The Gary Null Show
The Gary Null Show - Is COVID-19 Herd Immunity Possible?

The Gary Null Show - Is COVID-19 Herd Immunity Possible?

April 30, 2020

Is COVID-19 Herd Immunity Possible?

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, April 29, 2020

One effort some countries are undertaking to stem the rise of COVID-19 infections is to increase herd immunity.  There are physicians and scientists suggesting that the more individuals are exposed to the coronavirus, the faster the population will reach a hypothetical herd immunity. However there is no international consensus on this strategy given many factors about this particular viral strain that remain essentially unknown. Unfortunately, this week, the World Health Organization issued a warning that there is no guarantee or confirmatory evidence that persons infected with COVID-19 have generated reliable antibody responses that would protect them from reinfection.  Consequently, governments that are lessening lockdowns or making efforts to open their economies for business again may be contributing to the increase of other viral infections as well. On the other hand, this finding, if valid, may put a halt to attempts to require "immunity passports" or to implement draconian measures requiring certified proof of immunity or even vaccination. 

Now more than ever it is critically important to question and challenge many of the a priori assumptions being made about this pandemic's rates of infection, immunity, and fatalities. 

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The Gary Null Show - A review of the controversies in the film Planet of the Humans

The Gary Null Show - A review of the controversies in the film Planet of the Humans

April 29, 2020

Richard Heinberg is A Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute and is widely regarded as one of the world’s experts on our shift away from reliance on fossil fuels.  His writings focus on the repercussions of a fossil fuel based world economy on food and transportation, and the need to transition away from fossil fuels and create a more sustainable future. Richard appears in the new documentary Planet of the Humans that is raising some important controversies and was featured in Leonardo DiCaprio’s film “The Eleventh Hour.” His articles appear in many media sources including Nature, YES!, Counterpunch, Oil Drum, Public Policy Review, and Project Censored. He has authored over ten books on oil depletion, energy economics, climate change and ecological issues.  His latest book is “Our Renewable Future: Laying the Path to One Hundred Percent Clean Energy”.  His websites are  AND

The Gary Null Show - 04.28.20

The Gary Null Show - 04.28.20

April 28, 2020

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. Glucosamine supplementation associated with lower mortality risk during 8.9-year median, Which foods do you eat together? How you combine them may raise dementia risk. Quercetin demonstrates analgesic effect in post-inflammatory irritable bowel syndrome. Plants against diabetes: Adopting a plant-based diet can slash your risk of developing metabolic diseases. Orujo olive oil reduces obesity, The best material for homemade face masks may be a combination of two fabrics. Therapeutic effects of extract of ashwagandha on age-induced changes in daily rhythms. 

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What We Should ALL Be Doing Right Now! 😷 (ORIGINAL)

The Gary Null Show - COVID-19’s Economic Holocaust

The Gary Null Show - COVID-19’s Economic Holocaust

April 27, 2020

COVID-19's Economic Holocaust

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, April 27, 2020


For all the uncertainties the COVID-19 pandemic poses to the world, especially in the US, one thing seems evident.  Our neoliberal capitalist civilization has proven itself to be unprepared for unexpected crises and catastrophes. For decades, the US has been falling behind other developed nations to infuse economic resiliency in society. Not only has the American medical system and federal health agencies been shown to be naked, we are also discovering we cannot rely on epistemological statistics and computer modeling alone to account for our flawed health policies.

Aside from the pandemic's toll on people's lives, there is also its impact upon the national economies and the global economy at large that is barely being discussed in any depth. Rather, hopes and wishes are being directed towards life returning to normal.  We are expected to believe that our addiction to unconscionable consumerism will return, employment will rise and the American dream can again be mentally photo-shopped on the horizon. In short, we are persuaded that the comfort of our illusions and denial of harsh realities will return.  However, if a past Nobel laureate of economics, Joseph Stiglitz, is correct, then "if you leave it to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell we will have a Great Depression." Likewise, former Federal Reserve chair Jenet Yellen has also warned that the 30% GDP decline is leading us towards Depression. In fact, we may already be there.

As of today, the federal government has guaranteed $5.2 trillion dollars to keep the economy afloat as a depression worse than 1932 looms overhead. Some economists believe that this massive bailout is insufficient and upwards to $10-15 trillion may be necessary.  In 2008, with one broad stroke the Obama administration rescued Wall Street.  What was believed to be just the TARP bailout of $700 billion was in fact over $4 trillion worth of outlays, including TARP and other FED and Treasury expenditures.  The Levy Institute at Bard College calculated the outlays may have been as high as $29 trillion, a number the Sanders' campaign had quoted.

Obama's bailout was to assist the incompetency and corruption of Wall Street and the financial industry. Today it is a submicroscopic organism, approximately 120 nanometers (one nanometer is one billionth of a meter or about 20 oxygen atoms lined up), that threatens the financial well being of most Americans.

However before the COVID-19 reached our shores, the US was already in a horrible debt crisis. Fiscal conservatives are angered that the US National Debt has reached $24.5 trillion while at the same time adamantly ignoring that the US Total Debt now hovers above $77 trillion. Neither party shows concern about Americans' increasing personal debt (mortgage, credit card, auto, student loans, etc), nor the rise in corporate, state and city debts. When we take into consideration $144.6 trillion in US Unfunded Liabilities, $20.4 trillion in Social Security Liability, and $31.6 trillion in Medicare liability, the nation lingers on the precipice a total collapse.

Before the pandemic, Trump boasted an unemployment level as low as 3.6 percent. But in the US, there are different ways to calculate unemployment figures. There is the official figure (U-3) that Wall Street and presidential administrations rely upon and then a more realistic statistic or U-6 that includes those underemployed and those only marginally attached to the work force.  Before the pandemic the "real" or U-6 employment was 6.9 percent.  Finally there is the shadow statistic, which adds the millions of Americans who have dropped out of the work force because their benefits ceased or because they are homeless or unaccounted for by the Labor Bureau.  When those adjustments are made, the shadow unemployment is likely around 23 percent.

Now, unemployment is skyrocketing.  The most recent estimate is that over 26 million people lost work during the past month and, according to Fortune magazine, the official unemployment rate may be as high 18 percent.  Consequently a more accurate unemployment figure would be approximately 32 percent or almost a third of population. This is far worse than at the height of the Great Depression when unemployment stood at 25 percent.  The dark side of American jobs has been decades of large layoffs, workers being replaced by automation, downsizing, corporate consolidation due to equity partnerships, mergers and off shoring of manufacturing. In addition, tens of thousands of foreign professionals have received work visas and are eager to take the place of middle seniority positions in firms for lower salaries and without full benefits.  The system is so corrupt that the millions of people who work full time for less than a living wage are completely ignored. Hence most Americans are deep in debt and frequently live paycheck to paycheck. The fact of the matter is that there is no security whatsoever for millions of people who may not find work for a very long time.

Even if the lockdown were to end tomorrow, the lights would not immediately switch back on.  Throughout the financial news, we are reading headlines of companies eyeing bankruptcy as credit ratings are being rapidly downgraded.  Retail stores are being especially hit badly. According to Global Data Retail, over 190,000 retail stores have closed, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the nation's retail square footage. Forbes has listed Dillards, JC Penny, Kohl's, Levi Strauss, Macy's, Nordstrom, and Signet to likely go under.  Others include Pier 1 Imports, Rite Aid, J Crew that is loaded up with private equity debt, Fairway supermarkets, and niche organic grocer Lucky's. Macy's capital alone dropped from $6 billion to $1.5 billion since February. This trend had already been rising since Trump came to office with large chain companies increasingly closing outlets including Walgreens, Gap, GNC, H&M and Victoria's Secret. For sure, when and if the pandemic ends, there will be far less retail stores. The New York Times predicts very few are likely to survive. And we are not even looking at the hundreds of their vendors that are also being affected.

With 60 percent of Americans eating regularly outside the home, the restaurant industry is also being hit fiercely. Restaurants employ more minority managers than any other industry -- approximately 60% -- and employs almost 16 million people. Between 2010 and 2018, it represented the largest number of low middle class jobs ($45,000 to $75,000), 300 percent more than the overall economy. Now a restaurant apocalypse is underway, with an estimated 20 percent of restaurant operations going under. Larger chains are far better equipped. They are simply closing down dining room facilities and only offering carryout, pickup, delivery or drive-thru. Smaller independent restaurants are at the greatest risk.

Then there are the farms, the concentrated agriculture feeding organizations (CAFOs) and food chain suppliers. In the past it was very rare to enter a large grocery store and find empty shelves. Now it is a common sight because the food supply chain has been upended. Pork and other meat suppliers such as Smithfield Foods, Tyson and Cargill are forced to close plants. Due to Trump's draconian position on immigration of foreign workers, farm produce will not be harvested. Niv Ellis at The Hill reports that "some $5 billion of fresh fruit and vegetables have already gone to waste."  The pandemic, therefore, is contributing to rising food insecurity throughout the nation. Before the pandemic, Ellis notes, 37 million Americans were already food insecure.  The additional 26 million unemployed will increase that number, and it is sure to continue to climb. Finally, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization expects that the frantic efforts underway by countries to import basic staple foods may launch global food inflation.

We are also facing "the quickest and deepest oil demand crash in history," says Richard Heinberg from the Post Carbon Institute. Oil prices plunged to an inconceivable negative minus $37 a barrel last week as global fossil fuel demand dropped roughly 30 percent.  "The entire petroleum industry," writes Heinberg, "is teetering."  Natural gas producers relying on hydrofracking shale, which had already been burdened with high debt from private equity, are scrambling for bankruptcy protectionAccording to Reuters, "numerous midstream companies [in the energy sector] backed by private equity are in danger of bankruptcy." With the collapse of hydrofracking companies, the pipeline firms have also entered troubled waters. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City predicts that 40 percent of energy producers may be insolvent "if oil prices remain around $30 a barrel" for the year. Then consider the larger picture of the impact this has on the 6.4 million people working in the energy sector.

Also we might consider the future of 15 million Americans who work in the tourism industry, including hotels, entertainment, parks, museums, etc. It is estimated that 96 percent of global tourism has vanished in the blink of an eye.

State and local city governments are also "staring at budget shortfalls that will substantially exceed what they faced during the great recession." States are reporting significant gaps in their capacity to remain fiscally afloat. The Republican Senate led by Mitch McConnell seems determined to withhold $150 billion of emergency funds to the states in the CARES Act before Congress -- less than half of the $300 billion to $1 trillion state legislators are demanding. Consequently, states are staring into a deep abyss.

Americans who will either return to a job or seek work when the pandemic slows will be further imprisoned by an economy buried in greater debt.

  • Downsizing will accelerate along with borrowed money to continue operations while the White House refuses to pass a rent holiday, forgive student loans and other debts, cease payday loans, reduce interest rates on credit nor provide free healthcare for those infected with COVID-19;


  • The average person without a steady paycheck is living off savings and credit cards. Therefore, when the economy reopens, large numbers of people will be unable to return to the marketplace to circulate dollars;


  • As corporate debt mounts, the most insidious truth are the vultures of capitalism who will profit. These are the great white sharks in the finance industry that smell blood. For the trillions of dollars Trump is dishing out to the 1 percent, these are the first to get the lion's share of the quarry.

