Dr. Bray Links

Friday, June 30, 2017

'Alarming' rat lungworm parasite spreading through Florida, researchers warn

A parasite that can cause meningitis in humans and animals is spreading throughout the state of Florida, with health officials fearing that it may be in other areas throughout the southern U.S.

The parasitic roundworm, known as rat lungworm, is native to Hawaii and tropical locations, and while small studies have previously placed it in southern Florida, University of Florida researchers call their latest findings "alarming."

In their study, which was published in PLoS ONE, the researchers tested rats and snails from 18 counties around the state. Samples from Hillsborough, Orange, Alachua, St. Johns and Leon all tested positive for the parasite.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Patients With Mental Disorders Get Half Of All Opioid Prescriptions

Adults with a mental illness receive more than 50 percent of the 115 million opioid prescriptions in the United States annually, according to a study released Monday. The results prompted researchers to suggest that improving pain management for people with mental health problems "is critical to reduce national dependency on opioids."

People with mental health disorders represent 16 percent of the U.S. population.

The findings are worrisome, the researchers reported. They had expected that physicians were more conservative in prescribing these painkillers to people with mental illness.

"We are prescribing way too much opioids," said Dr. Brian Sites, an anesthesiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire and one of the study's researchers. "And that prescription behavior is resulting in significant morbidity in the country."


California to list glyphosate as cancer-causing

Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co's (MON.N) popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sick Building: Fungi Release Toxin Directly Into Air, Study Finds

 Toxins from mold can aerosolize directly into the air, which may help explain one cause of sick building syndrome, French researchers said Friday.

Mold growing in buildings can make people sick, especially people who are allergic to various fungi. It's also known that various molds and fungi produce mycotoxins — chemicals that can sicken and even kill people and animals. 


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Probiotics Promising for Mild to Moderate Depression

Probiotics may be effective in reducing core depressive symptoms in treatment-naive patients with a mild to moderate form of the disorder, results of a new pilot study suggest.

Investigators led by Caroline Wallace, PhD candidate, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, found that symptoms of mood, anhedonia, and sleep disturbance were significantly reduced with probiotic therapy after just 4 weeks, with results maintained at 8 weeks.

The findings are of particular interest because probiotics are not associated with any of the adverse effects of current antidepressant therapies and can be safely taken over long periods.

These results, the investigators note, "suggest that probiotics may be effective in alleviating depressive symptoms such as mood, anhedonia, and sleep quality."


Antioxidant in Broccoli May Help Fight Diabetes

An antioxidant found in broccoli, called sulforaphane, may provide a new option for treating type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online June 14 in Science Translational Medicine.

"We identified a substance called sulforaphane that we showed reduces the exaggerated glucose production from the liver, which is a central mechanism in type 2 diabetes," lead author Anders Rosengren, MD, PhD, of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, commented to Medscape Medical News.

The work is the first to show that sulforaphane targets increased glucose production by the liver in type 2 diabetes.


Friday, June 16, 2017

A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’ trial)


The possible therapeutic impact of dietary changes on existing mental illness is largely unknown. Using a randomised controlled trial design, we aimed to investigate the efficacy of a dietary improvement program for the treatment of major depressive episodes.

'SMILES' was a 12-week, parallel-group, single blind, randomised controlled trial of an adjunctive dietary intervention in the treatment of moderate to severe depression. The intervention consisted of seven individual nutritional consulting sessions delivered by a clinical dietician. The control condition comprised a social support protocol to the same visit schedule and length. Depression symptomatology was the primary endpoint, assessed using the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes included remission and change of symptoms, mood and anxiety. Analyses utilised a likelihood-based mixed-effects model repeated measures (MMRM) approach. The robustness of estimates was investigated through sensitivity analyses.

