Dr. Bray Links

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Coke Spends Lavishly on Pediatricians and Dietitians

When the American Academy of Pediatrics needed support for a website it created to promote children’s health, it turned to a surprising partner: Coca-Cola.

The world’s largest maker of sugary beverages, Coca-Cola has given nearly $3 million to the academy over the past six years, making it the only “gold” sponsor of the HealthyChildren.org website. Even though the pediatric academy has said publicly that sugary drinks contribute to the obesity epidemic, the group praises Coke on its website, calling it a “distinguished” company for its commitment to “better the health of children worldwide.”

The extent of the financial ties between Coke and the Academy of Pediatrics was revealed last week when the company released a detailed list of nearly $120 million in grants, large and small, given to medical, health and community organizations since 2010. Not only has Coke’s philanthropy earned it praise from influential medical groups, the soda grants appear to have, in some cases, won the company allies in anti-soda initiatives, wielded influence over health recommendations about soft drinks, and shifted scientific focus away from soda as a factor in the causes of obesity.

The list of Coke donations was released after the company’s chief executive, Muhtar Kent, promised to be transparent about its partnerships in the health community. The move was prompted by criticism that the company has paid for scientific research that plays down the role of Coke products in the spread of obesity, an issue first reported last month in The New York Times.

In addition to the Academy of Pediatrics, Coke beneficiaries include a number of respected medical and health groups, including $3.1 million to the American College of Cardiology, more than $3.5 million to the American Academy of Family Physicians, $2 million to the American Cancer Society and roughly $1.7 million to the country’s largest organization of dietitians, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Dr. Karen Remley, the chief executive of the Academy of Pediatrics, said Coke’s support did not influence the information her group put on its website. Although Coke’s logo remained on the group’s website as of Monday, she said the group was ending its relationship with Coke at the end of the year. “Collectively, the members, the board and the staff went through the process and said that we no longer share the same values with Coca-Cola,” she said.

Dr. Remley did not say when the group ended its relationship with Coke, but pediatricians interviewed for this article said the Coke partnership was the focus of discussion at chapters around the country because doctors were upset by it. At the academy’s Annual Leadership Forum in March — where academy members can vote on resolutions to submit to the academy leadership — one of the top two resolutions called for the academy to sever its relationship with Coke.


Chemical exposure linked to rising diabetes, obesity risk

Emerging evidence ties endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure to two of the biggest public health threats facing society - diabetes and obesity, according to the executive summary of an upcoming Scientific Statement issued today by the Endocrine Society.

The statement's release comes as Society experts are addressing a global meeting, the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4), in Geneva, Switzerland, on the importance of using scientific approaches to limit health risks of EDC exposure.

The statement builds upon the Society's groundbreaking 2009 report, which examined the state of scientific evidence on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the risks posed to human health. In the ensuing years, additional research has found that exposure is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes and obesity. Mounting evidence also indicates EDC exposure is connected to infertility, hormone-related cancers, neurological issues and other disorders.

EDCs contribute to health problems by mimicking, blocking or otherwise interfering with the body's natural hormones. By hijacking the body's chemical messengers, EDCs can alter the way cells develop and grow.

Known EDCs include bisphenol A (BPA) found in food can linings and cash register receipts, phthalates found in plastics and cosmetics, flame retardants and pesticides. The chemicals are so common that nearly every person on Earth has been exposed to one or more. An economic analysis published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in March estimated that EDC exposure likely costs the European Union €157 billion ($209 billion) a year in actual health care expenses and lost earning potential.

"The evidence is more definitive than ever before - EDCs disrupt hormones in a manner that harms human health," said Andrea C. Gore, Professor and Vacek Chair of Pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin and chair of the task force that developed the statement. "Hundreds of studies are pointing to the same conclusion, whether they are long-term epidemiological studies in human, basic research in animals and cells, or research into groups of people with known occupational exposure to specific chemicals."


New Test Identifies All Viruses in Infected Humans and Animals

Results published online in September in the journal Genome Research demonstrate that in patient samples the new test - called ViroCap - can detect viruses not found by standard testing based on genome sequencing. The new test could be used to detect outbreaks of deadly viruses such as Ebola, Marburg and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), as well as more routine viruses, including rotavirus and norovirus, both of which cause severe gastrointestinal infections.

The test sequences and detects viruses in patient samples and is just as sensitive as the gold-standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, which are used widely in clinical laboratories. However, even the most expansive PCR assays can only screen for up to about 20 similar viruses at the same time.


U.S. workers sue Monsanto claiming herbicide caused cancer

A U.S. farm worker and a horticultural assistant have filed lawsuits claiming Monsanto Co.'s Roundup herbicide caused their cancers and Monsanto intentionally misled the public and regulators about the dangers of the herbicide.

The lawsuits come six months after the World Health Organization's cancer research unit said it was classifying glyphosate, the active weed-killing ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides, as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

One suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Sept. 22, names as plaintiff 58-year-old Enrique Rubio, a former farm worker in California, Texas and Oregon who over several years labored in fields of cucumbers, onions and other vegetable crops.

His duties included spraying fields with Roundup and other pesticides before Rubio was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1995, the lawsuit states.

A separate lawsuit making similar claims was filed the same day in federal court in New York by Judi Fitzgerald, 64, who claims she was exposed in the 1990s to Roundup when she worked at a horticultural products company. Fitzgerald was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012.


US Opioid Epidemic Fueled by Prescribing Practices

The most important step toward reversing the epidemic of prescription opioid abuse is to stop prescribing opioids for the wrong indications.

Recent reports have consistently concluded that there are insufficient data on the long-term effectiveness of prescription opioids to support their use in the treatment of chronic pain, but there is clear evidence of a dose-dependent risk for serious harms.

The biggest triggers to the initiation and perpetuation of prescription opioid abuse comes from their use for the treatment of nonspecific musculoskeletal disorders, especially chronic low back pain, headaches, and disorders such as fibromyalgia.

Although there is no proven benefit for their use in these disorders, "people with these indications are on chronic opioids, and they have become disabled, and they are spilling over into social security and disability systems," Dr Franklin said.


Zero Added Value With Computer-Aided Digital Mammography

Computer-aided detection (CAD) does not improve accuracy of digital screening mammography, a large study has found.

Even more concerning, radiologists tended to miss more cancers when using CAD, lead author Constance D. Lehman, MD, PhD, codirector of the Avon Comprehensive Breast Evaluation Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, told Medscape Medical News.

It is possible that radiologists reading with CAD are overly dependent on the computer and ignore suspicious lesions if they are not flagged by CAD, she said.

The study was published online September 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.


Oral Contraceptives May Triple Risk of Crohn's Disease

Women may be three times more likely to develop Crohn's disease if they have used oral contraceptive pills for five years or more, according to data from a Harvard University study.
The increased risk of Crohn's was especially pronounced in women who already had genetic predispositions to chronic gastrointestinal disease.

"The pill" is the most widely used form of contraception in the United States, and while it is highly effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies, it is not without adverse effects. This is important to consider given the wide public demand for access to oral contraception and wider coverage for it under the Affordable Care Act.

