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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What Really Causes Kidney Stones

Kidney stones and magnesium deficiency share the same list of causes, including a diet high in sugar, alcohol, oxalates, and coffee. Magnesium has an important role in the prevention of kidney stone formation.[14] Magnesium stimulates production of calcitonin, which draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones, preventing some forms of arthritis and kidney stones. Magnesium suppresses parathyroid hormone, preventing it from breaking down bone. Magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form so that it can assist in calcium absorption. Magnesium is required to activate an enzyme that is necessary to form new bone. Magnesium regulates active calcium transport. All these factors help place calcium where it needs to be, and not in kidney stones.

One of magnesium's many jobs is to keep calcium in solution to prevent it from solidifying into crystals; even at times of dehydration, if there is sufficient magnesium, calcium will stay in solution. Magnesium is a pivotal treatment for kidney stones. If you don't have enough magnesium to help dissolve calcium, you will end up with various forms of calcification. This translates into stones, muscle spasms, fibrositis, fibromyalgia, and atherosclerosis (as in calcification of the arteries). Dr. George Bunce has clinically demonstrated the relationship between kidney stones and magnesium deficiency. As early as 1964, Bunce reported the benefits of administering a 420 mg dose of magnesium oxide per day to patients who had a history of frequent stone formation.[14,15] If poorly absorbed magnesium oxide works, other forms of better-absorbed magnesium will work better.

Calcium oxalate stones can effectively be prevented by getting an adequate amount of magnesium, either through foods high in magnesium (buckwheat, green vegetables, beans, nuts), or magnesium supplements. Take a magnesium supplement of at least the US RDA of 300-400 mg/day (more may be desirable in order to maintain an ideal 1:1 balance of magnesium to calcium). To prevent a laxative effect, take a supplement that is readily absorbable, such as magnesium citrate, chelate, malate, or chloride. Magnesium oxide, mentioned above, is cheap and widely available. However, magnesium oxide is only about 5% absorbed and thus acts mostly as a laxative. [14] Milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) is even more of a laxative, and unsuitable for supplementation. Magnesium citrate is a good choice: easy to find, relatively inexpensive and well absorbed.
The Role of Vitamin C in Preventing and Dissolving Kidney Stones

The calcium phosphate kidney stone can only exist in a urinary tract that is not acidic. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C's most common form) acidifies the urine, thereby dissolving phosphate stones and preventing their formation.

Acidic urine will also dissolve magnesium ammonium phosphate stones, which would otherwise require surgical removal. These are the same struvite stones associated with urinary tract infections. Both the infection and the stone are easily cured with vitamin C in large doses. Both are virtually 100% preventable with daily consumption of much-greater-than-RDA amounts of ascorbic acid. A gorilla gets about 4,000 mg of vitamin C a day in its natural diet. The US RDA for humans is only 90 mg. The gorillas are unlikely to all be wrong.

The common calcium oxalate stone can form in an acidic urine whether one takes vitamin C or not. However, this type of stone can be prevented by adequate quantities of B-complex vitamins and magnesium. Any common B-complex supplement, twice daily, plus about 400 milligrams of magnesium, is usually adequate.
A Dozen Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Kidney Stones

1. Maximize fluid intake.[13] Especially drink fruit and vegetable juices. Orange, grape and carrot juices are high in citrates which inhibit both a buildup of uric acid and also stop calcium salts from forming. [16]

2. Control urine pH. Slightly acidic urine helps prevent urinary tract infections, dissolves both phosphate and struvite stones, and will not cause oxalate stones. And of course one way to make urine slightly acidic is to take vitamin C.

3. Avoid excessive oxalates by not eating (much) rhubarb, spinach, chocolate, or dark tea or coffee.

4. Lose weight. Being overweight is associated with substantially increased risk of kidney stones.[17]

5. Calcium is probably not the real culprit. Low calcium may itself cause calcium stones [18].

6. Most kidney stones are compounds of calcium and yet many Americans are calcium deficient. Instead of lowering calcium intake, reduce excess dietary phosphorous by avoiding carbonated soft drinks, especially colas. Cola soft drinks contain excessive quantities of phosphorous as phosphoric acid. This is the same acid that is used by dentists to dissolve tooth enamel before applying bonding resins.

7. Take a magnesium supplement of at least the US RDA of 300-400 mg/day. More may be desirable in order to maintain an ideal 1:1 balance of magnesium to calcium. Many people eating "modern" processed-food diets do not consume optimal quantities of magnesium.

8. Take a good B-complex vitamin supplement twice daily, which contains pyridoxine (vitamin B6). A deficiency of vitamin B6 produces kidney stones in experimental animals. Vitamin B6 deficiency is very common in humans. A vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency also is associated with stones. [19]

9. For uric acid/purine stones (gout), stop eating meat. Nutrition tables and textbooks indicate meats as the major dietary purine source. Natural treatment adds juice fasts and eating sour cherries. Increased vitamin C consumption helps by improving the urinary excretion of uric acid. [12]. For these stones, use buffered ascorbate "C".

10. Persons with cystine stones (only 1% of all kidney stones) should follow a low methionine diet and use buffered vitamin C.

11. Kidney stones are associated with high sugar intake, so eat less (or no) added sugar. [20]

12. Infections can cause conditions that favor stone formation, such as overly concentrated urine (from fever sweating, vomiting or diarrhea). Practice good preventive health care, and it will pay you back with interest.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Zika treatable with existing drugs, says breakthrough study - Medical News Today

If you can't get a flourishing population of fish in your backyard...


The team screened 6,000 compounds that were either already approved by the FDA or were undergoing clinical trials. In either case, the route to finding a successful candidate for Zika treatments would be considerably shorter than developing a new drug from scratch.

The two classes of compounds they identified are capable of protecting brain cells from cell death induced by Zika virus activity.

One class of compounds is antiviral in nature and stops the virus multiplying.

The other class of compounds is neuroprotective in nature and stops the virus carrying out cell-damaging "caspase-3 activity" in human cortical neural progenitors - precursors to brain cells in fetal development.

When they tested combination treatments using one compound from each category - antiviral and neuroprotective - the researchers found they increased protection of precursor cells from cell death induced by the Zika virus.

The researchers are continuing to work on the compounds and hope to start testing them on animal models of Zika infection soon.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Understanding the unhappy side of serotonin - Medical News Today

Prozac, or fluoxetine, boosts serotonin levels. When the scientists exposed 2C-receptor BNST neurons to Prozac, it increased the effect of the 2C-receptor neurons on the neighboring VTA- and LH-projecting neurons. The mice became more fearful and anxious.

To find out how to stop this effect, senior author Thomas L. Kash and his team focused on the anxiety-mediating BNST neurons. They noticed that these neurons expressed a molecule, known as corticotropin releasing factor (CRF). CRF is a stress-signaling neurotransmitter. It is sometimes called corticotropin releasing hormone (CHR).

When the team added a compound to block CRF activity, the fear and anxiety that had been triggered by the Prozac were greatly reduced.
Searching for a solution

Kash believes the same thing would happen in humans. SSRIs can cause anxiety in people, he says, and mice and humans tend to have very similar pathways in these brain regions.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Reversal of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease - Aging

It has been claimed that there is nothing that will prevent, delay, or reverse Alzheimer's disease (www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/independent-panel-finds-insufficient-evidence-support-preventive-measures-alzheimers-disease). Therefore, it is typically recommended that the ApoE genotype, which represents the most important genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, not be evaluated in asymptomatic individuals, and many physicians do not evaluate ApoE genotype even in symptomatic patients. However, the examples described here complement and extend previously published data that argue that these claims are no longer valid. Thus, given the success of the therapeutic regimen used with these patients, it may be appropriate to evaluate the ApoE genotype as part of prevention and early reversal of symptoms. Given the approximately 75 million Americans who are heterozygous for the ApoE ε4 allele, and the approximately seven million Americans who are homozygous, early identification and treatment (presymptomatic or symptomatic) could potentially have a major impact on the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease-mediated cognitive decline.


