The Gary Null Show Gary takes on the real issues that the mainstream media is afraid to tackle. Tune in to find out the latest about health news, healing, politics, and the economy.

March 31, 2020  

Simple, Effective Natural Ways to Maintain a Healthy Respiratory System

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, March 31, 2020

 

A hallmark of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is that it infects the upper respiratory tract accompanied by shortness of breath, a chronic cough and frequently chills, fever and fatigue. However, these are symptoms similar but not limited to many other viral infections, including other strains of CoV, avian and swine flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), picornaviruses, etc.

The conventional war chest for arming ourselves against respiratory infections are drugs that can lessen the severity of these symptoms and hopefully will kill the virus to prevent it from worsening.  But pharmaceutical medications are not the only recourse we can rely upon. There are non-toxic supplements, medicinal botanicals and common sense actions people can adopt to protect themselves. Consequently, even if infected by COVID-19 or another respiratory virus, our immune system can be strengthened naturally to dramatically reduce the risks of serious complications. 

At the moment, the primary dispensers of information about the pandemic is the White House, the CDC, the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The mainstream media and state and local health officials have been completely relying upon comments and reports from these sources to inform or education the public.  However, what is not being communicated are the clinical experiences and scientific advice from around the world that contain valuable information and analyses to share. In China, Europe, Japan, and the US there are tens of thousands or more physicians and medical professionals using alternative modalities such as nutritional therapy, naturopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine to further protect patients from respiratory infections alongside or to complement conventional drug protocols. 

Unfortunately none of these non-conventional doctors and professionals are being asked for their consultation nor is the large body of scientific literature that supports their regimens being recommended. We are referring to studies published in respected journals and research conducted by important centers of medical investigation.  The question, therefore, is why has a contingent of people on the frontlines of prevention and complementary approaches to health been completely marginalized from the community of so-called "experts" who dominate the voices in the media? 

Therefore we want to share simple natural ways to protect your respiratory system and lungs during this stressful period. None of this information is folk tales but rather it is based on research found in the National Library of Medicine and other professional medical sources. 

Unfortunately, being cooped up indoors for long extended periods of time has its own health risks. It has been shown extensively that indoor air usually has higher concentrations of toxins than outdoor air. Aside from the psychological effects of isolation, it adversely affects our immune system. People who spend too much time indoors readily become Vitamin D deficient, which is essential for immune protection to avoid contracting infections. It also disrupts our natural circadian rhythms thereby contributing to poor sleep patterns. 

For the large majority of people, our homes and apartments are ridden with allergens, dust, molds and various fungi and cold-like causing germs. It is estimated that most Americans have anywhere between 400 to 800 chemicals stored in their bodies and these are often hoarded in fat cells. Of course, poorly ventilated homes are far more dangerous. Furthermore, many of our every-day house-hold products contain numerous chemical toxins and irritants such as volatile organic compounds (VOC), heavy metals, PBDEs or flame retardants, phthalates and Bisphenol A that are commonly used in all plastics, etc.  VOCs are found in aerosol products, dry cleaned clothing, paints and varnishes, floor wax, spot removers and air fresheners. All of these chemicals can vaporize easily thereby further polluting indoor air quality. The same is true for pesticides that we might have in our homes. Ozone can damage the lungs and can contribute to shortness of breath and coughs. Although the majority of ozone is outdoors, according to the CDC, it can accumulate indoors to as much 80% of outdoor levels.  For this reason, maintaining a healthy level of humidity is critical for reducing various pathogens and periodically keeping windows open for a period of time to air out rooms is highly recommended. 

Sunlight not only increases our level of Vitamin D, which is essential for immune protection; it also raises serotonin levels that can boost our moods. This finding was confirmed by researchers at the Baker Research Institute in Australia and published in The Lancet. Low serotonin, especially during winter months, has been associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is characterized by depression, fatigue, and a lack of concentration. And of course, these effects have been shown to adversely affect our immune system. Therefore, making frequent efforts to get outdoors, while maintaining social distancing, not only raises our spirits but also helps clear our respiratory system from allergens and pollutants that accumulate indoors.  A series of studies conducted by the University of Rochester found that being outdoors increased both physical and mental vitality. Getting a sufficient amount of outdoor exposure is one of the surest natural ways to cleanse our lungs. Other methods include steam therapy (inhaling water vapor) and exercise to clear airways and drain mucus from the bronchia.

There are also plenty of foods, herbs and even supplements that can protect the lungs and keep the nasal and respiratory passages clear. Water is absolutely essential for maintaining health lungs since dry lungs result in irritation that increases the risks for infection. Also following the Mediterranean diet has been shown by epidemiologists at Harvard to have protective effects for allergic respiratory diseases, largely due to the high intake of olive oil.

Potassium is a vital mineral for proper lung function. It is not uncommon for people who are deficient in potassium to experience sporadic breathing problems. Therefore including potassium rich foods in daily meals, such as avocados, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, beets, bananas and oranges, can raise and sustain healthy potassium levels. 

Several studies have shown that apples can improve lung function. A study out of St. George's Hospital Medical School in London followed over 2,500 individuals between the ages of 45 and 59. Among the various vitamins and foods consumed, Vitamin E and apples were the most effective for slowing the decline in lung function. For people with a history of asthma, apples, which are rich in flavonoids, are inversely linked with asthma, decreased bronchial hypersensitivity, and positively improved general pulmonary health. 

Celery contains two important antioxidants -- apigenin and luteolin -- that have both been associated with reducing inflammation associated with our nasal passages and lungs. It has been shown to be particularly beneficial for those who have allergies that can hinder respiration. Of course it is important to know whether or not you have a rare allergy to celery itself. 

In an earlier article, we reported on the health benefits of nitric oxide as a signaling molecule to strength our immune system's response to invasion. One of the best sources for increasing nitric oxide levels in addition to improved endothelial cell function by decreasing oxidative stress are red beets. Most of our respiratory passageways -- from our nasal cavity to our bronchi -- are lined with epithelium   . Our lungs, on the other hand, are lined with a simple squamous epithelium or "goblet cells". Beets are one important food that protects these cells to maintain the health of our entire respiratory system. Beets have also been shown by researchers at Southern Methodist University to help prevent common cold symptoms, especially during periods of increased psychological stress. 

Green Tea and quercetin can promote healthy lungs due to their antioxidant properties. Both act as natural antihistamines that reduce respiratory irritation and inflammation. A study of 1,000 adults conducted by the medical school at Kyung Hee University in South Korea found that participants who drank two cups of green tea per day had better respiratory function than those who didn't drink any. Japanese Matcha tea has been investigated and found to be a more powerful antioxidant than regular green teas.

One can conclude that having a daily juice compromised of fresh apples, celery, beets and garlic -- which contains the powerful antimicrobial biomolecule allicin that kills human lung pathogenic bacteria -- can have an enormous impact on cleansing and protecting our lungs. Matcha tea can be purchased as powders and also added to your daily juice. It is our opinion that following this guideline along with getting sufficient outdoor exposure, exercise, reducing sources of toxicity in the home and proper ventilation, and drinking green tea and supplementing with quercetin, Vitamins C and D and other foods rich in antioxidants is a very simple and effective way of sustaining maximal lung health to get us through the pandemic. 