Harvard University gastroenterologist Dr. Hamed Khalili and colleagues analyzed data from 232,452 American women with no prior history of ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn's disease (CD) and who were enrolled in the US Nurses Health Studies I and II from 1976 to 2008.

They compared the gastrointestinal health of women who had used the pill for long periods of time with that of women who never used oral contraception. The researchers found 315 cases of CD and 392 cases of UC (confirmed by review of medical records).

Major Risk Increase
Compared with women who had never used oral contraceptives, current users had a 2.82 multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio for CD (95% CI 1.65 to 4.82). For past users of oral contraceptives the hazard ratio was 1.39 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.85).

Reflecting on the strong association between use of oral contraceptives and CD, the authors note that, "After adjusting for known or potential risk factors for CD, including BMI, smoking, hormone use, age at menarche, menopause type and parity, these risk estimates did not materially change."

Further, the association could not be explained by the presence of endometriosis—a condition which is sometimes associated with CD, and which is sometimes treated with oral contraceptives (Khalili H, et al. Gut. 2013 Aug; 62(8): 1153–1159. )

The association between oral contraceptives and UC was weaker than the one observed with CD, and it differed according to smoking history, with smokers at higher risk. The authors stressed that age at menarche, age at first birth and parity were not associated with risk of UC or CD.


Advanced Glycation End Products

Modifying Cooking Methods
The most effective way to reduce intake of foods high in AGEs is to modify cooking methods. In a study published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Uribarri and colleagues developed a guide to AGE dietary reduction. The researchers found a link between heat-processed foods and AGEs. They compared different types of cooking methods and found that dry heat promoted AGE formation by more than 10- to 100-fold above uncooked foods in all food categories. Meats high in protein and fat were likely to form AGEs during cooking, while carbohydrate-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains maintained low AGE levels after cooking. Foods cooked with moist heat, shorter cooking times and lower temperatures, and acidic ingredients such as vinegar or lemon juice produced the least amount of AGEs.

A Danish study published in the January issue of Diabetes Care showed that overweight women who ate foods cooked at high temperatures had much higher biological markers of insulin resistance compared with those who ate foods prepared by boiling or steaming.

Pat Baird, MA, RD, FADA, a member of the advisory board of the AGE Foundation, an organization committed to educating the public about the harmful effects of AGEs, is optimistic about sharing the benefits of a low-AGE diet. "We produce AGEs in our body, and we're also ingesting them. The good news is we can adjust it," she says, adding that preparing foods in a slow cooker is another good option.

Insider Tips
Despite these recommendations, Baird knows that people will continue to grill their food, so she encourages them to do so less frequently. When they do grill, however, she suggests they use an acid-based marinade that contains lemon or other citrus fruit juices, or vinegar. Not only does the acidity reduce AGE levels, "it enhances the flavor of food and enhances the flavor of the spices," she says. "The indication is color."

Whether on the grill, in a skillet, or in the oven, browning or charring foods is an indication that AGEs are present. Baird also suggests cooking foods with medium heat for an extra minute or two instead of using high heat.

Because it can be a challenge for people to eat fewer convenience foods, such as packaged snacks and ready-to-eat meals, Baird says using slow cookers can help, especially in families that often are short on time. But the benefits go beyond time-saving convenience. According to Baird, less oil is needed in slow cookers, more nutrients are retained compared with many other cooking methods, and recipes tend to include more vegetables.

In fact, eating more vegetables and fruits is another way to reduce AGE consumption. Baird stresses the importance of dietary phytonutrients, which are found in the pigments of various colorful fruits and vegetables. One type of phytonutrient in particular, called iridoids, which are found in deeply colored blueberries, cranberries, and noni fruit, can lower AGEs in the body, she says.


Calcium Doesn’t Boost Bone Health

"Calcium supplements have small inconsistent benefits on fracture reduction but probably have an unfavourable risk: benefit profile," the researchers wrote in the conclusion of their study.

"Collectively, these results suggest that clinicians, advocacy organizations, and health policymakers should not recommend increasing calcium intake for fracture prevention, either with calcium supplements or through dietary sources."

Currently, it's recommended that older men and women get at least 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day to maintain bone density. A whopping 30 to 50 percent of women over age 50 currently take a calcium supplement of some kind. Many people also take vitamin D supplements, which helps with calcium absorption.


Food tracking app links less sleeping to more eating

The trouble with eating or drinking over a longer stretch of waking hours and consuming more calories at night is that "it confuses our body's biological clock and predisposes us to obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease," Panda added by email.

Because many existing apps and food diaries can encourage people to eat less just by seeing what they record, Panda and co-author Shubhroz Gill at the Salk Institute devised an app that would erase data as soon as images were logged. This meant the app should have minimal impact on how people ate, Panda said.

Based on an analysis of snapshots recorded by more than 150 volunteers, the researchers got a sense of what people ate when, and under what circumstances.

They could see, for example, what people photographed next to a keyboard, in bed, watching television, or walking down the street.


Like your Nexium or Prilosec? The lawyers would love to talk with you.

From the law offices of Podgust, Braslow, & Millrood ...

"The Dangers of Proton Pump Inhibitors – Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid

Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) drugs like Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid have been miracle drugs for some people who suffer serious heartburn. For over the last decade, doctors prescribed these drugs to millions of patients under the belief that there was no risk in taking these drugs, only to find out serious side effects exist.

Even more millions of people purchased these drugs over-the-counter at their local drug store. It turns out, however, that these drugs have become increasingly associated with a range of dangerous and sometimes fatal side effects and long-term dependence. And many patients on these drugs do not even have a need for this treatment.

In August 2011, Public Citizen filed a petition with the FDA to put Black Box Warnings on all PPIs to warn doctors and patients alike of the dangerous side effects and safer alternatives. Public Citizen Petition. The dangerous side effects that should be included in the Black Box include the following:

  1. Rebound Acid Hypersecretion Risk – there is currently no warning regarding the dependence or addictiveness of these drugs after taking them for as little as four weeks;
  2. Fracture Risk – long term and multiple daily dose has been linked to increased risk of osteoporosis-related fractures of the spine, hip and wrist fracture;
  3. Infection Risk – increased risk of community-acquired pneumonia and C-difficile-caused diarrhea; and
  4. Severe Magnesium Deficiency – can increase the likelihood of fatal heart rhythm disruptions.

First, regarding the addiction of PPIs, The American Journal of Gastroenterology reported the results of its PPI clinical trial in “Dyseptic symptoms development after discontinuation of a proton pump inhibitor: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, which confirmed an earlier study in Gastroenterology, entitled “Proton-pump inhibitor therapy induces acid-related symptoms in healthy volunteers after withdrawal of therapy,” – concluding that these types of medications actually induce the very symptoms they are used to treat. In other words, many of the people taking these medications to treat heartburn-related symptoms, end up with worse heartburn if they attempt to stop taking the medications. These studies finally provide an answer as to why so many people have been taking these medications for so many years and are resigned to taking them for the rest of their lives.

