still amazes me is that direct to consumer advertising is effective. It absolutely, positively should not be. Prescriptions given to a patient should be influenced by nothing except medical necessity for the patient. So much for a perfect world…bmj.com Gottlieb 324 (7345): 1054b - Click here for more information.
Dietary nitrate, mutagenic concentrations of NO at the GE junction.
Now this is a convoluted pathway…we eat processed meats high in nitrates. This gets absorbed in the GI tract and makes it back to the saliva where bacteria in the mouth convert the nitrate to nitrite. The nitrite is swallowed and turned to nitric oxide by gastric juice. This elevated nitric oxide is believed to be a contributing factor to cancer risk in the upper stomach and lower esophagus. Talk about a physiology/biochemistry lesson!! Just remember this next time you are about to take a bite of processed meat…Gastroenterology Online - Click here for more information.
The Role of Thyroid Hormone in Blood Pressure Homeostasis.
I must admit that the evaluation of hypertension and factors associated with it do not generally include evaluating thyroid function. This article suggests that thyroid function can indeed be a factor in high blood pressure and should be added to the list of therapeutic avenues for anyone with hypertension. Add to this lowering insulin resistance, exercise, consuming healthy fats and lots of fruits and veggies and you are well on your way to lowering blood pressure naturally. JCEM — Abstracts: Fommei and Iervasi 87 (5): 1996 - Click here for more information.
Menstrual Cycle Irregularity and Risk for Future CVD.
While this is not a big surprise if you understand physiology, the irony comes in with common medical management of menstrual problems. To my knowledge, I have come across two major treatment approaches: birth control pill and hysterectomy. While the first may seem a little more benign, consider this…the BCP is known to increase insulin resistance and thereby increase risk of CVD. Still sound like a good approach? Instead, try supporting hepatic detox of estrogens, fixing constipation (which encourages resorption of conjugated estrogens that were on their way “out”), avoid xenoestrogen exposure and using progesterone cream. In contrast to the BCP, this approach would actually lower risk of CVD. JCEM — Abstracts: Solomon et al. 87 (5): 2013 - Click here for more information.
Morning Light Therapy for Treatment of Antepartum Depression.
Now we must be very careful instituting therapy such as this. While we know that many antidepressants are approved by the FDA for use in nursing mothers, this light therapy thing should be avoided until proper studies are done identifying the risks. All kidding aside this small study showed a tremendous benefit for a condition that can be problematic to treat, especially if the mother is nursing. With a therapy like being exposed to light in the morning, why wouldn’t anyone try this as a first line of attack? Couple that with exercise and proper diet and I’m sure response will skyrocket. American Journal of Psychiatry — Abstracts: Oren et al. 159 (4): 666 - Click here for more information.
Tizanidine Helpful in Chronic Daily Headache.
I’m sorry, but articles looking for new medications for headaches always irritates me. First of all, most patients have multiple types of headaches (and while “migraine” seems to be the wastebasket diagnosis most are given, I find most are not migraine at all…) so they will need multiple therapeutic angles. I can say with a high degree of confidence that almost every headache patient can achieve full relief within a few weeks if they are willing to following recommendations. We don’t need more drugs for a problem we already have a good answer to. Click here for more information.
AAN Annual Meeting: Abstract #S25.004. April 2002.
Apr 25 — Chronic daily headaches (CDH) of migraine, migrainous, or tension type responded to tizanidine (Zanaflex) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial reported at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Denver, Colorado.”Tizanidine is an alpha2-adrenergic agonist that inhibits the release of norepinephrine at both spinal and supraspinal levels (locus ceruleus), with antinociceptive effects that are independent of the endogenous opioid system,” write Alvin E. Lake III, and colleagues from Ann Arbor, Michigan.Of 200 patients completing a 4-week, single-blind placebo baseline, 134 met criteria for CDH and were randomized to tizanidine or placebo; 92 completed at least 8 weeks of treatment, and 85 completed the 12-week study.Reduction in headache measures in patients receiving tizanidine were all significant compared with placebo, including headache index, severe and total headache days, peak and average intensity, and headache duration. Outcome was similar in patients with migraine, migrainous, or tension-type headache. Adverse events reported by patients receiving tizandine were generally mild to moderate, and included somnolence in 47%, dizziness in 24%, dry mouth in 23%, and asthenia in 19%. Adverse events led to treatment discontinuation in 13 patients, and 2 patients had elevated liver function test levels that returned to normal without intervention.”Tizanidine showed superior efficacy over placebo for chronic daily headache (migraine, migrainous, and chronic tension-type headache),” the authors write.
EU Scientists Confirm Hormone-Treated Beef Risks.
Okay…so Europe won’t take most of our beef because the growth hormones in them pose a potential risk to human health. But here in the United States this same hormone treated beef is perfectly safe. Looking at the fact that we have girls developing breasts at single digit ages possibly due to the “safe” hormones in meat, I would lean just a little more towards Europes’ stance…Click here for more information.