March 30, 2020  

 

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. 

Voicemail Line 862-800-6805
 
This new feature will allow listeners to call in and leave a voicemail question to all their favorite shows. All you have to do is call the number, Say your name, what show and what your question is. This will allow your voice to be heard on your favorite PRN shows and will allow a better host/listener connection.
 
March 27, 2020  

Lessons from the Fear of Coronavirus

Richard Gale and Gary Null, PhD

Progressive Radio Network, March 27, 2020

 

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has provided an opportunity for everybody to take stock of their lives and reevaluate their priorities. It is also forcing us to pay attention to the fundamental basics for becoming responsible for our own health. These very basic principles are the same ones that may have saved countless lives in the past from avoidable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and other infectious disease outbreaks.  Hopefully as a people and as a nation we will emerge wiser and act more proactively in the future from the lessons learned during this crisis.

However, our ability to evolve beyond our limited perceptions of ourselves, our personal health and the successes and failures of America's health system are dependent upon the information we receive. If what we are being told by those in authority is inaccurate or patently false, such as Donald Trump's chloroquine drug as "a gift from God" to treat coronavirus infections or prescribing HIV retroviral drugs without clearly stating these drugs' serious health warnings, then the citizenry remains in a daze of ignorance and uninformed. Worse, the nation becomes further deluded, and, as we are observing, this leads to panic and fear. Panic in turn brings forth its own set of economic, social and personal problems. 

As we follow the events unfolding both in the US and globally, it is understandable that the medical community continues to be very perplexed on many issues. It is not a good sign when Oxford University made the decision to cease relying on the World Health Organization's coronavirus data because of the consistency in errors. Throughout the world, nations' health ministries rely on WHO's reports to develop their own strategies. Stanford University biomedical data scientist Dr. John Ioannidas recently warned that we sorely "lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who continue to become infected," and the data collected so far is "utterly unreliable." Many countries, which include the US, Ioannidas says are consequently adopting "draconian countermeasures" to deal with the spread of the virus. He also called the WHO's data and "reported case fatality rates" as "meaningless."  Due to our failure to properly confront the virus, death rates are "buried within the noise of the estimate of deaths from influenza-like illness."

Although coronavirus is a common infection and there are dozens of strains, this is a novel strain that has only been with us for less than 5 months. We know it is highly infectious. There is evidence that it may be more contagious via contact with surfaces rather than from airborne particles between persons. For example the CDC discovered that COVID-19 viral RNA was found on the surfaces of a cruise ship for 17 days after the passengers departed. And infectious rates appear to be quite erratic. Some countries have been very successful to contain its spread, while others including Italy, Spain and the US are not doing very well. 

During a recent interview, one of our greatest intellectuals Noam Chomsky remarked that our nation's intrastructure has taken on "a third world character."  But it is not only our crumbling roads and bridges and our banana republic transportation system that has become a disgrace for a wealthy nation that claims to be exceptional. "Our healthcare," Chomsky continues, "is an international scandal."  It too is part of America's infrastructure but has become "unbelievably backwards." Healthcare workers and nurses are pleading for essential supplies such as effective face masks. Hospitals have shortages of hospital beds and respirators. There are insufficient chemicals on hand to manufacture enough diagnostic tests; and this is critical to properly monitor the spread of the virus. Unlike other countries, notably South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and even China, our healthcare system has been reduced to "economy and efficiency";  we only produce what we require at the moment and give no forethought towards the future. Prevention has never been one of America's stronger skills. We do nothing until the next tsunami or Katrina moment hits us unexpectedly. In the wake of our habitual unpreparedness, numerous people suffer. 

So as the nation applauds Dr. Anthony Fauci at the CDC and continues to drink the kool aid served by the mainstream press to have us believe our federal health agencies are heroically on top of the situation, we must ask why the US was so far behind the eight ball in the first place. And in the absence of a federal health system that should be worthy of a developed nation, how can people better protect their personal health from infection and potential inflammatory complications?

Aside from all the uncertainty and confusion, even among our top health experts, one thing we can feel certain about: those at greatest risk have other pre-existing medical conditions. Unfortunately, our health officials have not provided any clear demographic statistics of those who have died in the US so far.  What percent had pre-existing health conditions such as cardiovascular or autoimmune illnesses? The condition of a person's immune system is critical for fighting any infectious disease, not just the coronavirus. The vitality of the immune system can mean life or death. The Italian government, on the other hand, provided such a report. Over 99 percent (99.2%) of Italians who died from either the virus or a subsequent co-infection such pneumonia, had a pre-existing health condition. Almost 50 percent had three or more conditions, the most common being high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.  The median age of infection is 63 years old and 79.5 years is the median for the mortality rate. All those who had died under 40 years of age were "males with serious existing medical conditions." 

However, in the US and parts of Europe, the crisis seems to be unfolding differently.  Fauci recently stated during a White House meeting, "Now we have to look at the young people who are getting seriously ill from the European cohort and make sure that it isn't just driven by that they have underlying conditions because... all bets are off no matter how young you are if you have an underlying, serious medical condition." For example, in both Italy and Spain where infection rates are inordinately high, approximately 30 percent of males smoke. In the US, recent data shows that 40 percent of hospitalized cases are between 20 and 54 and 12 percent of persons in intensive care are between 20 and 44 years of age.  Furthermore according to the CDC, 78 percent of Americans over 55 have a chronic condition and over 47 percent have two. American children are some of the sickest in the developed world -- 27 percent had a chronic illness a decade ago not including obesity. Much of the cause of American's chronically ill children is due to environmental reasons. Many of these conditions would be preventable if we had a satisfactory healthcare system. 

Nevertheless, the Italian message is clear.  In addition to the conventional preventative measures being undertaken -- quarantine, social distancing, reducing face to face encounters, properly cleaning surfaces, protective gloves and masks -- people need to be educated in ways to strengthen their immune systems. This requires convincing people to be more conscious about the risks of poor diets and unhealthy lifestyle habits. However, changing the consciousness of a society is extraordinarily difficult. And so far, our government and state health officials have been completely ignoring this critical factor as one solution to lessen the serious viral infections. 

So if the World Health Organization warns that the US "may become the next center for the coronavirus pandemic," should we be that surprised?  Yet we mustn't permit fear to overwhelm us into complacency. Catastrophes, crises and tragedies are often a necessary trumpet blasts to wake up, review our lives, our habits and false assumptions. The coronavirus pandemic is such a time. 

Earlier we released an article about the preventative measures we can take to both support our immune system to lessen the impact of viral infections, such as the coronavirus and flu, or to recover more rapidly in the event we experience symptoms.  Since then we have learned about other natural approaches to further protect ourselves. 

Recently Zhejiang University School of Medicine, one China's oldest and most prestigious universities, publicly released its "Handbook of CoVid-19 Prevention and Treatment" worldwide. Having been the first on the front lines against the new strain, and having gone through the deadly SARS coronavirus epidemic over a dozen years ago, it is one of the most concise documents for healthcare measures to prevent and contain the spread of the virus. The medical researchers identify many important clues that are barely found in English speaking literature. For example the report notes the importance of nutrition and the use of probiotics to strengthen infected patients' microbiome. According to the report, "the intestinal microecological balance is broken in COVID-19 patients.... Intestinal microecological imbalance may lead to bacterial translocation and secondary infection." Therefore, the Chinese scientists conclude that it is important to maintain a balance in the body's microecology through nutritional support. 