See Dr. Bredesen's original MEND protocol at the following link:


Smells Like Hawaii (and Benzyl Acetate): Revealing the Chemicals in Glade’s Fragrances - NYTimes.com

Is your air fresher with traditional air fresheners? Did you agree to breathe these chemicals when you decided to purchase your air freshener from the grocery store?
Glade Plugin Ingredients (hidden behind the misleading label "fragrence"):
(e)-1-(2,6,6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)-2-buten-1-one; [(3,7-dimethyl-6-octenyl)oxy]acetaldehyde; [1-methyl-2-[(4,4,5-trimethyl-3-bicyclo[3.1.0]hexanyl)methyl]cyclopropyl]methanol; 1-(2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-3-en-1-yl)2-buten-1-one; 2,4-dimethyl-3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde; 2,6,10-trimethylundec-9-enal; 2,6-dimethyl-7-octen-2-ol; 2-phenoxyethyl isobutyrate; 2-t-butylcyclohexyl acetate; 3.alpha.,4,5,6,7,7.alpha.-hexahydro-4,7-methano-1h-indenyl propionate; 3-hexenol; 3-methyl-2-butenyl acetate; 4,4.alpha.,5,9.beta.-tetrahydroindeno(1,2-d)-1,3-dioxin; 4-methylanisole; 5-methyl-2-(2-methylpropyl)-1,3-dioxane; amyl cinnamal; benzaldehyde; benzyl acetate; benzyl butyrate; butyl ester of pvm/ma copolymer; cyclamen aldehyde; decanal; dimethyl heptenal; dipropylene glycol; ethyl 2-methyl-1,3-dioxolane-2-acetate; ethyl 2-methylbutyrate; ethyl 2-methylvalerate; ethyl butyrate; ethyl isovalerate; ethyl linalool; ethyl methylphenylglycidate; ethyl salicylate; ethyl trimethylcyclopentene butenol; ethyl vanillin; gamma-decalactone; gamma-nonalactone; gamma-undecalactone; geranyl acetate; hexenyl acetate; hexyl 2-methylbutyrate; hexyl acetate; hexyl butyrate; hexyl propionate; indole; isoamyl acetate; isoamyl allylglycolate; isobutenyl methyltetrahydropyran; isobutyl methyl tetrahydropyranol; isopropylphenylbutanal; lauraldehyde; linalool; methyl anthranilate; methyl benzodioxepinone; methyl Ionones; methyl n-methylanthranilate; nona-2,6-dien-1-ol; nonadienal; phenethyl alcohol; ppg-2 methyl ether acetate; terpineol; trans-hex-2-en-1-ol; undecylenal

SC Johnson, the maker of Glade air fresheners, has decided to tell consumers more about the chemicals they are breathing.

On Monday, the company disclosed ingredients in the fragrances used in more than 200 of its air fresheners, candles and scented oils on its website. Companies have increasingly responded to safety concerns not from government regulators, but from customers who demand to know more about everyday products like moisturizers and cleaning products.

Kelly Semrau, the SC Johnson senior vice president for global corporate affairs, said, "We just feel that transparency in this area is the right thing to do."

Customers have already been able to see specific dyes, waxes and other ingredients used in Glade's various air fresheners and candles. But the chemicals behind scents like "Aruba wave" and "Hawaiian breeze" have largely been a mystery. Some of the ingredients for Aruba wave, for instance, include 2-t-butylcyclohexyl acetate, 2,6-dimethyl-7-octen-2-ol, allyl caproate, benzyl salicylate, ethyl 2,2-dimethyl hydrocinnamyl and ethyl hexanoate.

"Fragrance disclosure is a really big deal and consumers have been asking for it for a really long time," said Janet Nudelman, the director of program and policy for the Breast Cancer Fund.
Typically, a fragrance is listed simply as "fragrance," even though each fragrance could contain hundreds of individual chemicals. SC Johnson buys its fragrances from fragrance houses, which are known for closely guarding the formulas of their scents.

Fragrance ingredients also are often exempted from the disclosure requirements that apply to other chemicals, like those used in cosmetic products like perfumes and lipsticks.

SC Johnson will disclose ingredients in two ways. When there are more than 20 chemicals in a fragrance, it will disclose the top 10, or it will disclose the highest concentrations down to 0.09 percent of the formula, "whichever provides the most information," the company said in a statement.

"It's a good first step but it doesn't go far enough," Ms. Nudelman said, saying that many of the chemicals her group is concerned about have effects at much lower doses than what SC Johnson is disclosing.

A handful of Glade products are excluded from the new policy. Ms. Semrau said that those products' scents came from companies that SC Johnson no longer worked with and they would be phased out. The company said it planned to expand its fragrance disclosures to other brands, including Pledge, Windex, Shout and Scrubbing Bubbles.


EWG's "Hall of Shame" of toxic household cleaners

Keeping a clean home can help your health, but if the cleaning supplies you use are toxic, it can lead to a host of potential problems.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) looked at common household cleaners and created a "Hall of Shame" list of products that may present health risks to people who are unaware of their effects or children who ingest or spill them on themselves.

"Already, our research has turned up products loaded with extremely toxic compounds banned in some countries," the EWG wrote. "Some of their ingredients are known to cause cancer, blindness, asthma and other serious conditions. Others are greenwashed, meaning that they are not, as their ad hype claims, environmentally benign. Still more hide the facts about their formulations behind vague terms like 'fragrance.'"

The trade group, the American Cleaning Institute, calls the EWG's list a "disappointing scare campaign" and says the industry dedicates lots of resources to ensure its products' safety.

Who are the worst offenders? Keep clicking to see the Environmental Working Group's "Hall of Shame"...

Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner
Despite being labeled "green," EWG found the cleaner contains 2-butoxyethanol, a solvent absorbed through the skin that damages red blood cells and irritates the eyes, in addition to a blend of alcohol ethoxylate surfactants. Some of the alcohol ethoxylate surfactants have been banned by the European Union.

"Worse, the company website instructs the user to dilute the product significantly for even the heaviest cleaning tasks," EWG adds. "Yet it comes in a spray bottle that implies it should be sprayed full-strength. Such use would result in higher exposures."

Spic and Span Multi-Surface and Floor Cleaner
The cleaner contains nonylphenol ethoxylate, which, when it breaks down to nonylphenol, can disrupt the hormone system. The chemical also persists in the environment and has been found toxic to aquatic life.

Products with the substance are already banned for sale in the European Union and has been barred in products manufactured in Calfornia after 2012.

Scrubbing Bubbles - Antibacterial Bathroom Cleaner & Extend-A-Clean Mega Shower Foamer.
According to the EWG, these products contain up to 10 percent DEGBE, also called butoxydiglycol, a solvent banned in the European Union at concentrations above 3 percent in aerosol cleaners. The solvent can irritate and inflame the lungs.

Mop & Glo Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner
This cleaner contains DEGME, also called methoxydiglycol. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe says DEGME is "suspected of damaging the unborn child."
The cleaner had levels of up to 15 times the concentration allowed in cleaners sold in the European Union.

DampRid Mildew Stain Remover Plus Blocker
It may contain up to 10 percent of a hazardous solvent called 2-butoxyethanol. Canada caps this chemical's use in non-aerosol cleaners at 6 percent. It also contains nonylphenol ethoxylate, prohibited in cleaners sold in the European Union.