Nobody in the mainstream media has properly criticized the huge monetary allocations being made for the pandemic. The FED is buying corporate debt in order for companies to off load their mistakes and receive fresh, new money. But the average small business receives the left over pennies.  The virus is teaching us the harsh reality about Washington pervasive culture of corruption. On this account both parties have no empathic regard for average citizens and small business owners.  Even the money from Trump's and Mnuchin's stimulus package given to citizens can be confiscated by debt collectors.

Imagine if you are an average citizen, not an insider, at the conference table with executives from Facebook, Google, the major banks and mega-corporate industries. You have no income or savings and no health insurance. If you are hungry, where do you get money for food? Where do you get money if you are sick or gas for your car?  The unintended consequences of Trump's and the Congress' irresponsible and inhumane policies are literally bankrupting the nation.

By extension the millennial and iGen generations are the victimized recipients of this debt bequeathed to them by older generations. They are further compromised with the inability to secure jobs equal to their educational level nor secure a satisfying living wage. They are burdened with high interest student loans. They also are far more aware of the impact climate change will have on their futurs. Therefore, millions of young adults are rapidly losing faith in America's neoliberal capitalist system and our self-centered culture of predation.

Similar to waking up the day following September 11, 2001, we will be emerging into a new world after the COVID19 pandemic subsides. It is now being called the "shut-in economy." The pandemic is not solely a health crisis; it is equally an existential crisis, an impasse in the global civilization that is forcing us to realize that our over dependence and perverse reliance upon natural resources, such as fuel, energy, food and corrupt banking and healthcare services, is fragile. We are learning that at every level there are numerous cracks in our structures of governance and our economic and social bases.  Yet the virus did not break the nation; it has been broken for a long time. Only now more people are waking up from their dream. Furthermore, few people, including the mainstream media, now believe there will ever be a return to the normalcy of life that ended after Wuhan had its first patient infected with the virus. It is time for every individual to reassess her or his priorities. A life full of well-being is more possible today if we realize the virus has also been our teacher. But it is living a life that is founded upon simplicity, insight and wisdom, and community rather than consumption and competitive power. 

The Gary Null Show - PLAGUE OF CORRUPTION:  The case against our federal health agencies and its handling of COVID19 pandemic - 04.24.20

The Gary Null Show - PLAGUE OF CORRUPTION: The case against our federal health agencies and its handling of COVID19 pandemic - 04.24.20

April 24, 2020

Kent Heckenlively is an attorney with a jurist doctoral degree, a science teacher and a founding contributing editor of Age of Autism, a daily web newsletter about the autism epidemic that investigates autism as an environmentally induced and treatable illness. In the past he has worked for US Senator Pete Wilson from California and the US Attorney’s Office in San Francisco. His daughter Jacqueline has severe autism due to a vaccine injury. Kent is the co-author with Dr. Judy Mikovits of the recent book "Plague of Corruption: Restoring Faith in the Promise of Science" -- which recounts Dr. Mikovits' career over the past four decades working with the cutting edge of viral research both within and outside of government.  Earlier Kent authored “Inoculated: How Science Lost its Soul in Autism,” which tells the story of how vaccines have become a 30 year disaster since the passage of Ronald Reagan’s 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act that gave vaccine makers immunity from vaccine injuries.

Dr. Judy Mikovits has been research scientists for almost four decades specializing in immunology and virology, drug development and epigenetics.  Her dedication saw her rise to become the director of the National Cancer Institute's laboratory for Antiviral Drug Mechanisms. Later she went into private industry to direct the cancer biology program at EpiGenX Pharmaceuticals in California and was drawn to investigate the molecular causation of autism, chronic fatigue syndrome and immunological inflammation in disease. She holds a BA from the University of Virginia and received her doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from George Washington University.  Judy's and Kent's website is

The Gary Null Show - 04.23.20

The Gary Null Show - 04.23.20

April 23, 2020

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



The Gary Null Show - The Empty Celebration of Earth Day - 04.22.20

The Gary Null Show - The Empty Celebration of Earth Day - 04.22.20

April 22, 2020

The Empty Celebration of Earth Day

Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, April 21, 2020


Fifty years ago I and other conservationists and public health advocates were thrilled with the idea of an annual Earth Day celebration to honor our planet. At that time, I had more requests from television and radio to speak about health, nutrition and the early natural food movement. I had never received before any requests to speak about the environment, although I was an organic farmer and taught organic and sustainable agricultural methods at my Fertile Earth Farm outside of New Paltz in the Hudson Valley.

Despite the success of the early Earth Day events, there seemed to be very little national interest in deeper environmental issues. Even in those days, I largely spoke to deaf ears. Unlike the worldwide consciousness growing around civil and women's rights, activism advocating for stewardship of the Earth, its resources and wildlife was still in its infancy. I was hoping these various efforts might join together. That included going vegetarian, live through the principle of being in harmony with the natural world and conscientiously simplifying our lives. Rather than focus on a future to purchase and hoard more stuff, explore what other cultures do to connect with our human faculties that foster compassion, kindness, and a shared commons. I believed we should be oracles of peace rather than ambassadors of political hegemony, oppression and power.

Yet how foolish, naive and delusional I was! Now jumping forward fifty years, where does humanity linger today?  Last year was the year of Greta Thunberg, a teenager who raised hell, got into the faces of the world's leaders and demanded environmental priority over profits. Despite her sincerity and heer activism's success in mobilizing the global youth, it turned out to be a rather futile gesture.  We are still faced with powerful laissez faire opportunists behind Green capitalism exemplified by the elite such as Al Gore. With very few exceptions, I no longer believe the world governments, and certainly not private industry or the mainstream media, will effectively cause anything to change to the degree necessary to reach a realistic level of ecological sustainability.

Do we ever ask a basic question?  What are we trying to save the planet from? The answer is simple: massive over-consumption of unessential stuff that requires endless exploitation of natural resources and the media's manufacturing of consent. Aside from a bubble economy of debt, we have a bubble educational system.  Bubble military and pharmaceutical complexes. A bubble agriculture. A bubble body politic. And bubble comfort where we do nothing that advances the causes for empathy by engaging in authentic change and care for others rather than solely for ourselves and our tribe. All of our grasping for luxuries while doing less feeds the predatory capitalist system.

Robinson Jeffers, an icon of America's early 20th century environmental movement, anti-war activist and epic poet warned of the same social hubris that we witness today and is now leading us to an environmental precipice. He believed humanity was too self-centered and indifferent to the "astonishing beauty of things." He called on his readers to "uncenter" themselves. The only thing that materialism accomplishes, according to Jeffers, is to teach us how to suffer. His contemporary John Muir would castigate the utter failure of the faith based religions to protect the Earth and pen, "No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals, temples and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord."

Sadly, our lying mainstream media rarely portrays the ugliness of our culture and our destruction of the planet. It only focuses on the consequences of climate change disasters, not why these crises are happening and who is ultimately responsible. These are treated as one time events. There is no complex and truthful analysis. For example, last year, there were record breaking weather events. Alaska witnessed for the first time a complete loss of sea ice. Wildfires occurred in Greenland and above the Arctic Circle. There was epic flooding in the American heartland, forest fires devastated large tracts of northern California, and the Bahamas were hit with the first recognized Category 6 hurricane.  But these events were only in the news cycle for a day or two before disappearing. Have major media outlets ever gone back to look at the long term consequences?

Our media reality is hyper-kinetic. Short and spastic, it changes with each 24-hour news cycle. Information is rapidly lost from our cultural consciousness and other political news stories replace it before another climate catastrophe appears on the horizon. Consequently there is no time for self reflection or meditation about what each of us as individuals should be doing.

I knew something was terribly wrong during a later Earth Day celebration in Dallas where I was a speaker. After my lecture, I wandered around the fairgrounds observing people eating hamburgers and junk food. Coke cans were scattered about. I realized most came for the country music. They did not attend in order to learn how to better change their lives.

Today there is nothing to stop global warming's dangerous feedback loops. Repeatedly we learn that the experts were wrong in their predictions by a substantial measure. The Antarctic ice sheets are melting far more rapidly than expected, by a ten-fold magnitude. Sea level rise is happening faster than forecasted.  In 2019, the International Arctic Research Center reported that the region has entered an "unprecedented state" that threatens the planet's climate stability.

The Trump White House does absolutely nothing and instead has been making efforts to censor press statements related to climate change. Wall Street and the private corporate industrial complex are equally complicit in keeping the public stupefied.  In the meantime, there is a new Earth Day for us to stand up and be proud of. And this meaningless ritual we will continue to frivolously revere in the future as matters worsen. There is nothing to be learned from celebrity environmentalists, many who will fly to events in private jets, eat meat and then pontificate about environmental consciousness raising.

This does not mean that I am surrendering my commitment to the Earth nor should you. However, I will no longer waste my time with large environmental organizations and Earth Days. Instead, every day I support local activities such as farmer markets and efforts to strengthen local community resilience. I balance my lifestyle in order to minimize my carbon footprint, support truly sustainable movements, and intentional communities where people choose to live in harmony with nature and focus on the emotional and intellectual quality of their lives. I will continue to host daily radio broadcasts and direct documentaries on the environment and health. However, what we do as individuals in our homes, with our neighbors and communities also make a difference.

When Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the first Earth Day in 1970, it was because he observed that the health of the planet was being completely ignored in politics and the media. The nationwide event would have been irrelevant except for it having set important milestones. It led to public support behind the eventual passage of Ralph Nader's Clean Air and Clean Water acts and the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency.  Nader is undoubtedly our most important and uncompromised environmentalist. It was his commitment to the Earth and our humanity's relationship to the environment that resulted in passing many laws to protect us.

Therefore, instead of another Earth Day pageant on April 22nd, let us reconnect with the beauty of what remains of nature and our neighbors with earnest. And let's remember the words of Chief Seattle from the Suquamish nation that "humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves."