Physicians who prescribed these medications in the 1990s and over the course of the last ten years were never warned of the risk of addiction or withdrawal symptoms. Now, millions of patients cannot stop taking these drugs.

With respect to the risk of fractures, in 2010, the FDA announced that required strengthened warnings concerning the possible increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine with the use of PPIs. The strengthened warnings will be required for both prescription proton pump inhibitors and over-the-counter (OTC) versions.

Third, regarding infections, a new study from the May 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) entitled “Acid-Suppressive Medication Use and the Risk for Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia” has found that hospital patients who are given certain heartburn drugs like Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid are at higher risk for pneumonia than those who are not given these medications. In fact, the study determined that there was a 30% increased risk for pneumonia among hospital patients taking these types of medications, called proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs).

The drugs are often recommended for intensive-care patients to prevent stress ulcers. However, in recent years they have been given, often unnecessarily, to a large percentage of inpatients largely because they are widely considered to be safe drugs. Experts estimate that over 50% of all inpatients now receive acid-suppressive drugs during a hospital stay, and half of those patients are receiving the medication for the very first time.

The overprescription of these drugs in the hospital setting is staggering because this is not the first time that these medications have been linked to pneumonia. In fact, a study reported in 2004 found an association between community-acquired pneumonia (in non-hospitalized people) and acid-suppressing meds. Therefore, it is unsurprising that a link has now been found with hospital-acquired pneumonia.

However, despite these studies, the FDA-approved labels for Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid remain void of any warnings about the increased risk of pneumonia. In fact, Prevacid’s label is the only one that even states that a single case of pneumonia was ever reported by a patient taking the drug.

Despite the lack of information provided by the drug manufacturers, the causal relationship can still be explained. Although stomach acid is negatively viewed since it causes heartburn, acid reflux symptoms, and other painful conditions, its presence is also necessary to digest food and to act as a first defense against viruses, bacteria, and other harmful organisms entering your body through your mouth. Therefore, heartburn drugs by reducing stomach acid, are also reducing one of the body’s defense mechanisms against the germs causing pneumonia.

Finally, we can now add low magnesium levels to the growing list of side effects caused by Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), like Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and Protonix. While PPIs do an incredible job of controlling chronic acid reflux, many researchers now believe that they may also increase your risk of contracting pneumonia, developing bone fractures, and increasing your risk of a heart attack if taken with a drug like Plavix. It seems as if every couple months, a new warning is issued by the FDA concerning these products.

While low magnesium levels, called “hypomagnesemia,” may not seem like a serious condition, it can lead to muscle spasm, irregular heartbeat and convulsions or seizures. The FDA is recommending that doctors monitor patients’ magnesium levels for those taking PPIs for longer than one year. Furthermore, the FDA has advised that magnesium supplements may not be helpful in many cases, and PPI treatment should be stopped entirely.

What may be the most disturbing part of all of this is that studies have shown that these drugs actually induce the symptoms they were prescribed to treat. In other words, some patients who have low magnesium levels caused by PPIs, who cannot be helped by magnesium supplements, may not be able to stop taking these drugs because stopping would induce even worse heartburn symptoms.

PPIs like Prilosec and Nexium were never intended to be taken for long periods of time for minor symptoms. Black Box Warnings should be mandatory for these drugs. They can be addictive and cause a host of serious side effects.

If you believe that you have suffered a serious side effect as a result of taking these drugs, please contact the attorneys at Pogust Braslow & Millrood for an evaluation of your potential case."


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dieticians in Integrative and Functional Medicine

The Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM), a practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, consists of 3,700+ Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), Dietetic Technicians, Registered (DTRs), and dietetic students and interns who practice in, or have specific interest in, an integrated and personalized approach to nutrition, health, and healing. The DIFM philosophy centers around a holistic, “Food as Medicine” approach to wellness, and is based firmly in the Integrative Medicine model. Whole-food therapies, targeted supplements, and mind-body modalities form the basis of “Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy” (IFMNT). Integrative Nutrition RDNs apply this model to the nutrition care process in clinical practice and are also instrumental in reshaping healthcare.

For a certified practitioner close to Gainesville, Florida:

Linda Lockett-Brown

151 College Dr., Suite 6
Orange Park, FL 32065
Phone: (904)276-8050
Email: lbrown@cinetnutrition.com
Web site: www.cinetnutrition.com

Services: Individual Consultation, Group Consultation, Programs / Workshops/Speaker/Author
Areas of Expertise: Allergies and Food Intolerances, Condition Specific Nutrition Therapy (Cardiovascular /Diabetes/ Osteoporosis/etc.), Culinary Nutrition, Detoxification, Dietary Supplements (vitamins/minerals/herbs), Digestive Wellness, Elimination Diets, General Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle Coaching, Integrative and Functional Medicine Nutrition Therapy (IFMNT), Laboratory Testing (integrative and functional labs)


Monday, September 28, 2015

Holistic Oral Health Summit

A brief reminder about the holistic oral health summit that is going on right now. And is free! Check out the talk from Dr. Axe at the below link.



Functional Medicine AFMCP Conference

Interested in functional medicine? Come find me at the conference this week.

AFMCP teaches healthcare practitioners to more effectively integrate science, research, and clinical insights to treat and prevent disease and maintain health. Established and emerging diagnostics, therapeutics, and prevention strategies are extensively covered. AFMCP integrates these approaches through the Functional Medicine Matrix Model (an innovative and practical assessment tool) and the emphasis on a therapeutic partnership between patient and practitioner.

AFMCP is a well-orchestrated, comprehensive, patient-centered education program that helps you deepen your clinical understanding and practical application of the Functional Medicine Matrix Model.

Topics include:
Gastrointestinal dysfunction and its links to chronic disease
Nutritionally focused assessment and treatment
Food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances
Inflammation and immune dysregulation
Toxins, toxicity, and impaired biotransformation
Insulin resistance and cardiometabolic syndrome
Hormonal imbalance including adrenal, thyroid, and sex hormones
Oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and fatigue


Friday, September 25, 2015

Longer fasts might help with weight loss but Americans eat all day long

In a study that detailed the consumption patterns of just over 150 nondieting, non-shift-working people in and around San Diego for three weeks, researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla found that a majority of people eat for stretches of 15 hours or longer most days -- and fast for fewer than nine hours a night.

We snarf a tidbit at a midmorning meeting, nibble for much of the afternoon, knock back a drink or two with dinner and keep noshing till bedtime. Fewer than a quarter of the day's calories were consumed before noon, they discovered. And more than a third of participants' average daily calories, the research revealed, were consumed after 6 p.m.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ginger Inhibits Breast Cancer Cells and Stem Cell-Like Spheroids by Modulation of Notch Signaling

Cancer stem cells pose serious obstacle to cancer therapy as they can be responsible for poor prognosis and tumour relapse. To add into the misery, very few chemotherapeutic compounds show promise to kill these cells. Several researchers have shown that cancer stem cells are resistant to paclitaxel, doxorubicin, 5-fluorouracil, and platinum drugs. CSCs are thus an almost unreachable population in tumours for chemotherapy. Therefore any compound, that shows promise towards cancer stem cells, is a highly desirable step towards cancer treatment and should be followed up for further development.

