Dr. Bray Links

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Coffee sold in California could carry cancer warning labels | Fox News

A nonprofit group wants coffee manufacturers, distributors and retailers to post ominous warnings about a cancer-causing chemical stewing in every brew and has been presenting evidence in a Los Angeles courtroom to make its case.

The long-running lawsuit that resumed Monday claims Starbucks and about 90 other companies, including grocery stores and retail shops, failed to follow a state law requiring warning signs about hazardous chemicals found everywhere from household products to workplaces to the environment.

At the center of the dispute is acrylamide, a carcinogen found in cooked foods such as French fries that is also a natural byproduct of the coffee roasting process. The coffee industry has acknowledged the presence of the chemical but asserts it is at harmless levels and is outweighed by benefits from drinking coffee.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/09/26/coffee-sold-in-california-could-carry-cancer-warning-labels.html

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Garlic and Heart Disease

RESULTS: Garlic supplementation reduced blood pressure by 7-16 mm Hg (systolic) and 5-9 mm Hg (diastolic) (4 meta-analyses and 2 original studies). It reduced total cholesterol by 7.4-29.8 mg/dL (8 meta-analyses). The most consistent benefits were shown in studies that used aged garlic extract (AGE). A few small studies that used AGE also showed favorable effects on CAC, CRP, and PWV. Although garlic is generally safe, rare adverse reactions have been documented with limited causality established.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that garlic supplementation has the potential for cardiovascular protection based on risk factor reduction (hypertension and total cholesterol) and surrogate markers (CRP, PWV, and CAC) of atherosclerosis. Larger studies are warranted to evaluate these effects further.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Garlic+crp

Dietary Guidelines for Breast Cancer Patients: A Critical Review

Current dietary guidelines for breast cancer patients (BCPs) fail to address adequate dietary intakes of macro- and micronutrients that may improve patients' nutritional status. This review includes information from the PubMed and Biomed Central databases over the last 15 y concerning dietary guidelines for BCPs and the potential impact of a personalized, nutrient-specific diet on patients' nutritional status during and after antineoplastic treatment. Results indicated that BCPs should receive a nutritional assessment immediately after diagnosis. In addition, they should be encouraged to pursue and maintain a healthy body weight [body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2) 20-24.9], preserving their lean mass and avoiding an increase in fat mass. Therefore, after nutritional status diagnosis, a conservative energy restriction of 500-1000 kcal/d could be considered in the dietary intervention when appropriate. Based on the reviewed information, we propose a personalized nutrition intervention for BCPs during and after antineoplastic treatment. Specifications in the nutritional therapy should be based on the patients' nutritional status, dietary habits, schedule, activities, and cultural preferences. BCPs' daily energy intake should be distributed as follows: <30% fat/d (mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids), ∼55% carbohydrates (primarily whole foods such as oats, brown rice, and fruits), and 1.2-1.5 g protein ⋅ kg-1 ⋅ d-1 to avoid sarcopenic obesity. Findings suggest that 5-9 servings/d of fruits (∼150 g/serving) and vegetables (∼75 g/serving) should be encouraged. Garlic and cruciferous vegetables must also be part of the nutrition therapy. Adequate dietary intakes of food-based macro- and micronutrients rich in β-carotene and vitamins A, E, and C can both prevent deterioration in BCPs' nutritional status and improve their overall health and prognosis.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28710147

Sulforaphane and neuroinflammmation

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), characterized by both impaired communication and social interaction, and by stereotypic behavior, affects about 1 in 68, predominantly males. The medico-economic burdens of ASD are enormous, and no recognized treatment targets the core features of ASD. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial, young men (aged 13-27) with moderate to severe ASD received the phytochemical sulforaphane (n = 29)--derived from broccoli sprout extracts--or indistinguishable placebo (n = 15). The effects on behavior of daily oral doses of sulforaphane (50-150 µmol) for 18 wk, followed by 4 wk without treatment, were quantified by three widely accepted behavioral measures completed by parents/caregivers and physicians: the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), and Clinical Global Impression Improvement Scale (CGI-I). Initial scores for ABC and SRS were closely matched for participants assigned to placebo and sulforaphane. After 18 wk, participants receiving placebo experienced minimal change (<3.3%), whereas those receiving sulforaphane showed substantial declines (improvement of behavior): 34% for ABC (P < 0.001, comparing treatments) and 17% for SRS scores (P = 0.017). On CGI-I, a significantly greater number of participants receiving sulforaphane had improvement in social interaction, abnormal behavior, and verbal communication (P = 0.015-0.007). Upon discontinuation of sulforaphane, total scores on all scales rose toward pretreatment levels. Dietary sulforaphane, of recognized low toxicity, was selected for its capacity to reverse abnormalities that have been associated with ASD, including oxidative stress and lower antioxidant capacity, depressed glutathione synthesis, reduced mitochondrial function and oxidative phosphorylation, increased lipid peroxidation, and neuroinflammmation.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25313065