The Gary Null Show - 04.21.20

The Gary Null Show - 04.21.20

April 21, 2020

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. Higher magnesium intake, serum vitamin D associated with lower mortality risk in colorectal cancer patients during follow-up. Meditation could help anxiety and cardiovascular health. With beetroot juice before exercise, aging brains look 'younger': study. Properties Ayurveda Brahmi compounds indicate potential use against Alzheimer disease and other neurologic disorders. Self-paced exercise may be key to improving children's attention, memory and wellbeing. Continued CO2 emissions will impair cognition. Dietary apple polyphenols promote beneficial fat browning in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. The emotions we feel may shape what we see. Biochemical and molecular evidences for the antitumor potential of ginkgo. Why lockdowns are the wrong policy - Swedish expert Prof. Johan Giesecke

The Gary Null Show - 04.20.20

The Gary Null Show - 04.20.20

April 20, 2020

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. Strength training can reduce liver fat and improve blood sugar levels, according to a recent animal study. A team of researchers from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Sao Paulo, Brazil studied the effects of strength training exercises on obese mice and found that the exercises led to a 25–30 percent reduction of liver fat prior to weight loss.. Investigating the apoptopic and autophagic effects of Skullcap (Scutellaria Radix) in non-small cell lung cancer. Amla therapy as a potential modulator of Alzheimer disease risk factors. Exercise during pregnancy reduces obesity among offspring. People may know the best decision -- and not make it. Lifestyle changes could delay memory problems in old age, depending on our genes. Noni Juice Reduces Cholesterol Among Cigarette Smokers. With a heavy heart: How men and women develop heart disease differently. Burning mouth syndrome patients have higher frequencies of blood hemoglobin and serum iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid deficiencies

The Gary Null Show - The Origin of Coronavirius w/Joshua Philipp

The Gary Null Show - The Origin of Coronavirius w/Joshua Philipp

April 17, 2020

Joshua Philipp is an award-winning senior investigative reporter with The Epoch Times in New York City and host of 'The China Report'. He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare, subversion, and historical perspectives on today’s issues. His 10-plus years of research and investigations on the Chinese Communist Party, subversion, and related topics gives him unique insight into the global threat and political landscape. Joshua is the narrator host  for the recent documentary film "Tracking Down the Origins of the Wuhan Virus." which is based upon much of his research in to the origins of COVID-19.   The film can be viewed on Youtube. 

The Gary Null Show - Coronavirus-19: What is really going on

The Gary Null Show - Coronavirus-19: What is really going on

April 16, 2020

Dr Gary G. Kohls is a retired family practitioner, who specialized in holistic (non-drug) and preventive mental health care for the last decade of his career. He has expertise in the areas of traumatic stress disorders, brain malnutrition, non-pharmaceutical approaches to mental ill health, neurotransmitter disorders and the neurotoxicities from psychotropic drugs, vaccines, environmental toxins and food additives. He worked with previously psychologically traumatized, usually malnourished, sometimes seriously neglected (in childhood), and over-drugged patients who had then suffered the ignominy of being falsely labeled “mentally ill. Since his retirement, Dr Kohls has written a weekly column for the Duluth Reader, an alternative newsweekly magazine published in Minnesota.  He is a past member of the International Center for the Study of Psychology and Psychiatry, Mind Freedom International and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. His weekly Duty to Warn columns appear on his website and archived at






The Gary Null Show - 04.15.20

The Gary Null Show - 04.15.20

April 15, 2020

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. Mindful yoga reduces testosterone by 29% in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Diet may help preserve cognitive function. Electrospun manuka honey nanofibrous wound dressings. New study indicates exercise can help prevent liver cancer. New study finds that obesity is the single biggest “chronic” factor in hospitalizations for COVID-19 in NYC. Evidence for benefit of omega-3 fatty acids in ocular surface diseases. 'Bill Gates is continuing the work of Monsanto', Vandana Shiva tells FRANCE 24

The Gary Null Show - The Big Lie: The Stench of Mainstream Corporate Media - 04.14.20

The Gary Null Show - The Big Lie: The Stench of Mainstream Corporate Media - 04.14.20

April 14, 2020

The Big Lie: The Stench of Mainstream Corporate Media

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, April 14, 2020


The  liberal media -- New York Times and Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC, The Daily Beast, Alternet, Mother Jones, Daily Kos and others—has in Chris Hedge's words, “betrayed the core values they [liberals] use to define themselves—the rule of law, the safeguarding of civil liberties, the protection of unions, the preservation of social welfare programs, environmental accords, financial regulation, a defiance of unjust war and torture, and the abolition of drone wars.”  On the flip side, the conservative media such Fox, Sinclair and the Christian broadcasting networks, equally forsakes the most basic principles of human decency and compassion.

During the early decades of the twentieth century, these ideals and causes would have been a standard platform that defined the progressive agenda from a liberal and humanist perspective. Modern progressivism’s roots began with La Follette’s Weekly, a publication founded by Senator Robert La Follette in 1909. Still in print,  but known as The Progressive, it remains a leading voice against war, militarism, oligarchic rule, and corporate interests that have hijacked and increasingly control Congress and the White House. When we consider the mainstream media networks and publications -- left and right -- how many have publicly expressed opposition to the escalation of America’s wars and regime changes, greenhouse gas emissions, and the lobbying of Big Pharma, the agro-chemical and fossil fuel industries, and Wall Street?  Such corporate media outlets can’t be found because in a full blown oligarchy they are the both the government’s and its private financiers' partners in laying the foundation for a totalitarian nation.

The media is incapable of reporting to Americans the true state of the country's domestic and cultural affairs and the harsh decline back to a developing nation. Both conservative and liberal media have failed to create a believable story that reflects the actual economic and social conditions of average Americans because it has not been able to move beyond the Red-Blue divide.

All of our institutions today are bereft of ethical and spiritual substance. The right suffers from pre-rational superstition and anti-intellectualism that has turned the US into a laughing stock among developed countries. The left suffers from a highbrow intellect and a poverty of spirit that was once, and could be again, a moral and revolutionary force to relieve suffering and fight on behalf of peace and human and civil rights.

Although most alternative liberal media disagree on particular policies, when election time arrives, all realistic principles are abandoned. Given the ease with which the liberal media betrays its stated ideals, we must call into question the integrity of the entire political establishment altogether and ask whether it is wise to compromise.

If you have bought into the mainstream media and support either of the two parties now dominating Washington, then by extension this is what you have been condoning:

  • Across the board the government and corporate America continue to deny the severity of climate change and global warming threats and therefore accept there is no urgency to take drastic measures to curb the rate of greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Failure to cover the actual human and environmental risks of hydrofracking, tar sand oil and pipelines and instead only focusing on the spectacle of Standing Rock protests;
  • Support the construction of new nuclear power reactors, believing in the myth and propaganda of clean coal, condoning indiscriminate hydrofracking in environmentally sensitive areas and allowing these industries to be subsidized by the taxpayer;
  • Has shown to tolerate illegal wiretapping and a systematic surveillance of Americans by government intelligence agencies in allegiance with private cyber-security corporations;
  • By ignoring the government's regressive surveillance efforts it is being complaint with violating privacy laws so that no citizen is protected from monitoring email, mobile phones, the internet, etc, because every citizen in the government’s eyes is a potential threat to the country’s national security
  • By completely ignoring the end of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by the Obama administration and now expanded upon by Trump, which forbids the US military from being deployed on domestic soil and acting against American citizens, the media is further advancing the military policing of the populace;
  • The media's silence permits the US to transform into a police state as state, county and township police departments are increasingly militarized by the US armed forces and become extensions of the Department of Defense;
  • Rarely does a federal or intelligence whistleblower ever appear on mainstream media. Its negligence in fact supports the silencing and prosecution of whistleblowers in government who come forth publicly to warn about criminal activities and corruption in government agencies;
  • As our civil court system is being transformed into a military court model, it erodes the legal rights of citizens against government tyranny upon which our legal system is based;
  • Ignoring the corruption and funding behind the entire private prison system that relies upon an infinite growth model of inmates, and the criminalization of poverty;
  • Consistently acts against the rights of workers and unions, favoring treaties such as NAFTA, GATT and the forthcoming Trans Pacific and Trans Atlantic partnerships that further sell out American workers in return to greater profits to be overseas for the 1 percent;
  • Gives preferential treatment to the medical insurance industry, which contributes nothing to the prevention and treatment of disease, and is silent about the private medical establishment writing the healthcare laws for the country;


  • Completely complicit in advancing the pharmaceutical agenda that vaccines are effective and safe and should be mandated nationally;
  • Allowing the private agro-chemical industry headed by Monsanto and Dupont to write the agricultural laws in the country so that genetically modified crops and organisms are wrongfully considered safe for human and animal consumption and carry no risk to the environment;
  • Denying the Federal Reserve’s role in demolishing America’s middle class and protecting the Wall Street oligarchy’s control over the Fed and US Treasury at the public’s expense;
  • Judging Wall Street banks more worthy of forgiveness to receive debt relief and assistance from taxpayers than debt forgiveness to Americans who are underwater in their mortgages, credit, student loans and small business debts;
  • Gross failure to independently analyze the adverse effects on the domestic economy and society from trillion dollar bailouts to Wall Street and mega-corporations;  
  • Increasing America’s military budget at home and abroad rather than feeding the nation’s starving children and dealing with the growing number of homeless who have suffered at the hands of the government’s compliance with Wall Street disaster capitalists;
  • Ignoring the need for independent investigations and hearings into the current and past four administrations into the invasions of sovereign countries and covert efforts to fuel regime change;
  • Ignoring the thousands of homicides and suicides committed by American soldiers and veterans who have been abused and forgotten by the US government since the launch of the war against terror and failing to make the association that the fundamental problem is war and the US's imperial ambitions;
  • Failure to criticize despotic regimes that the US supports with dismal human rights records such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Israel’s apartheid of Palestine, Brazil, Colombia, India;
  • Launching sanctions against Iran that are responsible for untold suffering of Iranian citizens and children without any international proof that Iran poses either a regional or nuclear threat;

From the perspective of universal values and higher spiritual ethics, these are among both Democrats' and Republicans' many faults. Many might perceive these charges as indicators of progress. However, since the captured pundits pretend to align themselves with faux and disingenuous progressive values, the media must be held accountable for its blind ignorance in giving voice to the Deep State and thereby undermining Constitutional rights and personal freedoms.

Until Americans summon the courage to stand up and demand an end to the Deep State's corporate and intelligence stranglehold on our institutions of power, we are almost guaranteed to head further towards a complete cultural and economic collapse.

The Gary Null Show - Corona Talk - 04.13.20

The Gary Null Show - Corona Talk - 04.13.20

April 13, 2020

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. In this episode Gary plays a lengthy audio clip from Dr. Shiva' talking about the CDC, WHO and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Also in this episode Gary mentions an article of his Can Natural Botanical Herbs and Supplements Impact Coronavirus? '

If you have any comments or questions on COVID19 feel free to leave Gary Null a voicemail at  862-800-6805. This new feature will allow listeners to call in and leave a voicemail question 

The Gary Null Show - Covid19 2020 - 04.10.20

The Gary Null Show - Covid19 2020 - 04.10.20

April 10, 2020

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


The Videos Played on Today's Show 

1. Stop Silencing Doctors: A Clinician Manifesto

The Gary Null Show - Why is Everyone Offended? - 04.09.20
The Gary Null Show – 04.08.09

The Gary Null Show – 04.08.09

April 8, 2020

Yes, Numbers Matter

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, April 8, 2020

For the millions of people who are following the daily reports and analyses of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing should be evident. There are far more questions arising than answers, and there are certainly less answers to be relied upon. Consequently, we are being inundated with numbers and more numbers. The number of cases of infection. The number of tests performed or that should be performed. The number of masks, hospital beds and ventilators necessary. And the number of fatalities. Consider the early predictions made by NIAID director Anthony Fauci that we might expect 1.7 million deaths only to later reduce his numbers to that of a regular flu season. Or there is one of the nation's chief physicians serving Congress and the Supreme Court, Dr. Brian Monahan, who pulled unsubstantiated figures from the astral plane to warn NBC News that up to 150 million Americans will become infected. 

