Dr. Bray Links

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Whooping cough resurgence due to vaccinated people not knowing they are infectious?

Building on that result, Althouse and Scarpino used whopping cough case counts from the CDC, genomic data on the pertussis bacteria, and a detailed epidemiological model of whooping cough transmission to conclude that acellular vaccines may well have contributed to—even exacerbated—the recent pertussis outbreak by allowing infected individuals without symptoms to unknowingly spread pertussis multiple times in their lifetimes.

"There could be millions of people out there with just a minor cough or no cough spreading this potentially fatal disease without knowing it," said Althouse. "The public health community should act now to better assess the true burden of pertussis infection."

What's worse, their model shows that if the disease can be spread through vaccinated, asymptomatic individuals essentially undetected, the level of vaccination needed to protect those that are unvaccinated (so-called 'herd immunity') is over 99 percent, impractically high at a time when anti-vaccine campaigns are turning people away from vaccination.

Their results also suggest that a practice called cocooning, where mothers, fathers, and siblings are vaccinated to protect newborns, isn't effective. "It just doesn't work, because even if you get the acellular vaccine you can still become infected and can still transmit. So that baby is not protected," Althouse says.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Recently, new gastric (H. suis and H. baculiformis) and enterohepatic (H. equorum) species have been reported. H. pylori is of primary importance for medicine, but non-pylori Helicobacter species (NPHS), which naturally inhabit mammals (except humans) and birds, have been detected in human clinical specimens. NPHS encompass two (gastric and enterohepatic) groups, showing different organ specificity. Importantly, some species such as H. hepaticus, H. mustelae, and probably H. bilis exhibit carcinogenic potential in animals. NPHS harbour many virulence genes and may cause diseases not only in animals, but also in humans. Gastric NPHS such as H. suis (most often), H. felis, H. bizzozeronii and H. salomonis have been associated with chronic gastritis and peptic ulcers in humans and, importantly, with higher risk for MALT lymphoma compared to H. pylori. Enterohepatic species e.g., H. hepaticus, H. bilis, and H. ganmani, have been detected by PCR, but still are not isolated from specimens of patients with hepatobiliary diseases. Moreover, NPHS may be associated with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The significance of avian helicobacters (H. pullorum, H. anseris, and H. brantae) also has been evaluated extensively. NPHS such as H. cinaedi and H. canis can cause severe infections, mostly in immunocompromised patients with animal exposure. Briefly, the role of NPHS in veterinary and human medicine is increasingly recognised. Several other topics such as isolation of still uncultured species, antibiotic resistance and treatment regimens for NPHS infections and NPHS pathogenesis and possible carcinogenesis in humans should be evaluated.[2]

Global Burden of HSV-1 Infection 'Huge'

Worldwide, more than 3.7 billion people aged younger than 50 years — or 67% of the population — are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), according to the World Health Organization's (WHO) first global estimates of HSV-1 infection.

HSV-1 and HSV-2 are both highly infectious and incurable. HSV-1 is primarily transmitted by oral–oral contact and in most cases causes cold sores around the mouth, while HSV-2 is largely sexually transmitted through skin-to-skin contact causing genital sores.

However, the new estimates, published online today in PLoS One, highlight that HSV-1 is also an "important" cause of genital herpes, WHO said in a news release.

They note that roughly 140 million people aged 15 to 49 years have genital HSV-1 infection, primarily in the Americas, Europe, and Western Pacific. "Fewer people in high-income countries are becoming infected with HSV-1 as children, likely due to better hygiene and living conditions, and instead are at risk of contracting it genitally through oral sex after they become sexually active," WHO said.

PSA Tests Cut Metastatic Prostate Cancer Rate by 50%

Screening for early cancer detection may reduce the rate of related metastatic disease, but not always. In a perspective published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, the authors describe trends in metastatic breast cancer and prostate cancer prior to and more than a decade after the widespread use of mammography — a radiographic test — and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing — a blood test.

The trends are startlingly different. The incidence of metastatic prostate cancer fell by approximately 50% within 7 years of the start of widespread PSA use in 1990; however, rates of metastatic breast cancer remained remarkably stable following the initiation of widespread mammography screening in women from 1985 to the current day.

Dr. Hemstreet

I would like to introduce Dr. Hemstreet. He has joined the practice at GFP (at the Millhopper location) and seems to be a great asset to our clinic. He practices traditional medicine and supports the use of functional medicine methods in care for chronic conditions. He is currently building his practice and is accepting new patients.


Joining November 2015 - Dr. Jon Hemstreet grew up in the foothills of North Carolina and graduated cum laude from Duke University. He attended Tulane Medical School where he was awarded the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Award for Excellence in 1999. Dr. Hemstreet completed his Family Medicine residency at the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, an affiliate program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. Dr. Hemstreet is passionate about promoting wellness through diet and lifestyle modification. He is an avid nature enthusiast and promoter of Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park.

Gender: Male

Specialty: Family Medicine

Medical School: Tulane University College of Medicine

Residency: Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, an affiliate program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chemicals in personal products may stimulate cancer more than thought

Parabens are a type of chemical preservative, and are found in a wide array of consumer products, including shampoos, body lotions and sunscreens.

It's also known that parabens can activate the same pathway as estrogen, but previous studies have found that they do so very weakly, Leitman told Live Science. "Because they're weak, they're assumed to be safe compounds," especially based on the levels of parabens that have been found in humans, he said.

But previous studies looked at just the parabens by themselves, Leitman said.

"The real problem when you do studies in the laboratory is that you study one compound at a time, but in the body, that's not the case. What you're seeing in the body is really a combination" of the effects of many compounds, Leitman said.

In the new study, published today (Oct. 27) in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers focused on the effects of parabens when mixed with one additional compound: a type of growth factor called heregulin that has also been linked to breast cancer cell growth.

In experiments, the researchers looked at how well the cells grew when they were exposed to both parabens and heregulin, compared with how the cells grew when exposed only to parabens. The scientists found that when they added heregulin, they could drop the level of parabens by 100 times and the cancer cells would still multiply faster than those without heregulin.



PlantPure Nation

As explained in our film, “PlantPure” was selected as a term for describing a whole-food, plant-based diet because it is suggestive of Nature. Nature is pure … perhaps the only experience we will have in this earthly life that is indeed perfect.

Importantly, we do not mean that people should be purists in their eating habits. There is a school of thought in the plant-based community that salt and sugar, as well as nuts, avocados, and other plant foods high in natural fat, should never be consumed. We don’t subscribe to this.