Depression is misdiagnosed as obstructive sleep apnea, study says

A group of researchers from the University of Australia and Hospital of Perth have discovered that the development of sleep apnea and depression may be related and that treatment with continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) is helpful to both conditions. The findings of the study were published in the journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) more than 25 million adults in the US have sleep apnea, a condition whereby breathing stops briefly and repeatedly during sleep. Chronic snoring is the most common sign of sleep apnea.

Results show that nearly 73 percent of sleep apnea patients (213 of 293 patients) had clinically significant depressive symptoms at baseline, with a similar symptom prevalence between men and women.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Not all fruits, vegetables have similar impact on weight loss

"The benefits of increased consumption were greater for fruits than for vegetables and strongest for berries, apples/pears, tofu/soy, cauliflower, and cruciferous and green leafy vegetables," wrote lead author Monica Bertoia from Harvard's School of Public Health in the latest PLOS Medicine.
"Increased satiety with fewer calories could be partly responsible for the beneficial effects of increasing fruit and vegetable intake."

The study was based on responses to dietary questionnaires and self-reported weight changes by more than 133,000 adults in the United States every four years between 1986 and 2010.
They found that in a four-year period, participants who ate an extra daily serving of fruit shed 0.24 kilograms, and an extra daily serving of vegetables, 0.11 kilograms.

"We found that many vegetables were inversely associated with weight change, but starchy vegetables such as peas, potatoes, and corn had the opposite association in which increased intake was associated with weight gain," wrote Ms Bertoia.

FDA to hold public meeting on controversial Essure birth control Thursday

Essure is marketed as permanent birth control without surgery, but ABC15 has followed the story  as a group of a few hundred women who say they've been harmed by the device has grown to more than 20,900 .

During the Essure procedure , two metal coils are inserted inside a woman's fallopian tubes and scar tissue forms to block conception.

The FDA reports that more than 5,000 adverse event reports have been filed with the FDA about Essure since it was approved by the agency in 2002.

The complaints include bloating, severe rashes, chronic pelvic pain, extreme bleeding and auto-immune disorders. Many women report having all of their reproductive organs removed in a hysterectomy procedure in order to remove the device.

The FDA acknowledged in June that some of the serious risks associated with Essure include unintended pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic pain and rash and itching due to a possible nickel allergy. The FDA warns that the coils can cut through the fallopian tubes or uterus and migrate into the lower abdomen and pelvis.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

mySymptoms Food Diary

Gain insights into your diet and health. Track your meals with a few simple taps of your favorite foods, set the intensity of any symptoms experienced, and then run our analysis algorithms to see if any patterns emerge between your diet and symptoms. Share a web report of your diary/journal with your doctor or dietitian.

mySymptoms has been used by sufferers of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), food intolerance and sensitivities, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, migraines, cluster headaches, bloating, heartburn, and many other conditions or symptoms – any symptom can be added.


Recent Whooping Cough Increase May Come From a Different Species

The recent increase in outbreaks of whooping cough might not be related to the common Bordetella pertussis pathogen, but instead to a lesser-known but related species, data from a recent Minnesota outbreak suggest.

Although Bordetella parapertussis has been shown to cause similar clinical manifestations, vaccination against B pertussis does not protect against B parapertussis, said Vytas Karalius, MPH, who is a medical student at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

"Symptoms alone may not enable a distinction between the two, which supports testing for both when a patient presents with whooping cough symptoms," Karalius explained here at the Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2015.

Karalius and his colleagues conducted an analysis of all patients at the Mayo Clinic tested for both B pertussis and B parapertussis from 2012 to 2014. All tests were done using nasopharyngeal swabs and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays.


Drug Goes From $1 to $13.50 to now $750 a Tablet, Overnight

32 y/o hedge fund investor, Martin Shkreli, decides to profit off of a 62 y/o life-saving antibiotic previously sold by Glaxo for $1 per tablet

Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection.

The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“What is it that they are doing differently that has led to this dramatic increase?” said Dr. Judith Aberg, the chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She said the price increase could force hospitals to use “alternative therapies that may not have the same efficacy.”


The Rise of Big Generic: Why Knockoff Prescriptions Now Cost $1,200

Not that long ago, the generic drug industry was the ugly stepchild of the Big Pharma family - the uncomely domain of penny pills and piffling profits. The big names in pharma preferred to hawk Prozac, Viagra and other brand-name elixirs at five and 10 dollars a pop, leaving smaller firms that had all the prestige of Kmart to scramble over the nickels and dimes to be had off generics. It was, however, a good era for anyone who needed a cheap generic, as a majority of Americans did (and still do) each year. But times have changed, and decidedly not for the better.

The capstone event of the new era came on May 28, when the Federal Trade Commission reached a whacking settlement of $1.2 billion - one of the largest in the FTC's history - with Teva Pharmaceuticals over shady trade practices. The size of the settlement was only part of the news. The other part was that Teva responded with the corporate equivalent of a shrug, even declaring itself "pleased" with the deal, which might have been taken for bravado but for the concurrence of Teva’s investors, who kept the company's stock price steady as could be. It's not news that a billion dollars is chump change to Big Pharma. The news is that Teva isn't Big Pharma. Teva is a generics maker - Mid Pharma at best. But such has been the consolidation in the generics trade that even its players are now behemoths, and this is where the danger lies.

Teva has been a consolidator among consolidators, hoovering up half a dozen companies in the last 15 years at a cost of more than $30 billion. Headquartered in Israel, Teva does most of its business in the West. In the United States it employs 7,500 people and fills 1.5 million prescriptions a day, more than half a billion a year. In Europe it fills nearly twice that. All of which makes it the biggest seller of generics in both America and the world. Teva has plans to grow bigger still and has cast an acquisitive eye on, among other companies, its nearest rival in the generics field, Mylan (which has so far resisted Teva’s overtures). By one slightly hyperbolic assessment, if the Mylan purchase were to go through, "Every man, woman and child in the U.S. will eventually take a pill manufactured by the new entity." This is not good news for any man, woman or child - unless she or he holds stock in Teva.

Consolidation Results in Skyrocketing Prices

As Big Generic has consolidated, competition has of course dropped, and makers of generics have raised prices flamboyantly. In October 2013, a month's supply of doxycycline, a widely used antibiotic that has been available in generic form for three decades, cost hospitals $1.20. Just six months later, it cost $111.00, an increase of 9,150 percent. In July 2013, a month of tetracycline, another antibiotic long generically available, cost pharmacies $1.50, but a year later it was $257.70, an increase of 17,080 percent. These are extreme instances, but they are not aberrant.

According to Medicare and Medicaid data, from July 2013 to July 2014, the price of half of all generics went up, and nearly 10 percent of them went up by double or more. Among this 10 percent, the average increase was 448 percent. By remarkable coincidence, the most frequently prescribed generics were among the more dramatic risers. One report found that in 2010, the 50 most popular generics cost an average of $13.14 per prescription, but by 2014, it was $62.10, a 373 percent spike. Big Generic is wont to point out that although the prices of half of all generics have gone up, half have gone down. Less often do they point out that the increases have far outpaced the declines. They are like the grocer who advertises the dime knocked off his cauliflower while quietly trebling the price of bread.