Drano Professional Strength Kitchen Crystals Clog Remover
Drano Kitchen Crystals may remain in the drain after use and create an extreme hazard, says the EWG. Using a plunger could cause caustic splashback. Also, pouring any other product down the drain might trigger a dangerous chemical reaction.

The label does warn customers about some of the dangers, but the group says people sometimes skim over the details. A warning states the product can severely burn eyes and skin and cause blindness or even death, so parents should be cautious when children are around. Also, the label states that people should "keep water out of can at all times to prevent contents from violently erupting or boiling out." Still, many consumers place the bottles under their sink.

CVS/pharmacy Fume-Free Oven Cleaner
The bottle may say it's fume-free, but a warning label on the product states "Vapor harmful - open windows and doors or use other means to ensure fresh air entry during application and drying." The label also says the product contains an unidentified substance "known to the state of California to cause cancer."

EWG recommends to clean an oven, apply a liberal layer of baking soda, spray with water, then scrape off after eight hours.

Glade air freshener sprays
Inhalants generally have been abused by 1 in 5 American teens and are potentially fatal, according to the Alliance for Consumer Education.

Glade's air freshener spray can be abused in this way and has the warning "intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal" on its label.

Comet Disinfectant Cleanser Powder
EWG's air pollution tests found that Comet Disinfectant Cleanser Powder emitted 146 different chemicals, including some that have been linked to cancer, asthma and reproductive disorders. The most toxic chemicals detected - formaldehyde, benzene, chloroform and toluene - are not listed on the label.

Febreze Air Effects
Febreze Air Effects released 89 air contaminants when placed under EWG's air pollution tests.

Mr. Clean, Easy-Off and Formula 409
These three products - in addition to Lysol, Fantastik, Chlorox and Febreze sprays - contained quaternary ammonium compounds or ethanolamine, ingredients classified as asthmagens by the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics.

These chemicals can trigger asthma attacks and may cause new cases of the disease in people who had been asthma-free. About 1 in 10 children suffer from asthma.

Static Guard
Static Guard contains the chemical DTDMAC, or ditallow dimethyl ammonium chloride, which is so persistent in the environment that it can't be used as a cleaning ingredient in the European Union.

Hagerty Liquid Jewel Clean
This jewelry cleaner contains perchloroethylene, a toxic solvent classified as "probably carcinogenic to humans" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Tarn-X Tarnish Remover
This "Wipe & Rinse" product contains up to 7 percent thiourea, a chemical considered a carcinogen by the state of California. The company's technical information for workers says "prolonged or repeated exposure may cause reproductive and fetal effects."

Ajax, Dynamo and Fab Ultra liquid laundry detergents (Phoenix Brands)
These contain formaldehyde, also known as formalin, classified as a known human carcinogen by the U.S. government and World Health Organization. Formaldehyde can cause asthma and allergies. The company divulges the presence of formaldehyde in the product only on technical disclosures for workers, says the EWG.

Whink Rust Stain Remover
Advertised for cleaning white porcelain sinks, toilet bowls and colorfast fabrics and carpet, the fine print warns people that it "May be fatal or cause permanent damage" and "Causes severe burns which may not be immediately painful or visible."



Elderberry Benefits & Uses, Including Cold & Flu Treatment - Dr. Axe

  • Elderberry has been shown to seriously combat the common cold as well as the flu. Science has actually shown it can shorten flu symptoms by an average of four days.
  • When taken properly, it typically has no negative side effects.
  • There are so many options when it comes to how you can consume elderberries, from juice to tea to jam.
  • One of the most popular ways to take elderberry, especially for a cold or flu, is a syrup, which is relatively easy to make at home.
  • Research is showing its potential ability to fight cancer, and hopefully more research is coming soon.
  • It's also been shown to help lower blood sugar and ease allergies.
  • Elderberry has a pleasant berry flavor, and most people find it easy to take elder plant products.


MammaPrint Finds Breast Cancer Patients Who Can Skip Chemo

In breast cancer patients who were judged to be at high risk by clinical assessment, and who were thus destined for chemotherapy, use of the 70-gene signature test (MammaPrint, Agendia) found that half (49%) of these women could skip chemotherapy.

This finding comes from the large European study called MINDACT (Microarray in Node-Negative and 1 to 3 Positive Lymph Node Disease May Avoid Chemotherapy), which was published online August 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

These results were first presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research and were reported at the time by Medscape Medical News.

In the critical group of patients at high clinical risk but at low genomic risk, as identified with MammaPrint, the use of adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with a 5-year survival rate without distant metastasis that was 1.5% higher in comparison with patients who did not receive adjuvant chemotherapy — 95.9% vs 94.4%. Corresponding rates of 5-year disease-free survival and overall survival were also higher — 2.8% and 1.4%, respectively. The study was not powered to determine significance between the groups, but the magnitude of chemotherapy benefit appeared modest in consideration of its inconvenience, risks, and costs, the researchers note.

"The study confirms that it is possible to identify patients who are not going to benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy in a significant way," co–principal investigator of MINDACT Martine Piccart, MD, PhD, head of the Department of Medicine at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels, and cofounder and chair of the Breast International Group, told Medscape Medical News.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Does Meat Cause Cancer? Revisiting the Meat, IGF-1, and Cancer Connection | Sara Gottfried MD

IGF-1 is one of our body's most important anabolic hormones. Anabolic hormones are in charge of growth, and growth can be both good or bad depending on context.

Animal protein raises IGF-1 more than other foods, but this doesn't mean meat is bad for you, or is "as bad as smoking cigarettes" as some headlines have proclaimed.

When IGF-1 levels are too high, some forms of cancer grow more easily (mainly prostate and breast). However, when IGF-1 levels are low, risks of cardiovascular disease, dementia, Alzheimer's, and sarcopenia are all much higher. In fact, death to cancer is also much more common with low IGF-1 too, possibly due to increased risk of cachexia (muscle wasting).

While diseases associated with high IGF-1 levels are scary, the truth is that low IGF-1 levels are more likely to be of concern for many people. If you are worried about IGF-1 levels, perhaps the best action you can take is to exercise frequently. Frequent exercise cuts the risk of cancers associated with IGF-1 to a much greater extent than cutting animal protein does, and also doesn't predispose you to the diseases associated with low IGF-1. In fact, the risk of all of the diseases associated with low IGF-1 are also reduced when you exercise frequently.

We encourage you to read the entire article below. It's long, but you'll get loads of great information about exactly what IGF-1 does, how it affects our health, and how we can be sure do IGF-1 "the right way"–the way where we live a long, strong, disease-free life!


If we are what we eat, Americans are corn and soy

To a degree some may find hard to swallow, science is proving the old adage "you are what you eat."

Americans eat corn in the form of chips but also consume it in the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup.

Proteins and fats in your food are incorporated into your body and brain with potentially profound effects on your health and even your behavior.

Todd Dawson, a plant biologist at the University of California-Berkeley, can test a strand of hair to determine how much corn is in your diet or mine by looking for a form of carbon found in corn.
"We are what we eat with respect to carbon, for sure. So if we eat a particular kind of food, and it has a particular kind of carbon in it, that's recorded in us, in our tissues, in our hair, in our fingernails, in the muscles," Dawson says.

Dawson tested a strand of my hair: 69 percent of the carbon came from corn.

This may seem high, but it is typical for Americans.

"We're like corn chips walking because we really have a very, very large fraction of corn in our diets, and we actually can't help it because it's an additive in so many of the foods we find on the market shelves," Dawson says.