The report is also clear in warning about Trump's erroneous claims about chloroquine's safety and lists the adverse effects including cardiac arrest and ocular toxicity. In China chloroquine is not being prescribed unless a patient has had an electrocardigram performed. None of this was noted during Trump's press conference. 

In addition to conventional treatments, the Zheijiang scientists list herbal formulas based upon Traditional Chinese Medicine studies.

Therefore we are summarizing what we presented earlier along with additional new information.

 

SUPPLEMENTS

Vitamin C

Unlike the US, most of the world, especially in Asia and continental Europe, recognizes Vitamin C as an important anti-viral agent. It is also a remarkable antioxidant shown to ward off infections. There is a large body of research to support Vitamin C's efficacy during cold seasons. At this moment, China is conducting several clinical trials with intravenous Vitamin C to treat patients infected with the Covid19 strain. The city government of Shanghai is now actively treating patients with intravenous Vitamin C. A trial at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan is using 24,000 mg per day intravenously. The Wuhan study can be viewed on the US National Library of Medicine's website here: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04264533

In 2017 the University of Helsinki reviewed 148 studies that indicated Vitamin C may alleviate or prevent infections caused by bacteria and viruses. The most extensive indication studied was the common cold. Among people who are physically active, Vitamin C was most beneficial. However, many studies relied on very low Vitamin C doses, which likely contributed to the minor benefits observed. Some of these were as low as 100 mg daily. In addition, the studies showed that colds' duration was frequently shorter and less severe among people with sufficient Vitamin C levels.  An early randomized double blind trial to investigate Vitamin C's ability to protect elderly hospitalized patients from acute respiratory infections was conducted at Hudderfield University in the UK. The study relied on a very low dose of 200 mg per day. Nevertheless, those who received the vitamin fared significantly better than those taking placebo.  There was another controlled placebo study involving 715 students between the ages 18-32 taking 1000 mg four times daily. The test group had an 85% decrease in flu and cold symptoms compared to the control. 

 

Vitamin D

Barely a week goes by without another study appearing in the peer-reviewed literature that looks at either Vitamin D's therapeutic characteristics or the risks of Vitamin D deficiency. A high number of otherwise healthy adults have been reported to have low levels of vitamin D, mostly at the end of the Winter season. Deficiency rates vary between 42% for the entire population to 82% for Black Americans and 63% for Latinos. People who are housebound, institutionalized and those who work night shifts are most likely to be vitamin D deficient. This includes many elderly people who receive limited exposure to sunlight.

It has been shown that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase risk in autoimmunity illnesses and greater susceptibility to infection. It also boosts up the body's mucosal defenses which are critical for protecting ourselves from infectious respiratory viruses   Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital in conjunction with a global collaborative study to follow up on a Cochrane analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials involving 11,000 participants confirmed that vitamin D. taken daily or weekly significantly cut the risk of respiratory infections in half.  For children, a Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia meta review identified 13 of 18 studies confirming that Vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased incidences of acute lower respiratory infection. 

 

Melatonin

There is strong evidence that severe coronavirus cases and deaths are also associated with cytokine storms besides secondary infections. One cytokine in particular, NLRP3, was earlier discovered to be associated with SARS-CoV infections.  Since children's melatonin levels are at their peak up until puberty , this may be one reason why coronvirus infections in children under 9 are typically very mild or show no symptoms at all. Is this perhaps a reason why infected pregnant mothers admitted to Wuhan University's hospital gave birth to babies free of the virus?  As we increasingly age, the more rapidly our natural melatonin levels drop off. Melatonin has the unique property of inhibiting NLRP3 elevations after viral infection. For this reason, the amino acid can prevent NLRP3 cytokine storms contributing to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and acute lung injury (ALI) that are characteristic with severe COVID-19 cases. 

 

Nitric Oxide

Nitric oxide is an important signaling molecule found throughout the body that has been associated with improved vasodilatation, the regulation of cellular life and death, and to strengthen the immune system's responses.  Like melatonin, newborns have very high levels of nitric oxide in their paranasal passages which provides added immunity unseen in the large majority of adults. Nitric oxide moreover inhibits NLRP3 cytokine activation. This is another reason why Vitamin C supplementation is so important because the vitamin supports the body's production of nitric oxide.  There is also evidence that nitric oxide is very effective against coronavirus. Dr. Sara Akerstrom and colleagues at the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control and the Karolinska Institute discovered that nitric oxide "specifically inhibits the replication cycle of SARS CoV, most probably during the early stages of infection." An earlier study conducted by the University of Leuven in Belgium noticed nitric oxide inhibited SARS coronavirus cell infection in vitro. 

The best source for increasing our body's nitric oxide levels is through foods. Beets are particularly effective and can boost NO levels within 45 minutes. Other excellent NO sources are dark chocolate, rhubarb (which has the highest levels of nitrates), leafy greens, pomegranate and foods high in Vitamin C.

 

Zinc

Many of us are already aware that zinc supplements can ward off and reduce the onset of colds and flu-like symptoms. According to a Cochrane Database mega-analysis of zinc's potential to reduce the length and severity of non-influenza flu-like colds, the scientific evidence is quite conclusive to support zinc's effectiveness.  In addition, many of these studies show strong low risk of bias, which supports their legitimacy. A 2010 in vitro study by scientists at Leiden University's Center for Infectious Diseases in The Netherlands, concluded that zinc will block the replication of coronvirus and arterivirus. Another study published in the prestigious journal The Lancet by researchers at University College London, recommended that zinc formulas be used alongside conventional anti-viral drug therapies that specifically target COVID-19, thereby acknowledging zinc's antiviral properties. 

 

N-Acetyl Cysteine

Oxidative stress is a well known pathway for microbial infections such as viruses and bacterial pneumonia, especially in the lungs. When the lungs are subject to serious oxidative stress, there is an increase in inflammatory cytokines that play a role in different respiratory infections including influenza, coronavirus, echovirus, adenovirus, coxsackie virus and others. Therefore, certain antioxidants can alleviate lung damage due to oxidative stress. 

 

Colloidal Silver

Nanoparticle or colloidal silver has been studied extensively for its anti-bacterial properties but less so for infectious viruses. Most studies for silver's antiviral activities have focused on HIV-1, Hepatitis B, herpesvirus and respiratory syncytial virus or RSV. 

In a 2005 issue of the Journal of Nanotechnology, the University of Texas and Mexico University observed that silver nanoparticles could kill HIV-1 within 3 hours, and they suspected that this may be true for many other viruses as well. However, this conclusion may be too premature and more research is necessary. There are studies showing silver's efficacy against respiratory viruses. One large study by Japan's National Defense Medical College Research Institute, published in the Journal of Molecular Sciences, recommended that Japanese healthcare workers take nanosilver to protect them from viruses including coronavirus.  Then a joint study by Deakin University in Australia and Osaka University in Japan found that colloidal silver significantly protected cells from H3N2 flu infection and prevented viral growth in the lungs 

 

BOTANICALS

Astragulus

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), coronaviral infections belong to a specific epidemic disease category. Astragulus is not only a very popular plant used in TCM, but it is also one of the most researched and promising botanical plants shown to have antiviral properties. In both TCM and Ayruveda medicinal formulas astrugulus has been prescribed for centuries because of its effectiveness against infections and over-stressed respiratory conditions. Compounds, notably saponins, found in astragulus have been well researched and found to hinder influenza proliferation. The US Department of Agriculture's Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory found it inhibits avian flu viruses.