We assessed 166 individuals for eligibility, of whom 67 were enrolled (diet intervention, n = 33; control, n = 34). Of these, 55 were utilising some form of therapy: 21 were using psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy combined; 9 were using exclusively psychotherapy; and 25 were using only pharmacotherapy. There were 31 in the diet support group and 25 in the social support control group who had complete data at 12 weeks. The dietary support group demonstrated significantly greater improvement between baseline and 12 weeks on the MADRS than the social support control group, t(60.7) = 4.38, p < 0.001, Cohen's d = –1.16. Remission, defined as a MADRS score <10, was achieved for 32.3% (n = 10) and 8.0% (n = 2) of the intervention and control groups, respectively (χ 2 (1) = 4.84, p = 0.028); number needed to treat (NNT) based on remission scores was 4.1 (95% CI of NNT 2.3–27.8). A sensitivity analysis, testing departures from the missing at random (MAR) assumption for dropouts, indicated that the impact of the intervention was robust to violations of MAR assumptions.

These results indicate that dietary improvement may provide an efficacious and accessible treatment strategy for the management of this highly prevalent mental disorder, the benefits of which could extend to the management of common co-morbidities.


Yes, Your Sleep Schedule Is Making You Sick - NYTimes.com

The clock in your brain doesn't just take cues from light, but from the hormone melatonin as well. Every night, about two to three hours before you conk out, your brain starts to secrete melatonin in response to darkness. Taking a melatonin supplement in the evening will advance your internal clock and make it possible to fall asleep earlier; taking it in the morning will do the opposite. (You might assume this would make you even more tired during the day but it won't; you could think of it as tricking your brain into believing you slept longer.)

So now you know the fix for jet lag: Travel east and you'll need morning light and evening melatonin; go west and you'll need evening light and morning melatonin.

The same principle tells us what to do for night owls, the 5 percent to 10 percent of adults who don't start releasing melatonin until late. If they try to sleep at a normal hour, like 11 or midnight, they will have "insomnia," because they don't feel sleepy yet — their natural circadian rhythm is delayed.


The Best Exercise

So researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., recently conducted an experiment on the cells of 72 healthy but sedentary men and women who were 30 or younger or older than 64. After baseline measures were established for their aerobic fitness, their blood-sugar levels and the gene activity and mitochondrial health in their muscle cells, the volunteers were randomly assigned to a particular exercise regimen.

Some of them did vigorous weight training several times a week; some did brief interval training three times a week on stationary bicycles (pedaling hard for four minutes, resting for three and then repeating that sequence three more times); some rode stationary bikes at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a few times a week and lifted weights lightly on other days. A fourth group, the control, did not exercise.

After 12 weeks, the lab tests were repeated. In general, everyone experienced improvements in fitness and an ability to regulate blood sugar.

There were some unsurprising differences: The gains in muscle mass and strength were greater for those who exercised only with weights, while interval training had the strongest influence on endurance.

But more unexpected results were found in the biopsied muscle cells. Among the younger subjects who went through interval training, the activity levels had changed in 274 genes, compared with 170 genes for those who exercised more moderately and 74 for the weight lifters. Among the older cohort, almost 400 genes were working differently now, compared with 33 for the weight lifters and only 19 for the moderate exercisers.


    •High-intensity interval training improved age-related decline in muscle mitochondria
    •Training adaptations occurred with increased gene transcripts and ribosome proteins
    •Changes to RNA with training had little overlap with corresponding protein abundance
    •Enhanced ribosomal abundance and protein synthesis explain gains in mitochondria


The molecular transducers of benefits from different exercise modalities remain incompletely defined. Here we report that 12 weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval (HIIT), resistance (RT), and combined exercise training enhanced insulin sensitivity and lean mass, but only HIIT and combined training improved aerobic capacity and skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration. HIIT revealed a more robust increase in gene transcripts than other exercise modalities, particularly in older adults, although little overlap with corresponding individual protein abundance was noted. HIIT reversed many age-related differences in the proteome, particularly of mitochondrial proteins in concert with increased mitochondrial protein synthesis. Both RT and HIIT enhanced proteins involved in translational machinery irrespective of age. Only small changes of methylation of DNA promoter regions were observed. We provide evidence for predominant exercise regulation at the translational level, enhancing translational capacity and proteome abundance to explain phenotypic gains in muscle mitochondrial function and hypertrophy in all ages.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

More Evidence Links High Cholesterol to Lower Parkinson's Risk

Higher levels of total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) are associated with a decreased risk for Parkinson's disease (PD) in men, a large observational study shows.