Soy interferes with male fertility

Genetically modified soya bean (GMSB) is a commercialized food. It has been shown to have adverse effects on fertility in animal trials. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has many beneficial effects including anti-oxidant properties. The aim of this study is to elucidate if addition of EVOO ameliorates the adverse effects on reproductive organs of rats fed on GMSB containing diet.

Forty adult male albino rats (150-180 g) of Sprague Dawley strain were separated into four groups of 10 rats each: Group 1 - control group fed on basal ration, Group 2 - fed on basal ration mixed with EVOO (30%), Group 3 - fed on basal ration mixed with GMSB (15%), and Group 4 - fed on basal ration mixed with GMSB (15%) and EVOO (30%). This feeding regimen was administered for 65 days. Blood samples were collected to analyze serum zinc, vitamin E, and testosterone levels. Histopathological and weight changes in sex organs were evaluated.

GMSB diet reduced weight of testis (0.66±0.06 vs. 1.7±0.06, p<0.001), epididymis (0.489±0.03 vs. 0.7±0.03, p<0.001), prostate (0.04±0.009 vs. 0.68±0.04, p<0.001), and seminal vesicles (0.057±0.01 vs. 0.8±0.04, p<0.001). GMSB diet adversely affected sperm count (406±7.1 vs. 610±7.8, p<0.001), motility (p<0.001), and abnormality (p<0.001). GMSB diet also reduced serum zinc (p<0.05), vitamin E (p<0.05), and testosterone (p<0.05) concentrations. EVOO diet had no detrimental effect. Addition of EVOO to GMSB diet increased the serum zinc (p<0.05), vitamin E (p<0.05), and testosterone (p<0.05) levels and also restored the weights of testis (1.35±0.16 vs. 0.66±0.06, p<0.01), epididymis (0.614±0.13 vs. 0.489±0.03, p<0.001), prostate (0.291±0.09 vs. 0.04±0.009, p<0.001), seminal vesicle (0.516±0.18 vs. 0.057±0.01, p<0.001) along with sperm count (516±3.1 vs. 406±7.1, p<0.01), motility (p<0.01), and abnormality (p<0.05).

EVOO ameliorates the adverse effects of GMSB on reproductive organs in adult male albino rats. This protective action of EVOO justifies its use against the oxidative damage induced by GMSB in reproductive organs.


Benefit of Healthcare Worker Flu Shots Questioned

Once the rate of influenza-vaccinated healthcare workers reaches about 50%, there is no further reduction in the rate of patients with hospital-acquired influenza, a new study shows.

"It's not that we should stop vaccinating, because it's still a benefit to healthcare workers, but we should be focusing on other interventions to reduce nosocomial influenza," said investigator Brandon Dionne, PharmD, from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque.

"At a certain point, you don't have a real return on vaccination for reducing nosocomial flu, and we should look to things like hand-washing, better screening of patients, and better isolation precautions," he told Medscape Medical News.

The study results were presented here at the Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2015.


The real reasons you have migraines — and what to do about it

1. Food. Food triggers are one of the main causes for migraines. But it's not just smoked cheeses, chocolate, and wine like most people think. It may actually be some of the "healthiest" foods in your diet. These are the top 7 food offenders for many conditions, including migraines:


The best way to find out if a specific food is the source of your migraines is to do an elimination/provocation diet. By working with a nutrition-trained physician who understands the association between food and migraines, you would be guided to avoid potential food triggers for 2-4 weeks and then slowly re-introduce each food one at a time with careful tracking by you and your physician.

2. Estrogen dominance. A hormonal imbalance is a common reason why women suffer from migraines. Here's why: During the first half of a normal menstrual cycle, estrogen runs the show. By the second half, both estrogen and progesterone are equally active. Then, seven days before a period, progesterone levels drop and the menstrual cycle begins. These last seven days of the cycle are the classic PMS phase.

Today, many women already have too much estrogen and that 7-day progesterone drop creates an even more drastic estrogen dominance. This exaggerated estrogen dominance is what actually triggers the PMS phase, menstrual migraine.

Shocking to most, estrogen dominance can affect both menstruating women and those in menopause. While most women think they have too little estrogen, and seek out hormone replacement during menopause, the truth is, a person's extra weight (especially belly fat) at any time in her life can produce unhealthy, high estrogen levels that can then kick off a hormonal migraine.

Unfortunately, there are even more sources of estrogen in our daily lives besides excess weight. Conventional farms rely on giving growth hormones to their livestock to increase their muscle mass or increase milk production. Then, we ingest these hormones when we eat meat and dairy products. So it's best to eat free range, grass-fed, cage-free, happy, clean animal protein and dairy whenever possible to reduce your hormone loads.

Another cause of estrogen dominance is the environment. Xenoestrogens (chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body) are found in many of our daily convenience products we come in contact with including plastic containers, cosmetics, consumer products and household cleaners. Be mindful that all of this adds to your body's total estrogen burden.

3. Constipation. In order for estrogen to leave the body, it has to be metabolized by the liver, sent to the colon, and eliminated. If you're not having normal, healthy bowel movements, 1 to 3 times a day, estrogen can be re-absorbed into the bloodstream, and over time, your estrogen levels builds up.

Although fiber-rich foods and plenty of water can help keep your bowel movements regular, you still need the liver to do its job of preparing the estrogen for elimination. Various supplements including vitamins, botanicals, and herbs assist the liver and colon in getting rid of estrogen in the right way. It's important to note that estrogen can choose a more harmful route out of the body or a safer pathway. The negative path is implicated in several types of cancer, so it's critical to work with a functional medicine physician. With a thorough understanding of hormones and their metabolism (beyond just hormone replacement), she can test for and improve your hormone balance thereby helping you prevent your migraines and other riskier estrogen-related conditions like cancer and stroke.

4. A tension headache. If you suffer from this other common type of headache (commonly described as a vice-like headache), it may also be a reversible trigger of your migraines. By optimizing levels of magnesium (Mother Nature's muscle-relaxing mineral) the muscles in your neck will soften and thus prevent tension headaches that triggers the migraine. Interestingly enough, although we are meant to have healthy levels of magnesium in our body, a staggering 68% of Americans don't consume enough of it in their diets.

Magnesium-rich foods like dark leafy green vegetables, bananas, avocados, nuts, seeds, peas, beans, legumes, and whole grains can help you get your levels up. You may still need a magnesium supplement, but work with a knowledgeable physician to guide you on which type and how much based on your specific needs and kidney status.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

DNIP and DIDP: New Plastic Hazard? - Ask Dr. Weil

DINP (di-isononyl-phthalate) and DIDP (di-isodecyl-phthalate) are chemicals used to strengthen plastic wrap, soap, cosmetics, and processed food containers. They are derived from DEHP, which earlier research linked to high blood pressure and insulin resistance in humans.
While both of these relatively new compounds were initially considered safe, two new studies from researchers at the Langone Medical Center at New York University found that they may increase risks of developing high blood pressure and insulin resistance in children and teenagers. The investigators said their study results add to growing concerns that environmental chemicals might be independent contributors to insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure and other metabolic disorders.