Jinlin Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China conducted a study published in the journal Microbiological Pathology that concluded 

"Astragulus exhibits antiviral properties that can treat infectious bronchitis caused by [avian] coronavirus"

A month ago, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine completed an analysis of previous research looking at the benefits of Chinese herbal formulas against the SARS coronavirus and H1N1 flu (swine flu). In 3 studies, among participants who took formulas against SARS, none contracted the illness. Nor did any contract H1N1 influenza in four additional studies. A primary ingredient in these formulas' was astragulus. Earlier in February, researchers at Beijing Children's Hospital at the Capital Medical University provided a thorough overview of recommended diagnostic procedures and treatments for specific symptoms witnessed in the current Covid19 infections that included both allopathic and traditional Chinese medicine.  In cases where there are signs of severe weakness and stress observed in the lungs and spleen, a formula called Liu Jun Zi is being prescribed, which includes astragulus, skullcap and ginseng as the primary botanicals. 

 

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhizin Acid) 

In traditional medicine licorice root has been used to relieve and treat ulcers, sore throats, bronchitis, coughs, adrenal insufficiencies and allergic diseases. Licorice's main antiviral compounds are known as glycyrrhizins (GL). 

Japan's National Institute of Infectious Disease reported GL's effectiveness against coronavirus and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as well as Epstein Barr virus and human cytomegalovirus. After the deadly SARS outbreak in 2012, virologists at Frankfurt University Medical School investigated several antiviral compounds to treat patients admitted with SARS coronavirus infections. Of all the compounds tested, licorice's GL was the most effective. The scientists concluded that "Our findings suggest that glycyrrhizin should be assessed for treatment of SARS."  The above research was later replicated at Sun Yat Sen University in China and published in the Chinese journal Bing Du Xue Bao. The researchers identified several derivatives of glycyrrhizin as primary molecules with antiviral properties. In addition to being effective against the SARS coronavirus, they also found it may be effective against herpes, HIV, hepatitis and influenza. 

Earlier in 2005, a team of scientists from Goethe University in Germany and the Russian Academy of Sciences had already identified the antiviral activity of GL against SARS coronavirus. The molecule showed a ten-fold increase in anti-SARS activity compared to other potential treatments tested. One conjugate of GL had a 70-fold increase. That study was published in the Journal of Medical Chemistry. During that same year, the Chinese Academy of Sciences screened over 200 botanical plants used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to find those with the strong potency SARS coronavirus. Four botanicals stood out. One of the four was licorice's glycyrrhizin.

 

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

Elderberry has become a popular supplement for relieving symptoms of the common cold and flu infections. It is found worldwide and is part of many of the world's indigenous pharmacopias. There are many species of elderberry; the species Sambucus nigra seemingly has been shown to have the most medicinal qualities. When purchasing Elderberry or Sambucus, it is recommended to note it is Sambucus nigra. It is better to use a prepared formula rather than try to make it on your own from fresh berries and flowers. Elderberries contain cyangenic glycosides that can be poisonous and cause nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea and weakness. 

Most research has focused on elderberry's therapeutic value against influenza. However, there is also research showing elderberry's positive impact on coronavirus infections. In 2014, researchers at Emory University noted that elderberry extract inhibited coronavirus virility at the point of infection.  The scientists hypothesized that elderberry rendered the virus non infectious. One of the better studies came out of National Sun Yat Sen University and the China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan in 2019. The researchers used an ethanol extract of Sambucus stem (not the berry) and observed its potential against coronavirus strain NL63

 

Echinacea

A systematic review of the existing research before 2011 by the University of British Columbia and published in the journal Pharmaceuticals, concluded:

"all strains of human and avian influenza viruses tested (including a Tamiflu-resistant strain), as well as herpes simplex virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and rhinoviruses, were very sensitive to a standardized Echinacea purpurea preparation"

Echinicea does present limitations depending upon the severity of an infection. Once a cold caused by any one of the various cold viruses, including coronavirus, more deeply infects the bronchia and the lower lung, echinacea does not appear to be helpful. It is more effective with upper respiratory tract infections. One of the largest placebo double blind studies on echinacea was conducted by Cardifff University in the UK. The study followed participants for four months and confirmed the safety of long term echinacea supplementation. It also observed a statistically significant decrease in cold episodes in the echinacea group.

As a piece of consumer advice, a Cornell University study looked at the medicinal properties throughout different parts of the echinicea plant: leaves, stems, bark, roots, etc. The scientists noted that only echinacea extracts that contain the root showed significant antiviral properties. Echinacea appears to modify the clinical course of flu-like respiratory infection by acting upon IL-8, IL-10 and IFN cytokine activity beneficially.

 

Olive Leaf

Oleuropein (OLE) is the most important biomolecule in the olive tree that contributes to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic, anti-cancer, antimicrobial and antiviral activities and effects. One advantage of olive leaf is that it is highly bioavailable to the body's cells. 

There are almost 10,000 studies in the National Institutes of Health literature database referring to OLE, olive leaf, and olive oil, most with respect to its strong antioxidant and anticancer properties. There are only a few studies showing olive leaf's effectiveness against respiratory viruses. One randomized trial performed by the University of Auckland in New Zealand suggests olive leaf can contribute to treating respiratory illnesses, including coronavirus. A 2001 study out of the University of Hong Kong identified 6 separate antiviral agents in olive that were effective against parainfluenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

OLE may possess notable anti-viral properties. The current Covid19 pandemic utilizes the host cell's ACE2 receptor. This same receptor is also activated in HIV infections. This is one reason why patients infected with this new coronavirus strain are being prescribed HIV drugs. Therefore might olive leaf extract contribute to the treatment for this new coronavirus strain? 

 

Oregano Oil

Oregano possesses a compound called carvacrol that has been shown to be antiviral. Although it has been tested on several influenza and flu-like respiratory viruses, it does not appear to have been tested against coronavirus.

Soochow University in China and the University of Oklahoma published a study in the BMC Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine focusing on oregano's antiviral properties against influenza viruses. Although oregano did not kill the virus it nevertheless inhibited the virus' ability to translate proteins responsible for the viral binding to cells. A 2010 randomized double blind study study published in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggested oregano was beneficial as a throat spray and showed significant and immediate improvement of upper respiratory infectious ailments.

University of Arizona published a paper in the Journal of Applied Microbiology investigating oregano's antiviral properties when used as a sanitizer. The study focused on one flu-like virus, novovirus. If sprayed on surfaces, carvacrol will kill the virus within 15 minutes of exposure. The most recent research into Covid19's surface life -- living outside of an animal host -- is 9 days.