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The neurological significance of abnormal natural killer cell activity in chronic toxigenic mold exposures. - PubMed - NCBI

Toxigenic mold activities produce metabolites that are either broad-spectrum antibiotics or mycotoxins that are cytotoxic. Indoor environmental exposure to these toxigenic molds leads to adverse health conditions with the main outcome measure of frequent neuroimmunologic and behavioral consequences. One of the immune system disorders found in patients presenting with toxigenic mold exposure is an abnormal natural killer cell activity. This paper presents an overview of the neurological significance of abnormal natural killer cell (NKC) activity in chronic toxigenic mold exposure. A comprehensive review of the literature was carried out to evaluate and assess the conditions under which the immune system could be dysfunctionally interfered with leading to abnormal NKC activity and the involvement of mycotoxins in these processes. The functions, mechanism, the factors that influence NKC activities, and the roles of mycotoxins in NKCs were cited wherever necessary. The major presentations are headache, general debilitating pains, nose bleeding, fevers with body temperatures up to 40 degrees C (104 degrees F), cough, memory loss, depression, mood swings, sleep disturbances, anxiety, chronic fatigue, vertigo/dizziness, and in some cases, seizures. Although sleep is commonly considered a restorative process that is important for the proper functioning of the immune system, it could be disturbed by mycotoxins. Most likely, mycotoxins exert some rigorous effects on the circadian rhythmic processes resulting in sleep deprivation to which an acute and transient increase in NKC activity is observed. Depression, psychological stress, tissue injuries, malignancies, carcinogenesis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and experimental allergic encephalomyelitis could be induced at very low physiological concentrations by mycotoxin-induced NKC activity. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14625399

Clinical Diagnosis of the Dampness and Mold Hypersensitivity Syndrome: Review of the Literature and Suggested Diagnostic Criteria. - PubMed - NCBI

A great variety of non-specific symptoms may occur in patients living or working in moisture-damaged buildings. In the beginning, these symptoms are usually reversible, mild, and present irritation of mucosa and increased morbidity due to respiratory tract infections and asthma-like symptoms. Later, the disease may become chronic and a patient is referred to a doctor where the assessment of dampness and mold hypersensitivity syndrome (DMHS) often presents diagnostic challenges. Currently, unanimously accepted laboratory tests are not yet available. Therefore, the diagnosis of DMHS is clinical and is based on the patient's history and careful examination. In this publication, I reviewed contemporary knowledge on clinical presentations, laboratory methods, and clinical assessment of DMHS. From the literature, I have not found any proposed diagnostic clinical criteria. Therefore, I propose five clinical criteria to diagnose DMHS: (1) the history of mold exposure in water-damaged buildings, (2) increased morbidity to due infections, (3) sick building syndrome, (4) multiple chemical sensitivity, and (5) enhanced scent sensitivity. If all the five criteria are met, the patient has a very probable DMHS. To resolve the current problems in assigning correct DMHS diagnosis, we also need novel assays to estimate potential risks of developing DMHS.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28848553

Non-Thyroidal Illness Syndrome in Patients Exposed to Indoor Air Dampness Microbiota Treated Successfully with Triiodothyronine. - PubMed - NCBI