Moreover, confusion seems to be rampant throughout much of the nation's healthcare infrastructure. We are being deprived of basic facts because even the experts don't have them. Perhaps we have all seen the images of medical personnel having to wear black garbage bags as protective gear in a New York hospital or nurses' reports about having to wash and share face masks due to shortages. One revelation that COVID-19 is mirroring back to us is dire state of our corporate healthcare system and the dearth of doctors compared to other developed nations. But should we be surprised about the failures of American medicine? Funding that should go towards a resilient medical infrastructure and preventative health measures in times of emergency has been neglected for decades. If the nation's healthcare infrastructure had progressed to meet its population's demand it would have lessened the pandemic significantly. Instead the US budget has been funneled off to sustain our imperialist military adventures and provide bailouts for the mega-transnational corporations, banks and billionaires. 


The Gary Null Show - Yes, Numbers Matter - 04.07.20

The Gary Null Show - Yes, Numbers Matter - 04.07.20

April 7, 2020

Yes, Numbers Matter

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, April 7, 2020


For the millions of people who are following the daily reports and analyses of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing should be evident. There are far more questions arising than answers, and there are certainly less answers to be relied upon. Consequently, we are being inundated with numbers and more numbers. The number of cases of infection. The number of tests performed or that should be performed. The number of masks, hospital beds and ventilators necessary. And the number of fatalities. Consider the early predictions made by NIAID director Anthony Fauci that we might expect 1.7 million deaths only to later reduce his numbers to that of a regular flu season. Or there is one of the nation's chief physicians serving Congress and the Supreme Court, Dr. Brian Monahan, who pulled unsubstantiated figures from the astral plane to warn NBC News that up to 150 million Americans will become infected. 

Moreover, confusion seems to be rampant throughout much of the nation's healthcare infrastructure. We are being deprived of basic facts because even the experts don't have them. Perhaps we have all seen the images of medical personnel having to wear black garbage bags as protective gear in a New York hospital or nurses' reports about having to wash and share face masks due to shortages. One revelation that COVID-19 is mirroring back to us is dire state of our corporate healthcare system and the dearth of doctors compared to other developed nations. But should we be surprised about the failures of American medicine? Funding that should go towards a resilient medical infrastructure and preventative health measures in times of emergency has been neglected for decades. If the nation's healthcare infrastructure had progressed to meet its population's demand it would have lessened the pandemic significantly. Instead the US budget has been funneled off to sustain our imperialist military adventures and provide bailouts for the mega-transnational corporations, banks and billionaires. 

Part of the problem is that there are no accurate epidemiological and statistical analyses, even for fatality numbers, that are based upon sound scientific principles. Perhaps one of the clearest examples to try to understand this confusion is to look at the huge discrepancy in infection rates and deaths between different countries, especially neighboring countries in Europe. How does one account for an approximate 1,810 deaths per 103,300 cases in Germany with 8,900 deaths per 98,000 cases right next door in France? Each has comparable economies and advanced healthcare systems. Is it that there are no reliable mechanisms for proper data collection and analysis? It seems to be that every government is doing its own thing and therefore all the data we have to determine the severity of the pandemic is skewed. The distinguished physician and German politician Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, who earlier declared the H1N1 swine flu pandemic as "one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century," has again warned that the COVID-19 hype is causing "considerable damage to our freedom and personal rights through frivolous and unjustified quarantine measures and restrictions." Commenting on the current situation, Dr. Wodarg argues that "evidence based epidemiological assessment is drowning in the mainstream of fear mongers in labs, media and ministries."

In the US, which closely follows (or controls) the World Health Organization (WHO), it is a larger mess. For example, WHO's recent guidelines divide COVID-19 cases into two categories. First are those cases that have been confirmed by properly identifying the virus through laboratory testing. The second are those cases that have been "assigned to a clinical or epidemiology diagnosis of COVID-19 where laboratory confirmation is inconclusive or not available." In other words, people are being ruled as COVID-19 positive without any laboratory confirmation. Furthermore, the WHO now recommends that deaths in this second category should be contributed to the coronavirus.  One does not require a medical degree to realize how this is resulting in faulty tabulation of infection and death rates. 

The US has also adopted the WHO guidelines according to the National Vital Statistics System. A NVSS document explaining how deaths should be reported on death certificates states, "COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death." So what impact would this have on fatality numbers if deaths without laboratory confirmation are in fact caused by other illnesses? We already know that the virus is most lethal to the elderly and persons with pre-existing medical conditions. 

Below is a chart produced by the NVSS showing weekly pneumonia deaths from 2013 to the present.

Note the dramatic unprecedented decrease in deaths associated with pneumonia since the arrival of COVID-19 in the US. How does that happen? Is there an invisible war being waged between COVID-19 and pneumonia-causing pathogens such as flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), bacteria, mycoplasma and fungi to infect victims? The chart is nothing more than an illusion. The reason for this remarkable decrease is simply human error and scientific negligence. 

Likewise, as both confirmed and assumed cases of COVID-19 climb, influenza cases are falling. To add to the confusion, just as the CDC now tallies COVID-19 deaths, it has done the same by conflating influenza and pneumonia deaths for many years. The CDC claims approximately 34,000 people die from flu infections annually. However, no distinction is made between the two and influenza and pneumonia deaths are grouped together. It is an excellent propaganda tool for keeping people nervous when flu season arrives in order to get rid of and distribute the 160 million-plus vaccine doses our tax dollars purchase every year. 

As physician Dr. Ken Stoller wrote to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services, 

"US data on influenza deaths are false and misleading. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledges a difference between flu death and flu associated death yet uses the terms interchangeably. Additionally, there are significant statistical incompatibilities between official estimates and national vital statistics data. Compounding these problems is a marketing of fear—a CDC communications strategy in which medical experts "predict dire outcomes" during flu seasons."

And now we discover the same agency re-categorizing influenza and pneumonia cases as COVID-19. In the same vein, how many deaths assigned to the flu may actually be caused by a coronavirus?  Dr. Wodarg notes that it is "the well known fact that in every 'flu wave' 7-15% of acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) are coming along with coronaviruses." He further warns that "we are currently not measuring the incidence of coronavirus diseases but the activity of the specialists searching for them." We still do not know COVID-19's pathogenetic role and impact compared to the common seasonal flu. 

Even if we erroneously assume the CDC's figures are accurate, as of today, there are 364,700 cases of coronavirus and almost 11,000 deaths. Yet this is a far cry from annual illnesses and deaths associated with the flu. Last year, according to Johns Hopkins University, there were over 35 million cases of flu infection and over 34,100 deaths (see chart below). And when did the entire economy ever shut down during a flu season?  Even during the 2009-2010 H1N1 swine flu scare -- the hyped-up pandemic that never was and was estimated to have killed only 17,000 people -- life went on as normal. The WHO's faux H1N1 pandemic resulted in only half of the CDC's conventional estimates for annual deaths. The world's experts at the WHO, British Health Ministry, and the CDC could not have been more wrong in their predictions in their fear tactics. 

Curiously, the Johns Hopkins researchers estimated 61,000 deaths during the 2017-2018 flu season while the CDC reported it being over 80,000, a 25% difference. This also completely ignores co-morbidity, deaths directly due to other medical complications, usually pre-existing, that are independent from the virus. 

Equally challenging is the lack of a universal and accurate test for proper viral identification. Polymerase Chain Reaction testing or PCR is the most accurate but is not being utilized at the level it should due to the lack of PCR systems and facilities for high throughput testing. People go to a hospital emergency room and are often only checked and asked about their symptoms. Rapid influenza tests may be performed and if negative a patient is diagnosed with a positive coronavirus diagnosis. This is not sound medical protocol. It is divination. 

For whatever reason, America has an allergic reaction against learning anything from previous mistakes in the face of emergencies, whether it is a real crisis such as hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, or false alerts such as the 2009 swine flu scare. We may also remember that the aggressive push to fast track an inadequately studied swine flu vaccine onto the market resulted in spontaneous abortions and miscarriages by pregnant women who were persuaded to receive the vaccine. 

But there are some facts we know. Physical distancing, wearing masks, and conscientiously washing hands and cleaning surfaces work as several Asian countries have proven. Perhaps this is a cultural thing. East Asians tend to have a greater sense of civil responsibility towards their neighbors than Americans who regard wearing a mask in public or entering self-isolation as an annoyance and inconvenience. For years, Chinese, Japanese and Korean citizens have frequently worn masks if they are feeling ill in order to protect their those they come in contact with. Other nations have been able to contain the spread of COVID-19; unfortunately Americans' superiority complex of global exceptionalism has been one of our worst enemies.

In the meantime we desperately need scientifically valid numbers. No more politicized numbers that unnecessarily stress people out, further weaken their immune systems, and spiral the nation into further confusion and panic. 

The Gary Null Show - 04.06.20

The Gary Null Show - 04.06.20

April 6, 2020

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. Today's health topics: Fiber consumption linked to lower breast cancer risk, Soy-based foods may promote heart health, Effect of standardized curcuminoids mixture against epithelial ovarian cancer cells, Study suggests curcumin could reverse effects of diabetic osteoporosis, A new type of magnetic stimulation helps reverse concussion symptoms, study finds, Examining the healing effects of sorghum on atherosclerosis, Association between decreased serum vitamin D and greater risk of dry eye disease, Gut communicates with the entire brain through cross-talking neurons, Scientists find link between autism and processed foods: Preservative found to increase pro-inflammatory neurons, Hair analysis suggests children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder suffer from calcium deficiency and toxic metal overload. On today's program Gary plays an audio clip: Dr. Paul Marik: "Vitamin C" Cocktail for Sepsis -- ICU Physician: NOTHING to lose (VICTAS TRIAL)

The Gary Null Show - 04.03.20

The Gary Null Show - 04.03.20

April 3, 2020

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. Researchers find that nicotinamide may help treat fibrotic eye diseases and mitigate vision loss, Lifestyle changes could delay memory problems in old age, depending on our genes, Acupuncture can improve quality of life, Increasing vitamin D serum levels associated with reduced pulmonary exacerbations in patients with cystic fibrosis, Gardening helps to grow positive body image, Study: Niacin may help immune system battle a deadly brain tumor, Zinc therapy is a reasonable choice for patients with pressure injuries, 3M is selling lifesaving PPE to foreign countries over US: Florida Official,   

The Gary Null Show - 04.02.20

The Gary Null Show - 04.02.20

April 2, 2020

How stress can cause a fever

Psychological stress can trigger physiological responses, including an increase in body temperature. A neural circuit that underlies this stress-induced heat response has been identified.

Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine  

You are about to take the stage to speak in front of a large audience. As you wait, your heart starts to pound, your breathing quickens, your blood pressure rises and your palms sweat. These physiological responses are evolutionarily conserved mechanisms to prepare your body to fight against imminent dangers, or to run away quickly. Another key response is an increase in body temperature. Emotional stress can cause this psychogenic fever in many mammalian species, from rodents to humans1,2. What is the neural mechanism that underlies this phenomenon? Writing in Science, Kataoka et al.3 describe a key neural circuit in psychologically induced hyperthermia.