Foods like ketchup, salad dressing, soda, cookies and chips all contain corn, usually high fructose corn syrup.

"I think where the danger comes in with corn is that much of the corn grown now in North America is going into making high fructose corn syrup," Dawson says. "So it's not that corn per se is bad, but it's the sweetener made from corn that gets into many of the foods that Americans are probably consuming too much of, and we now see that showing up as obesity and heart disease and potential for type 2 diabetes."

To be fair, researchers say we're eating too much of all kinds of sugar, not just high fructose corn syrup.

And the Corn Refiners Association points out that "many parts of the world, including Mexico and Europe, have rising rates of obesity and diabetes, despite having little or no high fructose corn syrup in their foods and drinks."

Europeans eat a diet with far fewer processed foods and corn-based sweeteners. Dawson tested his own hair after three months in Italy: 5 percent corn.

Americans also eat an extraordinary amount of soybean oil, another key ingredient in most processed foods. Checking labels during a recent trip to the grocery store I found soybean oil in everything from tortilla chips to fruit syrup.



Treatment of Histamine Intolerance

Treatment of Histamine Intolerance
Georgia Ede MD

If you suspect you have Histamine Intolerance, here are some options which may help you to feel better:
  1. Eat a low-histamine diet. Avoid cultured, processed, cured, fermented and aged foods. Choose fresh foods whenever possible. Look for the “packed on” date of the meat or fish being sold. “FAS” (frozen-at-sea) fish may be your best bet. Grass-fed and pastured meats are not necessarily better choices—it depends on how far they had to travel to get to your store. Also, it is important to know that nearly all beef sold in the U.S. “hangs” for at least two weeks before it is packaged, even if it comes from a local family farm that pastures their animals. Therefore virtually all beef is aged to some extent. Yasmina Ykelenstam’s website contains a wealth of information about low-histamine diets: http://thelowhistaminechef.com/
  2. Occasional use of antihistamines such as Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and Cetirizine (Zyrtec), or “mast cell stabilizers” such as Cromolyn Sodium (Gastrocrom) may be helpful if they don’t bother you.
  3. Vitamin C, vitamin B6, zinc, and copper are all required for DAO to work properly. Addressing potential deficiencies in these may be helpful in resolving Histamine Intolerance.
  4. DAO supplements are available and have been proven effective. The one I use is called Histamine Block. It is made by Seeking Health, an Austrian company. Please note: this supplement is advertised as “vegetarian capsules”, but this is very misleading because it is only the actual capsules themselves that are vegetarian. Inside the capsules are DAO enzymes isolated from pig kidney. They also contain a small amount of vitamin C, which helps DAO to work better. While I generally try to avoid high-histamine foods, life happens. When I’m traveling, eating at someone else’s home, or not sure about the histamine content of a food, I use this supplement to help minimize symptoms of Histamine Intolerance from foods I suspect may bother me. It needs to be taken right before you eat—no longer than 20 minutes before, so that it will be in the right place at the right time—in your small intestine when the suspicious food arrives.
  5. Some people, especially those with prominent gastrointestinal symptoms of Histamine Intolerance may benefit from pancreatic enzymes.)
  6. Avoid alcohol—alcohol reduces DAO activity
  7. Be aware of medications that interfere with DAO activity. If you take any of the following medicines, discuss with your clinician how they may be affecting your Histamine Intolerance symptoms, to see if alternatives are available.

Ancestral Health Symposium 2016

The Ancestral Health Symposium
AHS16—Boulder, August 11-13, 2016

•  60+ speakers on diet, hormones, health, fitness and more!
•  3 full days of education
•  Enjoy food, culture and outdoor fun in Boulder, CO

View the full program and speaker lineup here!

About: AHS is a historic three-day event created to foster collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and laypersons who study health from an evolutionary perspective to develop solutions to our health challenges.

AHS16 - Georgia Ede - Histamine Intolerance

AHS16 - Chris Kresser - The Adrenal Fatigue Myth

AHS16 - Tim Gerstmar - Obesogens and Endocrine

AHS16 - Ian Spreadbury - Refined Foods

Efficient and Cost-Effective Alternative Treatment for Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Interstitial Cystitis in Women

Case  1
A 28-year-old female presents with a history of rUTI, which started at the age of 11. She suffered symptoms of severe constipation that she treated with herbal laxatives. She experienced episodes of fatigue, pubic pain, loss of appetite, malaise, dysuria, polyuria, urinary incontinence, and macroscopic hematuria. The frequency and severity of the symptoms increased with age, and its recurrence has shifted from occurring once every year to once every 2-3 months after she started having regular sexual intercourse. In addition, she suffered from dyspareunia and urgent urination that were aggravated after tampons usage. Pelvic ultrasound did not show any renal calculi or bladder enlargement, yet it revealed signs of interstitial cystitis.

Different antibiotics were given for treatment including ciprofloxacin (500 mg b.i.d), ofloxacin (200 mg b.i.d) or norfloxacin (400 mg b.i.d), cefuroxime (500 mg b.i.d), or amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (1 g b.i.d). Resistance was developed to these drugs and others were given aiming to prevent the recurrence such as nitrofurantoin (100 mg bid) and fosfomycin (3 g/day), to which she was sensitive. However, the symptoms of interstitial cystitis persisted despite the antibiotic therapy and the patient developed candidiasis that was resolved with fluconazole (150 mg) taken every 5 days after starting antibiotic treatment. Yet the patient became nonresponsive to fluconazole, which was substituted with itraconazole (100 mg bid every 2 days).

One year ago, she started an alternative medical treatment that included simultaneous intake of cranberry tablets (containing 700 mg cranberry extract conc Tit 1%, intake of proanthocyanidin 7 mg, grapefruit seeds dry extract 4/1 100 mg, Orthosiphon titrated dry extract 0.2% 100 mg, intake of sinensetin 0.2 mg, and goldenrod titrated dry extract 10/1 100 mg), probiotics (containing vitamin B1 0.42 mg, vitamin B2 0.48 mg, vitamin B6 0.6 mg, niacin 5.4 mg, vitamin B5 1.8 mg, vitamin B12 0.3 μg, and total milk enzymes: L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and L. bulgaricus, living cells not less than 2 billion), L-arginine (2 tablets/day, arginine hydrochloride 1000 mg in one serving capsule), and 1 tablet of magnesium at night (magnesium oxide 300 mg in each serving capsule). Following this regimen, the frequency and urgency to urinate decreased and UTI recurred after 2 month. Afterwards, she started taking garlic softgel tablets (serving size 2 softgels: garlic oil 4.6 mg, 500 : 1 concentrate equal to 2300 mg fresh garlic) and parsley seed oil tablets (110 μg, 2000 : 1 concentrate equal to 220 mg fresh parsley). These have shown a decrease in the UTI recurrence to 6-7 months and eventually no recurrence was recorded for the last 12 months. Moreover, the severity of recurrence has decreased and response to antibiotics has become more pronounced. Later when she discontinued garlic intake and became noncompliant to this treatment, UTI reappeared after 2 months.

Case  2
A 28-year-old female presented with the history of rUTI since the age of 23. The patient's symptoms include burning sensations in the lower area with stabbing-like pain, urgency, and dysuria followed by hesitancy. The patient also reported a high frequency of urination, reaching 10 times/hr. In her first recurrent episode, urinalysis revealed pyuria (8–10 WBCs/hpf) and positive nitrites test and E. coli culture. Then, ciprofloxacin was prescribed (500 mg bid for 5 days) and she experienced 2-3 recurrence episodes with positive E. coli cultures. Later on, resistance to ciprofloxacin was developed with pelvic echogram and cystoscopy not showing any abnormality, while urinalysis showed persistent bacteriuria and cultures of E. coli resistant to fluoroquinolones.