First, nuts, seeds, avocados and other whole-plant foods high in natural fat are essential to a healthy diet. Research is increasingly demonstrating this fact. The argument against natural fat in whole, plant-based foods is the same reductionist thinking used by the dairy industry to advocate for milk consumption. Milk contains calcium and calcium is a building material for bones, so the dairy industry has argued for years that we should consume milk. Yet, science is now showing that milk and other foods high in animal protein cause calcium to leach from the bones and then get excreted in the urine.

Biology is complex — infinitely so. What matters most is not the presence of calcium in milk, but the wholistic effects of milk on the body. Likewise, what matters most with plant foods high in fat is the way they are utilized in context by the body, and research is showing these plant foods to be beneficial.

Of course, we don’t advocate eating more than a modest amount of these high-fat plant foods (for example, just a healthy handful with your oatmeal or cereal in the morning). But we need these foods in our diet.

Salt and sugar are in a different category. Adding extra salt and sugar out of their natural context is not essential to our diet. We believe it is important, however, that people should be free to eat food with flavors they enjoy. We will not change the world around the idea of plant-based nutrition if we tell people they must give up the food they love for food that tastes bland.

The PlantPure culinary philosophy allows for modest levels of added salt and sugar, based on the assumption that as people experience the benefits of this diet, they will do their best to reduce these ingredients as much as possible over time. Taste preferences change, so once we become accustomed to a low-salt and low-sugar diet, we discover that these flavors “pop” at low amounts.

The PlantPure culinary philosophy also allows people the opportunity to have, now and then, a fun dessert and even a glass of beer or wine.

The only ingredient we advocate avoiding as much as possible is added oil. This ingredient is not necessary to the creation of great-tasting meals; it is possible to create flavor without oil. An argument can be made that very small amounts of oil (like a very small splash of sesame oil in a kale dish) is likely to do little or no harm, but the problem is that many people have difficulty drawing the line with oil. A little can easily turn into too much. So we suggest just staying away from it.

Our science advisor, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, has long maintained that you get most of the potential health benefit from dietary change simply by moving to a whole-food, plant-based diet. Becoming a purist is not likely to create much additional gain, and whatever gain might appear pales in comparison to the gain from going plant-based. In his view, we can gain more than 95% of the potential health benefit by moving to a diet as described above. We can quibble about whether we can add another incremental benefit by becoming purists, but why do this when the cost is a diet deficient in flavor? Our goal is not to motivate a small number of purists, but to launch a revolution that transforms society.

There are two impulses present in many of us. One is the impulse to be “right” and to judge those who are “wrong.” The other is the humble, nonjudgmental impulse to love. We favor the second, knowing that love is the more powerful, more transformational choice. And we love our neighbors and the larger world when we give them a plant-based option that is joyful.

This statement was reviewed and approved by our science advisor, Dr. T. Colin Campbell.


Doctors learning Food is Medicine
"One of the biggest links in all of this actually has been the healthcare system itself and academia."

Evidence for IBS Diets Tough to Swallow

Despite the number of diets that purport to help people with irritable bowel syndrome, rigorous evidence supporting their use is lacking, experts said here at the American College of Gastroenterology 2015 Annual Meeting.

When it comes to diet, "patients are leading the way," said William Chey, MD, from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. "They are proactively coming in and asking about diets, or they're already on diets, or they're seeing some type of alternative healthcare provider who has recommended a diet."

"It's difficult for physicians who perhaps don't spend a lot of time reading about this space to sift through all the noise," he pointed out.

Dr Chey likened the current situation to the 1990s television cult classic The X-Files, in which FBI special agents track down menacing paranormal phenomena. The show "would take some popular theme and sprinkle just enough pseudo-science on it to make it believable," he explained.

"I think that's exactly what's happening with a lot of diets; people sort of spread around a little bit of special sauce, a little bit of magic dust, say that it's 'clinically proven,' and then suddenly patients believe it as scientifically validated," he said. "Unfortunately, there are very few data supporting the various diets that are being used by patients with GI illness right now."


*** Dr Chey reports financial relationships with Actavis, Arelyx, Asubio, Astra-Zeneca, Forest, Ironwood, Nestle, Prometheus, Salix, Sucampo, Takeda, and Vibrant. ***

(always check on conflicts of interest before taking advice)


Oxytocin 'Love Hormone' Nasal Spray Shows Promise in Kids With Autism

The new study included 31 children, aged 3 to 8, with autism who received an oxytocin nasal spray twice a day for five weeks.

The researchers report that kids who got the nasal spray showed significant improvements in social, emotional and behavioral problems, compared to kids who did not. The most common side effects were thirst, urination and constipation, the researchers said.

Induced Labor Linked to Raised Risk of Autism, Study Suggests

In the new study, researchers looked at the birth records of more than 625,000 babies born in North Carolina between 1990 and 1998, and compared those with public school records to see who was later diagnosed with autism.

According to the researchers, 1.3 percent of boys and 0.4 percent of girls were diagnosed with autism. Specifically, boys born to moms whose labor was induced or helped along were 35 percent more likely to develop autism, compared with their counterparts. Among girls, only augmented labor was associated with an increased risk for autism. The increased risk of autism held even after researchers controlled for other factors such as the mother's age.

The new study, published online Aug. 12 in JAMA Pediatrics, is the largest to date that looks at autism risk and factors affecting labor and delivery. The findings don't prove that labor induction or augmentation cause autism, they just show an association. Exactly how labor induction could affect autism risk is unknown, but the drug oxytocin may play a role.

Acid reflux solution: Magnets to the rescue

The laparoscopic procedure immediately and permanently relieves acid reflux problems. That's important, because ongoing acid reflux can erupt into much more serious problems if acid stays in contact with the esophagus.

"And that long-standing irritation can actually lead to pre-cancerous changes of the esophagus, called Barrett's esophagitis," said Dr. Leah Dill, a surgeon at Southwest General Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.

While many people use proton pump inhibitors like Nexium, they're not supposed to be used for more than six months.

"We're really starting to see that there's a lot of damaging effects from taking acid medications long-term," Dill explained.

When these PPI drugs are taken longer...

"What that's been shown to do is alter the bacteria content in the gut, and it can cause some bacteria overgrowth syndromes. They've seen a risk of osteoporosis-related fractures due to decreased mineral absorption after taking these medications," Dill said.