The current work builds on a long legacy of research by the same group, who began their quest for a neuronal circuit that triggers heat production in 2004, using brown fat tissue as an entry point4. Brown fat is a type of ‘good’ fat that can generate heat when needed. Blocking the activity of β3-adrenergic receptor proteins, which are abundant in brown fat and enable the tissue to respond to signals from neurons, attenuates stress-induced hyperthermia5.

In the 2004 study, the researchers injected viral ‘retrograde tracers’ into brown fat in rats; the tracers move through connected neurons, allowing the authors to identify brain regions from which neurons project to the fat4. This revealed that neurons in a brainstem area called the rostral medullary raphe (rMR) connect to brown fat. Later on, the same group identified2 the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) as a key brain region upstream of the rMR. When the authors artificially activated the DMH-to-rMR pathway, they found an increase in neuronal activity and heat production in brown fat. Unexpectedly, activating this pathway also increased heart rate and blood pressure, suggesting that DMH–rMR could coordinate various physiological responses during stress.

In humans, psychological stress often involves an understanding of complicated situations, and thus probably requires instructions from regions of the brain’s cortex, which is involved in cognition. In the current study, Kataoka et al. set out to identify the cortical regions that could send these instructions to the DMH. As in their previous work, the authors used retrograde tracers — this time, injected into the DMH — to look for neurons that link into their heat-generating circuit. They found that only one, little-studied, region of the cortex was strongly labelled by the tracer. This region, called the dorsal peduncular cortex and dorsal taenia tecta (DP/DTT), is also highly active in rats in the wake of social defeat (a hostile interaction in which the animal has lost a fight with another, dominant rat).

To examine the role of this region in stress responses, the authors impaired its connection to the DMH in three ways. They blocked activity throughout the DP/DTT using a chemical inhibitor; they used a virus to kill cells projecting from the DP/DTT to the DMH; and they used a sophisticated genetic approach to inhibit activity specifically in the projections that DP/DTT neurons send to the DMH. In each case, their intervention reduced stress-induced hyperthermia.

By contrast, artificial activation of the neuronal projections between the two regions elicited a battery of responses, including increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and heat production in brown fat. The group provided evidence that the DP/DTT neurons send excitatory signals to the DMH, and demonstrated that the projections from the DP/DTT terminate close to the DMH cells that, in turn, project to the rMR. Taken together, Kataoka and colleagues’ experiments support the idea of a DP/DTT–DMH–rMR–brown fat circuit for heat production in response to stress 

How does the stress-related information reach the DP/DTT? Further retrograde tracing experiments revealed that the strongest inputs to the DP/DTT are from the brain’s midline thalamic regions, including the paraventricular (PVT) and mediodorsal (MD) thalamic nuclei. The PVT is highly sensitive to various physical and psychological stressors, such as predator cues and pain6. By contrast, the MD interacts with the prefrontal cortex to mediate complex cognitive functions, such as rule learning, abstraction, evaluation and (in humans) imagination7. Thus, every possible stressor, from physical pain to anticipated legal trouble, can find their way to the DP/DTT. It remains unclear, however, how different stressors are encoded in the DP/DTT, whether the responses of the DP/DTT to stressors are influenced by experience, and whether deficits in DP/DTT cells could be responsible for abnormal physiological responses to stress. Future studies using electrophysiological or optical recordings of the DP/DTT cells will help to address these questions.

The philosopher and psychologist William James suggested that fear is an interpretation of physiological responses to threat, instead of the other way around8. In other words, rather than running from a bear because we are afraid, we are afraid because we are running from a bear. If James is right, rats should stop being afraid if their physiological responses to a threat are blocked. Kataoka et al. therefore asked whether inhibiting the DP/DTT–DMH pathway can suppress the fear that a rat shows when presented with an aggressive, dominant counterpart that has recently defeated it in a stressful social interaction.

Under normal conditions, a defeated animal will try to stay away from the aggressor to avoid incurring further damage. By contrast, naive animals that have not previously gone through a social defeat show no signs of fear, and investigate the dominant rat with great interest. Remarkably, when the authors blocked the DP/DTT–DMH pathway in rats that had been defeated, the animals behaved like naive rats.

Thus, the behavioural manifestation of fear, and perhaps the perception of fear (which can only be inferred from behaviours in rats), depends on bodily responses to threat. These data provide an indication of why taking a deep breath before that big public speech might help to calm us down. The data also suggest that suppressing physiological responses to stress could be an effective way to alleviate stressful feelings. Of importance in this context, non-stress-related thermoregulation — changes in internal temperature caused by infections or external temperature change, for instance — is mediated, not by the DP/DTT, but by another region upstream of the DMH, the preoptic area9. Blocking the DP/DTT–DMH pathway would therefore be expected to leave day-to-day regulation of temperature unchanged. It is early days, but manipulation of the DP/DTT could potentially be a way to curb chronic psychological stress.


Protective effects of curcumin against neuroinflammation 

Wenzhou Medical University (China), April 1, 2020


According to news reporting originating from Wenzhou, People’s Republic of China, he research stated, “Activated microglia induced by amyloid-beta (A beta) release proinflammatory cytokines that can induce neurotoxicity. High-mobility group box I protein (HMGB1) and HMGB1-mediated inflammatory responses have been attributed with memory impairment in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).”

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from Wenzhou Medical University, “There is accumulating evidence to suggest curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory polyphenol. However, whether curcumin could effectively inhibit inflammation through the suppression of HMGB1 production or HMGB1-mediated inflammatory responses in AP-activated microglia is still unclear. Primary microglia were prepared from the cerebral cortices of one- to three-day-old Sprague Dawley rats. The microglia were cultured and treated with A beta(25-35) 50 mu M for 24 h to prove a toxic effect. Curcumin 10 mu M was administrated 1 h before A beta(25-45) treatment. The levels of HMGB1, interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in the culture medium were analyzed by ELISA. Western blotting was conducted to assess the expression level of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). In addition, PC12 cells were treated with conditioned medium from microglia treated with A beta(25-35), or A beta(25-35) and curcumin, and cell viability was subsequently assessed by MTT. Curcumin was found to significantly inhibit HMGB1 expression and release in A beta(25-35)-stimulated microglia. Pretreatment with curcumin reduced TLR4 and RAGE expression. Proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha were also remarkably reduced by curcumin. In addition, curcumin protected neurons from indirect toxicity mediated by A beta(25-35)-treated microglia.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Curcumin effectively inhibits A beta(25-35)-induced neuroinflammation in microglia, partly by suppressing the expression of HMGB1, TLR4, and RAGE.”



Making healthy lifestyle choices can prevent the onset of dementia

Universities of Exeter, Michigan, Oxford and Southern Australia, April 2, 2020


Researchers found that individuals aged 60 years and above who follow a healthy lifestyle have a lower risk of dementia than those who have an unhealthy lifestyle. Additionally, they found that genetic risk can be mitigated by healthy lifestyle choices.

The study was a collaboration between researchers from the University of Exeter in the U.K., the University of Michigan, the University of Oxford and the University of South Australia.

Fortunately, the onset of dementia can be prevented. In their study, American and British researchers hypothesized that adherence to a healthy lifestyle can greatly reduce the risk of dementia.

To test this hypothesis, the researchers examined data drawn from the UK Biobank, a prospective cohort study that collected data from approximately 500,000 individuals in the U.K. from 2006 to 2010. The researchers restricted their analyses to data from individuals aged 60 years and above, who had no symptoms or diagnosis of dementia. The number of participants that fit the criteria amounted to 196,383.

To assess the participants’ lifestyles, the researchers used a touchscreen questionnaire that scored the participants based on the following dementia risk factors: smoking status, physical activity, diet and alcohol consumption.

Over a follow-up period of eight years, the researchers identified 1,769 cases of dementia. Surprisingly, they found that participants with unhealthy lifestyles, regardless of their genetic risk, had a higher likelihood of developing dementia than participants who followed healthier lifestyles.

This suggests that a person’s lifestyle choices can dictate his dementia risk, regardless of whether he is genetically predisposed to dementia or not. Having a healthy lifestyle can help prevent a person from developing dementia.

Dementia is the leading cause of disability and dependency among older individuals. Fortunately, the study proved that dementia is not inevitable. According to David Llewellyn, one of the authors of the study, their research “delivers a really important message that undermines a fatalistic view of dementia.”


Study finds that Pilates significantly improves blood pressure in young, obese women

Marymount University (US), April 1, 2020


A new paper in The American Journal of Hypertension, published by Oxford University Press, finds that mat Pilates may be an effective strategy to improve cardiovascular health for young obese women, a population that is at risk for hypertension and early vascular complications.

With an estimated 9 million participants in 2018 and a series of celebrity endorsements, including Beyoncé and Emma Stone, mat Pilates training has seen a recent resurgence in popularity. It has become one of the most widely known wellness routines in the United States. The program emphasizes core strength, flexibility, body posture, and controlled breathing.

At the same time, the prevalence of obesity in young adults has become a major public health issue. Though it is well-documented that exercise is a key factor in preventing and managing cardiovascular health problems, obese women tend not to maintain traditional workout routines. Despite sources in the media reporting on the cardiovascular benefits of Pilates, the existing scientific literature is scarce.

Researchers here studied young obese women (age 19-27) with elevated blood pressure and a body mass index between 30-40kg/m2 through 12 weeks of mat Pilates. The participants were free of chronic diseases, were non-smokers and performed less than 90 minutes of regular exercise per week. There were three one-hour training sessions per week, which were divided into the following stages: initial warm up and stretch (10min), general mat Pilates exercises (40 min), and a cool down (10 min). The training increased over the 12 weeks, with the repetition of each exercise steadily increasing. A certified mat Pilates instructor supervised all sessions.

This is the first study to find that mat Pilates routines significantly reduced arterial stiffness and blood pressure, including central (aortic) pressure.

"We hypothesized that Mat Pilates might decrease the risk of hypertension in young obese women. Our findings provide evidence that Mat Pilates benefit cardiovascular health by decreasing blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and body fatness in young obese women with elevated blood pressure. Because adherence to traditional exercise (both aerobic and resistance) is low in obese individuals, Mat Pilates Training might prove an effective exercise alternative for the prevention of hypertension and cardiovascular events in young obese adults."



Tempting by design: Study reveals exposure to “food cues” increases a person’s cravings

Dartmouth College, April 1, 2020


Ever wonder why you sometimes get cravings after seeing a picture of food, even though you know you aren’t really hungry? According to a recent study, it’s all in the mind, or more precisely, in how the mind processes food cues.

According to psychologists at Dartmouth College, there is a physiological process responsible for heightened sensitivity to food cues that brings about food cravings. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the researchers were able to observe changes in the brain when volunteers were exposed to images of food.

The data comes as part of a study focused on figuring out how exposure to certain kinds of images can help predict behavior. The idea that the researchers wanted to demonstrate was that exposure to such images can lead to failures in self-regulation.