Long-term exposure to dampness microbiota induces multi-organ morbidity. One of the symptoms related to this disorder is non-thyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS). A retrospective study was carried out in nine patients with a history of mold exposure, experiencing chronic fatigue, cognitive disorder, and different kinds of hypothyroid symptoms despite provision of levothyroxine (3,5,3',5'-tetraiodothyronine, LT4) monotherapy. Exposure to volatile organic compounds present in water-damaged buildings including metabolic products of toxigenic fungi and mold-derived inflammatory agents can lead to a deficiency or imbalance of many hormones, such as active T3 hormone. Since the 1970s, the synthetic prohormone, levothyroxine (LT4), has been the most commonly prescribed thyroid hormone in replacement monotherapy. It has been presumed that the peripheral conversion of T4 (3,5,3',5'-tetraiodothyronine) into T3 (3,5,3'-triiodothyronine) is sufficient to satisfy the overall tissue requirements. However, evidence is presented that this not the case for all patients, especially those exposed to indoor air molds. This retrospective study describes the successful treatment of nine patients in whom NTIS was treated with T3-based thyroid hormone. The treatment was based on careful interview, clinical monitoring, and laboratory analysis of serum free T3 (FT3), reverse T3 (rT3) and thyroid-stimulating hormone, free T4, cortisol, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) values. The ratio of FT3/rT3 was calculated. In addition, some patients received adrenal support with hydrocortisone and DHEA. All patients received nutritional supplementation and dietary instructions. During the therapy, all nine patients reported improvements in all of the symptom groups. Those who had residual symptoms during T3-based therapy remained exposed to indoor air molds in their work places. Four patients were unable to work and had been on disability leave for a long time during LT4 monotherapy. However, during the T3-based and supportive therapy, all patients returned to work in so-called "healthy" buildings. The importance of avoiding mycotoxin exposure via the diet is underlined as DIO2 genetic polymorphism and dysfunction of DIO2 play an important role in the development of symptoms that can be treated successfully with T3 therapy.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28824644

New Rules Required to Curb Childhood Obesity

 Three inexpensive programs have proven to be the most cost-effective ways to reduce childhood obesity rates, results from the Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) show.

The work has provided clear evidence that the interventions save more than they cost to implement, said investigator Steven Gortmaker, PhD, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

"That's extraordinary," he said here at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2017 National Conference and Exhibition. "These are actual cost-saving interventions."

Dr Gortmaker and his colleagues assessed more than 40 programs on the national agenda by examining evidence reviews from some 130,000 peer-reviewed publications. The team used big data and microsimulation models to project the impact of interventions and their cost-effectiveness over the decade from 2015 to 2025, taking into account trends across states and populations.

The first intervention is the imposition of an excise tax — $0.01 per ounce — on sugar-sweetened beverages. This has been shown to reduce consumption and is inexpensive to implement because tax systems are already in place. Projected savings of about $14 billion come from the slower rise in obesity rates induced by the tax, and do not include the expected $12.5 billion increase in national tax revenue.


http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/885984

Dietary Supplement With Ketones May Mitigate Migraine Attacks

"We know that ketone bodies are not only metabolized, they're also signaling molecules. First of all, they're a more efficient fuel than glucose. Per molecule, they produce a lot more ATP [adenosine triphosphate] than a molecule of glucose," she said. "They also induce mitochondrial biogenesis, [and] they're very potent reactive oxygen species inhibitors.

Further, they produce less oxidative stress per molecule burned and reduce brain excitability, she added. "They shift the equilibrium between glutamate and GABA [γ-aminobutyric acid] in the direction of GABA, and they also have an influence on glutamate transport itself."

She went on to note that supplying more KBs increases ketone body transporter mechanisms, they are anti-inflammatory, and they reduce blood glucose levels. "So they have a variety of potential migraine-relevant mechanisms in addition to being a more effective fuel" than glucose.

She and her colleagues have started enrolling patients with migraine in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (NCT03132233) to test the bHB supplement in a crossover design over 3 months in a group of 90 participants.

The impetus for this work was the fact that Gross developed migraines in her mid-teens, and she said she wants something that will work for her and for many other patients with migraine. The side effects of currently approved prophylactic drugs are "intolerable for most patients," she said, and avoiding food and lifestyle triggers of migraines severely limits ones activities and life.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/886000

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Nickel allergy: How to avoid exposure and reduce symptoms | American Academy of Dermatology

Avoid foods containing nickel if you are extremely sensitive to nickel. Some foods that contain high amounts of nickel include soy products—such as soybeans, soy sauce, and tofu—licorice, buckwheat, cocoa powder, clams, cashews, and figs.