The results represent the latest research linking higher cholesterol with lower risk for PD.

The new findings suggest that a "one-size-fits-all" approach in clinical practice "overlooks the possible benefits" of higher serum cholesterol levels in some patients, study author Chava Peretz, PhD, professor, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel, told Medscape Medical News.

"Tailoring individualized therapeutic strategies based on stratifying risk and personal background is important," he said.

Dr Peretz's research team presented their study at the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders (MDS) 2017.

Higher levels of serum cholesterol are well-established risk factors for coronary artery disease and stroke, but whether cholesterol levels have a similar effect in PD "remains elusive," said Dr Peretz.

"Previous studies on cholesterol and PD risk ignored the changes in cholesterol levels over time, considered only a fixed one-time cholesterol measure, and used small samples. Our study is a big-data study that included a large-scale cohort with a long follow-up time."


Monday, June 12, 2017

Pet Fooled

Pet Fooled tells the story that many of us are familiar with – the madness of pet food ignored by/endorsed by regulatory authorities…but it is so shocking to see in one sitting. I’ve previewed the film multiple times over the years of its making, and each time – through all progressive steps of the film, I can’t stop watching it. It draws me in, even though I know the subject matter very well. Producer Kohl Harrington did a fabulous job.

Featured in the film are veterinarians Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Barbara Royal. And I’m excited to say…I’m in the film too! Pet Fooled includes an interview of Dr. Dan McChesney of FDA too. Followers of this site might remember the name Dr. Dan McChesney. Dr. McChesney is the FDA representative that openly stated (in a March 2016 meeting with TAPF) the FDA will continue to allow diseased or dead/non-slaughtered animals in pet food (even though federal law prohibits it). Now you’ll be able to put a face to the name.



**now on Netflix**

Friday, June 9, 2017

Low-Fat Dairy Linked to Increased Parkinson's Risk

Consumption of low-fat dairy products, such as skim and low-fat milk and frozen yogurt, is associated with an increased risk for Parkinson's disease (PD), new research suggests.

Compared with people who consumed less than 1 serving of low-fat dairy per day, those who ate at least 3 servings of low-fat dairy per day were about 30% more likely to develop Parkinson's disease, the researchers report in a paper published online June 8 in Neurology.

The finding supports previous epidemiologic investigation into the link between dairy products and PD, said lead author, Katherine C. Hughes, ScD, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

"There had been a number of previous epidemiologic studies regarding this general topic of dairy intake and risk of Parkinson's disease, including an earlier analysis in our cohorts from the Nurses' Health Study [NHS] and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study [HPFS]," Dr Hughes told Medscape Medical News.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

'Individualize' Prostate Cancer Screening, Says USPSTF

The main change in the new guidance for prostate cancer screening is the emphasis that the decision of whether or not to be tested must be individualized for each man aged 55 to 69 years.

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) previously recommended against routine screening using the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, saying that potential harms outweigh benefits.

That recommendation – issued in 2012 – was met with outrage, especially from urologists, who predicted that prostate cancer cases would be diagnosed at a more advanced stage and that prostate cancer deaths would increase.

Now the task force has changed its tune. The new draft recommendations –issued on April 11 and open for public comments until May 8― divide men into two age groups.

For men aged 55-69 years, the task force says that the potential benefits and harms of PSA-based screening are closely balanced. The decision about whether to be screened should be an individual one and should be discussed with clinicians.

This is a C recommendation, which according to USPSTF definitions means "there is at least moderate certainty that the net benefit is small."


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Are anorexia and bulimia only in young women?

A shocking and intimate observational documentary which finds out why the modern day mum and housewife is starving, binge-eating and making themselves sick. Behind closed doors these women are waging a secret war with food. This film enters the secret world of four successful and intelligent women as they struggle to overcome their eating disorders and finally attempt to put their fears about food behind them.