The brain gives you food cravings when it sees food cues

To test their hypothesis, the scientists had female college students weighed and had their brains scanned using fMRI while viewing images of neutral scenes and appetizing foods. The fMRI scans focused on changes to the nucleus accumbens of the volunteers.

Located deep near the basal region of the brain, the nucleus accumbens is part of its reward system. Specifically, it controls the reward and punishment centers of the brain, transferring relevant motivational information to the motor cells in order to obtain a certain reward or satisfaction. This, of course, includes the satisfaction felt when eating.

Based on this, the researchers theorized that there is a relationship between greater activity in the nucleus accumbens while viewing pictures of food and weight gain. Any participants who showed less response to the images would be less likely to gain weight.

Six months after the scans, the participants returned to the lab for a follow-up weighing. As expected, those who demonstrated greater activity in the nucleus accumbens when viewing food images did actually gain weight.

Exposure can occur unconsciously

The interesting, but also frightening, thing that the study discovered was that the whole process can take place unconsciously. Just seeing triggers on TV commercials or other media can increase the likelihood of cravings and eating. In a way, the study sheds new light on just how effective the food-related imagery in such commercials can be. (Related: Fighting your cravings: Researchers identify new brain circuits that can help curb junk food cravings.)

The study also demonstrates how resisting cravings triggered by these images and commercials isn’t just a matter of “will power” — there are actual physiological processes driving them. Learning about how these images can cause cravings can go a long way towards resisting them.

More than just food cravings

The study is just one part of a larger study on how images, in general, can affect the nucleus accumbens and predict behavior. In addition to food, the researchers also studied reactions towards sexually suggestive images and whether or not it resulted in an increase in sexual activity.

Upon returning after six months, the participants were also made to answer two surveys for sexual activity, the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory and the Sexual Desire Inventory (SDI). The researchers noted a correlation between increased activity in the nucleus accumbens when viewing sexually suggestive images and sexual activity (both alone and with a partner).

Based on these results, scientists believe that further research into how the nucleus accumbens and the brain’s reward centers react to images could be useful for predicting health risks, such as obesity and sexually transmitted diseases (STD). It can also give further insight into how such imagery can be used and abused by certain parties, such as advertisers, to their benefit and the public’s detriment.


Older people generally more emotionally healthy, better able to resist daily temptations

Duke University, March 24, 2020


The stereotype of grumpy old people apparently doesn't hold up under closer inspection. A new study from Duke and Vanderbilt University psychologists finds that older people are generally more emotionally stable and better able to resist temptations in their daily lives.

"There is evidence here that emotional health and regulation improve with age," said Daisy Burr, a Duke PhD student who led the study with Gregory Samanez-Larkin, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience. Their work appeared March 23 in the journal Emotion.

The researchers pinged 123 study participants aged 20 to 80 on their cell phones three times a day for ten days. Participants were asked to indicate how they felt on a five-point scale for each of eight emotional states, including contentment, enthusiasm, relaxation and sluggishness. Then they were asked whether they were desiring anything right then, including food or alcohol, cigarettes, social media, shopping, talking to someone, sex, sleep or work. They could report up to three temptations at once.

Each participant had also been assessed on a standard measure of "global life satisfaction," which determined their general well-being, regardless of the moment-to-moment moods.

What the researchers were looking for is how positive or negative feelings and the ability to resist temptations might change as people get older.

What they found is that the older people in the study were more stable and "less volatile in their emotions," Samanez-Larkin said. And age, it turns out, is a stronger predictor of the ability to resist temptation than the emotional state.

Samenez-Larkin said a person's goals change with age. The older person may be more oriented toward the present and "trying to maximize well-being every day. You want to feel good as much as possible."

The researchers said their findings are a better reflection of real-world conditions because they surveyed participants in their own time and space, rather than having them respond to cues in a laboratory setting. Burr added that older people are better at regulating their emotional state when allowed to do what they want.

In the end, Burr's analysis of the data found people experiencing more negative affect are worse at resisting desires. Younger study participants who had higher levels of life satisfaction were better able to resist desires.

But older adults were better at resisting temptation, regardless of their life satisfaction.



Most diets lead to weight loss and lower blood pressure, but effects largely disappear after a year

Monash University (Australia), April 1, 2020


Reasonably good evidence suggests that most diets result in similar modest weight loss and improvements in cardiovascular risk factors over a period of six months, compared with a usual diet, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Weight reduction at the 12 month follow-up diminished, and improvements in cardiovascular risk factors largely disappeared, except in association with the Mediterranean diet, which saw a small but important reduction in 'bad' LDL cholesterol.

As such, at least for short-term benefits, the researchers suggest that people should choose the diet they prefer without concern about the size of benefits.

Obesity has nearly tripled worldwide since 1975, prompting a plethora of dietary recommendations for weight management and cardiovascular risk reduction.

But so far, there has been no comprehensive analysis comparing the relative impact of different diets for weight loss and improving cardiovascular risk factors, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

To address this, a team of international researchers set out to determine the relative effectiveness of dietary patterns and popular named diets among overweight or obese adults.

Their findings are based on the results of 121 randomised trials with 21,942 patients (average age 49) who followed a popular named diet or an alternative control diet and reported weight loss, and changes in cardiovascular risk factors.

The studies were designed differently, and were of varying quality, but the researchers were able to allow for that in their analysis.

They grouped diets by macronutrient patterns (low carbohydrate, low fat, and moderate macronutrient—similar to low fat, but slightly more fat and slightly less carbohydrate) and according to 14 popular named dietary programmes (Atkins, DASH, Mediteranean, etc).

Compared with a usual diet, low carbohydrate and low fat diets resulted in a similar modest reduction in weight (between 4 and 5 kg) and reductions in blood pressure at six months. Moderate macronutrient diets resulted in slightly less weight loss and blood pressure reductions.

Among popular named diets, Atkins, DASH, and Zone had the largest effect on weight loss (between 3.5 and 5.5 kg) and blood pressure compared with a usual diet at six months. No diets significantly improved levels of 'good' HDL cholesterol or C reactive protein (a chemical associated with inflammation) at six months.

Overall, weight loss diminished at 12 months among all dietary patterns and popular named diets, while the benefits for cardiovascular risk factors of all diets, except the Mediterranean diet, essentially disappeared.

The researchers point to some study limitations that could have affected the accuracy of their estimates. But say their comprehensive search and thorough analyses supports the robustness of the results.

As such, they say moderate certainty evidence shows that most macronutrient diets result in modest weight loss and substantial improvements in cardiovascular risk factors, particularly blood pressure, at six but not 12 months.

Differences between diets are, however, generally trivial to small, implying that for short-term cardiovascular benefit people can choose the diet they prefer from among many of the available diets without concern about the magnitude of benefits, they conclude.

The extensive range of popular diets analysed "provides a plethora of choice but no clear winner," say researchers at Monash University, Australia in a linked editorial.

As such, they suggest conversations should shift away from specific choice of diet, and focus instead on how best to maintain any weight loss achieved.

As national dietary guidelines fail to resonate with the public, taking a food-based approach with individuals and encouraging them to eat more vegetables, legumes, and whole grains and less sugar, salt and alcohol is sound advice, they add.

"If we are to change the weight trajectory of whole populations, we may learn more from understanding how commercial diet companies engage and retain their customers, and translate that knowledge into more effective health promotion campaigns," they conclude.


Dietary niacin intake affects risk of hip fracture, hip bone mineral density

Medical College of Georgia and University of Washington, April 2, 2020


Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is an essential micronutrient that helps the body break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins and convert them into energy. It is also involved in the production of certain hormones and plays a role in liver function. Niacin can be obtained from a wide variety of food sources, such as organ meats like liver, white meat and fish.

However, recent studies suggest that niacin intake may have an influence on the development of age-related diseases. To investigate this, researchers from different universities in the U.S. examined the association of dietary niacin intake with multiple skeletal health parameters, such as bone mineral density (BMD), hip fractures and body composition.

In their paper, which appeared in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, they detailed how consuming too much or too little of this important vitamin can affect bone health, particularly in the elderly.

Low or high intake of niacin can increase the risk of hip fractures in older adults

According to the researchers, interest in niacin has increased recently due to its potential involvement in diseases associated with aging. However, to date, no study has investigated its influence on bone health, particularly in African American and white men and women.

For their study, the researchers recruited 5,187 men and women from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), a population-based study of coronary heart disease and stroke in adults aged 65 and above. These participants have a mean daily dietary niacin intake of 32.6 milligrams (mg) and were divided into four groups:

  • Group 1, with an intake of 3.6 to 21.8 mg per day
  • Group 2, with an intake of 21.9 to 30.2 mg per day
  • Group 3, with an intake of 30.3 to 40.9 mg per day
  • Group 4, with an intake of 41 to 102.4 mg per day

The researchers estimated the risk of incident hip fracture per 10 mg increment of daily dietary niacin intake using proportional hazards models. 

They reported that during a median follow-up of 13 years, 725 participants had an incident hip fracture. Adjusting for demographic, clinical characteristics and diet, the researchers found that high and low dietary niacin intake was significantly associated with an increased risk of hip fractures.

The two groups with the lowest and highest niacin intake had an increased risk of incident hip fracture compared with groups 2 and 3. Meanwhile, dietary niacin intake was inversely associated with hip BMD. However, it had no significant association with total body BMD or any body composition measures.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that in elderly, community-dwelling African American and white men and women, high and low dietary niacin intake significantly increases the risk of hip fracture.




Teen marijuana use boosts risk of adult insomnia

University of Colorado, April 1, 2020

Smoke a lot of weed as a teenager, and when you reach adulthood you'll be more likely to have trouble falling or staying asleep, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study of nearly 2,000 twins.

The study, published in the journal Sleep, comes at a time when cannabis—in everything from THC-infused gummies to prerolled joints and high-potency vape pens—is increasingly being marketed as a sleep aid in states where marijuana is legal. It adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that while it may help some users fall asleep occasionally, chronic use can have negative long-term consequences, particularly for the young.

"People tend to think that cannabis helps with sleep, but if you look closely at the studies, continued or excessive use is also associated with a lot of sleep deficits," said lead author Evan Winiger, a graduate student in the Institute for Behavioral Genetics. "Our study adds to that literature, showing for the first time that early use is associated with increased rates of insomnia later on."

For the study, Winiger analyzed data from 1,882 young adults from the Colorado Twin Registry, which has been following twins for research since 1968. Each had completed surveys about their sleep habits, marijuana use and mental health.

They found that about one-third of subjects who started using marijuana regularly before age 18 had insomnia in adulthood, compared to less than 20% among those who didn't use cannabis regularly as teens. The same pattern held true for a particularly hazardous form of insomnia known as "short sleep" (sleeping fewer than six hours per night on a regular basis). About one in 10 subjects who used cannabis regularly as teens grew up to be short-sleepers, while only about 5% of non-users did.

People who started using marijuana after they turned 18 also had slightly higher rates of insomnia in young adulthood. And these patterns persisted when controlling for depression, anxiety and shift work (which can all also impair sleep).

Lasting impacts on developing brains

Exactly why early cannabis use correlates with later sleep problems remains unclear, but several theories are emerging.

