Dr. Bray Links

Monday, August 28, 2017

Dark Hair Dye and Chemical Relaxers Linked to Breast Cancer



The study of 4,285 African-American and white women was the first to find a significant increase in breast cancer risk among black women who used dark shades of hair dye and white women who used chemical relaxers.

Black women who reported using dark hair dye had a 51 percent increased risk of breast cancer compared to black women who did not, while white women who reported using chemical relaxers had a 74 percent increased risk of breast cancer, the study found.

The risk of breast cancer was even higher for white women who regularly dyed their hair dark shades and also used chemical relaxers, and it more than doubled for white dual users compared to white women who used neither dark dye nor chemical straighteners.

The association between relaxers and breast cancer in white women surprised lead author Adana Llanos, an epidemiologist at the Rutgers School of Public Health in Piscataway, New Jersey, although she worried enough about the safety of hair relaxers in African-American women like herself to stop using them years ago.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/882833

Sunday, August 27, 2017

HLA-DQ:gluten tetramer test in blood gives better detection of coeliac patients than biopsy after 14-day gluten challenge

A 14-day gluten challenge was not enough to establish significant mucosal architectural changes in majority of patients with coeliac disease (sensitivity ≈25%–50%). Increase in CD4+ effector-memory gut-homing HLA-DQ:gluten tetramer-binding T cells in blood 6 days after gluten challenge is a more sensitive and less invasive biomarker that should be validated in a larger study.

http://gut.bmj.com/content/early/2017/08/04/gutjnl-2017-314461

HPHPA and Clostridia


The dysbiosis marker 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-3-hydroxypropionic acid (HPHPA), the predominant dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid isomer in urine, is also measured in the Organic Acids Test offered by The Great Plains Laboratory. This marker was proven by Dr. William Shaw to be due to a combination of human metabolism and the metabolism by a group of Clostridia species, including but not limited to C. difficile.

HPHPA has been one of the most useful clinical markers in recent medical history. Treatment with metronidazole, vancomycin, or high doses of probiotics of individuals with high urinary values has led to significant clinical improvements or remissions of psychosis.

The biochemical role of Clostridia in altering brain neurotransmitters is due to the fact that Clostridia metabolites inactivate dopamine beta-hydroxylase, leading to an excess production of brain dopamine and reduced levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Excess dopamine is associated with abnormal or psychotic behavior. This imbalance can be demonstrated in the Organic Acids Urine Test by observing the ratio of the major dopamine metabolite, homovanillic acid (HVA), to that of the major norepinephrine metabolite, vanillylmandelic acid (VMA) when the Clostridia marker HPHPA is elevated. After treatment with metronidazole or vancomycin, HPHPA values return to normal along with normal ratios of HVA/VMA and normal behavior.

The highest value of HPHPA was measured in the urine of a young woman with first onset of schizophrenia. Treatment of Clostridia bacteria resulted in loss of auditory hallucinations. In autism, children with gastrointestinal Clostridia commonly exhibit aggressive behavior, agitation, obsessive compulsive behavior, and irritability. They may have very foul stools with diarrhea with mucus in the stools although some individuals may be constipated. Stool testing for Clostridia is usually of limited usefulness since most Clostridia species are considered probiotics or beneficial. There are about 100 species of Clostridia that are commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract. Only seven of these species are producers of HPHPA including C. sporogenes, C.botulinum, C. caloritolerans, C. angenoti, C. ghoni, C.bifermentans, C. difficile, and C. sordellii while C. tetani,C. sticklandii, C. lituseburense, C. subterminale, C.putifaciens, C. propionicum, C. malenomenatum, C.limosum, C. lentoputrescens, C. tetanomorphum, C.coclearium, C. histolyticum, C. aminovalericum, and C.sporospheroides do not produce compounds that are converted to HPHPA.

The same article by Dr. Shaw indicates that 3,4-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (DHPPA) is a marker for beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract such as Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria, and E. coli. The exception is one species of Clostridia orbiscindens that can convert the flavanoids luteolin and eriodictyol, that occur only in a relatively small food group that includes parsley, thyme, celery, and sweet red pepper to 3,4-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid. The quantity of C. orbiscindens in the gastrointestinal tract is negligible (approximately 0.1% of the total bacteria) compared to the predominant flora of Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria, and E. coli (7). DHPPA is an antioxidant that lowers cholesterol, reduces proinflammatory cytokines, and protects against pathogenic bacteria. 2,3-Dihydroxyphenypropionic acid, a different isomer has been claimed to be a metabolite of Pseudomonas species but the literature indicates that this compound is formed by the in vitro action of these species on quinoline, a component of coal tar, a substance missing from the diet of virtually all humans. 

http://integrativemedicineformentalhealth.com/articles/shaw_hphpa.html

Saturday, August 26, 2017

More Young People Are Dying of Colon Cancer - NYTimes.com

While rates of cancers tied to human papillomavirus, or HPV, have been rising in recent years, that virus causes cancers mainly of the cervix, back of the throat and anus, and scientists do not believe sexual behaviors or HPV are driving the increase in colon or rectal cancer (anal and rectal cancers are distinct).