 

Conclusion

Yes, we should be concerned about the coronavirus' high infectious rate. At the moment, the primary solutions being sought to handle the crisis is to spend billions of dollars to develop an effective vaccine and an accurate diagnostic kit. Additionally, according to a study out of Johns Hopkins University's School of Public Health, the incubation period is estimated at 5.1 days for being infected and capable of infecting others without displaying symptoms. But there is no mention in the medical community nor the mainstream media about what we can do to strengthen our immune system. 

Yes, a high quality 99% barrier mask is important, especially if worn in a crowded environment. Repeated washing of our hands for a full minute with soap water. Rub surfaces with alcohol at home and work and allow it to sit for 30 seconds. Likewise, wipe down door handles and telephone receivers. Quarantining people who have been exposed is important until they test negative. Closing schools is prudent. And if a vaccine is eventually developed and shown to be safe and effective that is another recourse. However none of the above protects the immune system in the event of coming into contact with the virus. We believe that the recommended natural solutions shared above, since it is supported in the peer reviewed scientific literature, is something everyone can do. Besides, it is safe and not expensive. Therefore these natural solutions too should be considered as a viable and effective recourse to lessen this pandemic's fatal effects. 

 

Additional Tips

Although supplementing our diets and strengthening our immune systems at this time is especially important, we must not neglect our physical health and mind. Beside having the opportunity to transition to a healthy plant based diet, increasing our exercise is crucial and taking time to meditate. To return to maximal health, exercise for a minimum of 2 and half hours per week, and meditate 30 minutes daily to de-stress. It can also be an opportunity to experiment with intermittent fasts, such as not eating for a 12 hour span between dinner and breakfast. All of these suggestions are supported in the peer-reviewed medical literature. This is not folk medicine or social gossip. 

 

Final Thought

One immediate hard lesson we are learning is that the US government has no noteworthy competence in dealing with national health crises. We are only good at pouring money into the personal coffers of elites who are content to capitalize on disasters. If the tiny virus is David, certainly the cumbersomeness and America's huge bureaucracy is Goliath. If progressive voices are unable to leverage themselves to change the face our civilization for a potentially sustainable future, maybe the tiny COVID-19 will be doing it for us. 

March 26, 2020  

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. 

March 25, 2020  

Professor Haidt is a social psychologist whose research examines the intuitive foundations of morality. His most recent book is the New York Times bestseller, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. In that book Haidt offers an account of the origins of the human moral sense, and he shows how variations in moral intuitions can help explain the polarization and dysfunction of American politics. At Stern he is applying his research on moral psychology to rethink the way business ethics is studied and is integrated into the curriculum. His goal is to draw on the best behavioral science research to create organizations that function as ethical systems, with only minimal need for directly training people to behave ethically. He co-founded the research collaboration at EthicalSystems.org. His next book will be titled Three Stories About Capitalism: The Moral Psychology of Economic Life .

March 24, 2020  

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. 

Voicemail Line 862-800-6805
 
This new feature will allow listeners to call in and leave a voicemail question to all their favorite shows. All you have to do is call the number, Say your name, what show and what your question is. This will allow your voice to be heard on your favorite PRN shows and will allow a better host/listener connection.
 
March 23, 2020  

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. 

Voicemail Line 862-800-6805
 
This new feature will allow listeners to call in and leave a voicemail question to all their favorite shows. All you have to do is call the number, Say your name, what show and what your question is. This will allow your voice to be heard on your favorite PRN shows and will allow a better host/listener connection.
 
 
 
March 20, 2020  

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment.

March 19, 2020  

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. To reap heart benefits of a plant-based diet, avoid junk food, Probiotics can destroy cancer cells and prevent their spread, CoQ10 supports breast cancer patients’ quality of life, Carnosine ameliorates age-related dementia via improving mitochondrial dysfunction in mice, Study reveals sage extract helps with hot flashes during menopause, New COVID-19 Research: The Immune System Can Fight Back, Step it up: Higher daily step counts linked with lower blood pressure, Social, financial factors critical to assessing cardiovascular risk, Polyphenol-rich green tea extract induces thermogenesis by mechanism dependent on adiponectin signaling

 
 
 
 
 
 
March 18, 2020  

Antioxidant treatment in acute ischemic stroke may delay the onset of Alzheimer's dementia

Clinical Muncipal Hospital (Romania), March 17, 2020

 

Currently we are facing a dementia epidemic, with estimations showing that by 2050 approximately 131 million people will be affected. Every 7 seconds a patient is diagnosed worldwide. Because the common forms of dementia occur in the elderly, delaying the onset or worsening of the cognitive impairment could translate into a significant reduction of the incidence of the disease. Estimations have shown that of the huge number of cases expected by 2050, roughly 23 million could be avoided if the onset of the disease could be delayed by 2 years. Despite the ambition to identify a disease modifying therapy or a cure for dementia by 2025 set by the G8 dementia summit in 2013, the findings so far are not very encouraging.

To date there is growing evidence of the association of vascular risk factors like hypertension, high cholesterol levels or diabetes mellitus with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. Unfortunately, simply managing these risk factors had little effect in reducing the incidence of dementia. These factors, however, strongly increase the risk of a patient to suffer an ischemic stroke and incident stroke approximately doubles the risk of dementia. From the study of Saver published in 2006 we know that "each hour in which treatment fails to occur the brain loses as many neurons as it does in 3.6 years of normal aging".

These neuronal losses occur through ischemic necrosis in the core of the infarction, but may be prolonged up to 2 weeks after the ischemic insult in the penumbral area surrounding the ischemic core through another type of cell loss, namely apoptosis. In initiating apoptosis oxidative species have a major role. Several authors have shown consistent increases in oxidative stress after an ischemic stroke. As the authors pointed out in a previous study, oxidative stress increases mainly after cardioembolic stroke, followed by lacunar stroke, with a less prolonged burst of generation of oxidative species following thrombotic stroke.

There is a considerable overlap between the oxidative stress-induced pathogenesis in ischemic stroke and Alzheimer's disease including mitochondrial dysfunction (the mitochondria being the main generators of energy in the cells), calcium overload of the cells, activation of different destructive enzymes by the excess intracellular calcium, aberrant gene transcription and expression, induction of autophagy (a process by which cells degrade their own cytoplasmic proteins and organelles) and activation of inflammatory responses.

Despite promising results of antioxidant molecules in animal models of ischemic stroke, human clinical trials were disappointing possibly due to late administration and incorrect selection of patients. However, in a study published in 2019, edaravone (an antioxidant molecule) given within 48 hours after endovascular revascularization in acute ischemic stroke was associated with greater functional independence at hospital discharge, lower in-hospital mortality and reduced intracranial hemorrhage after admission in a study which enrolled over 10,000 patients. More recently in a report presented at the International Stroke Conference 2020, nerinetide or NA1, a molecule which reduces endogenous nitric oxide (also an oxidative species) generated inside the cell during ischemia, improved the outcome of ischemic stroke patients who underwent endovascular thrombectomy. Unfortunately, NA1 interacted with alteplase, limiting its efficiency in patients who were also thrombolysed.