To make the blood pressure connection, the NYU researchers analyzed blood and urine samples from more than 1,300 youngsters and teens ages 8 to 19. They reported that levels of DINP and DIDP in the blood had a "significant association" with high blood pressure. For every 10-fold increase in the amount of phthalates measured in the samples, the investigators saw blood pressure increase by 1.1 millimeters of mercury.

The team then looked at blood and urine samples from a diverse group of 356 teenagers and found the link between blood levels of both chemicals and insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Here, they reported that one in three teenagers with the highest DINP levels had the highest insulin resistance, while only one in four teens with the lowest concentrations of the chemicals had insulin resistance. For both studies the researchers also considered diet, physical activity, gender, race, ethnicity, income, and other factors independently associated with insulin resistance and hypertension. 

Lead investigator Leonardo Trasande, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine, and population health, said in a press release accompanying publication of the study that diets containing fresh foods that are not canned or packaged in plastic reduce phthalate metabolites substantially. He added that the new studies add "further concern for the need to test chemicals for toxicity prior to their broad and widespread use, which is not required under current federal law based on the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act."

Dr. Trasande recommends limiting exposure to phthalates by not microwaving food in plastic containers or covered by plastic wrap, and by washing plastic food containers by hand instead of putting them in the dishwasher, where harsh chemicals can lead to increased leaching of plasticizers into food. He also advises against the use of plastic containers labeled on the bottom with the numbers 3, 6, or 7 inside the recycle symbol. Those are the ones containing phthalates. Instead of using plastic wrap, he suggests aluminum foil or wax paper.

Conflicting targets for BP control in elderly

If your blood pressure is high. The clinical investigation should target what factors are causing this and fixing these - whether it is due to overexposure to processed foods, oxidized polyunsaturated and processed fats and oils, hormone disruptors or other chemicals, obesity, inactivity, poor resiliency to stress, heavy metals, or nutritional deficiencies. There is a fair amount of risk associated with syncope, dizziness, falls, and vascular hypoperfusion of the brain in patients over 60 y/o and this is one of the main reasons for balancing the "need" for lowering blood pressure (and vascular risk) with the risks associated with hypotensive episodes.



"More intensive management of high blood pressure, below a commonly recommended blood pressure target, significantly reduces rates of cardiovascular disease, and lowers risk of death in a group of adults 50 years and older with high blood pressure. This is according to the initial results of a landmark clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT). The intervention in this trial, which carefully adjusts the amount or type of blood pressure medication to achieve a target systolic pressure of 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), reduced rates of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and heart failure, as well as stroke, by almost a third and the risk of death by almost a quarter, as compared to the target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg."


"In patients 60 years of age or older who do not have diabetes or chronic kidney disease, the goal blood pressure level is now <150/90 mmHg

Results of 5 key trials--HDFP, Hypertension-Stroke Cooperative, MRC, ANBP, and VA Cooperative--informed the changes in the new guidelines. In these trials, patients between the ages of 30 and 69 received medication to lower DBP to a level <90 mmHg. Results showed a reduction in cerebrovascular events, heart failure, and overall mortality in patients treated to the DBP target level.   The data were so compelling that some members of the JNC 8 panel wanted to keep DBP <90 mmHg as the only goal among younger patients, citing insufficient evidence for benefits of an SBP goal lower than 140 mmHg in patients under the age of 60. However, more conservative panelists pushed to keep the target SBP goal as well as the DBP goal.   In younger patients without major comorbidities, elevated DBP is a more important cardiovascular risk factor than is elevated SBP. The JNC 8 panelists are not the first guideline authors to recognize this relationship. The JNC 7 guideline authors also acknowledged that DBP control was more important than SBP control for reducing cardiovascular risk in patients <60 years of age. However, in patients 60 years of age and older SBP control remains the most important factor.   Other recent evidence suggests that the SBP goal <140 mmHg recommended by the JNC 7 guidelines for most patients may have been unnecessarily low. The JNC 8 guideline authors cite 2 trials that found no improvement in cardiovascular outcomes with an SBP target <140 mmHg compared with a target SBP level <160 mmHg or <150 mmHg. Despite this finding, the new guidelines do not disallow treatment to a target SBP <140 mmHg, but recommend caution to ensure that low SBP levels do not affect quality of life or lead to adverse events.   The shift to a DBP-based goal may lead to use of fewer medications in younger patients with a new diagnosis of hypertension and may improve adherence and minimize adverse events associated with low SBP, such as sexual dysfunction."



Friday, September 18, 2015

Imbalance between oxLDL and nitric oxide - main drivers of heart disease and ageing

“longevity is a vascular question. A man is as old as his arteries”
-- William Osler, 1892

Oxidized LDL and NO synthesis—Biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction and ageing

LDLs as main blood cholesterol carriers, containing relevant amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) – major substrate for lipid peroxidation, are among various molecular targets the most affected by the oxidative stress associated with metabolic imbalance (hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance). Therefore, the oxidative modification hypothesis of atherosclerosis recognizes the crucial role of oxLDL as a byproduct of LDLs exposure to ROS (Steinberg and Witzum, 2010).

OxLDL promotes endothelial dysfunction and contributes to the atherosclerotic plaque formation, progression and destabilization, by several mechanisms described in numerous recent review articles (Maiolino et al., 2013b; Pirillo et al., 2013; Xu et al., 2013; Le, 2015): (1) chemotactic recruitment, activation, and proliferation of monocytes/macrophages in the arterial wall, through the induction of the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular-cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), thus stimulating their binding to endothelial cells; (2) its identification and rapid uptake by macrophages, followed by foam cells formation; (3) stimulation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) migration and proliferation in the tunica intima, following the increase of the expression of growth factors, such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF) by endothelial cells and macrophages. Subsequently, oxLDL stimulate collagen production by SMCs and increase secretion of matrix metalloproteinases 1 and 9 (MPP-1 and MPP-9) inducing SMCs apoptosis; (4) cytotoxicity exerted mainly on the endothelial cells, which promote their apoptosis and the release in the subendothelial space of lipids and lysosomal enzymes; (5) stimulation of platelet adhesion and aggregation by decreasing endothelial production of nitric oxide, increasing prostacyclin production; (6) blockage of coronary artery relaxation (vasoconstriction) by downregulating eNOS expression, by inhibiting NO and increasing endothelin production. The above evidences explain the pro-inflammatory, pro-oxidant, pro-thrombotic, and vasoconstrictor actions of oxLDL, accounting for its global pro-atherogenic effect on vascular endothelium.


Scientists fear Alzheimer's 'may be passed on in surgeries'

They said the proteins that cause dementia are a type called prions which can stick to metal surfaces, like surgical instruments, and are resistant to conventional sterilisation.

They suggested it could be theoretically possible to become infected with Alzheimer's seeds through a blood transfusion, brain surgery, or invasive dental work, like a root canal operation.