Apr 23 – New checks by European scientists have confirmed fears that using growth hormones on cattle could affect human health, the European Commission said on Tuesday. The findings reinforce opinions issued in 1999 and 2000 on hormone-treated beef, which the EU used to support its ban on them. This resulted in a trade row with the United States where they are used extensively. The European Union’s scientific committee, which reviewed 17 case studies, “confirmed that the use of hormones to stimulate the growth of cattle raises a potential risk for consumers’ health,” the Commission said. The committee “has found no reason to change its earlier opinions issued in 1999 and 2000,” it added in a statement. In 1999, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled that the EU’s decade-old embargo was illegal and authorised Washington to impose $117 million of sanctions on EU goods in retaliation. In response to the ruling, the Commission promised regularly to evaluate scientific data on hormone use. Talks between Brussels and Washington on beef are ongoing. The EU has offered compensation in the form of increased duty-free access for US meat free of hormones. Under current arrangements, US and Canadian producers can export 11,500 tonnes a year duty-free to the 15-nation EU. “We would prefer a switch from sanctions to compensation. There are ongoing technical talks and we shall see what they deliver,” Commission spokesman Anthony Gooch told journalists. The EU executive decided in February to end extra testing of US hormone-free beef for residues due to growing confidence that the meat exported as such contained no banned substances.
This is a pretty comprehensive review of this popular herb. Personally, I don’t ever remember recommending echinacea in my office. Most often, if some is getting sick or is sick, it’s more important to pay attention to what we shouldn’t put into our bodies, rather than what we should be putting in. In other words, refined carbs and trans and saturated fats can suppress the immune system so avoiding this garbage should be a primary approach to staving off illness. I do often recommend high dosages (1 gram every hour until bowel tolerance is reached–stools become loose or increased gas) of vitamin C if someone is not feeling well.
Echinacea – January 1, 2003 – American Family Physician - Click here for more information.
SSRI and Risk of Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Bleeding.
I must admit that this is the first time I have heard of this association, but the numbers are a tiny bit concerning….3.6 times the risk alone and a whopping 12.2 times the risk with cconcomitant NSAID use. Considering that counseling has gone the way of the sabre tooth tiger (remember when you used to associate psychiatrists with lying on the couch??) the use of meds has skyrocketed and this is a very, very real concern. Click here for more information.
Psychotropic Practice Patterns for Youth–A 10-Year Perspective.
Even before considering the previous article, the idea that utilization of psychotropic meds for youth is closing in on adult levels that drops my draw. Are our children that disturbed? And, even if they were (which I strongly doubt…) would anyone out there like to bet their right arm against the fact that these drugs in no way interfere with proper neurological development? Remember that the brain is plastic–it is constantly regenerating itself. The old adage that killing off brain cells in college never to be replaced is not true. Those new cells being produced are being bathed in meds that we have no true long term studies (unless you consider 3 years long in the life of a child) showing their safety.
Psychotropic Practice Patterns for Youth: A 10-Year Perspective - Click here for more information.
CRP as Predictor for Incident Diabetes Mellitus Among Middle-aged Men.
It’s very nice to finally see the mainstream medical journals viewing inflammation as a factor in many (actually all…) chronic diseases. Much press was given to CRP as an independent risk factor for heart disease and now we see the same association with diabetes. What I do find amusing is the “chicken with their head cut off” mentality looking for drugs to lower CRP. A huge trial is underway to see if statin drugs can lower CRP. Hey…save the money and have patient avoid refined carbs and exercise. That should do it most of the time!! Click here for more information.
Role of environmental estrogens in deterioration of male fertility.
Fertility is actually becoming quite big business in Western medicine and more and more of an issue with patients. If a woman is not fertile, their is something with their physiology that is imbalanced–estrogen dominance, polycystic ovaries, anovulation–that needs to be addressed. The medical approach of forcing ovulation on a system that is NOT ovulating because it is not ready for it just stumps me. Fix the menstrual cycle and fertility should return. I had a friend with poor lifestyle habits, including smoking. She had seen fertility doctors and was contemplating treatment. She finally quit smoking and was pregnant in weeks. With male fertility, external influences seem to be a major player–here we seen xenoestrogens affecting fertility. Want scary? Studies in mice has shown reduction in male fertility 3 generations later when zinc was deficient.
ScienceDirect – Fertility and Sterility: Role of environmental estrogens in the deterioration of male factor fertility - Click here for more information.
Acne Vulgaris — A Disease of Western Civilization.
Seriously? I thought it was a condition of antibiotic deficiency and was treated with dosing antibiotics for years on end. Wow, you really do learn something new every day. On a more serious note, if you consider the skin as an organ of detoxification, where toxins are pushed out (i.e. sweating) this is no big shocker. So the key to acne is cleaning out your system. Probiotics to restore the additional barrier in our gut between us and the environment, topical application of tea tree oil, avoidance of food allergies such as wheat and avoidance of the many chemicals we take in on a daily basis in processed foods and commerically grown fruits and veggies.
Acne Vulgaris: A Disease of Western Civilization - Click here for more information
Tea tree oil reduces histamine-induced skin inflammation.