Antioxidants have been evaluated also in patients suffering from degenerative diseases, Alzheimer's disease included, with promising results in animal models but inconclusive results in clinical trials. Therapeutic strategies are hampered by the dual role of oxidative species in the organism. On one hand, increased ROS production contributes to age-related chronic conditions and on the other, oxidant species function as signaling molecules in pathways that are critical for cell survival. However, based on the compelling evidence of the implication of oxidative stress in AD pathogenesis and of the pivotal role of mitochondria, molecules acting as mitochondria-targeted antioxidants show promise in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases, improve mitochondrial function after coronary ischemia/reperfusion in rats, and some have already been developed into drugs used in clinical trials in type 2 diabetic patients.

In view of the implication of oxidative stress in the genesis of AD pathology, the authors hypothesize that with aging, in the presence of well-established vascular risk factors, and possibly with a genetic contribution, AD pathology develops slowly without clinically overt cognitive impairment. However, after a stroke there is a sudden burst in oxidative stress which accelerates the pathogenesis of dementia and leads to clinically obvious cognitive impairment. If this hypothesis would be proven the reason for reaching antioxidant treatment in acute ischemic stroke would be reinforced. Further studies in this direction with long follow-up periods would be needed. Nonetheless, in view of the high incidence and prevalence of the disease, the results could be rewarding.

 

 

Spinach supplements can enhance athletic performance

Freie University (Germany), March 17, 2020

 

Supplements that contain an anabolic compound from spinach should be in the list of prohibited substances in sports, according to a recent study. Researchers from Australia, Germany and Italy looked at the effects of ecdysterone, a naturally occurring plant steroid, in young men undergoing strength training and found that it can boost physical performance and increase muscle mass. This compound has been dubbed the “Russian secret” in the 1980s due to heavy suspicions that Russian athletes were using it as a performance-boosting supplement.

How anabolic agents work

Substances that fall under the category of anabolic steroidal agents or anabolic-androgenic steroids are either synthetic or naturally occurring variations of the male sex hormone, testosterone. Often referred to as simply steroids, these drugs are designed to treat hormonal issues, such as delayed puberty. Steroids are also used to address muscle loss brought about by serious conditions like AIDS or cancer.

However, steroids rose to notoriety when athletes and weight lifters began misusing them. The anabolic and androgenic properties of steroids allow them to promote not only male sex characteristics, but also anabolism, a bodily process that allows the growth of new cells. These activities result in enhanced athletic performance and increased muscle growth and strength.

Ecdysterone is the main compound in spinach extract and is classified as a phytosteroid. In plants, phytosteroids serve as structural components of cell membranes, as insect deterrents and as growth hormones. Many plant steroids, such as those derived from boswellia, fenugreek and licorice, are valued in traditional medicine for their anti-inflammatory activities and are used to treat conditions like lung diseases, allergic asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

According to previous studies in animals, ecdysterone from spinach has many beneficial effects, most notably increasing the synthesis of protein in skeletal muscles. The compound has also proven itself to be more potent than anabolic agents currently banned in sports, such as the synthetic steroid metandienone. (Related: Pump up your body with the Popeye vegetable – spinach.)

Ecdysterone from spinach can boost athletic performance

Recent studies suggest that the anabolic effect of ecdysterone is influenced by its binding to estrogen receptors. But while multiple studies have investigated the effects of this plant steroid, those that involved humans are very rarely accessible. 

For their study, which appeared in the journal Archives of Toxicology, the researchers recruited 46 young men to participate in an intervention study of strength training that lasted for 10 weeks. They gave the participants ecdysterone-contaning supplements and evaluated their effect on physical performance.

The researchers analyzed blood and urine samples for ecdysterone and biomarkers of performance enhancement, and screened for prohibited performance-enhancing substances to ensure the specificity of the measured effects. They also tested the supplements for anabolic steroid contamination before giving them to the participants.

The researchers reported that those who received ecdysterone showed significantly higher increases in muscle mass. They also observed the same increase in the number and growth of muscle cells (hypertrophy) in cell culture experiments. 

With respect to athletic performance, the researchers found that ecdysterone enabled the participants to perform more one-repetition bench presses without increasing biomarkers for liver or kidney toxicity. 

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that ecdysterone from spinach can greatly enhance athletic performance, so its use as a supplement should be prohibited in sports. They propose that ecdysterone be classified under “other anabolic agents,” the use of which is banned in any competition. 

 

 

Adding turmeric to green tea enhances its health benefits, study finds

Rajarshi Shahu College of Pharmacy (India), March 17, 2020

 

Today, numerous studies on the beneficial properties of green tea credit it with possessing a variety of antioxidant compounds. Among these compounds, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant and extensively studied. EGCG is said to reduce inflammation, aid in weight loss and even support heart health by lowering blood cholesterol levels. However, the effectiveness of EGCG is hindered by its poor bioavailability.

In an attempt to increase its absorption in the intestines, researchers from Rajarshi Shahu College of Pharmacy and Research in India decided to combine it with another potent plant compound. Like EGCG, curcumin from turmeric has plenty of beneficial properties but poor bioavailability. Despite this, the researchers found that curcumin can enhance the absorption of EGCG by increasing intestinal permeability. They discussed this finding in detail in an article published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

EGCG and curcumin: a potent combo against hypercholesterolemia

According to previous studies, EGCG from green tea is effective against high blood cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia. However, its low bioavailability decreases its potential, especially in promoting heart health.

To solve this problem, the researchers first extracted EGCG from green tea leaves and confirmed its presence using chromatography. They then confirmed the compatibility of the green tea extract (GTE) with curcumin.

Using everted goat intestine, the researchers tested the effect of GTE alone or in combination with curcumin on intestinal permeability. They reported that the GTE-curcumin mixture showed higher permeation than GTE alone.

When they treated rats fed a high-fat diet with GTE or the GTE-curcumin mixture, the researchers found that the mixture exerted a significant lipid-regulating effect. At the end of the treatment, the rats that received the mixture had lower cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL, LDL and VLDL levels than the rats given GTE alone.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that curcumin can enhance intestinal permeability and consequently the absorption of EGCG. Hence, EGCG-curcumin formulations can be a promising nutraceutical for the treatment of hyperlipidemia.

 

 

Vitamin D boosts chances of walking after hip fracture

Rutgers University, March 16, 2020

 

Senior citizens who are not vitamin D deficient have a better chance of walking after hip fracture surgery, according to a Rutgers-led study.

The findings in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest that vitamin D deficiency could limit mobility in older adults, said senior author Sue Shapses, a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Shapses suggests that older adults take 800 international units (IU), equivalent to 20 micrograms, of vitamin D daily to prevent deficiency. Vitamin D is important for bone health, and people get it through some foods, exposure to the sun and vitamin pills.

"An important next step is learning how vitamin D affects mobility," said Shapses, who is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and director of the Center for Human Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism at Rutgers' New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health. "For example, it is not clear if severe vitamin D deficiency is associated with direct effects on muscle, cognition and/or other organ systems."

A broken hip - among the most serious fall injuries - is hard to recover from, with many people unable to live on their own afterward. In the United States, more than 300,000 people 65 or older are hospitalized for hip fractures annually and falling causes more than 95 percent of these type of fractures. Women fall more frequently than men, experiencing three-quarters of hip fractures, and the number of fractures is likely to rise as the population ages, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Regaining mobility after a hip fracture is important for full recovery and to reduce the risk of death. But vitamin D deficiency is associated with reduced mobility after surgery to repair a hip fracture.