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/rashes/nickel-allergy

Frame Materials and Metal Allergies

The most common cause of metal allergies is mercury, and this is followed by metals including nickel, cobalt, tin, palladium and chrome.Conversely, metals such as gold, titanium, silver and iron are less likely to produce allergic reactions since they rarely dissolve upon contact with perspiration or other bodily fluids.

Of the metals most likely to produce allergic reactions, nickel is the one that is most commonly used in spectacle frames. For a long time, nickel has been used in the form of an alloy as a material for spectacle frames and is also used as the base plating material for plating and gold plating, for example. 

Compared with other metals, the properties of nickel make it readily dissolvable, and this means that contact of the body with nickel will result in the metal beginning to dissolve due to the effect of sodium ions in perspiration, causing an allergic reaction.

However, as a recent measure to prevent allergic reactions, the materials used in many products on the market nowadays are nickel-free. In addition, frames with vinyl-covered temples are now available for people with metal allergies.

People who may have metal allergies are recommended to undergo a patch test at a dermatologist. Forearmed with knowledge of which metals are likely to cause an allergic reaction, you will know which metals to avoid when purchasing spectacles.

http://seikoeyewear.com/eye-information/about-frames/materials-metal-allegries

Nickel Allergies on Rise as Devices Meet Skin - NYTimes.com

Nickel, one of the most common allergens in the United States, can be found in things like hand-held devices and jewelry. But unlike Europe, the United States has no restrictions on its widespread use in consumer products. That worries some doctors who say that the growing use of mobile and hand-held devices combined with a lack of regulatory oversight could lead to a spike in allergic reactions.

"I am absolutely concerned about it," said Stephen P. Stone, the director of clinical research in dermatology at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and the former president of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 10 to 20 percent of the population is allergic to nickel. The reactions can be unpleasant, but not fatal. Typically they include blistering, redness and dry skin.



https://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/08/21/technology/personaltech/nickel-allergies-on-rise-as-devices-meet-skin.html?referer=https://duckduckgo.com/

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fire Retardants Found in Furniture and Gym Mats Implicated in Infertility

PFRs are commonly added to polyurethane foam, gym mats and baby items such as car seats, ostensibly to reduce the risk of the items catching fire. However, the chemicals do not remain in these items. They spread, contaminating air and dust. They can also migrate through direct contact. One 2015 study13 found nearly every dust sample collected from American homes contained the flame retardants Tris phosphate and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP).

Ninety-one percent of urine samples from the residents also contained metabolites of Tris phosphate, and 83 percent had metabolites of TPHP. Disturbingly, toddlers have been found to have levels of flame retardants that are as much as five times higher than their mother's.14 Needless to say, bioaccumulation can have serious health consequences over the course of a lifetime, and may ultimately affect the reproductive capacity of coming generations.


http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2017/09/08/flame-retardants-health-effects.aspx

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Exposure to Disinfectants Linked to COPD

This was a "well-performed study," said Lidwien Smit, PhD, from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. "I just wonder about the pathology, and how it influences the microbiome."

"Disinfectants are meant to kill off bacteria, but if you're exposed to large concentrations, you're also inhaling them, which could affect your airway microbes," she explained.

In fact, disinfectants could play a role in killing off bacterial communities in the airways that are responsible for "immune homeostasis" and keep users healthy, she added.

If that immune balance gets disturbed, it might have an influence on a person's reaction to pathogens or inflammation. "This is all part of the COPD pathology — that could be another interesting hypothesis to study," Dr Smit told Medscape Medical News.

Dr Dumas is clear that this is preliminary observational research and more studies are needed. Determining which agents are most harmful "would help define guidelines to protect workers," she noted.

The current findings do not show that the disinfectants are a direct cause of COPD, but they do draw an association between some disinfectants and development of the disease. "I hope this study will help open the discussion for better guidelines," Dr Dumas said.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/885575

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Unexpected and Troubling Rise of Candida auris

Hello. I am Dr Tom Chiller, chief of the Mycotic Diseases Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As part of the CDC Expert Commentary Series on Medscape, I would like to tell you about Candida auris, a novel yeast that is behaving in unexpected and concerning ways, causing severe disease in countries across the globe, including the United States. Today we'll share how you can protect your patients from this potentially deadly infection, the history of this unusual bug, and how the United States is working with global partners to combat its spread.


http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/884470