Drugs like Nexium used to be prescription only, but since they're now sold over the counter, more people are able to mask their symptoms without a trip to the doctor.

"Now that people are able to self-medicate a little bit easier, we may be missing some of these patients who may then progress to esophageal adenocarcinomas," Dill said.

Which is one more worry Huth doesn't have to live with anymore.

The Linx is a permanent solution for people with body mass indexes of less than 35. And right now, Medicare covers the cost in most cases, but some private insurance companies do not.



Processed meats cause cancer, World Health Organization declares

A research division of the World Health Organization announced Monday that bacon, sausage and other processed meats cause cancer and that red meat probably does, too.

The report by the influential group stakes out one of the most aggressive stances against meat taken by a major health organization, and it is expected to face stiff criticism in the United States.

The WHO findings were drafted by a panel of 22 international experts who reviewed decades of research on the link between red meat, processed meats and cancer. The panel reviewed animal experiments, studies of human diet and health, and cell processes that could explain how red meat might cause cancer.


In reaching its conclusion, the panel sought to quantify the risks, and compared to carcinogens such as cigarettes, the magnitude of the danger appears small, experts said. The WHO panel cited studies suggesting that an additional 3.5 ounces of red meat everyday raises the risk of colorectal cancer by 17 percent; eating an additional 1.8 ounces of processed meat daily raises the risk by 18 percent, according to the research cited.

From April, 2005: Bacon, sausage, hot dogs and processed meats hike cancer risk by 67% due to chemical preservative, says nutritionist:
...[T]he huge spike in toxicity and cancer risk can only be explained by something added during meat processing, explains Mike Adams, author of "Grocery Warning," a manual that teaches consumers how to avoid foods that promote chronic disease. 
"We've known for years that sodium nitrite consumption leads to leukemia in children and brain tumors in infants," explained Adams. "Now we have a large-scale study of nearly 200,000 people that provides solid evidence of the link between processed meats and pancreatic cancer." The ingredient also promotes colorectal cancer as it passes through the digestive tract.
From August, 2005: The real reason why processed meats are so dangerous to your health:
Have you ever wondered why the consumption of processed meats is so strongly linked to cancers of the colon, breast, prostate and pancreas? ... [The] reason processed meats are so strongly correlated with cancer is, I believe, the continued use of a cancer-promoting additive called sodium nitrite. 
This ingredient, which sounds harmless, is actually highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. There, it forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds that enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc with a number of internal organs: the liver and pancreas in particular. Sodium nitrite is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient, and the USDA actually tried to ban this additive in the 1970's but was vetoed by food manufacturers who complained they had no alternative for preserving packaged meat products.
From November, 2007: Processed Meat Unsafe For Human Consumption; Cancer Experts Warn of Dietary Dangers:
Processed meats, the report explains, are simply too dangerous for human consumption. And why? Because they contain chemical additives that are known to greatly increase the risk of various cancers, including colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, brain tumors, pancreatic cancer and many more... Processed meat has many ingredients and is usually packaged for long-term shelf life. These products almost always contain sodium nitrite, the cancer-causing chemical additive that meat companies use as a color fixer to turn their meat products a bright red "fresh-looking" color.

Resident Trainees Spend Just 12% of Their Time With Patients

Interns and residents spend more time communicating with their peers and working at the computer than dealing face-to-face with patients. A multicenter time-motion study found that whereas trainees spent 34.7% of work time in interprofessional communication and 20.5% at the keyboard, they spent just 12.0% dealing directly with patients and their families, and 4.7% in educational activities.

Reporting in a research letter published online October 26 in JAMA Pediatrics, Amy L. Starmer, MD, MPH, from the Division of General Pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital in Massachusetts, and colleagues analyzed 3452 hours of time-motion data on work flow patterns from the pediatric wards of nine hospitals.

They found that residents spent more time than interns in interprofessional communication (38.3% vs 31.1%; P = .001), and less time in contact with patients and families (10.3% vs 13.7%; P < .001).

Unsurprisingly, trainees on night shifts spent less time in interprofessional communication (29.5% vs 39.3%; P < .001) and education (1.5% vs 7.6%; P < .001) than trainees did during day shifts, and in addition, they spent more time in contact with patients and families (13.8% vs 10.2%; P < .001).

Similarly, on weekends, trainees devoted less time to educational activities (1.4% vs 6.2%; P < .001) and interprofessional communication (29.9% vs 36.7%; P = .007) than they did on weekdays.

"As resident-physician work hours have decreased, and patient complexity and hospital documentation have concurrently increased, concerns have mounted about the time residents have available for education and face-to-face patient care," Dr Starmer and colleagues write. They point to a previous study in which 40% of trainee time was spent at the computer vs 12% with patients.

Early Fruit and Veggie Intake May Lower Calcium Scores

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables as a young adult may help lower coronary artery calcium (CAC), a known predictor of CV events, up to two decades later, suggests new research[1].

Analysis of a cohort of more than 2000 participants from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study showed that, after adjustment for factors such as age, body-mass index (BMI), and smoking status, those who consumed seven to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables at baseline (when they were a mean age of 25.3 years) were 26% less likely to have CAC 20 years later vs those who consumed only two to four servings of these items per day.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Medical School Applicants, Enrollees Reach New Highs

Residency Slots a "Serious, Looming Concern"

"It is very encouraging to see consistent increases in the number and diversity of students in medical school," Dr Kirch said in the release. "We are hopeful that this becomes a long-term trend as medical schools continue working in their communities to diversify the applicant pool through pipeline programs, outreach efforts, and holistic review initiatives."

However, a "serious concern looming over all this," he told reporters, is that federal funding for residency positions has "essentially been frozen" since 1997. "That means that while medical schools over the last decade have responded to the growing population, the increasingly diverse population, by increasing class size, by starting new schools, by pushing their diversity efforts, there is a blockage in terms of availability of residency positions," he warned.

"We have bills that are sitting in Congress now that would increase residency positions by 3000 positions a year for the next 5 years. Unless Congress acts, I fear for the ability of patients, even patients with good health insurance, to access physicians when they need it. Physician shortages won't just happen in remote rural areas. They will happen in urban and undeserved communities and ultimately affect all of us," Dr Kirch said.

Pervasive Environmental Toxin Linked to Pregnancy Loss

In women who conceive using assisted reproductive technologies, there is an association between pregnancy loss and elevated urinary concentrations of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, known as phthalates, new research indicates.