The multi-site study of patients 65 or older in the United States and Canada examined the influence of vitamin D levels in blood serum and nutrition on mobility. The study focused on death rate or inability to walk 10 feet (or across a room) without someone's help after surgery.

The findings showed that vitamin D levels greater than 12 nanograms per milliliter (12 parts per billion) in blood serum are associated with a higher rate of walking at 30 and 60 days after hip fracture surgery. While poor nutrition is associated with reduced mobility 30 days after surgery, that factor was not statistically significant. Still, in patients with high levels of parathyroid hormone, which leads to high levels of calcium in blood, mobility was reduced if their nutritional status was poor.

"This matters because vitamin D deficiency and malnutrition are common disorders in elderly patients with hip fractures and often occur together since both are complications of poor nutrition," Shapses said.

Previous studies have shown that taking 800 IU of vitamin D a day can prevent falling and fractures. A Rutgers-led study published last year indicated that high vitamin D intake (4,000 IU a day) compared with 600 IU a day may reduce reaction time, potentially boosting the risk of falling and fractures. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU daily for people from 1 to 70 years old and 800 for people over 70.

"These studies suggest that too much or too little vitamin D will affect mobility and falls in the elderly," Shapses said.

 

Inflammation in the brain linked to several forms of dementia

University of Cambridge, March 16, 2020

 

Inflammation in the brain may be more widely implicated in dementias than was previously thought, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge. The researchers say it offers hope for potential new treatments for several types of dementia.

Inflammation is usually the body's response to injury and stress - such as the redness and swelling that accompanies an injury or infection. However, inflammation in the brain - known as neuroinflammation - has been recognised and linked to many disorders including depression, psychosis and multiple sclerosis. It has also recently been linked to the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

In a study published today in the journal Brain, a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge set out to examine whether neuroinflammation also occurs in other forms of dementia, which would imply that it is common to many neurodegenerative diseases.

The team recruited 31 patients with three different types of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FTD is a family of different conditions resulting from the build-up of several abnormal 'junk' proteins in the brain.

Patients underwent brain scans to detect inflammation and the junk proteins. Two Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans each used an injection with a chemical 'dye', which lights up special molecules that reveal either the brain's inflammatory cells or the junk proteins.

In the first scan, the dye lit up the cells causing neuroinflammation. These indicate ongoing damage to the brain cells and their connections. In the second scan, the dye binds to the different types of 'junk' proteins found in FTD.

The researchers showed that across the brain, and in all three types of FTD, the more inflammation in each part of the brain, the more harmful build-up of the junk proteins there is. To prove the dyes were picking up the inflammation and harmful proteins, they went on to analyse under the microscope 12 brains donated after death to the Cambridge Brain Bank.

"We predicted the link between inflammation in the brain and the build-up of damaging proteins, but even we were surprised by how tightly these two problems mapped on to each other," said Dr Thomas Cope from the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Cambridge.

Dr Richard Bevan Jones added, "There may be a vicious circle where cell damage triggers inflammation, which in turn leads to further cell damage."

The team stress that further research is needed to translate this knowledge of inflammation in dementia into testable treatments. But, this new study shows that neuroinflammation is a significant factor in more types of dementia than was previously thought.

"It is an important discovery that all three types of frontotemporal dementia have inflammation, linked to the build-up of harmful abnormal proteins in different parts of the brain. The illnesses are in other ways very different from each other, but we have found a role for inflammation in all of them," says Professor James Rowe from the Cambridge Centre for Frontotemporal Dementia.

"This, together with the fact that it is known to play a role in Alzheimer's, suggests that inflammation is part of many other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. This offers hope that immune-based treatments might help slow or prevent these conditions."

 

 

 

Intestinal flora dysbiosis aggravates cognitive dysfunction associated with neuroinflammation in heart failure

Harbin Medical University (China), March 15, 2020

 

According to news reporting from Harbin, People’s Republic of China, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, “Cognitive dysfunction after heart failure (HF) is characterized by neuroinflammation, which plays an important role in the occurrence and development of cognitive dysfunction. Recent studies have shown that an intestinal flora imbalance may also trigger neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease.”

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, “The present study was designed to reveal that intestinal flora dysbiosis caused by HF aggravates neuroinflammation-associated cognitive impairment. Adult male SD rats were fed daily for 2 weeks with probiotics or placebo until the day of surgery. HF was then triggered by 8 weeks of sustained coronary artery occlusion. 16S rDNA sequencing was used to confirm intestinal flora dysbiosis after HF and demonstrate that the changes paralleled intestinal pathology scores. The permeability of the blood-brain barrier was increased after HF, and such an increase in permeability may increase the levels of inflammatory cytokines caused by intestinal flora disorders. The changes in the intestinal flora caused by probiotics significantly reduced the level of neuroinflammation. In addition, probiotic administration considerably improved the impaired spatial memory in HF rats.”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “We conclude that intestinal flora dysbiosis plays a potential role in aggravating the impaired cognition associated with neuroinflammation and that these effects may be attenuated by probiotics.”

 

 

 

Cellular stress makes obese mothers have obese babies

French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, March 16, 2020

Maternal obesity increases the risk for obesity and metabolic perturbations in their offspring, but what are the mechanisms? In a new study published March 12 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, Sebastien Bouret of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Lille, France, and colleagues show that a key step in the process is the triggering of stress in a complex membrane system within all cells called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). That stress leads to critical changes in the development of the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that controls hunger, satiety, and metabolic rate.

The ER constitutes the largest network of membranes within a cell, and plays a central role in the synthesis of proteins and many other biological processes. In response to cellular stress, the ER activates the so-called "unfolded protein response," whose normal function is to restore the cellular balance, but whose prolonged activation has been linked to obesity-induced insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in adults. Because of this link, and because maternal obesity has also been linked to abnormal development of the hypothalamus, the authors asked whether ER stress might be tied directly to obesity-driven hypothalamic changes.

Working in mice, they began by showing that maternal obesity led to increased body weight in male offspring, with an increase in food intake, reduced oxygen consumption, and impaired glucose tolerance (female offspring were not affected, for reasons that remain to be explored). These changes were accompanied by ER stress in several tissues, including the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, a key site for metabolic regulation. One known mechanism for that regulation is through signaling by the hormone leptin; leptin inhibits hunger, and maternal obesity is known to increase resistance to its effects.

The authors showed that all these changes could be mitigated by treating offspring with the naturally occurring bile acid tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), which is known to promote refolding of proteins and alleviate ER stress. When the mice pups of obese mothers received TUDCA, neuronal development within their arcuate nucleus was normalized, leptin signaling was restored, and the alterations in body weight, glucose tolerance, and most other physiologic measures were reversed.

"Obesity is a complex phenomenon that likely has multiple drivers but the relative importance of maternal obesity-induced ER stress in promoting offspring obesity was not known," Bouret said. "The results from this study suggest it does play an important role by disrupting the development of brain pathways that control appetite" he adds. "Interestingly, TUDCA has been approved in the United States and Europe to treat specific liver and neurodegenerative disorders, raising the possibility that the clinical use of this ER stress-relieving drug could be expanded to treatment of childhood obesity, which now affects more than 40 million children worldwide."