Anorexia and bulimia were once more commonly associated with teenage girls but are now on the increase among older women. This film goes into the seemingly perfect world of four housewives who are struggling with the fallout from their eating disorders.

They may seem to have it all with their nice houses, perfect children and middle class lives, but behind the wisteria, they are having a constant battle with their food and eating.

Jane in her early fifties now has the bone density of a 92 year old; 36-year-old Zoe has turned to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to reclaim her life from anorexia; bubbly Tracey is bulimic and spends her nights binging and vomiting in secret from her children; and young mum Georgia tries hard to lose her baby weight, but will her obsession with weight see her falling back into the anorexic danger zone?

Monday, June 5, 2017

Functional Forum - Evolution of Neurology

The Evolution of Medicine is thrilled to announce that for its June 2017 Functional Forum, we’ll be returning to the Institute for Functional Medicine’s Annual International Conference. On Monday, June 5th, we’ll be presenting "The Evolution of Neurology." The theme for IFM’s Annual Conference is "The Dynamic Brain: Revealing the Potential of Neuroplasticity to Reverse Neurodegeneration."The conference runs June 1st through June 3rd and we’ll be bringing footage from the conference as well as the Evolution of Medicine pre-party on May 31st. Please join us in person if you can, all proceeds will be donated to accelerate the research in this critical area.

This conference comes at an interesting time for neurology. We will be hearing from speakers who are conducting the most exciting research in the field. The keynote, Dr. Dale Bredesen, of the Buck Institute, has successfully, with his Functional Medicine protocol, reversed MCI – mild cognitive impairment, as well as, Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Bredesen will be joined by luminaries from the field of evolved neurology, along with those who are working on the front lines of care, including Dr. Kara Fitzgerald, and Dr. Mark Menolascino. Dr. Fitzgerald, an expert in the area of methylation, will join us to talk about how methylation affects the brain. Dr. Menolascino has been treating patients with these issues for two decades using Functional Medicine and will be sharing some of his best practices. Join us June 5th as we accelerate the evolution of neurology!

Featured Speakers:
Dale Bredesen, MD
Mark Menolascino, MD
Kara Fitzgerald, ND

Fast food, Fat profits: Obesity in America

Obesity in America has reached a crisis point. Two out of every three Americans are overweight, one out of every three is obese. One in three are expected to have diabetes by 2050.

Minorities have been even more profoundly affected. African-Americans have a 50 per cent higher prevalence of obesity and Hispanics 25 per cent higher when compared with whites.

How did the situation get so out of hand?

On this week's episode of Fault Lines, Josh Rushing explores the world of cheap food for Americans living at the margins.

What opportunities do people have to eat healthy? Who is responsible for food deserts and processed food in American schools?

Fault Lines finds food revolutions taking place and speaks with the people that are fighting back.

People featured in this film: Marion Nestle, Marlene Schwartz, John Bode, Nelson Eusebio, J. Justin Wilson, Dr. Olajide Williams, Lauren Von Der Pool, Julie Paradis, Cathal Armstrong, Ed Bruske,

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Metformin vs Myoinositol in Obese PCOS Patients

Recently, attention has been given to the role of inositol–phosphoglycan (IPG) mediators in insulin action. Molecular and animal studies showed that D-chiro-inositol deficiency and an imbalance with its precursor myoinositol (MYO) are directly related to the insulin resistance.[9] In particular, the stereoisomer MYO is an important constituent of the follicular microenvironment, where it seems to play an important role in both nuclear and cytoplasmic oocyte development. It was demonstrated that in human follicular fluids, higher concentrations of MYO are related to a better quality of oocytes.[10]

Some authors have experimented with MYO supplementation in both obese and lean PCOS patients, reporting varying degrees of improvement in clinical, hormonal and metabolic features of the syndrome. However, previous reports in PCOS subjects exclusively evaluated the clinical effects of formulations containing MYO plus folic acid.[11] In addition, no direct comparisons with other insulin sensitizing compounds, regarding the effects on clinical and biochemical characteristics of the syndrome, are available in literature. The only published study comparing MYO and metformin focused on the ovulation and pregnancy rates in a population of infertile PCOS women.[12]


Prenatal, Early-Life Toxin, Nutrient Exposure Tied to Autism

Differences in the uptake of multiple toxic and essential elements during the second and third trimesters and early postnatal periods have been linked to an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), according to new research.