Along with recurrent UTI over the years, interstitial cystitis also started in addition to chronic daily symptoms of overreactive bladder, urgency, frequency, and pubic pain. Nitrofurantoin (2 tablets/day) was prescribed along with fluvoxamine (1 tablet t.i.d.) to alleviate symptoms of overreactive bladder. Her previous history included no sexual activity for the last 4 years, persistent constipation, healthy diet and lifestyle, inadequate water intake, and the use of intimate perfumed washing gel fragranced, panty-liners and synthetic polyester lingerie, and back to front wiping hygiene.

With time the patient entered a depression due to the rUTI with persistent E. coli cultures and the chronic interstitial cystitis that remained untreatable. An alternative treatment regimen was prescribed and it included cranberry tablets (1 tablet t.i.d.), probiotics (1 tablet before breakfast and dinner), garlic and parsley (6 tablets at night), magnesium tablets (2 tablets 300 mg each at night), evening primrose oil (2 tablets after lunch), and L-arginine (500 mg, 1 tablet t.i.d.). Several weeks following this regimen, the patient's symptoms including an overreactive bladder diminished, and urgency, frequency, and pubic pain decreased by 80%. Cultures remained negative and the patient experienced only one interstitial cystitis episode, which was alleviated with L-arginine (1000 mg), magnesium tablets, and sustained hydration.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Here's why your coffee habit is making you fat

Raising a glass (or mug) for National Coffee Day on Sunday could pose problems for your waistline.

American coffee consumption is up 5 percent this year, with 83 percent of adults drinking it, according to the National Coffee Association's 2013 National Coffee Drinking Trends report.

The difficulty, nutritionists say, is that only half of regular coffee drinkers are picking brewed coffee, consumption of which is down 7 percent from 2012.

"The old days of buying a cup of coffee and putting a packet of sugar in it are far behind us," said Jane Hurley, senior nutritionist for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Instead, 31 percent (about the same as last year) opt for gourmet drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes. Many go even fancier. A 2009 survey of orders in New York City by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found two-thirds of Starbucks customers and a quarter of Dunkin' Donuts customers picked blended coffee drinks, which use more milk, flavored syrups and whipped cream.

Read more: Starbucks latte drives early pumpkin foods craze

Those drinks pack a higher calorie count — on average 240 calories, versus 75 for brewed coffee with cream and sugar, said Pat Fiducia, chief executive for CalorieKing Publications, which tracks nutrition information for restaurant items. But many contain even more calories, sugar and fat.

A large Dunkin' Donuts Frozen Mocha Coffee Coolatta with Cream, for example, contains 1,050 calories, 53 grams of fat and 127 grams of sugar.

"In perspective, you have had more fat than you need for two days and more saturated fat than is healthy for a whole week," said Fiducia. It's also a little more than half the Food and Drug Administration's recommended 2,000-calorie daily intake. And that sugar content? Translated into cooking measures, it's about two-thirds of a cup.

Coffee purveyors, for their part, say their menus are a response to customer preferences and offer a range of drinks — many of them with low calorie counts. A McDonald's spokeswoman said the company posts nutrition information for diners. Dunkin' Donuts has its DDSmart menu of "better-for-you items" including drinks and baked goods, said a spokeswoman. "Ultimately, we encourage our guests to make choices that are right for them," she said.

Many shops are taking other steps to lower calorie counts, making low- or nonfat milk the default choice, and adding sugar-free syrups, said Betsy Craig, chief executive of MenuTrinfo, which offers menu nutritional analysis for restaurants.

Consumers might take additional steps by picking a smaller size, and passing on the whipped cream and syrup, Hurley said.

A Starbucks spokeswoman said customers are encouraged to personalize orders. "As there are more than 170,000 different ways to customize a Starbucks beverage, customers can choose to lighten up their favorite beverage in a number of ways to save on calories," she said.

Seattle's Best Coffee encourages that, too. "You can always hold the whip, skip the cream and use nonfat milk for a lighter treat," said a spokeswoman.

If you're still thirsty, many coffee shops are offering special deals on Sunday, Sept. 29, for National Coffee Day.

Here's a look at what's in some popular drinks:

  • Dunkin' Donuts Frozen Mocha Coffee Coolatta with Cream, 32 ounces: 1,050 calories, 53 grams fat, 127 grams sugar
  • Dunkin' Donuts Frozen Caramel Coffee Coolatta with Cream, 32 ounces: 1,050 calories, 52 grams fat, 130 grams sugar.
  • Starbucks Iced Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream, 20 ounces: 700 calories, 26 grams fat, 101 grams sugar
  • McDonalds Frappe Mocha, 22 ounces: 670 calories, 50 grams fat, 88 grams sugar
  • Seattle's Best Frozen Caramel Pretzel Mocha, 24 ounces: 640 calories, 22 grams fat, 83 grams sugar
  • Seattle's Best Frozen Birthday Cake Latte, 24 ounces: 640 calories, 23 grams fat, 87 grams sugar
  • Starbucks Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino Blended Crème with Whipped Cream, 20 ounces: 560 calories, 18 grams fat, 89 grams sugar

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Gut bacteria, antibiotics, and the rise of type 1 diabetes

When the mice were tested at the end of the trial, 53 percent of those exposed to PAT had developed type 1 diabetes, compared with 26 percent of the control mice that received no antibiotics.

As Dr. Blaser says: "Our study begins to clarify the mechanisms by which antibiotic-driven changes in gut microbiomes may increase risk for type 1 diabetes."

Each mouse's gut bacteria was sampled before, during, and after the study to measure any changes in number and species.

The changes were profound. In the 3-month-old PAT mice, one specific species of gut bacteria - which has previously been shown to help train the immune system - had almost totally disappeared. In each of the three bacteria-sampling tests, the PAT mice's bacterial diversity was reduced when compared with the control mice.

To assess the ability of the changed gut flora to affect health, the team carried out a further experiment. They transferred the gut bacteria of a PAT mouse into the gut of a mouse bred to have none of its own gut flora (germ-free mice).

After the transfer was complete, the researchers observed similar changes in their immune system; this proves that the changes in gut bacteria alone (independent of antibiotics) can make significant changes to the developing immune system.


The health problem Clinton actually has | Washington Examiner


When patients are diagnosed, they typically are given a single hormone replacement called levothyroxine. It is effective with about 90 percent of patients, according to Hossein Gharib, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic and former president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
But for the 10 percent of patients who don't find relief from their symptoms, doctors often prescribe a combination hormone therapy such as Armour Thyroid, which uses the T3 and T4 hormones for a more effective medication.

"Armour Thyroid … is a good preparation, but we don't use it that much because most patients are happy with levothyroxine," Gharib said. "The theory is that one hormone may not be enough; two is better."

That idea is supported by research. A 1999 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that treating patients with both hormones instead of just one may improve their mood and neuropsychological function.

Despite the evidence, Clinton's use of Armour Thyroid has earned her criticism, most recently from celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky. Pinsky, who is an internist as well as an addiction medicine specialist, said last week it's "weird" Clinton is being treated with what he views as an "unconventional" and "outdated" medication.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Non-Celiac 'Wheat Sensitivity' Is an Immune Disorder, Too

People who feel ill after eating wheat but who don't have celiac disease may finally have a biological explanation for their symptoms, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the U.S. and Italy found that people who claim to have "wheat sensitivity" do have biological reactions to gluten proteins in wheat, rye and barley. It's just that the reactions are different from what's seen in people with celiac disease, which is also triggered by gluten.

People with wheat sensitivity have been a very difficult group to identify, because they're mostly all self-diagnosed, said study author Dr. Peter Green, who directs the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York City.