Obesity, a diet high in red or processed meats and lack of physical activity are among the factors tied to increased risk, but new research is looking at other possible causes. One recent study found, for example, that prolonged use of antibiotics during adulthood was associated with a greater risk of developing precancerous polyps, possibly because antibiotics can alter the makeup of the gut microbiome.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/22/well/live/more-young-people-are-dying-of-colon-cancer.html

Toxic metal hip replacements could cause Alzheimer's | Daily Mail Online

Doctors are being urged to check for signs of dementia or heart disease in hip implant patients.

There are concerns that the metal-on-metal devices are leaching toxic chemicals into the blood which cause serious health complications.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency announced last month that patients would be called in for x-rays and blood tests to check for adverse reactions.

Now a spokesman for the watchdog said it was also keeping a 'weather eye' on a possible link to heart attacks and dementia.

Dr Neil McGuire, clinical director of medical devices at the MHRA, said he wanted to establish whether cobalt leached from the implants was causing adverse effects.
Patients with the 'metal on metal' hip implants will be advised to have X-rays and undergo blood tests due to fears of their toxicity

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4682268/Fresh-warning-toxic-metal-hip-replacements.html

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Why You’re Not Losing Weight On Your Diet | Time.com

Another area that has some scientists excited is the question of how weight gain is linked to chemicals we are exposed to every day--things like the bisphenol A (BPA) found in linings of canned-food containers and cash-register receipts, the flame retardants in sofas and mattresses, the pesticide residues on our food and the phthalates found in plastics and cosmetics. What these chemicals have in common is their ability to mimic human hormones, and some scientists worry they may be wreaking havoc on the delicate endocrine system, driving fat storage.

"The old paradigm was that poor diet and lack of exercise are underpinning obesity, but now we understand that chemical exposures are an important third factor in the origin of the obesity epidemic," says Dr. Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine and population health at New York University's School of Medicine. "Chemicals can disrupt hormones and metabolism, which can contribute to disease and disability."

Another frontier scientists are exploring is how the microbiome--the trillions of bacteria that live inside and on the surface of the human body--may be influencing how the body metabolizes certain foods. Dr. Eran Elinav and Eran Segal, researchers for the Personalized Nutrition Project at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, believe the variation in diet success may lie in the way people's microbiomes react to different foods.

http://time.com/4793832/the-weight-loss-trap/

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Japanese fungus spreading in UK hospitals - BBC News

What is Candida auris?

It belongs to a family of fungi or yeasts that live on the skin and inside the human body.

A more common "cousin" in this family is Candida albicans, which causes the yeast infection thrush.

Candida auris was first identified in 2009 in a patient from Japan.

Hospital outbreaks have since been reported in the United States, India, Pakistan, Venezuela, Colombia, Israel, Oman, South Africa and Spain, as well as the UK.


http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40934190

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Medicare to cover supervised exercise for heart disease

Following a request from cardiologists, the CMS will now offer national Medicare coverage of supervised exercise therapy for treating peripheral artery disease

The agency said in a coverage decision released Thursday that research has shown supervised exercise therapy can help alleviate common symptoms of the cardiovascular disease, including pain and discomfort in a patient's legs.

Peripheral artery disease occurs when plaque buildup narrows the arteries outside the heart. It affects 12% to 20% of Americans age 60 and older, and the incidence of the disease increases considerably with age.

Without exercise, individuals with peripheral artery disease could see their condition worsen to the point they lose functional independence.

"Medicare beneficiaries, a significant portion of which have peripheral artery disease will benefit considerably from participating in supervised exercise therapy sessions," American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said in a statement. "Evidence shows this therapy can improve quality of life for patients and enhance clinical outcomes."

Supervised exercise is a non-invasive treatment option, which can alleviate leg pain during exercise and improve a patient's walking distance, according to the American Heart Association.



http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170530/NEWS/170539995

Monday, August 7, 2017

Take the Generic, Patients Are Told. Until They Are Not. - NYTimes.com

Consumers have grown accustomed to being told by insurers — and middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers — that they must give up their brand-name drugs in favor of cheaper generics. But some are finding the opposite is true, as pharmaceutical companies squeeze the last profits from products that are facing cheaper generic competition.

Out of public view, corporations are cutting deals that give consumers little choice but to buy brand-name drugs — and sometimes pay more at the pharmacy counter than they would for generics.

The practice is not easy to track, and has been going on sporadically for years. But several clues suggest it is becoming more common.


https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/06/health/prescription-drugs-brand-name-generic.html

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Exercise Top Lifestyle Factor for Alzheimer's Prevention?

 A growing body of research suggests that physical activity not only improves executive function and cerebral blood flow but may also reduce amyloid and tau levels in the brain.

The new findings were presented here at Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2017.

Much of the focus of this year's AAIC meeting was on lifestyle interventions – healthy eating, reduced stress, adequate sleep, and increased physical activity – to help prevent dementia. Some experts believe that of all lifestyle factors, exercise is tops when it comes to preserving cognition.