And because the incubation period can be up to 40 years, people could be unaware that they have been contaminated.

The scientists stumbled on the discovery while studying the brains of eight people who died of CJD. All had developed the disease after being injected with human growth hormone taken from bodies between 1958 and 1985, when the practice was banned.

Unexpectedly, four of the patients had huge levels of amyloid beta protein - a sticky deposit which forms among brain cells and stops them communicating with each other properly in Alzheimer's patients.

Smaller amounts were found in three others. Although none had developed dementia, scientists say it is likely they would have, had they lived longer.

"What we need to consider is that in addition to there being sporadic Alzheimer's disease and inherited or familial Alzheimer's disease, there could also be acquired forms of Alzheimer's disease," said lead scientist Prof John Collinge.

"What relevance this has to common forms of Alzheimer's disease out there, we don't know," he added.

The study is published in the journal 'Nature'




Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery, Drugs, or Radiation

Peter's father was also diagnosed with prostate cancer, and ended up dying. But not from the cancer, Peter says, but rather from the treatment. He was able to obtain his father's medical records, and discovered he was treated with a drug called Flutamide.

    "Flutamide is an English equivalent in terms of use as Lupron or Casodex in the US, which basically means you become a eunuch. It castrates you chemically. It cuts off your testosterone. What my dad died of was actually a heart attack. On the death certificate it says myocardial infarction.

    "He died of a heart attack because over the years that he was taking Flutamide, his body shrunk, his muscle shrunk, his bone shrunk, and his heart stopped. But he didn't die of a heart attack; he died through the continued use of an anti-testosterone drug."

Drugs like these are sometimes recommended because there's a derivative of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which seems to catalyze the growth of prostate cancer. But that's totally different than regular, natural testosterone. Through his research, Peter discovered that men with high, free testosterone do not get prostate cancer. Men with low free testosterone and high estrogens get prostate cancer.

"One of the things I recommend is doing a saliva panel test of all eight male hormones and having a doctor look at them," he says. "And let that doctor give you the advice as to whether it's high or low or whether something should be done." Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, for example, gives testosterone (orally or injected) to his prostate cancer patients, and he's found that it provides his patients with a higher quality of life, without any adverse or negative effects.


These Men Ate 6,000 Calories A Day To See How Obesity Leads To Diabetes

Samples of the participants' urine and fat tissue showed that there was an increase in oxidative stress in their bodies, which means there was an increase in compounds that are toxic to cells. This oxidative stress caused changes in a protein called GLUT4, which normally helps sugar get inside cells.

The GLUT4 changes may have impaired the ability of this protein to respond to the hormone insulin, thus leading to insulin resistance, the researchers said.

"We may have found the initial events that are responsible for the insulin resistance," said study researcher Salim Merali, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The new findings suggest that treatments that use antioxidants might help prevent insulin resistance, Merali said.


New blood test could detect breast cancer recurrence

Researchers from London say they have found a new blood test that can detect breast cancer DNA months before it would show up on medical scans. The blood test is not yet available because it is still in the early stages of research.


Mammography Is Harmful & Should Be Abandoned, Review Concludes

"Mammography screening has been promoted to the public with three simple promises that all appear to be wrong: It saves lives and breasts by catching the cancers early. Screening does not seem to make the women live longer; it increases mastectomies;1,25 and cancers are not caught early, they are caught very late.9 They are also caught in too great numbers. There is so much overdiagnosis that the best thing a women can do to lower her risk of becoming a breast cancer patient is to avoid going to screening, which will lower her risk by one-third.13 We have written an information leaflet that exists in 16 languages on www.cochrane.dk, which we hope will make it easier for a woman to make an informed decision about whether or not to go to screening.

I believe that if screening had been a drug, it would have been withdrawn from the market long ago. Many drugs are withdrawn although they benefit many patients, when serious harms are reported in rather few patients. The situation with mammography screening is the opposite: Very few, if any, will benefit, whereas many will be harmed. I therefore believe it is appropriate that a nationally appointed body in Switzerland has now recommended that mammography screening should be stopped because it is harmful.5"



Physicians Recast Primary Care, Payers Follow

The protocols are evidenced-based, but since traditional health coverage is not a revenue stream, it is also not a barrier. And physicians employ whatever they need to do for a patient. For example, Damania says his practice gives patients $8 pedometers to start them walking. Fernandopulle once bought a $45 iPod shuffle from eBay for a patient who would leave in the middle of dialysis because of anxiety. The iPod was loaded with the patient's favorite music. The result?
"In six months, zero ER admissions; [the patient] sat through dialysis every time," says Fernandopulle. "This is a $45 iPod that solved $200,000 of healthcare costs. Why does no one else do it? There's no CPT code for 'Buy iPod on eBay,' there's no CPT code for 'Spend an hour to download music on said iPod.' But in our practice, it doesn't matter. It's the right thing to do for that patient. We do it for the patient."


To the Barricades! The Doctors' Revolt Against ABIM is Succeeding!

It's a horror story that has played out for years throughout the U.S. as the ABIM abuses its monopoly power to force doctors to do whatever it decrees, while ignoring the many doctors who have demanded for years that independent researchers conduct comprehensive studies to determine if ABIM's requirements do anything to improve patient care. This medical protection racket has made millionaires of ABIM top officers, financed a ritzy condominium, limousines and first-class travel, all while sucking huge sums of cash out of the health care system.


USPSTF Recommends Daily Aspirin for CVD, Cancer Prevention

Adults 50 to 69 years of age should take daily low-dose aspirin for at least 10 years to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and colorectal cancer, according to a set of draft recommendations from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Food Industry Enlisted Academics in G.M.O. Lobbying War, Emails Show


WASHINGTON — At Monsanto, sales of genetically modified seeds were steadily rising. But executives at the company’s St. Louis headquarters were privately worried about attacks on the safety of their products.

So Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, and its industry partners retooled their lobbying and public relations strategy to spotlight a rarefied group of advocates: academics, brought in for the gloss of impartiality and weight of authority that come with a professor’s pedigree.

“Professors/researchers/scientists have a big white hat in this debate and support in their states, from politicians to producers,” Bill Mashek, a vice president at Ketchum, a public relations firm hired by the biotechnology industry, said in an email to a University of Florida professor. “Keep it up!”

And the industry has.

Corporations have poured money into universities to fund research for decades, but now, the debate over bioengineered foods has escalated into a billion-dollar food industry war. Companies like Monsanto are squaring off against major organic firms like Stonyfield Farm, the yogurt company, and both sides have aggressively recruited academic researchers, emails obtained through open records laws show.

The emails provide a rare view into the strategy and tactics of a lobbying campaign that has transformed ivory tower elites into powerful players. The use by both sides of third-party scientists, and their supposedly unbiased research, helps explain why the American public is often confused as it processes the conflicting information.

The push has intensified as the Senate prepares to take up industry-backed legislation this fall, already passed by the House, that would ban states from adopting laws that require the disclosure of food produced with genetically modified ingredients.