While celiac disease can be confirmed through blood tests and biopsies, the same wasn't true for wheat sensitivity, Green told Reuters Health.

"We had no biomarkers or anything to say they had a disease process going on other than reporting they don't do well when they eat wheat," he said.

As a result, people would put themselves on a gluten-free diet and ultimately feel better.

For the new study, the researchers analyzed and compared the blood of 80 people who reported wheat sensitivity, 40 people with celiac disease and 40 healthy people without either condition.

In celiac disease, consumption of gluten triggers an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine. The patients with wheat sensitivity had blood tests showing signs of some intestinal damage too - although it wasn't the same kind of damage that's seen with celiac disease, and they didn't have the same pattern of antibodies in their blood that are characteristic of celiac disease.

People with wheat sensitivity also had evidence of a systemic immune response, which the researchers didn't see in the people with celiac disease.

The results suggest there are identifiable and measurable traits in people with wheat sensitivity that are separate from celiac disease, write the researchers in the journal Gut, online July 25.

The next step is to get a better understanding of what's happening inside the intestines of people with wheat sensitivity, said Green. Also, the results should be confirmed in U.S. patients, since most of the blood samples for the current study came from people in Italy.

"We'd like to confirm the findings in individuals here, but we need to see them before they go on a special diet," said Green.

The new results confirm the existence that something's going on in people with wheat sensitivity, he said.

"It also raises the likelihood that we'll be able to develop a test," he added. "Then, we can categorize individuals and treat them appropriately."

Results Individuals with wheat sensitivity had significantly increased serum levels of soluble CD14 and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-binding protein, as well as antibody reactivity to bacterial LPS and flagellin. Circulating levels of fatty acid-binding protein 2 (FABP2), a marker of intestinal epithelial cell damage, were significantly elevated in the affected individuals and correlated with the immune responses to microbial products. There was a significant change towards normalisation of the levels of FABP2 and immune activation markers in a subgroup of individuals with wheat sensitivity who observed a diet excluding wheat and related cereals.


Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe, where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancer. Here, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup®, is the most important causal factor in this epidemic. Fish exposed to glyphosate develop digestive problems that are reminiscent of celiac disease. Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria. Characteristics of celiac disease point to impairment in many cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved with detoxifying environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A, and maintaining bile acid production and sulfate supplies to the gut. Glyphosate is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes. Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper and other rare metals associated with celiac disease can be attributed to glyphosate’s strong ability to chelate these elements. Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate’s known depletion of these amino acids. Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure. Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by glyphosate. Glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are likely increasing recently due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to the harvest. We argue that the practice of “ripening” sugar cane with glyphosate may explain the recent surge in kidney failure among agricultural workers in Central America. We conclude with a plea to governments to reconsider policies regarding the safety of glyphosate residues in foods.


Steamed greens for detoxification

Steam cooking significantly improves in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage

Vegetarians or those consuming vegetables as a major portion of their daily diet along with lower calories from saturated fat and animal products are at a lower risk of coronary heart disease and cancer. Vegetables are a good source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, provitamins, polyphenols, and minerals. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Information Center, through the Food Guide Pyramid—Steps to a Healthier You ( http://www.mypyramid.gov ), recommends the consumption of dark leafy and colorful vegetables and low-fat food products along with daily active life and maintaining desirable body weight  [1]  . Some of the vegetables listed by the USDA food pyramid include collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, and spinach. Isothiocyanates of the cruciferous vegetables in the Brassica family have been shown to protect against various types of cancers  2 3 4 5  . Sulforaphane, indole-3-carbinol, glucaric acid, and other isothiocyanates are antioxidants and potent stimulators of natural detoxifying enzymes in the body. These compounds are believed to be responsible for the lowered risk of atherosclerosis and cancer  [6 7]  . Toxic metabolites in the gut and secondary bile acids increase the risk of colorectal cancer  [8]  . Atherosclerosis and cancer are 2 leading causes of death and disability in the developed world and are increasing rapidly in the developing world. These are the major human nutrition problems and are preventable with diet and physically active lifestyle. The healthful, cholesterol-lowering (atherosclerosis amelioration) or detoxification of harmful metabolites (cancer prevention) potential of food fractions could be predicted by evaluating their in vitro bile acid binding, based on positive correlations found between in vitro and in vivo studies showing that cholestyramine (bile acid–binding, cholesterol-lowering drug) binds bile acids and cellulose does not  9 10 11 12  . Bile acids are acidic steroids synthesized in the liver from cholesterol. After conjugation with glycine or taurine, bile acids are secreted into the duodenum. Bile acids are actively reabsorbed by the terminal ileum and undergo an enterohepatic circulation [13]  . Binding of bile acids and increasing their fecal excretion have been hypothesized as a possible mechanism by which food fractions lower cholesterol  14 15 16  . The bile acids are needed for the absorption of dietary fat from the gastrointestinal tract. The dietary fat is a precursor of cholesterol synthesis in the body. By binding bile acids, food fractions prevent their reabsorption and stimulate plasma and liver cholesterol conversion to additional bile acids  17 18 19 20  . Excretion of toxic metabolites and secondary bile acids could lower the risk of cancer  [8]  . The bile acid binding of grain fractions, ready-to-eat cereals, and various dry beans has been observed to be proportional to their dry matter (DM) content  21 22 23 24  . Steam cooking beets, eggplants, asparagus, carrots, green beans, and cauliflowers significantly improved in vitro bile acid binding compared with the values obtained for these vegetables uncooked  [25]  . In vitro bile acid binding of the following vegetables has been reported: uncooked spinach, 9%; kale, 8%; Brussels sprouts, 8%; broccoli, 5%; mustard greens, 4%; green bell peppers, 3%; cabbage, 2%; and collard greens, 2%  [26]  . Vegetables are normally cooked before their consumption; how cooking would influence bile acid binding of these green/leafy vegetables is the subject of this report.


Approaches for illness resulting from exposure to water-damaged buildings, mold, and mycotoxins

Physicians are increasingly being asked to diagnose and treat people made ill by exposure to water-damaged environments, mold, and mycotoxins. In addition to avoidance of further exposure to these environments and to items contaminated by these environments, a number of approaches have been used to help persons affected by exposure to restore their health. Illness results from a combination of factors present in water-damaged indoor environments including, mold spores and hyphal fragments, mycotoxins, bacteria, bacterial endotoxins, and cell wall components as well as other factors. Mechanisms of illness include inflammation, oxidative stress, toxicity, infection, allergy, and irritant effects of exposure. This paper reviews the scientific literature as it relates to commonly used treatments such as glutathione, antioxidants, antifungals, and sequestering agents such as cholestyramine, charcoal, clay and chlorella, antioxidants, probiotics, and induced sweating.


Comparative efficacy and tolerability of antidepressants for major depressive disorder - The Lancet

Most available antidepressants are ineffective, and some may be unsafe, for children and teenagers with major depression, according to the most comprehensive comparison of commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs so far, published in The Lancet.

The findings indicate that out of 14 antidepressant drugs, only fluoxetine was more effective at relieving the symptoms of depression than placebo, whilst taking venlafaxine was linked with an increased risk of engaging in suicidal thoughts and attempts compared with placebo and five other antidepressants.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Putin wants Russia to become world's biggest exporter of Non-GMO food

Russia could become the world's largest supplier of ecologically clean and high-quality organic food, said President Vladimir Putin on Thursday. He also called on the country to become completely self-sufficient in food production by 2020.