Phthalates are found in many plastic food and beverage containers, cosmetics, and toys, and can be detected in the urine of more than 95% of the population in the United States, said lead investigator Carmen Messerlian, PhD, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

Dr Messerlian presented findings from the study, the first to report this adverse association, as a prize paper here at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine 2015 Annual Meeting.

The team used data from the Environmental and Reproductive Health Study (EARTH), a prospective cohort study of couples who received infertility treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2004 to 2012.

In the 256 women involved in the study, there were 303 pregnancies. Of these, 73% used in vitro fertilization and 27% used intrauterine insemination.

Each woman provided two urine samples — one before embryo transfer and one on the day of transfer — which were assessed for four metabolites of di(2-ethylhexly)phthalate at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 303 pregnancies, 82 (27%) ended before 20 weeks of gestation, and 31 of those were biochemical losses, she reported.

In women with elevated levels of urinary phthalate before conception, there was a two- to threefold increase in the risk for a biochemical pregnancy loss, and a 10% to 60% increase in the risk for loss before 20 weeks.

Specifically, the rate of biochemical pregnancy loss was significantly higher when levels of urinary phthalates were in the highest quartile than when they were in the lowest quartile (17% vs 4%; P < .05).

We can reduce exposure by avoiding plastic dishes and reducing the use of cosmetics.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Perfluorooctanoic Acid in DuPont's Non-Stick Cookware

DuPont's Toxic Legacy: PFOAs

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, also known as C8), was an essential ingredient in DuPont's non-stick cookware for decades.

The chemical is also used in hundreds of other non-stick and stain-resistant products, from microwave popcorn bags and fast-food wrappers to waterproof clothing and soil-repellant carpet and furniture treatments.

It's also found in flame retardant chemicals, and hence items treated with flame retardants, which run the gamut from children's items to furniture and electronics.

PFOA is a fluorinated chemical — it's the fluorine atoms that provide that hallmark slipperiness. I first became aware of the dangers of fluoride-impregnated non-stick coatings back in 2001, and have warned about using such products ever since.

According to the CDC's "Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals,"2 published in 2009, 12 different perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) were detected in Americans, including PFOA.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR):
"Once in your body, perfluoroalkyls tend to remain unchanged for long periods of time. The most commonly used perfluoroalkyls (PFOA and PFOS) stay in the body for many years. It takes approximately four years for the level in the body to go down by half, even if no more is taken in."

‘Australia’s fattest man’ reveals how he lost half his body weight

Andre Nasr, once nicknamed "Australia's fattest man,"  revealed on a nationwide broadcast Sunday night that he had lost nearly half of his body weight through dieting and exercise. Once consuming about 12,000 calories a day, Nasr dropped about 439 pounds and now weighs 593 pounds, news.com.au reported. At his heaviest, at age 35, he weighed about 1,032 pounds.

Nasr told "Sunday Night" that he lost the weight in about  year through "a lot of hard work" with the help of obesity specialist Dr. Nic Kormas. Nasr's illness— which once caused him to spend 14 months in the hospital with a life-threatening infection— stemmed from a childhood addiction to food that was enabled by his parents.

"Now I want to live, I want to enjoy life," Nasr told the Australian news program.

According to news.com.au, Nasir said during the broadcast that he now has a "love-hate relationship" with food, but he plans to continue shedding pounds to reach his goal weight of about 260 pounds.

Rapid MI Rule-Out With hs-Troponin Assay Showcased in Study

A prospective cohort study covering about 6300 patients has identified a particular high-sensitivity (hs) cardiac troponin-I assay's optimal level for predicting which patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome are low risk enough to discharge safely[1]. It found that the assay, performed right away on presentation, could safely make that call in about two-thirds of such patients without the need for serial troponin testing.

"Implementation of this approach would reduce avoidable hospital admission and have major benefits for both patients and healthcare providers," write the authors, led by Dr Anoop Shah (University of Edinburgh, Scotland), in a report published online October 9, 2015, in the Lancet.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Physicians Thwart Guidelines, Choose Menopause Bioidenticals

Almost 60% of clinicians prescribe so-called bioidentical compounded menopausal hormone therapy, against recommendations from major medical societies, according to a new survey.

And 47% of respondents said they disagree with society recommendations that patients should be told that conventional hormone therapy is more appropriate than compounded preparations not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

"There is some discrepancy, some disconnect, between the national organizations and clinicians," said Jamie Peregrine-Dubaut, MD, from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita, who presented the findings here at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine 2015 Annual Meeting

According to a recent survey conducted by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), 41% of patients are choosing compounded, non-FDA-approved preparations, despite society recommendations against them, as previously reported by Medscape Medical News.

But many physicians say they are comfortable with this practice, according to Dr Peregrine-Dubaut.

'Psychobiotic' May Help Ease Stress, Improve Memory

Taking a probiotic strain of Bifidobacterium longum reduced physiologic and psychological stress and led to a modest improvement in memory in a small pilot study of healthy men.

The study builds on preclinical studies that identified this B longum strain as a "putative psychobiotic" with beneficial effects on stress-related behaviors, physiology, and cognitive performance in mice, said Gerard Clarke, PhD, from the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Ireland.

He presented the study findings October 18 during a press briefing at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) 2015 Annual Meeting.

"The emerging concept of the gut microbiome as a key regulator of brain and behavior represents a paradigm shift in neuroscience. Precise targeting of the microbiome-gut-brain axis with psychobiotics — live microorganisms with a potential mental health benefit — is a novel approach for the management of stress-related conditions," the study team notes in a meeting abstract.

Ex Insurance Exec Reveals How He Outbargained Physicians

Health insurers beat down physicians in contract negotiations with fuzzy numbers, run-arounds, and other ruses associated with used-car lots, practice consultant Ron Howrigon told attendees here at the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) 2015 Annual Conference.

Howrigon should know. For 18 years, he worked in the managed care industry, running provider networks and negotiating contracts with medical practices. Now he coaches those same practices on ways to face off with his former employers at the bargaining table.

"When I worked on the payer side, we used to joke all the time that negotiating with physicians was like negotiating with somebody who brings a knife to a gunfight," said Howrigon, president and chief executive officer of Fulcrum Strategies in Raleigh, North Carolina. "You don't win many of those, so be prepared."

Pesticides in Produce - Consumer Reports

Across America, confusion reigns in the supermarket aisles about how to eat healthfully. One thing on shopper's minds: the pesticides in fruits and vegetables.