Speaking of tee tree oil… this substance has been used for hundreds of years as an antimicrobial to be used topically. Here we see a study that also confirms its anti-inflammatory abilities. This would mean that everyone should keep a bottle in their medicine cabinet for mosquito bites, bee stings, hives…
Role of microecology in chronic inflammatory bowel diseases.
I had a patient come in yesterday that had spent 10 days in bed from a serious case of diarrhea. She went to a GI “specialist” who gave her a drug for colitis that made the diarrhea worse. After she contacted him, he suggested she try it AGAIN!!! Much the same result. Just amazes me sometimes–I really get the feeling that some (if not closer to “many”) specialist do not understand the physiology of the organ system they devote so much time to. This patient went back to her PCP because she was sure the specialist was going to kill her. She was put on a course of antibiotics and improved. When she saw me I gave her some probiotics to restore her GI environment to a more healthy state. I’m sure these same probiotics would have been just as effective (if not more) than the antibiotics.
Role of microecology in chronic inflammatory bowel diseases - Click here for more information.
Folate and vitamin B-12 and risk of fatal cardiovascular disease.
Here is a study that finds and recommends no benefit from supplementation on CVD. At first I was a little surprised, until I looked further into the study. The study did not look at supplementation and yet, in the summary, recommended that routine recommendation not be used until more studies are done. This study checked blood levels of folate and B12. However, we know that one of the main factors about whether supplementation will help is status of the MHTFR enzyme. In about 25% of the population, this enzyme has a difficult time converting folate into its active form 5-methyltetrahydofolate. If you want to find out if this is related, you need to check 5-MHTF levels in the blood and risk of CVD.
bmj.com Hung et al. 326 (7381): 131 - Click here for more information.
Hyperinsulinemia, Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction in Obesity
This is quite an interesting article that ties in many concepts of functional medicine. Obese subjects with hyperinsulinemia had chronic stimulation of sympathetic nervous system (the fight/flight system) among other risk factors for chronic disease. Cardiac output was increased as well; leading to excess work being done by the heart. All of this ties insulin resistance with obesity and heart disease so nicely. Now if we could just get Americans to cut back on the gobs of processed sugar we eat day in and day out… Circulation — Abstracts: Emdin et al. 103 (4): 513 http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/103/4/513
Telomerase activity and rebuilding of telomere length in cloned cattle
Telomeres are little pieces at the end of chromosomes that act as protectors that get shorter each time a cell divides. Some consider them as markers of aging and are searching for ways to elongate the telomeres of chromosomes and extend longevity. Telomerase is an enzyme that maintains the length of the telomeres (increased activity is seen in cancer cells that have an unlimited ability to divide; inhibiting telomerase is actually a hot topic in cancer research these days). This study examines the activity of telomerase in cloned cattle. It appears that during some point in development, not the actual cloning process itself, the new cells actually regain their youthful length of telomeres. A little complicated, but this research may begin to pinpoint a timeframe in which telomerase activity is highest; leading to ways to control it. PNAS — Abstracts: Betts et al. 98 (3): 1077 http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/98/3/1077
Protein glycosylation in vivo induces autoimmune disease
The glycosylation of proteins occurs when glucose reacts with proteins to change their structure and function. Some consider this the basis of aging. While this research study uses genetic modification to induce autoimmune disease, there are some implications that glycosylation from insulin resistance may be a triggering factor in some autoimmune diseases. PNAS — Abstracts: Chui et al. 98 (3): 1142 http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/98/3/1142
Reduced susceptibility to ischemic brain injury in COX-2-deficient mice
Selective COX-2 inhibitors such as Celebrex and Vioxx are the new rage in treatment of joint pain. There have been some additional findings in research studies, suggesting a protective effect on colon cancer. This study, although done in mice, suggests a reduction in the damage sustained during an ischemic stroke when COX-2 is not even present. Don’t let this convince you to run out and start taking Celebrex; instead, consider this as yet additional evidence that inflammation is a contributing factor to most diseases and you would do well to maintain a lifestyle that reduces inflammation. PNAS — Abstracts: Iadecola et al. 98 (3): 1294 http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/98/3/1294
Is H pylori Infection in Childhood a Risk Factor for Gastric Cancer?
This article addressed the question of eradication of H. pylori in children, since it is considered a risk factor for gastric cancer. The authors performed a literature review and determined that it is not indicated to eradicate H. pylori in children. My concerns remain in jumping to the gun that we need to destroy this bacteria. It is a risk factor for gastric cancer and gastritis, and yet protects against GERD, a potential risk factor for esophageal cancer. We need to find out exactly HOW it gets to the stomach, and what it does once it’s there. Pediatrics — Abstracts: Imrie et al. 107 (2): 373 http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/abstract/107/2/373
Acarbose, insulin in Type 2 diabetes w/ non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis
This study examines the use of acarbose, an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor in patients whose liver does not function well. The results were good for control blood sugar levels. Whole grains also have alpha-glucosidase inhibitors present in them, which are processed out during refinement. We don’t need to spend a money on a study comparing whole grains and glucose control–several studies already confirm the benefits of whole grains on glycemic control. Synergy Abstract http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD003639/frame.html