"We are not only able to feed ourselves taking into account our lands, water resources – Russia is able to become the largest world supplier of healthy, ecologically clean and high-quality food which the Western producers have long lost, especially given the fact that demand for such products in the world market is steadily growing," said Putin, addressing the Russian Parliament on Thursday.

According to the President, Russia is now an exporter, not an importer of food.

"Ten years ago, we imported almost half of the food from abroad, and were dependent on imports. Now Russia is among the exporters. Last year, Russian exports of agricultural products amounted to almost $20 billion - a quarter more than the revenue from the sale of arms, or one-third the revenue coming from gas exports," he said.

In September, the Kremlin decided against producing food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).


Lipid levels in patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease: an analysis of 136,905 hospitalizations in Get With The Guidelines

Lipid levels among contemporary patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease (CAD) have not been well studied. This study aimed to analyze admission lipid levels in a broad contemporary population of patients hospitalized with CAD.

The Get With The Guidelines database was analyzed for CAD hospitalizations from 2000 to 2006 with documented lipid levels in the first 24 hours of admission. Patients were divided into low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), and triglyceride categories. Factors associated with LDL and HDL levels were assessed along with temporal trends.

Of 231,986 hospitalizations from 541 hospitals, admission lipid levels were documented in 136,905 (59.0%). Mean lipid levels were LDL 104.9 +/- 39.8, HDL 39.7 +/- 13.2, and triglyceride 161 +/- 128 mg/dL. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol <70 mg/dL was observed in 17.6% and ideal levels (LDL <70 with HDL > or =60 mg/dL) in only 1.4%. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol was <40 mg/dL in 54.6% of patients. Before admission, only 28,944 (21.1%) patients were receiving lipid-lowering medications. Predictors for higher LDL included female gender, no diabetes, history of hyperlipidemia, no prior lipid-lowering medications, and presenting with acute coronary syndrome. Both LDL and HDL levels declined over time (P < .0001).

In a large cohort of patients hospitalized with CAD, almost half have admission LDL levels <100 mg/dL. More than half the patients have admission HDL levels <40 mg/dL, whereas <10% have HDL > or =60 mg/dL. These findings may provide further support for recent guideline revisions with even lower LDL goals and for developing effective treatments to raise HDL

Distribution of LDL cholesterol at the time of admission for coronary artery disease

Intestinal Bacteria Associated With Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Previous studies have suggested that bacteria from the intestine might play a role in NAFLD, which is the hepatic component of the Metabolic Syndrome. NAFLD can worsen to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and some experts have wondered if liver exposure to bacteria from the gut could promote this progression.

Researchers, led by Antonio Grieco of Rome , investigated gut permeability in patients with NAFLD and compared the results to patients with untreated celiac disease, who are known to be prone to this condition, and to healthy volunteers.

Their study included 35 patients with biopsy-confirmed NAFLD, 27 with celiac disease and 24 healthy volunteers. The researchers checked the level of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in each participant using glucose breath testing. They assessed intestinal permeability by looking at urinary excretion of Cr-EDTA. And they examined the integrity of tight junctions within the gut through duodenal biopsies.

"The main findings of this study are that both intestinal permeability and the prevalence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth are increased in patients with NAFLD and correlate with the severity of steatosis," the authors report. "Disruption of tight junction integrity may explain the increased permeability in these patients."

The authors hypothesize that small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and/or the associated increase in gut permeability may cause steatosis. This idea is supported by studies on mice, and by reports that probiotics can improve steatosis that is the result of a high fat diet.

Importantly, there was no association between either small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or intestinal permeability and steatohepatitis or fibrosis, which argues against a primary role for gut bacteria in the progression of NAFLD to more severe liver disease.

"In conclusion," the authors write, "we have demonstrated that NAFLD is associated with increased intestinal permeability and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and that these factors are associated with the severity of hepatic steatosis." Further studies are needed to determine the exact causal relationship, and could lead to new therapies for NAFLD that address the microbiome of the gut.
An accompanying editorial by Elisabetta Bugianesi and Ester Vanni of the University of Turin applauds the new findings. "The authors were able to demonstrate both the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and of increased intestinal permeability in patients with NAFLD, providing the first demonstration of gut leakiness in NAFLD," they write.

"The study by Luca Miele and colleagues raises the possibility that gut microbiota and intestine permeability are important mediators of diet-induced metabolic disturbances in NAFLD," they conclude.

Lifestyle-focused therapy would be best for patients with NAFLD, Bugianesi and Vanni suggest, but manipulating gut flora by antibiotics, prebiotics, and probiotics could help counteract the effect of unbalanced diets on metabolic diseases.

The Role of Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth in Obesity-Related Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

The liver is constantly exposed to gut microbiota-derived products that activate hepatic toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), which has been implicated in the development of liver inflammation and fibrosis, and even hepatocellular carcinoma [5,6]. Obese subjects present distinct microbiota composition with relative low proportion of Bacteroidetes and predominance of Firmicutes [7]. This predominance has been associated with a propensity to develop NAFLD features, such as fasting hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hepatic steatosis, and increased expression of genes involved in de novo lipogenesis, independently of the presence of obesity, in animals models [8]. The microbiota composition of humans with NASH also presents lower proportion of Bacteroidetes independently of BMI and dietary fat intake. The low prevalence of Bacteroidetes may facilitate the development of other bacteria phyla that are more efficient in harvesting energy from the diet [9].
NAFLD patients present a high prevalence of small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) [10,11,12,13,14] and increased gut permeability [13,15] characterized by disruption of the intercellular tight junctions, which is likely to be the underlying mechanism of translocations of bacteria and their products [13]. NASH subjects have elevated plasma levels of LPS associated with a rise in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α gene expression in the hepatic tissue, which supports a role of endotoxemia in the development of steatohepatitis [16]. SIBO in NASH individuals is also associated with enhanced hepatic expression of TLR4 and release of interleukin (IL)-8 supporting the hypothesis that SIBO may have an important role in NASH development and progression [14].

The Economic and Clinical Burden of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in the United States and Europe

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major cause of chronic liver disease. In a recent systematic review, the global prevalence of NAFLD was estimated to be approximately 24% [1]. NAFLD is predominantly associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes [1]. In addition to the United States of America (USA) and Europe, high prevalence rates of obesity have also been reported from South America, Asia, and Middle East [1,2].

In order to fully understand the clinical burden of NAFLD, it is important to recognize the full spectrum of NAFLD phenotype [2]. Histologically, the potentially progressive form of NAFLD has been referred to as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) [2]. Although NASH represents the minority (10-20%) of patients with NAFLD, the non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) subtype can potentially progress to advanced liver disease leading to cirrhosis, liver-related mortality and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) [1-5]. Despite NASH being a more progressive type of NAFLD, the non-NASH type of NAFLD still carries clinical burden as it is associated with cardiovascular diseases and complications [6].

Clinically, NASH seems to be more common and potentially more progressive in the setting of insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus (DM) [7]. Other studies have also shown that DM is an independent predictor of advanced fibrosis and long-term mortality in NAFLD [8-9]. In addition, the presence of advanced fibrosis (stage>2) in NAFLD has been associated with increased liver-related mortality [10-11]. These data, therefore, may be an indicator that grade of fibrosis is a surrogate for predicting liver related mortality.

In addition to cirrhosis, there is mounting evidence that NAFLD is an important risk factor for HCC [12-13]. Although cirrhosis in NASH has been indicated as a risk factor for HCC, there is some evidence to suggest that non-cirrhotic patients with NAFLD may also be at risk of developing HCC [14]. Finally, the clinical outcome of NAFLD has led to a large number of liver transplants (LTs) in the United States. In fact, NASH is now considered the second most common indication for LT in the USA after chronic hepatitis C, and is growing [15].