In fact, a recent Consumer Reports survey of 1,050 people found that pesticides are a concern for 85 percent of Americans. So, are these worries justified? And should we all be buying organics—which can cost an average of 49 percent more than standard produce?

Experts at Consumer Reports believe that organic is always the best choice because it is better for your health, the environment, and the people who grow our food. The risk from pesticides on conventional produce varies from very low to very high, depending on the type of produce and on the country where it's grown. The differences can be dramatic. For instance, eating one serving of green beans from the U.S. is 200 times riskier than eating a serving of U.S.-grown broccoli.

"We're exposed to a cocktail of chemicals from our food on a daily basis," says Michael Crupain, M.D., M.P.H., director of Consumer Reports' Food Safety and Sustainability Center. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are traces of 29 different pesticides in the average American's body. "It's not realistic to expect we wouldn't have any pesticides in our bodies in this day and age, but that would be the ideal," says Crupain. "We just don't know enough about the health effects."

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Aluminum and Glyphosate Can Synergistically Induce Pineal Gland Pathology: Connection to Gut Dysbiosis and Neurological Disease

Many neurological diseases, including autism, depression, dementia, anxiety disorder and Parkinson's disease, are associated with abnormal sleep patterns, which are directly linked to pineal gland dysfunction. The pineal gland is highly susceptible to environmental toxicants. Two pervasive substances in modern industrialized nations are aluminum and glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup?. In this paper, we show how these two toxicants work synergistically to induce neurological damage. Glyphosate disrupts gut bacteria, leading to an overgrowth of Clostridium difficile. Its toxic product, p-cresol, is linked to autism in both human and mouse models. p-Cresol enhances uptake of aluminum via transferrin. Anemia, a result of both aluminum disruption of heme and impaired heme synthesis by glyphosate, leads to hypoxia, which induces increased pineal gland transferrin synthesis. Premature birth is associated with hypoxic stress and with substantial increased risk to the subsequent development of autism, linking hypoxia to autism. Glyphosate chelates aluminum, allowing ingested aluminum to bypass the gut barrier. This leads to anemia-induced hypoxia, promoting neurotoxicity and damaging the pineal gland. Both glyphosate and aluminum disrupt cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved in melatonin metabolism. Furthermore, melatonin is derived from tryptophan, whose synthesis in plants and microbes is blocked by glyphosate. We also demonstrate a plausible role for vitamin D3 dysbiosis in impaired gut function and impaired serotonin synthesis. This paper proposes that impaired sulfate supply to the brain mediates the damage induced by the synergistic action of aluminum and glyphosate on the pineal gland and related midbrain nuclei.

Prescription antidepressants, tranquilizers and painkillers all increase risk of murder

People taking antidepressants, tranquilizers and painkillers are all significantly more likely to kill another human being than similar people who are not taking those drugs, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Karolinsksa Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and published in the journal World Psychiatry on June 1.

Following high-profile school shootings in the United States and Finland, commentators have wondered whether antidepressants being taken by the shooters might have played a role in their actions.

"It has been repeatedly claimed that it was the antidepressants used by the persons who committed these massacres that triggered their violent behavior," researcher Jari Tiihonen said. "It is possible that the massive publicity around the subject has already affected drug prescription practices."

Shockingly, however, the new study found that painkillers were actually the drugs most strongly linked to homicide, with non-prescription painkillers showing the strongest link.


Preventing Breast Cancer: Your 8-Step Personal Action Plan

1. Eat only high quality, natural foods, and include olive oil and dark leafy greens every day
2. Don’t drink alcohol – or at least drink less
3. Supplement
4. Avoid harmful environmental exposures – including unnecessary hormones
5. Maintain healthy blood sugar balance and healthy weight
6. Nurture your natural detox systems
7. Stress less, sleep better
8. Exercise
Bonus tip: Breastfeed!

See full article for all the details ...

Breast cancer projected to rise 56% over next 15 years

A perfect example of this is the Susan G. Komen Foundation. People sign up for their events in droves, walking in an effort to raise breast cancer awareness and donate money to the cause, yet what they aren't necessarily aware of is that the Komen Foundation owns stock in General Electric. Ah, the pieces of the puzzle start to come together now.

In the entire world, GE happens to be one of the largest makers of mammogram machines....

Even scientists have warned against the Komen Foundation, saying that their ads are false, riddled with inaccurate and misleading statements pertaining to breast cancer screening. Prestigious medical journals, too, have made it clear that the Komen Foundation skews information that ends up tricking women into thinking early detection is the key to better breast health.


Healthy ways to fight breast cancer
Rather than rely on races for cures and donating to a cause that causes more health issues than they fight, consider turning to natural alternatives designed to provide your body with healing nutrients.

A diet that shuns foods that are heavily processed, sugary and genetically modified is best for overall health (breast or otherwise); turning to a diet that primarily focuses on organic fruits and vegetables is ideal. Choosing the level of strictness is, of course, entirely up to you.

For example, Janette Murray-Wakelin, a breast cancer survivor who was told she had six months to live, opted to skip traditional medical treatments and chose a raw foods diet. While not necessarily for everyone, her approach involved juicing plenty of Brussels sprouts, green apples, beet roots and broccoli in addition to getting plenty of exercise to oxygenate her body and, in turn, fight off cancer cells. It worked; to this day, she's involved in running hundreds of marathons annually and she remains healthy.

It’s Not About Curing Breast Cancer

Nancy Goodman Brinker, a pioneer of “cause marketing”, founded Susan G. Komen For the Cure in 1982, reportedly as the fulfillment of a deathbed promise made to her sister, a victim of breast cancer. In 1994, Brinker founded In Your Corner, Inc., a for-profit company that markets health products and information. In 1998, Brinker sold In Your Corner to AstraZeneca, the third largest pesticide manufacturer in the world, primarily through Syngenta, a giant global agribusiness company it owns jointly with Novartis.

AstraZeneca has had close ties to Brinker for many years. It gave $97,000 to Komen and its affiliates in the first 6 months of 2008 alone, and it has been a big presence at Komen’s Race for the Cure. AstraZeneca is also one of the largest contributors to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The problem here is that pesticides cause breast cancer.

AstraZeneca solves the problem by no longer advertising itself as a pesticide manufacturer.  It is a “life-sciences” company. Ta da! Problem solved! Well, they still manufacture more pesticides than ever (substances that congregate in the sexual glands of mammals causing cancers, birth defects, etc., etc.,) but “life sciences” sounds so reassuring, yes?