As Winiger explains, the human body has its own endocannabinoid system, producing chemicals much like the cannabinoids (CBD and THC) present in marijuana that bind to cannabinoid receptors in our brains and have been shown to influence our cognition, emotions and circadian rhythm—or body clock.

"One theory is that these receptors are being desensitized or disturbed from all the cannabis use at a time that the brain is still developing, and that leads to waking issues later," he said.

It could also be that cannabis use in adolescence leads to structural changes in the brain. (Previous brain imaging studies have shown it can alter the developing prefrontal cortex.)

Or chronic use may set teens up for poor sleep habits when they are young, which linger into adulthood.

Genes may also be at play.

By looking at 472 identical twin pairs (who share 100% of their genetic makeup) and 304 fraternal pairs (who share only 50%), the researchers were able to infer to what degree the traits were inherited. They concluded that many of the same genes that contribute to the risk of early cannabis use are also associated with insomnia and insomnia with short sleep.

This is the first study to find a direct genetic correlation between cannabis use and insomnia.

In short, it remains a chicken-and-egg question.

"It is possible that sleep problems could influence cannabis use, cannabis use could influence sleep problems, or common genetics could be responsible," the authors wrote.

Co-author Ken Wright, director of the Sleep and Chronobiology lab, says the study does not necessarily mean all strains of marijuana are bad for sleep in all people all the time. Some previous studies show cannabis can help people fall asleep if used occasionally.

"The evidence in adults is quite mixed, and unfortunately we can't do randomized controlled trials with different strains and different doses," Wright said, pointing to federal laws that prohibit researchers from handling cannabis, providing it to subjects or being present while subjects use it.

What he can say now is this:

"We would not recommend that teenagers utilize marijuana to promote their sleep. Anytime you are dealing with a developing brain you need to be cautious."

The Gary Null Show - 04.01.20

The Gary Null Show - 04.01.20

April 1, 2020

Vitamin A deficiency associated with severe mycoplasma pneumoniae infection in children

Peking University (China), March 31, 2020


According to news originating from Beijing, People’s Republic of China, research stated, “Children with vitamin A, D, and E deficiency are susceptible to respiratory infections. However, the correlations between the levels with Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) and patient MPP occurrence is still unclear.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Peking University, “This study aims to measure and compare the serum levels in severe (sMPP) and non-severe MPP (nsM PP) and to investigate the correlations between their levels and the occurrence of MPP. A total of 122 children were enrolled, including 52 sMPP and 70 nsMPP aged 0-15 years old in 2015-2018. The serum levels of vitamins A, D, and E were measured and compared, and two-category logistic regression was used for correlation analysis of vitamins A, D, and E levels with nsMPP and sMPP. The age was older (7.12 vs. 4.01 y, P=0.002) in the sMPP samples than that in the nsMPP samples. Vitamin A deficiency was present in both the nsMPP and sMPP samples; its level was significantly lower (0.15 +/- 0.06 vs. 0.19 +/- 0.07, P=0.0193) in the sMPP serum than that in the nsMPP serum. Vitamins E and D in the sMPP samples were significantly lower (vitamin E 7.43 +/- 1.55 vs. 8.22 +/- 2.22, P=0.0104; vitamin D 23.08 +/- 11.0 vs. 32.07 +/- 19.2, P=0.0007) than that in the nsMPP group; both sMPP and nsMPP did not show a deficiency of vitamins E and D. Logistic regression analysis revealed that vitamin A deficiency was significantly (OR 0.001, 95% CI: 0.001-0.334, P=0.009) associated with sMPP, and vitamin A supplementation could reduce the incidence of sMPP. In y sMPP, the incidence of vitamin A deficiency was 62.5%, while >= 6 y, 85%, showing a significant difference. Vitamin A level in <6 y sMPP was significantly lower than that in >= 6 y sMPP. Vitamin A deficiency is associated with sMPP and more likely present in the younger sMPP samples.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “Therefore, it is important to watch and supplement vitamin A in M. pneumoniae infection patients.”



Regular exercise benefits immunity -- even in isolation

University of Bath (UK), March 31, 2020


Being in isolation without access to gyms and sports clubs should not mean people stop exercising, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Bath. Keeping up regular, daily exercise at a time when much of the world is going into isolation will play an important role in helping to maintain a healthy immune system.

The analysis, published in the international journal Exercise Immunology Review, involving leading physiologists Dr James Turner and Dr John Campbell from the University of Bath's Department for Health, considers the effect of exercise on our immune function.

Over the last four decades, many studies have investigated how exercise affects the immune system. It is widely agreed that regular moderate intensity exercise is beneficial for immunity, but a view held by some is that more arduous exercise can suppress immune function, leading to an 'open-window' of heightened infection risk in the hours and days following exercise.

In a benchmark study in 2018, this 'open window' hypothesis was challenged by Dr Campbell and Dr Turner. They reported in a review article that the theory was not well supported by scientific evidence, summarising that there is limited reliable evidence that exercise suppresses immunity, concluding instead that exercise is beneficial for immune function.

They say that, in the short term, exercise can help the immune system find and deal with pathogens, and in the long term, regular exercise slows down changes that happen to the immune system with ageing, therefore reducing the risk of infections.

In a new article, published this month, leading experts, including Dr Turner and Dr Campbell, debated whether the immune system can change in a negative or positive way after exercise, and whether or not athletes get more infections than the general population. The article concludes that infections are more likely to be linked to inadequate diet, psychological stress, insufficient sleep, travel and importantly, pathogen exposure at social gathering events like marathons -- rather than the act of exercising itself.

Author Dr James Turner from the Department for Health at the University of Bath explains: "Our work has concluded that there is very limited evidence for exercise directly increasing the risk of becoming infected with viruses. In the context of coronavirus and the conditions we find ourselves in today, the most important consideration is reducing your exposure from other people who may be carrying the virus. But people should not overlook the importance of staying fit, active and healthy during this period. Provided it is carried out in isolation -- away from others -- then regular, daily exercise will help better maintain the way the immune system works -- not suppress it."

Co-author, Dr John Campbell added: "People should not fear that their immune system will be suppressed by exercise placing them at increased risk of Coronavirus. Provided exercise is carried out according to latest government guidance on social distancing, regular exercise will have a tremendously positive effect on our health and wellbeing, both today and for the future."

Regular moderate intensity aerobic exercise, such as walking, running or cycling is recommended, with the aim of achieving 150 minutes per week. Longer, more vigorous exercise would not be harmful, but if capacity to exercise is restricted due to a health condition or disability, the message is to 'move more' and that 'something is better than nothing'. Resistance exercise has clear benefits for maintaining muscles, which also helps movement.

At this current time in particular, the researchers underline the importance of maintaining good personal hygiene when exercising, including thoroughly washing hands following exercise. To give the body its best chance at fighting off infections, they suggest in addition to doing regular exercise, people need to pay attention to the amount of sleep they get and maintain a healthy diet, that is energy balanced to account for energy that is used during exercise. They hope that this debate article will lead to a wave of new research exploring the beneficial effects of exercise on immune function.



Exercise training better than weight loss for improving heart function in type 2 diabetes

University of Leicester (UK), March 31, 2020


Researchers in Leicester have shown that the function of the heart can be significantly improved in patients with type 2 diabetes through exercise.

The study, which was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and conducted at the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) - a partnership between Leicester's Hospitals, the University of Leicester and Loughborough University - also showed that a low-energy diet did not alter heart function in the same patient group.

Dr Gaurav Gulsin, a BHF Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Leicester, trainee heart doctor, and a lead author of the study, said: "Heart failure is one of the most common complications in people with type 2 diabetes, and younger adults with type 2 diabetes already have changes in their heart structure and function that pose a risk of developing heart failure. We wanted to confirm the abnormalities in the structure and function of the heart in this patient population using the latest scanning techniques, and explore whether it is possible to reverse these through exercise and/or weight loss."

Eighty-seven patients between 18 and 65 years of age with type 2 diabetes were recruited to the study. Participants underwent echocardiography and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to confirm early heart dysfunction, and exercise tests to measure cardiovascular fitness. They were then randomised into one of three groups: routine care, supervised aerobic exercise training, or a low-energy meal replacement programme. Each programme had a 12-week duration. Seventy-six patients completed the full 12 weeks. Thirty six healthy volunteers were enrolled as a control group.

The study found that patients who followed the supervised exercise programme had significantly improved heart function compared with the control group, and had also increased their exercise capacity. Whilst the low energy diet did not improve heart function, it did have favourable effects on the structure of the heart, vascular function and led to the reversal of diabetes in 83 per cent of this arm of the study population.

Gerry McCann, NIHR Research Professor and Professor of Cardiac Imaging at the University of Leicester and a consultant cardiologist at Leicester's Hospitals, was senior author on the study. He said: "Through this research we have shown that lifestyle interventions in the form of regular exercise training may be important in limiting and even reversing the damage to heart structure and function seen in younger adults with type 2 diabetes. While losing weight has a beneficial effect on heart structure, our study shows that on its own it does not appear to improve heart function.

"It may seem obvious, but if we can empower patients with type 2 diabetes to make changes to their daily routines through exercise and healthy eating, we may help them reduce the risk of heart failure and even early death. By using imaging techniques such as MRI we can actually show them the benefits their changes are making to their hearts."

The research team recognised the study population was relatively small. In addition, nearly 1 in 5 patients in the exercise arm of the study did not complete all 36 sessions, which may limit its application in future clinical practice.



Vitamin D proven to protect against respiratory infections

 Queen Mary University (UK), March 29, 2020



Adequate vitamin D levels are critical to immune system health and a range of other health areas.  In fact, science clearly suggests that maintaining proper levels can help us to avoid dementias like, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.


This essential vitamin is best produced by exposing the body to the sun and can help to keep our muscles and bones healthy.


A new meta-analysis has confirmed that proper supplementation has a protective effect against colds and flu.  There had been some confusion about this in recent years due to conflicting results from past studies; however, the efficacy of this nutrient in fighting respiratory infection has now been verified.

Taking vitamin D at least as effective as flu shot in fighting respiratory infection


The study was conducted by Queen Mary University of London, and it pooled raw data from nearly 11,000 participants. In the meta-analysis, 25 double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trials looked at both vitamin D2 and D3 supplementation and its effects on cold or flu risk.


The reduction of acute respiratory infection risk through taking vitamin D3 supplementation was at least as effective as getting a flu shot.  The protective effects of 25-hydroxyvitamin D had the most dramatic positive results in those who had the lowest baseline levels to begin with.  And, another important point, regular doses were more effective than less frequent doses.


These study results emphasize the importance of getting enough of this fat-soluble secosteroids through supplementation and food sources.  Keep in mind, 25-hydroxyvitamin D supplementation is especially important in geographic regions that are prone to lots of rain and cloudy weather, as residents of these areas will likely not receive adequate sunlight for its production.


In addition to a stronger immune system and support of numerous aspects of physical health, 25-hydroxyvitamin D also helps to regulate blood sugar and mood. There are two types: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.  Of the two, D3 is the dynamic type that’s triggered by sunlight exposure. In fact, some estimates put vitamin D3 at 300 percent more effective than vitamin D2.