The efforts have helped produce important payoffs, including the approval by federal regulators of new genetically modified seeds after academic experts intervened with the United States Department of Agriculture on the industry’s behalf, the emails show.


Orthomolecular medicine: the therapeutic use of dietary supplements for anti-aging

Dietary supplements at high doses as part of medical therapy have been controversial, but the evidence suggests that they play a significant role in prevention and treatment of diseases as well as protection from accelerated aging that results from oxygen free-radical damage, inflammation, and glycation. This literature review examines several supplements that have documented roles in medical therapy, including vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, L-carnitine, and quercetin. The evidence shows benefits in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, congestive heart failure, age-related deterioration of brain function and vision, and immune function, as well as other age-related health problems.


Comprehensive (especially nutritional) rehabilitation in chronic heart failure

GÄ…siorowski A1, Dutkiewicz J.

Heart failure treatment based only on pharmaceutical (conventional) practices further deteriorates the health problem, as in many cases heart failure is caused by a chronic shortage of vitamins and other nutrients in cardiac muscle cells, while diuretic drugs are oriented towards symptoms, not causes. This shortage leads to the weakening of heart functioning as a pump, which results in deterioration of organ blood supply, low arterial pressure and no coverage of current metabolic needs of the organism. Kidney functions, which depend on optimal blood pressure, are impaired, water in the tissues stops and, if diuretics are supplied, water soluble vitamins such as C and B, minerals and microelements are removed from the organism.

According to von Haehling et al. [61], dietary deficiencies in micronutrients and macronutrients contribute to the progression of chronic heart failure from stable disease to devastating cardiac cachexia. The evidence suggests that multiple micronutrient supplementation is potentially beneficial for cachectic patients, and should contain antioxidant supplements and B-group vitamins. Heart failure treatment without refuelling cell nutrients is a noncomprehensive treatment [62].

With a long-term shortage of vitamins the recovery process in vascular walls is excessive. The basic elements for the recession of atherosclerosis are lysine and proline, which comprise collagen, and vitamin C. They are decisive factors in optimal regeneration of the connective tissue of vascular walls. With optimal volumes of nutrients, the cells of the smooth muscles of the vascular wall produce a sufficient amount of activity collagen, guaranteeing wall stability. Vitamins C and E prevent excessive growth of muscle cells [62].

According to Janson [63], taking several supplements that have documented roles in medical therapy, including vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, L-carnitine, and quercetin, has beneficiary effect on many diseases, including congestive heart failure.

Aberrations in minerals and micronutrient homeostasis that includes Ca2+, Mg2+, vitamin D, zinc and selenium deficit, appear to be an integral component of pathophysiologic expressions of congestive heart failure and predispose patients to secondary hyperparathyroidism which accounts for bone resorption and contributes to a fall in bone strength that can lead to nontraumatic fractures. Thus, patients with CHF need daily nutrient supplement in addition to their
habitual diet [64].

The deposits in blood vessels are mainly caused by lipoprotein which sticks to collagen molecules in arterial walls. The therapeutic goal of preventing the forming of fat deposits in vascular walls is neutralisation of Lp(a) molecule viscosity, and preventing its attaching to the inner structures of vascular walls. Amino-acids – lysine and proline – form a protective layer around Lp(a) molecules, which prevents the depositing of fat molecules in the vascular wall. They release Lp(a) attached to the vascular wall, which are transported to the liver, where they undergo natural metabolic conversion. This process improves circulation [65, 66, 67, 68].

An additional mechanism influencing the development of atherosclerosis, brain stroke or heart attack, is biological oxidation. Free radicals destroy the tissue of vascular walls, contributing to the depositing of atherosclerotic plaques. Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, among others, are the strongest antioxidants which protect the cardiovascular system against damage [65, 66, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72].

Modern cell medicine presents a new view concerning the cause of secondary risk factors for the blood system and defines methods of heart disease prevention. Cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoproteins (LDL), Lp(a) are repair factors and their level increases in a response to structural weakening of vascular walls. Chronic shortage of vitamins and other nutrients leads to overproduction of repair molecules and deposits of atherosclerotic plaques. The most
significant way of reducing the level of cholesterol and other secondary risk factors in the blood system is stabilisation of vascular walls and, in consequence, reduction of the metabolic demand for increased production of those factors in the liver [73, 74, 75, 76].

The best natural sources for reducing risk factors in the blood are, e.g. vitamin C, B3 (nicotinic acid), B5 (pantothenate), vitamin E, carnitine, coenzyme Q10, vitamin B1, which provide better stability of the vessels’ connective tissue and reduction of demand for repair molecules.

Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone, or coQ10) is the most important element in the respiratory pathway, particularly in the heart muscle. It participates in ATP synthesis and is responsible for cell metabolism. It additionally acts as an antioxidant. Up to the age of 30, the human organism produces this coenzyme, after which the production decreases reaching only 50% at the age of 70. Coenzyme Q10 improves heart capacity and corrects energy flow in mitochondria, the majority of which can be found in heart muscles. CoQ10 is essential for the heart muscle, and it helps lower blood pressure, improve congestive heart failure, and protect the brain in degenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. It also reduces the chance of blood platelets sticking together and obstructing the vessels, thus reducing the chance of heart attacks. It improves immunity, physical capacity, reduces the process of ageing, strengthens the immunity system; it is also used in the case of diabetes and obesity [63, 66, 70, 71, 77].

Scientific and clinical research has confirmed the special importance of carnitine, coenzyme Q10 and other nutrients vital for the improvement of heart muscle work and increasing its contraction. Carnitine optimises fatty acid metabolism and reduces triglyceride level. L-carnitine is essential for the transport of free fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane, where they are metabolized to create energy.

Low L-carnitine levels reduce the functional capacity of the myocardium, leading to increases in angina and congestive heart failure [63, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83]. In the event of heart failure, vitamin C should be administered; it provides energy for cell metabolism and supports the activity of group B vitamins, which are carriers of cell metabolism bioenergy, concerning in particular heart muscle cells, improving heart beat. This is further enhanced by the production of prostacyclin in arterial walls, tissue hormone inhibiting blood platelets sticking together and expanding blood vessels, especially the coronary vessels, and ensuring the protection and natural healing of vascular walls and normalising increased production of cholesterol and other risk factors in the liver, and their level in blood.


Certain probiotics found to stop colon cancer

To investigate the antitumor effects of probiotics Clostridium butyricum and Bacillus subtilis on colorectal cancer (CRC) progression.

The effects of C. butyricum and B. subtilis on CRC cells were studied. Male C57BL/6 mice with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine dihydrochloride (DMH)-induced CRC were intervened by these two probiotics and the antitumor effects were examined by comparing the tumor incidence and detecting the inflammatory and immune-related markers.

C. butyricum and B. subtilis inhibited the proliferation of CRC cells, caused cell cycle arrest and promoted apoptosis. In vivo, these two probiotics inhibited the development of DMH-induced CRC. The molecular mechanism involved reduced inflammation and improved immune homeostasis. This work establishes a basis for the protective role of probiotics B. subtilis and C. butyricum in intestinal tumorigenesis.