Susan G. Komen has created a lengthy list of risk factors for breast cancer.  Nowhere in this list can you find exposure to toxins, probably the greatest risk factor of all.

It gets worse. You’ve heard the famous slogan “The best prevention is early detection.” Think about it: If you get breast cancer, you didn’t see the doctor soon enough. Your fault. Next case.

No wonder AstraZeneca gives handsomely. The focus of Komen and pharmaceutical research is entirely on screening and treatment, not on prevention. In other words, “the cure” focuses on the symptoms and ignores the cause. Less than 5% of the total research dollars in this country are spent determining and eliminating the causes of cancer — none of that money, you can bet, spent by “life sciences” companies.

You have to hand it to AstraZeneca. Not only do they recognize and reward good propaganda when they see it, they also recognize a great market opportunity. Since the 90’s, AstraZeneca has bought up cancer treatment centers until it owns one of the country’s largest chains. With $13 billion in profits in 2011, it makes billions on oncology drugs, and it makes billions on pesticides and herbicides.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

How Doctors Are Paid Now, And Why It Has to Change | Managed Care Magazine Online

"We need to move away from the piecemeal approach: how many visits you can generate, how many tests you can order," says Robert Doherty, ACP's senior vice president for governmental affairs and public policy, who has been well aware of the great frustration that's been building among primary care doctors over pay rates.

Without fundamental change in physicians' compensation structure, the ACP and a number of prominent analysts warn, the health care industry will see fewer and fewer primary care doctors joining the ranks even as alarms grow louder over a looming shortfall of primary care physicians.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Carotenoid-Rich Diet May Protect Against Advanced Eye Disease

When the researchers compared extreme quintiles of predicted plasma lutein/zeaxanthin score, they found an approximately 40% reduced risk for advanced AMD (relative risk = 0.59; 95% confidence interval, 0.48 - 0.73; P for trend < .001).

Similarly, "[p]redicted plasma carotenoid scores for other carotenoids, including β-cryptoxanthin, α-carotene, and β-carotene were associated with a 25% to 35% lower risk of advanced AMD," the authors write.

The investigators observed no association between the outcome of intermediate AMD and any of the predicted plasma carotenoid scores, suggesting intake of carotenoids has an effect on AMD progression, rather than initiation.

"Lutein and zeaxanthin form macular pigments that may protect against AMD by reducing oxidative stress, absorbing blue light, and stabilizing cell membranes," the authors explain.

Diet, Microbiome, Fecal Transplants Among Hot Topics at ACG

A prominent theme of the meeting — the way food affects health — will be reflected in a lecture on food allergies, sensitivities, and food-related illnesses by William Chey, MD, professor of gastroenterology at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and coeditor-in-chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Dr William Chey
The association between food and gastrointestinal ailments has received renewed attention in the past 5 years; however, little credible research has supported specific dietary interventions for gut disorders, Dr Chey told Medscape Medical News.

"In the future, we will move beyond the current focus on elimination to a more inclusive view of food, which includes supplementation," he explained. "In so doing, we will embrace the words of Hippocrates, who said, 'Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food'."

Dr Ikuo Hirano
A lecture on eosinophilic esophagitis, a chronic immunologic disorder, and the foods that trigger it will be delivered by Ikuo Hirano, MD, director of the esophageal center at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

The disorder is now recognized as one of the leading causes of dysphagia in children and adults. First described only 20 years ago, the prevalence in the United States is now approximately 1 in 2000, and rising, Dr Hirano told Medscape Medical News.

Current research has identified a link between dysphagia and an allergic-type inflammation of the esophagus, which can lead to increased wall stiffness.

"There are no FDA-approved therapeutics for eosinophilic esophagitis, but several medications are under active development," Dr Hirano reported. However, "diet therapies that eliminate targeted food triggers are highly effective means of arresting the esophageal inflammation."

Poor-Quality Diets Among Cancer Survivors

Data for the study came from people who participated from 1999 to 2010 in the nationally representative US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Researchers looked at dietary intake and quality in 1533 adult survivors of breast, prostate, colorectal, and lung cancer. The patients were matched with regard to age, race, and ethnicity to 3075 people who did not have a history of cancer. The investigators evaluated dietary intake using 24-hour dietary recall interviews conducted in person and over the telephone by trained interviewers. Diet quality was assessed using the 2010 Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2010), in which a higher score indicates better adherence to US dietary guidelines.

The majority of cancer survivors were women (66%) and non-Hispanic whites (83%). Results adjusted for age, sex, and race/ethnicity showed that cancer survivors had significantly lower-quality diets compared with participants who did not have a history of cancer (HEI-2010 total score: 47.2 ± 0.5 vs 48.3 ± 0.4, respectively; P = .03). Cancer survivors ate significantly more empty calories (P = .001) and less fiber (P = .02), which suggests that they got more of their calories from solid fats, alcohol, and added sugars.

Smartphones and laptops could be worse for your skin than the sun

SMARTPHONES and laptops could do more damage to your skin than the sun, research suggests.
The blue light emitted from your TV, computer and phone is called high-energy visible light (HEV) and is as dangerous, if not more, than sun damage.

Research on the specific effects of HEV is still developing, but scientists have said the light penetrates skin more deeply than the sun's UV rays.

The study suggests the light may significantly affect skin and stop it from healing - and its impact on DNA leads experts to believe it could accelerate the ageing process.

Prematurely-aged skin is a known side effect of sun damage, but these new findings could suggest just as much damage is being done at our office desks and inside our homes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dietary supplements send 23,000 to hospitals each year in US | Miami Herald

Reliable information on serious side effects from supplements is hard to come by. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and at the FDA studied emergency room records from 2004 through 2013 at 63 hospitals considered to be nationally representative. Based on 3,667 cases they found, they estimated there are about 23,000 ER visits each year for health problems related to supplements, and that about 2,154 lead to hospitalization.

Products for weight loss or increased energy accounted for the most ER visits. These products caused 72 percent of problems involving chest pain or irregular or too-fast heartbeats, and they were the culprits in more than half of visits among patients ages 5 to 34. Bodybuilding and sexual-enhancement products also led to cardiac symptoms in many seeking ER help.