Fortified foods tend to contain vitamin D2, so the better choice for this vitamin is to get plenty of sunshine and/or take a supplement containing D3.  While sunlight does not actually contain 25-hydroxyvitamin D, it is essential in promoting its natural production inside the body.

Vitamin D3 supplements and natural food sources


Some great food choices include, free-range, egg yolks; wild-caught fish and organic, non-GMO soy.  Of course, many dairy products have this vitamin – but, it is often the less beneficial D2 variety and dairy-rich foods tend to promote allergies in many people. (especially if the dairy is highly-processed)


When it comes to supplementation, amounts as high as 10,000 IU per day have been taken to raise blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D; however, the average ideal dose can range from 2,000 to 6,000 IU per day depending upon your current health status. Your best bet is to get a blood test to determine your current status, then ask your doctor to help you determine the best course of action.



Vitamin B12 measurements across neurodegenerative disorders

University of California, March 30, 2020


According to news reporting out of the University of California by NewsRx editors, research stated, “Vitamin B12 deficiency causes a number of neurological features including cognitive and psychiatric disturbances, gait instability, neuropathy, and autonomic dysfunction.”

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from University of California: “Clinical recognition of B12 deficiency in neurodegenerative disorders is more challenging because it causes defects that overlap with expected disease progression. We sought to determine whether B12 levels at the time of diagnosis in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) differed from those in patients with other neurodegenerative disorders. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of B12 levels obtained around the time of diagnosis in patients with PD, Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). We also evaluated the rate of B12 decline in PD, AD, and MCI. In multivariable analysis adjusted for age, sex, and B12 supplementation, we found that B12 levels were significantly lower at time of diagnosis in patients with PD than in patients with PSP, FTD, and DLB. In PD, AD, and MCI, the rate of B12 decline ranged from - 17 to - 47 pg/ml/year, much greater than that reported for the elderly population.”

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “Further studies are needed to determine whether comorbid B12 deficiency affects progression of these disorders.”



Physical activity contributes to positive mental well-being in menopausal women

University of Jyväskylä (Finland), April 1, 2020


A recent study has found that late menopausal status is associated with an elevated level of depressive symptoms that indicate the negative dimension of mental well-being. However, menopause was not linked to positive dimensions of mental well-being in women aged 47 to 55. The results also suggest that a high level of physical activity was linked to fewer depressive symptoms, higher satisfaction with life and higher positive affectivity in menopausal women.

"According to our research, postmenopausal women had more depressive symptoms than peri- or premenopausal women," says doctoral student Dmitriy Bondarev from the Gerontology Research Center and Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. "At the same time menopause was not related to positive mental well-being."

The menopausal transition is divided into three stages. Pre-menopause begins five to ten years before the menopause with gradual irregularity in menstrual cycles. Perimenopause is the time prior to last menstruation, when the function of the ovaries noticeably fades away. Postmenopause is the time after the last menstruation.

Menopause occurs on average between the ages of 46 and 52 and signifies the aging of a woman's reproductive system, which has a far-reaching effect on many bodily functions. However, the link between menopause and psychological functioning in middle-aged women has been investigated less.

The findings of the study indicate that irrespective of the menopausal status, physical activity was beneficial for mental well-being in middle-aged women.

"Physically active women had lower depressive symptoms, had higher positive affectivity scores and were more satisfied with life in comparison to inactive women," Bondarev explains. "Thus, being physically active during the menopausal transition may help to withstand the negative influence of menopause on depressive symptomatology and spare positive mental well-being."

The study is a part of the Estrogenic Regulation of Muscle Apoptosis (ERMA) study involving over 1,000 women aged 47 to 55 living in Jyväskylä, Finland. In the present study, the menopausal stage was determined by the serum hormone concentrations and menstrual diaries. Mental well-being and physical activity were self-reported by the participants.


Complementary and integrative medical treatment interventions for increased intestinal permeability

Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, April 1, 2020 

Researchers from Australia explored the treatment interventions complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) practitioners use to manage an emerging health condition like increased intestinal permeability (IP), as well as the association these methods have on the observed time to resolve the condition. Their findings were published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

  • The researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey of Australian naturopaths, nutritionists, and Western herbal medicine practitioners through the Practitioner Research and Collaboration Initiative (PRACI) network.
  • They considered the frequencies and percentages of the treatment methods, including chi-square analysis, to examine the associations between treatment methods and observed time to resolve IP.
  • The researchers reported that 36 CIM practitioners responded to the survey. These practitioners use a multi-modal approach for the management of IP.
  • Almost 93 percent of the respondents use three or more categories of treatment interventions, namely, nutritional, herbal, dietary and lifestyle interventions.
  • The researchers also found that the main treatments prescribed for IP include:
    • Zinc (85.2 percent)
    • Multi-strain probiotics (77.8 percent)
    • Vitamin D (75 percent)
    • Glutamine (73.1 percent)
    • Turmeric (73.1 percent)
    • Saccharomyces boulardii (70.4 percent)
  • They also reported that CIM practitioners ask patients with IP to reduce their intake of alcohol (96.3 percent), gluten (85.2 percent) and dairy products (75 percent).
  • In addition, CIM practitioners frequently advise evaluation of antibiotics (75 percent) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (73.1 percent) prescriptions.
  • They observed that IP takes longer to resolve when patients do not reduce the intensity of their exercise.

The researchers concluded that their findings align with pre-clinical research, suggesting that CIM practitioners prescribe in accordance with published literature. They also recommend that CIM practitioners use numerous integrative treatment methods for the management of IP.



Burgers, other foods consumed at restaurants, fast food outlets, cafeterias, associated with higher levels of phthalates

George Washington University.  March 29, 2020


Dining out more at restaurants, cafeterias and fast-food outlets may boost total levels of potentially health-harming chemicals called phthalates in the body, according to a study out today. Phthalates, a group of chemicals used in food packaging and processing materials, are known to disrupt hormones in humans and are linked to a long list of health problems.

The study is the first to compare phthalate exposures in people who reported dining out to those more likely to enjoy home-cooked meals. People who reported consuming more restaurant, fast food and cafeteria meals had phthalate levels that were nearly 35 percent higher than people who reported eating food mostly purchased at the grocery store, according to the study.

"This study suggests food prepared at home is less likely to contain high levels of phthalates, chemicals linked to fertility problems, pregnancy complications and other health issues," says senior author Ami Zota, ScD, MS, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University. "Our findings suggest that dining out may be an important, and previously under-recognized source of exposure to phthalates for the U.S. population."

Lead author Julia Varshavsky, PhD, MPH, at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, Zota, and their colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The 10,253 participants in the study were asked to recall what they ate and where their food came from in the previous 24 hours. The researchers then analyzed the links between what people ate and the levels of phthalate break-down products found in each participant's urine sample.

The team found that 61 percent of the participants reported dining out the previous day. In addition, the researchers found:

  • The association between phthalate exposure and dining out was significant for all age groups but the magnitude of association was highest for teenagers;
  • Adolescents who were high consumers of fast food and other food purchased outside the home had 55 percent higher levels of phthalates compared to those who only consumed food at home;
  • Certain foods, and especially cheeseburgers and other sandwiches, were associated with increased levels of phthalates—but only if they were purchased at a fast-food outlet, restaurant or cafeteria. The study found that sandwiches consumed at fast food outlets, restaurants or cafeterias were associated with 30 percent higher phthalate levels in all age groups.

"Pregnant women, children and teens are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of hormone-disrupting chemicals, so it's important to find ways to limit their exposures," says Varshavsky, who is also a postdoctoral scientist at the University of California, San Francisco. "Future studies should investigate the most effective interventions to remove phthalates from the food supply."

A previous study by Zota and colleagues suggested that fast food may expose consumers to higher levels of phthalates. That study found that people who ate the most fast food, burgers, fries and other foods, had phthalate levels that were as much as 40 percent higher than people who rarely ate such foods

The new study looked more broadly at dining out—not just at fast-food outlets—and found that it was significantly associated with increased exposure to phthalates. The authors say the findings are worrisome because two-thirds of the U.S. population eats at least some food outside the home daily.

Additional authors of the study include Rachel Morello-Frosch at the University of California, Berkeley, and Tracey Woodruff at the University of California, San Francisco.

The team used an innovative method of assessing real-world exposures to multiple phthalates, called cumulative phthalate exposure, which takes into account evidence that some phthalates are more toxic than others. The National Academies of Sciences has weighed in twice on phthalates—first in a 2008 report, they recommended using cumulative risk assessments in order to estimate the human health risk posed by this class of chemicals; and then in 2017 with a report finding that certain phthalates are presumed to be reproductive hazards to humans.

Many products contain phthalates, including take-home boxes, gloves used in handling food, food processing equipment and other items used in the production of restaurant, cafeteria and fast food meals. Previous research suggests these chemicals can leach from plastic containers or wrapping into food.

If verified by additional research, the findings from this study suggest that people who love dining out are getting a side of phthalates with their entrée.

Home-cooked meals may be one way to limit exposure to these harmful chemicals. "Preparing food at home may represent a win-win for consumers," adds Zota. "Home cooked meals can be a good way to reduce sugar, unhealthy fats and salt. And this study suggests it may not have as many harmful phthalates as a restaurant meal."

At the same time, phthalate contamination of the food supply also represents a larger public health problem, one that must be addressed by policymakers. Zota and Woodruff's previous research shows that policy actions, such as bans, can help reduce human exposure to harmful phthalates.


Fracking chemical may interfere with male sex hormone receptor

University of California at Davis, March 31, 2020


A chemical used in hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, has the potential to interfere with reproductive hormones in men, according to research accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting, and publication in a special supplemental section of the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

The study found the chemical can block the effects of testosterone and other male sex hormones known as androgens.

"Possible adverse health outcomes associated with anti-androgen exposure are abnormal reproductive function, male infertility and disrupted testicular and prostate development," said lead researcher Phum Tachachartvanich, Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis in Davis, Calif.

Hydraulic fracturing technology has significantly improved the yield of oil and natural gas extraction from unconventional sources. Fracking involves drilling and hydraulic extraction by injecting mixtures of industrial chemicals at high pressure into horizontal bore wells. Fracking chemicals contaminate the environment, including lake, groundwater and wastewater, and they are likely to affect everyone that is exposed to this group of chemicals, according to Tachachartvanich.

"The widespread use of fracking has led to concerns of potential negative impacts on both the environment and human health," Tachachartvanich said. "Everyone should be concerned about fracking as the wastewater generated has potential endocrine-disrupting effects, which can adversely affect the general population."

The researchers used a computer model to rank 60 hydraulic fracturing chemicals used in California, based on the predicted potential of each chemical to interfere with androgens' ability to bind with cells in the body. Based on the rankings, they used a cell model to verify the top five fracking chemicals that showed the highest potential to interfere with this process.

They then measured the androgen binding activity in the cell model for each chemical. Of the five HF chemicals tested, only one - Genapol-X100--significantly inhibited androgen binding activity. "This suggests Genapol-X100 has endocrine-disrupting abilities," Tachachartvanich said.

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