In addition to its clinical impact, NAFLD has an impact on patient-reported outcomes [16]. In fact, recent data suggest that NAFLD patients may have a significant impairment of their physical health as measured by two patient-reported quality of life measurement tools, namely, the Short Form-36 (SF-36) and the Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire (CLDQ) [17]. Finally, NAFLD has been shown to have an important economic impact on healthcare utilization [16]. In a recent study of Medicare NAFLD patients, the mean yearly inflation-adjusted charges from the outpatient setting increased from $2624±$3308 in 2005 to $3608±$5132 in 2010 in dollars of 2010 [18]. In a follow-up study of both outpatient and inpatient Medicare resource utilization, the enormous impact of NAFLD was reiterated and the median total hospital charges for NAFLD patients was $36,289 in 2010 [19].




Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are heterogeneous group of chemicals harmful to humans. In Finland the main exposure routes are the consumption of fatty fish [10] and house dust [11, 12]. Production and use of many POPs has been banned by international treaties. Decreasing time trends of exposure have been observed in the Nordic Countries e.g. for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) since 1960’s and 1970’s [13], for polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) since 1990’s [14] and for perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) since 2000’s [15]. Due to their lipophilicity POP are stored in humans primarily in adipose tissue and also in the liver [16], but animal and some human data indicate that dioxin-like compounds are also selectively sequestrated to liver [16, 17]. Contrary to other POPs, PFAAs are not lipophilic and they have been shown to bind to proteins in blood and especially in the liver of animals [18] and to various protein rich tissues also in humans [19].

In rats single high oral dose of certain PCBs [20] and OCPs [21] increases deposition of triglycerides to liver. These effects may also depend on the diet. For example, in rats POP contaminated salmon oil (but not decontaminated) caused hepatosteatosis [22], while in mice POP contaminated whale meat did not [23]. PCBs have also been proposed to act as a “second hit” driving steatosis to NASH in mice exposed to high fat diet [24]. Regarding PFAAs, hepotomegaly is commonly observed as a sign of hepatotoxicity in rodents and nonhuman primates [18].

In humans serum levels of certain lipophilic POPs have been associated with NAFLD related conditions (e.g. T2D and obesity). Regarding T2D, reviews of cross-sectional studies suggest/support a positive association for certain organochlorine POPs, such as trans-nonachlor, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE), and PCBs [25, 26]. A recent meta-analysis of seven existing prospective studies indicated towards the temporal precedence for hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and total PCBs, but the data was insufficient to establish causality [27]. Regarding obesity, a current review concluded that OC pesticides (especially p,p′-DDE) tend to be positively associated or not associated with obesity, but PCBs have also shown inverse associations in many studies [28]. Two prospective studies have been conducted. One study among young adults observed that p,p′-DDE and PCBs with ≥7 chlorines had inverted U-shaped association with increased body mass index in 18 years follow-up [29]. In another study among elderly adults low-dose exposure to less chlorinated PCBs, p,p′-DDE, and dioxins were associated with the development of abdominal obesity in 5 years follow-up [30]. In addition, POPs and obesity together have a synergistic association with T2D or insulin resistance [31, 32]. Regarding NAFLD itself, an increase in serum PCB levels was associated with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevation, a proxy marker of NAFLD among general adult population (NHANES 2003–2004) [33]. To support an interaction with insulin resistance there was a positive association between PFOA and ALT and γ-GT especially in obese and insulin resistant individuals with or without metabolic syndrome in NHANES 1999–2000 and 2003–2004 [34]. Experimental studies suggest that POPs may activate nuclear receptors including aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), pregnane X receptor (PXR) and constitutive androstane receptor (CAR). Through these receptors POPs may induce the regulation of genes involved in the inflammatory pathway, mitochondrial function, lipid oxidation, and lipogenesis, thereby contributing to development of insulin resistance and obesity [22, 28].


Mapping soil micronutrients

Soils vary widely in their micronutrient content and in their ability to supply micronutrients in quantities sufficient for optimal crop growth. Soils deficient in their ability to supply micronutrients to crops are alarmingly widespread across the globe, and this problem is aggravated by the fact that many modern cultivars of major crops are highly sensitive to low micronutrient levels. Original geologic substrate and subsequent geochemical and pedogenic regimes determine total levels of micronutrients in soils. Total levels are rarely indicative of plant availability, however, because availability depends on soil pH, organic matter content, adsorptive surfaces, and other physical, chemical, and biological conditions in the rhizosphere. Micronutrient availability to plants can be measured in direct uptake experiments, or estimated with techniques that correlate quantities of micronutrients extracted chemically from soils to plant uptake and response to micronutrient fertilization. Rational management of micronutrient fertility and toxicity requires an understanding of how total and plant-available soil micronutrients vary across the land. A variety of approaches have been used to survey and map the geographic distribution of soil micronutrient content and availability at scales ranging from global to sites within single production fields. Soil micronutrient maps covering large areas improve our understanding of the nature and extent of micronutrient problems, and aid in determining their relationships with climate, soil properties, and soil genetic characteristics determined at similar scales, for example, Soil Taxonomy to the order, sub-order, or great group levels. Intermediate scale maps can be useful in delineating specific areas where deficiencies or toxicities are likely for agriculture, and in determining localized soil characteristics that may be associated with such problems. Highly detailed maps of soil micronutrient content and availability in individual fields are being developed for site-specific precision agriculture. Soil micronutrient maps have fostered discovery of relationships between soil micronutrient content and availability and some human and livestock health problems such as goiter, Keshan and Kaschin–Beck diseases, and cancer. Advances including the global positioning system (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectrometry, geostatistics, and precision agriculture facilitate soil micronutrient mapping and provide quantitative support for decision and policy making to improve agricultural approaches to balanced micronutrient nutrition.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Diabetic Retinopathy Risk Drops With Diet Rich in Marine PUFAs


Eating at least two weekly servings of oily fish, rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), can help middle-aged and older people with type 2 diabetes reduce their risk for diabetic retinopathy, suggests a post hoc analysis of a major diet trial.

After adjusting for factors including age, sex, and intervention group, researchers from the PREDIMED trial found that participants who were 55 years or older and consumed at least 500 mg/day of omega-3 PUFAs showed a 48% reduced risk for incident diabetic retinopathy compared with those who consumed less than 500 mg/day (hazard ratio, 0.52; P = .001).

"Higher risk reductions were observed in participants with hypertension, those with diabetes of greater than 5 years' duration, and those treated with insulin at baseline," according to the report from Aleix Sala-Vila, DPharm, PhD, a researcher at CIBER-Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición, Institut d'investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues, published online August 18 in JAMA Ophthalmology.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Menopause Guidelines Update HT Safety Evidence


Hormone therapy (HT) continues to be the most effective treatment for menopause symptoms such as vasomotor symptoms and urogenital atrophy, according to updated guidelines on managing women's overall midlife health from the International Menopause Society.

Because the risk–benefit ratio differs for perimenopausal women compared with older, postmenopausal women, "[Menopausal HT (MHT)] must be individualized and tailored according to symptoms and the need for prevention, as well as personal and family history, results of relevant investigations, the woman's preferences and expectations," write Rodney J. Baber, MD, from the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues from the International Menopause Society Writing Group.

"Consideration of MHT should be part of an overall strategy including lifestyle recommendations regarding diet, exercise, smoking cessation and safe levels of alcohol consumption for maintaining the health of peri- and postmenopausal women," the authors write.

The recommendations appeared in Climacteric, along with a revised consensus statement on HT. Various major menopause and endocrine medical societies, including the North American Menopause Society and the Endocrine Society, endorse the consensus statement.