2015 STD Treatment Guidelines

These guidelines for the treatment of persons who have or are at risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were updated by CDC after consultation with a group of professionals knowledgeable in the field of STDs who met in Atlanta on April 30–May 2, 2013. The information in this report updates the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010 (MMWR Recomm Rep 2010;59 [No. RR–12]). These updated guidelines discuss 1) alternative treatment regimens for Neisseria gonorrhoeae; 2) the use of nucleic acid amplification tests for the diagnosis of trichomoniasis; 3) alternative treatment options for genital warts; 4) the role of Mycoplasma genitalium in urethritis/cervicitis and treatment-related implications; 5) updated HPV vaccine recommendations and counseling messages; 6) the management of persons who are transgender; 7) annual testing for hepatitis C in persons with HIV infection; 8) updated recommendations for diagnostic evaluation of urethritis; and 9) retesting to detect repeat infection. Physicians and other health-care providers can use these guidelines to assist in the prevention and treatment of STDs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Acute and long-term gastrointestinal consequences of chemotherapy

Basically, early toxicities induce damage on tissues with a high proliferating index such as the haematopoietic system, the gastrointestinal mucosa and the skin. Acute chemotherapy-induced toxicities commonly affect the gastrointestinal tract. The most common symptoms of acute gastrointestinal toxicity are anorexia, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.

In contrast, late toxicities affect mainly tissues with a low proliferating index and are characterized by fibrosis, atrophy, vascular and neural damage. These late effects represent a major health problem for the long-term cancer survivors who are now estimated with a 5-year survival rate of approximately 60% for adults newly diagnosed with cancer [1]. Little is known about the long-term adverse effects of anti-cancer treatment. Most authors highlight that toxicity reporting methods are not yet sufficient to screen all potential late adverse effects of both chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment [1]. Until now, long-term effects are categorized into three groups according to their consequences: (i) long-term adverse effects with organ damage, (ii) long-term adverse effects with functional disabilities that result from the disease or the treatment or both, and (iii) long-term adverse effects leading to secondary malignancies.

Monday, October 12, 2015

UCF Partners with Hospital Corporation to Bring New Medical Residencies to Florida

Hospital Corporation of America (including North Florida Regional Medical Center) and the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, which established an internal medicine residency with the Orlando VA and Osceola Regional Medical Centers in 2013, are expanding their partnership to create more than 550 residency slots in hospitals across northern Florida. Some of the communities that will see new residents in training include Orlando, Gainesville and Ocala.

The new residencies will help fill a state and national need, and will also help address the doctor shortage in the Sunshine state. The doctor shortage impacts patients, which often must wait weeks to see doctors.

There are not enough residency slots in the nation for the number of medical school graduates each year, said Dr. Deborah German, UCF's vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the College of Medicine. While 97 percent of UCF's medical school graduates find residencies, many qualified students do not simply because there are not enough spots, she said. After last year's residency match, more than 600 U.S. medical school seniors were left without residency positions – effectively meaning they could not practice medicine after graduating with their M.D. degrees.


Billions in Change

Bicycle for 1 hour to generate 24 hours of electricity ... brilliant!


Our Philosophy
Our philosophy is simple – make things that meet the basic needs of those who don’t have the basics, thus enabling them to provide for themselves, their families and their communities. These basic needs include fresh water for drinking and agriculture; clean electricity to power homes, schools and businesses; and healthcare solutions that prevent disease.

Our Belief
We believe talking about change changes little. Creating awareness doesn’t stop pollution, grow food or heal the sick. These things take doing. And that’s what Billions in Change is all about – creating and implementing solutions that meet basic needs, and thereby creating a positive impact on billions of people around the world.

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Why Doctors Are Rethinking Breast-Cancer Treatment

Too much chemo. Too much radiation. And way too many mastectomies

“What if I decide to just do nothing?”

It was kind of a taunt, Desiree Basila admits. Not the sort of thing that usually comes out of the mouth of a woman who's just been diagnosed with breast cancer. For 20 minutes she'd been grilling her breast surgeon. "Just one more question," she kept saying, and her surgeon appeared to her to be growing weary. She was trying to figure out what to do about her ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), also known as Stage 0 breast cancer, and she was already on her second opinion. The first surgeon had slapped a photograph of her right breast onto a viewer, pointed to a spot about 5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide and told her there was a slot open the following week for a mastectomy.

Basila's first reaction to her diagnosis was an animal-instinct panic that she registered as "10,000 bricks" crushing into her chest when she woke up in the morning. After that, Basila, who is now 60 and teaches high school science in San Francisco, did a little research. She learned that there were a lot of unknowns about the progression of DCIS, which is noninvasive–it's confined to the milk ducts–and is the earliest stage of breast cancer. She also learned there was some disagreement in the field about how to treat it.

She knew she wasn't ready to have one or both of her breasts cut off. And she wasn't sure she wanted a lumpectomy either. That's why when Dr. Shelley Hwang, then a surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), recommended a lumpectomy, Basila grew frustrated. She was coat in hand and ready to walk out the door when she issued that half taunt. And when she did, Hwang said this: "Well, some people are electing to do that."

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

No Coronary Calcium in 50% of Statin-Eligible Patients: MESA

Two new analyses of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) provide evidence that the use of coronary artery calcium (CAC) screening can reclassify patients at risk from cardiovascular disease and better identify those who would most benefit from statin therapy compared with current guidelines.

In the first study[1], which was led by Dr Khurram Nasir (Baptist Health South Florida, Miami), investigators found that 50% of 4758 MESA participants would be recommended for moderate- or high-intensity statin therapy based on the 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) clinical guidelines. Moreover, another 12% of patients could be "considered" for statin therapy based on their 10-year 5% to 7.5% risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD).

Taken together, the researchers say that nearly two-thirds (62%) of the MESA cohort would be recommended or considered for statin therapy.

Yet among those recommended statins—this included patients with an LDL-cholesterol level >190 mg/dL, diabetic patients with an LDL-cholesterol level 70–189 mg/dL, and nondiabetic patients with an LDL-cholesterol level 70–189 mg/dL and an estimated 10-year ASCVD risk >7.5%—more than 40% of these individuals had a CAC score of zero and an ASCVD event rate of 5.2 per 1000 person-years of follow-up. Among those who could be considered for statin therapy, 57% of these individuals had a CAC score of zero and an ASCVD event rate of 1.5 per 1000 person-years of follow-up.