 

 

 

Dietary anti-cancer compound may work by influence on cellular genetics

Oregon State University, March 15, 2020

 

 

Researchers have discovered one of the reasons why broccoli may be good for your health.

They found that sulforaphane, a dietary compound from broccoli that's known to help prevent prostate cancer, may work through its influence on long, non-coding RNAs. This is another step forward in a compelling new area of study on the underlying genetics of cancer development and progression.

The findings were published by researchers from Oregon State University in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

 

The research provides more evidence for how these lncRNAs, which were once thought to be a type of "junk DNA" of no particular value or function, may instead play a critical role in triggering cells to become malignant and spread.

 

Growing evidence shows that lncRNAs, which number in the thousands, have a major role in cell biology and development, often by controlling what genes are turned on, or "expressed" to carry out their genetic function. Scientists now believe that when these lncRNAs are dysregulated they can contribute to multiple disease processes, including cancer.

 

Unlike many chemotherapeutic drugs that affect healthy cells as well as malignant ones and can cause undesired side effects, the control of lncRNAs may offer a new way to specifically prevent or slow the progression of malignant cells.

"This could be a turning point in our understanding of how cancer may be triggered and spreads," said Emily Ho, the endowed director of the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health at OSU, a professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences and principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute.

"It's obviously of interest that this dietary compound, found at some of its highest levels in broccoli, can affect lncRNAs. This could open the door to a whole range of new dietary strategies, foods or drugs that might play a role in cancer suppression or therapeutic control."

 

In particular, this research showed that one lncRNA, called LINC01116, is upregulated in a human cell line of prostate cancer, but can be decreased by treatment with sulforaphane. The data "reinforce the idea that lncRNAs are an exciting new avenue for chemoprevention research, and chemicals derived from diet can alter their expression," the scientists wrote in their study.

 

"We showed that treatment with sulforaphane could normalize the levels of this lncRNA," said Laura Beaver, a research associate in the Linus Pauling Institute and College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and lead author on the study. "This may relate to more than just cancer prevention. It would be of significant value if we could develop methods to greatly slow the progress of cancer, help keep it from becoming invasive."

 

The impact of diet on lncRNA expression has been largely unknown until now, the researchers said. In this study, they identified a four-fold decrease in the ability of prostate cancer cells to form colonies when LINC01116 was disrupted.

 

Among men, prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer globally, and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Worth noting, the researchers said, is that an increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, which are high in sulforaphane, appears to be associated with a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.

 

That same lncRNA, they noted, is also overexpressed in studies of several other types of cancer, including brain, lung and colon cancer. Some other lncRNAs have been found at higher levels in breast, stomach, lung, prostate cancer and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

In other research, a knockout of the gene that encodes one type of lncRNA in mice conferred some resistance to obesity caused by a high-fat diet.

 

"Taken together, this literature and our own study begin to paint a picture of the important and previously unappreciated role of lncRNAs in the body's response to diet," the researchers wrote in the study. "These discoveries illustrate that lncRNAs can play important roles in cancer development and may be useful targets for cancer prevention, detection and treatment."

 

 

 

 

Tyrosine, tryptophan fight “baby blues”

University of Toronto, March 16, 2020

 

THREE supplements, including blueberry juice, could help new mums beat postnatal depression, experts have suggested.

 

The “baby blues” is a precursor to full blown postnatal depression. One in 10 women will be affected by postnatal depression within a year of giving birth.

 

By reducing the risk of the “baby blues”, which typically hits around three days after birth, it’s possible to reduce the risk of more serious depression.

 

The kit included three supplements – tryptophan, tyrosine and blueberry extract.

 

They were carefully selected by scientists at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

 

All can compensate for a surge in the brain protein MAO-A, which happens in the early stages of postnatal depression.

 

The same pattern is seen people with clinical depression.

 

The protein breaks down three chemicals that help maintain mood – serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. When there are low levels of these three chemicals, it can lead to feelings of sadness. MAO-A levels peak five days after giving birth, the same time when it’s most likely a mum will succumb to postnatal depression.

Trytophan – which is found in high levels in turkey – and tyrosine – found in cheese, soybeans, and meat – help boost the three chemicals.

 

Dr Jeffrey Meyer, who lead the study, said: “Developing successful nutrition-based treatments, based on neurobiology, is rare in psychiatry.

 

The supplements – trytophan and tyrosine and blueberry extract – produced dramatic results, stopping the “baby blues”, a precursor to full blown postnatal depression

 

“We believe our approach also represents a promising new avenue for creating other new dietary supplements for medicinal use.”

 

Dr Meyer and his team also tested and found the levels of trytophan and tyrosine supplements – given in higher amounts than you could get normally in your diet – did not affect a mum’s breast milk.

His team gave 21 women the supplements and compared them to 20 new mums who took a placebo.

 

They took their supplements over three days, starting three days after giving birth. On day five, when postnatal depression typically peaks, the women underwent tests to measure their mood. 

 

Dr Meyer’s team found the results were dramatic. Women not taking the supplements had a significant increase in depression scores. Those taking the three supplements, did not experience any depression.

 

Dr Meyer said: “We believe this is the first study to show such a strong, beneficial effect of an intervention in reducing the baby blues at a time when postpartum sadness peaks. “Postpartum blues are common and usually resolves 10 days after giving birth, but when they are intesnse, the risk of postpartum depression increases four-fold.” He added more research is now needed to trial the supplements in a larger group of new mums.

 

 

 

 

B vitamins protect epigenome from pollution effects

Columbia University, March 13 2020

 

A trail reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals a protective effect for supplementation with B vitamins on the human epigenome:  the chemicals surrounding DNA that modify the genome and help determine the genes that are active in a cell. The trial’s results suggest that B vitamins could help protect the epigenome from the detrimental effects of air pollution.

 

"The molecular foundations of air pollution's health effects are not fully understood, and the lack of individual-level preventative options represented a critical knowledge gap," noted coauthor Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, who is a professor and chair of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. "Our study launches a line of research for developing preventive interventions to minimize the adverse effects of air pollution on potential mechanistic markers. Because of the central role of epigenetic modifications in mediating environmental effects, our findings could very possibly be extended to other toxicants and environmental diseases."

 

In a crossover trial, 10 adults were given a placebo for 2 weeks, followed by exposure to particle-free air; a placebo for 4 weeks, followed by exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5); and 2.5 milligrams (mg) folic acid, 50 mg vitamin B6 and 1 mg vitamin B12 daily for 4 weeks, followed by exposure to fine particulate matter. Epigenome changes in peripheral CD4+ T-helper cells were assessed at the end of each of the three experiments.

 

“This crossover intervention trial with controlled exposure experiments demonstrated that 2 hour exposure to concentrated ambient PM2.5 affects the dynamic epigenetic landscape in circulating CD4+ T helper cells among healthy adults,” the authors report. “We showed that these effects can be prevented with B-vitamin supplementation (i.e., folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12).”

 

 

- Older Posts »

Play this podcast on Podbean App