In recent years, the identification of biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) has made it possible to compare levels of amyloid-beta (Aβ) and tau ― both hallmarks of AD ― in those who are and those who are not physically active.

One new study presented here, led by Belinda M. Brown, PhD, School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia, evaluated the relationship between exercise levels and brain amyloid load in carriers of genetic mutations that cause autosomal-dominant AD.

The analysis included data from the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network for 139 presymptomatic mutation carriers. These patients are destined to develop AD and know approximately when they will start having symptoms.

From self-reports of exercise, the researchers categorized patients into those reporting fewer than 150 minutes per week of (low exercise) and those reporting 150 minutes or more per week (high exercise).

The researchers also had information on brain amyloid load, as quantified by Pittsburgh compound B positron-emission tomography (PiB PET). They stratified patients in order to investigate those with high brain amyloid levels (PiB+).

Compared to the high-exercise group, the low-exercise group was older (38.6 years vs 33.7 years) and had more depressive symptoms, as measured by the Geriatric Depression Scale (2.2 vs 1.4).

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/883781

Friday, August 4, 2017

Drinking Milk Is Linked to Parkinson’s Disease: Study | Time.com

Abbott and his team studied 449 brains and recorded the density of neurons in specific areas of the brain known to be affected by Parkinson's. They found that men who reported drinking more than two glasses of milk a day (16 oz) showed the thinnest nerve networks in these areas, suggesting compromised function of these nerves, compared to men who drank little or no milk. The milk drinkers also had residues of specific organochlorines called heptachlor epoxide.

Interestingly, by measuring when cells in motor nerve regions died, they also learned that the accumulation of heptachlor epoxide occurred before the cells were damaged, strongly hinting that the chemical was responsible for triggering the changes associated with Parkinson's.


http://time.com/4143358/milk-parkinsons-disease-pesticides/

Thursday, August 3, 2017

How Overeating May Contribute to a Metabolic "Traffic Jam" - Scientific American Blog Network

Around 15 years ago, the lab of David Kelley, MD, then at the University of Pittsburgh, had a hunch that what really matters for metabolic health might be the cell's ability to select the right fuel for the right physiological setting (i.e. fasting or feeding, exercise or not). They found that in individuals who where obese or had type II diabetes, their mitochondria had lost the capacity to make this decision. In other words, mitochondria were unable to efficiently direct traffic. This is known as metabolic inflexibility and it has been linked with numerous ailments such as obesity, heart disease, and disorders of the liver and ovaries.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/how-overeating-may-contribute-to-a-metabolic-traffic-jam/

Boosting Brain Ketone Metabolism: A New Approach to Alzheimer's


"The ketogenic diet has been used in epilepsy for almost 100 years and has been shown to reduce intractable seizures," Russell H. Swerdlow, MD, University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Center, Fairway, who presented the ketogenic diet study, told Medscape Medical News.

"Our results suggest it could also be useful in other forms of neurological disease like Alzheimer's, but it is not an easy diet to follow," he added. "The point of our study is that it helps to establish a principle that brain metabolism can be rescued by a fuel other than glucose."

Dr Cunnane noted that studies have shown glucose uptake into the brain frontal cortex to be 14% lower in cognitively healthy older people than in younger healthy people. Patients with early Alzheimer's have a greater deficit, with 20% to 30% less glucose uptake than cognitively normal older people.

"Anybody trying to function with 20% less brain glucose long term will suffer from brain exhaustion," he said. 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/883743

Depression in CAD Trumps All Other Risk Factors for Death

Depression and coronary artery disease are known to walk hand in hand, but a new study suggests that depression any time after a diagnosis of CAD is the strongest predictor of death[1].

Among 24,137 patients identified with significant CAD, a new depression diagnosis was associated with a twofold higher risk of all-cause death after multivariable adjustment, the investigators reported in the European Heart Journal Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes.

"It was stronger than any follow-up events, stronger than diabetes, stronger than smoking, sex, prior diagnosis of high blood pressure or depression, and even whether they had a heart attack," lead author Dr Heidi T May (Intermountain Heart Institute, Murray, UT) told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology. "I thought it would be a significant predictor, but I didn't anticipate it would be the strongest.

"I would think most people would find that amazing."


http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/883751

The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates - ProPublica

The box of prescription drugs had been forgotten in a back closet of a retail pharmacy for so long that some of the pills predated the 1969 moon landing. Most were 30 to 40 years past their expiration dates — possibly toxic, probably worthless.

But to Lee Cantrell, who helps run the California Poison Control System, the cache was an opportunity to answer an enduring question about the actual shelf life of drugs: Could these drugs from the bell-bottom era still be potent?

Cantrell called Roy Gerona, a University of California, San Francisco, researcher who specializes in analyzing chemicals. Gerona had grown up in the Philippines and had seen people recover from sickness by taking expired drugs with no apparent ill effects.

"This was very cool," Gerona says. "Who gets the chance of analyzing drugs that have been in storage for more than 30 years?"

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-myth-of-drug-expiration-dates