Of the entire group eligible for statins, either recommended or considered, 44% of the 2966 patients had a CAC score of zero at baseline and a 10-year ASCVD event rate of 4.2 per 1000 person-years.
"Overall, our results showed that nearly 50% of individuals who are statin candidates, if they undergo a test that costs between $75 and $100, would have a calcium score of zero, and their 10-year risk would be below the threshold in which the guidelines recommend statins," Nasir told heartwire from Medscape. "This is most important for the patients in the middle, those who have a 10-year risk of 5% to 20%."

Monday, October 5, 2015

Placebo Effect a Major Factor in Antidepressant Response

"Placebo response rates in depression are as high as 50%, which is pretty close to the response rates we see with antidepressant therapy, so it's important to understand placebo responses because they account for an important proportion of the actual response to antidepressant treatment," Marta Peciña, MD, PhD, University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, told Medscape Medical News.

"Basically, we've shown that the mu-opioid system — our own endogenous opioids — are associated with the formation of the placebo response [in depression] and that this occurs in regions of the brain that are involved in emotional regulation and the biology of depression."

The study was published online September 30 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Stopping Hormone Therapy Linked to Cardiovascular Death

In the first year after hormone discontinuation, the risk for cardiac death was significantly higher in the discontinuers than in an age-standardized background population. However, beyond 1 year, the risk was lower.

Similarly, the risk for stroke death in the first year was higher in the discontinuers in than in an age-standardized background population.

A Paradigm Shift
In addition, cardiac mortality was higher during the first year in discontinuers than in those who continued on hormone therapy (standardized mortality ratio [SMR], 2.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.12 - 2.50), as was stroke mortality (SMR, 2.52; 95% CI, 2.28 - 2.77).

"In my view, we have to shift the whole attitude, first in gynecologists and general practitioners, and eventually in cardiologists," Dr Mikkola said.

"These are irrefutably consistent data that say that hormones lower mortality — and the message is, you stop, you die," said Howard Hodis, MD, from the atherosclerosis research unit at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles, who was not involved with the study.

"This is another piece, another step forward, that's going to change how we look at things," he told Medscape Medical News. "I think cardiologists will be shocked, and it will be totally resisted."

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Toddler with type 2 diabetes highlights global obesity epidemic

A three-year-old American girl has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes -- a condition linked to obesity -- making her one of the youngest people ever detected with the disease.

Type 2 diabetes used to be known as "adult-onset" because it is most common among the middle-aged and elderly, but in the last two decades increasing numbers of children have succumbed, due to poor diets and lack of exercise.

Details of the case are being presented on Thursday at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm by Michael Yafi, director of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Texas, Houston.

Since there is no global registry, it is not possible to say definitively that the girl is youngest patient ever but Yafi said his own research had not revealed any other cases in this age group.
"I'm sure there probably are others but they are either undiagnosed or not reported yet," he told Reuters.

Diabetes is a growing problem worldwide with the number of diabetics estimated to be 387 million in 2014 and forecast to soar to 592 million by 2035, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

Friday, October 2, 2015

Why should we teach our doctors about the value of food as medicine?

Medical doctors (MDs) get less than 20 hours of education on nutrition. Chiropractic doctors get 100-200 hours. Naturopathic doctors get over 400 hours. 

Are you getting your food-based tocochromanols?
Warning, supplements with synthetic versions of Vitamin E limited to alpha-tocopherol can be dangerous. 




Vitamin E was discovered in 1922 with experiments on rats. When fed a purified diet devoid of vitamin E, the rats became infertile. Wheat germ oil added to their diet restored their fertility. Later, the oil-based substance was isolated and called the "antisterility" vitamin. (Tokos and phero are the Greek words for "offspring" and "to bear," so tocopherol literally means "to bear children.") Though there is no clear deficiency disease in humans, vitamin E is well accepted as an essential vitamin. There is some question, however, as to whether vitamin E is needed for fertility. From general public experience, though, it seems to be clear that vitamin E makes a difference to many. The average diet today contains much less natural vitamin E than it did 50 years ago; we will see soon why, and what vitamin E actually does in the body.

Vitamin E plays an important role in protecting the body tissues from damaging reactions caused by free-radicals, which arise from many normal metabolic functions. Free-radicals are molecules that are energized at the loss of an electron. They become energetic and unstable and will react with any other molecule to acquire another electron. Free-radicals are responsible for many types of cancer, DNA damage, and blood clots. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant and it helps prolong the life of red blood cells, it plays an essential role in cellular respiration. It protects biological membranes such as those found in the nerves, muscles, and cardiovascular system. It helps the body effectively use and store vitamin A and protects B-complex and vitamin C from oxidation reactions.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, protects your cells from oxidation, and neutralizes unstable free radicals, which can cause damage. This is done by the vitamin E giving up one of its electrons to the electron deficient free radical, making it more stable. While Vitamin E performs its antioxidant functions, it also protects the other antioxidants from being oxidized.

This antioxidant capability is then also great in helping to prevent degenerative diseases, including heart disease, strokes, arthritis, senility, diabetes and cancer. It also assists in fighting heart disease and cancers and is essential for red blood cells, helps with cellular respiration and protects the body from pollution, especially the lungs. Vitamin E is also useful in preventing blood clots from forming and promotes fertility, reduces and/or prevents hot flushes in menopause. An increase in stamina and endurance is also attributed to Vitamin E.

Vitamin E is also used topically to great effect for skin treatments—in helping the skin look younger, promoting healing and cutting down the risk of scar tissue forming. Used on the skin it is also reported to help with eczema, skin ulcers, cold sores and shingles.

Deficiency of Vitamin E is not uncommon, and the symptoms not very clear cut, but may include fatigue, inflamed varicose veins, wounds healing slowly, premature aging and sub-fertility. When Vitamin E is in short supply symptoms may include acne, anemia, muscle disease, dementia, cancers, gallstones, shortened red blood cell life span, spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), and uterine degeneration.


When your diet is high in refined carbohydrates, fried foods and fat, or you are taking a birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy, then a supplement of Vitamin E might be called for. People suffering from pre-menstrual cramps, menopausal hot flushes, after a stroke or suffering from a heart disease might benefit from Vitamin E. It might also be beneficial to relieve painful or swollen joints, if you are exposed to pollution (that is about all of us), suffer from poor circulation or from Dupuytren's disease, which is a thickening of the ligaments in the hands.

Vitamin E is found in **raw, uncooked** nuts, oils, vegetables, sunflower seeds, whole grains, spinach, seeds, wheat oils, asparagus, avocado, beef, seafood, apples, carrots, celery, etc .