The analysis of baby teeth from twins discordant for autism showed that for siblings who developed ASD, uptake of the neurotoxin lead was higher and uptake of the essential nutrients manganese and zinc was lower.

"This study identifies environmental factors [for ASD] that are potentially modifiable," lead investigator Manish Arora, PhD, vice chair and associate professor, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, told Medscape Medical News.

"The fact that we found differences in metal uptake between twins, even identical twins, is important because it shows that the underlying causes of autism have a significant environmental component in addition to genetic risk factors," Dr Arora added.


Harmed by Sunscreen? What Parents Need to Know

It's been more than 3 weeks, and 14-month-old Kyla Fudge is still recovering from a painful, blistering rash that spread over her cheeks and nose, right where her mom had spread a palmful of Banana Boat Kids Free spray sunscreen.

Her story has incensed parents across the internet. Her mom understands why.

"Nobody, adult or child, deserves to go through that. That was insane. That was the hardest couple of weeks of our lives," says Kyla's mom, Rebecca Cannon, 32, of Newfoundland, Canada.

The family had gone to visit Kyla's aunt and cousins. The older kids wanted to play outside. The day was overcast and slightly chilly, but the sun was peeking in and out from behind the clouds, so Cannon dressed her daughter in a coat and hat and dabbed some of the Banana Boat spray on her nose and cheeks, where her face was exposed.

They'd never used the product before, but Rebecca read the label. It said it was safe for babies over the age of 6 months.


California Condors and Lead Poisoning

How does lead poisoning happen in condors and other scavenging birds anyway? Scavengers eat many different types of animals, some of which are shot with lead projectiles. Animals either left behind in the field, such as ground squirrels and coyotes, or animals shot and unable to be recovered, contain lead fragments left behind in the shot animal. Animals shot with shotgun pellets are also available to scavengers as well as waterfowl depending on where the shooting takes place. Condors and other wildlife often ingest large chunks of flesh and sometimes bone and cannot distinguish between a tiny lead fragment from a bullet versus a pebble for example. Once ingested, the digestive system interacts with the lead bullet which leaches the lead into the bloodstream of the animal that ingested it. Lead in blood rises dramatically after ingestion of a lead object and within days the animals feels the effects. Lead poisoning is an awful way to die because it paralyzes the digestive system often killing the animal slowly through starvation. If any of this is new to you or you are skeptical, please do your own research and start by reviewing the links, video, etc. at the bottom of this page.

The literature linking lead poisoning in condors to lead from spent ammunition is strong. In fact, we have contributed some of it. But what really convinces us is the direct evidence we have seen during our 15 years of managing the central California Condor population. As a recent example, a 10 year-old male condor (#318, Figure 1) died in November 2012 after ingesting a lead .22 caliber bullet, presumably while feeding on a carcass. The bird was found in San Benito County barely alive and unable to feed or use its legs to stand. Despite valiant efforts, veterinarians could not save him. Cause of death, through necropsy, was determined to be lead toxicosis. A radiograph showed multiple metal fragments and a bullet-shaped object in the digestive tract (Figure 2). The object was removed and determined to be a .22 caliber lead bullet (Figure 3). 


Optimal Gut Environment

Restore is a new generation, earth-derived supplement that promotes an optimal gut environment. It is not a probiotic. It is not a prebiotic. Rather, it is a carbon rich, alkaline liquid, with lignite derived trace organics and essential trace amino acids. With 70% of the immune system located in the gut, this optimal gut environment leads to great gut health. Restore is the first dietary supplement that delivers a balanced family of  bacterial metabolites to promote a healthy firewall of tight junctions in the gut wall and blood brain barrier. Restore provides the communication network to support the return of biodiversity to the gut ecosystem that supports normal immune function.

The hallmark of Restore is that it is based in science. Our research has shown Restore to be non-toxic and to support the tight junction cells of the gut lining.